locked front axle? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 05-03-2008
TRoyBv6320's Avatar
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locked front axle?

I have a '99 4.0 4x4 sport, and maybe this is a stupid question, but since i have a free floating axle, i could lock the front diff and it will only matter when my hubs are locked, but how good is the stock D35? would it be worth it to lock it?
It already seems like when i'm in 4wd the tires want to spin together, if i'm in 4 low, i can stop the truck by turning.
Also, is there any sure fire way to see if its locked (maybe previous owner?) i really dont want to tear into it if i dont have to.
Any help would be great, im looking for more mods for my Ranger, but running very low on cash
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Old 05-03-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRoyBv6320 View Post
Also, is there any sure fire way to see if its locked
Try jacking up the front so both tires clear the ground.With the transfer case in 2WD and the hubs locked , spin one front tire and see if the other tire spins the same direction .If it does it's locked .If it spins the oposite way , it's open.
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Old 05-03-2008
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The front is an open diff.

You put in a locker it will break half shafts when off road. Also its not recommended to drive in snow as it has bad torque steer than.

I have not personally locked the front, but others have reported those issues.
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Old 05-03-2008
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...I have not personally locked the front...
i have, and i had neither of those issues.
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Old 05-03-2008
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I havent had any issues with mine either.
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Old 05-03-2008
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thanks guys, i may or may not tear into,,, probably not for a while. it's not really super important,,, its hard enough finding anywhere that i would ever need it around here, much less any one to go with, but i'm always looking for things to do to the Ranger.
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Old 05-04-2008
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I know guys who have had issues, and it depends on what you do. If, for instance, you get into an off camber situation with the wheels turned where one front tire has a lot of grip and the other three don't -- that's the big issue. At high angles, the Ranger IFS half shafts are weak and prone to breaking or pulling apart the CV.

If you just mud and do dirt and stuff, you may never break one -- although I have seen them broken in mudholes with the wheels turned to lock with a lot of power applied.

The Ranger IFS configuration is quite weak for big tires and heavy offroading. That's why so many of us get rid of it if we can. Even the "long travel" prerunner style front ends generally still rely on standard axles and CV's and they still suffer from that weakness.

So, you will get different answers on this depending on what the person does when offroading and how extreme their experiences.
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