24 February 2010|
You have all the go fast parts and realized you don’t haven enough brakes, so you upgraded. Then you added the suspension parts and found that similarly modified cars were still diving into the turns harder and putting the power down earlier! How do they do it? The secret to cornering power lurks underneath your car inside metal housings. We are talking about LSDs and no, not the factory LSD your car might have shipped with but a hardcore competition-grade unit capable of getting you around the track quicker, hookin’ up the 60-foot better or sliding with utmost control at the clipping point.
Quaife is a UK-based company that has been making LSDs for several decades. Although it cut its teeth in the motorcycle racing world, its lineup of LSDs is revered the world over. Ironically, there is no fancy technology, composites or next-level alloys at work here but rather the same proven design that required no re-engineering. The Quaife Automatic Torque Biasing (ATB) differential gives your car newfound athletic abilities. We checked in with Quaife’s North American distributor, Motovicity to find out how they do it. In short, Quaife LSDs put power to the ground by distributing power both of the drive wheels under various conditions.
An ordinary open differential, which is standard on most cars, power is wasted with wheel spin during acceleration and cornering. The open differential shifts power to the wheel with less grip and creates wheel spin. Even if your car comes equipped with an LSD, it will not be nearly as efficient, and if it’s a high mileage car it likely has deteriorated over time. Additionally, if your car has an open differential with electronic traction and stability control, it manages handling by modulating brakes and choking the throttle effectively slowing you down. In a Quaife track test, they took a brand new BMW (all of which ship with no LSD unless they are M-cars) using Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and then fitted the same car with an LSD and DSC disengaged. The Quaife equipped car was faster by several seconds when tested in identical conditions.
Adding a Quaife ATB LSD makes the driveline more intelligent. The Quaife senses which wheel has the sure grip and distributes more power to that wheel. At the same time, it is still delivering a torque bias to the opposite drive wheel. Whether it is drag, drift or grip and front-wheel, rear wheel or all-wheel drive, the principle works the same by maintaining traction and control.
In motorsports, the benefits are clear. In grip applications, the Quaife is sending more juice to the outside wheel in the corner, which eliminates inside wheel spin. The effect is essentially whipping the car around the apex by pushing the outside wheel and that side of the car around quicker. The driver is able to put the power down much earlier when exiting the turn meaning more momentum and faster lap times. In drag racing, the Quaife offers the driver an even 50/50 torque spit between both drive wheels propelling the car straight and putting all the power down through both wheels. The result is quicker 60-foots, a nice straight track and less wheel spin between shifts.
Contrary to other designs, the Quaife is based on tried and true technology. It is of superior strength because it is gear-operated and doesn’t use any plates or elaborate clutches that will require rebuilds. The Quaife offers smooth engagement on the street like an open LSD, unlike other LSDs that click or lockup in a corner or during other maneuvers. The Quaife operation is so smooth, drivers will almost forget it is there until the car is pushed on a track when they feel the added traction and can put it to use.
Unique to Quaife is its LSDs will never require a rebuild and carry a lifetime warranty. Quaife backs its product and will offer a no hassle replacement should one ever fail. Just ensure the specified gear lube is in your case and the Quaife LSD will last under extreme driving. With Quaife products being used in competition around the world in all forms of motorsport from WRC Rally to F1 and everything in between, the Quaife LSD will show you just what your car has been missing.