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Old 03-11-2011, 08:14 AM
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Expected costs to upgrade to locking differential?

Just sold the 1988 F-150 and bought a 2000 F250 Crew Cab 4x4.

I got the wife's Kia Rio stuck in the backyard(barn and mud) and when I went to pull her out in 4-Low, in reverse, the front-left, and rear-right tires were spinning.

Tried low gas, tried medium gas with a little braking, tried medium gas no braking, nothing seemed to work. Took about 10 minutes of trying but it finally got the little Kia back to solid ground.

So my question is this, generically how easy is it to replace or repair the limited slip differentials with a locking differential? What kind of costs would I expect to see?

I think my truck has a DANA 50 on the front and Sterling 10.5-inch on the back.
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Old 03-11-2011, 09:13 AM
cartmanea cartmanea is offline
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Do you want a locker or a limited slip? I replaced the junk Ford limited slip with a Detroit TruTrac, which cost $650. With install you're looking around $1k. If you want a selectable locker, then for the rear that's an ARB air-locker which runs around $1200 including the oboard air needed, plus install, so around $1500. In situations like that though, a locker in the front axle would help more since the front axle ways nearly twice as much as the rear.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:02 PM
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So would you replace the front or the rear differential or both? Truck is used primarily on the road to haul sawdust and horse trailers. Off road to purposes are around the farm. Driving on dirt and mud. The Detroit TrueTrac differentials are LS are they that much better than the stock Ford?

I have had the truck for about 2 months now and have gotten stuck in places that I didn't expect. The first time I was trying to drive up a grass hill with a short incline, the grass was wet, not muddy, and tires were spinning and I was stuck.

I only ever plan on using the 4x4 off road, is there a cheaper way to permanently lock the front axle? I realize that when traveling on road I would be limited to 4x2 , but when off road I would have a working 4x4 system.

Is permanently locking the front axle a bad idea?
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:46 PM
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I wouldn't put a spool or permanent locker in the front, that would be very bad for driving on ice. In the front, I want to install an E-locker to go along with my TruTrac rear.

When you've gotten stuck, were you in 4wd?

I have a winch, so not in a huge hurry to spend $1k on a locker for the front.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:51 PM
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I agree with everything carmanea said.

The Tru-Trac really IS that much better than stock "not really that limited slip" setup, which uses clutches that are set up with very soft springs (to minimize complaints) and wears out quickly.

There is a very cheap way to permanently lock front axle - weld the spider gears solid. Commonly called a "Lincoln Locker" as Lincoln brand welders are commonly used to do it.

A locked front axle puts a LOT of stress on drive and steering components so failure rates go way up. It also makes it very hard to steer.
So a permanently locked front axle is not a good idea for anything but a limited use vehicle.

However, if you have manually selected hubs, you can lock only one hub and it will eliminate the steering stresses. So even a lincoln lock can be "selectable".

Note: A lincoln locked front with only one hub engaged is still better than an open diff. With open diff, the wheel with less traction gets all the power. With lincoln lock, YOU chose which wheel gets all the power. Or both.
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:56 PM
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I wouldn't Lincoln Lock a truck with this kind of torque, or anything for that matter. Don't do something you have to fix before you sell the truck.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:04 PM
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Unsolicited advice:

If you are going to pay someone else to install new diffs, do NOT select your installer by who offers to do it for the least amount of money!

Rule 1: A differential can be installed for very little cost IF the installer does it really quickly.
Rule 2: Diffs are not hard to install, but they take a lot of time to get set up really precisely - which requires multiple adjustments and measurements. The more precisely it is set up, the longer the gears will last. When towing, the loads are huge and a sloppy set up diff will eat the gears within a few 10K's of miles.

Notice the conflict? A low ball quote means they have no choice but to do it sloppy. Time is money.

I recommend you going to an experience shop (or individual) and telling them to do it RIGHT and bill you accordingly - even if it takes more time (and money) to do it one more time to get it right.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:04 PM
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Anybody look into putting an E-Locker from a new 2011 Super Duty into an older model?
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:25 PM
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Yep, it was about a 10 degree incline, grass, recent rain, but no mud. I have 4 new Firestone Transforce ATs. Truck was parked. I manually locked front hubs, switched from 2H to 4H(electronic), it takes about 15 seconds in park for the 4x4 indicator to light up, and you can hear the transfer case when it actually switches. Put in gear and one tire in the front and one tire in the rear spin like crazy and the truck doesn't move. I've gotten stuck on <3" of compacted snow that was rained on and slightly frozen, and most recently I was trying to tow a car out of mud and spinning 2 of the 4 tires, while in 4Low in reverse on wet grass.

Not sure what was done to my F150 but I never had any problems with slipping tires. I treated that truck like crap driving through the mud, up and down steep hills, off road all over the place. Never had a problem.

Do all Ford differentials have limited slip or was that a add on package?

Does forward or reverse affect the operation of a LSD?(I don't think it should but doesn't hurt to ask.)

I apologize for all the noob questions, and I would like to thank all the members of this forum. You guys are a wealth of information, I already fixed my overhead temperature/MPG display using information from this forum.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:39 PM
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Not all Fords came with limited slip. None of mine have it actually... The issue with the stock limited slip is the clutch system. There's some write ups on here that help improve it slightly, but for the most part people replace it.
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExplorHer1369 View Post
Anybody look into putting an E-Locker from a new 2011 Super Duty into an older model?
I looked into it, but the price Ford is asking for a new one is retarded. I would love E-lockers front and rear to be able to turn them off when driving on icy roads. ARB Air-Lockers are a good alternative, but then you need onboard air, and as an electrical engineer I trust the reliability of running cables over tiny air lines.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:07 PM
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I wouldn't get a Ford limited slip[should be called Limited work],because when you really need it it to work it won't work.Sometimes you can get them to work by pushing on the brake lightly.I have a Detroit locker in the rear of my truck.It lets you know its there when accelerating around a corner[pops and bangs],but it always works.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:12 PM
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i dont understand why nobody makes an e-locker for the rear axles on these trucks.
with how many of them are out there, someone needs to step up already.

as far as getting stuck, tires make a huge difference.

the wider the separation between tread lugs the better your chances of not getting stuck will be.

if it was my money, i'd get tires first, then a winch, then lockers.
you can always winch yourself out of nearly any situation
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Old 03-11-2011, 10:11 PM
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I agree tires make a huge difference.The original Firestone steeltex that came with my truck could get stuck on wet grass.I put some BFG All terrains a lot better,then I got some Pro Comp Mud Terrains on and it made a huge difference in mud and snow[seems a little worse on ice than the AllTerrins].
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:38 AM
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If you want to save some money you CAN make a stock LS work by replacing the clutches and shimming them tight. I did this under warranty while my truck was still under 3/36 and only now with 150k on the odo do I experience the occasional one-wheel peel, usually on wet asphalt. This is something the average mechanically-inclined owner can do by following the shop manual. I regularly pull an 11k trailer, often off road, and spend a lot of time in the woods gathering fire wood, so it is not used lightly.

Would I rather have a better LS or a Detroit? Of course, but I can rebuild the stock one for less than $150 including new synthetic fluid, versus nearly $1,000 for something new, and be good for another 100k miles.

Just another option to consider.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:38 AM
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