So, why do we need DIFFERENTIALS in our vehicles??
The differential performs three major operations:
- It is the final link in the drive line. It transfers engine power to the ground.
- It increases the amount of torque available from your engine through gear reduction.
- It allows the difference in driven wheel speed when cornering.
You can find a differential in a rear wheel drive, front wheel drive or in the case of a constant four wheel drive vehicle, a differential is also found in the transfer case.
As the vehicle turns the driving wheels do not rotate at the same speed. The inside wheel will rotate at a slower speed than the outside wheel as it has less distance to travel. This is where the word DIFFERENTIAL comes from. It allows the wheels to turn at different speeds.
What are the Major Parts of a Differential?
Let us start with the Crownwheel & Pinion. These gears provide the gear reduction from your engine to multiply the torque available to your driven wheels. This gear reduction will vary depending on the given gear ratio chosen for your vehicle.
The other major components involved are the Planetary Gears. These gears allow us to negotiate a corner smoothly and provide drive to the axle shafts which then transfer the available torque to the road.
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