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Any options for D28 Limited slip Without Changing Axles?


wildbill23c

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I've decided that I want to do an extremely mild upgrade to my 88 Bronco 2 as I'm going to be using it for camping and other backroads type driving so I would like to put a locker in the rear and find something for the front. As I've researched this, nothing comes up except for a very rare limited slip front factory option which isn't available anymore.

My thoughts were that I could possibly upgrade the axle shafts to the Dana 35 stuff since the "Hybrid" version still uses the Dana 28 stuff, just upgrade to the Dana 35 Hybrid parts to allow me to use the Dana 35 axle shafts that would work with a ring & carrier to allow me to add the limited slip. I was looking towards a LOCK-RITE or something similar. I don't need/want anything fancy. I'm not going to be doing a lift or anything, it just has 235/75-R15 tires on it, which gives it plenty of clearance for anything I'd ever need. I'm not going to be rock crawling just logging trails, forestry service roads, in all kinds of weather conditions possible plus one of our local Amateur Radio repeaters is located about 3/4 of the way up on top of a hill that's hard to access.

Are there any options, or what could I do to get a front locker or well I guess its a limited slip (Lock-Rite) as it does unlock when turning. I'd rather not have to take everything apart if I don't have to but the Lock-Rite that is listed on a few sites for a Dana 28 shows a spline count of 27, but the forum in the tech library states our Dana 28's only have a 23 spline count, so the locker that LOCK-RITE states works with a Dana 28 in fact does not, unless there's some other version of a Dana 28 axle out there but I haven't found anything.

If I had someone around with the knowledge that could help with an axle swap I'd swap a Dana 35 if I could get a hold of one cheap enough, but on my own I do not feel comfortable doing so, plus it requires changing the front drive-shaft, something else I would have to outsource as I don't have a way to cut and reassemble one.

Alright TRS guru's what's the best way to go about this? I can do the LOCK-RITE in the rear I'd be fine with that, I'd love to do a LOCK-RITE up front too just to keep with the same brand and hopefully both would work the same, I'd really not like to mix and match stuff as I know different limited slips/lockers behave different than each other. I also think I understand that having a front limited slip or a locker wouldn't cause bad road manners with the front hubs disengaged at least that's what I've gathered from the reading I've done, but like I said TRS Gurus please lead the way as to how to handle this, thanks.
 


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Shadowrider6661

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I'm not certain, but you might want to check into an Aussie Locker. They might have a Locker that would fit the Dana 28 that's easily installed.
 

wildbill23c

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I'm not certain, but you might want to check into an Aussie Locker. They might have a Locker that would fit the Dana 28 that's easily installed.
They don't offer anything either, they don't even offer anything for the rear axle. Everything I've tried to come up with has been discontinued or doesn't work with the Dana 28 that's in the Ranger and Bronco 2.
 

Shadowrider6661

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Have you considered swapping out the 28 for a 35 ?
 

85_Ranger4x4

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Have you considered swapping out the 28 for a 35 ?
+1

Swapping in a hybrid is the same amount of work.

Look into but I think you can use a limited slip carrier out of a Jeep D35 which should have some JY availability for you. IIRC when I checked into it there was a carrier break for gear ratio, I think you need a limited slip carrier out of a 3.55 or deeper axle.
 

Shran

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Have you driven a truck with a locker in the front before?

If not I would really suggest hooking up with someone who has one and driving theirs... I have a lock-rite in my Ranger and an E-locker in my Explorer. When they're locked, the steering does all sorts of weird stuff. The lock-rite is especially bad even with the hubs unlocked. It's hard to make sharp turns and it's very easy to over steer or under steer and not realize it because of how the locker messes with everything in the front end.

For the normal person who just wants a little bit more capable rig I would suggest things in this order:

- Tight limited slip in the rear, open front
- Same as above plus a winch
- Two limited slips
- Selectable locker in the rear, open front
- Two selectable lockers
- Non selectable locker in the rear, open front
- Non selectable locker in the rear, limited slip front
- Non selectable locker in the rear, selectable (ARB, Ox, E-locker) in the front
- Non selectable locker in the rear, non-selectable (Aussie, Lock-rite, Detroit, Spartan) in the rear

I would ONLY recommend a front locker of any style to those who either (A) have a real need for an actual locker (rock crawler, etc) or (B) have a significant amount of driver's seat time in a rig with a front locker and know what to expect.

And yes I would definitely suggest just putting a D35 in your rig... the D28 and hybrid are just not worth putting any money into for upgrades.
 

wildbill23c

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Total Drop
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Tire Size
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My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
Have you considered swapping out the 28 for a 35 ?
For what I want its not worth the trouble swapping axles. The Dana 35 "Hybrid" is just a Dana 28 with upgraded axle shafts from what I recall, and the Bronco 2 and the Ranger don't have enough power to tear up a Dana 28 unless you are trying to use them for crushing boulders. For what I want just running up and down fire roads, logging roads, and back roads in the country, I don't need heavier duty axles, just a way to simply add a Lunchbox Locker which is just a fancy term for a limited slip as they unlock for turning. However, given the limited amount of Dana 28 support, I may just get the Lock Rite for the rear axle and call it good. I've been thinking about adding a limited slip to the rear axle in my 87 Ranger too, but the thing is so light weight even with a limited slip or a full on locker it still wouldn't move in snow/ice LOL. I wouldn't have thought a 1 foot longer bed would make that much traction difference over my 84 Ranger's 6 foot bed. That's why I've been trying to find a camper shell for my 87 long bed Ranger, add some weight to the bed for better bad weather traction....even snow tires don't help because there's not enough weight back there LOL. It had Nokian tires on it when I bought it, they were useless LOL, the all seasons are slightly better but still, no weight, no traction LOL.

What I was kind of thinking of with having the limited slip Lock-Rite front and rear was it would have the ability to spin all 4 tires rather than the normal 2 opposing corners that a regular "4x4" with open diffs gives. Honestly I've never been into anything far enough to need lockers, or limited slips, however I recently have gotten into driving the backroads and trails in my area and thought the additional traction addition would be a good idea.

A winch is 100% useless where I live. Until you go up into timber country, trees are pretty non-existent to use for recovery points, and sage brush isn't a recovery point for anything, not even a UTV...tried that once all I did was remove the sage brush LOL.

I've driven a few vehicles with Detroit Lockers front and rear. Both were K5 CUCV Blazers in the military. I loved them, they'd go anywhere, however I've never had any need honestly for lockers. I just figured a limited slip like the Lock Rite that just drops in without having to take differentials apart would be a good way to go.

Honestly, if you guys that do offroading stuff saw what I normally drive through you may recommend nothing at all as if the roads are that bad I don't go, or I just turn around. I have no need to be blasting through mud or snow deep enough to need a locker, but thought with the snow and ice that we get sometimes it would be nice to have a rear limited slip at least I think. The limited slip I had in my 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee was nice in the winter in the snow/ice, used 4WD in it very little as the limited slip pulled me through most of the time.

As for swapping axles, I'm not that mechanically inclined and don't really have the tools and equipment to tackle stuff like that so I'm not sure I'd want to try that. I drive my Bronco 2 pretty much daily so I'd rather not be modifying axles and such that may or may not fit right, and I'm sure that Dana 35 swap would be cool but its probably a lot wider than the Dana 28 isn't it? Or are they dimensionally the same? With the 7.5" rear axle Lock Rite still offers the limited slip for it so I may just do that and call it good enough LOL.

Thanks for everyone's input and suggestions.
 

85_Ranger4x4

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The hybrid is more of a D35 with a D28 differential. The beam is different and the axle is overall wider so you need everything including steering linkage.

It is the same work as a D35 swap and the guy at the junkyard is going to charge you the same if it is hybrid or a full 35.

If you lock the front, you will break things. Especially with a 28. It is no mercy.

I briefly looked into a limited slip in the front but decided to skip it to avoid weirdness even with the hubs unlocked. I might go selectable someday... who knows.
 

wildbill23c

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The hybrid is more of a D35 with a D28 differential. The beam is different and the axle is overall wider so you need everything including steering linkage.

It is the same work as a D35 swap and the guy at the junkyard is going to charge you the same if it is hybrid or a full 35.

If you lock the front, you will break things. Especially with a 28. It is no mercy.

I briefly looked into a limited slip in the front but decided to skip it to avoid weirdness even with the hubs unlocked. I might go selectable someday... who knows.
After more thinking I believe I'll just do a limited slip in the rear axle and call it good. I don't really foresee needing anything up front I just don't go into stuff that deep and nasty to really think I need a limited slip or locker up front.
 

Shran

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I think you will be very happy with that choice, given what you intend to use it for.

Check out land anchors for winches - it makes them useful even in areas with no trees or rocks to hook onto.
 

wildbill23c

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19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
I think you will be very happy with that choice, given what you intend to use it for.

Check out land anchors for winches - it makes them useful even in areas with no trees or rocks to hook onto.
I will check into those as well. Problem is mounting a winch to a 30+ year old vehicle without any aftermarket support LOL. My Jeep was easy I purchased an ARB winch bumper for it, but as far as I know nobody makes a winch bumper for a Ranger or Bronco 2? Or maybe a multi-mount receiver hitch type winch setup might be a better idea.
 

Shran

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Affordable Offroad makes winch bumpers for first gen trucks. I'm not sure who else, if anyone does...maybe James Duff?

I made my own out of C channel, super easy if you can weld. My daily driver has a front receiver hitch behind the bumper so I could put a winch on that too. Lots of options.
 

Shadowrider6661

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4WD
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My credo
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Myself, if I were to add a winch to my truck, I would mount it on one of those plates designed to attach to a receiver. I figure that its easier pulling yourself out the way you went in than pulling yourself deeper into whatever your stuck in to try to get out. Besides, most trucks already have the receiver installed. Its too bad your truck doesn't have an 8.8" rear, I have a brand new, never been opened, 38 spline 'Ford Trak Loc' I don't have any use for.
 

Shadowrider6661

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Sorry, I was distracted when writing my last, its 31 spline, not 38. Must have been that damned auto correct. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it !
 

wildbill23c

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Myself, if I were to add a winch to my truck, I would mount it on one of those plates designed to attach to a receiver. I figure that its easier pulling yourself out the way you went in than pulling yourself deeper into whatever your stuck in to try to get out. Besides, most trucks already have the receiver installed. Its too bad your truck doesn't have an 8.8" rear, I have a brand new, never been opened, 38 spline 'Ford Trak Loc' I don't have any use for.
I was leaning towards a receiver mounted winch as well...course I'd then have to find a front receiver hitch, but I think those are available or at least could get one and modify to work. A front receiver hitch would be nice to have anyways, easier to back trailers in that way too.

Yep, Bronco 2 has the 7.5" rear end....and was quoted almost $1800 for a Eaton True-Trac, ouch. The Lock Rite is like $400 for the 7.5" and I don't have to tear the axle apart...something I could do myself on my carport and not pay a shop for. I think for what I do the Lock Rite would be fine....I don't know if putting one in the front would be a good idea, having a locker in the front that's automatic like the Detroit in the old K5 Blazer we had at the armory was a bit interesting in the snow/ice to say the least LOL. Once you got used to it, it wasn't bad but the initial 360 in the middle of the street was one of those WTF is wrong with this thing moments LOL. I knew it had sloppy steering but I was like what in the world is going on with this thing. Then later on I found it was a rarely equipped Detroit locked front and rear CUCV Blazer. After that little incident it was my go-to vehicle in bad weather. It was our range maintenance vehicle always wondered why it did so well on muddy tank trails, those Detroit lockers did their job for sure. I wish they wouldn't have gotten rid of them...worse part was they replaced them with F150's, worse yet, they were 2WD F150's....their fix for the 2WD mistake was buying a $200,000 4WD all terrain forklift to pick them up out of the mud WTF. Only the military LOL. I wouldn't mind one of the old K5 Blazers, but they're just too big for some of the narrow back roads.
 


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