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    Locking Diff? Please advise

    Hi Guys,

    I tried to post this in the drive train pages but could not post there for some reason.

    1991 Grand Marquise 89k miles

    Anyway, winter is coming and I would like to improve the traction of my 2wd in case I get caught in a snow storm her in Michigan. I live in the country and it can be pretty hairy getting home from work sometimes. I do mostly highway driving and never race or anything like that.

    Is it possible to put a Detroit Locker or something like that in the rear end? If so would it be dangerous in wet weather? Who should I get to install it? would it require a specialist shop or could the local mechanic do it?

    I already have snow tires and weight in the trunk but want that extra traction without having to get a different car.

    Please advise.

    Thanks


    DW

    #2
    you have a ford 8.8 rear end with 28 spline axles. ANYTHING made to fit that will work.

    as for driving with a locker in other conditions... you just have to get used to driving with that kind of setup. it's not that hard of a switch either. a clutch pack (like the ford OE traction lock setup) is typically better for those with no experience with lockers (IIRC) because they don't totally lock it all together unless you totally break both tires loose. They will allow some slippage. I think the detroit lockers allow slippage to a point and then go hard together. The only bad thing about a locker is that it will reduce gas mileage a smidgen since they do create more friction then an open setup.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
    rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
    Originally posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
    Originally posted by dmccaig
    Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

    Comment


      #3
      Hey Slymer,

      Thanks for the awsome help and quick response. With the info you provided, I'm looking at the Detroit Locker (truetrack) from JEGS:

      http://www.jegs.com/i/Detroit-Locker...rentProductId=

      Looks like I can get the locker for under $500 and possibly have it installed for another $200

      Does that sound about right?

      Anybody have sound advice on which locker to go with for mainly street use? And bearing in mind that my main purpose is to help get me through the snow drifts.

      Thanks again


      DW

      Comment


        #4
        I would really suggest a clutch based carrier. its far more road-friendly. A solid locked axle will have problems on turns because the wheels cant run at different speeds. I've never driven one in the winter, but I can imagine its a real bitch to deal with. Its annoying enough on dry road when the outer tire is hopping off the road and chirping. A boring old Ford traction lock is a fair bit cheaper too. I have one of those in my Towncar, and with a half decent set of tires its a real beast in the winter. I'll also toss out the suggestion for a set of snow tires if you don't already have a set. That may actually do you more good than any changes to the rear diff.

        86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
        5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

        91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

        1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

        Originally posted by phayzer5
        I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

        Comment


          #5
          I'm with gadget on this one... the rebuild kit comes with all the parts to make an open diff into a clutch based locking diff and costs about $400 less.

          full carrier and all (will probably require re-shimming the carrier bearings) - http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/...k-Differential

          rebuild kit (add these parts to the open diff to make it a track-lok diff) - http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/...h-Carbon-Discs

          Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -- Albert Einstein
          rides: 93 Crown Vic LX (The Red Velvet Cake), 2000 Crown Vic base model (Sandy), 2003 Expedition (the vacation beast)
          Originally posted by gadget73
          ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
          Originally posted by dmccaig
          Overhead, some poor bastards are flying in airplanes.

          Comment


            #6
            ^ Um... that says it's to upgrade your normal Trak-Lok to '03-'04 Cobra guts, not to convert an open diff.


            I've often thought a Powertrax diff seemed tempting, especially since it appears to install directly in place of the spider gears with no fancy setup required. Though, I recall some people claiming it retained some of the streetability issues alleged to occur with an old-style full locker.


            Thain, that Truetrac the OP linked to is the gear-type limited slip that Blaze86Vic spoke so highly of. He claimed it was a great compromise between a clutch-type limited slip and a full locker. And maybe I'm misreading your post, but you seem to be confusing a locking diff with a spool? :confused:



            OP: I manage OK here in the Lansing area, despite my open diff, with just a decent set of tires and some sandbags in the trunk. First winter after getting my Vic was rough since I'd been used to a wagon, which might as well be 4WD compared to a sedan. And to be fair, I currently have a set of old wagon springs in the back of my Vic, which along with the ballast may help press the wheels into the snow better than the stock P72 rear springs seemed to do even with the same ballast.

            As for tires, I own a set of Kumho Venture light duty off-road tires, but last winter I did surprisingly well when I tried the plain old Goodyear RS-As I'd picked up a while back. It helped a lot in terms of safety when I fixed the situation where the aging stock brake proportioning valve was sending very little pressure to the rear brakes.
            Last edited by 1987cp; 11-22-2011, 12:57 AM.
            2012 Mazda5 Touring | Finally working on the LTD again!

            Comment


              #7
              Hmmm, more to think about and research. I was under the impression that the Detroit Truetrac would allow some 'limited' slip in turns so that road behaviour would not bee too bad. I definatly do not want a full time fully locked diff (Is that what a spool is?)

              Slymer - the rebuild kit you reference looks intersting (and cheaper) but I'm not familier with the term 'carrier' and don't know what a clurtch based carrier is vs any orhter type of locking sytem.

              The tires I have are Firestone Winterforce. I've used them in the past with great results on my front wheel drive Buick Century (which is off road this winter with a blown head gasket). The Grand Marquis was strictly a summer car but I'm now forced to useing it year round. I'm not sure what springs I have in the rear suspension; I can only assume that it is stock.

              Anyway, thanks for the advice. I would appreciate any further comments that can help me out while I continue to struggle with the terminology.

              Comment


                #8
                I just came across this informative site which may be interesting to anybody following this thread.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limited_slip_differential

                Comment


                  #9
                  Seems like the Eaton E locker would be ideal in my situation but the cost ($900+) is prohibitive. I wonder whay the 'E' locker for my car is hundreds more than an E locker for other makes? A mechanicaly actuated locker would be good but my intial search didn't bring anything like that up.

                  Perhaps I ruff it out for this year and save up for the E locker next year.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Detroit Lockers can be lazy on the 'unlock' side, especially with an automatic transmission. In tight maneuvering, such as a parking lot, it may bark the tires a little until it unlocks. But they are great traction units.

                    The True Trac is a helical gear system. Just as smooth as a clutch type unit, and arguably more durable.
                    **2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302: 5.0/ 6 spd/ 3.73s, 20K Cruiser
                    **2006 MGM,"Ultimate": 4.6/ 2.73/ Dark Tint, Magnaflows, 19s, 98K Daily Driver
                    **2012 Harley Davidson Wide Glide (FXDWG):103/ Cobra Speedsters/ Cosmetics, 7K Poseur HD Rider
                    **2014 Ram 1500 QCSB Express: 4WD Hemi/ 8spd TF/ 3L92/ Exhaust/ Cosmetics, 42K Truck Duties

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Would anybody have an opinion if the 'E' locker is worth the extra cash?

                      Slymer indicated that my Diff is an 8.8" / 28 spline (for 91 Grand Marquis). I have a summit catalog that list a 9" / 28 spline (may be a stupid question) but is that the same as 8.8" application? The only Ford application 8.8" I see listed is 31 spline.


                      Thanks again


                      DW

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I live in the Buffalo, NY area, so I know what type of snow you're dealing with.
                        I put a Ford Trac-Lok in my 93 with the Winterforce tires. That has to be about one of the best combinations of all time. I think it's the best. I love it.
                        You can probably pick up a use 28 spline Trac-Lok on eBay or Cragslist, buy the rebuild kit, and then have a shop do the rebuild and install. You'll save some cash and it will work for what you want it to. I saved a bunch of cash on mine, and rebuilt and installed it myself.
                        I still get 28mpg highway, so I don't believe it takes much away from mileage. But, then it all depends of the condition of your car.
                        I would worry about the wet conditions. Unless you're hammereing through every turn, you should have to worry about the back end coming around.
                        Good luck!!

                        -ryan s.
                        08 Lincoln Navigator L - 233k
                        03 Mercury Marauder- 63k
                        97 Ford Crown Victoria HPP "Tank of Justice III" (TOJ3) - 194k -->578.9 miles on ONE tank of gas<--
                        94 BMW 325i Convertible - 135k
                        73 VW Super Beetle "Bunky" <----- Wifey's
                        12 Mini Cooper S - 90k <---- Wifey's
                        Originally posted by pantera77
                        Well my buddy tells him he knows exactly who loves buying shitboxes.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I agree with what has basically been said so far:

                          In snow and ice, a reasonably good-condition Trac-lok is basically a locker. The only time a locker will "lock" and a clutch type like a trac-lok or posi-traction (GM's term) won't is in a high-traction situation. Basically, asphalt or grippier. In snow, even my worn out trac-lok spins both rears consistently. If you put in a locker, it'll be harder to find parts, harder to sell in the future, harder to drive around corners in the rain, etc.


                          Do you know what axle ratio and code you have? You may already have a (completely worn out) trac-lok unit, which would make it pretty cheap to get full trac-lok functioning going.


                          I'd personally go with a Ford dealer or ford-performance specific shop for most rear-end stuff, but that's not to say you can't find a general mechanic with the requisite knowhow.


                          What snow tires are you running? Some are far, far better than others.

                          Frankly, if a locker was a big advantage over a limited-slip in the snow, it'd have been an option up here in Canada. Ignoring the high-performance muscle cars where it was also available in the US, it wasn't.

                          85 4 door 351 Civi Crown Victoria - Summer daily driver, sleeper in the making, and wildly inappropriate autocross machine
                          160KMs 600cfm holley, shorty headers, 2.5" catted exhaust, 255/295 tires, cop shocks, cop swaybars, underdrive pulley, 2.73L gears.
                          waiting for install: 3.27's, Poly bushings, boxed rear arms, 2500 stall converter, ported e7's, etc

                          06 Mazda 3 hatch 2.3L 5AT (winter beater that cost more than my summer car)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            He runs the Winterforce tires as well.

                            -ryan s.
                            08 Lincoln Navigator L - 233k
                            03 Mercury Marauder- 63k
                            97 Ford Crown Victoria HPP "Tank of Justice III" (TOJ3) - 194k -->578.9 miles on ONE tank of gas<--
                            94 BMW 325i Convertible - 135k
                            73 VW Super Beetle "Bunky" <----- Wifey's
                            12 Mini Cooper S - 90k <---- Wifey's
                            Originally posted by pantera77
                            Well my buddy tells him he knows exactly who loves buying shitboxes.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Thanks All, I'll look into the Trac-Lok and try and see whayt that's about.

                              I was also looking at Jeep Forum talking about a Powertrax instalation. It seems that Richmond PowerTrax also makes a unit that will fit my car. But a poster here ( http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/po...ite-up-433172/) warns that breaking axles will occur with stock axles.

                              Is that something to consider as well for a street use vehicle? If I install some sort of traction enhancing diff do I run the risk of breaking my axles? Would I also need to upgrade the axles?

                              Again, thanks for your thoughts



                              DW

                              Comment

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