Performing tire-smoking, spinning burnouts, and extended drifting exhibitions seem to be all the rage now. Racers do them after winning a race and drift competitions have probably inspired that neighbor kid down the street to do them in the middle of the intersection. We’ve all done it at one time or another so we will leave the sociological implications aside for now and focus instead on how this seemingly innocent demonstration is abusing the limited slip inside the rearend.
Think about it. When you’re having fun spinning the tires in tight little circles, chances are the clutch type limited slip inside the differential is not spinning both tires at the same speed. This means that speed differential is sent right through the clutches of the limited slip differential. Keep that up for 20- to 30-seconds and all that heat is burning up what’s left of the clutches in the differential.
If your goal is to work your way up from amateur to professional drifter, practicing those skills with a clutch type posi will probably mean its early demise. The smart thing would be to invest in a locker style differential or an Eaton Tru-Track which is a gear style differential that does not use clutches or cones.
This problem is not limited to clutch type limited slips. The cone style versions are also highly susceptible and much more difficult and expensive to rebuild. The majority of limited slips on the road today are the clutch and / or cone types that will likely not survive this abuse. It’s not that we’re against displays of tire-spinning smoke shows. We just hate to see otherwise good components abused because the driver was unaware of the damage they’re causing.