Open differential sucks help!! - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Open differential sucks help!!

so i went off roading in my 1993 bronco with a friend that has a jeep cherokee ...holy crap it was embarrassing my bronco wouldn't go half of the places due to open diff. any budget ideas I've tried searching it no luck. thank you.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:20 AM
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Budget ideas? Easiest one would to be to weld the differential. It will then have some horrible road manners but would be on the cheap. Idea two would go to the JK and found yourself a limited slip differential and snag the whole axle. Its still a gamble if the clutches are in good shape but rebuilding one wouldn't be that hard and you wouldn't have to worry about the r&p setup.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:32 AM
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A factory LS part can be "upgraded" with an extra steel and clutch disk. This tightens it up quite a bit.

Mini spools are pretty cheap and can be done without messing up the gear mesh.

Otherwise, I'd go Detroit locker, but then youre talking 600 plus re-setting your gears. Traction is phenomenal, and street manners aren't bad, once you've heard and felt the locker pop in and out once. First time is a bit sketchy sounding.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:42 AM
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A drop in locker is the most economical way to get some grip. There are several on the market that will get you what you want without needing to reset your differential clearances. There are several guys here who have more experience with " Lunchbox" lockers that could offer their advice on the best brands.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 09:47 AM
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I might add I did run a spartan USA gear locker in my Jeep Wrangler, it worked well and had no complaints.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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can you guys put up some links on the parts I would be interested on a mini spool or lunchbox I don't even know the difference
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:07 PM
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I don't think you'll like a lunchbox type locker in the rear end. lunchbox style locker generally refers to the type of locker that automatically engages when the two wheels start to turn at different speeds. they can be unnerving with the clunks they make and handling while cornering on the roads is less than ideal. I have a lunchbox style (Aussie) locker in the front of my '90 FSB and while it is awesome traction for getting me through damn near anything, it's clunky and noisy and even effects my steering a bit when the hubs are locked, even if not engaged in 4x. The same rig had one in the front and the rear but the previous owner pulled the one in the rear for the reasons I gave above. All that said... they are cheaper by far and nearly bullet-proof. Great option for an off-road dedicated or mostly off-road rig.

Electric and Air type lockers offer much better control but cost accordingly. They will only be engaged when activated (by electric or air pressure) so you only have them engaged when needed and not "whenever". Air lockers are great, if you have on-board air, but that's a whole other supporting setup you need to install, so the electric is probably more cost effective and simple to setup.

Ideally... I'd like a Limited Slip rear end with an air locker in the front (w/on-board air) for my limited off-road and daily-driver, on-road use.
I've only ever had the lunchbox style in my '90 though... so what I've shared above is just from reading threads over the years. Someone with more direct experience will hopefully correct me if I'm wrong.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:53 PM
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The big buck indestructible high HP options are ARB or Detroit Locker. I prefer the Detroit for the rear end, it will handle more shock load than the axles and the new soft lock design has reduced the clunk associated with a true ratcheting locker. The selectable ARB is a favorite for front axle use as Pepe said due to on demand only use allowing normal open differential operation for better road manners and slick surface tracking. The downside of the air locker is the cost of the unit itself, onboard compressor, associated controls and hardware. Also required is a receiver tank filtration dryer for supply air to prevent moisture and oil from migrating into the critical components. I have seen ARBs operated by a regulated nitrogen cylinder which greatly simplifys the system and the reserve capacity of a small nitrogen tank is quite a bit, more than enough for months or operation or topping off after air down for off road use.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by 445 FE Bronco View Post
The big buck indestructible high HP options are ARB or Detroit Locker. I prefer the Detroit for the rear end, it will handle more shock load than the axles and the new soft lock design has reduced the clunk associated with a true ratcheting locker. The selectable ARB is a favorite for front axle use as Pepe said due to on demand only use allowing normal open differential operation for better road manners and slick surface tracking. The downside of the air locker is the cost of the unit itself, onboard compressor, associated controls and hardware. Also required is a receiver tank filtration dryer for supply air to prevent moisture and oil from migrating into the critical components. I have seen ARBs operated by a regulated nitrogen cylinder which greatly simplifys the system and the reserve capacity of a small nitrogen tank is quite a bit, more than enough for months or operation or topping off after air down for off road use.
You answered my query before I was able to ask !


And from personal experience of powering air tools and airing up tires it is about a perfect system, yet simple, as you can get.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:10 PM
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Lockers are great and all but I only really need an LSD, any info appreciated :thumbs:

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:19 PM
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If LSD is your aim than the Ford or TruTrack is your best option.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 08:24 PM
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thanks for the info, LSD is really all I need for winter driving, it makes a world of difference
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:29 PM
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I also agree on the rear LSD. I picked one up for the 8.8 at a swapmeet. The quick Mustang guys will pull them out for a Detroit. New carbon clutches shimmed up correctly and good gear oil will make a huge difference. My Bronco is due for a rebuild, it is really weak right now.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:31 AM
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Sorry for the mini novel, but I've been at this fork in the road and made this same decision.

First you need to find out if your current axle has the L/S and is just worn out.

Our trucks are old, it's very possible you just need a rebuild kit.

You'll also need to know about the existing rear if you decide you want to do a lunchbox locker since the part number is different for an open axle vs one with the L/S (different carrier design).

Also, be careful about using a Mustang L/S. Even though they use the same 8.8 rear, a lot of those will be for 28 spline axles and won't work with our 31 spline axles.

So, from cheapest to most $$$$

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!

Now is the time to decide just what you want to do with the truck. If you plan on keeping it and wheeling it for a long time, get what you really want now.

Ring and pinion work is NOT cheap and you don't want to spend $$$ installing a locker only to find you want bigger tires and now need to regear. You'll get to pay the R&P labor all over again to get the new gears installed.

That said, cheap and easy to $$$$ and off-road beast...

Rebuild what you have (if it has L/S) ~$100-200

Junkyard axle (price varies but go ahead and include the L/S rebuild cost since it will most likely be shot)

Lunchbox locker ~$300-500

Here is where R&P labor comes in. Re-gear NOW if you ever think you'll need to. Add around $200 for gears and remember that if you regear the rear, you need to regear the front as well so double the gear and labor costs.

TruTrac ( the BEST L/S) ~ $500 for the TruTrac and then another $500 for installation/setup

Detroit Locker ~$650 for the locker and $500 installation/setup

ARB ~$1000 +$200 for the compressor + $600+ installation/setup (not just R&P, drilling axle for air line, running air line, mounting and wiring compressor, etc...)

I have a Detroit in the rear and a TrueTrac in the front of my Bronco and I wouldn't change it for anything.

I don't mind the Detroit's manners once you learn them, and the front TrueTrac, while maybe not as good as a real locker or ARB, is more than sufficient, maintenance and worry free, and still lets you steer when using it off road.

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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:37 AM
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yup that's what I wanna do with my 78.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 09:56 AM
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you might want to verify your actualyl open diff or if you have a factory limited slip thats jsut worn out. look on the axle tag and see if it says soemthing like 3L55, the L meaning limited slip. you might jsut need new clutches.

you can probably install a differential yourself with a bit of patience. jsut need to buy a magnetic dial indicator and digitial caliper. have a shop press the new bearinga on the carrier. you dotn have to change pinion depth which is the time consuming part. you jsut need to shim the differential side to side till proper backlash is there.

lunchbox lockers ar alright for a beater truck. not good for snow onroad and its basicly a timebomb that WILL eventually give out, jsut a matter of when. it makes a odd rathcet noise and you have to adjsut your driving style alittle for turns.

minispool or welded spider gears is best for beater trucks also. super cheap and most traction offroad. still not good onroad or doing sharp turns in trails.but offroad its the best traction you can get and cheap.

you can get a complete Trac-lok limited slip for a good price around 230$ and it will have carbon fiber clutches. as i said you will have to press on new bearings and have it installed is tricky same would go for any new locker or limited slip carrier.
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-----96 5.0 E4OD--------------88 5.8 C6--------------96 5.8 E4OD------
---------KIA-------------------Mud/Trail---------------Daily Driver------
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:21 PM
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I run a Detroit in the rear. I've ran them with 33,35, & 37" tires, aired down, in the snow, mud, & crawlin. Never let me down, never broke one. I don't drive aired down on the streets & I don't accelerate hard around corners. You'll be surprised what you can conquer with just a rear. Link for $ reference.

http://www.4wheelparts.com/eSearch.a...ker+9%22&No=30

Some old school guys will tell you to learn to "wheel" with just a rear locker before adding a front, simply due to the situations you can get yourself into with one. I tend to agree. However, once you have one, you'll never go back. Link for $ reference.

https://www.4wd.com/Jeep-Drivetrain-...FdRyfgodnIcGdQ
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 05:41 PM
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#1 factor in traction is TIRES, start with a good set of 'em
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