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My wavetrac/quaife comparision

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  • My wavetrac/quaife comparision

    This time for the Astra

    seeing as i saw waynes post on the wavetrac for the corsa , i thought i d do mine as i ve finally done a few mile with it in .

    As some of you might know i have recently taken the decision to purchase a new wavetrac diff, which i was pretty excited about!

    I thought i would do a post to let you know why i have taken the decision, it might help anyone who is trying to decide on what diff to buy. I have done back to back comparisons on the same corners, sharp left and rights, sweeping left and rights, transitions off large roundabouts... pretty much most road scenarios to make sure i am making the correct decision and justifying my purchase to myself more than anything!
    I have had the diff in for 3 weeks and just over 700 miles and this is what i have found....

    With a stock diff, as im sure everyone has experienced in a vxr, if you hit a corner and power down too enthusiasticially you will understeer and wash out toward the outside of the corner. This is because an open diff will provide power to the wheel with most grip, usually the outside loaded wheel. When you put the power on you demand more from the tire, not only is it having to provide grip to corner, but also to put the power down, you understeer because you surpass the grip level of the tire... you can overcome this by raising the grip levels in the tire ie- stickier tyres, or wider ones or by transferring some of the load in the tyre to across the axle. This can be done passively by the fitment of anti roll bars or suspension setup to transfer the cornering load across the car or directly by transferring the power to another tyre with a diff . This is why diff’s make you faster.

    Obviously there are many different ways to create a torque biasing diff, and to transfer power across the axle. Its a really interesting subject but looking into it is how i discovered the unique wavetrac ‘wave profiles’. The Wavetrac diffs are the ONLY diffs that allow the transfer of power across an axle when there is an unloaded wheel. Most diffs operate as a torque multiplyer, and as you know anything x 0 is 0.

    The occurances when you have unloaded wheels is more often than you might think, if you are really going for it on lanes or bumpy surfaces... those fractions of seconds one wheel is off the floor equates to no drive!
    The wavetrac allows drive to the wheels ALL the time, under any circumstance... even if you are airborne lol! From an engineering point of view its a really clever piece of design.

    My (now) old quaife did the job of keeping grip but it felt a little clumsy in operation. When you launched the car it felt like you were swaying from side to side and snaking up the road. You were going quick, bit it wasn’t graceful!
    In the corners you could feel the transfer of power across the axle, so much that it sometimes would unbalance the car and i would have to keep my wits about me to countersteer and keep the cornering path. Something that i accepted as a fair trade for more grip and going faster.
    The wavetrac diff has no trade off. Its smooth as silk! The ‘wave profiles’ allow a much smoother transition of power, and its much more subtle. Not all or nothing like the quaife.

    When launching with the wavetrac i can let go of the wheel, the car will not wander ( dependant on road surface ) and i can go fast much much more relaxingly... it requires much less concerntration. Something im sure that will make me go faster still!

    In the corners the power transfer is seamless. You cant feel the diff dragging you into the corner and i haven’t had any scary moments with curbs like i did with the quaife. The wavetrac is much more civilised and a more enjoyable drive... makes me look like a better driver too haha!
    Project J is here Carbon Parts for Astra J Or vectra vxr brake conversions to astra/corsa please PM

  • #2
    nice write up mate
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    • #3
      Great work mate

      What are the prices like between the two

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      • #4
        Originally posted by A2ON View Post
        Great work mate

        What are the prices like between the two
        think it something like £100
        Project J is here Carbon Parts for Astra J Or vectra vxr brake conversions to astra/corsa please PM

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        • #5
          Hmmmmm interesting, does that mean i have to dent my credit card again
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          • #6
            Good review.

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            • #7
              This is because an open diff will provide power to the wheel with most grip,
              Wait what, least grip? surely?

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              • #8
                Technically speaking an open diff provides equal power to both wheels, its just when one wheel is unloaded one wheel does a lot of revs with no torque ie no power and the other wheel has heaps of torque but no revs ie no power!
                Last edited by andrewt1971; 16 December 2010, 04:11 PM.

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                • #9
                  ^^^^ yep your right technically it does indeed send the same amount of torque to both ( open diff that is ) , its all to do with the threshold of grip before the wheel starts to slips

                  maybe this will help a little for open diff purpose's as my first post may read a little confusing in simple terms on the open diff front -

                  Differentials and Traction

                  The open differential always applies the same amount of torque to each wheel. There are two factors that determine how much torque can be applied to the wheels: equipment and traction. In dry conditions, when there is plenty of traction, the amount of torque applied to the wheels is limited by the engine and gearing; in a low traction situation, such as when driving on ice, the amount of torque is limited to the greatest amount that will not cause a wheel to slip under those conditions. So, even though a car may be able to produce more torque, there needs to be enough traction to transmit that torque to the ground. If you give the car more gas after the wheels start to slip, the wheels will just spin faster.

                  On Thin Ice

                  If you've ever driven on ice, you may know of a trick that makes acceleration easier: If you start out in second gear, or even third gear, instead of first, because of the gearing in the transmission you will have less torque available to the wheels. This will make it easier to accelerate without spinning the wheels.

                  Now what happens if one of the drive wheels has good traction, and the other one is on ice? This is where the problem with open differentials comes in.

                  Remember that the open differential always applies the same torque to both wheels, and the maximum amount of torque is limited to the greatest amount that will not make the wheels slip. It doesn't take much torque to make a tire slip on ice. And when the wheel with good traction is only getting the very small amount of torque that can be applied to the wheel with less traction, your car isn't going to move very much.
                  Last edited by vxr-blacksheep; 16 December 2010, 04:50 PM.
                  Project J is here Carbon Parts for Astra J Or vectra vxr brake conversions to astra/corsa please PM

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                  • #10
                    this means then the wavetek would operate if one wheel aqua planes over a puddle due to zero grip would keep the other wheel in line???

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                    • #11
                      damn it andy,you beat me to it!.

                      i also had a wavetrack diff fitted recently and have done about 500 or so miles on it.i've got to agree with what andy has said.its fantastic in the way it works.

                      the steering has gone very neutral,infact,it feels like its driving the rears rather than the front in how composed it is and how it drives.no matter how you drive it theres no pulling of the steering or feeling the power being shifted across the wheels,it just puts it down and goes.in the snow and ice recently i've been really amazed at how much grip the car had.

                      i'm very impressed and would highly recommend one.
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                      • #12
                        Nice write up Andy I however have no problems with your old Quiaffe
                        Looking forward to seeing the car on track next year mate

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PERCY'S vxr View Post
                          damn it andy,you beat me to it!.

                          in the snow and ice recently i've been really amaze

                          i'm very impressed and would highly recommend one.
                          always one step ahead me

                          i also believe it helped you out of a sticky situation on the way home after fitting , and as for in snow your right it works a lot better than the quaife did the last time we had snow . god dam clever ball of cogs

                          Originally posted by Huggies View Post
                          Nice write up Andy I however have no problems with your old Quiaffe
                          Looking forward to seeing the car on track next year mate
                          cheers Hugs and i m sure you dont have any issues with my old quaife as its a great bit of kit , however start pushing some more power through to the wheels and you soon relise how agricultural in operation and feel the quaife actually is , it does what it meant for but has no added benifits like the wavetrac has .

                          Originally posted by leighy_Burg161 View Post
                          this means then the wavetek would operate if one wheel aqua planes over a puddle due to zero grip would keep the other wheel in line???
                          pretty much yes , plus the wavetrac can also bias torque During the transition from accel to deceleration something the quaife also cant do , so mid corner if you should ever have to lift , the wavetrac will still hold its line and be working as it is still biasing the torque in that situation ...........

                          the quaife is great but an old design now , designs/operation and technology have moved on since and there are always improvements to be made and had and is where the wavetrac has made its advantage i m sure quaife at some point will play catch up , but i cant see it being for the M32 box
                          Project J is here Carbon Parts for Astra J Or vectra vxr brake conversions to astra/corsa please PM

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                          • #14
                            When I drove the VXR-R I was definitely impressed by the Quafie but I booted it off a road about which was a three lane exit I decided to give it as much as I could to see how well it gripped and it was pulling me back into the left lane.

                            I don't think its bad but you must be prepared and used to it to get the most out of it. I would be interested in driving a wavetrac to see if its worth it.

                            Independent bespoke mapping available see my Facebook or find me at WG Motorworks

                            Clique #14

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                            • #15
                              Interesting to see the benefits during snow/ice - always nice to have some real world advantage in this weather!

                              Astra

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