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OBX vs Quaife (with pixors)

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It has been stated in the past that the OBX diff is a direct copy of the Quaife differential. OBX is a company that has a reputation of producing cheap chinese knockoffs of quality parts. I purchased an OBX diff for an R200 off of ebay (brand new) for $375, and I also purchased a brand new Quaife for an R200. Retail on the Quaife is $1495.00. I have a connection that saved me about $300. The only similarity I found was the design and the theory of operation. The parts are all pretty different, which leads me to believe that OBX actually employed some of the own engineering into this one.


When the OBX arrived, I noticed what appeared to be a missing bolt, and I also noticed that out of the 11 remaining bolts, 9 of them were marked 8.8 strength and the other 2 were not marked, and had noticably smaller heads. After disassembly, I found that the 2 odd bolts, aside from having smaller heads and no spec markings, were also too short. The appearance of the unit was acceptable...




until I opened the box containing the quaife and saw this...




I now understand why the Quaife costs 4 times as much as the OBX. I was hesitant to open up the Quaife, because they don't break and the warranty card says I shouldn't, but I decided to because there hasn't been a picture thread comparing the 2 side by side.


The first difference, obviously, is the appearance and finish quality of the assembly. The quaife looks like a diamond, while the OBX looks like a rock. The OBX only has Ten 12mm holes to mount the ring gear, so if you are using an early ring gear, you will need to make spacers to take up the extra room around the bolt. Some say this isn't necessary, but I don't think its a bad idea. The Quaife has 20 holes in the ring gear flange....so that you can use either the 10mm or 12mm ring gears. This was a nice touch.


The quaife uses 12 12.9 strength M10 bolts to hold the case together, while the OBX uses 9 8.8 strenght and 2 unknown quality M8 bolts to hold the case together.


The OBX bolts are on the left, the Quaife bolts are on the right.




The OBX uses a 2 piece case, with all 11 bolts from one side, while the Quaife uses a 3 piece case, consisting of basically 2 end caps and a solid center section, and uses 6 bolts to hold each cap onto the center section.


OBX is on the left, Quaife is on the right...with only the bolts and part of the case removed. The flash didn't work, so I'll try to get a better pic later.




Here is a shot of the pieces removed to take the previous picture, again, OBX is on the left, quaife is on the right.




Here are the sidegears from each diff. The OBX uses a gear that simply floats inside in the housing....only centered by the loose fitting axle. The quaife sidegear has a pilot which locates it in the housing. The OBX has longer teeth than the Quaife sidegear. OBX is on the left, Quaife is on the right.





Both units each use 12 helical gears....6 for each side, but they are a little different. The OBX helicals have almost 1/4 inch of chamfer on the edges of the gear teeth, while the Quaife has substantially less chamfer. Less chamfer means more surface area able to generate friction against the case. the Quaife also uses larger diameter gears, that have some sort of surface treatment. OBX is on the left, Quaife is on the right





Now for the washer stack. The Quaife uses 6 washers, stacked )()()(, while the OBX came with 8 washers stacked ((()())). The washers retainers on the Quaife are considerably larger in diameter and very slightly longer than the OBX retainers. See my other thread for my problems with the OBX washers.


Quaife washer stack



OBX and Quaife washer retainers




While the OBX uses a separate spacer to house the the washer retainers and washers:




The Quaife incorporates this into the case center section, so there is no spacer to float around:




Thats if for the pics....camara batteries went dead.


The Quaife has very finely ground mating surfaces, almost polished, everywhere....there is not a dirty cut or coarse finish anywhere on it. It appears that every component has been though a vibratory deburring process, and then polished...amazingly well. The Quaife came coated in the thick anti corrosive oil, which wiped off easily with a rag and solvent.


The OBX diff has only finish machined surfaces, which on cast iron tend to be very porous...and arrived with what appeared to be residual cutting oil soaked into the pores. When you try to wipe it off, your rag gets caught up in the rough surface. No post machining deburring or polishing was done to the case of the OBX. The gears look to have been deburred, but not polished.


I think that the OBX diff would be fine for lower TQ applications if some things were replaced on it. First off, the washers need to be replaced. I think the best solution for the washer issue would be to make a spacer for the middle and use only 2 bellville washers, one on each side. Second, the case bolts need to be replaced with something of a higher grade. The OBX bolts are M8 x 1.25 x 60mm, available from McMaster car in 12.9 strength. I have a theory that the reason that my washers were destroyed in the OBX was because the case bolts were weak and stretched, allowing exessive clearance in the washer pack under accel and then impacting them on decel. I don't have the brains to prove this yet, but I'm working on it. Another possible flaw I see in the OBX is the oil holes. The Quaife has more holes for gear oil to enter the assembly, and the holes in the Quaife are much larger than the OBX oil holes. When I reasemble the OBX, I'll be adding a few more oil holes in non-critical spots in the case.


The Quaife's M10 x 30 bolts are much less prone to stretch, and therefore the quaife is a much more ridgid unit that can handle more TQ.


I hope this is of some use to somebody....

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It has been stated in the past that the OBX diff is a direct copy of the Quaife differential. OBX is a company that has a reputation of producing cheap chinese knockoffs of quality parts. I purchased

    Bingo...what I was saying. But can you really just flip the gears? It's like putting a propeller on the boat backwards. The boat still goes forwards? No? lol

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Very nice review. Thanks from all of us. This is very typical (and I hate saying that about anything) of the chinese parts or tools that I've bought. Obviously the machining is superior with the Quaife, and it appears is may be somewhat stronger as well, and have a more consistant break-away characteristic. Thanks again.

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I always thought the quaife was too expensive. The OBX was so well priced I figured it would bring down the price of the quaife. Unfortunately I don't think OBX compares well enough with the quaife to bring it's price down in the market.


Too bad... The OBX looks like it would take too much work to make it function properly.

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I too have trouble paying the kind of money Quaife asks for their products. I did purchase 2 Quaife diffs for the R180s I ran and that was back in 1998 as part of the first group buy. I really, really wanted one for my 350Z but I ended up buying a Nismo R-tune CLSD. Its not as good as the Quaife but it was $600 cheaper.


BTW... my 350Z runs a R200 diff. Maybe I should measure the 350Z stub axles and compare them with some R200 stub axles I have lying around...

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"I was hesitant to open up the Quaife, because they don't break and the warranty card says I shouldn't, but I decided to because there hasn't been a picture thread comparing the 2 side by side."


I will bet money, if you reveal the comparison you did, and supply them with the photos....they will

1) Understand

2) Pay you something for the rights to use them as 'examples' when fielding inquiries!


Thanks for a very informative post, and I nominate for "Sticky" as well so people can see for themselves and make the decision based on what they decide they need, or if they actually want to take the time to rebuild new parts so they know they will work...

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that obx unit is definately not brand new.


look at the chamfers on the helical gears, it looks as though the ends of each tooth have been chipped off.


and 1 bolt missing, and 2 odd bolts?


that's not right at all


The OBX is/was brand new. The chamfer on the gears was like that when I disassembled it the the first time, after I had just received it, New in the box. The only wear in the OBX at this time (after 10 miles of rocket runs in our warehouse complex) is the smashed up washers.


Just crappy build quality, no attention to detail, and no pride in their work at OBX.


Looking at the Quaife part, I'm sure that after all the workers see the finished product, there is a smile on their faces for a job well done.

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Mmm, I also bought an OBX. Mine came with 12.9 bolts all around. Its wierd that yours has different hardware.



Mine was the same with all 12.9 bolts however mine did cost a little more than the $375 - however the guy I purchased from did have 2 prices $375 and $425 and I paid the $425 (not knowing he had the same unit for less) so the only think I can think off is that the $375 were not quite up to the same standard/grade and hence the price difference (well that is what I am telling myself anyway)

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Not sure, I ordered it off of ebay for $395 shipped to my house in oregon. I'm going to pull mine apart and replace the washers after seeing all of this. There is no doubt that the quaife is much nicer overall, but I've seen the OBX work fine in drag racing applications. I'm going to install it when I do install the 2JZ engine.



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I have had my Quaife for over 2 years now, and there build quality must have improved over the years. I also disassembled it before installing it and much of the crappy machining and random chamfering on the helical gears and housing shown on the OBX was present on my Quaife. At the time I paid $1200.00 for it, maybe the new ones cost more to make better. I would have second thoughts about buying another Quaife based on my experience. Some other problems I had: the dust shield on the companion flange was hitting the aluminum bearing housing due to the fact that inserts that the stub axles thread into were installed backwards. Quaife America figured this out and pressed them in correctly. The unit has always been really noisy (clunky) and I have had it rebuild again by Quaife America where they simply inspected it and replaced the washer stack which was already worn out. This is just my experience and .02


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I'd say the Dual-Priced OBX Units are, as Gene Berg used to put it in his catalogs, "POTL"




Gene Berg would buy large lots of components from vendors, then go through and inspect each one with his staff, using gauges and etc. When the lot was 'picked over' and those items that met his standard were culled for his stock and customers, he would sell off the lot to another place---usually a competitor like SCS or any of the other VW Houses present in SoCal/Orange County.


Some times, there would be two grades he would cull, POTL and Servicable. The POTL stuff was sold at a slightly higher price, and the Servicable would be his normal stock. Stuff that didn't meet those two grades was still sold off to competition.


Funny that SCS is out of business now going on 17 years or so...and Gene Berg is still there on Lime Street in Orange...several years no after his passing. Quality counts.


I'd suspect the OBX guy may be doing a 'check' or maybe replacing some components for the stuff. Then again, being e-bay I also wouldn't discount the fact that they are simply listing the same item at different pricing levels to see what fish they can drag in.


Ever see a refrigerator on the side of the road with 'free' on it? Sits there for months till Code Enforcement cites the owner.

That same refrigerator put out a week later with $50 on the sign and a rope tied loosely to a tree nearby will have two outcomes: Someone BUYS it, or someone STEALS it. Make something 'too cheap' and people will suspect it of being somehow defective, up the price, and then they buy...to complain how cheaply it was made later...but hey "for the price"! LOL

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I am a firm believer in appliance-derived floorboards! Washing Machines make good floorboards for 510s! LOL


they do indeed. until this passed weekend, my room mate had about 8 or 9 appliances of varying use in the backyard. All for metal scrap.


We might be saving the large items to cut and use for my Z floor boards if the paint comes off them easily. or even just some general sheet fabrication for smaller items to practice our welding =)

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