VanLand Reviews our Dark Star Offroad Limited-Slip Differential

VanLand Reviews our Dark Star Offroad Limited-Slip Differential

Recently, our friends over at VanLand put our Traction Boost Limited-Slip Differential to the test, and claims it's the most important off-road upgrade you can make for your Sprinter campervan.

Check out their video above to see their in-depth analysis, an interview with our owner and the chief engineer, Aaron, and their full test in the sand.

What Is A Limited Slip Differential? 

Your van's rear differential is located on the rear axle of your Sprinter van. This device allows for each connected wheel to spin at different rates. Now, why is this important? This ability to independently rotate at different rates has a few specific benefits. 

Cornering With an LSD

If you're driving down the road and need to take a corner, an LSD allows the outside wheel to spin at a higher rate improving maneuverability and decreasing cab roll. In order for a fixed axle (or locking differential) to achieve this same feat, the axle would need to "slip."

What Goes Into A Differential?

When you remove the rear differential cover on an LSD, you will see an abundance of large, interconnected gears. These gears allow the connected wheels to spin at varying rates to one another to improve handling and traction.


Limited Traction = Maximum Performance

When things get slippery, the LSD truly shines. Once one of your connected wheels begins to slip, a standard differential will direct most of the power is applied to the wheel that is actively slipping and will remove the power from the wheel that has maintained traction. Sort of counter intuitive when you think about it. This standard differential logic can get even the most offroad capable 4 x 4 vans stuck in limited traction scenarios. 

Solving the Wheel Spin Conundrum

The limited slip differential seeks to solve this exact logical problem. How do we make the wheel that maintains traction spin more to get us out of trouble? When the LSD mechanism senses wheel slip (via a clutch pack) it will actually transfer power to the wheel that still has traction rather than the wheel that is spinning. This essentially reverses the problem that a standard differential creates. 

What to Expect with an LSD Installation

There's nothing more frustrating than watching your wheels spin in deep mud, sand, or snow. Once you have an LSD installed on your camper van, you will immediately notice the improvements in traction and cornering stability. So what does this all mean. Ultimately, you'll be stuck less often and have significantly more confidence taking on offroad obstacles with your van. 


Get In-Depth With Dark Star Offroad Engineers

Want to know more about the technical and design sides of our Limited Slip Differential? Let our lead engineer walk you through it here! 

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