Have you ever noticed that when you drive through a puddle or small body of water on the road, it tends to slow your vehicle down due to the energy required to move the water out of the way of the vehicle.
During the next few blogs, I am going to highlight some amazing innovations on the new Cascadia which all contribute to increased efficiency. Today, I want to talk about Active Lube Management (ALM) Not only does the new optional Detroit rear axle have a larger diameter ring gear, it also offers precision cut gears and a 2.16 axle ratio. This axle ratio allows for direct drive transmission which equates to less parts moving and improved fuel economy. Detroit took it one more step by controlling the amount of lube that contacts the ring gear, which is known as (ALM). The ring gear of a rear differential is not much different than the earlier example of your vehicle running through a puddle. Just as the puddle slows down the vehicle, the ring gear is turning in its own “puddle” of gear lubricant. While the lube is vital to the ring and pinions survival, it also causes a parasitic loss as it churns away in the lubricant. Detroit has reduced this loss of “churning” by controlling the amount of lubricant on the ring and pinion.
Detroit has covered the ring and pinion and incorporated a control valve to send just the right amount of lube to the ring and pinion. The amount of lubrication is determined by these factors: transmission gear selection, engine output torque, rear axle temperature and vehicle speed. There is also a failsafe should anything go wrong with the controls. The control valve is designed to fail in the open position. This would allow the rear differential to be lubricated in the traditional manner should anything go wrong.
Testing has shown (ALM) to contribute a 1.5% improvement in fuel economy over the previous model 4 axle. Click on the highlighted area to learn more about Detroit’s Active Lube Management.