Detroit Locker Vs. Tru Trac

This is a story done by Jerrod Jones for Off-Road Magazine that weighs lockers vs. limited slip differentials.  It features South Bay Truck & 4x4 alongside Eaton - the manufacturer of performance differentials for this application. Read the article here.

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  • The Detroit Truetrac uses planetary helical gears, similar to the planetary gearset that you would find in a 4WD transfer case. The Truetrac uses these helical gears to turn an open differential into a limited-slip differential. (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • The Detroit Truetrac is a parallel axis planetary helical gear limited-slip differential. It uses the planetary gears to bias torque to the wheel with more traction when the other starts to spin. It's unique as a limited slip because it acts like an open differential until wheel speed differentiation occurs. In fact, the Truetrac is basically an automatic limited slip. Other limited-slip differentials use clutch packs to achieve the limitations in axle speed differentiation. These clutch packs are always applying force, and the clutch-packed units are acting as limited slip differentials 100 percent of the time. These clutches can require servicing from time to time. The helical gear Truetrac requires no servicing because it has no clutch packs. (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • In the snow and ice, a limited-slip differential is definitely preferred for any type of highway driving. Hardcore snow wheeling would still necessitate a locker, but a locker on a slick, icy road could possibly send you in circles if you weren't careful. In many types of driving scenarios, a limited-slip differential will be all the traction-enhancing device that you need-especially if the roads around your town are icy in winter! (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • In this application, a locker is necessary to achieve the driving routes this Bronco owner has chosen. When making climbs such as this, vehicle weight can be biased to one side and a tire can lift off the ground. If a tire lifts off the ground in this extreme scenario, only a locking differential will allow the touching tire to propel the vehicle forward. A limited-slip differential would likely not be effective enough to move the vehicle once a tire goes airborne. (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • The Detroit Truetrac uses planetary helical gears, similar to the planetary gearset that you would find in a 4WD transfer case. The Truetrac uses these helical gears to turn an open differential into a limited-slip differential. (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • The Detroit Truetrac is a parallel axis planetary helical gear limited-slip differential. It uses the planetary gears to bias torque to the wheel with more traction when the other starts to spin. It's unique as a limited slip because it acts like an open differential until wheel speed differentiation occurs. In fact, the Truetrac is basically an automatic limited slip. Other limited-slip differentials use clutch packs to achieve the limitations in axle speed differentiation. These clutch packs are always applying force, and the clutch-packed units are acting as limited slip differentials 100 percent of the time. These clutches can require servicing from time to time. The helical gear Truetrac requires no servicing because it has no clutch packs. (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • In the snow and ice, a limited-slip differential is definitely preferred for any type of highway driving. Hardcore snow wheeling would still necessitate a locker, but a locker on a slick, icy road could possibly send you in circles if you weren't careful. In many types of driving scenarios, a limited-slip differential will be all the traction-enhancing device that you need-especially if the roads around your town are icy in winter! (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • In this application, a locker is necessary to achieve the driving routes this Bronco owner has chosen. When making climbs such as this, vehicle weight can be biased to one side and a tire can lift off the ground. If a tire lifts off the ground in this extreme scenario, only a locking differential will allow the touching tire to propel the vehicle forward. A limited-slip differential would likely not be effective enough to move the vehicle once a tire goes airborne. (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)

  • (courtesy of Off-Road Magazine)