Differential Ratio selection

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Here is a quick guide to help you decide which differential ratio will best suit your needs based on an automatic, 3 or 4spd transmission

please be advised that this is a guide only and is to be taken and used at face value

2.60:1 - Super highway economy. Slug off the mark.

2.78:1 - excellent highway economy. sluggish off the mark

3.08:1 - Good economy. Average off the mark.

3.36:1 - Compromise between acceleration and economy.

3.55:1 - Good off the mark, average economy.

4.44:1 - Great off the mark. Flat out at 120 kp/h


Basic and often mis-understood concepts:

A tall diff is a smaller number eg: 2.60 ratio.

a short diff is a larger number eg: 3.90 ratio.

Tall diff = longer legs, higher top speed, less RPM at cruise, slower off the line.

Short diff = shorter legs, lower top speed, more RPM at cruise, quicker off the mark.


Different diff ratios with 205/60/13 rear tyres:

2.60 = 41.8 Km/h/1000RPM or 2390RPM @ 100 Km/h

2.78 = 39.1 Km/h/1000RPM or 2560RPM @ 100 Km/h

3.08 = 35.3 Km/h/1000RPM or 2830RPM @ 100 Km/h

3.36 = 32.3 Km/h/1000RPM or 3100RPM @ 100 Km/h

3.55 = 30.6 Km/h/1000RPM or 3270RPM @ 100 Km/h

3.90 = 27.8 Km/h/1000RPM or 3600RPM @ 100 Km/h


Speedo drive gears

For 13" wheels:

2.60 diff Pink 19 teeth

2.78 diff White 20 teeth

3.08 diff Dark Blue 22 teeth

3.36 diff Red 23 teeth

3.55 diff Yellow 24 teeth

3.90 diff Light blue 25 teeth


For 14" wheels:

2.78 diff Pink 19 teeth

3.08 diff White 20 teeth

3.36 diff Green 21 teeth

3.55 diff Red 23 teeth

3.90 diff Yellow 24 teeth


The above are all varied again by tyre and wheel sizes.

A 205/60/13 tyre with a 2.78 diff is about the same overall gearing as a 275/55/17 tyre with a 3.55 diff.