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Differential do's and dont's


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I have a Super C I have been using plowing snow this winter.  Twice I have dropped the front wheels over the edge and had to spin the tires for five minutes or so until I finally dug through the ice and got unstuck.   During this time I would apply the brakes as needed to alternate wheel spin or to attempt to spin both.  Didn't think anything of it until I read a 1456 Differential thread a couple of days ago where it was suggested spinning the diff. like this could tear things up inside the differential.

Curious if this is really bad for them or not so much.

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Is your oil in good condition? That would be my first concern . Otherwise I would think that it would be ok. Unless you spend 20+ percent of the time spinning just one tire. Have you thought about putting chains on the tires ? Simple ladder chains would do wonders 

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Nothing too unusual about that. That is and was a fairly common and often necessary way to use a tractor under those type situations. In all honesty, if doing that breaks a diff then I'd be seriously questioning the design of it. Mind you some operators will break anything.

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Probably the biggest issue is if the spinning tire suddenly grabs. The shock load is what is hard on the side gears. Once watched one of my bus drivers spinning on ice and suddenly the wheels grabbed. About three days later I was looking for a pot to drop in as the side gears gave up the ghost. 

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If you think about it , it’s a seventy year old tractor. The differential is cast iron it’s cold and oil probably has never been changed , that a lot of pressure  hard braking. 

It a testimony to the engineering. A machine that old taking that kind of stress. 

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I changed the gear lube when I got this a couple years ago.  The blade I bought came with chains, but I need to add some more cross sections on them because they mostly ride down in between the lugs.  The tractor has nearly new Firestones on it and the lugs sit higher than the chains.

 

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ok, so you don't have an   actual correct answer yet.that is the whole idea of a differential. plowing don't hurt them. different size tires don't hurt them. its when you get stuck and have one wheel spinning at a high speed is when things can happen. more so in automotive diff's.  what happens is the spider gears get spinning so fast on the pin that the lube is lost and it galls the pin and cause wear on the pin and gear.  any short amount of one wheel spinning within reason will not hurt a thing. that's the whole idea of the diff, to let one wheel spin faster than the other. that's what happens when you go around a corner. other wise you would have hopping.

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