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Front Locker Performance in a 2nd Generation Explorer


CDW6212R

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Your last comment, yes, thanks.
I have installed two Zexel-Torsen diffs, they are wonderful. Without reading pages 2-8, do you have AWD?
Regards,DW
 

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No, I dont have AWD, I have a V-6. Why?

Read from post 139.. at the end of page 7.
 


CDW6212R

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I believe I'll pass on the front diff. due to the potential steering difficulty. Our AWD's can be used with any diffs, because of the viscous coupling. That means that it isn't directly locked. It is a built in slip(differentiation), with supposedly a 1/2 split front/rear. Thanks, night.
DW
 


toddious

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would it make any sense to leave just limited slip in the rear, but putting this selectable locker on the front for when things get dirty? i was thinking, if it's lock up the front or lock up the rear, i'd probably want front, because i have limited slip in the rear. does this make sense to anyone?
 


jasonb

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it isn't a selectable locker. nobody makes a selectable for our application. this is sort of selectable in that it only works when in 4wd. the stock LS is not very good. should call it a limited grip i think.
 


CDW6212R

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Agreed, the stock traction lock is a light duty diff. It doesn't last long with hard use. It's plenty for normal street use, and if you aren't keeping the vehicle long. To upgrade to something else, figure at least $250 for an aftermarket diff. The Zexel-Torsen was $390 at Reider Racing.

The No-Slip front diff. always tries to keep the front axles tied together, and differentiates in turns.
DonW
 


toddious

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the no-slip can be somewhat "rigged" as a selectable locker through the wire switch mod correct? so, i am better off with a locker on the rear, and nothing on the front for now? keep in mind, this is a daily driver too. thanks, todd.
 


CDW6212R

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Todd, yes it sounds like you are making the same decision as I did for my Mountaineer.
For street use, the front is fine just being open. I was pondering the No-Slip for my mail vehicle in the front. I would only need it in slick conditions, but it could make steering more tricky. I will wait until someone else tries it, or a torque sensing diff is available. Good luck,
Don
 


Bronco638

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Todd,
Since you have the '96 with the vacuum disconnect front axle, you can install a NoSlip in the front. You will also need to need to do JDraper's mod to make the vacuum disconnect switch operated. Premier (Jake) went thru this with his truck (as will I, this winter). If you read thru the thread, you'll see what needs to be done because the NoSlip operation is fully explained. Having a 1995-96 Ex has it's benefits. too! :D

Dave.
 


toddious

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i read what you are talking about, but am not quite sure i understand. putting the switch for the vacuum disconnect will let me select when the locker is in place, correct? if not, what exactly is the switch for. sounds like a great idea if i understand correctly. thanks, todd.
 


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What about later model Explorers and Rangers with the "always live" front hubs? (no pulse-vac disconnect) I'm kicking around putting in a No-Slip front but much of my driving is on-road. I see Josh here seems to not have problems but I just wondered. Powertrax's site says not to use it where you can't disconnect the hubs or axle, on the other hand they seem to be putting out some misinformation themselves. I also wonder about use in snow but if it unlocks when you turn to allow for wheel speed differential then it might not be so bad.
 


JDraper

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toddious said:
i read what you are talking about, but am not quite sure i understand. putting the switch for the vacuum disconnect will let me select when the locker is in place, correct? if not, what exactly is the switch for. sounds like a great idea if i understand correctly. thanks, todd.
Sorry, just noticed this thread again...somehow my subsrciption to it disappeared. What the switch does is control the vacuum disconnect in the right front axleshaft. Your right front axleshaft is actually a 2 piece assembly that has a vacuum actuated lock that hooks the two shafts together when you select AUTO or 4WD. What my mod does is give you control over that lock. What that means is you can have a front locker installed, and still have the front wheels operate independently. If you really want to do it cheaply, you could lincoln lock the front end, and then use the switch modification to effectively create a selectable locker type setup. The downside to this is that the left front wheel would always turn with the front driveshaft.

Hope that explains it a little better...if not, pm me and I'll try to answer any questions on it.


JohnnyO said:
What about later model Explorers and Rangers with the "always live" front hubs? (no pulse-vac disconnect) I'm kicking around putting in a No-Slip front but much of my driving is on-road. I see Josh here seems to not have problems but I just wondered. Powertrax's site says not to use it where you can't disconnect the hubs or axle, on the other hand they seem to be putting out some misinformation themselves. I also wonder about use in snow but if it unlocks when you turn to allow for wheel speed differential then it might not be so bad.

To use a Powertrax or similar front locker with the fixed hub/no vacuum setup, you need to do the 'brown wire modification to the xfer case to make it work. Do a search on "brown wire mod" and there is plenty of info on it. GJarrett is using that setup.
 


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I could be wrong but I don't think I need the brown wire mod. I have a Ranger, they do not have a 4-Auto position on the t-case like Explorers. Rangers are simply 2-Hi, 4-Hi, and 4-Lo. Often if I have to make a tight corner in town in snow I just switch to 2wd, turn, and switch back to 4wd. I do that already so I'm not real concerned with the No-Slip pushing me in snow. Mostly I'm wondering how it will act on the street in 2wd. Josh a few pages back has an '01 Ranger and didn't complain about it.
As far as I know, '98 thru early '00 Rangers had pulse-vac hubs, and since then everything is locked up and spins regardless with the dash knob only kicking in the t-case. So then does the front driveshaft spinning free in the t-case in 2wd sort of count as a front axle disconnect?
 
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toddious

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JDraper said:
Sorry, just noticed this thread again...somehow my subsrciption to it disappeared. What the switch does is control the vacuum disconnect in the right front axleshaft. Your right front axleshaft is actually a 2 piece assembly that has a vacuum actuated lock that hooks the two shafts together when you select AUTO or 4WD. What my mod does is give you control over that lock. What that means is you can have a front locker installed, and still have the front wheels operate independently. If you really want to do it cheaply, you could lincoln lock the front end, and then use the switch modification to effectively create a selectable locker type setup. The downside to this is that the left front wheel would always turn with the front driveshaft.

Hope that explains it a little better...if not, pm me and I'll try to answer any questions on it.


so if i put this locker in, one of my front tires is always gonna be driving? is that what you mean? and then when i use the switch, it will lock them both up?
 


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toddious said:
so if i put this locker in, one of my front tires is always gonna be driving? is that what you mean? and then when i use the switch, it will lock them both up?
Your left front axle is already turning all the time, but it may or may not be getting power depending on what the t-case is set at.
 
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JDraper

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What JohnnyO said, it depends upon where the xfer case switch is set.
 


toddious

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JDraper said:
What JohnnyO said, it depends upon where the xfer case switch is set.
and what i'm asking is. if i have the switch in "off" one of my front wheels will still drive? then when i turn the locker "on" it will make them both drive? does this basically eliminate a 2wd mode? todd.

this is what i'm talking about : "The downside to this is that the left front wheel would always turn with the front driveshaft. "
 


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Yea, the left front will always turn the driveshaft.. atleast mine did. It wasnt a problem, as long as the t-case was in 2wd.
 


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toddious said:
and what i'm asking is. if i have the switch in "off" one of my front wheels will still drive? then when i turn the locker "on" it will make them both drive? does this basically eliminate a 2wd mode? todd.

this is what i'm talking about : "The downside to this is that the left front wheel would always turn with the front driveshaft. "
I think you are confusing the LF wheel turning the front driveshaft with the wheel getting power. First let me say that I'm more familiar with Rangers than I am Explorers, in a Ranger you're either in 2wd or 4wd, period, there is no 4-Auto setting. My understanding is that the "Brown Wire Mod" allows you to lock or unlock the front axle (left and right) independently of whatever the transfer case is doing. Without the "BWM", the front axle kicks in when you select 4-Hi and 4-Auto with the dash knob, period. Therefore with a front No-Slip and the "BWM", putting the t-case in 4wd with the front axle "off", you essentially have 3wd, 2 rears and left front. This can be useful in snow and ice so the unpowered right front wheel can track and help you steer. Turning the front axle "on", in 4wd, then you have power to all four wheels. The front axle will not get power if you are in the 2wd setting even though the LF wheel is spinning the diff around because the t-case is not putting power to the front driveshaft in 2wd. Just because it is spinning doesn't mean power is being applied to it, the other end is just going for a free ride inside the t-case.

None of this eliminates the 2wd mode but (I think) it eliminates the 4-Auto mode, or at least you don't want to use it on pavement with a No-Slip up front.

I'm an old timer at The Ranger Station but I'm new here, so correct me if I'm wrong, but from what I already knew plus reading this thread over and over, this is how I understand it.

*EDIT* Part of the above is wrong, read farther.
 
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No, the BWM allows you to turn the magnets in the t-case off. Giving you 2wd, and 2wd low. The vacuum disconnect mod, is the one that allows you to disconnect the vacuum in the front axle.
 


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