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Need some advice on differentials

Morgen01

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2001 2.3l 2wd short bed regular cab.

Hello I've been looking at swapping my rear dif from an open to a lsd. This summer has been fun to drive but last winter was rough. I'd really like to use both wheels when in the snow or other fun situations any help or suggestions would be great.

Is it a good idea so grab an lsd axle from a ranger in a yard?
Is there an option to just change the internals of my current dif?
 


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You can get an LSD axle from a yard, but usually the clutches will need replaced to really work well. Not difficult, but something you'll need to keep in mind. Stick to 1993 and newer trucks to avoid flange issues.

Here's the article on rebuilding the Ford L/S. Though I must point out that you don't need to go that far into rebuilding it. I doubt you'd need to pull the carrier out of the housing. Just the crosspin, c-clips, slide the axles out (don't damage the seals!) and pull the guts out.

You can also get a new carrier for your current diff. Either in a factory style clutch type, or a fancier Torsen like the Detroit Tru-trac which doesn't use clutches. This is a little more intensive as you need to at the least check your gear pattern afterwards, and know how to adjust as necessary. It should be at the very least close, usually they're dead on, but it should still be checked.
 

Morgen01

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You can get an LSD axle from a yard, but usually the clutches will need replaced to really work well. Not difficult, but something you'll need to keep in mind. Stick to 1993 and newer trucks to avoid flange issues.

Here's the article on rebuilding the Ford L/S. Though I must point out that you don't need to go that far into rebuilding it. I doubt you'd need to pull the carrier out of the housing. Just the crosspin, c-clips, slide the axles out (don't damage the seals!) and pull the guts out.

You can also get a new carrier for your current diff. Either in a factory style clutch type, or a fancier Torsen like the Detroit Tru-trac which doesn't use clutches. This is a little more intensive as you need to at the least check your gear pattern afterwards, and know how to adjust as necessary. It should be at the very least close, usually they're dead on, but it should still be checked.
In your opinion should I get an axle or rebuild? If im thinking about disk brakes or lowering my rear end by 2in will that affect my choice either?
Also what is the amount of miles I should think about replacing the clutches on the lsd?
 

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In my opinion, the Torsen style works better and more smoothly, and is what I would go with if I planned on keeping the truck long term. You know how your current axle has been treated, with a replacement axle, there could be other issues that also need addressing/rebuilding.

Disk brakes should have none or very little effect by themselves, but I am unfamiliar with disk brake conversions or what's needed.

I'd replace clutches by about 100,000 miles or so.
 

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you are sure your current diff is open and not a lsd?



if it is open, hands down get a spartan locker if you want to use both tires. it will take some learning at first so use caution.


lsd's....not something i like in the winter. the torsen type or helical styles like tru tracs are decent, the clutch units are useless. drive 100 miles with 25 pounds in one tire and 40 in the other and its not reliable anymore.
 

Morgen01

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In my opinion, the Torsen style works better and more smoothly, and is what I would go with if I planned on keeping the truck long term. You know how your current axle has been treated, with a replacement axle, there could be other issues that also need addressing/rebuilding.

Disk brakes should have none or very little effect by themselves, but I am unfamiliar with disk brake conversions or what's needed.

I'd replace clutches by about 100,000 miles or so.
Ok im thinking about a locker setup for sure. thanks for the good persuasion :D

What are some of my best locker options?
does anybody sell a kit that comes with everything I need?
also can I get a locker I can turn on inside cab manually?
 

Morgen01

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you are sure your current diff is open and not a lsd?



if it is open, hands down get a spartan locker if you want to use both tires. it will take some learning at first so use caution.


lsd's....not something i like in the winter. the torsen type or helical styles like tru tracs are decent, the clutch units are useless. drive 100 miles with 25 pounds in one tire and 40 in the other and its not reliable anymore.
My axle code is 86(open3.73)
 

Captain Ledd

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Ok im thinking about a locker setup for sure. thanks for the good persuasion :D

What are some of my best locker options?
does anybody sell a kit that comes with everything I need?
also can I get a locker I can turn on inside cab manually?
I see you're leaning towards the route I went with my 2wd for dealing with snow. ...and getting into more complicated responses.

Unfortunately, there are no aftermarket supplier that I am aware of that makes a cabin select-able locker for the 7.5"ford axle. It's either carrier replacement Limited slip (clutch or torsen type), or what's called a lunchbox locker, which replaces your current spider gears. These do operate automatically, but you can't necessarily turn them off or operate them from the cab. They work with the throttle, when you press on the gas, it cams two parts outward from the carrier cross-pin and engages specially designed teeth, that lock the wheels together. When you take your foot off the gas, springs push things back apart and your wheels spin independently of each other again. It takes some getting used to and a change in driving habits, but many people have them and like them. A Detroit locker will do much the same thing but is a full replacement carrier, and is much stronger, though you really don't have much to worry about with the 2.3L lol.

Popular lunchbox Lockers include:
Powertrax Lock-Right
(example)
Powertrax No-Slip (different from Lock-Right?)
And as an example, the Detroit locker
(I couldn't find the "Spartan Locker"?)

The Detroit Tru-Trac is the Torsen L/S, so don't get the two confused :icon_thumby:

That's just about it for the 7.5" unfortunately. Occasionally you may need bearings, but only with some, most will have everything you need, anything else would be available at your favorite local parts store.

If you step up to the 8.8 (which would be the axle replacement), a whole 'nother world of options opens. The 2 biggest 8.8 options for a cab-controlled select-able locker are the ARB (air powered, so you need a compressor, which is handy to have in it's own right), or the Eaton E-locker, which only needs a 12v power source.

Though I used an Explorer 8.8 with an ARB in my truck, I used the 10" drums. Explorer 8.8's are the biggest source of disk brake swaps, though not really swapping disks onto an axle, as much as just swapping the axle assembly that has disk brakes already on it. I did a bit of reading since first responding to your post lol.

I replaced everything new in mine, R&P, all bearings, all seals, all brake parts, basically everything new except the shafts, housing, and backing plates. And with the ARB it came to about $1900. With all work done myself. add another $300-600 if you're having it done elsewhere for labor. Axles can get pricey quick.
 

Morgen01

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I see you're leaning towards the route I went with my 2wd for dealing with snow. ...and getting into more complicated responses.

Unfortunately, there are no aftermarket supplier that I am aware of that makes a cabin select-able locker for the 7.5"ford axle. It's either carrier replacement Limited slip (clutch or torsen type), or what's called a lunchbox locker, which replaces your current spider gears. These do operate automatically, but you can't necessarily turn them off or operate them from the cab. They work with the throttle, when you press on the gas, it cams two parts outward from the carrier cross-pin and engages specially designed teeth, that lock the wheels together. When you take your foot off the gas, springs push things back apart and your wheels spin independently of each other again. It takes some getting used to and a change in driving habits, but many people have them and like them. A Detroit locker will do much the same thing but is a full replacement carrier, and is much stronger, though you really don't have much to worry about with the 2.3L lol.

Popular lunchbox Lockers include:
Powertrax Lock-Right
(example)
Powertrax No-Slip (different from Lock-Right?)
And as an example, the Detroit locker
(I couldn't find the "Spartan Locker"?)

The Detroit Tru-Trac is the Torsen L/S, so don't get the two confused :icon_thumby:

That's just about it for the 7.5" unfortunately. Occasionally you may need bearings, but only with some, most will have everything you need, anything else would be available at your favorite local parts store.

If you step up to the 8.8 (which would be the axle replacement), a whole 'nother world of options opens. The 2 biggest 8.8 options for a cab-controlled select-able locker are the ARB (air powered, so you need a compressor, which is handy to have in it's own right), or the Eaton E-locker, which only needs a 12v power source.

Though I used an Explorer 8.8 with an ARB in my truck, I used the 10" drums. Explorer 8.8's are the biggest source of disk brake swaps, though not really swapping disks onto an axle, as much as just swapping the axle assembly that has disk brakes already on it. I did a bit of reading since first responding to your post lol.

I replaced everything new in mine, R&P, all bearings, all seals, all brake parts, basically everything new except the shafts, housing, and backing plates. And with the ARB it came to about $1900. With all work done myself. add another $300-600 if you're having it done elsewhere for labor. Axles can get pricey quick.
This has been a wealth of knowledge thank you very much!
I'm thinking about a 5-800$ budget so the 8.8 upgrade probably won't happen with ths vehicle :(
Of the options with the budget what would you further recommend?(I plan to get my local garage to help me install it)
And what ever I plan to do I'll end up posting a video or somethng of my truck in some snow this winter.
 

Captain Ledd

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It really depends on you and what you want out of it. Are you looking for something with a little extra help, or all out most traction when you need it?

Maximum traction = lunchbox locker
This is probably the most cost effective option too, as you'd only need to replace the spider gears.

Assistance = Torsen L/S (Detroit Tru-Trac)
Should be doable in the ~$600 range.

I'm not sure if they offer different bias ratios, but be sure to get one that's high. A bias ratio is the amount of force it can transfer and it's a function of how much (or little) the spinning tire has. A bias ratio of 3.5 (common for torsen, might have to call) means it can transfer 3.5 times the traction of the slipping wheel to the tire that still has traction. But if it's suuuuper slippery out, very little traction X3.5 is still a very small number, though it IS much better than nothing. This is where the locker comes in handy, as it will offer 100% of the traction each tire is able to give you.

Weight helps too, be sure to have a good 300lbs plopped right over the rear axle. I run about 400 lbs in mine.
 

Morgen01

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It really depends on you and what you want out of it. Are you looking for something with a little extra help, or all out most traction when you need it?

Maximum traction = lunchbox locker
This is probably the most cost effective option too, as you'd only need to replace the spider gears.

Assistance = Torsen L/S (Detroit Tru-Trac)
Should be doable in the ~$600 range.

I'm not sure if they offer different bias ratios, but be sure to get one that's high. A bias ratio is the amount of force it can transfer and it's a function of how much (or little) the spinning tire has. A bias ratio of 3.5 (common for torsen, might have to call) means it can transfer 3.5 times the traction of the slipping wheel to the tire that still has traction. But if it's suuuuper slippery out, very little traction X3.5 is still a very small number, though it IS much better than nothing. This is where the locker comes in handy, as it will offer 100% of the traction each tire is able to give you.

Weight helps too, be sure to have a good 300lbs plopped right over the rear axle. I run about 400 lbs in mine.
is JamesOak a good place to order from? if so im gonna grab the PT1830. Should I grab anything else for the swap?
what fluids should I need?

Edit:
found this from summit: http://www.summitracing.com/parts/pwt-1830-lr/overview/ Good?
 
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Captain Ledd

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I've bought some things from James, no complaints here. Fluids should just be stock replacement, same as what's recommended in your owners manual. Only thing special is for clutch-type L/S's and even then they just need factory spec L/S fluid as specified.

For OEM applications/standard duty there are a lot of oil-required/needed-ideas that are literally overrated. Again, especially with a 2.3L, they just can't make the stresses necessary to warrant exotic oils and fluids.
 

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