How tough is a D60?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by anwat, Oct 16, 2019.

  1. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    The reason I ask is because I'm hoping it's tougher than I am stupid. After a couple of days running trails in the Panamint Mountains, the wind kicked up and forced us to run away. I've got a d60 in the front and somehow I only had one hub unlocked. So I drove about 60 miles with the t-case in 2h, the e-locker locked (it's default locked) and one hub locked, one unlocked. I could tell something wasn't right, so I didn't get above 50 mph. I kept thinking the T-case was in 4h, just a lot of vibration and gear sound. Finally, I checked the hubs, and found one was locked, the other wasn't.

    So, did I fry my front axle? Any ideas on how one could avoid this issue in the future? Besides just paying attention?
     
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  2. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    You were probably feeling vibration in the front driveshaft and hearing whine from the transfer case.

    An e-locker is normally unlocked unless you power the coil. Perhaps you've wired it to normally have current when the truck is on? (Don't know why it would set up like that, but that's another discussion...)
    • If the locker was off, running with one hub unlocked would normally spin the spider gears a lot while that axleshaft went backwards. This causes more wear on the differential, but 60 miles shouldn't be a big deal.
    • If the locker was on, then the diff would be just fine and the driveshaft would be spinning. It's common for front driveshafts to wear the slip splines which makes them vibrate at road speeds. Same thing if your front shaft isn't balanced. With the driveshaft turning the T-case front output, it's not unusual to hear some extra noise.
    Did you happen to feel the diff after driving? Any signs/smell of gear oil?

    How to avoid in the future? Fix loose nut behind the wheel :waytogo:. And welcome to CK5.
     
  3. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    This should not cause any issues if everything is setup properly. The only concerns would be driving at higher speeds on the road if the front driveshaft was running at a bad angle and/or had a lot of vibration, it's kinda' hard on the joints and such if that is the case. But as mentioned above it's only 60 miles. The noises and such would just be from the driveshaft and other components spinning.

    Not sure about your comment of the E-locker being locked by default? Pretty sure it is open until you apply power to it, and if you had the normal on/off switch it should always be off when the switch is in the off position???
     
  4. imiceman44

    imiceman44 Hoarder extraordinaire Premium Member

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    When I lost my rear driveshaft on the crew cab I took it off and drove home on the front d60.
    I went on the highway for 75 miles and 15 miles on local roads. It was an old axle and by the time I got home it had some noises.
    The axle ujoints were done and I replaced them with new ones and it was all good.
    If your axle is old and worn out it might have the same thing now but otherwise the axle is tough enough to take it
     
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  5. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    Thanks, both for the welcome and for the knowledge. Yes, the E-locker was set up by the previous owner to be default locked. The switch removes the power and unlocks the diff. I had plans to change that setup back to the traditional setup, but just hadn't gotten to it yet. PO said as long as the hubs are unlocked, no real difference in having it locked or unlocked, which I guess is true. Guys have full-time lockers in the rear without issue and with the hubs unlocked, the turning issue isn't an issue. It seems to me you are wasting some energy turning all that metal when you don't have to., and inviting wear, but maybe not.

    What you said matches with what I felt...the reason I thought I still had the front axle engaged was the noise sounded like the front was in 4h. I even put my hand on the front shifter and could feel a vibration there that isn't normally there, and wasn't there once I unlocked that other hub. So the hub was turning the diff, the driveshaft was turning in the t-case but since the T case front was in N, it ended there, right? Diff wasn't hot, no leaking oil or smells, drove the rest of the way home (about 200 mi) with no other issues.

    Would it be a good idea to check that front diff oil for metal, or is that overkill? If I put a long ziptie on that front shaft, each time it rotated it would make noise as it hit the floor of the truck. If I got in the habit of sticking in on there before I head home, and cutting it off when I hit the dirt, not only would it tell me if a hub was engaged, it would promote me having to get out to put it on/cut it off, and hopefully I'd check the hubs, air pressure, make sure my gear is all tied down, etc.

    Thanks again!
     
  6. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    Newer axle and good joints, so it looks like I got away with it. Glad I didn't push it...I could tell something wasn't right! Thanks!
     
  7. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the reply...and you are correct about the Elocker...but read my reply above for the reasoning behind the setup. And while driving on the road, my speeds never got too high...the noise was too concerning, and the truck just didn't want to go faster than about 50, so I didn't push it. Once the hub got unlocked, everything changed back to normal, and it was 65-70 all the way home. I'll mark it up for experience, and hopefully remember not to trust the passenger to actually unlock his side when you tell him to!
     
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  8. campfire

    campfire Adventure is out there! Premium Member

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    The P.O. is right. If the hubs and transfer case are both unlocked, the driveshaft, gears, and axle shafts aren't turning at all. Zero wear and energy loss.
     
  9. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    Here's a crazy idea - how about getting in the habit of unlocking the hubs instead? Sounds a lit easier.
     
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  10. Big Ray

    Big Ray 1 ton status Premium Member

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    As the Great Ronaldus Magnus once said, 'trust, but verify!".
     
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  11. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    keep in mind that for decades a significant portion of the world locked the hubs around this time of year and unlocked them in April. If they even had hubs, many trucks ran full time drive gears so the "hubs" (wheel hubs) were locked in always so the front driveshaft and diff spun all the time. With good front driveshaft angles it isn't a problem, it just puts more wear and tear on front axle parts and takes more power (fuel) to turn it all. In fact, most trucks now run with a "locked" hub (axleshafts spin all the time) so the diff is always spinning. This is why there are aftermarket "free spin" kits to put locking hubs on fords and dodges.

    If you had left both hubs locked and had the locker engaged you'd feel it for sure in a turn since you're effectively running a spool up front but unlocking the diff fixes that easy enough. If you were running high speeds on the dirt you'd have the same things all going on if the hub were locked. If you want to make it better, check front driveshaft condition and work on the angles.

    This is a place where the Ultra4 racing world also applies, we've run 1000 mile races with the hubs locked as fast as the car would go and as long as it's all in good shape to start with, it's fine.

    Moral of the story, don't sweat it.
     
  12. sweetk30

    sweetk30 5/8 ton status . . . just for BENT77 Premium Member

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    my first dana 60 was pulled from a 85 k30drw crew cab back in 2001-2002ish . swapped hubs to srw and installed it . 1 year later rebuilt the king pins minus pins . have yet to do anything other than gear oil and brake pads and calipers 1 time .

    now under its 4th truck from when it was built . been plowing snow sith 8ft and 9ft fisher plow blades / mud / trails / snow wheeling / 235/85/16 tires to 38" tsl swampers / tbi 350 to built 400 sbc . . . . she just keeps going .

    and i have tried to pop it . its even still got the no name greasable axle u-joints in it from when i purchased it all the way back then . i grease them 1 time in the fall and run it .
     
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  13. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Have to admit I'm still somewhat confused how the E-locker is wired to be "default on", and why you would want it like that. Do you meant that everytime you cycle the key the locker activates?
     
  14. sweetk30

    sweetk30 5/8 ton status . . . just for BENT77 Premium Member

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    e-locker should only get power when needed . something is wired wrong possible . why have a front locker on if your not even using the front axle . your just going to burn up the electro magnet faster this way .
     
  15. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    The way I understand, in a normal setup, when the switch is on, power goes to the locker and it engages. When that power is not present, it disengages. Mine is wired so that it is normally engaged, but it takes power to disengage. By activating the switch on the dash, I am causing applying power to disengage the locking mechanism.

    From what I understand, as long as the hubs are unlocked, and the front T-case is in Neutral, it would be no different than having it unlocked all the time. There is no power going to the driveshaft, and no connection between the diff and the front wheels. Therefore, there would be no movement up front whatsoever, save a little friction if the grease is way overpacked in the front end. You could have the whole thing welded together in the front it wouldn't matter, nothing is turning. The difference would come about once you engage the front hubs, or shift the front t-case into gear, then I'm effectively locked, unless I switch the power on and unlock the differential. Maybe a bit odd, but it only seems to make a difference on the tight turns, so I unlock it then, but in the rocks and such, I'd probably have it locked anyway. If the locking mechanism fails, I'd rather have it locked than unlocked...I can always effectively unlock it by unlocking the hubs and shifting the t-case into neutral.

    If my reasoning is wrong, please feel free to let me know. That's why I'm here, to gain knowledge, and there's plenty of it to be had on this site. This is a new setup for me, but it seems to make sense, as explained by the P.O. , and verified by Campfire and Stephen. Remember, this truck isn't a daily driver, off road performance is first, on road is second, so it seems to make sense to have it set up this way. As long as the guy driving gets both hubs unlocked, we'll be fine.
     
  16. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    Point taken.
     
  17. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, electromagnets do not wear out.
     
  18. anwat

    anwat Registered Member Premium Member

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    I'm sorry, in that long tirade, I didn't answer one of your questions. No, the locker doesn't require power to maintain it's status, only to change. So if it's locked, it stays locked until power is applied. If it's open it stays open.
     
  19. Blue85

    Blue85 Troll Premium Member

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    That's not how my E-locker works. It's locked as long as power is on.
     
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  20. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Your reasoning on a previous post is spot on...if the hubs are unlocked and the t-case in 2wd it doesn't affect how the vehicle handles or anything. I also want to be clear that it's really not a big deal and I'm not trying to say you are wrong, or that the truck is messed up, or that it will explode and kill a bus full of nuns or anything like that. However I will admit that I am still confused, or maybe curious is a better term, on this. When stuff doesn't make sense to me I always like to dig deeper and maybe learn something new!

    Even if it just needs momentary power to change states (from locked to unlocked) how can it be default locked? So it is locked and you provide momentary power to unlock it. Then how does it lock again if you don't ever provide momentary power to it? Are you saying the switch you have is just a momentary switch and not a on-off rocker switch? After you turn the locker off, when or how does it reset to being back on? If you cycle the key then is it back on?

    I agree with Blue85 above in regards to my understanding of the electric lockers. Basically the same principle as an electric blade clutch on a mower. Provide 12v to the electromagnet that causes it to engage and spin. Remove 12v and it disengages. If the switch is a normal two position rocker or toggle style it is supplying power in one position and off in the other position. Again, if the locker is on and you turn the switch to off, how or when does the locker default back to the locked position?
     

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