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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So sometime fairly soon I'll be putting the truck under the knife for some 4.56's and I'm not going to go through all that trouble and not have some sort of "real" diffs in the truck afterward. So I'll likely slap a Lock Right in the rear (after I locate an open carrier), but I'm thinking if it's worthwhile to also put one up front or if I could save some money and go with a mini-spool instead. Money being a non-issue I'd go locker, but this whole gear/diff swap is pretty costly so I need to save money when I can.

We discussed this the last time I went wheeling with some friends and they had nothing but good things to say about a front mounted spool. Driving on the street in snow isn't a concern since I'm in Texas. ;) So the front hubs would only be engaged when wheeling it.

Is this going to severely stress the TTB more than a locker? Will it kill my power steering? I guess what I'm saying is that I was convinced of the benefits of a front spool on the trail, but what about it accelerating parts wear/breakage?

Oh, and the truck will hopefully soon have 35" MT tires on it. It has 33's at the moment.

Thanks,
Tommy

P.S. I searched, but searching "TTB" and "spool" yields a lot of non-relevant posts. Nonetheless, if I missed the right one, please point it out to me.
 

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Premium Member
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as ogeechee 4x4, he'll tell yeah all about spools.

i would say save your loot until you can get it done with a locker.
imo is that spools are great for going in a straight line, and thats about it.
all ive ever heard or seen in experience would reinforce that. the only exception being some built buggies with turning brakes. but i have only seen that once. and i didnt see the point.

i would save up and wait. thats what i am doing right now, i cant afford to pay attention, so naturally cant afford to do something twice.
 

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Depending on what you are building the truck for...

I had an Aussie Locker in my bronco with TTB44 for a year.... all was happy and man it wheeled well... I am not a fan of spools/welded fronts, as its nice to have the give when turning.....

I just did my SAS, and put the aussie into that....

I would 100% run an aussie....
 

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CheeseBurger Milkshake!!
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I ran a Power-Trax in my TTB for three years, it failed. Then I installed a mini-spool, I love it. If I were to do it all over again, I would have went with the spool first.

The only bitch of it is locking and un-locking the hubs for varying conditions on the trail. The only accelerated wear I've noticed is broken axles, carry a spare. If you keep your foot out of it they will last longer.;)

The extra traction is addicting.
 

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Is it recommended to only lock one side of the truck for "normal" 4wd'ing and lock the second when things get crazy if you are running a mini spool front?

Kind of a 3wd to 4wd kinda deal.....

Never heard an answer on this.

Jeff
 

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CheeseBurger Milkshake!!
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If only one hub is locked in, it'll pull hard to the one side, personally I like to lock them both at the same time.
 

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lock them both. that way one side doesn't have the extra strain. Just put the mini in and see how you like it. They are cheap and if anything just get a set of axles. Even if you break something you can probably still get it home or back someplace with the rear locked. I have a 1995 5.8 and I am amazed how far and the different rocks I have taken mine on and I only have a posi 8.8. Once I was climbing a big trail and thought it was in 4x4. I just replaced the auto hubs with some real ones and I forgot I needed to turn them for 4x4. I have a mini I am going to put in the TTB as soon as it cools down in San Diego. It was 101 today. Not the type of weather to sit under a truck on a driveway in.
 

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Phase your front u-joints when/if you put the mini-spool in and go easy on the gas until your wheeling conditions dictate more throttle. You'd be suprised what you can accomplish with less than WOT.

Is it recommended to only lock one side of the truck for "normal" 4wd'ing and lock the second when things get crazy if you are running a mini spool front?
Personal preference. Doing that would help steering tremendously, but when both hubs are locked in it'll be superbitch to turn. Phasing the front joints will help A LOT, but will still be hard to turn (obviously). Most of the time I run with 4lo to keep moving and keep rpms up. The more psi running through the hoses the less effort to turn the wheel, although nothing beats forward or reverse motion to help steering effort.
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the info, y'all. Apparently, power steering problems aren't really of any concern when spooling the front, I guess. Axle snapping, however, could be an issue, along with potential maneuverability issues.

Lazarus, can you explain phasing the u-joints? That's a term I'm not familiar with.

Thanks,
Tommy
 

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When you phase your front joints you want all of them pointing the same way. For instance, if you looked at your Bronco from the side (looking left to right/right to left) you would want your u-joints to look like crosses (+ + +) or x's (X X X) all the way across instead of the usual (+XX, X+X, ++X, etc.). I don't know if phasing the middle joint will impact steering or not, but go ahead and phase that one while you have easy access to it to be on the safe side.
 

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And phasing helps you steer or not break axles?
 

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It helps steering. Steering with a locked front (welded, spooled, engaged locker) isn't going to be easy period; but phasing the front joints with a welded/spooled front diff. will be easier than if they were not. Breaking axles in a D44 with a spool is inevitable; it's not a matter of "if" but "when." I haven't broken any yet, but my truck doesn't get wheeled much either.
 

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Rest in Peace Friend...
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Tommy R, I've done alot of searching on the topic of a front spool as well. I also thought that turning would be a real problem with both axles locked. That proved less of a problem than I thought after riding along recently with two spooled Broncos. Turns out that on dirt, sand, mud, etc., you have enough tire slippage to allow turning in all but the tightest spots. I can't go full lock on my steering anyway, as the 35" tires rub the extended radius arms. We had to stop, back-up, and turn a corner only 2-3 times over a two-day ride.
I will agree that you may have a greater risk of snapping an axle shaft or u-joint if you push the Bronco too hard. One of the tips I learned from Pirate4x4.com was to spot weld the axle u-joints' caps to the yokes, so the u-joints don't blow up when they fail. That's up to you, of course, whether you want to replace a busted u-joint (designed to be the weakest link to protect the axles), or just slip in another spare half-shaft as a unit.
Instead of a mini-spool up front, I'm installing a full spool in the D44 TTB. Same cost as a mini+new carrier ($90). JSM84
 

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When you go to order your spool, order a one from a reputable name such as Richmond or Auburn. I bought my front mini off eBay (no name) and my shafts don't fit all the way in. They slip in just enough that I can put everything together, but not enough to slip in like they should. I really shouldn't be wheeling with them like that.

Yes, softer surfaces will give when you turn the wheels. Right after I finished putting mine back together I had thought I left something out since steering was just like when it was open; no resistance whatsoever. Took it through a couple tests and still the same. Finally I decided to take it to the asphalt to make sure......Yep it was there. The only time steering effort comes into question is when you are wheeling on something that will allow the tires to actually grip and keep hold of such as rocks.
 

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Sway's jealous of my
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I buy into the mini vs full locker debate as well. Which is why I bought a mini to throw in my SA D44. But now I"m not even SAS'ing or minispooling at all. WHat kind if chit is that? Lol.
 

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Geaux Tigers!!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just ordered a pair of Aussie lockers today. Should be here next week.

Thanks to all who responded. Just decided I'd save my axles (hopefully) by going with the locker instead of the spool.

Tommy
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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Tommy R said:
Just ordered a pair of Aussie lockers today. Should be here next week.

Thanks to all who responded. Just decided I'd save my axles (hopefully) by going with the locker instead of the spool.

Tommy
Good for you. I run an ARB up front. I could not imagine having a fully locked front all the time. Mine binds like an SOB even on dirt trails when engaged. Turning, sheeeetttttt. I guess the spooled folks forgot about what it's like having an open diff up front. I would NEVER fully spool a front unless it's a trail only/serious rig. Without alloy shafts I can't see any fiddling with normal shafts/joints (assuming solid D44 here), you are headed for recurring breakage with large tires.
 

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Rest in Peace Friend...
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Quote" I would NEVER fully spool a front unless it's a trail only/serious rig."

I would agree with that statement. MY 84 Bronco is a dedicated trail-only rig now, not driven on the street. I would hope to have less breakage problems with a full spool than a mini, but the last axle that broke was the passenger-side inner, right at the diff-we had to wheel the rest of the day in 3-wheel drive. On one hand, used TTB axle shafts are cheap, so carry a spare when offroading. Just be sure it will fit!!!

It sounds like you decided on the Aussie locker, Tommy R, and that's an excellent choice. Your only limitation now will be tire size and suspension travel. Some body protection in the form of rock sliders and bumpers will keep that purdy Bronco from geting trail rash, JSM84

P.S.: ANd a winch!!:goodfinge
 
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