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How bad will a front axle spool/locker be on-road?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by guido666, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    I'm building up my '79 Blazer and am rebuilding the front axle. I currently have an open-diff. I would love to have a selectable locker or even a posi, but I don't have $500+. If I weld the spider gears to spool it how bad will it's manners be if I only put it in 4WD when it's nasty out? I just don't have any experience with anything other then an open diff in the front so any advice about any other kind of diff or experience would be appreciated.
     
  2. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    4wd locked kills your turning radius! but you wont notice it in normal driving 2wd, but when ever you do 4wd you'll hate the turning radius
     
  3. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Is that the worst of it? If so that doesn't really sound all that bad to ensure total traction. Last year I got stuck in a ditch on a rural country road and spent 5 hours digging out because one wheel was spinning (I have since put a new rear axle with a limited slip in also). I just don't want that to happen again. But the way the magazines and such talk, having a full locked diff is a nightmare, and I didn't want that either. I actually plan on replacing the axle with a bigger (D60?) sometime next year so I'm hesitant to blow loads of cash on fancy diffs if I can just weld the spiders. What would you do?

    Also, any good articles on welding the spiders?
     
  4. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    i dont think thats it, maybe a lot more chirping during turns? I've only fully locked 4wd off road, never tried it on the streets, but you could only lock one hub and have 3wd if you needed better mannors
     
  5. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Actually 3WD sounds like an interesting advantage (at the very least even to remember for when I CAN afford those cool selectable-lock diffs too). I wonder if there are any other ideas people have? Thanx. Anyone?
     
  6. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    If you just have a limited slip in the rear I would replace that with a locker of some sort before you do something to the front.
    I had a limited slip in our f-250 and I can't even notice it most of the time...I dont think it does anything.
     
  7. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    The rear axle came with the LSD, I plan to upgrade to a locker eventually. Like you, I too have had LSDs before and not noticed any favorable performance. That's why while I'm actually rebuilding the front I would like to do something better. Thanks for the help, keep em coming.
     
  8. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    DO NOT weld up or install a spool in your front diff,,,,it is a SERIOUS P.I.T.A. i did this for awhile, despite everybody elses warnings about it,,,,it sucks,,the turning sucks,,,EXTREMELY, and just the way if feels while driving it, you have to turn the steering MUCH farther than before, just to slightly move the truck in a direction..YES, it worked awsome off road, but then again, on rocky surfaces, it was again a P.I.T.A. to steer.

    I had to either get out, or have the passenger get out and unlock one of the hubs, just so i could get through a certain area of a trail,,,

    Trust me, from first hand experiance, you will not like it at all,,,

    I would suggest getting something like a Quick-Loc, Loc-Rite or whatever you can, something simple to install,,same idae behind it, but this way, you can just take it out of 4wd if you need it to turn right.

    Once the hubs are unlocked, so is the locker unit, so no binding on the street.


    I am very happy with the current setup on the front right now, could be better/bigger, but all in good time.

    also forgot to mention, that it seriously puts a ton of strain on the steering components as well, i still believe that is the reason, SOMETHING is wore out in the front (steering) of my truck,,,it's sloppy and way too loose :crazy: after running a welded up diff for just the 2-3 times i wheeled with it in there..
     
  9. short sub

    short sub Registered Member

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    i am currently running a welded front diff. I got a trash lock outta a m1028 and welded it up. I LOVE IT BUT its a trail only truck and i have full hydro. Before i ran the hydrualic steering a welded front diff. was not an option because even with crossover you WILL NOT be able to turn decent. and when ya do turn, if the surface is slick( muddy or icey road) you will go straight. So the choice is yours but your truck will not like it let alone the 10 bolt front end. Lata Ryan
     
  10. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, well thanks to 60pnt. font I "WILL NOT" weld the front diff. :-)

    I was really hoping that would be me quick fix.

    I will probably end up having to leave the open diff in it for lack of funding :-(

    But for future reference, how does a Detroit Locker, Lock-Right, or similar do in the front end with a daily driver / trail rig?
     
  11. outlawtorn

    outlawtorn 1/2 ton status

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    Well I have a detroit in the front of my blazer and its never came unlocked while trying to turn so its just like having a spool... so i wasted 500 bucks :p: But just like everyone else said in 2wd you dont notice it.

    Driving on pavement in 4wd with the front locked up is a scary thing on dry roads, It will go straight no matter how hard your cranking until you let off the gas and then it shoots over to where your turning.... no matter how easy you are on the gas or how slow your going... only time i drove it on pavement was for 2 or so miles going 20-30 mph just to see what it was like. I honestly thought i was a dead man :doah: I couldnt imagine it in snow. Ive never had to use 4wd in the snow anyway... just keep it in 2 until you get stuck... dunno why people think its needed at all times lol.
     
  12. 79k20350

    79k20350 3/4 ton status

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    cant you leave one hub unlocked for 3wd and then lock the other one when you really need it?
     
  13. 3rdshiftdesign

    3rdshiftdesign 1/2 ton status

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    most people i know who weld the front diff just only lock one hub while wheeling, and then if they get stuck, lock the other for the extra traction.

    if you have both hubs locked in 4wd, it'll take you no less than half-a-mile to make a u-turn.

    one guy with a "shop" (40" lift kind of guy) around here did it and thought he was the man, til he broke several times, everytime he was out -- he didnt know to unlock one hub. he's a moron. don't be a moron.
     
  14. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    Got it, "don't be a moron" has been added to the list. :bow:

    Anyone have any experience with Eaton ratchet/ramp style lockers or others?
     
  15. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    Ummmm, that would be the Detroit, Lockright etc mentioned above....It basically states they suck for turning radius too....
     
  16. SUBFAN

    SUBFAN 1/2 ton status

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    That 'Burb is awesome.... :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:
     
  17. driney

    driney 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I have an Eaton E Locker in my front axle. My truck is a DD and I love how I can have the manners of an open front axle but with the push of a switch I'm locked up. I know its a little more expensive, but I haven't regretted it once.
     
  18. UD0MEILLD0U

    UD0MEILLD0U Registered Member

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    Keep in mind Tire size folks. If your running bigger than a 36 than You run a MUCH better chance of snapping a front axle with a locker. I am running 40 Irok's on a 10bolt front with an open diff. I have never had a problem. Getting stuck doesnt allways mean u need a locker, maybe just better tires. Also a better offroad driving style might help.I have made it through spots in 2wd creeping where the guy b-4 me running 40 boggers had to use 4wd and the go pedal heavily. The only time I get stuck (knocks on wood) is following 44's, sometimes the pumkin drags and gets hung up. Watch the guys in front of you. Keepin an eye on their tires and vehicle can tell you what to expect and where not to go =).
     
  19. guido666

    guido666 1/2 ton status

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    That sounds like pretty good advice. I was under the impression that lockers helped save your axles. It was explained to me that since with a locker the wheels are always spinning together (and thus slowly, or more slowly then if they were just spinning on slick surfaces) that you never get the spin-up-then-grab-and-break scenario. That's why I was trying to get something else like a locker. Am I wrong on this one?

    Oh, and I am running 40" Boggers.
     
  20. UD0MEILLD0U

    UD0MEILLD0U Registered Member

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    No, lockers wont allow power to be removed from a tire thats locked down in a rut. Think about it, with a limited slip if 1 tire stops power is transfered to the other (sometimes) with a locker your axle doesnt have that option. It will keep forcing that tire until the tire free's or a axle snaps.
     

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