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Thoughts on rear end locker

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by CHCSnowman, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    I was just wondering if anyone has installed lockers in truck.......and if so can you plow in 2 wheel drive?

    I am seriously wanting to switch my trucks to lockers because of the nightmare experience of this snow...I was stuck constantly and having to rock truck out. Went to plow a friends half mile drive with 2 ' drifts and got stuck. Along comes a guy in a new ford 150 low to ground and says he will pull me out....I asked him how he was going to get to me and he said, going thru the field :eek: I thought the guy was drunk but he proceeded to bust thru some huge drifts, hook to my front and drug me and plow thru the snow. He had factory posi trac and I was amazed.

    I now want it on my F250 and Chevy 2500's.

    What say you all.....any thoughts or advice. I just want to do rear ends. I honestly thin that truck could have plowed snow in 2 wheel drive. He did have about 400 pounds of snow in bed though...but still, he made my truck feel very sissified :blush2:
  2. SnoFarmer

    SnoFarmer PlowSite Fanatic
    from N,E. MN
    Messages: 9,883

    A locker- locked will let the reared slide off the crown or down the hill every time even in 4wd

    Studs, tire chains, or more weight #400lb isn't enough.

    A posi-track isn't a locker but a lsd, which is a big step up from a open diff.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  3. linckeil

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

    some terminology here first:

    open differential - all power goes the the wheel with the least resistance.

    limited slip - usually a clutch plate differential that distributes power to both wheels when resitance from either wheel is equal or similiar. as the name suggest it "limits" the slip. it will act like an open differential and put power to only one wheel then the differences in resistance exceed a certain limit. put one wheel up in the air and leave one on the pavement and all power goes to the wheel in the air. it has many names - posi, trac lock, sure grip, etc......

    locker - some lock automatically by electrical or mechanical means and some lock when told to - either with air pressure or electronics. these "lock" the 2 wheels together. one wheel is in the the air, the other is on the pavement - both wheels will get equal force applied to them. lockers have a mechanism to allow the wheels to disengage from each other when going around corners where it is necesary for the tires to spin at different rates.

    spool - both wheels ALWAYS locked together at all times. used only on drag cars that only go in a straight line or in extreme off roading.

    all have different street manners - some more noticable than others. do not confuse a "posi" with a locker - 2 very different things.

    and i would take 4wd open differential plow truck over a 2wd plow truck with a locker anyday. now a 4wd plow truck with a rear locker (which is what i have) can't be beat in my opinion.
  4. justme-

    justme- 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,138

    My truck came with the factory optional rear end limited slip - I LOVE it! With good tires and some weight in the back I have no trouble doing most of my clients driveways in 2wd. Side slip is very controllable when it happens (which is not very often.) I notice some tire slip doing corners some times in dry or more often wet pavement... but only certain corners where the radius is just so, and it's way better than the same truck with an open diff... the Diesel torque is tough to manage with an open rear comparing my Ram to my ol' man's 7.3 F350.
  5. Botchy5967

    Botchy5967 Member
    Messages: 34

    My plow truck is open/open, but my off-road 'wheeler is locked front + Rear. Agreed, 4wd open/open is better for plowing with out a doubt then 4wd locked up...You wont be able to turn and the stress is horrible :mad:... With just 2wd you would end up kicking the rear end around trying to push snow. If anything I would add a Limited-Slip rear end unit that used clutches to force the opposing axle to spin, giving you more traction WHEN you need it vs. skipping tires, more force on the drive-line ect..

    You said you had a Chevy 2500? Keep an eye out for the G80 / Eaton Locking Rear Differential in your 14bolt ( if you have a 6.0L V8) or AAM 11.50. a few of my buddy's have them and love it.

    Not sure on the ford aftermarket support of the Sterling 10.50... anyone know?
  6. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,123

    I have one with a limited slip and one that is open. The open one some day will get a true locker. If I don't put about 1000lbs in the back it sucks to plow with. The limited slip does fine. If I was not concerned wth cost I would put air lockers front and rear with separate controls. Best of both worlds.
    A true locker is noisy when you go around a corner, makes a bang when it lets go. But you can't really hurt it. A limited slip will have clutches or cones. If you get just one tire spinning it can destroy it very quickly.
  7. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    Thanks buddy........you know what I am talking about then. I want lockers. Just trying to decide which way to go. My trucks are all 4 wheel drive.....I just want to have lockers in rear end. What lockers do you use? I am leaning towards a mechanically operated one instead of air or electric. I have limited slip now and it is not what this truck had that I seen.

    I was just wondering if they would plow in 2 wheel drive then. Can your trucks plow in 2 wheel drive with lockers in rear end? Thanks

    BTW.... Just to be clear, my understanding is the locker I am getting does not lock permanently. It only locks when a rear tire spins, thus locking both wheels in, once tires stop spinning.....locker disengages, thus returning it to limited slip.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  8. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    G80 is the factory code correct? I would love to have a rear end as long as gears were the same as front axle.....wonder how hard it is to tell gear ratio?
  9. scooter97

    scooter97 Member
    Messages: 67

    I am sure Detroit makes something that would work in there. I would lean towards the True Trac, this is helical gear style LSD. This requires not maintenance over the life of the diff compared to a clutch style. I had one in my TJ and loved it, night and day to an open diff. One will be going in the rear of my K10 when the 14BSF goes in.


    G80 is the RPO code for the factory LSD rear end. I don't know if the 3/4 ton aka 14 bolt ones are better than the 10 bolt ones. I had the 10 bolt version in my 02 Z71 and it was ****. Tried changing the fluid nothing helped. If I were in your shoes you are better off keeping the axle that you have and putting a new diff in it. That is my two cents.

    As far as which gears are in there should be a tag on the cover with the ratio. Also it is called out in the RPO codes as well. I included a link to them below.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  10. Botchy5967

    Botchy5967 Member
    Messages: 34

    Yep! It would say it in your glove box sticker if you had it. Gear ratio is not an issue, you would take the g80 assembly and bolt the existing ring gear off your open unit to it. Now, if you were talking about swapping the entire rear axle assembly for a G80 equipped axle, I'm not positive, but you might be able to tell the ratio on that glove box sticker as well or a metal ID tag hanging from one of the front or rear differential cover bolts.
  11. Botchy5967

    Botchy5967 Member
    Messages: 34

    Yeah, 10bolt G80's seem to go boom... been there, done that :laughing:
    Now 14bolt I think is bigger / stronger? different construction?...haven't heard anything but good from the ones that have it in that application.
  12. scooter97

    scooter97 Member
    Messages: 67

    I just can't wait to get rid of the 2.89 gears in my K10, that paired with 33's is terrible. The 4.10's are sitting in the garage waiting to go in once I gather the cash for the LSD and install kit.
  13. linckeil

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

    changing out a differential is not like changing brake pads. there are some very critical measurements and calibrations to be made (if you plan to do it right) - bearing preloads, backlash, pinion depth.

    it is not a task for the average backyard mechanic. if you've never heard of some of these terms, either hire someone who knows what they are doing (big $$), or take the time to research and get the proper tools to do it yourself. search some youtube videos to get an appreciation of all that is involved.

    you may already know all that is involved, but too often i hear people taking about installing a locker as if it's as easy as topping off their windshield wiper fluid.
  14. CHCSnowman

    CHCSnowman Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 138

    Linck....My mechanic is doing it. He is a former Ford mechanic. I just need to decide which brand to use. What brand do you have? Thanks
  15. scooter97

    scooter97 Member
    Messages: 67

    Being a mechanic is one thing, being a trained and skilled in drive line is another. I know many people that are mechanics that have no idea how to set up a diff. I would check and make sure he has the correct tools and skills.

    If so my vote is for Detroit Tru Trac, just do some research before you buy.
  16. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    My F250 has the factory e locker. Wonderful tool if it is used wisely. Don't plow forward with it on, you will have troubles...use it to back out of sticky spots.

    A locker will not replace 4x4.

    ARB Airlockers would be what I would check out..we use them in our Tucker sno cat.
  17. RMGLawn

    RMGLawn Senior Member
    Messages: 271

    I have the factory e locker in my 150. I don't plow with it, but as that guy in the 150 did to get you out, it will go through anything. I had a 2011 250 with it...when I had salt and the plow on and the e locker locked...there was no stopping me
  18. Buster F

    Buster F Senior Member
    Messages: 208

    I plow with a 2wd 99 F450 that came from the factory with an open dif. Two years ago i installed a lockrite ratcheting locker and Treadwright tires with Kedge grip and the difference was amazing - the truck would push snow in a straight line just as well as any 4wd truck i have ever owned. The issues i had came when i was plowing or even just driving around corners - the locker would load up and release with a bang and start ratcheting resulting in an unpredictable loss of traction. In the end the weight of the truck with the plow and sander (somewhere around 15,000 lbs) and harsh conditions of plowing were to much for the lockrite and it failed. Halfway through last season i swapped the lockrite for a Detroit Tru Trac and my driveability woes were solved. I am very impressed with the Tru Track - the truck drives, corners, and plows MUCH better than it did withe the lock rite. My advice would be if you're going to buy a locker spend the money now and buy the Tru Track. You won't be disappointed.
  19. JCByrd24

    JCByrd24 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 232

    A big second to this. A buddy of mind paid a mechanic to do gears in his Jeep, several hundred dollars. He asked some questions and felt the mechanic had some idea what was going on. My buddy hung out to watch and learn and help take tires and brakes apart etc. Throughout the process my buddy asked intelligent questions about basic parts of the process (from the basic gear install manual he had read). Mechanic had no clue, didn't touch a torque wrench the entire time. Buddy drove home, bad noises began, he rented a car the next day, then proceeded to have it for 2 weeks while the 2 of us (licensed engineers) figured out how his mechanic had screwed him over. First thing we discovered, both pinions loose as a goose. Mechanic used the impact gun on the pinion nut with little success. Buddy spends another couple hundred bucks on 2 more install kits to replace the toasted bearings. Etc etc. We finally got it sorted out.

    If you are considering turning your truck over to someone to install gears/lockers, you need to have a pretty good concept yourself of how it should go, or a very high confidence level that the person you are hiring has a very good idea of how to do it properly.

    If you want your truck to plow well and not get stuck get some decent tires and load it up with ballast. Lockers are not necessary. If you want it to be down right awesome decent tires means snow tires and ballast means 1000lbs. All cheaper than locker install.
  20. 32vld

    32vld Senior Member
    from LI, NY
    Messages: 622

    G80, yes and no. Same code for the old system that used clutches and did not truly lock up when compared to the new Eaton Locking rear. Eaton will stay locked as long as torque is applied once the locker is engaged.

    There are youtube videos that show how the Eaton mechanics work.

    Lockers which lock the rear when turned on. Will not work well on clear pavement. When you plow there will not be enough snow left of the pavement for the tires to slip when they need to.

    Lockers are what makes a Jeep Rubicon drive through everything off road.

    A regular rear can be converted to a limited slip, or the newer Eaton locking by changing the gear carrier and parts in your rear end housing. Also just swap out the whole rear. Buying a used rear will mean that the cover has to be removed to make sure it is the new Eaton system.