Essential differential for chain-driven cars

A limited slip differential for chain-driven racing cars in the US is catching the eye

A limited slip differential for chain-driven racing cars in the US – which resemble Formula 1 cars, but are derived from motorcycles – is winning races by taking an idea from sports cars of yesteryear and improving on this.

The basic idea is called the ‘Salisbury differential’, which uses clutch packs to create friction between the rear wheel axles when they rotate at different speeds. The problem with the simple system is that, if the clutches are pre-loaded, they introduce friction and heat generation in the differential when the car is taking a corner - even if there is no risk of wheel spin.

The new product was conceived and manufactured by Lee Williams, a former British race car engineer now running Williams Racing Developments in California.

More details on this technology can be seen in the March issue of Eureka.

Tom Shelley

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