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Old 11-12-2009, 11:58 AM   #1
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FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

I quickly found out that the 2wd 1999 Ford E-250 that I recently bought had a open differential. I don't plan to go off-road but I do plan to go off-pavement so I upgraded to a Limited Slip Differential.
This is not a how-to since I had a local shop do it but I thought others might find the info useful. The parts used here apply to my van. The rear axles are by no means universal. This is all new to me so take everything here with a block of salt.

First step was to remove the current differential to get part numbers.
Van de-differentialed:


You're looking at the pinion gear.


Here is a view of the old differential with various numbers visible on the ring gear.
12 07 98 DANA D 47664 P4L578 45 11


It is a Dana 60 unit.
The last two number "45" & "11" represent the number of teeth on the ring gear and the teeth on the pinion.
45 / 11 = 4.090909
That equates to a "4.09" gear ratio

Here is the old unit next to the new unit. Inside the top of the new unit is a set of plates that act like a clutch to transmit torque to both axles if one axle starts to spin too much in relation to the other axle.


A couple close ups of the new unit.


You can just see the words "Trac-Lok" on the top of the new unit. That's a trademark for Dana. This is a OEM unit.

This is how it looked installed.


There were two problems with my install. The first new unit that was shipped had the wrong splines. The van's splines are 35 which is the number of grooves or ridges. The new differential came with 32's. A bigger number means a bigger axle which is more heavy duty. Had to wait for a replacement.


Second problem was the cover. Mine was so rusted the threads came out when they removed the fill plug. Had to order a new one from the local Ford dealer.


Close up:


Final Bill (less tax):
Dana 60 Posi Unit - $445
Carrier Bearings - $60
Bearing Races - $30
Labor 6.5 hrs at $55/hr - $357.50
Valvoline Posi Gear Oil - $20
Rear Cover Assy. - $65
Total - $977.50

Here is a Dana diagram and a parts list. (click pics to enlarge)
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:33 PM   #2
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

You da man
thanx!!
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

So, was the differential returned and a 35 spline unit ordered? or did you change the axles?

Mike
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:34 PM   #4
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

The differential was replaced with a 35 spline unit. No way would I have gone lighter duty. Not that they asked. Don't even know if that's doable.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:32 PM   #5
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

Just for the fun of it:

Jessi Combs who's now on Mythbusters.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:32 AM   #6
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

Just completed the same upgrade on my 2003 E 350 with about 50,000 miles. Doing some research I found there is a bill of materials number stamped on the right axle tube which your parts supplier can use to get the original build specifications from Dana. The parts were sourced through Drive Train Specialists in Las Vegas (www.drivetrain.com) for about $428. Very knowledgeable guys at tech support and parts desk, but the first order did get lost. New bearings were included, but it may have been a mistake in the packaging. Labor was about the same at a Salt Lake shop, but they also replaced the axle seals while they had it apart.

I also considered installing a LockRight for a little less money, but the tech guy advised against it. Said they are too annoying for normal driving.
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Old 12-18-2009, 01:50 AM   #7
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

Thanks for posting the photos, VWvan!
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Old 12-18-2009, 08:17 AM   #8
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

The parts for my upgrade came from Randy's Ring and Pinion.

Here's a picture of Randy's workers.
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Old 02-21-2010, 04:13 PM   #9
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

Cool Thread,
I will bring it back from the Past.

When I ordered my van I had them put a 3.55 rear end in with a Limited Slip,
do you think my rear end is the Dana 60 or Dayna 70?

I cannot get down there to inspect it..

I have a Mag-Hytec rear end cover on mine and I have Amsoil Synth Fluid
in the rear end with the Additive for LS.

The van is a 2WD rig and the LS really grabs and works like a charm.

I also installed the Sonax Valve and trim Springs in the trans w/Mag-Hytec pan
and Amsoil Synth Fluids.

It shifts so smooth, zero to 60 in about 6-7 seconds it feels like.
I never really timed it so I'm guessing. I run a 80 HP program
in my 7.3L.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:09 PM   #10
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Re: FYI - Upgrade to Limited Slip Differential

Have you gone off pavement since the rebuild? Did you notice any differences? Thanks


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