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What Is Limited Slip Differential? How Does It Work

Limited Slip Differential? How Does It Work

Are you aware of the working of the limited-slip differential?
If not, then, don’t worry because this article will give you a complete knowledge about the working of It. First, let us know why we need it.

Before the usage of this limited-slip differential,
The standard differential was discovered. But in the case of the standard slip differential, there were many problems. One of the main reasons why we use the limited-slip
Differential over standard differential is as below:

In the case of the standard slip differential, both the axles of the wheels move at a different speed. Consider a vehicle which is running on the road,
It’s one wheel is on the slippery surface while another wheel on the
Surface with a good contraction or a dry surface.
As the axles rotate with different angular velocities,
Power transferred to the wheel on the slippery road will be
High while the power transmitted to the wheel on the dry surface will less.
So, the wheel on the slippery surface will rotate with a higher speed than the wheel on a surface with a good contraction. Due to this big relative difference in the rotations of the
Two wheels the car will not move at all. So, to solve this problem the limited-slip differential is used.

For the clarification of the above paragraph,
Just refer to the following image

A limited-slip differential is a type of differential that
Limits the amount of rotational difference between the two output shafts.

In 1935, such type of differential was designed by the company, ZF Friedrichshafen. Limited Slip Differential is popularly known as LSD. There are four types of LSD which are used in the cars that we see on roads. Following are the four types of LSD that you must know:

Electronically Controlled LSD
LSD of fixed value
LSD which are operated by the torque
Speed-Sensitive LSD.

Also, read:


As above mentioned, an LSD consists of the clutch-packed assembly. In the clutch pack assembly, there are many steel plates, friction plates and gears are present. Friction plates have a rough lining inside them.
This means when the car gets accelerated,
The entire friction force between the plates and gears compels the clutch pack assembly to rotate as a single unit. So, both the wheel, right and left, move in the same direction at the same speed. And thus, our car runs smoothly whether both the wheels are on the slippery roads or the roads with good contraction. The area between the two sets of frictional and steel plates is filled with the pre-load springs.

A differential allows the two wheels on the same axle to spin at different speeds.
That’s why it’s called a differential.
A limited-slip differential allows them to spin at different speeds but only up to a point.

Also, read:

is that is because if there is no limitation,
One wheel can be stopped completely and the other wheel can be
Spinning with 100% of the power going into the differential.
You don’t want that to happen,
And you can imagine scenes of cars being stuck in the mud in old movies where one wheel is stuck and the other is spinning like crazy but going nowhere. There are different technologies to achieve this.

Read More:

Some are mechanically and automatically controlled,
While some advanced systems can use computers/electronics to control the clutches;
And thus how much power goes to each wheel.

Watch the video below to understand better working

Limited-slip differential has a clutch pack behind both the sun gears in the differential Assy.
When one wheel starts rotating freely,
The sun gear presses against the clutch pack and
Creates friction which leads to a small amount of torque redirected to the
Another stationary wheel.
This starts off the immobile vehicle.

Ekster EU

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