Locking Differentials?


Im abit confused....

Ive read the diffs part in the how it works section which has made me a little confused! I know this will probably sound realy stupid to most people but im very new to 4x4s!

Ive seen "locking differentials" and would like someone please explain them to me?

does a locking diff mean all 4 wheels turn at the same speed?
do fourtraks have an option to "lock the diffs"

if they do how do you do it?

am i just thick?


Your right about what locked

Your right about what locked diffs do. Daihatsu do not do this, unless you find some very expensive (and I'm lead to belive very rare) after market adaptions.
Try diff lock in the site serch, as this subject has been covered a few times.
Detroit lockers seems to be a name that cropes up.

Any veiws expresed in this thread by me are purely from my own experience, and (sometimes) falible memory. Hope my comments help, but please don't take them as gospel.


No you're not thick, just asking a reasonable question and willing to learn properly.
Most vehicles contain open differentials, these are cheap to manufacture and durable, they allow wheels on the same axle to rotate at differing speeds. This is necessary when cornering as the inner wheel turns slower than the outside wheel, so its speed differentiates.
Both axles have differentials as all four wheels turn at differing speeds, as do the axles when you turn a corner in 4WD. This is why certain vehicles such as those with permanent 4WD have a centre differential.

This allows both axles to rotate at differing speeds, and all four wheels to rotate at different speeds.

Your system is a basic system, basic and damn reliable if corrctly used, when 4WD is engaged a splined sleeve locks the rear propshaft directly to the front propshaft. This essentially makes both propshafts become one unit, and the reason 4Wd should not be used on roads or other solid surfaces, as it does not differentiate between axle speeds.

On slippery surfaces, the slippery surface allows the wheels to slip slightly, this prevents problems from not having a centre diff.

Two basic types of locking differentials are available, these are the limited slip diff, these operate by a series of inbuilt clutches. If the speed between the two driven wheels is excessive, or more than is necessary when cornering, the plates lock to distribute a proportion of power to the non slipping wheel. Most are 25%/75%, this means a slipping wheel gets 75% of the power, and the wheel with traction 25%.

Locking differentials are totally different, they use a locking mechanism and a set of sun and planet gears which can be locked. These are manually operated, unlike a limited slip diff, and should only be used by those who know how to use them correctly. essentially they lock both drive shafts together to provide a solid axle, or equal power to both drive wheels.