Step by step explanation on how an automotive differential works. This information
pertains to all vehicles.
Step 1 - An automotive differential is used to
evenly distribute engine power to the drive wheels. This assemble exist in
every vehicle which drive either front or rear wheels. Some vehicles utilizes front
and rear wheel drive commonly known as four wheel drive. This is achieved through
the use of a
transfer case, which separates engine power into two drive shafts.
Step 2 - Inside the unit is a ring gear
which is driven by a pinion gear (not in view.) This particular rear driver is
equipped with a locker, which can sense wheel slip to couple the spider gears forcing
both drive wheels to work as one.
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.
Step 4 - A set
of spider gears (four) which are used to allow each wheel to turn independently
of each other. This operation is necessary for the vehicle to turn smoothly as the
inner wheel will travel less distance than the outer wheel.
Step 5 - An
axle retainer clip which is used to hold the axle in place.
Step 6 - This retainer clip is responsible for
holding the axles in place. The pinion shaft holds these clips (2) onto the axles
Step 7 - An axle shaft is fastened into the
to supply power which the ring and pinion gears have transformed by transferring
energy to the wheels.
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 gear oil.
Step 9 - Both axles and the pinion gear utilize
a seal which contains gear oil for lubrication.
Step 10 - A gasket is used to seal the rear
cover to the housing.
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 unit.
Step 12 - A metal cover is used to contain gear oil, which is held in place using multiple mounting bolts.
Step 13 - This assembly is designed to maintain
a level of gear oil lubricant, this check is done by removing the fill plug.