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Detroit locker in a ford

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by SCSIndust, Mar 13, 2003.

  1. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Hey all,

    I have an '86 Bronco 4x4 w/ 302. I would like to replace the diff's with lockers. I am not in the market for new ones, just ones from the local junkyard. My question is, what model year chevy/gmc could I pull the diff's out of that would fit, if any? If they can be swapped, how hard would it be to do, as in rewelding brackets, moving pieces, etc? I am tired of that thing getting stuck because it is only a 2 wheel wonder in 4wd. And yes, it does have decent snow tires on it. Any info would be appreciated, as I don't want to bother getting another truck since this one is ok other than the crumy 4wd.
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    It would be easier to swap in just the posi unit,instead of the whole rear axle.Try to find a limited slip unit,that will fit your housing.You should have an 8.8,so they are quite common.5.0L mustangs had them with a limited slip,you will just have to make sure the side gear splines match your axles (they have 28 and 31).

    You may be able to find a whole rear axle assy,but it would have to be out of a Bronco,or F150.You will have to measure the spring perches,and the driveshaft yoke to make sure they match.And most important,it MUST match the front,and original rear gear ratio.If it does,you cab just bolt it in.

    If you want to use a diff out of something else,then you will have to fab and modify to make it fit.Driveshaft and\or yoke mods may also be required.You will have to at least match the track width and wheelbolt pattern,unless you want to change rims too.Not really worth it.

    Another option for the rear,is a Lock-rite,which just replaces the side gears,with a ratcheting type locker.They work pretty well,are simple to install,and aren't too expensive,$300ish I think.

    You will probably have a hard time finding a true locker,as they weren't factory items.Forget about doing anything for the front axle,as if you do it will never turn.When both front wheels are locked together,they must turn at the same speed.When you turn,they must turn at different speeds.If they can't,then when you turn the truck wants to keep going straight.

    Some weight in the rear will help too_Our full size Jimmys\Blazers suck when empty.Throw 8-900 lbs of bagged salt (or any kind of weight) in the back,and they plow like a tank.
  3. SCSIndust

    SCSIndust Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Well, what I was getting at, is that my partner's 2002 K1500 turns all 4 wheels in 4wd. The Bronco only turns 2. So I was wondering if there was a certain model or year chevy/gmc that I could take the rears out of to stick in the bronco? Not neccesarily a locker, but a GM diff, as they lock better than the bronco's.
  4. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Your partners K1500 may have a rear posi,but the front diff is open,so it drives both wheels evenly,until one loses traction,then it only drives one.No different than yours in the front.

    In the rear,the GM does use a different style posi-unit,with gears,instead of clutches.It will not swap into a Ford housing.If you wanted to find a complete used rear end,you would have to do some work to make it fit.

    Look into the Lock-rite,or a Power-trax locker like I mentioned above,cheap and easy to install,and will work just as good as the GM posi,with much less work.
  5. Team_Yamaha

    Team_Yamaha Senior Member
    Messages: 240

    Like wyldman said, the cheapest thing is just to get a limited slip out of a mustang or F-150/Bronco. But the best thing would be to get a Detroit locker (around $500), Lock-rite (around $325), or other locker installed. I run Detroit's in the rears of all of my trucks and love them. Each of the Super Duty's had the factory limited slips, but I replaced them just to have a true locker, and the 97 had a open rear. If you do want a locker in the front, go with the ARB air locker. They are expensive, $670 plus the on-board air compressor which I think was $190. But the air locker allows you to lock and unlock the axle, so when you need the traction you push the button and a way you go. Then when you need to turn or go down the street, then unlock it and its just like it was from the factory. Granted about 95% of the time, the front locker never even just used, but when you do need it, its a god send.

    Oh yea, also ballast it a must. Especailly in a short wheel based vehcile like you Bronco.
  6. Big Nate's Plowing

    Big Nate's Plowing PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    call www.reiderracing.com they sell lockrite's for a 9" for $245.00, I said screw that and ordered a mini spool:D unbreakable locker