Understanding the Differences & Benefits of Helical Gear and Plate Limited Slip Differentials

Differentials are a critical component of a vehicle's drivetrain system that enables the wheels to rotate at different speeds while transferring power from the engine to the wheels. In a typical open differential, the power is transferred equally to both wheels, which can result in loss of traction and poor performance in slippery conditions. To overcome this limitation, automotive engineers developed limited slip differentials that distribute torque to the wheels with better grip

Two common types of LSDs are helical gear limited slip differentials and plate limited slip differentials. Here, we will discuss how they differ from each other and the benefits of each

Helical Gear LSDs:
In a helical gear LSD, the differential housing is equipped with a set of helical gears, also known as worm gears. These gears have angled teeth that mesh with the opposing gear at an angle, creating a frictional force that distributes torque to the wheels with better traction. When one wheel loses traction, the helical gears transfer more power to the wheel with better grip, reducing the wheel spin and improving traction.

One significant advantage of a helical gear LSD is that it does not require any additional clutches or friction plates, making it more reliable and durable. Helical gear LSDs also offer a smooth and gradual power transfer between the wheels, which results in more predictable handling and improved cornering performance.

Plate LSDs:
Plate LSDs, also known as clutch-type LSDs, use a set of clutch plates to distribute torque between the wheels. When one wheel loses traction, the clutches engage, transferring power to the wheel with better grip, reducing wheel spin, and improving traction

One advantage of plate LSDs is that they offer a more aggressive locking effect, resulting in better performance in extreme conditions. Plate LSDs also offer a wide range of adjustability, allowing drivers to fine-tune the LSD's behavior to suit their driving style and conditions

In summary, helical gear LSDs are more reliable, durable, and offer a smoother power transfer, while plate LSDs are more aggressive and offer more adjustability. The choice between these two LSDs depends on the driver's preferences, driving style, and the intended use of the vehicle. Helical gear LSDs are commonly used in street and sports cars, while plate LSDs are preferred in drifting and off-road applications