Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-26-2011, 11:05 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
coyotearms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 188
BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

It seems like it has been a while since a careful discussion about rear differentials has aired. I am interested in finding out from others' experiences what might be better than my current Ford stock LSD in my 2008 4x2 Diesel. I have heard a bit about Detroit TrueTrac (at least on front axles instead of lockers), but when I got on the Eaton Automotive Aftermarket Differentials website I became utterly confused with the array of different types (http://www.eaton.com/Eaton/ProductsS...ials/index.htm). Ditto on their companion Automotive Differentials website (http://www.eaton.com/Eaton/ProductsS...ials/index.htm).

When I talked to John at QuadVan a few months back, he was positive about getting the TrueTrac in the rear (instead of LSD) when going to 4x4 with lockers on the front. But he also was quite apprehensive about just going with TrueTrac front and back due to handling difficulties in tricky higher speed on road situations.

At the 2011 Overland Experience I got my rig on the off-road course to see under the watchful eye of Jim Swett what limitations I should expect. I know I don't want to ever be in a situation worse that
.

To our surprise, I was able to get out of a two-wheels-off the-ground stance by "winding up" the LSD a little, but that may have only been possible(?) with the relatively new shape it was in (8000 mi)
.

What I really would like to do is proceed toward 4x4 and get it only if I convince myself a better rear differential doesn't get me where I want to go. It would also be great if that differential would also be compatible with 4x4. With a 9'6" vehicle height, I will not be rock crawling or cutting down every tree with a chainsaw that I cannot get around or under. . .
__________________

__________________
2008 E-350 6.0L diesel: Bought new in 2010, 4x2, 4.10 LSD, HD spring-lift all 'round,
Cruiser II Top, 6'7" inside, full-time upper bed w/ kind'a EB50 layout, cozy 4-season rig
Solar: 540 W of Kyrocera w/ Blue Sky 3024iL, 3x100 AmpHr AGM's
Electrical: 4 cf fridge, nuker, water heater, compressor
Propane: stove top, furnace Travel: http://www.lugnutlife.wordpress.com
coyotearms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 11:54 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
carringb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Corvallis, OR
Posts: 4,221
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

Was he talking about an e-locker up front maybe? I think John like front differentials that are normally open, since there are some situations will an open diff will give you better control than limited slip.

The True Trac is great for the rear. Your Ford LSD can also be made to work better by increasing pre-load. But LSD has the tendency to cause understeer when used up front. True-track is just really good limited slip.
__________________

__________________
2000 E350 extended wagon dually
V10 w/ Banks Powerpack, Diablo Predator
Buckstop Outback bumper/grill guard
Reunel rear bumper
carringb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
coyotearms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 188
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Was he talking about an e-locker up front maybe? I think John like front differentials that are normally open, since there are some situations will an open diff will give you better control than limited slip.
To make sure my little bit of hearsay from QuadVan is not misunderstood: Good would be Truetrac in back and a free differential in front that can be locked (E-locker, ABR, etc.). NOT good would be Truetrac in both back AND front, period, i.e. no lockers. This was in the context of what yields good manners when driving at speed on highways in tricky conditions.

I don't necessary agree or disagree with this opinion. I simply would like to hear what experiences are from folks who have various setups on their rigs, primarily 4x2. It would be great to know that if I put a Truetrac in back and THEN decided to do 4x4, that I am still good with the Truetrac in back. Also very interested in experiences from folks with Truetrac in back and front with 4x4. What about LSD in back and Truetrac in front with 4x4? What about some of the other types of differentials discussed on the two websites I mentioned in my initial post?
__________________
2008 E-350 6.0L diesel: Bought new in 2010, 4x2, 4.10 LSD, HD spring-lift all 'round,
Cruiser II Top, 6'7" inside, full-time upper bed w/ kind'a EB50 layout, cozy 4-season rig
Solar: 540 W of Kyrocera w/ Blue Sky 3024iL, 3x100 AmpHr AGM's
Electrical: 4 cf fridge, nuker, water heater, compressor
Propane: stove top, furnace Travel: http://www.lugnutlife.wordpress.com
coyotearms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 03:16 PM   #4
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,488
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

I put an ARB Air Locker on my 4x2 lifted van in February. The spec sheet says RD169, Dana 60, C-Clip, 35 Spine, 4.10 D&N. I don't know what any of that means.

I had it put on by Full Tilt Action Vans in San Clemente, California. I am very happy with it. It has no impact at all on the regular driving when it is turned off and has already got me out of deep sand when turned on.
__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 05:05 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
coyotearms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 188
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmcintire
I put an ARB Air Locker on my 4x2 lifted van in February. The spec sheet says RD169, Dana 60, C-Clip, 35 Spine, 4.10 D&N. I don't know what any of that means.

I had it put on by Full Tilt Action Vans in San Clemente, California. I am very happy with it. It has no impact at all on the regular driving when it is turned off and has already got me out of deep sand when turned on.
Great to hear deep sand did not need 4x4! Your locker is what Olympic 4x4 in Monroe, WA wants me to do at the rear of my 4x2. I am resisting because I have pretty much always have had LSD on my previous sedans which I liked very much (road driving only) and I cannot convince myself I would be happy with a free diff during the 98% of the time on paved roads especially in winter conditions. Have you found conditions while road driving when you used your lockers to advantage?
__________________
2008 E-350 6.0L diesel: Bought new in 2010, 4x2, 4.10 LSD, HD spring-lift all 'round,
Cruiser II Top, 6'7" inside, full-time upper bed w/ kind'a EB50 layout, cozy 4-season rig
Solar: 540 W of Kyrocera w/ Blue Sky 3024iL, 3x100 AmpHr AGM's
Electrical: 4 cf fridge, nuker, water heater, compressor
Propane: stove top, furnace Travel: http://www.lugnutlife.wordpress.com
coyotearms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 06:00 PM   #6
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,488
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

Sorry, I live in Las Vegas. Not much opportunity for bad weather here. Even my winter camping is in perfect weather.
__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 07:56 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 533
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

I have had LSD's in 2wd VW vans as well as a 4wd van with lockers. If you want to go off-road and can afford it, my 2 cents is that the locker is far superior. LSD's do work and will really help when you are losing traction but I suspect that they are a common alternative only because lockers cost so much more. There is no penalty on road when a locker is disengaged and getting full lock-up when you need it is priceless. I have heard and can imagine that a locker will put a bit more strain on the drive-line so that might be one reason to avoid it if you are not going to be too serious about off-road stuff.
witoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 09:06 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
coyotearms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 188
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

Sounds like great advice for off-road work, which I want to do, but I don't have a good sense for how to use such a setup while on the road at speed in winter conditions, i.e. when do you go for it unlocked (free diff) and struggle with traction and when do you lock? I sense the Truetrac could be a pretty good compromise with the caveat that it might be a bit tricky on the road in bad conditions if the vehicle is driven by someone that is not so mindful of what I think may be a more aggressive engagement.
__________________
2008 E-350 6.0L diesel: Bought new in 2010, 4x2, 4.10 LSD, HD spring-lift all 'round,
Cruiser II Top, 6'7" inside, full-time upper bed w/ kind'a EB50 layout, cozy 4-season rig
Solar: 540 W of Kyrocera w/ Blue Sky 3024iL, 3x100 AmpHr AGM's
Electrical: 4 cf fridge, nuker, water heater, compressor
Propane: stove top, furnace Travel: http://www.lugnutlife.wordpress.com
coyotearms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 09:50 PM   #9
Site Team
 
macmcintire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Posts: 1,488
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

Even though I live in Vegas, I am from Wyoming originally, so I am very used to driving in snow. Very seldom did I ever keep my truck in 4x4 even in snowy conditions. Only when there was deep snow or obvious extreme slick situations did I switch to four wheel drive. So I'm assuming I would do the same with my ARB locking differential on my two wheel drive SMB. If I thought conditions were bad I would just reach down and flip on the switch. Then when conditions improve I would turn it off. I understand when used this way there is no problem with the locker being on while traveling at normal speeds. I think the only problem would be if one kept it locked on for a long time. I always felt the same way about 4x4. I wouldn't want to keep 4x4 locked for very long either. But again, I am no expert on stuff like this.
__________________
Mac McIntire
2002 Ford E250, 5.4L V8, RB-50 (AdVANture)
4x2, Action Van Ultimate Suspension System, 4 1/2" lift
Dana Spicer Gear, ARB Full Air Locking Differential
285/70R17 Big Foot A/T tires
Aluminess Bumpers F/R, Bushwhacker fender flares
Smittybilt XRC 12 Winch
2014 Chaser Adventure Off-Road Trailer
macmcintire is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2011, 10:13 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 533
Re: BEST REAR DIFFERENTIAL FOR 4x2 OR 4x4?

It really depends on how aggressive the LSD is. On my old VW van that had a 40% LSD rear it would skitter a bit on tight corners under throttle on tarmac and I had to be a bit cautious driving corners under heavy throttle. I never noticed it otherwise on the road, only on dirt or snow when it would kick in if I lost traction on one wheel. But remember it was also a VW so had very little power. I think if you fed too much throttle into a V8 Ford motor going around a corner you might get a more dramatic response!

My van with lockers was more complex: it was also a VW, but with a fluid viscous coupling to the front diff that only engaged when the speed difference between front and rear varied by some percentage. So 2wd to 4wd took place with no conscious effort required but the rear diff could be locked at the pull of a switch. I only ever used the locker when things got really rough on dirt and it was fantastic. My experience with that has convinced me of the need for at least one locker on my Quigley van. Just have to figure out how to pay for it all...

And on that topic, this company <http://www.currieenterprises.com/> was recommended to me by my local 4wd shop after I had a choking spell at the price of a Dyna track axle. You might call Currie. I found them pretty helpful and quite reasonably priced.
__________________

witoke is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.