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Username Post: rear end
Posts: 27999
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
02-24-17 07:17 PM - Post#2678434    
    In response to Old Chevy Soldier

  • Old Chevy Soldier Said:
.....What is the difference between rear end, differential, third member, Salisbury, etc.?

Ok, I'll try to keep it simple.

Rear end is just car slang for the complete rear axle assembly, which includes the housing and its internal parts. Among those internal parts is the differential, which is a gearing arrangement that allows one wheel to turn faster than the other when the car is going around a corner.

A disadvantage of the basic differential design is that if one wheel loses traction and spins, the other wheel doesn't get any driving torque. This type is called an open differential. Solutions for the traction problem include limited slip and locking differentials, which use a clutch or ratchet mechanism to insure that the wheel with the best traction always gets at least some driving torque. A "posi" (short for Positraction) is Chevrolet's brand name for one type of limited slip differential.

If the differential is mounted in a removable casting at the center of the axle housing, that removable assembly is called a third member. It can also have a bunch of slang names like pumpkin and chunk.

A Salisbury type axle housing is constructed by welding steel tubes into a cast center section. Access to internal parts is via a removable cover plate on the rear of the housing. Many modern RWD cars and light trucks use this design because it usually weighs less and costs less than a third member type rear of equivalent strength. One major downside is that it doesn't allow fast gear ratio changes like a removable third member does.

I think I've covered all the terms you asked about and I hope their meanings might be clearer to you now. If you need additional info, feel free to ask.

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.

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