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Diff loc's and Tires

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by wildland, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. wildland

    wildland Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Do any of you have diff loc's? What brand? and how do they affect your tire wear?

    I live in the NW area, Have a 96 F-350 C/C 4x4 Srw.
    Just asking opions - Thanks
     
  2. JD PLOWER

    JD PLOWER PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 751

    Here's another place you can get opinions on diff locks that are out there. www.ford-diesel.com
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2001
  3. AtlasFBG2

    AtlasFBG2 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 62

    I use the Lock Right by Powertrax.Had one in my 94 Chevy that was lifted with 36 tires and got one in my 90 Chevy plow truck.both of them held up great.A little noisy around turns but they work great.never really noticed much tire wear.im sure there was some but not much.
     
  4. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I use the powertrax,if it doesnt have a factory locker,the tire wear isn a little higher,mostly on short wheel base trucks,because the inside tire is the only drive tire in a turn,so it tends to spin/sqeal real easy taking off.Mine has been reliable,and it really helps with traction.I have 3 of them,they work great,are easy to install,and are plenty strong.The lock rite isnt recommended for plowing,it isnt as strong as the powertrax,but it is only 1/2 the price.
     
  5. Deere John

    Deere John Senior Member
    Messages: 410

    Most people will not agree with me, but we order our plow trucks with OPEN differentials. The reason is to make the truck more predictable and controlable on sidehill plowing situations. A posi will allow both wheels to spin, and float the back end into whatever is beside you - car, tree, ditch or just your 3'high windrow. We are alergic to the bodyshop.

    We run good tires to ensure traction, and each truck has v-bar tire chains for tough going. In my experience, when its time to chain up, the situation is beyond a posi anyway.
     
  6. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    A locker does not improve traction, it just directs engine torque to the tire with more of it.

    I personally would not want a locker or eaton gov-lok (gm) behind me in the snow. As stated before it may cause more harm due to unexpected behavior than good. The Sure-grip in my truck transfers enough torque to the free wheel to be of some benefit but not so much as to act like a "spool" as a locker type would. Hence the name "limited" slip.

    Use whats called a poor man's locker-if you find yourself dog-legging (spinning one rear wheel) set the e-brake slightly to transfer more torque to the other side.
     
  7. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    I ran my 89 GMC truck for a season without the locker,then one with the locker,it does improve traction,first off,since an open diff sends all the torque to the tire with ther least amount of traction.I would never run an open diff over a locker in the snow,I went from a truck that would get stuck on a banana peel,to one that is unstoppable.I drive on snowy roads in 4wd,so I never have the rear end sliding sideways anyway.My truck was really sad with the open diff,always spinning tires,and hopping around,now you can drive it into a pile,and know you'll be able to back out without a tow strap,even if the plow gets hung up a little.Dodge's IMO do not need any type of traction assist,just good tires,for some reason they are able to transfer the power to the ground better,and my Dodge and a friends rarley get stuck,or even spin the tires
     
  8. jason2

    jason2 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 117

    Why not have the best of both worlds and get a selectable locker, like an ARB air locker or OX cable locker. That way you can run locked or unlocked. I've wanted a set of ARB's for my '75 Dodge but they are too pricey. I also have concerns with moisture in the air lines freezing up and sticking the locker either in the open or locked position. Ox hasn't released a locker for the Dana 60 yet, so that option is out for the moment.

    I personally won't run lockers in the winter unless they are selectable. Too dangerous for me, especially since my plow market is 40 miles away. Driving on compacted snow, ice and drifts on a curvy highway at 1 am is fun enough with open diffs.

    Another cheaper alternative than a detroit, or other locker, is the good old "Lincoln Locker" or even a spool. But with either of these methods, there is no differentation between the wheels. They turn at the same speed at all times, even in corners, great for off-roading, but not on snow or ice.
     
  9. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Does a locker aid traction?
    I have the G-80 in my 98, and I lost 4wd during a storm, the locking rear got me through that storm. If I had a open diff, I would have been up a creek.
    I will always have a locker if at all possible.
    My 89, will get stuck in piles if one is not carefull, and that is an open diff.
    Locker all the way.
    Dino
     
  10. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    Perhaps this should be a new thread, but:

    Could I get a little more specific information on locking rear axle, limited slip, posi-traction?

    I order our trucks with limited slip (that's what Ford & Dodge call it)

    My new GMC has a "locking" rear end. My dealer said it's "Posi-traction" I get tired of arguing with dealers and just said "Okay" (Sarcastically, of course)

    Is there an option (aftermaket) to toggle on-toggle off open spool/limited slip/positraction?

    Don't mean to be a derril here, just seems like a lot of terms.
     
  11. jason2

    jason2 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 117

    A locker does what its name implies. It locks both axles together. During cornering, the axles unlock to allow the wheels to turn at different speeds. You can hear/feel the locker "clunk" as it locks and unlocks itself during turning. A locker will affect handling, making cornering difficult.

    A spool is similar to a locker except it allows for no differentation in wheel speed during turns. A spool keeps both axles locked together always. Not recommended for street use.

    A limited slip (posi) generally uses a set of clutches to transfer torque to a wheel that loses traction. An example: You have one tire on black pavement, the other tire is on ice. In this case, a stock open differential will send all power to the tire on ice. A limited slip will send most of it's power to that same tire on ice, but will still give some power to the tire on pavement.

    Another option, yet spendy is the selectable locker. ARB, OX, and Toyota make them. The ARB unit has been around a long time, it is powered by air. You need to run a air compressor on board. It works like a stock open differential until you hit a switch, then it locks into a full locker. OX lockers are new and they work on the same principle as ARB's but they use a cable instead of air. Toyota used to offer an electric selectable locker in the rear of some of their trucks, don't know if they still do.

    A Lincoln locker is made from welding up the spider gears in the differential. Acts like a spool. But much cheaper. I went the lincoln locker route in a dirt track car I used to run. Lasted almost two seasons under severe abuse before it finally broke.

    For all out traction, nothing beats a spool. But they should not be used on the street.

    A locker will give you all the traction you could ever want, but it comes with it's drawbacks.

    A limited slip is better than open diffs, but in my opinion limited slip means limited capability.

    And in my humble opinion the selectable lockers are the best. You get the unrivaled traction of lockers, plus the ability to run open diffs like stock. But like I said they are spendy.
     
  12. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    the G-80 locker from GM is the best locker available from the big 3.
    When I atteneded the coming out party last for the new HD series of pick up trucks, GM set up a course, that the GM trucks were able to traverse in 2wd and ford and dodge needed 4wd to make it through. Like I said I have the G-80 myself, and you can hear it lock in when traction is lost, and I would never be with out one when buying new.
    Dino
     
  13. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    Thank-you for the information, Jason. Great!

    Dino, if the G-80 the one that comes when I get my GMC w/locking rear end?

    1 more question: can I get a selectable locker (ARB type) for the FRONT as well as rear axles? And what's the ballpark cost on these units?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2001
  14. jason2

    jason2 PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 117

    Kent,

    ARB's run around $650 per axle. Depends on what axles you have. Their compressor is around $130. Or you could always find a old York air conditioning unit and make your own compressor.

    Yes you can run them in both axles. They are not available in every axle, let me know what axles are in your truck and I can find out if they are available for you.
     
  15. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    Its a POS. But you are correct in your statement, as it is the ONLY locker available from the big 3. Ford and Chrysler use clutch-type limited slip units. And there is a reason why nobody else uses a locker in their vehicles:

    The Eaton Gov-Lok sold with GM trucks (G80 code) was originally designed for passenger (LD) car use. It consists of a set of governor-type weights which engage the locking mechanism when right and left axles rpm vary by approx 300 rpm. Then they engage with a thump and you now have instant locker. Unfortunately, put 6000 lbs in the bed of a truck, rev on a slick surface suddenly, and one of these days *bang* no more locking (or otherwise) rear end.
     
  16. Kent Lawns

    Kent Lawns PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 315

    I don't know much about mechanical (compared to most of my employees and most of the posters here) but here's what we have for trucks that I'd spend the $ on:

    Most of our new trucks are F350's ('99- '02)
    Also have a 2500HD GM 6.0.

    Also have 2 F550's. (Don't know what rear axles those have, but they're huge.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2001
  17. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    The G80 locker is good,but they can fail,and literally split the carrier into 2 pieces,I ve seen this a lot on 1500's with the 8.5 rear.I like my Dodge's limited slip better 70% of the time,since it helps keep you from getting hung up,where as the gM is an open diff,until your almost stuck,then it slams in,and if your lucky,you'll get out.In order to get a GM's locker to engage before you need it,you need to brake drag the truck,under heavy throttle,then you got about a 50/50 chance of it coming in,from my experience.Ive had G80's in the last 10 yrs,the best one i ever had was in my 84 S10,it engaged the quickest.The worst in my 92 Z71,it went out at 27K miles,but it was 4 yrs old,so no warranty.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2001
  18. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Guess I am the only customer of Gm that got a locker that works great. 1/2 turn of the wheel at most and the locker kicks in, and I dont have to give it much throttle at all. Problem is most guys just mat the throttle when the wheels start spinning, then the locker kicks in, and breaks. The person blames the locker, not the fact they tried to engage it at 40mph whel speed.
    Dino
     
  19. plowjockey

    plowjockey PlowSite.com Sponsor
    Messages: 622

    I have G-80 option in both my 2wd and 4wd trucks and they have worked fine for me. (Now watch me go out and have one break) LOL

    Bruce
     
  20. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Dino,yours is set up nice,about 1/2 of them are right,i had 3 that were set with to much spring preload,and required way to much tire spin to bring alive,when they are like this,they fail early,since the speed difference is high,it shock loads the locker to much,and breaks it.