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Old 11-21-2014, 04:40 PM   #1
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limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle contrl

Hi, I'm looking for some advice. Currently, I have a limited slip Dana 60 in the rear and an open Dana 44 in the front with 32ís on a 2001 E250 with a 5.4. The van is used 90% on the road, with the remainder of the time about equally divided between first gear crawling, moderate speed fire roads, sand, water crossings, snow, ice, Baja roads and other off road adventures. Iím getting ready to re-gear with 410ís and want to increase the traction in the front (itís currently open) . Because I spend some time driving on snow from interstateís to one lane roads)and use 4wd on snow covered pavement, I want to make sure I donít install the wrong traction aid. I know that a locker in the front is the wrong idea for use on the road in snow, so that seems to leave me with only two other options, a limited slip or leaving it open. The shop installing the new gears tells me that a limited slip in the front may prove to be difficult to use on snow or ice covered roads. Iím interested in what experiences others have had while driving on ice or snow with a limited slip front end.
A separate but related question on throttle control off road. Currently in 4 low, itís very difficult to gradually apply the throttle, instead I seem to end up lurching forward. Thatís to say, despite trying to slowly increase the throttle, the van seems to jump forward once it begins moving. I donít know if this will get better or worse with lower gearing, but Iím considering modifying the throttle linkage ( increasing the throw) to slow down the speed at which the throttle is opened. Does anyone have any experience with this? Thanks in advanceÖ.. A/T
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Old 11-21-2014, 04:54 PM   #2
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

Gradually apply throttle? Wimp. Just punch it.

I have no additional info.
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:25 PM   #3
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypanam
Gradually apply throttle? Wimp. Just punch it..
Thats the problem whimpy Dana 40's don't like abuse, and I have yet to upgrade the axles or ujoints.
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:39 PM   #4
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

Quote:
Originally Posted by arctictraveller
Quote:
Originally Posted by rallypanam
Gradually apply throttle? Wimp. Just punch it..
Thats the problem whimpy Dana 40's don't like abuse, and I have yet to upgrade the axles or ujoints.
The sooner you brake the Dana 40 - the sooner you can justify replacing it.
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

I sure hope you two know each other.

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Old 11-21-2014, 05:51 PM   #6
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

Jeff? Never heard of him.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:47 PM   #7
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

Hey, he looks familiar.
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Old 11-21-2014, 10:09 PM   #8
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

I wouldn't recommend to install a limited slip in the front axle, you'll then have lot of problem to steer on snow. There is no central diff in our t-case, so to allow different radius (and speed) to four wheels in a curve, you must keep your front diff open. In my opinion, the good configuration for snow is the one you actually have: open in the front and limited slip in the rear. If it's not enough on snow, you should buy some chains.

For mud or sand or rock crowling, you can add a locker in the front axle. You'll have maximum traction at low speed, almost de same as two lockers.

About your throttle response, have you tried to use second or third gear in spite of first? With an automatic transmission, it's often the best way if you want a smoother ride...
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:06 PM   #9
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

I've got limited slip front and rear. Haven't been in snow/ice yet, but it has done very well in muddy situations.

Heading into snow country for the first time in about a month. Will try to report back with resultsÖ

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Old 11-22-2014, 01:38 AM   #10
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Re: limited slip front diff use in snow and ice/ throttle co

Hmmm...

May want to read these:

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/12...erentials.html

http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtop...+locker&start=15

http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtop...locker&start=0

http://sportsmobileforum.com/viewtop...ocker&start=15

My two cents: I drive on snow and ice. I would never have a functioning limited slip differential or any "automatic" locker in either differential. Luckily the limited slip in my van's rear differential doesn't function, because I wouldn't want it to grab on the right and then on the left with resulting fishtail like my IH Scout did. Friggin' scary on ice!!! "Automatic" of any kind is spelled u-n-p-r-e-d-i-c-t-a-b-l-e when it comes to ice!

Here's a quote from someone else on the first thread above: "The rear LSD in my truck has caused me to go damn near sideways when it engaged during a serious snowstorm on the highway. "

I have a buddy with a newer Durango which (albiet allwheel drive) has selectable lockers front and rear and he drives where I do on ice and loves it.

I plan on eventually adding an ARB or E-Locker selectable locker front and rear when I have the money and the time. Yes, you will only use the front locker in certain situations (no tight turns, slow speed, etc.) but you decide when to use it and not the other way around. And in my opinion, having been stuck in deep snow many times in my van, there would be nothing better than having a true selectable locker under that big heavy 7.3L PSD engine to pull us out.

Please post what you do and what your experience is.

There are some Canucks and some Albertans on this forum who could probably supply some invaluable information on this topic if they desire to post.

Edit: In response to TwoVans, below. We've driven 100's of miles on the flats on scraped down to ice roads in NV, UT, ID, WA and BC in 4x4 with open differentials at 45 to 55 mph in the van with no problems. Our personal experience is that 4x4 engaged provides a little "pull" to keep you pointed forward. (Yes, we have with 4 dedicated studded snow tires in those conditions.) Ever experience the phenomenon of being in 2wd in those conditions and have the rear differential push you sideways because it is easier for it to push you sideways than for it to push that big heavy 7.3L PSD forward? So, for highway use at speed on snow or ice, my personal preference is an open differential in 4x4. I don't think I'd feel comfortable doing the same thing with a limited slip or automatic locker in the front or a functioning LSD in the rear. But for going slow, or getting out of a parking lot which experienced a 2 foot dump over night or entering or leaving a driveway which is blocked by a plow berm, I would prefer a selectable locker like the ARB and I would put it in the front diff first and then the rear. TwoVans experience with the air hose coming lose is a concern but I don't have the balls or the interest to drive anything on the Rubicon, so I could probably handle the inevitable complexity of having another system to break at the least opportune moment and to maintain. I am not arguing (I save that for Campfire), I am just learning slowly... and posting what I have learned or experienced for others to compare or contrast.
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