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Discussion Starter #1
I am familiar with Limited slip and Open difs, but not so much Lockers and Spools. From what I've read, a spool is basically a full time locked rear end for maximum traction while a locker has the ability to switch power from wheel to another. Clarify this for me? :thumbup

Also, when compared to one another, how reliable are lockers, spools and limited slip off road?

* I only do occasional light-medium off roading currently

One more thing... How do spools and lockers handles and perform on the streets & offroad? I have heard some people say they don't enjoy the locker on road, but love it off road etc..


Any info is great - :toothless
 

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The spool, as you stated, is just a solid block of metal which replaces the spider gears.. it completely locks both wheels together, the locker will lock the wheels when one looses traction (there are many different kids, all work slightly different but perform the same goal)

i've had spools in two vehicles (bronco and scout).. both of which i drove on the street as well as offroad, my experience with both was the same, offroad they worked well, with their downside being they reduce you're steering ability (especially when on an incline or while accelerating, i.e. traction on the locked rear wheels fighting you're turning) if you're front end has significantly less traction than the rear, expect to go straight even when steering the wheel. on the street, it's horrible to drive, steering feels akward (as you begin to turn the wheel, you don't get much response until you hit the static friction point of one of the rear tires, at which time the truck will go into a sharper-then-anticipated turn) making it less than a pleasure to drive.. on tight turns (parking lots etc) you'll have to scrape one tire or the other around every turn, giving wheel hop, wearing out the tires, etc. it also stresses (and as i found destroys) the axle shafts from the constant forward/backward torque between the tires on turns.

i upgraded to a Detroit locker. which on the street drives very nicely and isn't even noticeable (unless hard acceleration on a sharp turn) offroad, i can't tell any difference with the detroit, except that steering is better. lockers such as detroit lockers are very reliable, other types of lockers like lock-rite lockers wear out a little sooner as they are constantly "ratcheting" while making turns. and limited slip is not recommended for offroad driving, as the clutches can't handle the torque and they slip and go bad right away.

i'd recommend a detroit locker hands down if you have an automatic trans (they get some serious backlash problems with manuals)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the info rhauf, this helped alot. I do have an auto (E4OD) and have been thinking about getting the Detroit lockers for awhile now. Just to clarify, in lockers, when a wheel slips does it lock them together distributing equal power to both? Or power to the wheel with traction only? Also, you said lockers can act funny if you take a turn fast under acceleration (which I'm fine with, not a crazy street driver) but is this because lockers act like an open dif until needed then they lock up? This is my guess, then it would seem awkward when lock on street.

rhauf---> really enjoyed the videos on Youtube man, fantastic stuff you got posted on youtube.
 

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Does anybody else have any opinions on lockers? I'd love to get one, but I think I'd rather save up for a selectable ARB and get the best of both worlds
 

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I had a detroit for awhile, drove mainly on the street and it was great. I hardly ever knew it was there except when turning left through traffic.

I loved it off-road, never had to flip any switches or worry about if it was going to work. I had an arb in the front at the time that was great too. But I liked having the one in the rear that I never had to worry about.
 

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I installed an aussie a couple of weeks ago, not complaint what so ever. Havent put to many miles on it though. You will hear some clicking while turning, but if you have the a/c, radio, or exhaust going on, you wont even hear it at all. Finally tested it in the mud today, and i think im very satisfied with how it worked.
 

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Thanks for the info rhauf, this helped alot. I do have an auto (E4OD) and have been thinking about getting the Detroit lockers for awhile now. Just to clarify, in lockers, when a wheel slips does it lock them together distributing equal power to both? Or power to the wheel with traction only? Also, you said lockers can act funny if you take a turn fast under acceleration (which I'm fine with, not a crazy street driver) but is this because lockers act like an open dif until needed then they lock up? This is my guess, then it would seem awkward when lock on street.

rhauf---> really enjoyed the videos on Youtube man, fantastic stuff you got posted on youtube.

The detroit locker is my locker of choice. Glad you liked the videos too. :rockon

to answer you're question though.. the way torque is delivered in an axle (locker or not) is commonly misunderstood, so i'm going to try to clarify that some. with an OPEN differential (stock, conventional), TORQUE is always divided evenly to each wheel. this poses a problem if (for instance) one tire has no traction (no ability to deliver torque) the open differential will not give any more torque to the tire with traction.. so in other words, the traction tire won't push you any harder than the slipping tire is..

with a locker, it does the opposite, when one tire begins to spin, (or drive-line torque is increased, as in throttle is pressed) it locks the wheels together, so even if one wheel has no traction, the other will still get 100% torque.

the Detroit locker is the way to go. and IMO you should upgrade you're rear axle to a 9" at the same time. (and used 9" and used detroit locker would cost the same or less than a new detroit for an 8.8)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I might be wrong, but I thought I read on here awhile ago Ford 9"s don't have a bolt in for speed sensors. Since mines a '95 I think that's a necessity.

What's the different between an open dif and a limited slip rear end then as far as how traction is applied?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I installed an aussie a couple of weeks ago, not complaint what so ever. Havent put to many miles on it though. You will hear some clicking while turning, but if you have the a/c, radio, or exhaust going on, you wont even hear it at all. Finally tested it in the mud today, and i think im very satisfied with how it worked.
Can you feel the clicking or just hear it?
 

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I might be wrong, but I thought I read on here awhile ago Ford 9"s don't have a bolt in for speed sensors. Since mines a '95 I think that's a necessity.

What's the different between an open dif and a limited slip rear end then as far as how traction is applied?
That's true, and with the '95 you'd need the vss. I think there is an adaptor or something you can get that goes on the t-case (or speedo cable or something) which solves this problem though. do some searchin'

limited slip/posi do the same thing as a locker, they just use clutches which engage and disengage instead of doing it mechanically with gear teeth that lock together.
 

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The Anti Yam!
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* I only do occasional light-medium off roading currently
Do you have Trac-Loc in your 8.8?

Spool = Neither tire can spin slower or faster than the ring gear.
(Same as driving an ATV/4-wheeler)

Locker = No tire can spin slower than the ring gear, under ligh throttle or coasting, one side gear can disengage and spin faster than the ring gear to allow for negotiating turns. Stab the gas and it locks back.

Limited slip = Same basic design as an open diff but with clutches behind the side gear that are preloaded by springs. These clutches attempt to keep the two side gears locked together. The side gears and spider gears are beveled which presses harder on the clutches as torque from the engine rises. The problem with limited slips are there is a limit to how hard they can hold the side gears together. They need some torque to transfer anything more than what the preload delivers, so in a super low traction situation (Such as a tire in the air) they don’t function much better. Torque transfer can be artificially helped by pressing the break slightly.

Open = Same amount of torque is applied to both tires no matter what. If one tire is spinning in the air, the tire on the ground is receiving the same amount of torque, which is only the amount it takes to free spin the other tire in the air.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Do you have Trac-Loc in your 8.8?

Spool = Neither tire can spin slower or faster than the ring gear.
(Same as driving an ATV/4-wheeler)

Locker = No tire can spin slower than the ring gear, under ligh throttle or coasting, one side gear can disengage and spin faster than the ring gear to allow for negotiating turns. Stab the gas and it locks back.

Limited slip = Same basic design as an open diff but with clutches behind the side gear that are preloaded by springs. These clutches attempt to keep the two side gears locked together. The side gears and spider gears are beveled which presses harder on the clutches as torque from the engine rises. The problem with limited slips are there is a limit to how hard they can hold the side gears together. They need some torque to transfer anything more than what the preload delivers, so in a super low traction situation (Such as a tire in the air) they don’t function much better. Torque transfer can be artificially helped by pressing the break slightly.

Open = Same amount of torque is applied to both tires no matter what. If one tire is spinning in the air, the tire on the ground is receiving the same amount of torque, which is only the amount it takes to free spin the other tire in the air.
Definately sounds like I need to upgrade to Detroit Lockers then. Yeah, I have a rebuilt trac-loc in my 8.8 right now.


*I have even been thinking about getting my hands on a 10.25" rear end, like some others have done on here and really like it. I am only worried to hear about prices on those, even if they are used. I haven't really tried to look yet though. :toothless
 

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The Anti Yam!
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Definately sounds like I need to upgrade to Detroit Lockers then. Yeah
A Detroit, like any other auto locker, will give you some feedback. There is a learning curve, and they can be very squirley in snow or ice conditions. Are you ready for that?

I have a rebuilt trac-loc in my 8.8 right now.
Has your TracLoc not performed up to your expectations?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
A Detroit, like any other auto locker, will give you some feedback. There is a learning curve, and they can be very squirley in snow or ice conditions. Are you ready for that?

Has your TracLoc not performed up to your expectations?
I never go to the snow or ice so I'm not really worried about that. I would say I'm happy with it actually, just curious about my other options in the future. Considering getting another rear-end with a locker and switching out mine just for fun. I always like to experience new stuff with my truck/s and don't have lockers in anything I own right now.

I figure if I don't like the locked rear end or just feel like switching back and forth I can store the axle I don't feel like using for whatever time period in my shed. :rofl:
 

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This will kill your u-joints and it will be a pita to turn if you have to get out and unlock your hubs every turn. IMO not worth it. I would run a ls or auto up front (even better an arb).
 

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i currently have front and rear lockrights on my bronco. i can use my bronco as a daily driver. the rear locker (i have manual hubs so unless they're locked front one isn't used) i only notice around tight corners (more than 90*) or long slow corners (those clover leaf style freeway off ramps that make you make a big circle). i've noticed that by feathering the clutch a little bit it smoothes up the ratcheting action and controls the bucking associated with it as well. off road when i have the front end engaged, steering is a little less precise but the increase increase in traction is well worth it. for a while i ran a lockright front/open rear. i don't recommend this combo as the front end tended to do it's own thing with no counter-input from the rear.
on my previous bronco i had a detroit soft locker rear and tru-trac front. the tru-trac is a gear driven limited slip than can transfer up to 80% of the torque to the opposite tire. i highly recommend tru tracs to anyone who needs a little extra traction but doesn't want the handling of a locker. the tru trac was completely invisible until i needed the extra traction. the soft locker didn't buck like the lockrights do however, around sharp corners it'd still ratchet and chirp tires.
if i had the money i'd put dual arb's in the bronco. i like the selectability of them. the compressors can be used to fill up tires in a pinch as well making it a dual purpose upgrade (always a plus in my book). for those that question the reliability of arb's (mainly airline leaks), the only one's i've seen do this were ones that weren't installed correctly.
if you want a selectable locker but dont want the added cost of an arb and the compressor, look into an ox locker or e locker. ox is cable actuaded (hard parts are hard to fail) and the e locker is electrically activated (wire in a switch and you're done...after installing the locker of course).
spools i don't recommend for anyone except for off road only rigs. they CAN be run on the street....but just cause something can be done, doesn't make it a good idea. due to no differentiating action whatsoever, there is a lot of added stress on the drivetrain parts, wear on the tires, etc.
 
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