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View Full Version : Limited Slip Faceoff: Detroit TrueTrac vs. ARB Air Locker



drodio
11-26-2012, 01:57 AM
Trying to decide whether I should put an Eaton Detroit TrueTrac limited slip differential on my 2003 Ford F250 diesel, or an ARB locking differential.

I plan on putting a pop-up camper in the bed of the truck and hitting some trails; probably at a max difficulty rating of 5 or 6. No crazy offroading, but want to be able to get in & out of remote beach locations in foreign countries, etc.

I'd start with the rear diff; possibly doing both front and rear at the same time.

Here are the pro's & con's as I see them -- anyone have any other suggestions?

TrueTrac:

Passive limited slip, nothing to maintain or engage/disengage
Brakes may need to be applied to engage differential in some situations
Does not fully lock axle... possibly easier on the drivetrain
Costs around $500


ARB Air Locker:

Fully locks the axle so power is always transferred to both wheels, even if one is off the ground
Has to be manually locked/unlocked
Requires on-board air compressor
Costs around $1k


I'm leaning towards the TrueTrac as it seems to be more passive w/ less that could go wrong. I am, however, planning on installing an on-board compressor regardless, and I like the idea of having fully locked axles for the most challenging situations... but at half the price and apparently able to handle 90% to 95% of the situations I might find myself in, I'm thinking TrueTrac is the way to go. Anyone have an opinion on this assessment?

Here are notes from my research about the TrueTrac

=================


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uwpNpvsshQ (it looks fromt this one like you sometimes may have to apply the brakes a bit to get both tires to turn)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZFVKFyOgqY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fTYlGayCbk


"The Truetrac is useless in the rocks and if you have one tire off the ground forget it. With an ARB you get the beefy case and the choice of an open diff for street driving and a full locker when you need it." from http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/529960-detroit-truetrac-what-dya-think.html ... also from that thread "I've had True Tracs and a light tap of the brake or couple clicks on the e-brake are usually enough to get both tires turning, even with one off the ground. The True Trac also beefs up the differential (case). I've run most Southern California trails with True Tracs front and rear (in a Jeep) and made all but the top 5% or so of the trails with relative ease. I did have to tap the brakes from time to time, so it's pretty nice for all but the most extreme situations. You also can't tell it's in the front diff because there are no clutch packs "grabbing", it's much smoother than most other "clutch" based limited slips." ... as well as ... "If I'm heading down a dry waterfall with one front tire hanging 4 feet in the air the last thing I want to be doing is tapping my brakes to "fool" the Truetrac into giving me power to the opposing wheel. Sounds like a recipe for a nose over. Now this is my rock crawler I'm refering to here, not the tow rig. I think LS and the like are good for street trucks (http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/529960-detroit-truetrac-what-dya-think.html#) if I'm crawling through 4-5 foot rocks I want lockers. But now that I've been using the ARB I can't see using anything else."




"the feedback that I have received from customers indicates that the unit works very well for mud and snow, while going unnoticed during every day driving. When used in situations like rocky trails where one wheel gets off the ground, the unit will not lock up 100%. Light application of the brakes will help the differential engage more transferring power to the tire that is still on the ground. For extreme situations where the vehicle will have one wheel in the air often a locking differential provides better power transfer to the wheel on the ground. " from http://www.offroaders.com/reviewbox/showproduct.php?product=252


"Traction is so good fellow club members don't believe I'm running LSDs and not lockers." from http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f249/detroit-truetrac-771841/ also "I have True-trac's front (D44) and rear (D60) in my TJ. Great traction. I thought I might regret not putting a locker in the rear but the True-trac has proven me wrong."

Betarocker
11-26-2012, 04:24 AM
I went with the ARB in both ends. My primary concern came down to winter driving. Having a selectable locker is more predictable when roads glaze over. An open diff will allow one wheen to roll if the other loses traction. When the need for both wheel to spin, it is just a flip of a switch away. I have been scared to the point I needed to stop and check my underwear when the limited slip locked up mid corner while driving in the snow.

Larry
11-26-2012, 04:44 AM
Depends on your budget. If the high cost of admission for the ARB is not a problem, by all means go for it. It doesn’t get any better than an ARB selectable locker. On the other hand, if you are more on a budget, the TruTrac is the best bang for the buck. While it is no ARB airlocker, it is plenty strong and durable and beats the heck out of clutch type limited slips.

I run a TruTrac in the front of my truck while my buddy runs an ARB in the front of his. On dry trails I never even notice the TT is there but once you get it in the snow, you know it is alive! It seems the TT requires about ¾ to a full rotation of one tire before it locks up the other, which is why it is such a great limited slip for a steer axle. On the other hand, that can also be a problem when you need traction on dry ground. I mean, who wants to spin one tire almost a full rotation on boulders before the other side kicks in? Tire spin is bad especially on heavy truck like ours, that is when things start to break. That said, my buddy’s ARB can easily be turned on and off at any moment, any terrain and would be much more useful if added traction would be needed on dry ground. Like I say, it doesn’t get any better than an ARB but TT are pretty darn good for the money. I definitely want to upgrade to an ARB but yet I do not regret purchasing a TT. It is just time for an upgrade.

drodio
11-26-2012, 04:54 AM
@larry and @betarocker -- you both make great points about the pro's of the ARB full locking approach. I'd really appreciate hearing more about how the TrueTrac performs in snow -- especially around corners. I can imagine what you mean, where it causes instability around corners in the snow. But what if I only put the TrueTrac on the rear differential? And maybe keep the front open?

@larry re: budget -- I want to make the decision that's best for the truck and our use of it vs. saving a few hundred bucks.

Looks like I'll have to keep thinking this one over. Any other feedback is appreciated.

drodio
11-26-2012, 04:56 AM
@betarocker, how do you feel having an ARB in the front? How often do you engage it vs. the rear? Was it worth putting on the front, or would rear have been enough for most situations?

4x4junkie
11-26-2012, 05:53 AM
I have two ARBs in my rig.
Unless I'm on a real technical trail such as Rubicon or Dusy/Ershim, I almost never engage my front locker, and even the rear gets locked pretty rarely (I just spent 9 days out in the Panamint Mountains and not once did I use either locker). I s'pose my rig's supple suspension is helping too though.

I would say the TrueTrac probably would suit your needs fine, however like was said, if you got the budget, a selectable locker is extremely hard to beat.

Betarocker
11-26-2012, 06:00 AM
I don't use the front locker much, but there have been a few times it would have meant using the winch had I not had it.

mkitchen
11-26-2012, 08:10 AM
Before making a decision either way, make sure you really need one. If you are doing 5,6 trails (on a 10 scale) then you may not even need either one. Good driving skills can do a lot towards getting a fellow through some rough stuff. If you do find that you need something extra to get you through, then go with a rear first and again see how you do.
Airing down and skillful choice in choosing a line makes a big difference. My philosophy has always been not to add anything until I have a proven need. Of course I would not have had to fix my door if I had put on sliders before getting into rough stuff. But usually the wait and see method works well. I have followed some folks with open dif's, 31 inch tires and no lift and been very impressed with where they go. Good luck on your choice.
Mikey

1911
11-26-2012, 12:16 PM
I suppose I am biased (I have ARB air lockers in two of my 4WD trucks), but the air lockers are hard to beat if you can afford them. Fully locked when you need them and completely open diffs when you don't, the best of all worlds in my opinion but YMMV. Never driven anything with a TrueTrac on it so I have no opinion there.

DaveInDenver
11-26-2012, 01:38 PM
I went from dual ARBs to a single Aussie Locker in the rear in my truck about a year ago now. I used the front locker 3 days out of the 6 years I had them and even then it was only a few minutes at a time.

Snow and slick roads have not been nearly as much trouble as I expected, but I have a fairly long wheel base and next to no power. I can get the truck to fishtail but I have to try. Honestly they are more annoying on dry pavement with the ratcheting, banging and driveline wind-up.

If I was to start at square one, it would have been with a good limited slip.

redthies
11-26-2012, 01:53 PM
I had f+r ARBs in my '03 Tundra. Loved them. If you can afford it, and want an on-board compressor anyway, it's the way to go. I used the lockers quite a bit, but the compressor saw the most use. I would start with ARB in the rear, and then add front when or if you find the need for it.

sourdough
11-26-2012, 03:05 PM
How about one of those units that are L.S. until you engage to fully locked. Put it in the rear axle. If I was going to put money in my axle that's where it would go. My Tundra has a factory optioned L.S. rear axle. It's all I need for trails that are full size friendly and won't beat up my rig. I had a locked Willys CJ3a that could/did go most anywhere, but that's a whole different type of trail rig. A truck and camper rig isn't going to be lofting wheels and rock crawling, well not for very far anyways.

locrwln
11-26-2012, 03:20 PM
I have had ff/rr ARB's on two rigs that were for rockcrawling, factory ff/rr lockers on two LC80 style landcruisers and the factory rear locker on a Tacoma. My current truck and camper hauler has the factory Gov-loc rear diff and I added an Eaton E-locker in the front diff. My Wrangler has the factory lockers front and rear.

On my truck after getting the front locker installed, I went out and tried it out. It took a few tries to find a spot where the factory gov-loc wouldn't get me through. I actually had to find a rutted out hill climb to find out whether the front locker was doing my any good.

I have found that while out in the backcountry with my truck/camper, I rarely use the front locker, but when I need it, I need it. Even with my camper, the front still weighs more than the rear, so that is a factor. I hit two seperate trails this last week, that I needed the front locker to get to the summit. The first one was steep rutted out, loose rocks and the second had me climbing an uneven rock ledge.

Here is a picture of the ledge, the picture doesn't do it justice, but the locker changed it from a tire spinning episode to a smooth crawling event.
http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/i-VH4WK7L/0/L/Thanksgiving%20trip%202012%20035-L.jpg (http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/26664606_sMLWfR#!i=2230704952&k=VH4WK7L&lb=1&s=A)
And here is truck crawling up and over it.
http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/i-2xVgQQq/0/L/Thanksgiving%20trip%202012%20037-L.jpg (http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/26664606_sMLWfR#!i=2230705125&k=2xVgQQq&lb=1&s=A)

I would recommend at least one full locker or both if you can afford it.

Jack

Metcalf
11-26-2012, 03:35 PM
In my Dodge I run a factory rear Powr-lok.
In my Willys I run a rear powr-lok and a front autolocker ( Spartan lunchbox style locker )

Honestly, I think lockers are not really need as much as people think. Most people give up A LOT of performance by not airing down there tires properly. I always generally recommend that people invest in a winch before aftermarket lockers. If your vehicle comes with them stock that is great, but you WILL get stuck at some point and need recovery gear. A grumpy old man once told me, " all that fancy 'stuff' will just get you stick further from home, what you need is a winch ". This was back in my younger days when it was all about lockers, big tires, multiple transfer cases, etc. We traveled in a pack so getting a strap out of a bad situation was easy. Once you start traveling alone the requirements change.....

There will be trails or situations where even lockers won't get you where you want to go. Do you turn around at that point, or do you use the winch?

78Bronco
11-26-2012, 03:54 PM
If you are going to install a locker I would recommend it be installed in the rear axle which tend to be stronger. The limited slip goes up front where you will need to have some forgiveness to protect the typically weaker front axle with u-joints, stub axles, locking hubs etc. Now if you are running solid axle D60's front and back with a smallish tire you shouldn't have much issue with a locker out front but if you have a D50 which is basically a D44 you will start breaking.

drodio
11-26-2012, 06:38 PM
Wow guys, all of this feedback is super helpful. I hadn't considered prioritizing the winch over the lockers... mainly because I've already been in situations where I wished I had some level of locking diffs, but I haven't yet gotten myself into a situation where I've needed a winch. But that's definitely something to think about.

After all of the back & forth above, I've now started to lean towards an ARB locker on the rear that I can turn on & off, and nothing on the front (maybe a winch for extreme situations)... whereas before I was leaning towards a true-trac. I'd love to hear from more people who have had a TrueTrac specifically, if there are more of you out there.

As always, thanks a ton for all of your feedback & guidance; much appreciated.

bjm206
11-26-2012, 07:57 PM
I have run both the ARB selectable locker (front and rear) and the TruTrac (front and rear).

The selectable locker is the ultimate in traction. Turning will be harder with the rear diff locked and sometimes impossible with the front diff locked. On slippery highly cambered roads the axle will tend to slide down the camber (off the road) with the locker engaged. Typically you will use the selectable to get through a difficult section then unlock until you need it again.

The TrueTrac (torsen) is a distant second place as far as traction goes. You will need the brakes to torque transfer anytime one side of the axle has little or no traction. Under most conditions the TrueTrac will not effect handling when engaged and it does not have nearly the same issues on slippery cambered roads.

As you probably know the speed based limited slips should not be used in the front diff as they will greatly effect steering when engaged.

Which diff works best depends on what problems you are having or which ones you are likely to see. Rocks are the domain of the selectable. Strait sections of mud and sand are best tackled with the selectable but the torsen (TrueTrac) will also usually work ok. Long sections of slippery cambered surfaces seem best suited to the torsen (TrueTrac).

Bergum
11-26-2012, 08:14 PM
Lockers and Arb's are for getting you into problems.
Winch is for getting out again... :-)

B4x4.no

DaJudge
11-26-2012, 08:47 PM
I have been running a True-Trac in my front axle for 6 years. It has performed flawlessly on every surface, including smooth wet granite. The only thing I can say about it is it is picky about the fluid. I change mine once a year (more if I have taken a lot of trips) which is 8,000 to 10,000 miles, and that seems to be enough. I chose it because of price and maintenance ( no air lines to worry about, no compressor, etc.). However, for the rear of a truck I would recommend a selectable locker. I had a Ranger with a Torsen style LS in it and it was down right dangerous in slick conditions. I had to drive with a very light foot.

If you can afford it go with the ARB in the rear. The True-Trac in the front would be fine.

Buliwyf
11-27-2012, 09:51 PM
My F250, while capable, needs to make some tight turns in 2wd. Even in slippery, gooey offroad conditions, I have to shift out of 4wd to make some manuevers whithout the truck hopping and jumping. Even when snow wheeling. 3 point turns are normal for big trucks. I'm constantly shifting the floor shifter in and out of 4x4. I allmost allways try turns in 2wd first.

Often I need more than a LS or open diff during those moments. And a ARB that's locked up would be a pain. An ARB that's open would be useless. Tight turning on a grippy but steep grassy/sandy uphill really shows the advantages of the Detroit. But it takes a while to learn to get the most out of that diff.

So I run a Detroit locker in the rear and a open diff up front.

IME on a truck as big and heavy as the F350, a rear Truetrac is not optimal. Wouldn't be much better than the stock limited slip if it was shimmed correctly (cram as many shims in as possible) and use zero friction modifier. Truetracs are the cats meow in a light wheeling Nissan Titan.

If you drive it carefully it's fine. You have to drive responsible in snow and run AT tires in the winter, but we allready do that anyway right? A Superduty with a Detroit rear and a Truetrac front will go anywhere a Superduty should. If you put anything up front, make sure it's a Trutrac, Limited Slip, or selectable. Don't put a autolocker or spool up front. Some folks have run the Detroit up front, but generally they are the types who only are in 4wd on a muddy farm road traveling in a straight line. Since I'm rarely in 4wd, I'm considering a Detroit also in my front diff, but for now, I need to spend money elsewhere instead. I rarely spin a front tire, so far the truck is a beast with just the locker in the rear.

Lockers aren't just for hardcore wheeling, they have many practical uses. My Detroit gets used every weekend and I miss it when I'm in a truck without it. My F250 has never needed a winch, I don't hardcore wheel with a truck, thats what dirtbikes like the Kawa KLR and Honda CFR450r are for.

Besides, you have that awesome Visteon/Sterling 10.25/10.5" rear axle, it can handle anything a Detroit is going to throw at it with ease. Keep in mind that in a big, long, heavy truck, with insane strong axles, the quirks of a Detroit are hardly noticable and easy to work around. That diff was born for big trucks. It might be a nightmare in a Jeep or Toyota though. I'm also assuming you have a auto transmission. Slushboxes are much smoother, Detoits hate manuals transmissions combined with daily driving.

Truetracs are great in the front of a Superduty because it's rare for a Superduty to lift a front tire. Trutracs are useless with one wheel in the air. My F250 lifts the rear tires more often, and Truetracs, even with the E brake on don't really work well enough in the big heavy trucks.

drodio
11-27-2012, 10:09 PM
@Buliwyf, so just to get terminology straight:

You're saying you run a Detroit locker in the rear. How would that be different from an ARB locker in the rear? Same thing (basically) isn't it? They both fully lock the axle? Is there a meaningful difference between Detroit lockers & ARB lockers from a functionality perspective?

And when you write "A Superduty with a Detroit rear and a Truetrac front" I assume you mean a Detroit locker in the rear, and a Detroit TrueTrac in the front, right?

Buliwyf
11-27-2012, 10:29 PM
Yeah Detroit locker rear. Detroit Truetrac front. A Superduty like that would be nearly unstoppable for anywhere a superduty has any practical right going.

The ARB is open, or locked solid. Controleed by a switch on the dash.

The Detroit is allways locked while driving straight. But when you enter a turn the faster spinning outside wheel can automaticly ratchet free. When you apply alot of throttle that ratcheting may not occur, friction holds the dif locked, and stomping on the gas while turning will spin the inside tire, lock the diff, then spin both tires and send you spinning out of control. Some prudence and self control is required in snow and ice.

Nascar runs Detroit lockers. So do a few of us with Mustangs. Allthough I still prefer a extremely tightly shimmed stock LSD diff in my '04 Mach1.

So sometimes the Detroit is much easier to turn off road than a locked or unlocked ARB. And the Detroit can be handly to reduce wheelspin hauling loads in 2wd up gravel roads or sandy dry pavement where you wouldn't normally engage the ARB or 4wd.

Basicly the detroit is very much like two Craftsman ratchets taped side by side together by the handles. The sockets are your tires, the handles are you power input form the driveshaft. If one of the sockets starts spinning faster than you turn the handles, then that side starts to ratchet free. Eaton has a nice Youtube vid on how the Detroit works.

Every once in a while it'll also windup and unlock bang in a parking lot. Sounds like your axle expoded. Usually it just clicks though.

drodio
11-27-2012, 10:52 PM
OK I think I understand -- so the Detroit locker has no air compressor involved. It's a passive system that's based on relative wheel spin ratios and amount of throttle applied?

Man, the idea of it unlocking in a parking lot freaks me out.

At first blush, I'm inclined to stick w/ the options of either ARB fully locked or TrueTrac helical gear, but I'll look into the Detroit locker, and I appreciate the additional option to explore.

Buliwyf
11-27-2012, 11:02 PM
ARB rear, and Trutrac front is also a very, very good setup. This would be the setup I'd get if I didn't have such specific needs to haul trailers offroad and back them up into tight offroad spots.

Yeah the Detroit Locker has no airlines or electronics. It's locked 24/7 and unlocks one wheel for turns if you are gentle on the gas. It requires gentle throttle in snow/rain and makes some noise. It's a hairy chested diff with some attitude. Not for everyone.

It's just another diff you should add to you homework list. You got some reading to do.

Avoid:
-The cheap auto lockers. Aussie, and Lockright don't unlock easy enough in fullsize trucks and are messy to drive.
-Crappy E lockers. Pretty sure nobody makes a decent E locker for either of your axles. Especially your front Dana 60. That E Locker was a complete flop.
-combining snow, ice, Detroit locker, mud tires. Use AT's in the winter.

I'd really like to try an Ox Locker up front. But that's serious $$$$.

General Automag
11-29-2012, 01:14 AM
Unless you're rock crawling, I can't see the need for locking differentials. The ARBs are nice, but they are more than double the cost of a good locker or limited slip differential. Everyone that I know of that has ARB air lockers installed has had leaks in them, later if not sooner.

For what it's worth, we have Auburn limited slip differentials in the front and rear of our Land Cruiser, and our full size truck was ordered with a factory limited slip differential in the rear. So on the truck, we really have a 3-wheel drive considering the stock 4WD IFS setup in the front. Are you hooked on your brand because there are a lot of options out there? We considered locking differentials, but we occasionally have ice and snow, and I don't like the way most lockers behave in turns and when on slippery surfaces. We couldn't be more happier with the LSDs.

If you do happen to get stuck, then use your winch. Actually, we bought winches for the vehicles before anything else which still makes a lot of sense.

Buliwyf
11-29-2012, 01:44 AM
LSD's might be ok for a Landcruiser, but they aren't going to do jack in the rear of a fullsize Ford. Even shimmed to the max if a wheel is airborne you're done. And my big truck spends too much time in 2wd turning. Without a rear Detroit locker I'm in bad shape at each of my favorite offroad hiding (parking) spots where I unload my dirtbike.

Situations where I have enough grip to wind my drivetrain up while turning offroad are still slick enough to spin my rear tires. Spinning a rear tire while climbing gravel, or sharp rocks lock in ice, is a quick way to tear my tires open 10 miles offroad.

Lockers aren't just for rock crawling. Were they even invented for offroading toys anyway? Heavy Dump trucks and Semis have Detroit Lockers for a reason, and it ain't for play time.

And the OP deosn't have many quality choices for that truck.

Rear Sterling/Visteon 10.25/10.5" axle only has these choices:
-Detroit Locker
-ARB Locker
-Detroit Truetrac (lame in the rear of a Superduty)
-Yukon Locker
-Factory LSD shimmed prybar tight (as lame as the Truetrac)
-open

Everything else for that axle is crap.

Front Dana 60:
-Open (my recommendation, especially if you have snow and a Detroit locker in the rear)
-Detroit Truetrac (also good up front)
-Ox Locker (oh heck yeah!)
-ARB Locker

Front Dana 50:
-Open
-ARB

4x4junkie
11-29-2012, 02:01 AM
Everyone that I know of that has ARB air lockers installed has had leaks in them, later if not sooner.


4 ARBs in two vehicles going back to 1997. Leaks are something I've never once had an issue with (seems like that should be enough time if a problem was to develop). A friend has had his since 2003, again no leak problems.
Seems whoever is installing them for your friends or whoever is not being careful with things like the seal housings or attaching the bulkhead fittings to be having a 100% failure rate like you mention.

Mr. Leary
11-29-2012, 02:29 AM
I have had a truck that was locked on both ends, and one that is locked in the rear with a detroit tru trac in the front. I have been much happier with the later. Here is why. Front locked can be kinda scary... you are usually going up something gnarly if you need to lock it, you usually have to make turns, and sometimes you need to re-adjust your line in reverse. Turns and in reverse are not nice on your equipment with the front fully locked, and with a truck as long as an F250, you will need to make turns, no question about it. Good news is that your wheelbase will aid you in climbs. The tru trac is not a full locker, but it will give you a boost in traction, and you can get good at "helping" it to act more like a full locker with some practice.

I doubt that you will find yourself in many situations where turning is less important than optimal traction. There is no problem putting a tru trac in a front diff, people do it every day. selectable locker in the rear, and your mods are still completely transparent in 2wd.

mogwildRW1
11-29-2012, 02:47 AM
Another video for your collection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAlro4aKPWM

leelikesbikes
11-29-2012, 04:06 AM
i have run full detroits, ox lockers, arb's, and now a trutrac front selectable rear. my last rig had arb's front and rear and i really got sick of chasing air leaks and dealing with compressor problems, i do alot of snow wheeling and the arb's always seemed to be more problematic in cold temps, and when your in deep snow and both of you lockers go out it sucks. my rig i have now has had the lockers and gears in it for a couple months now and i just got back from a trip to montana on some reallt slick roads, overall i am very impressed with the tru-trac front, it is seamless and you dont even know its there until you need it. in the rear im running the aam factory powerwagon locker that is a gear driven limited slip/full locker, electronically actuated. the limited slips are fine on the icy roads.

Metcalf
11-29-2012, 04:14 AM
Basics first......air down the tires to the proper pressure for the terrain, have a way to air them back up, and have a strong selection of recovery gear. I would highly recommend investing in a winch before the expense of lockers particularly if you are going to be traveling alone.

You can drive around most locker quirks. Most selectable lockers fail to the open mode so you can generally always get home ( note the above statement ).

mogwildRW1
11-29-2012, 03:43 PM
Unless you're rock crawling, I can't see the need for locking differentials.

There's an area I hunt in, the access is though a fence, then an immediate left hook, and straight up a hill. The hill is loose dirt on top of hard pack, and there's nothing to put a winch on. Lockers are the only way to make it up, as soon as your done the left turn your already at 70% or better grade, hit the locker switch, and crawl up. Tire spin (which Unimogs don't do well anyway) only makes you slide sideways or backwards, towards the fence, and you can't get a run at it.

I use my lockers all the time offroad, I see them as a tool to keep from getting stuck, not a "I'm already stuck, time to winch or turn the lockers on" :)

that being said, I already have a recovery winch, and its a vital tool just as much as lockers are.

locrwln
11-29-2012, 04:31 PM
^^Gotta agree^^

Winches are great if you have something to hook to.

Here I was at just under 10k feet last weekend and it took the front locker to get there. "Moguled" loose shale hill climb.
http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/i-qDM7Jts/0/L/Thanksgiving%20trip%202012%20014-L.jpg (http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/26664606_sMLWfR#!i=2230703001&k=qDM7Jts&lb=1&s=A)
http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/i-7sB7QMq/0/L/Thanksgiving%20trip%202012%20015-L.jpg (http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/26664606_sMLWfR#!i=2230702952&k=7sB7QMq&lb=1&s=A)

And I do carry a pull-pal.

Jack

Metcalf
11-29-2012, 07:44 PM
Air pressure?

mogwildRW1
11-29-2012, 07:51 PM
I've been down to 8psi, usually wheel at 1.4bar (20psi) and still times I click the lockers on, again, to keep from getting stuck and minimize the destruction to the ground, I know it sounds funny, most people thing locking the diff's rips up the ground, but quite the opposite, it keeps the tires from spinning.

This is 20psi. I already had the air pressure low because I was pulling a huge stump (1500lbs or more) into the back yard to the burn pile, so I had the tires nice and low to maximize traction and floatation (hard to tell because they are caked in mud). The stump tipped over (it was roots and all) and turned into a ground anchor, sinking the mog, I was floating nicely on top of the mud and grass up to that point. If I hadn't clicked the lockers on, wouldn't have mattered if the tires were flat.

Having lockers kept me from having to get out, and chain up, chaining up in the mud, when your already sunk, sucks @$$.

Sometimes, you just need all 4 tires spinning at the same time. (this is my own back yard, so no worries about ripping up the landscape ;) )


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCqECl2lkUs

Another advantage to all 4 wheels locking, is, in a straight line (no turning, at all) all 4 wheels will turn at the same rate (assuming the vehicle is a real 4wd, some kind of center locker or in the Unimogs case, no centre differential), so if one wheel or more contacts a soft spot, say, loose gravel during a climb, that wheel won't spin, because all 4 wheels are locked, turning at the same rate, if that wheel doesn't spin, it won't break though or slide. They call that "forced slip"

Edit:

They explain it better than I can here:

http://youtu.be/fZRews1U1K4?t=8m25s

Metcalf
11-29-2012, 08:02 PM
I'm not against locker at all. I am just saying that they are not the 1st thing you need to buy.
In the end I think most people would agree that having selectable lockers front and rear is the ultimate goal.
I just think that if money is an issue spending 'locker' money elsewhere is probably a smarter bet......OBA, recovery gear, winch, etc.

mogwildRW1
11-29-2012, 08:06 PM
I certainly agree, to a point. I put lockers up higher on the list, but that's entirely depended on the type of terrain I wheel in (so, I guess, IMHO). Lots of open prairies up here and quite often, nothing to anchor your winch to. Pul-pal's are great but I'd need two for my vehicles weight, and yeah, I could bury the spare tire, but you and I know what a mog tire and rim weigh's, and just rolling it around is hard, let along burying it ;) And for slippery hills, I'd have to climb the hill first, attach the winch, and pull myself up, or, just hit the lockers, and crawl up.

The OP's post wasn't "winch or locker" it was "limited slip or locker", from how I read it. So my money is on true, full locker (ARB) since having onboard air is good for airing the tires up and down anyway, as well as running air tools, blowing off dust, blowing off light snow, etc.

No doubt proper sized winch, and adequately sized recovery gear is also on the list.

IMHO, selectable lockers will help you keep from getting stuck in the first place, so you'll have to winch less. And, if you do get stuck, quite often, the winch is on the front of most installations, when, you should actually be pulling yourself out the way you went in. So, budget for 2 winch's. Or, just lock both diff's, and probably back out :)

Metcalf
11-29-2012, 08:20 PM
True.....so trying to back on topic here, or give it another twist...

Say you have $1000 budget for lockers....

You can just about get....

One selectable. Which end do you run it in?
Two full case automatic lockers.
Three lunchbox lockers
Two or three limited slips

Putting a dollar figure on it gives is a better scope I think? Not everyone has the money for selectable lockers front and rear. Perhaps we should discuss other options and combinations?

On a long wheelbase rig, why not a spool or welded rear diff?

Personally, I have been VERY surprised with the FRONT autolocker, REAR limited slip combo in my Willys. I did it to test a few theories and seems to be panning out really well so far. Just another out of the box idea....

mogwildRW1
11-29-2012, 08:43 PM
The problem (IMHO) with limited slip, is in all the systems I've seen, it works on the torque multiplication method, when one wheel slips, it multiplies the torque to the other side by binding in the diff (worm gears, or the newer grooves and gears system, etc). Usually a pre set amount of multiplication can be setup, such as 3to1, 5to1, however the worm-gears or device is setup. Awesome. But if one side has zero traction, zero times anything is....zero. No power will be sent to the other side. As the OP mentions, this can be overcome by applying brake pressure, but doing that in all situations isn't always the easy, or the best idea. You can't just brake the front axle, so you'll be binding up the whole drive-train and if your back axle for instance has full traction, your killing the power to it, while trying to get the front to stop slipping, or vise versa. So in short, if one wheel has zero traction, you have an open diff.

Limited slip is wicked when there's at least some grip available, so the torque multiplication can work. On dirt roads etc you'll likely always have some grip at one tire for it to work, on sheer ice, rocks where your tire will lift, (or in an Audi rally car, hard corning causing tire lift...not a problem in the mog :) ) ditch crossing where one tire might lift, or snow where you get high centred or spin and melt into ice, not so much. Tire lifts, or is on ice, or very slippery aggregate, you have zero power to the other side.

Modern vehicles get away with this using computerized traction control systems that are capable of braking just one axle, or, even, one wheel on some systems, using the ABS system. You can't do that on a retrofitted system. On the back axle you can use the handbrake (in the case of a RWD car) but on a 4wd, if the center isn't open, your again, binding the whole drive-train, and cutting power to the front.

I wheel a lot in snow up here, open diff's and limited slip don't cut it 20"+ of snow, locker, or nothing, pressing the brakes to transfer power to the wheel with grip when pushing drifts is not an option and that's also hard on the drivetrain. I'd rather have an open front diff and a rear full locking, so when I get to the top of the hill, I can still steer (open front) and have the rear locked to finish the hill climb. Or better yet, open diff's or limited slip for ice (highway driving, as in daily driving), full locking for icy hills, backroads, and the deep stuff (fully locking both diff's on sheer ice is....not fun).

Again, just my type of wheeling.

Metcalf
11-29-2012, 09:30 PM
One thing I really wanted to test with my front autolocker/rear limited slip idea is the bind between the front and rear axle....

The short version. Almost all of the bind went away ( vs autolocker/autolocker or spool/spool )

A front autolocker seems to unlock and lock MUCH faster and with MUCH less bind than with a selectable locker. One common trait I see with selectable lockers is that once locked, and basically a spool, if they have any bind on them at all they don't like to unlock. Some are better or worse than others, but it seems to be a common trait. A lot of time you see a little steering wheel sawing to try and get the bind out of the locker.

The other thing I noticed. The rear end 'pushes' less. When running a spool, auto-locker, or locked selectable the chassis always seems to be binding on itself with nowhere for the any tension in the system to be released. To me, it seems like the best place for the bind to go is out the inside rear tire. This seems to cause the minimal upset to the chassis.

The other thing I really like is that the rear end doesn't want to kick downhill as much and the front end goes in the direction it is pointed, even when turning and trying to go uphill.

In my situation with a short wheelbase on the Willys I rather have the front end do more work than the rear axle. This helps keep the chassis more stable when climbing. And it climbs pretty good. Escalator in Moab, 85" wheelbase, autolocker front, limited slip rear.


http://youtu.be/3DQ-cGbZpH4

I kinda wish someone made a selectable 'automatic' style locking diff.

There are some limited slips that can lock up 100% without the torque multiplication issues of the old tru-trac design.

http://www.wavetrac.net/

Not cheap however....ouch.

mogwildRW1
11-29-2012, 09:45 PM
Hmm, interesting. I like the idea, makes sense because the rear axle wouldn't be "pushing" and keeping tension on the front axle, not allowing it to unlock and thus, not causing it to bind. Rather, the front axle would be pulling. Innovative (nice willys too!)

I've seen that wavtrac, for the money, I'd go with full lockers. I also think you can get a Torsen with an E-locker? Not sure, haven't looked in a long time since I got the mog I haven't needed any other 4wd. There's so many variation and different systems its hard to keep track, and lots of re-branding going on.

Metcalf
11-29-2012, 09:54 PM
Hmm, interesting. I like the idea, makes sense because the rear axle wouldn't be "pushing" and keeping tension on the front axle, not allowing it to unlock and thus, not causing it to bind. Rather, the front axle would be pulling. Innovative (nice willys too!)

I've seen that wavtrac, for the money, I'd go with full lockers. I also think you can get a Torsen with an E-locker? Not sure, haven't looked in a long time since I got the mog I haven't needed any other 4wd. There's so many variation and different systems its hard to keep track, and lots of re-branding going on.

Thanks :)

Yeah, wavetrac is WAY expensive. Neat technology though. You can get a limited slip with an over-riding locker in a few applications. The most common is the rear end of just about any new powerwagon, JK rubicon, or TJ rubicon. That is basically what I am trying to find to swap in the rear of my Willys when I regear again....

78Bronco
11-30-2012, 12:07 AM
Typically your front end is geared slighty off the rear ratio so the front axle is pulling the vehicle...for instance my bronco has 4.09:1 Up front and the rear is 4.10:1. Thus the front tires turn faster than the rears based on the same input rpm. Binding in the driveline is common.

Personally I would not throw your money away on a limited slip as they require both tires to have some traction to work properly. Look at the rear ARB and add a winch for go anywhere capability. Your rear axle is stronger and when you are carrying a load off road you will want to take advantage of the weight bias giving you much more traction out back. Locked front makes turning a biotch.

locrwln
11-30-2012, 02:19 PM
Air pressure?

30psi. Truck weighs 9200lbs loaded. I could probably go a little lower, but based on over 20 years of wheeling everything from Jeep, Toyota, Mazda, Chevy, Ford, motorcycles, Scouts, 2.5t, and humvees, over most every kind of terrain, I feel confident, that I needed the front locker to make it an easy no spin climb out of what would have been a tire spinning endeavor as evidenced by the mogul effect that the other (non-locked I assume) vehicles have turned the road into. The last part up to the summit was very steep and loose. Could you have made it sans locker? Sure, but it was much more relaxing with it.

Again, my current set up is the factory g80 "gov-loc" rear and Eaton E-locker front. Works very well for me and I have used the locker much, much more than the winch. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, "If you have the means, I highly recommend it."

Jack

Metcalf
11-30-2012, 03:06 PM
Typically your front end is geared slighty off the rear ratio so the front axle is pulling the vehicle...for instance my bronco has 4.09:1 Up front and the rear is 4.10:1. Thus the front tires turn faster than the rears based on the same input rpm. Binding in the driveline is common.

Personally I would not throw your money away on a limited slip as they require both tires to have some traction to work properly. Look at the rear ARB and add a winch for go anywhere capability. Your rear axle is stronger and when you are carrying a load off road you will want to take advantage of the weight bias giving you much more traction out back. Locked front makes turning a biotch.

I don't think what I am experimenting with is binding from different gear ratios. What I was referring to is the bind created by all the tires going along a different radius when turning. There is not only bind with the front and rear axles doing different distances, but also bind between the left and right tires.

My willys is locked in the front, limited slip rear....it turns WAY better than a locked/locked vehicle. The rear end doesn't 'push' or torque the chassis over. The front just does it thing.

If you have a bunch of weight bias to the rear do you really need the locker? Most vehicles are not going to lift a REAR tire while trying to climb, they are going to try and lift a front tire.

rube bonet
11-30-2012, 04:33 PM
I don't think what I am experimenting with is binding from different gear ratios. What I was referring to is the bind created by all the tires going along a different radius when turning. There is not only bind with the front and rear axles doing different distances, but also bind between the left and right tires.

My willys is locked in the front, limited slip rear....it turns WAY better than a locked/locked vehicle. The rear end doesn't 'push' or torque the chassis over. The front just does it thing.

If you have a bunch of weight bias to the rear do you really need the locker? Most vehicles are not going to lift a REAR tire while trying to climb, they are going to try and lift a front tire.

The bronco gear rations are different because it is as close as the dana front and ford rear can be due to the different design of the gears. Most vehicles are the same ratio front and rear.

Metcalf, I agree with what you are saying. I have built quite a few crawlers, I always run ARBs front and rear. I used to crawl and rockrace professionally, I would typically crawl (and the rockcrawling portions of rockraces) with the fronts locked and the rears open, it allows the vehicle a much better turning radius, especially with cutting brakes, and keeps the rear end "on line". A LOT of the guys actually run a spool up front, and an arb in back for more reliabilty. I aways preferred ARBs front and rear, I like the rear locked and the front open for the high speed sections.

In daily driver/ expedition type applications, I have run quite a few different set ups, and I still prefer ARBs. Detroits are scary on icy mountain roads, not to mention sidehills. LSDs, if they are effective, will be almost as scary.

I like the idea of the lsd and locker combo a lot, I just don't know of any that hold up in heavy or abusive applications.


.

Buliwyf
11-30-2012, 05:03 PM
True.....so trying to back on topic here, or give it another twist...

Say you have $1000 budget for lockers....

You can just about get....

One selectable. Which end do you run it in? Rear.Two full case automatic lockers. Kinda hardcore? The Front autolocker will make snowy street use tough.
Three lunchbox lockers Crap.
Two or three limited slips Ok for light wheeling and smaller SUV's

Putting a dollar figure on it gives is a better scope I think? Not everyone has the money for selectable lockers front and rear. Perhaps we should discuss other options and combinations?

On a long wheelbase rig, why not a spool or welded rear diff?
Because a F350 will snap those welds or a rear axle like a twig the first time you turn on dry pavement. 8000 pound truck with perfect grip from all that weight. The tires aren't going to let go too easy.

Personally, I have been VERY surprised with the FRONT autolocker, REAR limited slip combo in my Willys. I did it to test a few theories and seems to be panning out really well so far. Just another out of the box idea....

Fullsize trucks, especially 250/350 and up, have stiff rear springs for towing. The front has more flex than the rear. And more weight over it. With open/open diffs one of the rear wheels will spin way before the fronts usually. Or at least the little bit of spinning from the rear is harder to overcome when climbing.

And my Superduty generally will lift a rear wheel before a front. I can't recall the last time I had any real loss of grip up front. The rear axle is the one to lock 1st on fullsize trucks. No doubt about it. Maybe it's different for smaller SUV's, but it's pretty conclusive with fullsize's.

I'm considering a Detroit locker up front as well as my rear one, but for now, it's a waste of money. My truck is allready far more capable than my needs.

HillbillyfromAL
11-30-2012, 05:10 PM
I'd give the vote to the TruTrac up front and Full Detroit in the rear. I had that in my 04 F250SD and it was great. Selectable lockers IMHO are the perfect choice for anything with traction control, like my Discovery. For anything else I've pretty much used the other configuration. My two exceptions were a 04 Jeep Rubicon, and 83 Yota which had hydraulic steering and both ends with a full Detroit. The selectable will act as a full spool locked which causes the drifting and wanting to push straight forward on slick surfaces. While the Detroit can do that as well, it's not nearly as pronounced unless its in the front. Under throttle on loose surfaces it allows it to break traction much quicker than a LSD. So if there's snow or ice you need to use a light foot.

1stDeuce
11-30-2012, 05:32 PM
I just found my club, so I'll take a swing at what's left of this horse too! :)

First, we're not talking about a flexible Jeep, or a rock crawler, we're talking about a stiff truck on bad roads. Second, IMO, and by the sounds of the OP's description, survivability ranks above ultimate mobility.

I'll consider my GMC 2500, which is similar. With a camper on the back, the truck is fairly well balanced, so the major limitation to mobility is when the truck gets crossed up, which happens a lot on tougher trails. Having just a rear locker worked well on my two previous (3/4 ton diesel) trucks to combat this. I have not yet taken the current truck up trails rough enough to need any locker at all here in CO. (Good thing, cause it doesn't work...) I briefly considered running a TT or E-locker in the front, but honestly, I don't want the temptation of taking this truck where is probably shouldn't go, and I don't want to front to do that much work.

I think a TT would be fine for front axle use, but I personally feel that there is too much possibility to engage a front locker in a "last resort" situation, and grenade the front end. Limiting the front to a TT, with a locker in the rear forces you to use the stronger rear axle and locker to get through tough situations, while allowing the front to do far more than it might do with an open diff if you ride the brakes a little.

Of course I'm waiting to see how Jack does with the E-locker in the front of his 2500... it sounds like he's used it, but not a lot. I find the same to be true of the rear locker in my jeep... I rarely engage it, as I find it easier to just pick a better line that doesn't cross up so badly, or add a little brake pressure and get through something (TT front, Rubi rear locker, which is a TT when it's unlocked.)

I think for the price, I would consider the lowest cost locker you can find for the rear (Selectable or auto, on a long truck it's less critical) and a TT in the front. Contrary to what I've read, a TT does NOT need wheel slip to bias, so that concern is out. (That's a gov lock's thing...) A TT DOES bias better with more torque flowing through it, which is why the brake trick works so well, and it will work without any wheel slip at all.)
$.02
C

General Automag
11-30-2012, 06:14 PM
Another video for your collection
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAlro4aKPWM

'Interesting video. I like the old 70-72? F-100! We have Auburn LSDs in our Toyota FJ40 and a stock LSD in the rear of our full-size Chevrolet, and they don't behave like the trucks in the video. When one wheel slips, the other wheel kicks in, or rather, starts turning.

With our Land Cruiser and Chevrolet, when you floor it, both vehicle will spin both wheels on grass and on pavement. Some LSDs must behave differently than others. I've been on uphill grades with slick and wet loose rocks haven't had any issues with traction. Again, we have been very satisfied with LSDs in our vehicles, and since we have winches installed and try to drive smart, we really don't worry about getting stuck.

crawler#976
11-30-2012, 06:25 PM
I'm fortunate to have both a helical limited slip and electric locker in the rear axle of the Power Wagon. I rarely need the rear locker, but when I do, it's because the limited slip is no longer providing enough traction. We tow a StarCraft 10RT (loaded with gear and water, it's about 4000 lbs) into some pretty difficult places. If I had to have one or the other, there is no doubt about it - I'll take the selectable locker. The limited slip really does a fine job most of the time, but when it doesn't, you'd better have a winch (or a Power Wagon handy).

drodio
11-30-2012, 06:36 PM
@crawler#976, that's super helpful. Is there ever a time you *don't* like having the helical limited slip? (BTW is it a Detroit TrueTrac or other brand)? I'm especially curious about snow or other slick road surfaces or tight turns in parking lots where others have said the limited slip sometimes becomes a liability.

Metcalf
11-30-2012, 06:41 PM
@crawler#976, that's super helpful. Is there ever a time you *don't* like having the helical limited slip? (BTW is it a Detroit TrueTrac or other brand)? I'm especially curious about snow or other slick road surfaces or tight turns in parking lots where others have said the limited slip sometimes becomes a liability.

The rear locker on a Powerwagon is built by AAM. It is basically like a True-Trac with a locking function built onto one side....

I've been running a rear powr-lok ( good clutch style limited slip ) in the rear of my dodge truck for years. I have run it all over the place good roads and bad. It makes enough of a difference that I generally do not have to run 4wd that much. If the truck is going above 35mph I don't need 4wd. I would much rather deal with the odd time that both rear tires want to spin rather than not have it.

drodio
11-30-2012, 06:42 PM
@1stduece,

Thx for the perspective.

It sounds like this might be an optimal way to go about it:

1 (now) Get an ARB rear locker as the first thing (I prioritize this as #1 because there are already situations where I've wished I had more traction)
2) Depending on results (i.e., am I ever stuck & can't free the truck?) then get a winch
3) Depending on results (i.e., do I have to use the winch in situations where I don't think I should have to?), get a TrueTrack for front axle

Maybe I go about steps 1, 2 & 3 over a 1 to 2 year period as I find myself in situations calling for the next step.

PGT
11-30-2012, 06:43 PM
Not that its a direct comparison, but I've driven a few Subaru's in the snow/ice with both open diffs and LSD's (and a selectable one that can be locked 50/50..i.e. DCCD). The LSD will lock up when one tire is on an icy patch and another is not. This makes for some difficult driving....the car pulls hard to one side and you'd better be ready for it.

Metcalf
11-30-2012, 06:53 PM
Metcalf, I agree with what you are saying. I have built quite a few crawlers, I always run ARBs front and rear. I used to crawl and rockrace professionally, I would typically crawl (and the rockcrawling portions of rockraces) with the fronts locked and the rears open, it allows the vehicle a much better turning radius, especially with cutting brakes, and keeps the rear end "on line". A LOT of the guys actually run a spool up front, and an arb in back for more reliabilty. I aways preferred ARBs front and rear, I like the rear locked and the front open for the high speed sections.

This is where I also picked up that idea. I lot of crawlers started running the rear open more often. I noticed a fair number of people going to a front detroit/rear ARB combo. A lot of the people that where class limited to one locker also ran it in the front....usually with cutting brakes in the rear as a workaround.

For high speed sections I usually just kick the front out. If I am going faster than 1st or 2nd low range I don't generally need 4wd. Heck, as an experiment I ran a LOT of stuff in high range granny gear in the Willys this last trip. That worked REALLY well. That is about 30:1 and allowed me to do most everything other than major obstacles. Running this way I could run 1-2-3 in high range and toggle 4wd in and out as needed. It worked fantastic....

In daily driver/ expedition type applications, I have run quite a few different set ups, and I still prefer ARBs. Detroits are scary on icy mountain roads, not to mention sidehills. LSDs, if they are effective, will be almost as scary.

Agree, daily driver can be different. Honestly, I don't think many daily drivers need any kind of locker. If they want to spend the money fine, but how often do they REALLY use them?

I like the idea of the lsd and locker combo a lot, I just don't know of any that hold up in heavy or abusive applications.

Not that it would have THAT many applications, but the rear axle of a powerwagon unit is pretty dang beefy. 10.5 ring gear, 35 spline shafts.

The rear of a JK rubicon is another option. Its basically the improved d44 design. They hold up pretty well. They are an odd 32 spline unit however. I have been trying to find a TJ rubicon air actuated unit for my Willys to retrofit. They are still 30 spline.....but require low air pressure ( like 6psi ). They are not the strongest, but in my sub 3000lb willys it should be fine.

What I would really like to see is a differential that could be selectable between open and an automatic detroit style action. That could be amazing....

Metcalf
11-30-2012, 07:11 PM
The Front autolocker will make snowy street use tough.

It could, but what if you don't have to drive on snow/ice? I rarely use 4wd in my Dodge in snowy/icy roads above 2nd/3rd gear. I'm tempted to try a front locker just to see how bad it would really be....

Three lunchbox lockers Crap.

That is a pretty tough blanket statement. I ran a Spartan lunchbox locker all over some pretty hard trails in moab for over a week in a FRONT locker applicaion, in a dana 30, with heavy 35" tires without any issue? For the money a GREAT upgrade. As the axles get larger so does everything else.

Two or three limited slips Ok for light wheeling and smaller SUV's

For 'expedition' type use are vehicles really doing anything more than 'light wheeling'? From my perspective it seems that most of the terrain people are going over would rarely require anything more than proper air pressure and smart driving? It's not like people are taking there campers laden trucks up Pritchett Canyon. My dodge is open front/limited slip rear and I haven't run into many limitations with it yet....

I don't mean to get off on a rant, but I think a lot of people jump into adding a LOT of unnecessary upgrades to there vehicle before they have ever even had any issues?

On a long wheelbase rig, why not a spool or welded rear diff?
Because a F350 will snap those welds or a rear axle like a twig the first time you turn on dry pavement. 8000 pound truck with perfect grip from all that weight. The tires aren't going to let go too easy.

My first choice, no. A choice yes.

Fullsize trucks, especially 250/350 and up, have stiff rear springs for towing. The front has more flex than the rear. And more weight over it. With open/open diffs one of the rear wheels will spin way before the fronts usually. Or at least the little bit of spinning from the rear is harder to overcome when climbing.

I have a limited slip in the back of the Dodge. I have never noticed an issue spinning only one rear tire. Maybe a limited slip in the rear is enough for most situations?

And my Superduty generally will lift a rear wheel before a front. I can't recall the last time I had any real loss of grip up front. The rear axle is the one to lock 1st on fullsize trucks. No doubt about it. Maybe it's different for smaller SUV's, but it's pretty conclusive with fullsize's.

Maybe its because of the limited slip but I have never really need more traction from the rear axle? ( on my dodge )

I'm considering a Detroit locker up front as well as my rear one, but for now, it's a waste of money. My truck is allready far more capable than my needs.

I very much agree with this. My feeling is that most vehicles are WAY more capable than most people give them credit for. I think a lot of mods fix problems that don't really exist.

Metcalf
11-30-2012, 07:14 PM
@1stduece,

Thx for the perspective.

It sounds like this might be an optimal way to go about it:

1 (now) Get an ARB rear locker as the first thing (I prioritize this as #1 because there are already situations where I've wished I had more traction)
2) Depending on results (i.e., am I ever stuck & can't free the truck?) then get a winch
3) Depending on results (i.e., do I have to use the winch in situations where I don't think I should have to?), get a TrueTrack for front axle

Maybe I go about steps 1, 2 & 3 over a 1 to 2 year period as I find myself in situations calling for the next step.

I would probably flip number 1 and 2 around. You WILL get stuck sometime in an inconvenient isolated location alone without help some day :) Adding a locker, unless you have PERFECT judgement will just get you stuck further from home and help.....

Moving a winch from one vehicle to another is WAY cheaper and easier than a locker in the long run also....

crawler#976
11-30-2012, 07:24 PM
The helical limited slip is "transparent" to me - it probably isn't as tight as some LDS can be.

Over the years I've had Detroit Lockers, Spools, LDS, and selectable lockers. Believe it or not, my list as far as preference would be:

1. Selectable

2. Spool

3. LDS

4. Detroit (or other automatic locker)

Here's the reasoning - the first two are 100% predictable in all conditions. The selectable is either locked or not, the spool is locked, period. So, if you know what they do all the time, you can adjust to that. I put 55K on a dual spooled Toyota P/U - used it as a hard core trail rig and my daily driver. Yeah, it ate tires at an alarming rate, but I knew that going in. Yeah it barked like a big dog on pavement, but it really wasn't all that bad to drive. Obviously, a selectable is open until you need it. ARB is king - almost instantaneous actuation, so in rough stuff, you can cycle an ARB off to turn, back on to pull. Makes U-Joints much happier. On the Power Wagon, actuation is slow, and requires some fore thought - they better be locked before you need them.

An an LDS, while better than no locker, isn't a true locker. They are a lot easier to drive on pavement since they are open until a wheel spins.

I had Detroits in the ol' beater, and hated them with a passion. A Detroit and a 5 speed is completely unpredictable - I never knew when it would exhibit locker wiggle when shifting or turning. Since the Detroit is locked until there is enough bias to overcome the mechanism, it does some strange things when it does. On a 5 speed, if the truck was under load, like going up hill on the highway, the locker stayed locked. Sometimes when coasting or just rolling down the road, I'd upshift and the backend would go sideways when the locker released. Sucked. So, I went to dual spools. I broke the front Detroit on Outer Limits, so replacing it with another wasn't even considered as an option. When I splashed the rear gear set, I pulled the Detroit, sold it, and put in the other spool.

Metcalf
11-30-2012, 07:41 PM
ARB is king - almost instantaneous actuation, so in rough stuff, you can cycle an ARB off to turn, back on to pull. Makes U-Joints much happier. On the Power Wagon, actuation is slow, and requires some fore thought - they better be locked before you need them.

What about unlocking when the locker is bound up? It seems to me that unlocking usually takes some differential in wheel rotation. You might turn off the air, but then you turn and everything is all bound up and the locker won't release. I have noticed this on everything from ARBs to factory electric lockers. Kinda sucks.

I had Detroits in the ol' beater, and hated them with a passion. A Detroit and a 5 speed is completely unpredictable - I never knew when it would exhibit locker wiggle when shifting or turning. Since the Detroit is locked until there is enough bias to overcome the mechanism, it does some strange things when it does. On a 5 speed, if the truck was under load, like going up hill on the highway, the locker stayed locked. Sometimes when coasting or just rolling down the road, I'd upshift and the backend would go sideways when the locker released. Sucked. So, I went to dual spools (for a couple reasons - I broke the front Detroit on Outer Limits, and I hated it on the street, so replacing it with another wasn't even considered as an option. When I splashed the rear gear set, I pulled the Detroit, sold it, and put in the other spool)

You broke a detriot straight out? What application? I have seen a few Detroit lockers destroy themselves but it is usually from a violent axle break causing the dog teeth to sheer off from the wind up in the axle. I don't think I have ever seen a detroit fail before an axle.....

I do agree that a detroit locker in the rear axle can be a total pain on the street.

drodio
11-30-2012, 08:11 PM
RE: trail pics above --

@locrwin, BTW this is exactly the type of terrain I will be taking my truck + pop-up camper on. A rough, possibly steep trail to get to a great camping spot or a remote beach. Thanks for sharing those pics.

It sounds like the locker is what made this trail easy for you, yes? Do you think you would've been able to get up the trail in your pics if you just had an ARB locker on the rear axle, and had the front completely open?

Buliwyf
11-30-2012, 08:40 PM
Yeah I can agree with all that.

A manual trans and a Detroit Locker is a pain. But Fords 4r100 and 5r110 slushboxes make that a non-issue. With that big truck, a Detroit shouldn't be any harder to drive in snow than a tight set LSD. Mines been fine so far. (AT tires)

Everytime I used to go wheeling I would spin a rear tire a couple times climbing, and especially climbing and turning. Now with a rear locker everything is cake. I try to use 2wd as often as I can and save 4wd for straight shots or as needed. I'm turning and wiggleing the truck in tight spots often. So that's why I go for the Detroit Locker.
Unless you need to regear, then just try a rear locker, a rear locker is all you need on a trail like that. If you plan on regearing, do both and save some money on labor.

Your plan of rear ARB, then winch, then a front diff if needed (it won't be), seems like a solid plan. Also look at Warns Xfer case and transmission skid plates. Those can be handy for situations where your breaking over a hill top etc. etc. Getting high centered is my only legit concern right now. IME the engine, radiator, and fuel tank plates are overkill for the Ford.

locrwln
11-30-2012, 09:26 PM
RE: trail pics above --

@locrwin, BTW this is exactly the type of terrain I will be taking my truck + pop-up camper on. A rough, possibly steep trail to get to a great camping spot or a remote beach. Thanks for sharing those pics.

It sounds like the locker is what made this trail easy for you, yes? Do you think you would've been able to get up the trail in your pics if you just had an ARB locker on the rear axle, and had the front completely open?

Thank you, it seems like ours uses are very similar. And yes a rear ARB would have walked up that road. As much negativity as there is regarding Gov-locs, mine works exactly like it is supposed to. Unfortunately, it does take some rotation of the spinning tire (~200rpm) before it "locks," but when it does, it works. I have had the truck stuck in a snow drift (pre front locker) and the rear tires would lock up. The stock LSD in my '02 F350 (bought new) was all but worthless after about 5k of use, if that. Ford sets them up waaaay too light and unless you want to shim them up, they are not worth the time.

The reason I went with the gov-loc rear/e-locker front is that ARB is the only maker of a selectable locker for the AAM 11.5. Again, the gov-loc has impressed me, so I decided that the front was the place for me. Below is my post from the "Obese" thread. As you can see, both empty and loaded, the front is still considerably heavier than the rear. So based on my use and particular truck, the front locker will be doing most of the work in a bad situation.

I have a friend with scales and decided to get the "empty" weight first.

Left front: 2350
Right front: 2300
Left Rear: 1450
Right Rear: 1425

Total: 7525lbs

That is with a full tank of fuel and no one sitting in it. I was pretty pleased with the side to side balance considering the 52 gallon fuel tank that sits on the driver's side.

My friend was out of town with family, so I decided to just stop by the local truck stop and use their CAT scale.

Obviously I didn't get the individual corner weigts, but I did get the front and back weights.

Front: 4920lbs
Rear: 4150

Total: 9070 lbs

http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/i-ptcXbt2/0/L/Thanksgiving%20trip%202012%20013-L.jpg (http://locrwln.smugmug.com/Exploring/Thanksgiving-trip-2012/26664606_sMLWfR#!i=2230702891&k=ptcXbt2&lb=1&s=A)

Now that was with 1/2 tank of fuel, just me sitting in it and some of our supplies used up. I would put the total fully loaded right at the GVWR of the truck, which is 9200lbs. That means based on a gross weight of 9200lbs, I am adding roughly 1675lbs of weight when loaded up for a trip.

Jack

crawler#976
12-01-2012, 05:33 PM
You broke a detriot straight out? What application? I have seen a few Detroit lockers destroy themselves but it is usually from a violent axle break causing the dog teeth to sheer off from the wind up in the axle. I don't think I have ever seen a detroit fail before an axle.....

It was a Detroit for a Toyota 8" front diff. It failed at the Hammers, and the Longfield Birfs and axle shafts were fine. Even the hubs were OK. That is not "normal" use by any description. It was an expensive trip, and thankfully, I was able to get back to camp and tow it home from the '04 Tin Benders Jambo.

For reference http://www.expeditionportal.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=57419&d=1305739664 is typical of what we do with our truck and camper.

seanpistol
12-12-2012, 03:10 AM
Well... I've been debating a similar scenario for getting stuck in very deep snow when the open diffs are making the wrong wheels spin, but I am a fan of the open diffs for driving on snowpacked curvy roads. Sounds like the rear ARB selectable and open front is the way to go.

Buliwyf
12-13-2012, 12:14 PM
Well... I've been debating a similar scenario for getting stuck in very deep snow when the open diffs are making the wrong wheels spin, but I am a fan of the open diffs for driving on snowpacked curvy roads. Sounds like the rear ARB selectable and open front is the way to go.

For a Tundra? Yes, Arb rear, open or Truetrac front is the way to go.

Abitibi
12-28-2012, 03:43 AM
Just finished reading all 4 pages, very interesting point of views... Thanks!

I'm in the process of building another expedition rig, this time based on a 2002 E350 ambulance body (7.3L) with auto tranny. Just last weekend I bought a used set of Dana60 front/rear axles with 4.10:1 gears out of a '02 F350 srw so i could convert the van to 4x4 with 6" lift and 35" tires. So for me it makes sense to spend a bit more upfront now while the axles need to be "serviced" and install either a locker or LSD on them. No point waiting for them to be mounted on the truck, easier to get it done now.

This truck will be as much of a DD as a travel vehicle and a trail rig. No rock crawling but I like to put scratches on the body and make good use of it. No heavy towing, usually nothing more than 3000lbs.

Buliwyf, seems like you're familiar with the 350's and I appreciate your experience but I'm curious why you think the Detroit Truetrac is useless on the rear of a F350? And also why you think the Eaton E-Locker is garbage?

I live near Vancouver BC and will often drive in snow. The Detroit locker sounds like a recipe for disaster on our windy winter roads so I was considering the Truetrac at the rear and the E-locker at the front. Is this such a bad combination?

Cheers,
Mr. D

NothingClever
12-28-2012, 09:48 AM
My configuration is shaping up to be:

Open diff up front
Manual transmission
Manual transfer case
High quality tires for road & trail
ARB locker in the rear
High quality chains front and rear

That should be plenty for me to get where I need to go. I'll have a comfortable camper on the back so I don't think I'll ever try to tackle terrain where I need a front locker to help pull me up an obstacle. I just want to get to nice camp spots on any road in any season. Below are the conditions I anticipate encountering:

1) crowned, dirt roads in a rainy season
2) unmaintained dirt roads
3) unplowed, snow-covered roads
4) established 4x4 trails (like Blues or mild Reds according to the http://www.funtreks.com/trail-ratings/trail-ratings definition)

The locker for me is to get out of the ditch if I slide off the crown or to break through a drift on the snow-covered roads or to get past a short, technical section on the 4x4 trails. The locker won't be for me to push the limits.

I'm middle-aged....mild is wild.

Buliwyf
12-30-2012, 12:31 AM
Just finished reading all 4 pages, very interesting point of views... Thanks!

I'm in the process of building another expedition rig, this time based on a 2002 E350 ambulance body (7.3L) with auto tranny. Just last weekend I bought a used set of Dana60 front/rear axles with 4.10:1 gears out of a '02 F350 srw so i could convert the van to 4x4 with 6" lift and 35" tires. So for me it makes sense to spend a bit more upfront now while the axles need to be "serviced" and install either a locker or LSD on them. No point waiting for them to be mounted on the truck, easier to get it done now.

This truck will be as much of a DD as a travel vehicle and a trail rig. No rock crawling but I like to put scratches on the body and make good use of it. No heavy towing, usually nothing more than 3000lbs.

Buliwyf, seems like you're familiar with the 350's and I appreciate your experience but I'm curious why you think the Detroit Truetrac is useless on the rear of a F350? And also why you think the Eaton E-Locker is garbage?

I live near Vancouver BC and will often drive in snow. The Detroit locker sounds like a recipe for disaster on our windy winter roads so I was considering the Truetrac at the rear and the E-locker at the front. Is this such a bad combination?

Cheers,
Mr. D

The E lockers (that I saw) for the Dana 60 application just plain did not work. Unreliable junk. In certain other axles they are fine. The Dana 60 required a different design, pretty sure it was an epic failure.

The rear axle you sourced isn't a Dana 60, it's better. Most likely a 10.25". Make sure your front axle says 60 on it. If it says 50, it's still a fine axle. You may want to consider 4.30 gears, but 4.10 is fine for a diesel.

The DetroitAutolocker in a top heavy, floppy E350 ambulance in Canada may be risky. ARB/ARB is your best bet. But the Detroit may still be OK in the rear if you go really stiff with your suspension roll settings and are careful. In this case,I'd likely go ARB rear, and open or ARB front (if you can swing that cash). Unless you need a locker very often like I do, the ARB is the better choice for tons of winter driving. Still, in a big heavy truck, as long as you are careful, and get used to when the locker holds on, and how much throttle will allow it to ratchet around slick turns, it's not really a big deal.

In Ohio a Detroit or Yukon locker in the rear is easy breezy on ice. Anywhere the detroit gets annoying, I just slow down. But in Canada or Colorado mountains, that may be a different story.

The Truetrac is way grippier in little SUV's. The larger the truck, the less they seem to lock up. In the Sterling 10.25"/10.5" they minus well be a stock diff. Don't waste your time with the Truetrac in the rear. Up front, it's a good option depending on your useage.

Abitibi
12-30-2012, 01:25 AM
Thanks!

I was spending the weekend in Seattle and ended up buying a Detroit Locker for the rear and a Eaton E-locker for the front. I guess I'll be the guinny pig for the E-locker... I don't expect using it daily and when I will it's gonna be slow driving anyway. I'll report if it ends up being a waste of money or if it actually works good. Anyhow, the bill came at just over $1400 for both units which is pretty good! ARB are hit and miss, love/hate them but at the premium they charge I can't afford to take the chance, time will tell if I made the right choice! ;)

That ambulance will end up heavy enough at the rear and that's why I went with the Locker over the Truetrac. And from what I read here... As for axles, the front is a Dana60 and the rear is a 10.5", they were a matching set out of a 2002 F350 SRW with 4.10:1 gears which I think will be perfect on 35's on that slow 7.3...

Cheers!
Mr. D

Buliwyf
12-30-2012, 03:42 PM
Awesome!

Let us know how you like the Detroit locker. I love mine. But snow in Ohio is much different than snow where you're at. Any feed back on that is very valuable. Not much good info on the net about real world 1st hand Detroit snow use. Plenty of plow trucks run them in my area. Especially a top heavier E350 abulance type truck that's like a Truck with a camper on it's back, is going too be priceless info. Let us know.

For me, once I got used to it, and how much throttle it deosn't like. It was cake to use.

Hopefully your e locker works better than ours. I'd flip it on as often as possible in the winter to keep it smooth. Even if it's just a few seconds. Change the diff oil every year to keep water out, it's cheap insurance.

Abitibi
12-30-2012, 05:30 PM
What were the issues with the E-locker and was it on the earlier version? From what I've read elsewhere most seem to love them.

LovinPSDs
08-07-2013, 02:48 AM
Bump... Anyone have good results??? I know this is really old, but i'm looking to outfit my 2008 F350 in a similar fashion!

I wish OX made a locker for a 10.5"...

savagefan
01-12-2014, 03:58 PM
HI, I was reading this thread and signed up to find out how it worked for you Abitibi. Much great info from all who posted here too thanx looks like a great 'site.

Kytann
04-01-2014, 09:31 PM
The Front autolocker will make snowy street use tough.

I know I am replying to an old thread, but it bugs me when I see people saying this.

For years here in Minnesota I ran an auto-locker (an Aussie Locker to be specific) in the front diff and an open for the rear diff. That combination was amazing, and stable and totally livable. It had to be, it was mine and my wifes daily driver. Yes I let my wife drive it in winter, and she never had a problem.
A front auto- locker is way more friendly on the street than a rear auto-locker. And way more friendly than most people would suspect.
I want another one in my current truck someday.

v_man
04-01-2014, 09:59 PM
Kytann , were you driving around Minnesota in 4wd with your locker up front? Your post is unclear .

Of course a locker up front is indiscernible if your in 2wd ...

How was the turning when you were in 4wd ? I know that when my front ARB is engaged , it takes about 5x as much input /force on the steering wheel to get the wheels to do anything ...

Buliwyf
04-02-2014, 02:16 PM
Weird. That's the first good experience of a front locker in snow that I've heard off. Especially the Aussie locker! Lunch box lockers don't unlock as easy, or at all, under power as a Detroit or Yukon will. More info needed. Truck? tires? in 4wd?
-
Might have been different with an autolocker in the rear. I'd love to try a Detroit Locker front and rear, but my experience with smaller trucks like that in snow is causing me to avoid that.
-
I spent most of the winters weekends in 4wd at night.

LR Max
04-02-2014, 02:31 PM
All my jeep buddies used to run lunchbox lockers in their front Dana 30 axles. They did this because the front axle was stronger than the rear.

They never had a problem. Always worked great. On road in 2WD, the front was pretty much freewheel so you never even noticed it (even though they didn't have hubs). Off road they never had any trouble turning and the traction was amazing. My rover has a rear locker and my rear axle will push the truck. With a front locker, it'll pull the truck.

That said, this was for a 33" tire and below application on a Jeep TJ. They did have some steering issues but this was related more to running larger tires than the front locker. Also here in the south, everything is covered in mud so you need all the traction you can get.

I plan on getting a front locker one day (money issue and I need a whole front axle rebuild, more of an issue of being an old truck) but I plan on going with a detroit. They just work.

kojackJKU
04-02-2014, 07:28 PM
I think im putting true tracs in all my rigs, f/r in my z71 suburban, f/r in my JK unlimited and rear in my 2wd f250. Why, beceuase I don't need a full locker, but want some additional traction the tt's will provide. im not rock crawling, so for trails the true tracs will work fine.

Kytann
04-03-2014, 05:21 AM
Weird. That's the first good experience of a front locker in snow that I've heard off. Especially the Aussie locker! Lunch box lockers don't unlock as easy, or at all, under power as a Detroit or Yukon will. More info needed. Truck? tires? in 4wd?
-
Might have been different with an autolocker in the rear. I'd love to try a Detroit Locker front and rear, but my experience with smaller trucks like that in snow is causing me to avoid that.
-
I spent most of the winters weekends in 4wd at night.



Yes. When there was snow and ice I would use my 4wd (which would obviously also use the front locker).

Turning when on the gas felt like the power was pulling it into the turn. So I applied pressure on the steering wheel to straighten it. But only very light pressure. It made almost no difference in the steering effort.

Kytann
04-03-2014, 05:57 AM
Weird. That's the first good experience of a front locker in snow that I've heard off. Especially the Aussie locker! Lunch box lockers don't unlock as easy, or at all, under power as a Detroit or Yukon will. More info needed. Truck? tires? in 4wd?
-
Might have been different with an autolocker in the rear. I'd love to try a Detroit Locker front and rear, but my experience with smaller trucks like that in snow is causing me to avoid that.
-
I spent most of the winters weekends in 4wd at night.

1996 Toyota Tacoma V6 5-speed, Regular Cab Standard Bed. ARB bumper on the front, and a Winch with steel cable. Stock springs on upgraded OME shocks (Actually I hated those shocks, but that is a discussion for another thread). The front was actually starting to sag a little form the extra weight up front. Roughly 3900 lbs with me in the truck. So 3730 pounds empty. Relatively lightweight and short wheelbase. Also very nose heavy.

Aussie locker in the front. Open diff in the rear. Winter time I ran 31x10.50 Snow tires, the light truck equivalent to the Blizzak at the time. Summer I ran BFG ATKO in 32x11.50.

With so little weight in back, you can bet I used 4WD often in winter.

An auto-locker definitely behaves differently in the front versus the rear of a vehicle. I think it has to do with the different arcs that the front and back axle travel when turning that cause this.
Of course in a locker, the arc is defined by the inside wheel.
And the arc of the inside front wheel is closer to the arc of the average rear wheels
vs in a rear locker the average of the front wheels coupled to the inside rear wheel is a farther distance, creating more bind.
Just a thought anyway.

I originally had worries about it being able to disengage on snowy conditions, but never seemed to have a problem. It could be that the Aussie locker has some very ramped engagement teeth. So much so that I wasn't sure it would work at first. They also specify in the instructions some specific clearances inside of the diff for proper operation. I know my measurements were pretty close to the middle of the range they suggested. This measurement ensured one set of teeth could disengage, but only one set. Also, the springs were pretty weak. But that's fine, as the force for locking the wheels together comes from the cross shaft, not the springs.

It's the only auto-locker I have tried. I have driven my family's 4Runner with the rear e-locker. That one behaved very differently when locked up. Even though the 4runner and Tacoma were such similar platforms. On dirt and off-road that is. I never tried engaging the rear locker in snow on someone else's truck *lol*

cj7ox
04-03-2014, 08:17 PM
Lot of good info here. I'll add my $0.02 on the subject, as I haven't seen it posted yet (I apologize if I missed it). "Lunchbox" lockers/LSDs in the front have one particular disadvantage in my book. If you happen to break a rear driveshaft/U-joint/axle, with a 4wd vehicle you can drop the rear driveshaft and limp home in "front wheel drive" (Tcase in 4wd high). This works well, and the truck will drive like stock with an open front. With a Detroit and some LSDs, the drive gets scary as hell in turns. That's why I'm a strong advocate of selectable lockers in the front (my preference is the OX locker, tough as hell!). FWIW

HRT Offroad
04-03-2014, 08:51 PM
Auburn is also another good choice in a Ford!

Kytann
04-03-2014, 10:24 PM
Lot of good info here. I'll add my $0.02 on the subject, as I haven't seen it posted yet (I apologize if I missed it). "Lunchbox" lockers/LSDs in the front have one particular disadvantage in my book. If you happen to break a rear driveshaft/U-joint/axle, with a 4wd vehicle you can drop the rear driveshaft and limp home in "front wheel drive" (Tcase in 4wd high). This works well, and the truck will drive like stock with an open front. With a Detroit and some LSDs, the drive gets scary as hell in turns. That's why I'm a strong advocate of selectable lockers in the front (my preference is the OX locker, tough as hell!). FWIW

Meh. That only works if the driveshaft isn't a slip-yoke design (Am I using that word right?)
Most modern vehicles are of the design where the driveshaft is also the back oil seal for the transfer case, so if you remove the driveshaft, all of your oil leaks out.
And you can't just disassemble it at the U-joint because the slip-joint design means there isn't a c-clip holding it in. Just the distance from the axle to the transfer case.

Slip-yoke I think it's called, actually...

Buliwyf
04-04-2014, 12:02 PM
Yes, on some cheaper 4x4's the drive shafts slip yoke is moved to the end of the shaft and it slides in and out on a spline inside the tail end of the transfer case. A little Permatex and some carboard and e tape will seal up the hole well enough to get home sometimes. It's wise to invest in a Slip Yoke Eliminator kit and a regular driveshaft for better shaft angles, and IME, less force on the Xfer case housing.
-
That' one of the reasons I skipped Dodge trucks when I was looking for my ride. I hate slip yokes that are inside the xfer case like on Jeep Wranglers. My Fords yoke is in the center of the driveshaft where it should be. Odd, since Dodge and Ford use the same Xfer case, just Dodge has to screw up the details, as usual.

Kytann
04-04-2014, 01:52 PM
Yes, on some cheaper 4x4's the drive shafts slip yoke is moved to the end of the shaft and it slides in and out on a spline inside the tail end of the transfer case. A little Permatex and some carboard and e tape will seal up the hole well enough to get home sometimes. It's wise to invest in a Slip Yoke Eliminator kit and a regular driveshaft for better shaft angles, and IME, less force on the Xfer case housing.
-
That' one of the reasons I skipped Dodge trucks when I was looking for my ride. I hate slip yokes that are inside the xfer case like on Jeep Wranglers. My Fords yoke is in the center of the driveshaft where it should be. Odd, since Dodge and Ford use the same Xfer case, just Dodge has to screw up the details, as usual.

I'm pretty sure my 'Yota was set up with a sip-yoke.

Yeah, but the Dodges are the prettiest. I really wanted one of the Dodges, but just didn't trust their engineering to last.
So I've got an F150 now. Haven't ever checked the transfer case to see if its a slip-yoke or not.

Planning on an off-road vacation this summer. Debating with myself if I want to spend the money and install a lunchbox locker in the front 8.8in differential on the F150. With the light-duty off-roading I do nowadays it may not be needed, and it's still a good chunk of money. The Raptor guys are breaking their front CVs with some regularity, and those are beefier than in my stock F150. But I doubt I'd be able to do anything to break that back 9.75 axle.

Buliwyf
04-04-2014, 03:29 PM
I'd put a Truetrac in the front of an F150. I'm not familiar enough with the newer F150 rear axle to suggest there.
-
I think Ox makes a selectable locker for the F150 front.

DetroitDarin
04-04-2014, 03:51 PM
Planning on an off-road vacation this summer. Debating with myself if I want to spend the money and install a lunchbox locker in the front 8.8in differential on the F150. With the light-duty off-roading I do nowadays it may not be needed, and it's still a good chunk of money. The Raptor guys are breaking their front CVs with some regularity, and those are beefier than in my stock F150. But I doubt I'd be able to do anything to break that back 9.75 axle.

My mom went to buy a truck a few years ago - I asked if she'd get 4wd. She said "No, I'd never use it!"

That's the truth - nobody ever needs anything until they NEED it. When they need it, it can be a lifesaver.

Do you know of the CV's in the raptor swap into the Non Raptor? (And maybe into MY truck?? :D )

Kytann
04-04-2014, 07:35 PM
I'd put a Truetrac in the front of an F150. I'm not familiar enough with the newer F150 rear axle to suggest there.
-
I think Ox makes a selectable locker for the F150 front.

Well, I see Ford 8.8 28 and 31 spline applications, so I would be covered for the front axle. Disappointingly there is no rear Ford axle applications at this time. In fact, not much is offered because the factory offers an e-locker. However I ended up not getting one in my truck, unfortunately.

I'm probably going to stay away from a selectable locker in the front for the time being.

Right now the plan is to go with a True-Trac for the rear axle.

Then decide with either

a matching True-Trac for the front (expensive installation)
a lunchbox locker for the front (cheaper)
just rely on the factory e-LSD (cheapest).


Honestly it's probably going to be the latter, because money is getting short.

Kytann
04-04-2014, 07:44 PM
My mom went to buy a truck a few years ago - I asked if she'd get 4wd. She said "No, I'd never use it!"

That's the truth - nobody ever needs anything until they NEED it. When they need it, it can be a lifesaver.

Do you know of the CV's in the raptor swap into the Non Raptor? (And maybe into MY truck?? :D )

Short answer is no.

last year I did a bunch of research on how to graft the Raptor suspension onto my F150. It's relatively inexpensive and everything is really just bolt-together, for suspension that us.

The Raptor CV axles are 31-spline. Regular up to 2011 is 28-spline. There is some debate on whether or not the 2011 and up F150 also changed to 31-spline at the same time, with conflicting information.
But your 2006 is for sure 28-spline.

Raptor CV Axles are also longer. 3 or 3.5 inches longer.
Which means you would also need the Raptor Upper and Lower Control Arms, and then a set of Raptor Tie-Rods (which may need to be modified)
Finally, the shocks themselves are over 4 inches longer.

Then if you do all of that, you'll have to cut up your fenders (or buy fiberglass ones) to fit your tires which now stick out 3.5 extra inches per side.

So it's do-able, but requires quite a few other parts.

There might be more differences since yours is a 2006 Expedition.

The eXpedition
09-18-2014, 11:58 AM
Yeah Detroit locker rear. Detroit Truetrac front. A Superduty like that would be nearly unstoppable for anywhere a superduty has any practical right going.

The ARB is open, or locked solid. Controleed by a switch on the dash.

The Detroit is allways locked while driving straight. But when you enter a turn the faster spinning outside wheel can automaticly ratchet free. When you apply alot of throttle that ratcheting may not occur, friction holds the dif locked, and stomping on the gas while turning will spin the inside tire, lock the diff, then spin both tires and send you spinning out of control. Some prudence and self control is required in snow and ice.

Nascar runs Detroit lockers. So do a few of us with Mustangs. Allthough I still prefer a extremely tightly shimmed stock LSD diff in my '04 Mach1.

So sometimes the Detroit is much easier to turn off road than a locked or unlocked ARB. And the Detroit can be handly to reduce wheelspin hauling loads in 2wd up gravel roads or sandy dry pavement where you wouldn't normally engage the ARB or 4wd.

Basicly the detroit is very much like two Craftsman ratchets taped side by side together by the handles. The sockets are your tires, the handles are you power input form the driveshaft. If one of the sockets starts spinning faster than you turn the handles, then that side starts to ratchet free. Eaton has a nice Youtube vid on how the Detroit works.

Every once in a while it'll also windup and unlock bang in a parking lot. Sounds like your axle expoded. Usually it just clicks though.

I would like to re-open this discussion here,

I have a 2012 Ford Expedition, is the combination you mentioned is still up to date or did you find something better?

What is the gear ratio of my car ? is it 9.75" or 8.8" ?

What part number is the correct one for me and where to find it?

Kottonwood
09-18-2014, 02:05 PM
Well, I see Ford 8.8 28 and 31 spline applications, so I would be covered for the front axle. Disappointingly there is no rear Ford axle applications at this time. In fact, not much is offered because the factory offers an e-locker. However I ended up not getting one in my truck, unfortunately.

I'm probably going to stay away from a selectable locker in the front for the time being.

Right now the plan is to go with a True-Trac for the rear axle.

Then decide with either

a matching True-Trac for the front (expensive installation)
a lunchbox locker for the front (cheaper)
just rely on the factory e-LSD (cheapest).


Honestly it's probably going to be the latter, because money is getting short.


Just wanted to clarify with this one... I figure the poster has figured it out by now anyways, but you can't put a lunchbox in the front 8.8 ifs even though they make one for the 8.8 28 spline. Once the lunchbox is in there is no way to put the snaprings back on the axles to lock them in. Best bet is the truetrac up front... this is what I did.

As for the guy with the expedition.... it shouldn't be hard for you to find out what gears you have.... try googling your vin or something... they probably all came with the same combo that year. Likely 9.75 in the rear and 8.8 ifs in the front. If that is the case the only selectable locker you can get for the rear is the arb. You can put whatever you want in front except the lunchbox as previously stated.

Kottonwood
09-18-2014, 02:07 PM
....another note on the lunchbox... the chances of you getting one in without pulling the whole dif are slim to none, has anyone who has ever installed one of these actually pulled that off? They are a very tricky install.... for ease of install I choose the truetrac any day of the week

The eXpedition
09-18-2014, 02:48 PM
Just wanted to clarify with this one... I figure the poster has figured it out by now anyways, but you can't put a lunchbox in the front 8.8 ifs even though they make one for the 8.8 28 spline. Once the lunchbox is in there is no way to put the snaprings back on the axles to lock them in. Best bet is the truetrac up front... this is what I did.

As for the guy with the expedition.... it shouldn't be hard for you to find out what gears you have.... try googling your vin or something... they probably all came with the same combo that year. Likely 9.75 in the rear and 8.8 ifs in the front. If that is the case the only selectable locker you can get for the rear is the arb. You can put whatever you want in front except the lunchbox as previously stated.

Hi,
yes mine appears to be 9.75 rear and 8.8 front.
The only selectable diff lock I found so far is Auburn that works as limited slip when not engaged and fully locked when engaged. But Some people on the F-150 forum says it doesn't work as advertised. They just fail to work.

Any idea about Auburn or did any one once tried them?

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk

Greg5OH
10-02-2014, 02:05 PM
ok so seems half the people are saying a locker in the rear of a manul trans truck is a death sentence on snowy roads, others wouldnt have it any other way.

My truck: 06 F350 chassis, NP205, 37s, dana60/10.5", turbo IDI, ZF5 8000 lbs empty. 172" wheelbase.

Its my daily, and i live in north MI, lot of snow from the lakes. Snow and ice on the highways.
Got a built foxbody with a tight lsd so i know how it is in the rain, likes to be sideways with soem throttle. easy to control if you drive carefully.

Currently the trucks front is open, and a worn LSD in the rear.

I will be getting a true trac in the fornt no doubt. Anything is better than an open diff.
Rear..so do I get the detroit locker, or the true trac?
Lots of highway driving, but also mud, sand, gravel, hardpacked snow, 2+ fluff snow. Basically everything except super deep mud.

What do you recommend? ARB for the rear is VERy expensive, 1200 vs the 700 for a detroit locker.

98dango
10-02-2014, 02:48 PM
I like arb but there money. I don't like a rachet locker in the rear. The rear of my super duty is limited slip as we'll as front. My ramcharger is spooled in the rear and limited slip front

Greg5OH
10-02-2014, 05:27 PM
I like arb but there money. I don't like a rachet locker in the rear. The rear of my super duty is limited slip as we'll as front. My ramcharger is spooled in the rear and limited slip front

would a true trac in the rear be a waste of time for my truclk?

oiler
10-02-2014, 09:33 PM
It would not be a waste, but if it were me, given the weight and wheelbase of your truck, I would Detroit it. I have run both, even in the winter and do not mind the Detroit. It is noticeable, but I like the traction. True trac is a nice upgrade, just not a full locker. I have been in situations where I had to apply the brake to get more bias out of it and it was tough with a stick shift. I have a dodge W-350 that is getting a Detroit in back, and a true trac in the front, for me, it's the most usable combo. Selectables are nice, but I really like the simplicity of this set up.

I would tell you to try it and see if it works for you, because that's what matters!

1meanz
10-02-2014, 11:49 PM
I've got a TrueTrac in my Tahoe with a stick shift. I got it for the good street manners but I flirted with the Detroit Locker and nearly went that way. I haven't regretted one time. The only time I've had a tire off i set the e-brake and it worked great. I was worried about people saying it wasn't a real locker. Well in northern Indiana in the mud, snow, sand that I run in, it ALWAYS works. It's completely undetectable in normal driving but it never lets me down. For the terrain my truck lives in, I'd make the same decision again.

Buliwyf
10-03-2014, 02:58 AM
ok so seems half the people are saying a locker in the rear of a manul trans truck is a death sentence on snowy roads, others wouldnt have it any other way.

My truck: 06 F350 chassis, NP205, 37s, dana60/10.5", turbo IDI, ZF5 8000 lbs empty. 172" wheelbase.

Its my daily, and i live in north MI, lot of snow from the lakes. Snow and ice on the highways.
Got a built foxbody with a tight lsd so i know how it is in the rain, likes to be sideways with soem throttle. easy to control if you drive carefully.

Currently the trucks front is open, and a worn LSD in the rear.

I will be getting a true trac in the fornt no doubt. Anything is better than an open diff.
Rear..so do I get the detroit locker, or the true trac?
Lots of highway driving, but also mud, sand, gravel, hardpacked snow, 2+ fluff snow. Basically everything except super deep mud.

What do you recommend? ARB for the rear is VERy expensive, 1200 vs the 700 for a detroit locker.

I'd recommend sticking to your plan, one step at a time unless you plan on re-gearing.

Put the Trutrac in the front, but just rebuild your rear LSD and shim it tight. Not a whole lot of hardcore climbing in Mi last time I checked. If you feel like you need more, then try the Detroit in the rear. You might be good with just that Trutrac and a really tight LSD. Great budget setup possibly? Use no friction modifier. A complete set of mudrated chains might be something to also try first.

Detroit lockers are annoying and slow going in the rear with a manual transmission, but still doable.

WILLD420
10-03-2014, 04:42 AM
Trutracs are seamless, but you have to know how to drive them. ARB and Tacoma rear lockers are good when you need them, but for an everyday driver, a L/S diff is much better at getting you going from a stop on slick pavement or ice. You can't exactly lock an ARB or other selectable locker while you have a tire spinning trying to get up a hill or on-ramp when it's crappy outside.

I've run Lunchbox lockers, Dana Powr-Lok's, truetracs, trac-loc's, Toyota e-lockers, and open diffs. For me, an open diff is a worthless thing to put on a truck. Give me a trac-loc in the front, if I can't get a selectable or a truetrac. Powr-Lok's are very aggressive if set up right. Between a lunchbox locker and a Pow'r Lok, I'd take a Lunchbox on the front axle in snow and ice, at least when you let off the throttle, they will sometimes unlock if you have chains or good tires on. The Pow'r Lok doesn't.

I've wheeled a little in deep snow and a trutrac sucked. That's why my rig has a lunchbox in the rear now. For mild driving and level 1-4 on a 10 scale trips, it was perfect. When I stepped up to deep snow and more rocks, the truetrac had to go. Wheelspin is not a very good option when you are threading between rocks and trees.

Locrwln and I have done some decent trails in the past and dual limited slips always took more work and made for a harder trip when wheeling anything tight or technical.

Just my 2 cents.

Greg5OH
10-03-2014, 01:23 PM
thanskj guys. Il will get the true trac in the front first.

foir the rear heres my concern: driving on a slicky snowy and icy highway. They dont seem to liek to plow the highways up here very often so you gotta make your own tracks. When i had an open rear end on my old CCLB 2wd it was awesome once oyu were going on th efreeway, cuz you could just mash the throttle and bulldoze thru those big 1.5 foot drifts and the thing was straight like on rails. Because only 1 rear tire woudl spin doing 50 mph. Im sure if i did this with a tight LSD or a tre trac or locker i would have to be more careful.
Where i HATED my open diff was starting out from a light, or anywhere remotely inclined up hill. You just COULD NOT get any traction. worthless. Im afraid that will happen with an LSD rear end (i have yet to drive the new truck in the winter). Get one tire on ice (or you spin thru the snow and get to ice) and your going nowhere till i engage the 4x4. Will a true trac work in these conditions? LSD?
Thing that worries me with rear locker is how some people say when you let off the throttle it can wind up and do funny things. Last thing I need is when letting off the throttle in snowy conditions to slowly start braking, and have the rear end unlock and forefully lock again.


regarding chains, ill be ordereing a set but thats if i want to get crazy and actually go offroading, i dont wan tto use them just to drive (not THAT much snow here)

Shiryas
10-03-2014, 02:15 PM
In the past I had ARB's on my 95 Toyota Pickup (XCab, 3.Slow, 5speed) and was happy with them but did have air line issues a couple of times. I have driven several Defenders and D1's with Detroits, which are great for off road but I could not live with their on road characteristics.

When I did the axle swap on my 97 F350 (CCLB, 7.3, 5pseed) I went with Truetracs front and rear and have been very happy with them. I wanted something that was simple and low maintenance, no clutch packs, no special fluid, no air lines, no electrics, no snap oversteer on activation. They have been phenomenal in the snow and no issues off road in lots of sand and limited mud. Bear in mind this truck is massive and is the tow, recon, camp rig not a rock crawler but they have worked well on this platform for its uses. I have yet to have an 'open' issue with these differentials as I have read about. I understand the way a Truetrac (Torsen) operates and the necessity for a surface traction difference between the two wheels, I just have not had any instances yet where I needed to dab the brake.

Cheers, Chris

ccarley
10-03-2014, 02:44 PM
After a lot of thought, I went with a True Trac in the rear of my Suburban. A Detroit Locker was less expensive for my axle, but I figure if I'm in a situation where there are tires off the ground, that is too much for this big truck. I'd like to put a True Trac in the front as well, but that is going to be very expensive due to the other work necessary to make that fit.

In any case, torque makes the True Trac grab. When/if a wheel looses traction, torque is lost (at the wheel) and it won't necessarily grab. Little bit of brake will certainly get you going again, if necessary. I've enjoyed the added traction in the mud, ice, and snow so far, with no ill effects. In the rain, if you give enough throttle, it will get tight and the rear can come out, but it's very predictable. In the snow and ice of Tahoe, I was really surprised at how much more traction I had in 2WD.

http://carleynet.net/familypictures/albums/album61/DSC_0691.sized.jpg

Where that photo was taken, we had driven about a mile down a road that wasn't plowed. You can see some snow on my front axle, showing how deep it was in parts. When I got out to take the photo, I found that area was completely iced over. I fell down, looked up, and saw the corner of my door heading for my head... thankfully I caught it with my hand before a more serious injury occurred!

Now we will be towing a small tent trailer (off-road included). I still want to install a True Trac in the front, and I bet that will be sufficient for us in any situation that I am willing to take the Suburban into.

Good luck with your decision!
Clay

PS: The True Trac case is pretty beefy too:

http://carleynet.net/familypictures/albums/album67/IMG_2293_1.sized.jpg

Greg5OH
10-03-2014, 03:18 PM
thanks for your accounts guys, I think i will be going with the true trac in the rear. I too dont wan tot deal with clutch packs and such. nic ethe true trac is about 200$ cheaper than the locker. I assume the true trac feels simialr to an LSD where it doesnt snap lock up on you, so it will be a littl ebit more tame when bursting thru packs of snow on the freeway at 50 mph. If i do end up in a sitatiuon wher ei need to apply the brake sa bit, i can always set the parking brak eto drag a hair to give it tha tpreload.

Buliwyf
10-03-2014, 10:54 PM
thanks for your accounts guys, I think i will be going with the true trac in the rear. I too dont wan tot deal with clutch packs and such. nic ethe true trac is about 200$ cheaper than the locker. I assume the true trac feels simialr to an LSD where it doesnt snap lock up on you, so it will be a littl ebit more tame when bursting thru packs of snow on the freeway at 50 mph. If i do end up in a sitatiuon wher ei need to apply the brake sa bit, i can always set the parking brak eto drag a hair to give it tha tpreload.

Truck will fly through snowy roads with 2 Truetracs. When you run out of grip way offroad, get the chains out.

My trucks heavy and automatic, so a Detroit or Yukon locker in the rear is a no brainer.

Truetracs will be smoother and more predictable than an LSD on ice. You may get some front understeer from time to time. I just tap the brakes with my foot when a truetrac spins. Kinda like a weird heel and toe downshift. But more like toe and toe. Just adjust your pedals if needed.