Car Craft
Click here to find out more!

Traction Control - Speed Shop

We Test It
Auburn Gear Electronically Controlled Traction Enhancing Differential (ECTED)

This is the solution to the "spool versus limited slip at the dragstrip" debate. A spool is good because it locks both axles together for maximum torque transfer but is dangerous on the street because it does not allow the rear tires to spin at different speeds around a corner, putting strain on the axles and causing fun but unsafe instability like understeer and snap oversteer. A limited slip is good because clutches allow the wheels to spin at different speeds, but hot slicks grabbing traction individually in the burnout box can kill it.

Jeep guys have solved this problem using air and hydraulic lockers for years to add 100 percent torque transfer to both spinning tires to escape mudholes and climb rocks. The new ECTED is based on this idea but uses a magnetic coil to lock, unlock, or even vary the amount of torque that is delivered to the rear wheels. It is designed to be used in conjunction with onboard traction control devices, but for our purposes it can serve as a switchable spool controlled with a simple on/off toggle. We installed one in our Rambler's AMC Model 20 rearend and gave it a beating. Here's what we found:

Can you switch it on and off while driving? Yes. It is recommended that the switch be flipped below 5 mph when only one tire is spinning. Otherwise, we flipped it on at freeway speed, low speed, high speed, and around corners with no problems.

Does it make noise? No. It is as quiet as any properly set-up differential we've ever used. We've never heard it clunk during engagement.

Will it fit in a stock housing? Yes. It installs just like a normal limited-slip differential. The only difference is drilling a hole in the diff cover to run the wires.

Is it a full locker? Yes. When it is engaged, the inside tire chirps around corners just like a full spool. Since it is wired to the ignition, when the key is off it unlocks so you can push or tow the car.

Is it a good limited slip? As good as any normal limited slip. We've plugged the throttle for some powerslides and it works as expected. In locked mode, we no longer fear the burnout box.

Learn More: Auburn Gear Inc.; Auburn, IN; 260/920-3501; auburngear.com

APPLICATIONS
Make Model
AMC M20
Ford 8.5
  8.8
  8.8 IRS
GM 12-bolt
Description PN Source Price
Auburn ECTED locker 545007 ringpinion.com $746.16
Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
0 comments
Car Craft