I am pretty sure we all know how trucks look like. They look something like this –
My childhood curiosity was this –
All vehicles had them and it looked so out of place. I wondered what it did. I was sure it was part of the transmission and helped in driving the rear wheels using the engine but the question was why didn’t they use a chain (like in cycles) or simple gears to drive it? Why specially make such odd looking round thing and put it between wheels?
Well, I did find the answer! It looks something like this on the inside –
What is does is that it can drive both rear wheels independent of each other! As if both were connected to different engines! Interesting right? 🙂
How does it do it? See this video made by Chevrolet Motors in 1973 (exactly when it all started) –
You can read more about here on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_(mechanical_device)