Differential Gears

Differential gears transfer engine power to the wheels, allowing them to rotate at different speeds. They are part of the axle assembly and enable a vehicle to turn smoothly.

Without differentials, you wouldn’t get far — unless your destination was straight ahead. When you turn a corner while driving, the outside wheels must travel faster and farther than the inside wheels. The differentials make this possible by distributing equal amounts of torque to the wheels.

Different Types of Differential Gears

On front-wheel-drive vehicles, the differential is housed inside a transaxle located next to the transmission. On rear-wheel-drive vehicles, the differential is positioned between the rear wheels and connected to the transmission by a driveshaft. All-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive vehicles have a center differential to distribute power to both the front and rear wheels. 

There are four main types of differentials:


  • Open differentialThe open differential is the most common type and works well with many vehicles. It features a pinion gear at the end of the driveshaft that engages with the ring gear and transfers power to both axles. 
  • Locking differential: Also known as welded differentials, the locking differential connects the wheels so they all rotate at the same speed. This provides better traction but makes turning a little more difficult. 
  • Limited-slip differentialSimilar to the open differential, the limited-slip differential uses an integrated clutch to lock the left and right sides of the axle together to prevent loss of traction.
  • Torque-vectoring differentialTorque-vectoring differentials contain additional gear trains, sensors, and electronics that process complex data to enhance traction and overall performance.

Peerless 100 Series Differentials

The Peerless 100 Series differentials provide ultimate performance, durability, and ease of operation. They are available with 3/4 or 1-inch diameter axle shafts. Ultra-quiet, they provide customers with superior performance and can be used with a Peerless 700 Series transmission, a gas engine, or an electric motor.

Features & Benefits:

  • Housing – Die-cast aluminum housings offer outstanding heat dissipation and durability
  • Axle Shafts – 3/4” (19.05 mm) and 1“ (25.4 mm) diameter with key slots; optional axle lengths and ends available.
  • Differential – Automotive-type sintered metal or optional steel cut bevel gears provide smooth, long lasting performance.
  • Bushings – Axle shafts rotate on bronze or oil impregnated bushings; needle bearings and seals are available as an option on 3/4” (19.05 mm) diameter axles.
  • High Carbon Steel Bolts – Holds housing assembly together and provides mounting for sprocket; includes locknuts (4-bolt standard, 6-bolt optional).
  • Stamped Steel Sprockets – Standard 40,45,54 or 60 tooth sprockets for number 40 and 41 chain; shipped separate from differential.
  • Applications – rear engine riders, go-karts, seeders/spreaders, electric vehicles, floor sweeper, power wheelbarrow, and pedicab trikes.