Automotive Differential Step 2 - Inside the differential is a ring gear which is driven by a pinion gear (not in view.) This particular differential is equipped with a locker, which can sense wheel slip to couple the spider gears forcing both drive wheels to work as one.
Ring Gear and Locker Step 3 - A pinion shaft is used to hold the spider gears in place while positioning each axle as to hold a retainer clip in place.
Spider Gears Step 5 - Some differentials are designed with an axle retainer clip which is used to hold the axle in place.
Axle Retainer Clip Step 6 - This retainer clip is responsible for holding the axles in place. The pinion shaft holds these clips (2) onto the axles securely.
Removed Axle Retainer Clip Step 7 - An axle shaft is fastened into the differential to supply power which the ring and pinion gears have transformed by transferring energy to the wheels.
Axle Shaft Step 8 - An axle bearing supplies a roller surface for the axle to ride against. This bearing is capable of handling the operating weight of the vehicle and is lubricated by differential gear oil.
Axle Bearing Step 9 - Both axles and the pinion gear utilize a seal which contains the differential gear oil for lubrication.
Axle Seal Step 10 - A gasket is used to seal the rear cover to the differential housing.
Differential Cover Gasket Step 11 - A magnet is used to gather stray metal particles which are the result of metal parts meshing together. This magnet should be cleaned when servicing the differential.
Particle Magnet Step 12 - A metal cover is used to contain differential gear oil, which is held in place using multiple mounting bolts.
Differential Cover Step 13 - A differential is designed to maintain a level of gear oil lubricant, this check is done by removing the fill plug.
Gear Oil Level and Pinion Yoke
Helpful Information A differential is connected to the transmission, which is driven by the engine. A driveshaft connects the transmission to the differential which is responsible for determining the number of rotations the axles will turn in relation to the driveshaft. Gear ratio's are used to multiply engine torque delivered to the drive wheels. Ring and pinion gears are helical cut for smooth operation. Differential gear oil level should be checked and serviced according the manufacturers recommendations. Inspect fluid consistency along with contaminants, which could be a sign of bearing or gear operation failure. Any abnormal noises should be addressed before permanent damage occurs.