Discussing Aftermarket Differentials by Auburn Gear 

In this snippet from episode 8 of From the Glove Box, Mike and Tony discuss differentials – specifically differentials manufactured by Auburn Gear, the sponsor of this podcast. 

Together, Mike and Tony will talk about customizing vehicles with differentials, differentials for off roading, and other topics. Later, they’re joined by Tom from Auburn Gear, who introduces them to Auburn Gear’s Grip-N-Loc® and Select-A-Loc® differentials. 

All About Vehicle Customizations and Differentials 

Let's say that you're taking just a couple of the kids and you would want to go up into Michigan and go hit one of the sand dunes. What's a vehicle would you would aspire to go do that with? 

Well I mean the natural thing would be a four-door Jeep. 


Great great product and stuff. 

So you see these all the time, and I know Tony and I were out west in the Arizona area a couple weeks ago and got to see a lot of things. I mean you talk about an area that loves their on-off road vehicles. That's definitely a definitely an area that does as well as their street vehicles too, and you have to customize a Jeep, because man what a pile of crap from the factory. 

Okay let's stay positive with this type of product, but yeah, we do. 

I think what we really see with a vehicle that I can take on and off-road is I can customize it and personalize it. I can make it my own vehicle. You see a lot of different configurations of tires and wheels and lights and colors and there's just so many ways that you can customize a vehicle. 

Mike and Tony’s Vehicle Customization Picks 

So talk to me about if you were able to take this four-door Jeep and customize it what would you do? 

I mean the very first thing that I would do is lift it. 

You're supposed to say I'd put an Auburn Gear set up in it. 

You need that but you don't need that until you lift it. 

That's true. 

And we need to know how big of tires and wheels we're gonna put on. 

I'm putting 37s on it. 

Okay so flat fenders. 

Okay then. We need to know all that so what else would you do with a one? 

Well if I'm doing flat fenders, and keep in mind I'm not a Jeep owner so there could be some people out there who are gonna be like what the hell are you saying, so and I'm not a Jeep owner but I'd probably lift it four inches probably put flat fenders on it and then tuck.

I would think at four inches flat fenders you could tuck a 37 inch tire on it. 

Yeah we would have to refer to our big buddy big Chuck Studdler Lake Havasu Arizona that is a Jeep expert and it does zillions of those. So shout out to our buddy Chuck. He's a good friend of ours. If you're out in the Lake Havasu area, make sure to  look up his shops Accurate Auto. 

And for the most part when you go above a 35 inch tire, that's where you have to start to think about gears if you're gonna do on off road type of stuff. So that's where then I would put an Auburn Gear differential in it because at a 35 inch tire, most likely we wouldn't have to change a lot of gearing ratio or anything that way, but at a 37 it's probably more desirable to go ahead and change gearing and do some different stuff that way. 

Why Do You Need a New Differential for Larger Tires?

So let's explain to the basic public why changing gears when you put bigger tires and wheels on it why is that necessary that's not a question you want to answer? Any question for me? Okay I got a 13 and a half that'll hit that right pedal as hard as hell. 

Okay 13 and a half being at size of his tennis shoe, but the reason we do that is because you think of a wheel and it's a circumference. So if you have a standard tire that's 18 inch, 16 inch, 20 inch, whatever it is, and then you go put this much much larger 35, 36, 37 inch tire on, it takes longer for that thing to make a full circle than it does the smaller factory tires. So the gear ratio that that Jeep or Ford or Chevy puts in a vehicle changes drastically because it's made for that size of tires.

So y'all go put these big tires and wheels on. I use the y'all because my wife, Tony's mom's, a good southern Texas girl that's what I was told to say, but we put these on there. Well it takes this gear ratio so you go put these really big tires on your truck or your Jeep and then it's a dog off the line. Well it's because you're trying to take this big huge tire that's much much bigger and trying to make it turn a full 360 degree circle and that's why it feels very sluggish so we go put something like an Auburn Gear differential in that vehicle, and then we can allow that thing to turn much quicker and then you still have that quick pep office off the stoplight in the takeoff. 

So by allowing that to do that if you're rock crawling or in mud or something like that you want more wheel speed so just like a drag strip you want more wheel speed in a dragster in a performance application if you don't have wheel speed that's where so everybody's done a burnout in their life in most cases.

Not everybody.

That's a little crap.

So everybody's done a burnout in their life and when you do a burnout and the tires are squealing that's because you have little wheel speed if you're doing a true great burnout you're not going to hear any tire squealing you're gonna see smoke immediately and that's because you have a lot more wheel speed going on that's allowing that tire to overpower the ground.

Yeah which is true of in a burnout but the the secondary piece of that is whether you're drag racing or off-road or whatever it's hookup so we want that thing to slightly spin but immediately grab the pavement and be able to accelerate whether you're out on dirt whether you're rock crawling whether you're out in the sand or whatever you want to be able to have that and instantly hook up. And that's no prep.

Okay well we're not talking about no prep, so Tony's going into this this we're gonna go out and drag race out in the middle of nowhere type of stuff so that's not what we're talking about but going to Mexico but we want these things to hook up and we want them to immediately accelerate us forward. 

It's great to sit there and spin and smoke but if we don't move forward as as what we all preach in life we have to move forward in life so the same thing with our vehicle but there's a lot of different things that you can do whether you take your Silverado or your f-250 or your diesel or your Dodge power wagon whatever it is. 

I mean there's a lot of great different things and I think the cool thing that we would talk about in this segment is is the customization and the way that I can take this product whatever brand you buy and I can make it mine I can put  a Tony stamp on it or a Mike stamp on it or a you know Sally stamp on it. 

That was cool thing in Arizona too you saw a lot of pink decal vehicles and diesel trucks and stuff like that and you know so it fits whatever person wants to drive that vehicle and we can really customize that and that's the thing that I think we've really lost  throughout the almost 40 years now that I've been doing this business we've lost that way that we can really put our personal stamp on this vehicle and we can really make it mine and stuff so I think for this segment that's a little bit about customization, especially on the vehicles that you want to drive on the street off-road and stuff. 

What Differentials Does Auburn Gear Make? Tom from Auburn Gear Talks Limited Slips and Electronic Locking Diffs. 

Hey Mike and Tony! Tom from Auburn here. I wanted to talk a little bit about differentials. 

Today most people don't really understand what a differential does. 

When they purchase a car, the dealerships in many cases don't explain very well what the purpose of one is. 

Especially guys that are buying four-wheel drive trucks. So in the case of a four-wheel drive truck, without a differential, you really end up having one front wheel one back wheel pulling power to the ground or putting that torque power to the ground. 

When you add a differential, it's a traction modifier. You're enabling that vehicle to transfer torque from one side to the other side when a wheel starts to slip and there's a couple of ways to do that either through a limited slip differential, or through a locking differential. 

These OEMs offer things that do this, but you know the OEM designs are often made to meet just the bare minimum specifications of that vehicle based on the OEM’s desire to get the lowest cost product out there into their application.

Where Auburn Gear comes into play is we take our OEM history combined with the aftermarket knowledge knowing how consumers are going to be driving their vehicles in tough circumstances and we provide a robust design and high quality product. But produce typically a much heavier part the OEM part and a product that is going to be durable for years to come.

Auburn's been in business a long time, going on actually 80 years. This year we’re working on year number 40 under the Auburn Gear Brand, but our roots date back nearly 80 years to a group of guys that actually developed the world's first differential. So we have a pretty impressive history that we've built on. 

Today we've narrowed our scope down to two product lines the Grip-N-Loc® limited slip differential and the Select-A-Loc® electronic differential. 

Grip-N-Loc® Limited Slip Differential 

The Grip-N-Loc® limited slip differential is more tailored toward your daily driver, your performance car, your racer street driver type of application where they want to get that power and that vehicle torque to the ground quickly so when they step on the gas off of a off of a standstill they will get both one both wheels transferring power to the ground and get them off the line quicker.

One of the benefits of the Grip-N-Loc® is our cone clutch design. It is durable, it is quick-acting, but I think most importantly we can talk about the transfer power. We do that in terms of discussing bias ratio, and that's the ratio of a wheel to transfer torque across the axle to the other wheel. 

Auburn's product out of the gate, when you're taking off, the Grip-N-Loc® has a bias ratio of about five to one, which is equivalent to having approximately five guys behind your truck pushing it out of a ditch to give you some comparison of what's happening. 

If the vehicle starts to move and it's on the street, that bias ratio kind of fades off a little bit about 2.5 to 1 when you're driving down the road, but it's really with the limits of the differential the ability to have that constant traction on both tires helps the daily driver performance guy in his vehicle maneuver those conditions quite well.

The second product that we offer is a Select-A-Loc®. This is a purely electronic locking differential. When I say locking, when it's locked up both wheels across real at rear axle are getting equal power to the ground. 

Types of Select-A-Loc® Electronic Locking Differentials 

We've got two variations of this. We call one our limited-slip-to-lock and we call one our open-to-lock

The limit is flip lock basically gives you two products: in one limited slip differential. When you're under normal driving conditions and then in the flip of a switch you can turn that into a locking differential and have both axles locked up solid. 

Again, these are intended for low speed applications, low speed traction of the guys that are doing the rock climbing, boat launch, you know, activities trying to get unstuck from coming out of the woods. 

The open-to-lock differential behaves like it is a standard differential when you're driving that just allows your wheel speeds to turn at a different rotational speed so you're not dragging one tire across the pavement when you're making turns. But when you lock it up, both wheels are solid and give equal traction. Those products can be used in both front and rear axles. 

So if the vehicle is equipped with that in the front end of rear if you were to have for example both powered on you would have true four wheel drive performance with power going to all four wheels which is optimum 

Auburn's brand is made in Auburn Indiana we've got a plant there that sits on sits on approximately 50 acres of land. We've got a few hundred employees making differentials. 

All of our materials are sourced in the United States. Everything's made at Auburn. High quality standards very proud team of individuals that are building these products.

Our limited slip differential comes with a two-year warranty just great products all around great team.

Closing Remarks on Auburn Gear's American Made Rear Differentials with Mike and Tony 

Hey! Back with you Tony and Mike Tadich From the Glove Box independent shop owners in Northern Indiana. Great segment from Tom from Auburn Gear talking to us about his products and the great things that they do with that. 

And I think Tom hit on something Tony about the American made side of his products. 100% American made which is a really important, not even imported from Detroit. 


You're stealing Dodges line there, for sure, but I think that's really important. 

I mean, you know, steel manufacturers going back to the 1900s and you know US Steel and stuff like that. 

A lot of those big companies got broken up because of monopolies, and then we started exporting a lot of things. I think we've really come full circle where not only American made products are really good and we love supporting others, but we also don't have the problem that modern automobile companies have with importing chips. 

Look at how many cars have not been built currently as we broadcast this because they can't get chips, so they can build a whole car but they can't get this little computer chip. 

So I think Auburn Gear in sticking to their guns. It honestly honestly probably sometimes costs a little more to build that product, but Tony and I know from the love of drag racing and you know through through our family and through my father-in-law Tony's grandpa and his drag racing and stuff man you can have the best engine the best transmission you can have the best everything best tires but if you don't have that differential like an Auburn you know rear gear differential in a vehicle you're not gonna win a race you're not gonna be successful so who wants to go out off-roading even and then 15 minutes into your off-roading adventure on a Saturday and Sunday that your rear differential brakes you have all the power in the world and if you can't get it to the ground it doesn't mean anything.

Yeah, so I think, as Tom shared, they've got several different products and you know they've got specific names for those, but this limited slip or this full pause attraction and stuff is basically like we're talking in between our break with our with our engineer let's call them an engineer I like that Brody the engineer and stuff 

Brody so you go buy a four-wheel-drive truck and if you don't get a positive traction rear end you really have a three-wheel-drive truck because in most cases, the left rear wheel does not do anything so the front does its job the rear does its job, but only on the right rear. 

So this positive traction allows it basically allows us when a wheel is slipping to get you know traction with that so it allows you go back to burnouts here yeah one wheel peel means that you don't have positive traction or you don't have a limited one wheel peel so if that trucks out there doing a burnout in the parking lot there's only smoke rolling off one side of the rear it's got a one-wheel peel

Here's a mid-30s guy with four kids and a minivan that always has to talk about burnouts because give me a trucker hat and some holey jeans here we go I'll show you a one-wheel-peel. 

Come on, I'm the one usually supposed to take this off center and stuff not you.

So you keep it on center and stuff, but again, our friends at Auburn Gear make a wonderful product for street, for off-road vehicles, for your street rod, for your hot rod, for your convertible, for all these different products out there. And they supply some of the original equipment stuff more so on the aftermarket because they quite frankly build a you know a much better product with that with American products American workers all that into that.

So we're we're proud and happy to be a partner with them. We're happy that they've put a little traction in our glove box. How do you like that one Tony? 

I'm gonna get some traction in my 72 GMC here. That's true. 

Auburn Gear is gonna hook us up with this pretty cool 6-liter 72 GMC that Tony and I've been building and stuff, so we'll have to get on a have to get a Facebook page going on with our podcast. 

Do we have that? Brody write it down. 

Yeah we have to get so you buddy yeah we have to show you some of the other things so we'll show you who we are show you some of the project projects we got going on sure show you our service centers and stuff but Brody the engineer show you Brody the engineer and stuff we're happy he just he and his bride bought a new house recently so we're happy for him and stuff but but any head in this part out yeah yeah gotta leave this in 

Brody don't cut yourself out of this.

But anyhow, we love being partners with Auburn Gear we love what Brody and his company does for us with our podcast. And, you know, reach out to us if we can help you with any of those type of questions. 

Positraction and putting that power of your hot rod or any type of vehicle to the tires to make it accelerate quicker is what we're all about.

So this is Mike and Tony Tatich from From the Glove Box and this week's episode. Take care. 

Looking for More? Listen to the Whole Episode.