Auburn Gear Inc., a U.S.–based manufacturer of high-performance differentials, will present its new patent-pending electronic open-to-lock differential.
Dependable electronic operation allows the driver to transition from an open to a locked differential mode as the need arises, all without leaving the driver’s seat.
Auburn Gear has designed an aftermarket differential that eliminates the gear and pneumatic system failures that have been known to occur among those asking more of their Dana 60 axles and aftermarket selectable lockers.
Typically, a selectable locker differential relies on a mechanically complex gear arrangement that is vulnerable to torque stress and has more parts to break. The mechanisms used to engage and disengage the lockers may fail as well. Lockers operating on compressed air can be a hassle to install and maintain and can suffer malfunctions from condensation in the lines that may render the controls inoperable.
“The gear geometry of our new differential minimizes mechanical complexity, locks the gears to the differential housing and thus transfers torque directly from the differential case, not through the gears,” Jamie Forrest, senior product engineer for Auburn Gear, said.
Auburn’s 4-pinion gear design arrangement is designed to exceed the performance of OE and aftermarket differentials alike.
When Auburn’s differential is unlocked, or open, it allows each individual wheel to rotate at a variable rate. In its open mode, the new differential provides equal rotational torque to each wheel. Although the wheels may rotate at varying speeds, each applies a similar rotational force, even if one wheel is stationary while the other is revolving.
When the new differential is locked, it forces both wheels to rotate at an equal speed regardless of terrain or traction. In locked mode, each wheel applies a rotational force equal to the conditions and its tractive capacity, so the torque exerted on the differential hemispheres, each side-shaft and wheels can be significantly unequal.
The new differential is backed by a one-year warranty and Auburn’s exclusive Differential Replacement Exchange Program. Under the terms of the D-REX Program, Auburn will replace any differential within the first four years after purchase, regardless of circumstances. The replacement differential is one-third of the original cost, or the equivalent of the price of a competitor’s clutch pack. The replacement differential comes fully assembled, tested, certified and ready for installation. No rebuilding is required, and thus no mixing of old or worn parts with new parts is necessary.
Auburn’s Dana 60 aftermarket differentials, model numbers 545022 (4.10:1 & down) and 545023 (4.56:1 & up), are expected to begin shipping on or about March 15, 2014.