Well, that doesn't sound to good to me. Sideways is not good. I also thought about changing the fluid like others suggested. Maybe will try that first, but also thought about going to 4.10 ratio or somewhere around there. Going to put 35" General Grabbers on it and want to do everything at same time to save labor. If I do locker work at the same time as I change the ratio, am I avoiding any rework and labor that way?
Yes, it would be best to have the locker installed at the same time as the new ring and pinion.
I have had or currently have almost all of the locker types mentioned in this thread. If you can afford it, go ARB. The mini compressor ARB sells is very easy to install and not too pricey. The ARB doesn't affect street driving at all when it's not on, but when you have it on it locks solid. Plus it helps to be able to turn it off on the trail when you need to make sharp turns.
Any locker or limited slip will reduce stability. If a tire isn't spinning it is a lot harder to make it slide sideways than it is to roll forward. So with an open diff when you spin one tire the other is just sitting there, helping you not slide sideways.
Once you put in a locker or limited slip you introduce the possibility / probability that you will spin both tires. A spinning tire is already sliding. It doesn't care which way it slides, so it's very happy to slide sideways.
All automatic lockers, including the Detroit, Yukon, Lock-Right and whatever others I'm not thinking of right away, do this worse than limited slips or selectable lockers. Because they will hit that second tire relatively abruptly when they lock.
How bad is it? It depends. I had a Jeep CJ5 with a Detroit that was pretty bad. The short wheelbase made it pretty twitchy to begin with. And manual transmissions also tend to be a little harsher as you get on and off the gas. On the other hand I also had an F-150 SuperCab short box with a Lock-Right that wasn't bad to drive in the winter at all. The long wheelbase didn't tend to swap ends as quick when the tires were spinning, and the auto trans softened the hits too. The F-150 could still be made to fishtail a lot easier than it did with an open diff, but it wasn't bad to drive.
So many of you seem to know so much about this. I'm amazed at all the good info. Now I think I know enough to make my decisions. Going to be a while to round up all the stuff, but I'm now on my way. Some of you seem like you must be specialized mechanics.
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