Bronco Forum - Full Size Ford Bronco Forum banner

1 - 20 of 44 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been reading for hours on differeintail upgrades (I read the 11 page thread "All About Lockers" twice. Great info. I have a '96, 5.8, factory original Trak-lok limited slip in rear, open diff in front, 33" tires, Warn manual locking hubs. It will probably stay this way (not planning a lift or taller tires). My offroad use is jeep trails that are often rocky, maybe some snow and ice in the future. I'm not a go-fast driver (no dune jumping or racing thru the desert) and after years of thinking about it, I'm sticking with the TTB front, with no lift, no SAS. Not planning any long-travel upgrades, either. Sticking with the original 3.54 / 3.55 gears also.

I just want better traction front and back. I found a good local differential shop, and he advised do a Detroit TrueTrac all-gear limited slip in the front, and Eaton E-locker in the back. The E-locker is a no-go, because you can't find them since they are long back-ordered everywhere (Bronco Graveyard says they have one, but they are real proud of it.....with shipping and tax it comes to about $1,230. Price is a turnoff).

So, since I like the simplictiy of all manual operation, today I ordered a cable-operated Ox Locker for the rear 8.8 from Morris 4x4. . Apparently the only choice for the Dana 44 in front for selectable locker is ARB air locker. Seems Ox and Eaton E-locker don't offer theirs for the front. I dont want to run onboard air, so the ARB is out.

I was thinking to go with the shop advice and go TrueTrac limited slip in front. But its still a lim slip, and when I have had a front wheel in the air or hardly any weight on it, I have wished for a front locker. Truetrac would be a LOT of money to get a marginal improvement over my open diff. Since I have manual locking hubs, whatever I get in the front will be invisible until I feel the need to lock in, and if it is rough enough for that, I don't want to still be in the dilema of having one front tire off the ground, and now the other tire on good ground just mostly sits there like with an open diff.

Now i'm thinking about a lunchbox locker in the front. And if the carrier does not have to come out of the housing, I can pull it off the axle beam and do it myself. So far, the Spartan appeals the most. But others here seem to have liked the Power Trax offerings I'd consider a Detroit Locker, but again, they don't make one for it. Aussie isn't interesting me after comparing. Whatever I do, I want to be able to lock the front as well as the back, even if I can only get auto lock in the front..

I have a few weeks to think about what to do in the front since my install appt for the Ox-locker in the rear is April 29. Ive aboiut dedided against the True Trac for reasons stated.
If I go with a lunchbox locker, I could have the shop do it, or I could.

What say all ye learned members?
 

·
Charlie don't surf..
'92 Ford Bronco XLT
Joined
·
15,719 Posts
The shop gave you sound advice. The selectable locker in the rear, particularly the eaton is a good choice..I have a full detroit locker in mine and if I ever redo the rear, I'm going with an eaton..If they're out of stock, what about the ARB??

I'm personally running a trutrac up front and it's been good for 90% of what I do, only a couple of times did I need to get the winch out because the trutrac wasn't up to the task, but those were some hairy situations..if you have the coin it wouldn't be a bad idea to put a selctable locker up front as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
285 Posts
I have an E-locker in the front of my '95, so they DO offer it for the Dana 44.
I used to work in the tech dept. at ARB (20 years ago...), so I have a little experience on this matter.
For 90% of the 4x4 use, a GOOD limited slip (like the TrueTrac, as opposed to the mostly sad factory Trac-lock) is the best choice between smooth operation, traction, and predictability.
An automatic locker (Detroit, Lock-Rite, etc) offers better traction, and simpler operation, but can cause the rear end to misbehave on snowy, icy, or even very wet pavement. This is especially true if you are towing. Selectable lockers obviously offer the best of both worlds, but of course you are going to pay for it. Between an E-locker and an ARB, I am a little biased, as the ARB has a MUCH bigger selection, and they are simply stronger for extreme use. You are dependent on an air supply, but then again, having an onboard compressor is a plus anyway. I have an e-locker in the front of my '95 because I got a smoking deal on it, but I probably would have gotten an ARB otherwise. I've never been a fan of the various cable lockers (OX, etc) simply because cables are a pain in the ass, and the actual locking mechanism of the OX locker is more complicated than an E-locker or ARB, so sure you gain simplicity in actuation, but gain complexity down in the axle where it doesn't belong. Getting 12v <somehow> to an E-locker in an emergency is pretty dang easy, and there was a dude who modified a bicycle pump to provide emergency air pressure to his ARB in a pinch, but if something goes haywire with the fork and actuator on an OX locker, you are kinda hosed.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,068 Posts
I do much the same in regards to the type of off-roading you do. Jeep trails, some rocks and dirt, but nothing crazy. Snow and ice in the winter, etc.

I am currently running a Detroit TrueTrac front and rear and absolutely love them. Perfect street manners, and the difference between the open diffs I've run for well over a decade are night and day.

I've never driven a locker, so I can't say how they compare, but the difference between open and the TrueTrac isn't marginal, it's substantial.


Like you, I have the Dana 44, no lift, etc.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kammots

·
Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
Joined
·
14,675 Posts
Trutrac in the front and detroit locker in the rear on mine. They are both leaps and bounds above the factory trac-lok.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TS 90F150

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The shop gave you sound advice. The selectable locker in the rear, particularly the eaton is a good choice..I have a full detroit locker in mine and if I ever redo the rear, I'm going with an eaton..If they're out of stock, what about the ARB??

I'm personally running a trutrac up front and it's been good for 90% of what I do, only a couple of times did I need to get the winch out because the trutrac wasn't up to the task, but those were some hairy situations..if you have the coin it wouldn't be a bad idea to put a selctable locker up front as well.
Yes I know the ARB air locker is a choice for front and back, but I don't want to add an air compressor. I do believe the Truutrac is excellent, and I know about the two-pedal braking trick to make it more effective when needed, but i've kind of made my mind up to have locking ability in the front as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
If you stay with 33s, you could run a locker in front, but I would rebuild with the best U-joints and TREs I could get. Lockers put alot of stress on parts, and alot can break in the front. This article is really talking about the newer trucks, but it applies to our TTB as well. Front Locking Differentials - 4Wheel & Off-Road Magazine
Good advice...I'll go read up there.(That was a great read, thank you. Opened my eyes to a downside of lockers in the front with the TTB IFS, instead of a good lim slip like the True-trac. When I rebuild the front end, I will beef up axles, U-joints, and tie rods.)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I have an E-locker in the front of my '95, so they DO offer it for the Dana 44.
I used to work in the tech dept. at ARB (20 years ago...), so I have a little experience on this matter.
For 90% of the 4x4 use, a GOOD limited slip (like the TrueTrac, as opposed to the mostly sad factory Trac-lock) is the best choice between smooth operation, traction, and predictability.
An automatic locker (Detroit, Lock-Rite, etc) offers better traction, and simpler operation, but can cause the rear end to misbehave on snowy, icy, or even very wet pavement. This is especially true if you are towing. Selectable lockers obviously offer the best of both worlds, but of course you are going to pay for it. Between an E-locker and an ARB, I am a little biased, as the ARB has a MUCH bigger selection, and they are simply stronger for extreme use. You are dependent on an air supply, but then again, having an onboard compressor is a plus anyway. I have an e-locker in the front of my '95 because I got a smoking deal on it, but I probably would have gotten an ARB otherwise. I've never been a fan of the various cable lockers (OX, etc) simply because cables are a pain in the ass, and the actual locking mechanism of the OX locker is more complicated than an E-locker or ARB, so sure you gain simplicity in actuation, but gain complexity down in the axle where it doesn't belong. Getting 12v <somehow> to an E-locker in an emergency is pretty dang easy, and there was a dude who modified a bicycle pump to provide emergency air pressure to his ARB in a pinch, but if something goes haywire with the fork and actuator on an OX locker, you are kinda hosed.
Wow, thx for letting me know there IS an E-locker for the front Dana 44. I really thought hard about ARB air , but after looking at exploded view diagrams of the ARB and the Ox Locker, they seem very similar internally as to the mechanical engagement method, just mostly different motive force? And the double rubber O-rings in the seal housing in the ARB gives me pause. I know what happens to rubber with time and heat. O-ring failure and then the whole thing has to come out to replace O-rings, and since getting access to the front diff is not just a matter of taking off a cover like the rear, really turned me off to ARB in the front. I know the ARB is super strong, but that O-ring vulnerability is a big negative, in my mind. And in the long thread about lockers, one guy told about knowing 3 guys who have their ARB down due to failures, maybe due to those O-rings. Apparently the Ox cable is good if not mounted near the exhaust and no tight turns. And they have that "drive-away" lock in case there is a cable issue. I know everything fails given enough time and use, but with the difficulty of accessing those O-rings should they break and disable the mechanism, kills it for me in the front. I called my diff shop and he is going to get the E-locker for the front. Thx for letting me know they are available and your expert input!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
if you have a limited slip like the truetrac and one tire in the air, you should be able to hold the brake pedal to generate resistance and also throttle to get out.
I was aware of the two pedal trick to make a lim slip more effective, but my thoughts came down to ....if I am going to shell out big bucks for a full carrier change, I might as well go full locker. Thx
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I do much the same in regards to the type of off-roading you do. Jeep trails, some rocks and dirt, but nothing crazy. Snow and ice in the winter, etc.

I am currently running a Detroit TrueTrac front and rear and absolutely love them. Perfect street manners, and the difference between the open diffs I've run for well over a decade are night and day.

I've never driven a locker, so I can't say how they compare, but the difference between open and the TrueTrac isn't marginal, it's substantial.


Like you, I have the Dana 44, no lift, etc.
You have a good point that the TrueTrac is not just a marginal improvement over the open diff. Overall, Im sure it's ngiht and day from an open diff. I was mainly meaning that in that one situation with a front wheel in the air or on somehting real slippery, that it would bug me after going to the expense of upgrading, I might still be cussing the "good" tire because it might be still sittng there laughing at me and not pulling! Thx
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Trutrac in the front and detroit locker in the rear on mine. They are both leaps and bounds above the factory trac-lok.
No doubt! If a Detroit locker was available for the front, I'd very possibly have gone that way. But for the rear, I'd worry about evefry day driving manners from it. How has it been for street driving?
 

·
Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
Joined
·
14,675 Posts
No doubt! If a Detroit locker was available for the front, I'd very likely have gone that way. But for the rear, I'd worry about evefry day driving manners from it. How has it been for street driving?
They do make detroit lockers for the front!

In the rear, it takes a little to get used to it. The first time it locks up hard after a turn will spook ya, but you get used to it. It is not good on ice.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Well, it's settled now. I have a Ox locker coming for the rear, and my diff shop is ordering an E-locker for the front. End of the month install starts on April 29. Then I get the big sticker shock when I get the bill. I'm feeling good about it because I have commiserated for years about how far I want to go with this. I thought about just getting the rear Trac-lok refurbed with new springs/clutches since it really has been pretty decent for me in back, and adding a lim slip in the front. But fianlly I realized if I am going to do it, just get it done all the way. I have two brothers who both have Rubicon jeeps, and when we go out in the boonies, it amazes me the way they can just climb right up loose rocky trials so easily, and if there is much incline, I have to use more momentum that I would like (i.e. blast my way up instead of crawl). Soon I can run with the big dog Rubicons, at least as far as lockers. Thanks for all your imput. Blows me away the wealth of expert knowledge here and offered readily. Thanks guys!.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
They do make detroit lockers for the front!

In the rear, it takes a little to get used to it. The first time it locks up hard after a turn will spook ya, but you get used to it. It is not good on ice.
They do for the front! Hmmm. I guess I will not bug my diff guy again and just stick with the E-locker he is ordering. But I think a Detroit locker in the front would be awesome.with manual locking hubs. I have been getting my info from vehicle application sheets at diff distributors and obviously a lot of that info was bad as to what all is available.
 

·
Addicted to Junk
85 Bronco, 309ci I6 w/4bbl, np435, 4" lift, 37" Irok NDs, 4.56 w/ Detroit Locker and tru trac
Joined
·
14,675 Posts
E locker is better than Detroit in almost every situation. And the detroit isnt all that much cheaper
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
E locker is better than Detroit in almost every situation. And the detroit isnt all that much cheaper
I do like that you can turn off the E-locker when you want. Man, I have spent a LOT of brain cells trying to decide what to do. With all the outstanding help from all the people like you and the other guys here (who know a helluva lot more than I do), I'm feeling good where it has ended up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
791 Posts
I like the idea of a TrueTrac in the rear for snow and other types of slippery road contitions. It's automatic traction.
Then, a selectable locker in the front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
You’re wrestling with hard problems and I don’t think there is a perfect choice. Has a lot to do with your preferences.

I’d wait on the front and just do the back to start.

I’ve had a truetrac in the back and open diff in the front of my FSB for years now. I do some silly off-roading and I have yet to feel
like I “need” a locking setup up front.

That truetrac is SOOOO effective it’s amazing! That allows me to get the push I need to keep
The front tires moving and get over anything a jeep can.

I’ve also heard when you do lock the front you start breaking axles. I’ve also heard that adding LSD, truetrac or lunch box and steering in low traction like snow gets very sketchy.

Have fun and good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
1 - 20 of 44 Posts
Top