Differential Parts and function.

Differential Parts:

The differential is a device that provides relative movement to the two wheels of a vehicle. The differential has so many parts that have a significant effect on the performance of differential.
Differential Parts and function
Differential Layout


It consists of so many parts such as:

  1. Differential housing.
  2. Crown wheel.
  3. Bevel pinion.
  4. Planet pinion.
  5. Sun gear.
  6. Half shaft.
  7. Cross pin or spider.
  8. Pinion shaft retaining Bolt or roll pin.
  9. Differential Cage.
  10. Thrust washer.
  11. Bearing cap.
  12. Backplate or differential case cover.
All these parts have a unique operation and they work together to provide relative motion to the wheels according to the road.

Explanation Of Functions of All Parts In The Differential:

Differential Housing:

Differential housing
Differential housing
Differential housing is one of the most important parts of the entire Differential unit. It protects the differential from water dust and injury. It also carries the lubrication oil of differential. A small crack on differential can crash the entire differential unit.

Crown wheel:
Crown Wheel
Crown Wheel
The crown gear is the part of the primary power transmission system in the Differential unit. It transmits the power from bevel pinion to the cage. It plays a most important role in the final drive by providing a higher gear reduction. 


Bevel pinion

bevel pinion

bevel pinion

The bevel pinion is the first part of the differential final drive. It carries the power comes from propeller shaft and then forward it to crown wheel for further gear reduction. It comes with four types:

  1. Straight bevel gears.
  2. Spiral bevel gears.
  3. Zerol bevel gears.
  4. Hypoid bevel gears.
Hypoid gears were widely employed in automobile rear axles.

Planet pinion and Sun gear:

Sun Gear and Planet pinion
Sun Gear and Planet pinion
The planetary gear system installed in the differential provides relative motion to the vehicle. The sun and planet pinion play an important role in the differentials. The planet pinion transfers the power from cage to sun gears. During straight road both the sun, gears run at equal speeds. While taking turn the plant pinion came to action. It rotates around the sun gear's axis and allows one sun gear to take turn easily. The sun gears simply attached to both half shafts and transmit power to rear wheels.





Cross Pin or Spider

Cross pin or spider
Cross pin or spider
The Cross pin or spider carries the planet pinions. The spider is of two types, one which carries 2 planet pinions and the other carries 4 planet pinions. The main function of the cross pin or spider is to provide a base to planet pinions and transmit power from the differential cage to sun gears through the planet pinions.




Differential Cage

Differential Cage
Differential Cage
The Differential Cage is a rigid structure that carries the whole assembly of the differential. It carries the cross pin or spider and the sun gear assembly. It also rotates with the differential and it acts as a medium of power transmission.





Also, Read(Posts):

  1. How a Rear differential works in a vehicle?
  2. Limited Slip Differential.
  3. what is epicyclic differential?
  4. Differential Oil Change.
  5. what is Self Locking Differential?
  6. what is Open differential?

To know practically about differential parts watch the video below:

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