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Old 04-07-2019, 09:56 AM   #1
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E-van: which rear wheel is the drive wheel?

On a 2WD Ford Econoline without LSD, which wheel is the actual drive wheel? 2002 E250 5.4 3.73 rear
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:14 AM   #2
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Both of them. Of course, once the wheel with the least traction breaks loose, all of the power will go to that one, resulting in a lack of forward drive.

https://youtu.be/yYAw79386WI

edit: I guess I don't know how to add a link, but the above youtube address is for a great video explanation of how a differential works.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:20 AM   #3
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Yeah, but isnít one side the primary rear drive wheel?
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:19 AM   #4
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No. Equal traction = equal power going to each rear wheel. Wherever did you get the notion that there is a primary drive wheel???
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Old 04-07-2019, 11:29 AM   #5
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As far as I was aware, there were really only three (popular)kinds of differentials- Open, limited slip, and locking. Don't think Ford would have made what was primarily a commercial truck with a locking rear diff, just wouldn't make sense. If it's not a LS Diff, then it's probably an open diff.

If you were to "pinch" one tire (give it traction, prevent it from moving), the other would spin because power is given to the wheel with least traction.

I've gotten "stuck" (Well, until I put it back in 4wd..) twice now in some really silly spots (Wet grass and an iced-over parking spot..) because the open diff is worthless on anything but dry, hard-road driving.
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:03 PM   #6
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Huh. Ok, well, now I know. I always thought with an open diff that one wheel was the primary drive wheel.
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Old 04-07-2019, 01:12 PM   #7
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The oldest explanation is still the best:
https://youtu.be/yYAw79386WI
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Old 04-07-2019, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
The oldest explanation is still the best:
https://youtu.be/yYAw79386WI
Elementary instruction at its finest. I like it! Background music in this video reminds me of the rare occasion we made it to the Movie Theater...back-in-the-day.
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Old 04-07-2019, 05:05 PM   #9
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Find someplace slick and romp on it. It will show you exactly which one breaks loose first. In my experience it’s almost always been the passenger rear when it’s just me in the vehicle. Unless it’s a fwd car, then it’s been the passenger front. Seems it’s pretty much always opposite of where my fatass is.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:45 PM   #10
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I think that's where the idea of a "primary drive wheel" comes from -- on any given vehicle there's one tire that will tend to break loose first, so when you floor it that's the one that'll spin. It tends to come down to weight distribution and how the suspension winds up under power. But when both tires have grip they both get equal amounts of torque.
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