The Difference Between Traction-Loc & Traction Control

All of the early production SC’s (1989-93) are equipped with something called a Traction-Loc rearend. The only SC’s that do not have it, are the later model SC’s that use the Traction-Control system, which is an electronic system that applies the brakes when the wheels begin to slip. (See Below).

Traction-Loc or Traction-Lock (I’ve seen it referred to in both ways) is a patented name owned by Ford Motor Co. This unit should not be confused with or referred to as a posi-trac or posi-traction.

The Traction-Loc unit simply locks the axles so that the axles turn at the same speed and rate under acceleration. Traction-Loc units are very reliable units and they very seldom cause any problems. Under normal everyday use they will usually last the life of the vehicle. However, high mileage, combined with server usage can cause some internal parts to break and/or wear out. The most common parts to wear out or break are the clutch pieces within the unit.

What most people fail to realize is, the Traction-Loc “is” designed to slip while cornering. This is to allow smooth cornering. Most of the parts breakage and/or wear comes with repeated application of horsepower while the car is in a sharp turn. This creates tremendous amounts of heat in the clutch pack which causes burnt, worn, and warped plates inside the Traction-Loc unit.

After a sufficient amount of wear has occurred, the Traction-Loc unit can no longer hold during straight line acceleration either. The only cure for this is to have the unit replaced or rebuilt.

Traction Control is an electronic system that is controlled by the computer. It gives your car the ability to maintain adhesion between the vehicle’s tires and the pavement under acceleration in any condition.

In other words, when you accelerate from a dead stop, or you speed up while you are passing another vehicle, traction control works to ensure maximum contact between the road surface and your tires, even under less-than-ideal road conditions. Traction control was actually developed for use on wet or icy road surfaces. It significantly improves the traction between your tires and the pavement.

Another form of this Traction Control technology has been used for many years. It is call Anti-Lock, which works the same way except is it used to stop the car without skidding the tires on slippery surfaces.

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