Differential comes from different.
In automotive terminology the differential is a component of a drive axle – ether rear-, front-, or four- or all-wheel drive – that permits the axles to rotate at different speeds as the vehicle makes a turn. In a turn the drive axle toward the inside of the turn will have to rotate less than the axle on the outside of the turn because of the larger arc covered by the outside wheels.
The differential is one of the most-misunderstood and misdiagnosed parts on a vehicle. A typical differential will consist of a case, usually of cast iron or steel, to which the ring gear is bolted. The ends of the case are machined to take a set of bearings that locate and hold the differential within the housing and at the same time allow for adjustments of the differential to permit proper pinion-gear to ring-gear depth and backlash (side-to-side adjustment) to ensure proper, quiet operation of the ring and pinion in mesh.
Within the differential case is a set of pinion gears supported by a steel cross shaft, and a set of side gears internally splined to locate the drive axles. This is known as an “open differential” (Figure 1
) and is capable of transmitting torque equally to the drive wheels ... more in the attached file...