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Old 03-01-2016, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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spacemanspif's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dirty Jersey
Posts: 748

The New Focus - '07 Ford Focus ZX5
90 day: 32.44 mpg (US)
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I must need to brush up on my differential understanding if you guys are correct.

My understanding is:

When an open diff is off the ground, 1 wheel will turn with the engine no more or less than if the wheels were on the ground. Most factory 4x4 trucks are open front diffs and lead to a lot of guys getting stuck when 1 front wheel is off the ground becuase that becomes the one that the engine turns due to the design. Being 1 wheel drive should not have any ill effects on the diff becuase the 2 axles are not tied together like they are with a limited slip setup. I thought most front drive cars are open diff and worked the same as an open diff rear axle setup in old, rear drive cars. All diffs have a wheel that is the primary turning wheel, on my Monte Carlo that was the passenger one. I want to say that you are better off using the wheel the diff wants to drive first but really can't think of a reason why other than the spider gears doing more work...maybe. I can't see any way the wheels would ever turn faster than they do in normal operation, the driveline is still governed by the gears in the trans and diff and the wheel speed is still dependent on the engine RPM and gears, there is no way to cause the wheel to spin faster.

Again, this is MY understanding, please correct any misconceptions I have as I am always willing to learn. Most of my statements are based off my understanding of Chevrolet rear drive platform...I'm not all the interested in front drive platforms others for daily duty beaters.

2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"

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