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Old 09-01-2009, 05:53 AM   #1
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Best rear locker

I'd appreciate any opinions on what the best type of locking rear differential is. I am going to swap out my stock semi floating rear axle with an old E350 full floater (rebuilt). I was leaning towards a classic detroit locker only because I hear they are proven and robust (about $600 for parts). Would anyone venture a recommendation? Air lockers? Or would a limited slip be sufficient? Mostly on road use with limited offroad use. Mostly sand and mud. Possible 4wd conversion later.

Any specific brand recommendations?

Thanks

Tom
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Old 09-01-2009, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: Best rear locker

Dyna Power Lock
limited slip with 4, count them, 4 spider gears, not two like most LSD
clutches should last over 93.5K miles before rebuild
no cluncking noises while on the street
no air lines or compressors to fail
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:04 AM   #3
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Re: Best rear locker

I agree with LeadDoggy. I'd also stick with a limited slip. I've had 'em in all my 4x4s with no problems. In my SMB I just have the stock Ford limited slip and it's taken me into some unbelievable places. Anyplace I've ever tried to go, and I go most anyplace that the rig will fit through. Silent, nothing to activate, kicks in when needed. For serious rock crawling, I'd go for the locker. Now, let me get my hard hat soes I'm ready for the bashing....
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:20 AM   #4
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Re: Best rear locker

My favorit locker is the Powertrax No-Slip. Works great on the road, can be installed by almost anyone and inexpensive. It's especially a great way to go if you are not doing a gear swap.
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Old 09-02-2009, 08:32 AM   #5
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Re: Best rear locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by scatter
In my SMB I just have the stock Ford limited slip and it's taken me into some unbelievable places.
I've been meaning to ask this for a while...

How does one know if his rear diff is limited slip?

My E350 is a 2005 model (converted by SK) and the rear axle is whatever came with the van.

Are all E350 rear diffs limited slip?
Were only some model years limited slip?
Also, how can I tell if it is semi-floating?

Thanks,
Mark Alston
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Old 09-02-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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Re: Best rear locker

I believe that a stock Ford limited slip differential is a standard Sportsmobile option and would be included with the original order unless the customer specifically doesn't want it. There should be a tag or something on the differential or axle indicating whether or not it is limited slip since a tech needs to know that when draining and refilling the differential. If you are on good terms with your Ford service manager, they might be able to tell from the VIN number too...
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:18 AM   #7
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Re: Best rear locker

beernutmark - You can tell if the rear end is limited slip from the door codes as well as the tag on the rear cover. Codes do sometimes change from year to year, but USUALLY, there are two digits under the axle spot on the door tag. If there are two numbers it is probably an open differential. If there is a letter and a number it is probably a limited slip. But, a really good way to check it out, and see if the clutches are working even if the tag indicates limited slip is to jack up the rear of the rig and turn one wheel. If the other one turns it's limited slip. You can really check the clutches by jacking up just one side, with a floor jack, start up the rig, put it in gear, and VERY slowly, give it some gas and see if the rig moves. Open diff won't go anywhere and the wheel up in the air will spin. Limited slip will start the rig moving and with any luck the floor jack (you did use one with wheels didn't you) will move along with the van. I'd only do this in an area void of expensive items....
You can tell if a rear end is a full floater by looking at the end of the axle right in the center of one of the rear wheels. If it's flush or slightly inset from the face of the wheel where the lug nuts are, it's simi. A full floater will stick out from the center of the wheel. If you have a cap on your wheels, you'll have to remove it to see the area.
Also, be very careful with the floor jack method, only jack it by the axle and only high enough to allow the tire to clear the ground. Matter of fact, forget I even suggested it. Matter of more fact, I didn't suggest it. You must have read it somewhere else
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Old 09-02-2009, 10:35 AM   #8
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Re: Best rear locker

The jack method will work if you modify it slightly:

- Move the jack a little bit towards the middle of the van

- Jack one wheel up 1/2"-1"

- Place wood block under the axle housing to keep the wheel up in the air

- Lower the jack

- Check the wheel is still up

If the van has a limited slip or locker, you will drive right off the wood blocks. If not, you will sit there and spin the tire in the air.

When I was a kid, this was a fun trick. After watching somebody (hmmm, maybe you didn't want us as friends) decide his car was broken, we would push the car off the blocks.

Mike
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Old 09-02-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Re: Best rear locker

I run a Detroit in the rear, Powerlock up front. I like knowing that my rear end only has 2 options..... It's locked when I'm putting the power down, or I've blown it up!! The Detroit works good on the street, but you will have to make some minor changes in your technique.

Do you already have the rear axle? Check the #'s, make sure it's not a Dana 61, and check locker availability before you make any decisions.
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Old 09-02-2009, 07:23 PM   #10
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Re: Best rear locker

Quote:
Originally Posted by LeadDoggy
Dyna Power Lock
limited slip with 4, count them, 4 spider gears, not two like most LSD
clutches should last over 93.5K miles before rebuild
no cluncking noises while on the street
no air lines or compressors to fail

This one?

Dana Power Lok

http://www.drivetrainoutlet.com/Lockers ... r_Lok.html

Thanks

Tom

(edited)
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