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      09-28-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
tscdennab
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Drexler LSD installed. Review and driving impressions

Introduction

After participating at a legal drag racing event which took place on a closed road and seeing how much traction problems I had, I decided to invest my mod savings into a limited slip differential in the hope that I will improve my 60ft times in drag racing competitions. We don't have dedicated and "prepped" drag strips here, our legal events take place either on closed streets or old unused airports.

The decision based on research

Being located in Europe basically I had two options: Quaife or Drexler. These are two different designs, Quaife is a Torsen (gear type) differential, while Drexler is a clutch-type differential. In my research, I kept reading that Quaife is better for the street with no audible noises and no maintenance, while Drexler is better for racing with some maintenance like changing clutches at 75.000kms and changing oil more often. Also torsen-type differentials are very popular on front wheel-drive cars, the new Focus RS has a Quaife LSD.

I also read that clutch-type differentials begin their locking action faster than Torsens, which means a bit of advantage in drag racing. I read some reports (not few) about torsen-type differentials having a tendency to break when sudden torque is applied, such as drag racing. But I only read about one Quaife failure, however. Also, Torsens do not work if one wheel has no traction at all (like on some racetracks or on ice).

Since most racing cars use clutch-type LSDs (Drexler in particular is used by BMW Motorsport and even in some Alpina cars like the B3 S), I decided to bite the bullet and get the best LSD out there (in my research) which is the Drexler clutch-type differential.

Technical information about the Drexler differential

The Drexler differential that I chose is a 2-way differential (it works both on acceleration and braking), with ramp angles of 50 degrees/40 degrees on acceleration/braking side and a 50Nm preload. The ramp angles chosen lead to a locking percentage of 40% on acceleration and 60% on deceleration, which is what Drexler recommended for a sporty car that can be safely driven on the street. Keep in mind that when LSDs were available as option in BMW cars, the locking percentage was 25%. Porsche GT cars have a locking percentage of 40%, as far as I read.

Oh, and the Drexler weights 11kg, while my old open diff weighted 6kg. The entire rear axle drive weights 35kg with the standard open diff and 40kg with the Drexler differential.

Pricing

I managed to obtain a price of 2025EUR excluding VAT. The price includes everything but dismounting and mouting the rear axle: they unweld the ring pinion from the old open diff (I have a welded ring) and convert it to bolted pinion, they install the LSD into the rear axle, and then they deliver the completed rear axle to me. I just have to put in their recommended Castrol SAF-XJ 75w-140 oil (now superseded by Castrol Syntrax Limited Slip 75w-140) and that's it. The rear axle dismounting-mounting cost me 100EUR at a local shop.

I had to remove the rear axle from my car and send it to Drexler, which led to exactly 2 weeks of downtime.

Driving Impressions:

Unfortunately I didn't have time to test is much until now, but I did notice some important things:

First and most important to me, there is no sign that anything was changed on the car. No strange noises (even when parking), no vibrations, basically you don't know it's there.

But when you take the first corner and accelerate, you notice that the car accelerates like you would want it to accelerate, instead of losing all the power due to wheel spin.

Also in straight line the car doesn't go sideways like usual but always seems to go in a straight line. Traction control does intervene though if you lose traction.

I will post more impressions as I will test it more. There is a strong possibility that I will attend a drag racing contest this weekend, I will update my impressions after that.

Driving impressions Update:

Today I had the chance to test the Drexler LSD on some twisty hills. At the end, I really needed some motions sickness pills. The car pulls so hard out of corners like you wouldn't believe ! I really don't think I can take more lateral acceleration than this

When exiting corners hard, the exit is very "clean" with no unwanted fishtailing. The LSD transitions are very smooth, I can't feel them. If the traction is good, the car just pulls straight out of the corner like it is on rails. If the traction surface is not very good, you get some drifting but very natural and correctable.

However, I did try to accelerate hard on a wet section of the road (Nitto 555R rear tires), with DTC on (DTC button pressed once). The car goes sideways, and if you let off the throttle, it comes back in line but it does so more violently than with the open diff. I don't think it's a good idea to do this on snow or at higher speeds. Like everyone recommends, it's not a good idea to suddenly let off the throttle with an LSD. However it's not nearly as bad as I read in other reviews.

I feel that my car is now "complete". Without the LSD there were numerous occasions when the car seemed underpowered, but now I don't get this feeling anymore.

Conclusion:

I am very happy with my modification but the LSD is not something to blow you away like you read in other reviews. However, the car now behaves like it should and doesn't feel like it has half the power in some key scenarios.
If you want a LSD I think you should go the cheapest route that you can find, but do choose a trusted brand like Drexler, Quaife, Wavetrac or OS Giken.
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Last edited by tscdennab; 09-29-2011 at 03:59 PM.
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      09-28-2011, 02:32 PM   #2
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Excellent choice! Drexler supplies the LSDs for M cars as well!

Also another thing that is important, torsen differentials work ONLY during acceleration and they also rely that both wheels have certain amount of traction. If you lift one of the wheels, then the torsen differential acts as an open diff.

Under DEceleration, the torsen differentials will also act as an open differential.

Clutch type differentials are ultimately way way better (Drexler & OSGiken)!
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      09-28-2011, 02:35 PM   #3
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Hey man, good choice...LSD is one of the best things I've done on this car as it puts the power to the ground man ways better than before I had it...

As I said before, I really think for the type of racing (drag racing) you're describing a quaife would've been a better choice...anything/everything can/will brake eventually and I think any time you have a clutch pack in there it'll wear out a lot faster than something that just doesn't wear almost at all..it either holds or just brakes..i think the Drexler LSD is an amazing product but I'd choose it if I were more in the auto-x type racing than drag racing which sees a ton of launches, not so at the roadcoarse
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      09-28-2011, 02:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasillalov View Post
Excellent choice! Drexler supplies the LSDs for M cars as well!

Also another thing that is important, torsen differentials work ONLY during acceleration and they also rely that both wheels have certain amount of traction. If you lift one of the wheels, then the torsen differential acts an open diff.

Under DEceleration, the torsen differentials will also act as an open differential.

Clutch type differentials are ultimately way way better (Drexler & OSGiken)!
Wavetrac doesn't require traction from both wheels, that's one of its cool features...quaife does require some traction from both wheels to work though, because of the way the gears are organized inside..
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      09-28-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dzenno View Post
Wavetrac doesn't require traction from both wheels, that's one of its cool features...quaife does require some traction from both wheels to work though, because of the way the gears are organized inside..
Agreed. I know that. Wavetrack does a bit better with 0 traction, but during deceleration still acts as an open diff.

..and I agree: there are lots of options depending on the primary use of your car. My next big purchase will be OS Giken.
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      09-28-2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tscdennab View Post
Introduction

After participating at a legal drag racing event which took place on a closed road and seeing how much traction problems I had, I decided to invest my mod savings into a limited slip differential in the hope that I will improve my 60ft times in drag racing competitions. We don't have dedicated and "prepped" drag strips here, our legal events take place either on closed streets or old unused airports.

The decision based on research

Being located in Europe basically I had two options: Quaife or Drexler. These are two different designs, Quaife is a Torsen (gear type) differential, while Drexler is a clutch-type differential. In my research, I kept reading that Quaife is better for the street with no audible noises and no maintenance, while Drexler is better for racing with some maintenance like changing clutches at 75.000kms and changing oil more often. Also torsen-type differentials are very popular on front wheel-drive cars, the new Focus RS has a Quaife LSD.

I also read that clutch-type differentials begin their locking action faster than Torsens, which means a bit of advantage in drag racing. I read some reports (not few) about torsen-type differentials having a tendency to break when sudden torque is applied, such as drag racing. But I only read about one Quaife failure, however. Also, Torsens do not work if one wheel has no traction at all (like on some racetracks or on ice).

Since most racing cars use clutch-type LSDs (Drexler in particular is used by BMW Motorsport and even in some Alpina cars like the B3 S), I decided to bite the bullet and get the best LSD out there (in my research) which is the Drexler clutch-type differential.

Technical information about the Drexler differential

The Drexler differential that I chose is a 2-way differential (it works both on acceleration and braking), with ramp angles of 50 degrees/40 degrees on acceleration/braking side and a 50Nm preload. The ramp angles chosen lead to a locking percentage of 40% on acceleration and 60% on deceleration, which is what Drexler recommended for a sporty car that can be safely driven on the street. Keep in mind that when LSDs were available as option in BMW cars, the locking percentage was 25%. Porsche GT cars have a locking percentage of 40%, as far as I read.

Oh, and the Drexler weights 11kg, while my old open diff weighted 6kg. The entire rear axle drive weights 35kg with the standard open diff and 40kg with the Drexler differential.

Pricing

I managed to obtain a price of 2025EUR excluding VAT. The price includes everything but dismounting and mouting the rear axle: they unweld the ring pinion from the old open diff (I have a welded ring) and convert it to bolted pinion, they install the LSD into the rear axle, and then they deliver the completed rear axle to me. I just have to put in their recommended Castrol SAF-XJ 75w-140 oil (now superseded by Castrol Syntrax Limited Slip 75w-140) and that's it. The rear axle dismounting-mounting cost me 100EUR at a local shop.

I had to remove the rear axle from my car and send it to Drexler, which led to exactly 2 weeks of downtime.

Driving Impressions:

Unfortunately I didn't have time to test is much until now, but I did notice some important things:

First and most important to me, there is no sign that anything was changed on the car. No strange noises (even when parking), no vibrations, basically you don't know it's there.

But when you take the first corner and accelerate, you notice that the car accelerates like you would want it to accelerate, instead of losing all the power due to wheel spin.

Also in straight line the car doesn't go sideways like usual but always seems to go in a straight line. Traction control does intervene though if you lose traction.

I will post more impressions as I will test it more. There is a strong possibility that I will attend a drag racing contest this weekend, I will update my impressions after that.

Conclusion:

I am very happy with my modification but the LSD is not something to blow you away like you read in other reviews. However, the car now behaves like it should and doesn't feel like it has half the power in some key scenarios.
If you want a LSD I think you should go the cheapest route that you can find, but do choose a trusted brand like Drexler, Quaife, Wavetrac or OS Giken.
100% copy paste of my Drexler LSD experience! Enjoy!
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      09-29-2011, 04:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tscdennab View Post
I am very happy with my modification but the LSD is not something to blow you away like you read in other reviews.
Thanks for the extensive and well-written review, that is very informative.

As for the sentence quoted above, the biggest benefit of the LSD - at least for me - is not during straight-line driving (which I find boring anyway). It's rather when you take it through bends and twists and turns on nice winding side-roads, or even better a demanding track such as the Nürburgring. Then you'll notice the considerable improvements to traction even better. For me, it was a night and day difference as I had driven my car on the Nordschleife without an LSD and with the Quaife. Much more fun now!

Also, I'd suggest you drive with DSC off (one push on the DTC button), otherwise the electronic wizard will still brake you in before the diff can work properly (and you can't go sideways so easily ).

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      09-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
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just dropped my car off today for the Dinan LSD installation at Budd's, will update you on my impression of Dinan's LSD later...
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      09-29-2011, 10:16 AM   #9
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Dinan LSD = Drexler if my memory serves me right...
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      09-29-2011, 03:58 PM   #10
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Some more driving impressions:

Today I had the chance to test the Drexler LSD on some twisty hills. At the end, I really needed some motions sickness pills. The car pulls so hard out of corners like you wouldn't believe ! I really don't think I can take more lateral acceleration than this

When exiting corners hard, the exit is very "clean" with no unwanted fishtailing. The LSD transitions are very smooth, I can't feel them. If the traction is good, the car just pulls straight out of the corner like it is on rails. If the traction surface is not very good, you get some drifting but very natural and correctable.

However, I did try to accelerate hard on a wet section of the road (Nitto 555R rear tires), with DTC on (DTC button pressed once). The car goes sideways, and if you let off the throttle, it comes back in line but it does so more violently than with the open diff. I don't think it's a good idea to do this on snow or at higher speeds. Like everyone recommends, it's not a good idea to suddenly let off the throttle with an LSD. However it's not nearly as bad as I read in other reviews.

I feel that my car is now "complete". Without the LSD there were numerous occasions when the car seemed underpowered, but now I don't get this feeling anymore.
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      09-30-2011, 08:54 AM   #11
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another fine job from Budd's Performance Unit. Brent had my car for the day and he got it back in time for me before he left.

Those who said the LSD was their best MOD were absolutely correct (i.e. FARMBW). I don't think I can own another car without it anymore.

I haven't gone "postal" with the car on my first drive, but I noticed I can keep the throttle on throughout the apex on push the car in a much higher speed around the corner (on-ramps, off-ramps). The word "under-steer" had completely disappeared from my car's dictionary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by achien View Post
just dropped my car off today for the Dinan LSD installation at Budd's, will update you on my impression of Dinan's LSD later...
my SA told me Dinan reverted to using the BMW Motorsport LSD for long term reliability reasons. if this is the case, it is a Drexler (clutch-type). I can also hear the LSD clutch engage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vasillalov View Post
Dinan LSD = Drexler if my memory serves me right...
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      09-30-2011, 09:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by achien View Post
my SA told me Dinan reverted to using the BMW Motorsport LSD for long term reliability reasons. if this is the case, it is a Drexler (clutch-type). I can also hear the LSD clutch engage.
Strange, I cannot hear anything on my LSD.
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      10-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #13
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there is a subtle "clunk" sound when the clutch plates of the LSD are engaged. you have to specifically listen (look-for) it.

for example, if you have a piggy-back or flash your ECU with a higher boost, your car will easily loose traction even in a straight line when changing gears from 1->2, or 2->3 (sometimes 3->4 if you are pushing hard). or if you push hard during turn-in or accelerating hard out of the corner (in 2nd gear), you will also hear the clutch plates engaging.

i drive a MT, so I know exactly when the gears are changed (the LSD sound comes just after that). but if you drive an AT, your LSD should perform the same way, but you have to look-for that sound at the same time you know the AT changed gear.

all clutch-type LSDs have that sound, even OS Gilken (http://www.osgiken.net/faqs.html), a competitor of Drexler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tscdennab View Post
Strange, I cannot hear anything on my LSD.
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      10-10-2011, 08:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by achien View Post
there is a subtle "clunk" sound when the clutch plates of the LSD are engaged. you have to specifically listen (look-for) it.
I get a clunk when engaging on the Wavetrac too on my 6MT.

Brent is a good guy and knows his stuff completely. They did my Dinan stage 3 suspension and have nothing but great things to say about the dealership.

(Bit costly, but that is BMW and Dinan)
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      10-10-2011, 09:37 AM   #15
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I think the clunk may be some sort of backlash sound (since it appears on both clutch-type and gear-type LSDs). I really cannot hear any sound on mine, but when it was off the car and ready to be installed I noticed that it has like 0.5 degrees of backlash and it makes a sound when you try to rotate the driveshaft-side with the hand.

I think the correct oil use is very important for atenuating any irregularities on the LSD operation. Clutch-type LSDs should use a special oil for LSDs (I use Castrol Syntrax Limited Slip 75w-140). I am not sure about gear-type LSDs, I read different opinions on what oil to use, some say the same oil as for the open diff, some say LSD-specific oil. I would use the same oil as the open diff (75w-90).
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      01-07-2012, 01:47 PM   #16
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Latest update:

Now that I have passed the break-in period, there is no sound from the transmission at all. Just went a little bit aggressive coming out of the on-ramp, got on the throttle right after the apex, and I immediately felt the power going into the left rear tires. The car comes out of the corner like a sling-shot.

The best damn MOD! I will be going to Brent's team at Budd's for future MODs for sure.
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      01-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #17
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i have just bought a quaife lsd and went to get it fitted and my local motorsport mechanic told me that i will probably need a new set of output bearings even though i have only 21,000 on the clock. has anyone else heard of this?
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      01-19-2012, 04:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waddy90 View Post
i have just bought a quaife lsd and went to get it fitted and my local motorsport mechanic told me that i will probably need a new set of output bearings even though i have only 21,000 on the clock. has anyone else heard of this?
Take it somewhere else. The 1st mechanic I went to told me that, I turned around and went right out the door. Unless your bearings are shot, and they shouldn't be with only 21K, it's not necessary. They are more than likely a) unfamiliar or b) trying to milk you for more $.
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Last edited by Syndicategt; 01-19-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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      01-20-2012, 11:16 AM   #19
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Thanks for the reply. im going to take your advise and see someone else. big help as i was finding it difficult to source the bearings anyway. cheers
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