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Limited Slip Differential

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Kennedy, Feb 24, 2000.

  1. Kennedy

    Kennedy Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    I am wondering what people think about using limited slip diffs (or lockers) in plow vehicles. My particular case is a shorter wheel base, full-size truck, a K-5 Blazer. I like the idea of more traction, but I wonder if you get that unpredictable &quot;kick-out&quot; to the side. What do we think guys?<p>Dave Kennedy
     
  2. Doug406

    Doug406 Member
    Messages: 65

    I have a Detroit locker in my 86 chevy and I love it. Regarding the kick out thing, in four wheel drive it is not a problem what so ever, although in in 2wd it is a blast. Do not put a locker in the front though, as you will loose all control of steering when accelerating
     
  3. plowking35

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

    What do I think?<br>Well if you read my post about me being stupid during the last storm. Long story short, I had no 4wd during Fri night into sat morn, and my limited slip got me through.<br>it will be standard on all my new plow trucks.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  4. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    Limited Slip is a great thing to have. Some of my trucks have it and some don't, i think only one has it. My trucks stay in 4wd most of the time, only it's nice to be able to used 2wd and have limited slip on those little snow and ice falls.<p>Geoff
     
  5. gene gls

    gene gls PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 480

    I am all for a locker in a work truck. I had to get a Lock-Right for my Chevy 2500 because of the rearend size.It works great but is very noisey and it has kick-out.
     
  6. Kennedy

    Kennedy Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    So the Detroit isn't to harsh? I hear reports that Detroit lockers add an inherent <br>&quot;clunk&quot; to the drivetrain. I'm happy to hear such strong support for them. Thanks guys:)<br>
     
  7. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,011

    I ordered my 95 Dodge new with a LSD its great in the rain but its a pain in the snow, I have a couple crunched running boards from sliding into walls. I wouldnt get one again. An open diff is much more predictable in the snow, and if you need the extra traction just ratchet down the e-brake a click or so, works just like the two brake pedals on a tractor.<p>Bill<p>----------<br>&quot;...half my brain tied behind my back, just to make it fair.&quot; R.L.<br>
     
  8. Doug406

    Doug406 Member
    Messages: 65

    Yes the detroit has an occasional clunk, but that just lets you know it is back there. It is not something that will interupt you listening to the radio or something. As for the previous post about &quot;kicking out&quot; , I'm telling you, if it is in four wheel drive this can not logically happen, because the front wheel will turn at the same rpm a s the rear, keeping you in line with the rear. In fact, when I have salt in the back, I plow 60% of the time in 2wd and nave no traction or kick out problems. I like 2wd because then you do not have the binding problems with the front axle while turning on drier pavement. GO WITH THE LOCKER!
     
  9. plowking35

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

    IU agree 500% with Doug. The factory limited slips work fine for me, and having posi, especially in reverse is a huge +. The front binding drives me nuts, so I like plowing in 2wd. Having 4wd at the move a lever is a nice feeling tho.<br>Also would you consider changing your signiture, it seems kinda over the top.<br>I think most of us here are pretty smart people, and that seems kinda degrading to me.<br>Dino <p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  10. chad

    chad Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    you can get the best of both worlds with an airlocker which is activated with an under the hood aircompressor when not activated your diff is open when activated its locked, they work great ARB LOCKERS are probably the best out there
     
  11. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I always custom order my trucks. I been there done that, and don't buy diesels for plowing. The return isn't there. Diesels are great if you're putting on a couple hundred thousand a year, but my trucks don't back up that far! I go with Big block gas, same torque, which is what counts in plowing. I've found that fuel economy is abut the same plowing. With the big gas engine option trans and engine coolers are included. I always add the trailer towing pkg. because it will add these options anyway, plus the hitch (usually less then the cost of a hitch)<br>ALWAYS add positrack or limited slip to a plow truck, You'll pay for it the frist time you don't have to pulled out. As for the side slip, stop back up and take a smaller bit, you're already pushing more snow then you could without it. <br>PS With a little weight e.g. salt spreader you can plow in 2 wheel drive for the lite stuff.<p>Bill
     
  12. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Bill,I disagree with your don't buy a diesel theory.You are right in that it probably wont pay off-but the resale more than makes up for that,and the torque of my Cummins isnt attainable by any gas engine operating at RPM's we see when plowing.A powerstoke is just also very strong-the V10 6.8 is a sorry motor,all rpm's no torque 'til 3000+.GM's are both about the same,but 6.5 is still stronger at low rr's when pushing.As for fuel economy,you must be kidding.I burn about 1/3 the fuel in the Dodge as my 350.My cousin has 454 vortec,and he fills 4 to 1 with me.I have 35 gal tank,he has 34.That 454 cant touch my diesel when it comes to pushing,diesels put power down smoother and steadier allowing them to push without wasting any through the tires or tailpipe.As for locking diffs,I like the Dodge's tight posi better until you really get one tires on ice and other on blacktop.Gm used lockers that are open diffs until a speed difference is apparent and a load on it.Some times I've got stuck and had to bring the locker alive by dragging the brakes,by then its too late.You would've made it through with a posi rear or detriot.Either is way better than none and I like the soft detriot locker best.I had an older one,it banged but it worked.<p>----------<br>John D<br>
     
  13. Kennedy

    Kennedy Junior Member
    Messages: 8

    Well I went ahead and did it. I just ordered a Detroit Locker for my Blazer. I am converting the truck to 3/4 ton axles this summer (with the 10.5&quot; ring gear 14-bolt, that you guys with GM 1-tons have). <p>I decided based on the fact that I have a locker now- I'd hate to learn what it's like to be without one while plowing.<p>This forum has also made me realize that if and when the transfercase, front axle, front driveshaft, etc fails... I will be in much better shape with the locker in the rear. I'll let you know when I get it in.<p>Thanks again,<p>David
     
  14. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    <br>John, I haven't plowed with a Dodge, Just can't accept their 1950's suspension. I have a 6.5 Turbo, and a Vortec 454, at the end of the day the extra cost of diesel( up here about 12% ) the cost for fuel is about the same. I did have the dealer recalibrate the 454 to GM's towing specs, they both deliver about the same fuel mileage around town, the Diesel only shines on highway mileage. I can't really detect a difference in the way the power comes on when plowing, both are smooth. Maybe I have an exceptional 454, because a buddy of mine has one that seems to eat gas, he replaced the air fiter with a K&N and reprogrammed the computer with a kit, and is a lot happier with the truck. I am going to look at the new duramax, but again the initial cost may outweight the benefits. The resale value is higher with the diesels, but I find they're also more costly to maintain, more expensive filters, more oil, etc. Anyways happy plowing, and watch out for raised manhole covers.<br>Bill
     
  15. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    Bill,I didn't know you had a 6.5.They aren't as good on fuel as a Cummins or Pwrstroke.My dad has one and I agree,it isn't worth the money unless you get a discount for buying it.The indirect injection is to blame,I get 17-19 average w 4x4,6875lbs 2500 dodge,my dads 1500 2wd 4685lb 6.5 gets 15.I can get 23-25 mpg at 65 mph,he gets 17.They do tow well in a 1500 truck though.Bill,my trucks never shut down in a storm,unless they break down.This is where the diesel burns hardly any fuel,so little in fact that laws of thermal efficiency wont let them warm up unless you work them,or rev them up, so as to burn enough fuel to generate some heat in the motor.I notice the 6.5 warms up way faster than my cummins,proof that they burn more fuel.In your case Bill,i would have went gas too.But Dodge's V8's are more thirsty than the Vortecs and put out less power,(exV10).The reverse is true for diesels so that is why I have one.What do you think is 1950's on a Dodge.Mine rides as good as my 1500 Z71 did,and the posi rear is better than GM's failure prone locker.You have no ground clearance with a GM,I know I have 2 of them and they get stuck and the Dodge has to pull them out.GM has no overloads for heavy loads,no rear anti-sway bar and a weak idler arm,pitman arm.I still love mine,but these are facts.It is one area where my Dodge is so much beefier.Yeah,my track bar went,and so did a U-joint,but the Dana 60 front and 80 rear in my 2500,are also used in F450's.So who's will last longer.<p>----------<br>John D<br>
     
  16. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    I don't think Ford uses the same rear end in a F 450 or 1 1/2 ton truck as Dodge would use in there 2500 or 3/4 ton truck. I could be wrong but i think the 550 and 450 use the same rear ends. I don't think you would find the 3/4 ton rear in a 1 1/2 ton rear. I could be wrong<p>Geoff
     
  17. Lazer

    Lazer Senior Member
    Messages: 399

    The 550 rear end is larger than the 450 by quite a bit.
     
  18. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    From what i can find in the Ford Commercial Truck book. The F 450 and F 550 have two rear end choices depending on if you have the 6.8 v-10 gas or 7.3 power stroke. You can get a 4.88 or a 5.38, i don't think you will find those in your Dodge 2500. You may find a 3.73 or 4.10 ( again this depends on model and motor choice ie 5.4 v8 6.8 v-10 or 7.3 power stoke) found on the F 250 SD and F 350, in your Dodge.<p>So the 450 and 550 do use the same rearends.<p>Geoff
     
  19. plowking35

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

    Well I will throw this into the fray. I know guys with 6.5's getting into the low 20's for fuel mileage. I know guys with cummins getting in the mid teens for mileage, and vise versa. <br>I get 13 mpg with a 6.5 in a k-3500 that weighs 9500 all the time. I am at 15000# with the plow sander and sand in during a storm. While plowing I dont check mileage just hours. I can go 30 hrs on 35 gals of fuel. My last truck was a 86 k-30 with 4.56 gears and the same weight ratios. It would burn 32 gals in 15 hrs plowing. So I get 2x the plowing with the same amount of fuel.<br>Now we all could argue Ford vs Chevy vs Didge all day. they all have pros and cons. I agree with the pitman arm, took my dealer 4 visits before they changed it, an I had to tell them what was wrong. It started to go at 24k and they fianlly changed it at 34k.<br>But I know just as many dodges with diesels that have junk front ends. Cant keep tires or alignments on them.<br>BTW I test drove a 2000 F-350 mason dump auto with a PS, and all I can say is WOW<br>What a POS. Loud ,obnoxious and no power till at least 2200rpm. Then it takes off and you can feel the power. But the noise is so overwealming at from 500-2200 that it sounds like the engine is going to blow.I cant imagine driving one all day, I would kill myself. WHile the 6.5 doesnt have as much power, it is alot more driver friendly, and quieter.<br>I have also driven a cummins as of late and of the 3 the cummins is really the class of the field, to bad its wrapped around a dodge body. Just my personal feeling as a loyal chevy man. Dont know why I am one, glutton for punishment I guess.<br>All of the diesels mentioned tho do much better with a standard behind them. Diesels really are made for a stick, to bad sticks and plowing are such a bad combo for ruined knees.<br>If and when I buy new again, I dont know If I will get another diesel. The break even point is so far down the road I dont know if it is worth it. When I bought mine, the 6.5 was only a 1200$ option, so I broke even at about 25K. If I payed the 4k+ for the dodge or ford diesle option I would need at least 100K before I reach that point. Of course you get alot of little things with the diesel option package that you pay extra for with a gas, so one has to consider that also.<br>Dino<p>----------<br> Professional Ice and Snow Management <br>Products:Services:Equipment www.sima.org
     
  20. GeoffD

    GeoffD PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,266

    That Ford 7.3 may be load in a truck. Only when we pull a 12,000 exevator on a 4,000 pound trailer with an F 350 it makes all the difference. Only back in the day i used to pull that same set up with an F 250 HD and a 5.8 gas engine, so go figure.<p>BTW we all drive work trucks, so sometimes ya have to let a few conforts go ie the loudness of the truck. Just remember what was around in the early 80s, remember the inside? Oh yea the other reason i buy Ford is i am 6'4&quot; with a size 16 foot. Just can't seam to fit in a chevy, and didn't like the seats in a dodge.<p>Now with the 550 and 650 towing isn't an problem, and anything bigger we just use the L8000.<p>Geoff<p>