Winter Project - Titan LSD project

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CtrMint
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Winter Project - Titan LSD project

Hello All,

I’m posting this thread to hopefully seek long term engagement and support for what will be a long term winter project.

Some will think my approach is a bit well expensive, I guess it is, but for ease, convenience and the opportunity to learn I’ve gone this route. 

While in the UK for the Taffia FnC run I placed an order with CC for delivery to the in-laws for a complete new Titan diff. I know expensive! Now I don’t believe my Titan has any immediate issues, well no more than it ever had. The current and original diff has done ~4500miles and will clock up the best part of ~5000 total miles by the time I’m back to the IOM. I figured with all the discussions about the Titan diff I’m getting close to a period of potential concern and risk. If so, having confidence the diff is right is important, especially if enjoying the IOM liberal speed limits. The 420R still hasn't seen a circuit, but it's seen high speeds.

I appreciate I could just remove the diff, check it, and ship it for a rebuild if required. Shipping heavy stuff on and off the IOM is an expensive PITA, and fraught with the potential for damage and loss. Hence placing the order for a new one while in the UK, one which I can collect. More than that though is having the opportunity to have a spare while rebuilding the first. This makes the whole process less stressful and gives me a real opportunity to learn at a leisurely pace.

Over the winter I plan to disassemble the rear of the car, remove the diff, drive shafts and prop shaft plus all the other components which need to come off for easy access. I'll thoroughly check the shafts etc, and refit with the new diff. This places no time pressure to rebuild with the original diff, so I can still enjoy the car while attempting to expand my understanding.

I hope to learn more about the diff, spotting signs of poor wear from within by performing some basic dismantling. If it needs to go away then I can when I have time etc.

I'm convinced there's a plethora of lowly skilled owners out there in the same boat as me, with aging Titan (sintered plate) diffs all wondering how bad is bad. Of course this will make good content for my blog, which has always attempted to cover the build and challenges of ownership from the less technically competent side. There's loads of blogs out there with content that is far superior (technically) to my own. Bringing the experience from my position on the learning curve I'm sure will be beneficial to many others.

Of course I'll keep posting here with updates and the inevitable queries, a sort of (re)build thread.

I hope this will be of interest to you all, especially those I hope will provide input and expertise along the way.

PS

If anyone get recommend good reading material on diffs (installs, tolerances etc etc). I won't be starting until November, so have a month or so to learn what I can.

aerobod
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Hi Mark,

Any additional material (or corrections or updates) you could add to the Titan LSD overhaul I did last winter would be good: https://www.lotus7.club/guides/maintenance/titan-limited-slip-unit-overhaul

James

David_Long
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Having a second diff is never a bad idea and I think you'll not regret it. I doubt you'll find anything wrong with your diff but if you wish to replace parts like the springs as a precaution, be aware that all parts are available individually from Titan, so you don't need to buy an overhaul kit.

CtrMint
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Cheers James,

Caterham 420R S3 Lotus Toxic Green,  Caterham 620R S3 Exocet Red. Blog: https://www.caterham7diaries.com
CtrMint
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Thanks David, not sure I'll be replacing parts, though who knows!   The aim at the moment is to evaluate the wear etc, but with time I might be able to achieve that leave of knowledge, we all start somewhere.

Caterham 420R S3 Lotus Toxic Green,  Caterham 620R S3 Exocet Red. Blog: https://www.caterham7diaries.com
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Mark,

I'm not sure I follow your logic on this one, why not spend the money on a proven design and maybe follow Peter's idea, send a bare final drive to Steve and have him build it and ship to IOM complete with a Tracsport assuming this is for the 420...?

 

 

CtrMint
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Hey, 

Yes it's for the 420.   I was aware other options existed, but wasn't sure what to make of them.  In the end I opted to get a second Titan.  I figured understanding what CC is doing, the reliability and durability of that design/package might be more interesting and beneficial in the long run.  I can still try changes and improvements to my original diff.

I got into this Caterham stuff to learn.   To  learn and become a better driver on circuit I wasn't getting better in the Exige, but also to learn on the mechanical engineering side.  Admittedly the mechanical learning curve has been a bit challenging, we're getting there though.  Getting a different solution, which might diminish my opportunity to learn just didn't feel the right direction.

Either way, the diff arrived today at the in-laws 

Caterham 420R S3 Lotus Toxic Green,  Caterham 620R S3 Exocet Red. Blog: https://www.caterham7diaries.com
ScottR400D
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Oh Mark, I can't but fear you have made a big mistake. 

My SPC diff has been in over a year now. It's always operated as silently as you could expect. No untoward noises at all and has been impeccable on the road, allowing liberties to be taken powering out of corners and just making the car take off in a straight line like a rocket. 

Tuesday my son and I did a track day at Snet. I drove first before it got too wet and the car was better than I'd hoped for. As the track got wetter I chose discretion as the better part etc  (especially as we only have ZZRs) and handed over to my son, who's raced various things over the years, from karts to sports cars, F Renault, F3 and is much more confident in the wet. 

The car drives through and out of corners far more consistently and reliably than it ever did, and we are convinced the SPC works better than the Titan ever did, not to mention it seems to be a whole lot more reliable. 

I have a BMW diff with a Titan sat on my shelf. Fully rebuilt at a cost of £900 and unused since. I'd happily clear the shelf for £1k because I just can't see me ever fitting it again. 

"I figured understanding what CC is doing, the reliability and durability of that design/package might be more interesting and beneficial in the long run."

What is it that you think CC is doing? From what I've been told they're doing nothing except making money on rebuilds and spares, but I stand to be corrected. 
 
They've known about the weakness of the Titan in higher powered cars used mainly on the road for some time and have been offered the SPC but gone no further. There's no evidence that they will, I'm not sure they think it's an issue. Which it isn't for them. 

Oh well, we've been here before, it is what it is. in a way it's good that you've got two assemblies because you'll likely need them, it's just, IMHO, not necessary. 
 

PS. I know there are some who think the Titan is fine and have had good service from them. I'm one of the few who have experienced both it and the SPC and, as Jack Reacher might say, I'd never go back!! 

David_Long
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Come on guys, quit the scary fake info stuff.  It's not a question of making a 'mistake', or not choosing a 'proven' design (what??). The Titan has been in production for ten years and there are thousands of units out there giving excellent service in many cars as well as the Caterhams.  Yes the carbon plate development was problematic, but the sintered plate version gives the competition a good run for their money, and is probably better matched to the Caterham's requirements in terms of rotating mass and ramp options (if you look at the history, it was basically designed for the Caterham).

CtrMint is correct in his assumption (that if Caterham continues to use it) it is of sound design - to promote otherwise is being incredulous towards the facts.

 

og22
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I would speak to Ollie at Road & Race Transmissions. He is a very knowledgeable chap. 

ChrisC
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So had very recently first hand experience, my diff has only just been refitted ready for the Fish and Chip run.  A couple of things to note, my 2 year old, only 2000 mile (2 track days) diff had NO significant wear.  In fact the only wear was the new plate high spots had been taken off, there was no need for any service work to be carried out on the clutches.  

The reason for my diff removal was to solve a reoccurring noise/vibration problem which had been present from new. This was eventually traced to a bad UJ, so hence the diff was already removed.

One recommended is not to separate your wheel bearings from the driveshafts, if you do you will almost certainly end up replacing both.  If you are assembled new driveshafts and wheel bearings try using bearing anti fretting paste, but even then there is no guarantee fretting won't occur.