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Truck Parts Home » Buyer's Guide » Drivetrain - Differentials


Upgrading your differential to a limited slip or a locker is one of the best ways to increase your vehicle's off road capabilities. Most vehicles are only equipped with open differentials from the factory. The reason for this is to make the vehicle have better road manners and keep the manufacturing cost down. A large percentage of 4x4 vehicles will never see a dirt road, much less go on a hardcore or road trail ride. These aftermarket differentials will allow you to experience true 4 wheel drive if you decide to equip it. Even adding one locker can turn your vehicle from a burger cruiser into a hardcore off road capable machine.

Differentials Overview

How to Choose the Appropriate Differential

Your differential transmits the power to the axle shafts while allowing the wheels to rotate at different speeds, since they travel different paths as a vehicle turns. The standard open differential works great for this application, but has its shortcomings when it comes to off road and performance driving. To remedy this, there are different options such as limited slip differentials, lockers, & spools. They each have their advantages for different driving conditions. The following guide will help you decide which kind of differential works best for your driving needs.

Selectable Locking Differentials

    • ARB Air Locker
    • ARB wants to help you protect your differential with their new ARB differential cover. ARB cast iron covers are manufactured from the finest materials, precision-machined for proper fit, and powder coated bright red to add a bit of flash to your ride.

    • Eaton E-Locker
    • The electromagnetic locking mechanism found on Eaton E-locker™ differentials is the next generation of differential technology. Push-button activation delivers smooth and consistent performance, locking both axles together to maximize traction. The E-locker™ differential is a great addition to all towing and off-road applications. The E-locker's ease of installation, reliability, and performance make this selectable locker a hit among 4 wheelers.

    • Auburn Ected Locker
    • This unique traction aid from Auburn combines the traction of a limited slip and the hardcore off road capabilities of a spool in one unit. This electronically activated differential is a limited slip in its standard mode and then, with the simple flick of a switch, it converts into a spool for maximum traction. This unit is state of the art when it comes to traction differentials.

    • OX Locker
      OX Lockers
    • Want to have the ability to choose your style of activation? The OX locker is available with a variety of activation options and is the only locker that includes an iron differential cover capable of enduring the toughest rocks. Choose from cable, air, or electronic activation options only from the makers of OX.

Automatic Locking Differentials

    • Detroit Locker By Eaton
    • The Detroit Locker is one of the oldest and most respected lockers on the market. It's available for most light duty and heavy duty axles. The Detroit locker has no switches or buttons to push; it's just traction, plain and simple. Each Detroit locker turns both wheels all the time every time while sensing turning and disconnect on the street for smooth action and drivability.

    • PowerTrax Lock Right Locker
    • The PowerTrax Lock Right Locker is one of the most economical automatic lockers on the market. This simple yet very effective locker installs into your standard open differential carrier case requiring no ring and pinion set up knowledge or special tools to install. This unit is great for entry level off roaders trying to keep costs down.

    • PowerTrax No Slip
    • The PowerTrax No Slip locking differential combines the smooth operation of a limited-slip differential with the traction performance of a full locking differential. These units install into most factory differential cases, replacing the factory spider gears.

Limited Slip Differentials

    • Auburn Limited Slip
    • Auburn Gear's high torque bias performance series limited-slip differentials outperform standard OEM differentials hands down. From over the road daily driving to muddy trails and back roads, the Auburn Limited Slip will keep you moving with none of the drivability issues associated with aftermarket traction devices.

    • Auburn Pro Series Limited Slip
    • These differentials have a more aggressive torque bias than the standard performance Auburn limited slips. Designed for a greater amount of traction for heavy trucks and the street strip racer who wants max traction, it's still smooth enough for a daily driven street vehicle.

    • Eaton Limited Slip
    • The Eaton Posi is an ideal way to gain additional traction in trucks that see mild off road use or need added traction due to performance enhancements. With carbon disc clutch packs that are preloaded by a central spring assembly, the Eaton Posi delivers chatter-free transfer of power to both tires while maintaining on road handling characteristics.
    • Detroit Truetrac Limited Slip By Eaton
    • Recognized not only for its legendary toughness but also for its smooth and quiet operation, Detroit Truetrac's proven helical gear design eliminates the need for wearable parts, resulting in maintenance-free operation. Power transfer is so smooth that it literally goes unnoticed by the driver, even in the front axle applications.

    • G2 Limited Slip
      G2 Axle
    • G2 offers this line up of O.E. limited slip differentials for most applications. These units are ideal for applications were added traction is needed without the adverse handling characteristics associated with lockers on the street. These are the same limited slip differentials that were optional equipment in your truck from the factory.

Open Differentials

    • Dana Spicer Open Differential Case
      Dana Spicer
    • These O.E.M. replacement differential cases are just the ticket for doing a gear change that needs to have the carrier changed with a different ring gear landing. They're perfect for the installation of lunch box lockers.

    • Dana Spicer Open Differential Assembly
      Dana Spicer
    • Replace your broken or worn out carrier with these O.E.M. Dana Spicer open differential carrier assemblies. They come with 100% brand new components and are fully assembled to the factory's demanding specifications.

    • Genuine Gear Open Differential Case
      Genuine Gear
    • Genuine Gear is pleased to announce their line of replacement open differential carrier cases. These O.E. style carriers are available for most gear ratios and accept all factory parts.

    • Genuine Gear Open Differential Case
    • These G2 O.E. replacement cases are ideal for applications where a case change is required due to a gear ratio change. Ideal as a replacement for worn or damaged cases when installing a drop-in locker.


    • G2 Mini Spool
    • These simple-to-install mini spools from G2 Gear will turn your open differential into a spool-type differential by simply replacing your factory spider gears.
    • G2 Mini Spool
    • Looking for ultimate traction and a reduction in reciprocating weight? Full spools provide maximum traction by connecting both axles together and eliminating any differentiation between them. Machined from billet 4140 steel and heat treated to handle hard core abuse, these spools are not recommended for street use.

    • Auburn Gear Mini Spool
    • Auburn Gear is the leader in performance mini spools. Auburn mini spools are designed so that C-clip eliminators are not required. Designed for a perfect fit with no other modifications required.
    • Auburn Gear Full Spool
    • These full carrier replacement spools are the strongest way to lock your off road axle. A full spool will lock your axles together all the time every time, no ands, ifs, or buts about it.

    • Genuine Gear Full Spool
      Genuine Gear
    • The Genuine Gear Full Spool is machined from heat treated 4140 steel and heat treated for maximum durability and traction. Not recommended for street use.

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