© 1997-2012 H. Pietschmann

 Here is how a differential looks like inside

 differential Toyota
Before you ask, yes, I do have that differential in my living room.

1 flange
(attaches to drive shaft)

2 pinion gear

3 side gears

4 ring gear

5 left axle shaft

6 right axle shaft

7 pinion (spider) gears

differentil inside, parts

Here is what a differential is supposed to do: Always distribute equal amounts of torque to both wheels - react to resistance (traction) to allow the wheel with more resistance (traction) to rotate less and the wheel with less resistance rotate faster (needed in turns where the inside wheel has to rotate less than the outside wheel). The rpm difference between left and right created by the differential is always proportional. If the inside tire rotates 15 rpm less in a turn than going straight - then the outside tire will rotate 15 rpm more than going straight.

Differential locks?

Are diff locks and locking diffs the same?

who invented the differential? 

| 2WD use of traction | 4WD layouts | crawl ratio | 4WD components |