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Old 05-14-2020, 05:17 PM   #1
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2wd locker question

I have a question for you Ford guys and gals about gear ratios. I am planning to put a locker in my rear end and keep it true 2wd. I have not been able to ID my rear end yet. The door code says C2 which would mean limited slip but when I broke them loose to test it on some grass and gravel only one wheel spun.

I guess my questions are:

1) If I DID want to run larger than 33" tires, say 35's would a 411 gear be best? Not planning to tow anything regularly or I've heard 456 would be good.

2) Thinking ARB locker and compressor so I can air up and down.

3) Anything else I'd need to know and you think the extra cost etc would be worth it? Mostly driving on washboard and rutted roads at 40mph for hours in Baja...

Main build thread here:

https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/fo...tml#post272919
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:11 PM   #2
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Looking at the same, trying to decide between ARB, and eaton E-locker.

I have a Dana-60 full float, ARB and gears are a direct fit, Eaton requiresnew axle shafts(as far as I can tell).

Gearing with 33's is dead between factory 3.73 ratio i have snd 4.10. Like you my interior build is pretty light.


Hope this helps, but also looking for ingo fro. Those that know more too.
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Old 05-14-2020, 08:47 PM   #3
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4.10 is probably the best for your motor and 33s.

4.56 would be too much. You'd be above peak hp in overdrive on the freeway in some states. 4.30s might be good with 35's except you probably have a Dana 60, and 4.30 gears in the 60 have weak pinion teeth. I sheared some of mine off, and hence why I moved to 4.56.
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Old 05-14-2020, 09:38 PM   #4
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"Mostly driving on washboard and rutted roads at 40mph for hours in Baja..."

For your projected use, you could probably, tune up the limited slip, change the gears and spend the savings on other improvements like better suspension and tires for those washboard roads. Hours of high speed washboard is very hard on suspension. Good shocks will work much better and last longer. Better springs will be a big improvement. A good compressor to air up the tires. You will use that stuff every day as opposed to a locker that will likely be used about 0.000001 % of the time.
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Old 05-15-2020, 02:29 PM   #5
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I have been running an ARB locker with 4.56 gears and 35s on my van for a while now and it works great overall. I have a very robust air delivery system so incorporating the locker was no big deal. I keep it locked most of the time offroad mostly so I can have more fun sliding through corners. I do agree though with actictraveller that you don't really need it for dirt road type conditions. We have never been stuck in our van even in very sandy and muddy conditions, but I have a lifetime of offroad experience from bikes and that plays a large part in how to approach certain situations without compounding them further.

Be prepared though with running a setup like mine....$2500 for the locker/dana gears/rebuild and labor. Not cheap but worth it in my opinion. I am running the ARB diff cover as well so I can change and check the fluid easily.

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Old 05-15-2020, 02:43 PM   #6
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A less expensive solution to installing a locker is to simply make sure if your thinking about travel in extreme conditions, make sure you travel with friends who can give you a tug. I run the stock limited slip in my rear diff, and despite having 4wd, I rarely use it, and i do a lot of off road in Baja and elsewhere. About the only times I get stuck is in deep sand, and at that point, even with 4wd, I still get stuck.
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Old 05-15-2020, 04:39 PM   #7
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What is the easiest way to test if itís working or not? Because Iím not able to identify the rear end Iím not positive itís been swapped out or not. If itís not actually a limited slip Iím definitely going to have to put a locker in.
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Old 05-15-2020, 06:24 PM   #8
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Find a dirt or gravel road with a loose surface and floor it from a stop. Do it a few times and go back and look to see if you see two wheel spins or one.

Your diff doesnít have a code tag on it?
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Old 05-15-2020, 08:48 PM   #9
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Find a dirt or gravel road with a loose surface and floor it from a stop. Do it a few times and go back and look to see if you see two wheel spins or one.

Your diff doesnít have a code tag on it?
No code at all. None of the normal numbers in the normal places. I spun them for a bit but not long does it take a sec for it to kick in?
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Old 05-21-2020, 01:49 PM   #10
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Just remember a supposedly 2WD vehicle without a locking device in the rear-end is a 1WD vehicle. A supposedly 4WD vehicle without any type of axle locking device installed in either the front or rear axle is a 2WD vehicle. Add a rear locking device to the rear or front axle and you now have a 3WD vehicle. It takes locking devices front and rear to have a true 4WD vehicle.

Having said that installing an axle locking device in your rear axle assembly is a huge advantage over standard 1WD van.
All the mechanical and friction type of axle locking or limited slip devices are automatic in their operation. That's not necessarily a good thing! In some situations an automatic locking rear axle is far worse than having a 1 legger open rear-end. Example is ICE. A locking device in the rear-end of a rear wheel drive vehicle on an icy road is a huge disadvantage and down right unsafe!

IF I were going to stay 2WD with your van I would SPEND (your not investing in anything) the money and buy/install an ARB air locker as suggested by "Redoval" to give you the ultimate control over your rear axle. Not everyone is an experienced off-roader that can get through the trail with a 1WD or 2WD Ford big, heavy bulky van.

My 4WD ASSTRO van has a Detroit Locker in the rear axle an ARB air locker in the front. I could remove the Detroit locker in the rear axle and not miss it at all. The ARB locker in the front axle is that good! The ARB air locker is expensive and worth it if you off-road in places you should not be with a van!

Personally if I had a supposed 4WD vehicle that did not have a locking device in the rear or front axle I would install a locking device in the front axle FIRST before the rear axle. Having a locking device particularly a fully controllable locking device like an ARB air locker in the front axle is a HUGE advantage when you need it far more so than having a automatic locking device in the rear axle. I could have a 1 legger rear-end with an ARB air locker in the front axle of my vehicle and go far more places than having a locker in the rear axle and not one in the front axle.

The ARB also gives you a good air pump to air up and down your tires when needed!
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