What Are Differentials?

Differentials. Being full time 4x4s, Land Rovers and Range Rovers either have 3 per car (in Rangie Classics, Sports, Vogues, As well as Discoveries, Defenders and Perenties. Evokes, Freelanders and Discovery Sports have a rear diff, and a front transaxle that does the job.

When you turn in a bend, your inside wheel travels less distance than the outside. So, front and rear differentials allow the inside wheel to move with some independence from the outside wheels.

Also, the rear wheels cut the corner, and travel less distance than the fronts. There is a third differential in the transfer box, behind the gearbox that allows this to happen. If you built something that didn’t allow this slip, it will either drag wheels or not turn properly. That would be a Nissan Patrol, Hilux, Rodeo etc in 4×4 mode on a hard surface, highlighting why the Land Rover is the best vehicle ever devised by mankind. I am completely unbiased.

For normal driving, this is good. It creates problems when you are in mud or rocks, when wheels skid or are lifted off the ground- the slippery wheel can spin and you go nowhere.

So Defenders and Disco 1s have locking centre diffs in the transfer box. This helps. On those vehicles, an upgrade is to put a torque biasing diff front and rear. Unless you are rock hopping extremely lifting wheels off the ground, this will do. Dead easy, I can make this happen for you.

If you’re crazily lifting wheels off the ground in your adventures then you’ll need a diff locker. I can also sort that. Most people will not need lockers.

Freelanders, Evokes, Disco 2s, 3s, 4s and Rangie Sports have traction control. It uses the ABS system to notice a slippy wheel, and grabs it with the brake thereby keeping torque on the non slippy wheel(s). It works. A team of engineers spent years and millions working this out. Just trust it and be happy, don’t bother trying to change anything. If something breaks I’ll fix it for you!

Roverworks is Canberra’s top choice for automotive repairs, parts and maintenance. Our mechanic team specialises in Land Rover and Range Rover models, in addition to servicing of 4x4s, off-road and other car models. Visit our shop for a quick check-up or consultation, repairs, maintenance and parts.