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 10-16-2003, 11:00 Post: 66371
Chief



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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

Well...... found out why I was getting rear wheel spin on my Dodge. It is an open rear differential according to the dealer. I dug out my window sticker, checked the glove box label, and the dealer ran the VIN # and sure enough, no mention of anti-spin. Just the Dana 80 with 3.55 gears. To be honest I have not had but a few instances where wheel spin was an issue. Usually both wheels try to spin even on a wet boat ramp. Anyhow, I am trying to spin myself up on differential locks that are suitable for use in towing applications. From what I have read so far the Detroit Locker, and Lock Rite types are not compatable for use in towing. The ARB Locker seems to be the best all round unit but the price causes "sticker shock". I am not sure I can use the Dana limited slip units without changing out other items which is even more expensive. I like the idea of an open diff. on the road and lockable diff. off road. I am going to jack up the rear axle and check to see for myself if it is an open diff. or not. I tow pretty heavy and go off road more than occasionally. I know a few of you guys like AC5ZO do some off roading. Any suggestions, comments, feedback, and experiences would be very helpful. Thanks.






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 10-16-2003, 17:29 Post: 66380
AC5ZO

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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

I used to run a Toyota 4X4 in Baja and it had open diff. Never a problem with the diff and wheel slippage was not an issue. I did rebuild the tranny twice in 100K miles due to a design flaw in the tranny.

Our race cars all use open differentials with beefed up pinions.

My GMC Sierra 4X4 has a stock limited slip and it works well. I could hear it locking up a bit on tight turns when it was new, but it works fine now. Between the limited slip and automatic transmission in the GMC, it does get better traction than the Toyota did.

The H2 is full time 4WD. It has three differentials. You can lock the center and rear differentials. The locks automatically kick out if you go over a specified speed in low range. The front diff is conventional. I have towed with the center differential locked, but there has never been a need to tow with the rear differential locked. There is also a switch to change the transmission shift points for towing to keep lower gears engaged longer.

Another system that works well is a traction control system that will independently brake a single wheel that is spinning. It will work on up to three wheels at a time. You can also set the desired amount of slip depending upon whether you are on snow/ice or sand. Hummer and Mercedes both have systems like this.






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 10-16-2003, 18:18 Post: 66383
Chief



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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

I talked with Barney at Reider Racing and he told me that for the applications I spoke of that the ARB Locker and the Dana Trac-Loc are my only two choices. He suggested the Trac-Loc as it was much easier on the drive train as far as stressing axle components in turns and the ARB is over twice the cost. He even gave me the number to a local distributor that handles his items. They told me $200 labor plus the cost of the differential which is between $450 - $550. I am inclined to wait and see how the truck works as is and go with the LS differential when and if I have traction problems. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.






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 10-16-2003, 19:26 Post: 66385
AV8R



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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

I have a 94 Cummins Ram 4x4 which came new with the open Dana 80 rear (Near useless in snow in 2wd with 5-speed) I installed a Loc-Rite locker in the rear with acceptable results. Tire wear is accelerated but traction is much better. I don't tow all the time, but do tow often up to 10k trailer with out any problems. Truck now has 150 k miles on it, 100k on lock rite with no problems. Make sure to change rear fluid at max 50k miles with a locker.






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 10-16-2003, 19:37 Post: 66386
Chief



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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

AV8R, did you install the locker your self? From what I have read, the lockers are the easiest to install. How difficult would you rate installing it? Do you get much racheting noise or jump in the drive train going around corners? How does it behave when engaging to lock the axles? Thanks.






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 10-16-2003, 21:43 Post: 66396
JAZ
2003-10-16 00:00:00
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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

LOC-RIGHT IS THE WAY TO GO. I INSTALLED ONE IN MY 8.8 FORD REAR IN LESS THAN 30 MIN. WITH AN AIR RATCHET AND HAVE 20,000 MILES ON IT WITH NO PROBLEMS. A LITTLE PRICEY BUT IT MAKES UP FOR THE MAN HOURS AND A SHOP CHARGE. LITTLE NOISE WHEN THE REAR OIL IS THICK IE. 0 DEGREES HOWEVER IT DOES NOT ACT LIKE A TEMPERMENTAL 9 INCH DETRIOT LOCKER DOES. BUT ALSO LIKE A LOCKER YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFULL IN APPLYING POWER ON A CURVE IN SLICK WEATHER.






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 10-17-2003, 06:48 Post: 66407
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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

The Trac-Loc is a limited slip. It has clutches in it that will split the torque to both rear wheels but will never lock up. It will send the majority of the torque to the wheel without traction. You can somewhat fool it into sending more to the wheel with traction by applying some brake pedal or e-brake. It will confuse the brake resistance for traction on the slipping tire and send more to the non slipping tire. They arent very expensive to buy but they require that the ring gear be pulled out and reshimmed so the labor will cost some. All clutch type Limited slips require that a friction modifier be added to the diff fluid so the clutches will grab correctly without wearing out too fast.
A lock-rite or EZ Locker (lunchbox locker) are easy to install, the ring gear doesnt have to be removed, only the spider gears and they are inexpensive to buy. They are actual lockers that will apply 100% torque to both wheels when locked. Their normal state is locked. They will unlock and ratchet when one wheel over speeds the rest of the drivetrain (0 torque is applied), such as going around a corner, the outer wheel will actually unlock and ratchet. This is where they get their bad slick road manners. If you give it throttle in a turn, and the inner wheel slips and turns the same speed as the outer, they will lock together and the vehicle will want to travel straight ahead, pushing towards the outside of the turn. They are perfectly fine on the road if you are easy on the throttle and dont mind the ratcheting noise when turning.
A Detroit Locker is a ratcheting locker just like the ones above except it requires that the ring gear but pulled out and reshimmed and the cost is about double that of a lunchbox locker but you get alot more strength. Ive got a short wheelbase vehicle with a Detroit and it can get squirrely, but a heavy, long wheelbase should be much more polite.
An ARB air locker is a selectable locker. It is either open or completely locked on demand, no ratcheting. ARBs are expensive and require an air compressor, air lines and the ring gear must be pulled and reshimmed so the install is also expensive and involved. There are a couple of electric lockers on the market now but they are only made for a limited number of differential types. They operate the same as an air locker, only using electric. There is also a selectable locker made by Ox Tracs that is cable activated but its also limited application.
Sorry this is so long winded but Ive tried to be accurate in describing how these differentials work.
P.S. The easiest way to tell if you have an open or limited slip is to lift the whole rear end up and spin a wheel. An open diff, the wheels will spin opposite each other, a clutch type limited slip, the wheels will spin the same direction. Or you can pull the diff cover and look for the spider gears that an open diff has.
Those are the facts, heres an opinion. I would only go for a locker of some sort if its more of a work truck and smooth, quiet operation isnt important. A locker on Packed snow or ice is cause for stained undies. If you have a luxury ride that sees occational offroad trails or snowy/icy conditions, the limited slip is definately the way to go. A limited slip with some brake feathering will get you through most stuff short of actually lifting a tire off the ground. If you never lift a tire, you dont need a locker.






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 10-17-2003, 11:27 Post: 66428
Chief



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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

bnrhuffman, very well put. Not to worry at all about the lengthy reply. You pretty well went down the list of my thinking process as well as JAZ. I am thinking that the limited slip is the best for my application. Thanks to ALL for the great replies.






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 10-18-2003, 00:30 Post: 66515
boatman



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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

Chief, for more info talk to the guys at Randy's Ring and Pinion;1-866-391-4539. See the attached web link.
Tech info line:425-348-9002.






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 10-24-2003, 19:54 Post: 67029
AV8R



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 Differential Lockers and Limitied Slip Units

Sorry- Broken Computer!!

I did installation myself with hand tools. Worst part was had to remove ring gear from carrier to get spider pin out. Carrier is extremely heavy! I did not have any trouble, however I do have alot of tinkering in my background, so i've been inside axles before. Nothing that any semi mechanically inclined person could do with minimal fuss. 4 out of 10

Clutch type "Posi" would be better, (less/no ratcheting) but at the time price was prohibative. I've driven Detroit lockers "forever" so I am used to the clicking, clunking, chattering and outright banging which a locker does. Like I said, 100k miles with no mechanical problems.

BTW, rear anti-lock brake performance is awkward at best now.






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