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"Removeable" locker for 14B (idea)

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Blue85, Dec 6, 2000.

  1. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    We all know that there are a lot of compromises in the choice of a locker or LSD. For people in the Northern states with lots of snow and ice (like me), putting a locker or spool in either axle is kind of a scary proposal. This is especially true for times when you are working on your wifes car and she goes out in the elements in your big rig (an honor which she doesn't always fully appreciate, but that is another issue...). The ARB is a good option but it's not available for the 14B FF and is a buttload of money with maybe average reliability. TrueTracs and Auburns seem like decent candidates, but they aren't available for this big axle and don't offer the off-road traction of a locker.

    All of this leads me to my idea: Why not put the a Detroit Locker in the 14B and then pull it out for the winter months? The Detroit is only $300 (I think) for the 14B, is very reliable and offers full locking traction. It is also in a mini-package, so it can be removed and installed without a ring and pinion setup, right? So according to this logic, you can take it out and put it in without even using a jack. Just open the differential, take out the axleshaft bolts from the side and back out one or both of the axleshafts out a bit (whatever is needed) and pop that little locker out of there. Then when the ice is gone, pop it back in. This would be especially easy if you have one of those big-$$ Mag-Hytec diff covers so that you don't have to form a new seal everytime you pop the cover.

    Since I don't have a 14B FF (yet), I don't really know how they're set up or how the Detroit rides in there, so this really is all just speculation. Can someone confirm for me whether or not what I'm proposing would work? Also, does anyone already do this: use the Detroit as a "removeable" locker in their 14B?

    "All right...who keeps squirting this oil in my driveway?"
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    Check out this write up on a detroit install on a 14 bolt FF.
    http://www.off-road.com/chevy/tech/detroit/
    The install looks doable for the average guy but does require the removal and dis-assembly of the carrier. I guess if you did it often enough you'd get good at it, but I'd leave it in for the winter and just leave the front open. I don't think a Detroit locker would be that bad in the snow anyways, most anything will end up crabbing sideways in the white stuff open or locked. At least with a locker you can avoid the 'one tire on ice' thing.
    Shawn does a fine job on the article, its a good read with lots of informative pictures.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    Open diffs are about the best way to stay in control on the ice. When you spin one tire, the other one is rolling and therefore still keeps you from sliding side to side. Now as soon as you lock, you spin both and then you really have no directional control until you get off the gas. I've driven both ways and open is much safer on ice. You really don't loose any traction for acceleration, either, because a spinning tire = 0 traction on ice.

    "All right...who keeps squirting this oil in my driveway?"
     
  4. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    I have installed the Detroit in my 14 bolt and have thought about taking it out for the winter months, you would have to reinstall the spider gears after you take the Detroit out, but straight forward. The Detroit does suck on the road but is awesome off-road, one thing to think about though is thoes situations where you have a patch of ice under one wheel and not the other, that is when it is nice to still have that locker in. I thought about taking mine out, but am to lazy so I will just leave it in.

    Steve
    [​IMG]
    1990 K5 with stuff
     
  5. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    How about using a mini-spool instead of a Detroit? Is it the same install procedure? This would be even cheaper and have less banging.

    "All right...who keeps squirting this oil in my driveway?"
     
  6. grtwhite

    grtwhite 1/2 ton status

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    But does anyone make a mini spool for a 14 B FF? Just asking cause I have thought about that as well. - Jay
     
  7. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    My solution was to go to an open front diff (arb) and run better tires. I ran the detroit rear as my only vehicle for a couple of years and about 20-25K mi. with some 33" mild treads, and it worked really well. We see a pretty good amount of snow here in co, especially at higher altitudes. With the soft top and tsl's, it wasn't so great in 2wd, but in 4wd it was fine. You might just get some milder tread tires for it and leave it in 4wd. Maybe with one of the milemarker front driveshaft viscous coupler deals? I hate to say this, but this is where full time 4wd shines. I think the old 203 would rule in mixed conditions.
    Word from ARB is the 14ff locker will still be a couple of years out, but is on the way. It's similar to the 9" locker and they finally got all the bugs out of it.


    SW-ORD
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    Folks that I know here in Colorado that have a Detroit in the back have told me that they just always run in 4WD if there's snow or ice on the road. It keeps suprises to a minimum. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com
     
  9. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Re: \"Removeable\" locker for 14B (idea)

    When I first read this I thought y'all were kidding.........actually REMOVING a traction device? Hah!

    Leave it in and learn to drive it.........'nuf said.

    <font color=black>'79 - 406 TPI -<font color=orange> K5#5 - <font color=blue>See it at---&gt;http://www.blazzinor.coloradok5.com
     

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