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Eaton Limited Slip & Locking Differentials
Limited Slip - Since the 60's, Eaton has been the leader in carbon-disc limited slip differentials. Posi-traction was a huge improvement over open or completely locked diff's. Limited slip allows torque to be applied equally so that both wheels spin equally. There are usually clutches or discs involved that will slip when you are driving through a turn. For off road use and slick driving conditions, limited slip works very well to get your car or truck moving. If one wheel begins to spin, equal torque is applied to the other wheel. Posi-traction (limited slip) style rear ends help off roaders immensely. If you are in your truck in hilly conditions where one drive wheel could come off the ground, a traditional open differential would cause that wheel to spin leaving you stuck. If a drive wheel comes off the ground with a limited slip rear end, torque is still getting to the other tire that is on the ground, driving you forward. In a 4 wheel drive, the best setup is to have both ends with limited slip, effectively giving you 4 wheels to drive you forward.
Electronic Locking Differentials - Push button traction is always a welcome addition. Those of you with manual locking hubs know how reliable they can be. The down side is getting out and turning the hub to lock it in. There is a better way. Eaton makes electronic locking differentials that are as easy to use a push of a button. Eaton was the OEM for Hummer H2 and optional H3 electronic locking differential.
Mechanically Locking Differentials - This style of diff. usually engages when wheel RPM increases above a preset amount. Centrifugal force locks the differential transferring torque to both wheels. For example: You're on the trail and one drive wheel comes off the ground. As soon as that wheel exceeds a certain RPM, the differential will lock, transferring torque to the other wheel. As the tires equalize in RPM, the diff. unlocks. These types usually get you out of most situations that other differentials would not.