I recently heard of the Powertrack Insert, a little mod that can do a lot… With the Powertrack Insert, any Haldex system can give 50-50 front-rear traction… at a very little cost!
So why bather with the expensive (Blue – Orange – Silver) Haldex controllers when you can get similar results for a fraction of the price? I personally bought the HPA Haldex controller several months ago. But then, I didn’t know about the Powertrack Insert.
So I asked YHW (Your Haldex Works) to summarize the difference between all the Haldex choices for anyone wanting to get more out of the system.
The Powertrack Insert; The best way to improve your Haldex first generation traction!
We’ve been contacted to write a technical article about the Powertrack Insert we have developed. The Powertrack Insert has been designed to increase the rear traction at an affordable cost. While some products were already sold on the market we think there still a lot of room for our products.
Basically, the Powertrack Insert development idea was: Why make it complicated when it can be done simply and efficiently. The addition of the Powertrack Insert to your Haldex unit basically gives mechanically the same result as using the most hardcore of the electronic aftermarket control module.
*How does it works at first-
The best way to understand what the product does exactly is to first understand how the stock system works. The Haldex unit includes, a pre-charge pump, an electronic control module, a wet clutch pack and a hydraulic system including mechanical components and oil galleries.
As soon your car is started and the engine reaches 400 RPM, the pre-charge pump is activated and will build a pressure of 4 bars in the hydraulic system. The pre-charge pump is always running when the engine is running. That pre-charge action is crucial because the oil that are in the galleries drain by gravity each time you stop the car and is replaced by air. Because air is compressible and that you need pressure to operate different actions in the system, nothing will happen without a properly working pre-charge pump.
Working pressure in a Haldex unit is not created by the pre-charge pump and whatever you use your Haldex stock, electronically or mechanically upgraded or with the Powertrack Insert, the pre-charge pump do its job the same way with no difference and no more stress applied on it.
With an electronic controller, particularly in the stock configuration, the system is always in reaction to events. At first, in order to operate the clutch pack, the unit needs to have a high pressure build up. That high pressure is created mechanically by components inside the hydraulic system. When front wheels are slipping a face cam is climbing on a ramp, moving a piston and giving a high oil pressure. Because the system is already pressurised by the pre-charge pump, the high pressure is created very fast. Once that high pressure is available for the system to work, the controller can start his job.
Basically the controller has to be seeing like a guard closing a gate when he receives the information to do it. Each time the gate is closed the high pressure build up on the clutch actuator and the clutch squeezes harder according to how much the gate is closed. The problem in the stock configuration is that the informations that are sent to that guard are first: always a little bit late and second: unclear about how much the gate should be closed. Even if all the control modules and various sensors work relatively fast, it involves a small delay that is perceptible to the driver. The best example is felt on hard launch. There is a kind of “neck breaking wave” that is felt into the car. The more powerful the car is, the more you feel it into the car. That is happening because the guard never know how fast he has to close the gate and how much it should be kept open or close.
*When you swap for an aftermarket controller-
With aftermarket controller these situations are interpreted differently depending on the mapping the controller received. The gate may close faster and may be closed completely each time. Therefore, you never know how much and fast exactly this is happening. Therefore, with an aftermarket controller, you still benefit with the possibility for the gate to remains open in various situations depending again on the mapping the ECU you have.
*The Powertrack Insert difference-
The Powertrack Insert while being a completely mechanical device will allow your system electronics to work completely without sending any malfunction light. Using that device you still have that guard opening and closing the gate therefore there is a major restriction at the gate that keeps the pressure at the highest acceptable when needed. It is important to know that high operated pressure doesn’t means over pressure. The Haldex unit has built-in series of hydraulic valves to regulate and control inside hydraulic pressure. The unit while being controlled by electrical device for a smoother operation to the “grand public” should be known also as a state of the art mechanical assembly that doesn’t need any electronics to work properly. That is why with the Powertrack Insert, for those who are swapping rear axle to build AWD cars, you don’t need any current at the controller and swapped in electronics. Only the pre-charge pump needs to be wired to a 12V source and “GO”.
*Mechanical replacement controller unit.
You can find also on the market some mechanical replacement for Haldex controller. They will work for sure. Therefore while it’s been talked somewhere they make rear traction adjustable, you should be aware that intermediate pressure positions are dangerous for your system. While they happen on a stock configuration, they only occur to smooth out operations of the clutch engagement and are not continuous conditions. By maintaining an intermediate pressure condition on the clutch pack while requesting lots of rear traction like hard launch from stop or low speed corner exit followed by a full throttle repeatedly, you get the best way to prematurely wear the clutch pack and eventually make it fails. Also, that kind of system won’t support any electrical function. It may also be a choice for complete rear axle swap mechanically operated.
Here is a table to help you compare the various traction enhancer systems in different conditions. The numbers have been not measured on bench but are given on a matter of comparison to show the impact of the pressure applied on the clutch pack in a given condition. Except when the previous state is written as stopped, we consider the Haldex unit was solicited just before the measurement to the exposed condition.
We hope all these explanations will help you to understand how your system is working and which product suits best for your usage. Feel free to consult Your_Haldex_Works facebook page for more informations and if you need to ask more questions. We would like also to give a big thanks to André-Martin Hobbs of https://audittrs.wordpress.com/ to give us the opportunity the talk about our product!