Any Point of Swapping An Axle to get the Limited Slip Differential? 1988 Bronco 2


wildbill23c

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Last week I ran across an 86 Bronco 2 in the Pick A Part and a quick check of the door sticker shows an axle code D4 and referencing the section in the tech library tells me its the 3.73 L/S. My current 88 B2 has the 3.73 (Code 44) open diff....is there any real good reason for a daily driver to bother with this type of swap, or would it make more sense to go aftermarket for a limited slip. Mostly used on the street, occasional very light duty gravel, dirt, and a little mud on the backroad drives.

Is there any way to tell in a pick a part yard if that limited slip is any good? I know you can spin 1 wheel to see if the other wheel spins the same direction to check for a limited slip, but that don't necessarily mean the limited slip clutches are in good working order right?
 


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racsan

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Id just go with a lock-rite. been meaning to get one myself.
 

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The spin test is as good as any other. The harder it is to hold the other wheel from turning, the better the clutches are.
 

wildbill23c

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Id just go with a lock-rite. been meaning to get one myself.
Thought about that too, but not really sure if there's much of a point in tearing a differential apart for a daily driver limited slip install? Lock-Rite had one for the Dana-28 but they discontinued it of course, wish I could get my hands on one for the front and rear it would be good enough for anything my Bronco 2 would ever see. Front lock-rite wouldn't matter much most of the time with the hubs disengaged.
 

gaz

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wildbill:

When I originally did this on my Ranger I primarily wanted the 4:10 but the LS was a bonus. In addition I learned that the drum brakes on the LS axle had larger drums (about an inch larger in diameter), it made a huge improvement in braking. The other consideration is the cost.

Another option is an 8.8", 3.73LS but with disc brakes. It is a little more to do but they are very solid. just sayin ..)
 

wildbill23c

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wildbill:

When I originally did this on my Ranger I primarily wanted the 4:10 but the LS was a bonus. In addition I learned that the drum brakes on the LS axle had larger drums (about an inch larger in diameter), it made a huge improvement in braking. The other consideration is the cost.

Another option is an 8.8", 3.73LS but with disc brakes. It is a little more to do but they are very solid. just sayin ..)
I'm not doing a lift and huge tires, or anything like that, its a daily driver, mostly on the highway so swapping a bunch of stuff for a totally different axle size wouldn't make any sense, just wondered if having a LS differential would be of any benefit especially for the winter months. Swapping an axle straight from another B2 would make more sense than trying to fit another axle from a different vehicle that doesn't belong, and that would require modifications to get it to work...not in the books/budget to do that type of work, a simple swap between 2 of the same vehicle would be as far as I'd take it LOL.
 

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Swapping the axle should be pretty much plug and play. Depending on the LS used, the clutches may or may not be good. Come units allow the clutches to be replaced. Ideally, it would a be a worm gear style LS, where there are no clutches to wear and no additive being required. As far as drive ability, it would be transparent to the most part and just prevent wheel slip in bad road conditions and in certain turn situations when the road is wet and one of the wheels would slip and spin.
 

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I'm not doing a lift and huge tires, or anything like that, its a daily driver, mostly on the highway so swapping a bunch of stuff for a totally different axle size wouldn't make any sense, just wondered if having a LS differential would be of any benefit especially for the winter months. Swapping an axle straight from another B2 would make more sense than trying to fit another axle from a different vehicle that doesn't belong, and that would require modifications to get it to work...not in the books/budget to do that type of work, a simple swap between 2 of the same vehicle would be as far as I'd take it LOL.
If you want an opinion about having a limited slip in lousy on road conditions, I would say don't do it. I have had both, and when I had a regular open rearend, in snow I would be going up a hill, spinning one tire, but making progress. Or I could back up and try again, spinning one tire, but still being able to work on getting there. Every time I had a vehicle with limited slip, as I start spinning, both rear tires are spinning and the rear of the vehicle wants to go to one ditch or the other. You can't keep it in the road. 4x4 would be a little different, less spinning because the front is pulling. But you will find this out if you have a 2wd or happen to have the hubs unlocked trying to get somewhere.
 
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wildbill23c

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If you want an opinion about having a limited slip in lousy on road conditions, I wold say don't do it. I have had both, and when I had a regular open rearend, in snow I would be going up a hill, spinning one tire, but making progress. Or I could back up and try again, spinning one tire, but still being able to work on getting there. Every time I had a vehicle with limited slip, as I start spinning, both rear tires are spinning and the rear of the vehicle wants to go to one ditch or the other. You can't keep it in the road. 4x4 would be a little different, less spinning because the front is pulling. But you will find this out if you have a 2wd or happen to have the hubs unlocked trying to get somewhere.
My Jeep wants to go sideways in snow/ice if I'm not careful as it has a limited slip rear end, however it only does it in full time mode, if I use part time it drives like normal LOL. Kind of what I was leaning towards as well, just leave it as is given its a highway vehicle most of the time....thanks. I didn't know if the Bronco 2 would do the same given its only part time 4WD, figured maybe it would handle like my Jeep does in part time 4WD mode. I think I'll skip the limited slip stuff then LOL. Thanks again.
 

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I had a 2wd astro van with gm’s version of a limited slip (G80 I think?) and in the winter it was a awful vehicle to drive, mostly because it had a high idle and you had to push it into neutral at every stop sign when there was snow or it would push itself through the intersection, front wheels locked. Going around corners under power was a experience too.
 

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I agree that limited slip will make the vehicle want to slid out when it start spinning. It's a big help getting moving but it's not highway friendly in snow. I would never use a lock rite. One of my former techs had a 97 Ranger for over 10 years and put 160k on his lock rite, it sounded like someone feeding rocks into a wood chipper but it got him up his muddy driveway. When he'd drive around the parking lot at the garage it sounded like his rear end was grinding itself to death. If you have trouble when driving in snow better snow tires would be quicker and cheaper to do.
 

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It'll make a huge difference in the snow.

Having one tire spin while trying to gain momentum vs. The potential of BOTH tires helping you gain momentum is as night and day difference as a 2wd with all seasons vs a 2wd with snow tires.

Throttle control is all it takes to stay out of the ditch after you get going. Enough of the lsd in snow fearmongering lol
 

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If you want an opinion about having a limited slip in lousy on road conditions, I wold say don't do it. I have had both, and when I had a regular open rearend, in snow I would be going up a hill, spinning one tire, but making progress. Or I could back up and try again, spinning one tire, but still being able to work on getting there. Every time I had a vehicle with limited slip, as I start spinning, both rear tires are spinning and the rear of the vehicle wants to go to one ditch or the other. You can't keep it in the road. 4x4 would be a little different, less spinning because the front is pulling. But you will find this out if you have a 2wd or happen to have the hubs unlocked trying to get somewhere.
+1

I have to have it in 4wd to keep it from trading ends. In snow, in 2wd it is rather helpless.

This past winter it kept kicking the rear out in snow/mud with mud tires in 2wd. Throttle control... I wasn't even touching the gas.

'tis a tank in 4wd though. :icon_thumby:

Factory limited slip will be clutches and since they are 30+ years old figure on them being shot. An axle + clutches is cheaper than anything requiring a gear setup (like a Trutrac or something) and will largely do the same thing for what you are doing.
 

wildbill23c

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Thinking of leaving well enough alone anyways was just a thought that ran through my mind if it was really worth the money, time and effort to swap axles for limited slip. My previous vehicles have all been open differentials and the only issue I had was a hill about a mile from home where traffic had stopped on the hill too late for me to stop at the bottom of course....trying to get going again on a hill with solid ice wasn't fun, even with studded tires it wasn't helping, finally managed to get the truck to walk itself sideways and grab the gravel at the shoulder and got me up the hill, I don't think limited slip or a locker would have done me any good due to the ice and being 2WD (my 1984 Ford Ranger). I got stuck once, but when none of the wheels are on the ground you can't go anywhere no matter what 4WD you have, and no matter if you have limited slip or lockers...got stuck in a mud hole and the truck was literally floating in it LOL. Wish I had pics of that, pretty funny, if I had paddles on the wheels it probably would have got out though....ooops guess I should invent that idea (not paddle tires), paddle attachments that strap to the wheel somehow, turn your car into a boat...err a boat anchor HAHA!!! I was surprised the truck was floating though figured it would have started sinking, nope floated right on top of that mud hole for some weird reason.
 

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If you want a really wild ride, get a limited slip or locker in the front and the rear. I had a f150 that had this from the factory. The front was really locked good, I think it may have been from rust, when I first got the truck it was dry as a bone in the front diff.

But that truck was crazy to drive in the snow. If you went into a sharp turn or wanted to turn into a driveway or a side road, you had to come to a complete stop. If you didn't, with the wheels turned all the way in the direction you wanted to go, you just went right on by the entrance. Come to a stop and then hit the gas and you were then going in the right direction. Went into the ditch several times on turns till I figured this out.

Then you are going down the road, snow is pretty deep, you are floating on top. Back of the truck is empty. Going straight down the road, you could turn the steering wheel, with your foot on the gas, and instead of the front of the truck turning, the rearend would come around. You could actually turn the steering wheel back and forth as you went down the road, and the rear of the truck would swish back and forth, the front would stay straight. As you got used to it, it made going around turns interesting. You could turn the wheel not in the direction of the turn, but opposite, You needed the whole road so you had to make sure no one was coming, but you could swish the rearend around in the turn, straighten the wheel and hit the gas and convert a gradual curve in the road to a square corner. A little bit of fun once you learned how to control it.
 


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