Chain Drive Differentials


Douglas Anderson, trading as Westgarage Engineering, retired on 5th April 2020 and is no longer manufacturing these parts.

Westgarage Engineering specialised in the manufacture and installation of chain drive differentials and LSD units for vehicles including:
Bike engined Single Seater race, Sprint and Hillclimb cars
Formula Student FSAE race cars, bike engined kit cars and sports car
FWD & RWD bike engined Minis, Smart Cars and other compact cars
Off-road buggies, Quads and 4 Wheelers (see below for further details)
Trikes & Electric vehicles EV

We manufactured budget priced units based on re-purposed car differentials including:
Honda, Ford, Mazda, VW, BL Mini, Vauxhall & BMW
Or we can supply brand new chain drive units based on aftermarket differentials by manufacturers including: 3J Driveline, Quaife, Tran-X, MiniSpares & Swiftune.

Several types of differential were available
‘Open’ action differentials – mainly for road use
‘Limited Slip Differentials’ LSD – of which there are three basic types:
1. Viscous Coupled LSD – A good all round unit
2. Automatic Torque Biassing ATB LSD – Good for road & track
3. Plate & Ramp LSD – Best traction for track and off-road

Custom rear sprockets, chains and bike front sprockets
Bearing carriers with sealed bearings and oil seals, oil retaining cans
Flanged output stub shafts to suit various bolt-on CV joints
CV joints, tripod housings and custom drive shafts & axles
Differential mounting cradles – sliding plate, pivot or eccentric adjusting types
Jack-shaft assemblies
Custom chain drive units were be supplied for special installations and options include custom mounting carriers, inboard brakes, belt drives and electric or mechanical reverse systems

A requirement for IVA and some MSA competitions is for bike engined cars to be equipped with an operating reverse system.
To this end, we recommend fitting a geared electric reverse which uses a geared motor to drive a special gear mounted onto the output sprocket of your bike engine.
Alternatively, a ring gear can be attached to the differential to take the drive from the geared electric reverse motor or a reverse motor can act directly on the chain run using a sprocket and tensioner.
How does a chain drive differential work?

Differentials for Quads, ATVs & 4 Wheelers

From January 2016, all newly registered Quads & ATVs will require to be fitted with a differential.
This will mostly affect imported quads which have ‘solid’ rear drive axles.
It is not easy to incorporate a differential into these vehicles as they usually employ one unsupported axle. They also only have one brake on the axle.
It may be possible to modify the rear swing arm to incorporate outboard support for the two axles from a differential. Two brakes would need to be fitted, one on each axle.
Another alternative would be to build a fully independent rear suspension system with articulated axles mounted to a bolt-on subframe.
Owners of existing road legal Quads also often want a differential to improve handling and road manners of their vehicles.
To this end, Westgarage Engineering is looking into solutions to fitting differentials to popular road legal Quads.