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Anyone have a Locker in rear axle?

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by MickiRig1, Apr 30, 2011.

  1. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I am building up my light duty F-250 to add a plow soon. I am thinking about adding a locker to the rear axle. Anybody have one in thier truck. Does it cause problems?
  2. snorider075

    snorider075 Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    I got a 1997 f350 with rear locker. its nice to have. when turning on dry pavement to tight it tends to hop a bit no biggy. just learn how to drive with it. You might go through tires little faster
  3. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    My GM's have locking rear diff's and I don't know how you plow snow without one! I don't have to use 4wd too much when only using the front blade... The od time it does get stuck all locked up and you can feel it on w tight turn but 98% of the time it dosent.... Defentially a must have on a plow truck IMO
  4. PTSolutions

    PTSolutions PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,537

    the G80 locker in the GM HD trucks is very nice, thats a feature i like in our chevy vs. our fords, their rear limited slips sucks.

    I have looked into goin either the E-locker or air locker route adn have heard good and bad about both.

    just remember, with a locker if your off-camber your rear end will slide of pavement much faster than if just 1 tire was spinning, thereby increasing the chances of you getting stuck. if your on lots, then no biggie.
  5. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Ya the factory G80's are nice, and in no way compare to the aftermarket ones. Unless times have changed, I had a Detroit locker in one of my trucks back in the day and it was horrible. It was like having the spool in my race car and attempting to make it my daily driver. Just think of turning into parking spots, etc with both wheels locked. Crank your wheels and you literally have to gas it to even move. Not to mention cringing just waiting for something to break. That and tires.....on the truck, every time you turn the wheel, ever so slightly, the tires are squeeling. Now for the rain and snow. Don't even think of hitting the gas around a turn or you'll be sideways every time. It was neat for the cool factor, but never again. I'm always manuvering things around, trailers, etc. I couldn't imagine trying it with a locker these days.

    A decent way to give you an idea of the feeling driving on the street is..............put your 4wd in 4wd on a nice dry day and try driving in circles.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  6. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Go with a limited slip/posi traction instead of a locker- all the benifits without the poor handling. In general limited slip lets one wheel slip a little then takes up the slop and locks both sides together temporarily. Once the clutches inside equalize it resets. Posi will divert power to the wheel with traction rather than locking so to speak.
    They can slip sideways like a locker, but not as likely. Only had it happen 1x or 2x in 12 years or so.
  7. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    How about a " soft locker" ? The ambulances I drive have limlted slips. You have to work at getting stuck.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  8. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    i've plowed with all sorts of configurations -

    1) open differentials - all power goes to the wheel with the least traction at all times.

    2) limited slips/posis - power is equally distribued to both wheels, until the resistance is so great, that it puts all the power to the wheel with the least amount of traction - effectively becoming a open differential, and wearing the clutch packs out.

    3) locking differential - power is equally distributed to both wheels when under load.

    put one rear tire on dry pavement, and the other on ice. a limited slip will put all power to the tire on the ice and you're not going anywhere. a locker will equally distribute the power and you will drive away.

    and lockers have a rathcing mechanism in them that allow you to make tight turns. i hear my locker "clicking" like a ratchet would as i go around corners. not quite as smooth as an open differential, and tire wear will be slightly accelerated, but well worth the trade off for me. i have no issues navigating around anything.

    now a true spool is a very different story. these are not differntials at all. both wheels are locked together at all times (even when going around corners - which shouldn't be done). these should never be used on anything but a quarter mile race car that does nothing but drive in a stragiht line. serious dedicated off road vehicles use them too as they are on loose earth.

    to say a locker acts like a spool in terms of making turns is very inaccurate in my opinion. a locker gives you similiar traction benfits of a spool, with similiar turning capability of a open differential. it is the best of both worlds. it will fish tail under slipperly conditions, and you need to get used to it when plowing, but when used properly, its a huge asset to a plow truck. and leaving the truck in in 4wd stabilizes things as well.
  9. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    ^^^^^What kind of locker do you have? B/c some of them do act like spools. It's not inaccurate at all to say that, I've had them do it.
  10. RacingZR

    RacingZR Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 400

    If you are determined to have a locker, DON'T get a full time locker. Because as nice as it is for plowing, there will be plenty of times you don't want it IMO.........for reasons others have pointed out,
  11. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Does anyone make a kit with a switch or lever? My tractor has a locking rear diff-and you pull a lever to lock it when you are on slippery stuff. (very nice feature, and it does not affect anything when unlocked-normal open diff) Seems like a switch that could be engaged as desired by the operator would be ideal.
  12. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    air locker.....
  13. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Well, the limited slip you used must have been worn out or poor design. The only time a ltd slip will give out is when the clutches are shot. I have never had your example play out with my ltd slip...and plowed on plenty of drives 1 wheel on ice, other bare driveway. A ltd slip will not put all the power to the wheel on ice- it will do as designed and allow a limited amount of slip on the wheel able to slip which takes up the slack and engages the clutches providing an equal split between wheels.
  14. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    this statement is flat out wrong. a limited slip is just that - a LIMITED slip. it LIMITS the slip, it does not eliminate it.

    do this for me - put your truck in 2 wheel drive. jack up only 1 rear wheel off the ground about an inch - just enough so its off the ground. get in the truck and put it in drive. what happens? what do you think will happen? will the truck drive itself off the jack, or will all power go to the wheel up in air?

    answer the question before continuing to read...........

    in an exteme traction condition like this, a limited slip will put all the power to the tire with the least traction (the one in the air).

    do the same thing with a locker and the truck will drive off the jack.

    go try it with your limited slip rear when you have 5 minutes on your hands and report back.