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detroit locker in snow

This is a discussion on detroit locker in snow within the Offroad forums, part of the General Discussion category; I'm ready to install a detroit locker on my 14b ff, i heard some guys said it dont behave well ...

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    Registered User 2paclipsis's Avatar
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    detroit locker in snow


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    I'm ready to install a detroit locker on my 14b ff, i heard some guys said it dont behave well in snow, is that true?? i live in chicago and we have quite snow in winter, any output is appreciated
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  2. #2
    FSC SOUTHEAST CHAPTER kirk's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Well, it will slide around easier than an open diff will. But IMO, it won't be bad.
    Plus, you can have a lot of fun with a locker in the snow
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    it will make you spin pretty easily, i got stuck in a parking lot with about 2" of snow, had to put it in 4wd. Anytime your not in the snow its nice to have though.

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    Registered User 2paclipsis's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    thanx kirknd4spd, thats what i thougt but my tahoe is my DD during winter and it will see highway and street driving just want to be sure, i really cant see why they say it dont behave well on snow
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    Stocker Rocker 95 SCSB's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    IMO a full locker would be over-kill. dont detroits lock everytime you apply power to it? pretty sure they do. and as a DD you would have to get used to getting off the pedal going around a bend or making even the slightest turn. both wheels will lock up and send you for a spin in a hurry. on built rigs used only for offroad its perfect, but as a DD, not at all.

    in that case you have a couple different options. you could find a posi pretty cheap if you get it used because the 14Bff is really common. posi is very well manered for DD use, and perform very well in slick conditions. My dad used to have a GMC Jimmy with a posi rear. didnt really even need 2 put it in 4wd through the snow bcuz both rear wheels would push it pretty good. they also last a long while mileage wise. it takes alot of force to break them so again, if you get it installed correctly, you wont have to worry about it. going around turns while on the gas isnt a problem either. posi's can range in price, so i couldnt tell you how much. it seems like its not even there when you use it as a DD. You can still spin out with a posi, but its going to be alot more forgiving than a full locker.

    another would be to find a selectable locker, such as an OX electrical/mechanical locker, or an ARB air locker. with a selectable locker, you can lock in the diff with the push of a button, then turn it off when you dont need it anymore. (going around turns and what not.) The ARB would need an air source to lock it up so that option would be out unless u happen to have an air supply on ur ride. ARB i found is said to be pretty sturdy, although i havent read much on the OX. both units are around 600 bucks depending on your axle. with other parts that might be needed and unless you can do it yourself it can get really pricey. and like i said, you would need an air source for the ARB. dependability might suffer a little, havent read alot about these lasting with alot of miles being put on them, so thats unknown.

    stay away from spools. those are just a fancy piece of metal that gets put into the diff and keeps everything under full lock no matter what. good luck trying to corner with it. these are about 200 bucks, give or take.

    all in all, i would try and find a good used posi for your rear. they are built right, provide excellent traction, and are great for DD use. ask yourself also, "do i REALLY need a full locking diff?" how often are you going to be out and about in the snow? is the snow really going to be that bad?

    with the right set of tires i think you would be satisfied, instead of lockin up the diff.

    hope this all helps
    Quote Originally Posted by skylark View Post
    We don't want to be the same as every other truck out there. There are some beautiful trucks built using tried and true thoughts. We are different. Not wrong, just different.


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    Stocker Rocker 95 SCSB's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Quote Originally Posted by skylark View Post
    We don't want to be the same as every other truck out there. There are some beautiful trucks built using tried and true thoughts. We are different. Not wrong, just different.


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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Detroit Locker is fine in the snow. I had a Lock Right in my last truck which, like the Detroit, is always locked when you're going in a straight line and will lock immediately under power. You may have to make slight adjustments in driving style (watch the throttle going into corners when it's slippery), but other than that, you'll be fine.

    With the Lock Right, I hardly ever used 4wd in that truck. I went all kinds of stupid ass places in just 2wd.
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Detroit true-trac never once had problem in the snow, if you have half a brain you will be fine.

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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    one thing that seems to get forgotten is that a detroit will unlock if you let out of it in the turns. most posi units (auburn, eaton, yukon) dont have the ability to completely disengage one wheel wether under power or not. if these units do not have enough preload to spin both tires in the snow at all times they are shot anyway. point is with the right driving style a detroit can be just as forgiving if not more than properly functioning posi

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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Lockers in snow are not that bad. Many people claim it's a death wish, but I ran all around in northern Michigan with a Lock-Right and then an Aussie-Locker in vehicles much lighter and shorter-wheelbased than a full-size. It was fine, just takes a little different driving style is all.

    Now, a welded or spooled setup in the snow, that's something else entirely. Tried that exactly twice. No way.

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    FSC SOUTHEAST CHAPTER kirk's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Quote Originally Posted by adam728 View Post
    Lockers in snow are not that bad. Many people claim it's a death wish, but I ran all around in northern Michigan with a Lock-Right and then an Aussie-Locker in vehicles much lighter and shorter-wheelbased than a full-size. It was fine, just takes a little different driving style is all.

    I had a Suzuki Sidekick for a while with a mini spool in the rear, and I didn't even have problems with it in the snow.
    Gotta use a little common sense though.
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Quote Originally Posted by kirknd4spd View Post

    I had a Suzuki Sidekick for a while with a mini spool in the rear, and I didn't even have problems with it in the snow.
    Gotta use a little common sense though.
    I'm impressed. I had a Toyota with a welded rear end. The LTB's probably didn't help, but it was competely undriveable in the winter. Felt like the rear end was on a saucer. Even just hitting a pot hole could be enough to get a slide going, and once that happened it didn't matter what you did with the gas/brake/clutch, it wanted to go backwards into something. Best bet was to apply power and try and drive out of it, not always possible on public roads with intersections and other cars and what-not. I parked it after a day of playing around and drove my 2wd S10 through a record breaking winter, over 10ft of snowfall in just January.

    I know 2 other guys that ran a welded diff and a spool, both couldn't get around in the snow/ice with em, and both had lockers before.

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    Resident Dick Quyonmob's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    When both wheels spin, lateral traction is lost. Open diff, one tire isnt spinning so it doesn't move sideways. Be prepared for a few extra fish tails, and learn to coast through corners, not power through them.

    Learn to drive with it and you will be fine.

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    FSC SOUTHEAST CHAPTER kirk's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Quote Originally Posted by adam728 View Post
    I'm impressed. I had a Toyota with a welded rear end. The LTB's probably didn't help, but it was competely undriveable in the winter. Felt like the rear end was on a saucer. Even just hitting a pot hole could be enough to get a slide going, and once that happened it didn't matter what you did with the gas/brake/clutch, it wanted to go backwards into something. Best bet was to apply power and try and drive out of it, not always possible on public roads with intersections and other cars and what-not. I parked it after a day of playing around and drove my 2wd S10 through a record breaking winter, over 10ft of snowfall in just January.

    I know 2 other guys that ran a welded diff and a spool, both couldn't get around in the snow/ice with em, and both had lockers before.
    Crazy thing is I lived on top of a mountain when I had that, so I definitely had a lot of curves to go through with it. Nobody else liked driving it, my mom even refused to ride in it in the snow. Mini spool in the rear, Lock-Rite up front, and I usally ran either LTB's or DC FC-II's. But I did fine with it amazingly
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    Stocker Rocker 95 SCSB's Avatar
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    the thing is, do you really NEED it? yea it sure is nice to have, but then what about the other 3/4 of the year when it dosent snow?
    Quote Originally Posted by skylark View Post
    We don't want to be the same as every other truck out there. There are some beautiful trucks built using tried and true thoughts. We are different. Not wrong, just different.


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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Quote Originally Posted by 95 SCSB View Post
    the thing is, do you really NEED it? yea it sure is nice to have, but then what about the other 3/4 of the year when it dosent snow?
    He doesn't want the locker for the snow, he wants the locker for wheeling. He's afraid of how it might handle in the snow as a side effect, based on things he's heard about lockers behind a handfull on slick roads.

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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    A detroit in the snow, rain, or slush does require a bit more attention to throttle input, but nothing is better than coming around a corner and seeing the look of terror on other motorist's faces as a rig on 38s is totally perpendicular to it's direction of travel!!! But on a serious note I have not had bad experiences with my vehicles that have had full detroits in the rear, a little common sense goes a long way

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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Quote Originally Posted by adam728 View Post
    I'm impressed. I had a Toyota with a welded rear end. The LTB's probably didn't help, but it was competely undriveable in the winter. Felt like the rear end was on a saucer. Even just hitting a pot hole could be enough to get a slide going, and once that happened it didn't matter what you did with the gas/brake/clutch, it wanted to go backwards into something. Best bet was to apply power and try and drive out of it, not always possible on public roads with intersections and other cars and what-not. I parked it after a day of playing around and drove my 2wd S10 through a record breaking winter, over 10ft of snowfall in just January.

    I know 2 other guys that ran a welded diff and a spool, both couldn't get around in the snow/ice with em, and both had lockers before.
    I have LTBs and spiders, and the rearend always kicks out on ice, but is very controlable.
    My mom's truck has a locker in the rearend and works fine in the snow. The rearend does like to kickout on ice, but with common sense it isn't bad.

  19. #19
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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    I find in the winter, having a G80 makes it much more safer to drive. With a locker you can manipulate the rear end to compensate for understeer which is very common in our trucks.

    There are plenty of times where my truck would just plow straight instead of turning. To get things going in the right direction, i steer the back end with the throttle. Even if i can't right the truck, if i slam into a snowbank i'll at least do it broadsided instead of head on.

    Definitely not a technique for an amateur though up here the roads are always covered in snow or hard packed snow for the 5-6 months of winter.


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    Re: detroit locker in snow

    Quote Originally Posted by 2paclipsis View Post
    I'm ready to install a detroit locker on my 14b ff, i heard some guys said it dont behave well in snow, is that true?? i live in chicago and we have quite snow in winter, any output is appreciated
    Depends really on your truck? the weight of your ass end reall help with how it handles in the snow... that being said in powered snow and slightly packed snow with my truck i am unstopable. but on ice im all over the road, with both tire turn at the same speed around corners it is really unpredictiable

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