i have a question about mini-spools to lock up the rear ends.now i can buy them for less than $40 each and was planing on using them in a 79 f150 with a 460 4spd 3.70:1 ratio 35" mud tires 6" of lift.now this truck would see limited street use and it has a part time transfer case and lock out hubs.on the street it would be in 2wd and on the trail i would only lock in 1 hub(smart idea don't you think)and this would give me the ability to steer and when necessary i could lock both hubs in and get through the nasty mud holes.being a long wheel base truck the rear being locked up with mud tires should provide enough slip for driving on the street.i know someone who welded their spider gears up(lincoln locker) and drove his truck on the street without a problem(a liitle tire wear)but that truck was unstoppable off road.i know all the corperations want you to believe you need to buy very expensive lockers and big money to install but i don't think so.
Definitely in the rear but not in the front. If you do try it in the front I would suggest you keep both hubs locked- directing all of the power to only one front axle is asking for breakage, moreso than the stress that will be put to both axles by locking them together. Plus, it gets old pretty fast getting out to unlock and lock in your hubs for every corner. I mostly hang out in the 4x4 an offroad forum- you might try getting some opinions there too as there is one guy ther with both of his welded and loves it , but he is running a Dana 60 front axle.
It's bad enough with a locked rear, if you lock the front and have both hubs locked too, turning in anything but sand will be darn near impossible. Leaving one unlocked...you might as well just put a limited slip in it.
Money is money, but I would leave the mini spool for the rear.
I drive my '69 F100 constantly and it's got a full 35 spline spool out back. Granted it drags a tire going around corners...and is kinda pushy since it's a short wb and has 3 1/2" wide tires up front. What some will due for traction...LOL!!
I ran a welded rear and mini spool front in my pulling truck and you could NOT turn it with it locked in. Last season I bought a brand new Trac-loc for $180 and put in the front and LOVE it. I leave it in 4lo and the hubs locked all the time now,and it turns great. One other good thing about a Trac-loc is if one tire loses traction then grabs the clutches will slip instead of braking an axle. I got my Trac-loc from www.completeoffroad.com
I had a '85 F-150 with 3.55's and the factory front and rear trac-lock's, I used this truck to snow plow, off road it never ran out of traction, but turning was horrible, the truck refused to turn, made for a long night of plowing when I needed 4 wheel drive all night, got real used to going forward and backward to make a turn, I will never have a limited slip or locker in the front again!
they do the same job as welding up the rear end.the mini spool is very easy to install and it is held in place by the cross pin and the axles.if your not really abusive it will live but moderation is the key. 44" tires and 600hp will break it every time but say 35" tires 350hp and a light foot you can go through anything.4wheelers(atv)use a one peice shaft which is basically like a truck with a spool.you can go anywhere with those rigs and traction is never an issue(ground clearance is though)and this is what i would like to duplicate with the mini spools(driver abuse is always the biggest problem)
The weak link is the pin on a mini spool. It is the same size that is in there now, but with applying traction to TWO tires it puts twice the strain on it. With big tires I could imagine how easy it would be to snap that little pin.
A spool on the other hand is all one piece and no pin to break, that is why it is FAR superior to a mini spool, but more costly.
An ATV is much easier to let the rear slide around than a truck. You can't LEAN to one side to let a tire spin in a truck. Quite a different animal in most all perspectives.
Did some research and have found that detroit locker's are a good buy they unlock when turning i believe. i could have misread the info but that might help they are the least expensive of locker's and have been around for years.
Well what did you get here BBB? Lots of opinions but no real education. If everyone had a complete 4X4 education they would all be better armed.
Here is what happens when you shift to 4X4. BOTH front and rear driveshafts turn at the same rpm (speed). So now all 4 axels are turning at the same rpm... so all 4 tires are turning at the same rpm (speed). As you go straight down the road little difference in the tire rpm happens but then you come to a corner, oh boy now things begin to change. If you ever got in a dusty place and make a complete circle you will notice that each wheel on the vehicle goes in it's own circle! So in a turn all 4 wheels are going at a different rpm (speed). Now since both driveshafts are still turning at the same rpm... Something has to SLIDE on pavement.. OR the way the factory has it the spider gears allow one wheel to turn slower and apply the power to the other wheel. So from the factory with "OPEN" gears the only time you get the humping and bumping is when you are making a very tight circle on ground that will not allow tire slipping except under great H/P.
Now if you replace these OPEN gears with lockers or weld them you are taking the "OPEN" out of there so you get deeper and deeper in trouble the more you do to the rear ends.
The factories offer "slipping" lockers which will work on the street and are of some use off-road. A true LOCKED gearcase will present some problems at all times. As no matter where you go one tire must SLIDE around any turn. This will apply lots of torque to the tire that is NOT SLIDING which in turn can cause it to slide too. Both tires slipping on the same axel causes GRAVITY to take hold and the vehicle begins to slip downhill! Many accidents are caused by this effect.
My estimate for the best that can be had of both on and off-road lockers are the ones like the POWERTRAX which will UNLOCK on turns and then lock back up on straights.
If you had one of these in the front with lockouts you would be able to navigate turns and no worries about breaking an axel as only the power to one axel would ever be presented to it. If you can get a good understanding of the 4 wheels turning in 4 different circles you will then see what is happening to the axels when you put spools in there or weld them up.
There are some air and electric operated lockers for front axels but none really do anything that the sweet little POWERTRAX and the ones like it do. I fear the spools would be undriveable when I needed it most, and there I would be stranded waiting for a tow. I have been in several places that the all wheels welded up would have ended in my ride tumbling down the icy mountain.