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#4100462 - 03/04/21 10:21 PM Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based
young831 Offline
n00b

Registered: 01/21/21
Posts: 32
Loc: Santa Cruz County, California,...
I was doing some searching on this and other forums about if one should go for a Helical LSD, e.g. Torsen, Quaife, Truetrac; or if one should choose a Clutch Based LSD, e.g. Trac-lok, Auburn, Eaton.

Various things that have been brought up against Clutch Type LSDs are that they engage harder and more roughly than a Helical type, and that a rebuild of a Clutch Type is expensive.

I guess my questions are, do clutch type LSDs engage disagreeably hard for around town driving? Would shorter gears, like 3.27-3.73 make the engagement more disagreeable? How much does an LSD rebuild cost? And is there any reason I shouldn't just go for a Ford Trac-lok since it seems to be the least expensive and it's from ford and meant for these? Btw we're talking low power application here. Right now my car is stock and eventual power goals won't exceed 300 or 350WHP.

Thanks for your answers smile
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2009 P71, 6 years as a NorCal cop car, 5 years as a NorCal cab, and a few months with me.
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2008 BMW 328i SULEV
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#4100496 - 03/05/21 06:27 AM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
Old_Guy_Stu Offline

Over the Hill

Registered: 04/28/19
Posts: 2534
Loc: Cleveland, OH
The only time you're going to get chatter from a Trac-Lok is if the clutches are set up too tight, or if it's worn all the way out. They're meant for street use, which means quiet and smooth.

Torsen, etc is really meant for applications where there's a good bit of differential speed that would burn up a clutch-type locker. Center diff in AWD, high-speed track use, etc. It's overkill in a Panther.


Edited by Old_Guy_Stu (03/05/21 06:31 AM)
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#4100662 - 03/06/21 08:27 AM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
I ran Ford's Trac lok diff in all of my cars and it did great in every day dituation but it is a marginal piece of "performance".
I got a detroit truetrac (gear type ) for my 04 but I havent even ran the car yet . I am making lots of power , doing drag racing and planning to road race the car so I needed a stronger unit capable of locking up pretty hard off the line but also being able to unlock in sharp turn when racing .

The initial cost is higer but when you factor in the cost of replacing the clutch pack and labor there is not a whole difference at the end of the day .
The gear type diff is more transparent for every day use, and if I remember correctly they are standard in newer stangs .
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#4100750 - 03/06/21 03:56 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: 2004_p71]
MIHAYLA Offline
Rookie

Registered: 08/05/13
Posts: 57
Loc: UA
Originally Posted By 2004_p71


The initial cost is higer but when you factor in the cost of replacing the clutch pack and labor there is not a whole difference at the end of the day .


Completely agree.

I should add that thorsen begins to close at moderate powers. I am using Amsoil110. At 80W90, the closure will occur even earlier. But the closure happens quite neatly. And you feel it and you can control it.
Finally, I have recent experience of driving in the wet snow on summer tires. In general, I do not regret the money spent.
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#4100828 - 03/07/21 12:30 AM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: 2004_p71]
young831 Offline
n00b

Registered: 01/21/21
Posts: 32
Loc: Santa Cruz County, California,...
Originally Posted By 2004_p71
The initial cost is higer but when you factor in the cost of replacing the clutch pack and labor there is not a whole difference at the end of the day


Yeah, I guess I want to know how often/how much a Trac-lok rebuild is? I've heard 30k-100k milage, and how much it will run. I know it's about $150-$200 for the parts.

Also, would you say that a Torsen style is worth it when my power goal is 300WHP or less?
_________________________
2009 P71, 6 years as a NorCal cop car, 5 years as a NorCal cab, and a few months with me.
------
Other vehicles I've driven a while:
2002 Honda Accord Coupe EX-V6
2008 BMW 328i SULEV
2011 Smart Fortwo Pure

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#4100850 - 03/07/21 08:48 AM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
A rebuilt clutch pack goes for 130$ plus oil and labor .
clutch pack wears like anything else put depending how you drive the car it can be within a season or many years .

The hp rating has nothing to do with the choice of diff but how you want to use the car .

Gear type diff would be overkill on a daily driver but could find it's use on a daily driver in canada where snow is an issue .
You want to do track session it is for you .
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Best time 13.079 @ 105 1.8 60'
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#4101064 - 03/08/21 07:58 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: 2004_p71]
dixiebandit69 Offline
5.4 Club
Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 327
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By 2004_p71

The gear type diff is more transparent for every day use, and if I remember correctly they are standard in newer stangs .


They still use the clutch Trac-Lock in the '15-up 'Stangs, even the base V6 models - I've checked. I think the Torsen is still an option on the higher-end models, though.
Too bad we can't use them in our cars; they have 34 spline axle shafts.

Originally Posted By 2004_p71

Gear type diff would be overkill on a daily driver but could find it's use on a daily driver in canada where snow is an issue .


One important thing to remember about Torsen differentials is that they require some resistance on the tires to be able to lock.
In a situation where one tire has none or almost no resistance (EX: One tire is in the air, or on a patch of ice), it will behave like an open differential and just spin that wheel until the cows come home.

One quick fix that I've heard about (but never had to try): put your emergency brake on for a few clicks, and that SHOULD give the loose wheel enough resistance to make the differential lock up.

For the record, I've got a Trac-Lock in my Grand Marquis, and a Torsen in my '89 Firebird.
I think the Torsen is a superior design, but just go with what you can get the best deal on.
_________________________
2007 Grand Marquis LS: 5.4 swap, 9.9:1 compression ratio, Comp XE268s, NPI pistons, PI heads ported by me, Accufab upper plenum, 75mm DBW throttle body, Factory PI intake with Chinese spacers, CVPI dual exhaust, CVPI torque converter, CVPI air-box and zip tube, J-Mod, 3.55 gears, FMS Trac-Loc differential
17" Dorman CVPI steelies, BFG Comp T/A 255/45 R17s

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#4101142 - 03/09/21 03:03 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: dixiebandit69]
MIHAYLA Offline
Rookie

Registered: 08/05/13
Posts: 57
Loc: UA
Originally Posted By dixiebandit69
[quote=2004_p71]

One important thing to remember about Torsen differentials is that they require some resistance on the tires to be able to lock.



There are versions with preload. Unfortunately, this is an expensive pleasure.
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#4101172 - 03/09/21 08:15 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: dixiebandit69]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
Originally Posted By dixiebandit69


They still use the clutch Trac-Lock in the '15-up 'Stangs, even the base V6 models - I've checked. I think the Torsen is still an option on the higher-end models, though.
Too bad we can't use them in our cars; they have 34 spline axle shafts.



On


thanks for the clarification
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Best time 13.079 @ 105 1.8 60'
comming back this fall

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#4101176 - 03/09/21 08:36 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
young831 Offline
n00b

Registered: 01/21/21
Posts: 32
Loc: Santa Cruz County, California,...
Yeah, I guess what I'm really trying to figure is for a workload that is almost all California streets, but might include track use, snow, and towing, would the characteristics of a Trac-lok or a True-Trac be better, or rather is a True-Trac better enough to be worth the cost increase? I really don't figure that I'll be beating on either hard enough that if I chose a clutch based I'd wear through them any time soon.
_________________________
2009 P71, 6 years as a NorCal cop car, 5 years as a NorCal cab, and a few months with me.
------
Other vehicles I've driven a while:
2002 Honda Accord Coupe EX-V6
2008 BMW 328i SULEV
2011 Smart Fortwo Pure

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#4101200 - 03/10/21 01:14 AM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
dixiebandit69 Offline
5.4 Club
Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 327
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By young831
Yeah, I guess what I'm really trying to figure is for a workload that is almost all California streets, but might include track use, snow, and towing, would the characteristics of a Trac-lok or a True-Trac be better, or rather is a True-Trac better enough to be worth the cost increase? I really don't figure that I'll be beating on either hard enough that if I chose a clutch based I'd wear through them any time soon.


Okay, I just read your signature list, and if you're driving an '09 CVPI, you should already have a Trac-Loc clutch differential.

To test this, jack one wheel off the ground, and try to spin it. Grab the tire at 3-O-clock and 9-O-clock, and try to turn it as hard as you can.
If it won't turn, the LSD is still good.
If it's really hard to turn, but it does turn, it's still good.
If it's kinda hard to turn at first, but then starts turning, it's probably still good.

Ultimate test: do a burnout, and see if the tracks are the same length.
I've seen some cars/ trucks with seemingly worn-out clutch differentials still lock the rear wheels when slippage happened.
_________________________
2007 Grand Marquis LS: 5.4 swap, 9.9:1 compression ratio, Comp XE268s, NPI pistons, PI heads ported by me, Accufab upper plenum, 75mm DBW throttle body, Factory PI intake with Chinese spacers, CVPI dual exhaust, CVPI torque converter, CVPI air-box and zip tube, J-Mod, 3.55 gears, FMS Trac-Loc differential
17" Dorman CVPI steelies, BFG Comp T/A 255/45 R17s

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#4101264 - 03/10/21 04:50 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: dixiebandit69]
young831 Offline
n00b

Registered: 01/21/21
Posts: 32
Loc: Santa Cruz County, California,...
The axle code in the door jamb says 3.27 open, and I've given it enough gas on dirt where it breaks loose, and then when I came forward onto the pavement I left one tire mark. I also gave it a good stab on gravel one time and it's definitely only the right wheel that spins.
_________________________
2009 P71, 6 years as a NorCal cop car, 5 years as a NorCal cab, and a few months with me.
------
Other vehicles I've driven a while:
2002 Honda Accord Coupe EX-V6
2008 BMW 328i SULEV
2011 Smart Fortwo Pure

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#4102110 - 03/18/21 12:36 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
White Falcon LS Offline


Posting Addict

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 19126
Loc: SoCal
I prefer torque biasing units over clutch and cone type, and have a Torsen T-2 on mine.

The OE style units are rebuildable, and you should be able to get 100,000 miles out of it. Some folks also switch the S springs to increase pre-load.
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#4102178 - 03/19/21 12:40 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
speaking of cones type, on top of my head I dont remember seeing that type of diff standard on vehicules .
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Best time 13.079 @ 105 1.8 60'
comming back this fall

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#4102184 - 03/19/21 01:43 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
85GT Offline
Member

Registered: 10/30/13
Posts: 409
Loc: NYC
Cone type (Auburn) was a standard option in the General Motors world at some point like mid 80's and on.
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#4102232 - 03/19/21 08:47 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
hum interesting
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Best time 13.079 @ 105 1.8 60'
comming back this fall

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#4102340 - 03/20/21 06:55 PM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: 85GT]
dixiebandit69 Offline
5.4 Club
Member

Registered: 01/17/12
Posts: 327
Loc: Texas
Originally Posted By 85GT
Cone type (Auburn) was a standard option in the General Motors world at some point like mid 80's and on.


To the best of my knowledge, GM used the Auburn unit in cars with the 7.5"/ 7.6" 10-bolt (B, F, and G-bodies).
Chevy S10s with the "little 10-bolt" as it can be known (GM had A LOT of "10-bolt" axles over the years)had the "Gov-Lock" limited slip unit with a centrifugal weight that locked when the difference in wheel speeds was over a certain speed.
They stopped using it in 1998, when they updated the F-body and went to a Torsen differential.

The trucks still use the Gov-Lock differential to this day.
_________________________
2007 Grand Marquis LS: 5.4 swap, 9.9:1 compression ratio, Comp XE268s, NPI pistons, PI heads ported by me, Accufab upper plenum, 75mm DBW throttle body, Factory PI intake with Chinese spacers, CVPI dual exhaust, CVPI torque converter, CVPI air-box and zip tube, J-Mod, 3.55 gears, FMS Trac-Loc differential
17" Dorman CVPI steelies, BFG Comp T/A 255/45 R17s

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#4102388 - 03/21/21 09:20 AM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
2004_p71 Offline

no replacement for displacement
Posting Addict

Registered: 09/04/03
Posts: 15777
Loc: Quebec Canada
very interesting
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Best time 13.079 @ 105 1.8 60'
comming back this fall

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#4102462 - 03/22/21 10:53 AM Re: Helical(Torsen) style differential or clutch based [Re: young831]
2011LX Offline
Over the Hill

Registered: 08/31/13
Posts: 1405
Loc: SE WI
MOPAR also offered cone type LSDs. They seemed to have abandoned clutch style in the early '70's
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