UAZ and Niva are positioned as cross-country vehicles with two drive axles and a 4x4 wheel arrangement. It is understood that all 4 wheels are driving, however, this is not entirely true. Due to the presence of a differential in the bridge (the principle of its operation is the distribution of torque between the wheels on the same axle), only one, the least loaded drive wheel, works, the moment is not transmitted to the second, more loaded one. In fact, the wheel formula is 4x2.

To solve this problem, manufacturers have developed differential lock mechanisms that allow both drive wheels to be locked on the same axle, which significantly increases the car's flotation on unstable surfaces.

There are forced locks (activated by the driver if necessary) and automatic (activated automatically when one wheel slips).

Types of differential locks on UAZ and Niva

Compulsory locks are distinguished by their design and connection method:

  • pneumatic (connected by pressurized air supply);
  • mechanical (connected by cable drive);
  • electromagnetic (connected by applying voltage with a button from the passenger compartment to the electromagnetic clutch);
  • electric (connected with an electric motor);
  • vacuum (connected by a vacuum pump);
  • hydraulic (connected by hydraulic drive).

Automatic locks are divided into the following types:

  • automatic unlocks (permanently locked, disabled if driveshaft torque is less than wheel load);
  • screw (locked by means of helical gears);
  • balloons (blocked with a chain of balls);
  • limited slip differentials (blocked by a clutch package, redistributing torque to a less loaded wheel);
  • cam (blocked by the movement of the cams with a difference in the speed of rotation of the drive wheels).

Regarding the reliability of locks, the opinions of car owners are divided. Statistics show a lower resource and reliability of automatic locks compared to forced locks.

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