Locking the Front Axle... Or Not? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 04-29-2005
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Locking the Front Axle... Or Not?

Im thinking about getting a locker as well for my front axle while they have it open installing new gears, but Im a bit confused and want to make sure by putting a locker in it will still be able to driven onroad.

What I am looking at is a POWERTRAX LOCK-RITE Front locker for my truck. It is an auto 4X4 with automatic lockout hubs. I would believe I can lock that axel as long as 4X4 is disenguaged I shouldn't have a problem, but when 4X4 is enguaged I should have no problem since both axels can be locked and have 4 Tires spinning at the same time. It seems like alot of money to put out and still only gaurentee 3 tires spinning, so for another $300 bucks I can get everything locked I think its a good deal. My concern is the LOCK-RITE system says, FOR OFFROAD USE ONLY, and these are not meant for daily drivers, but since my front axel is not being powered would this have different meaning?, and or if I got lockout hubs, would that help?

Let me know the best way I can do this...
- Brian
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Old 04-29-2005
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your going to have difficulty turning....why not just start in the rear?
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Old 04-29-2005
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I've seen threads like this many times and I think the general consensus is unless this is a dedicated offroad rig then lockers up front aren't necessary. I can tell you my 4x4 is quite sufficient most of the time and I've gone on many different terrains. I would recommend against a front locker unless you just absolutely have to have it which is beyond me how that could be the case if you take it ONroad....
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Old 04-29-2005
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Nope, since yours is a 94 it is a very good idea so long as you can live with driving in the snow with it. So long as you do not have a live axle (some 98 and all after 98) the locker is totally transparent when in 2wd. If you have selectable or vacuum hubs you'll never even know it's there when in 2wd.

Now keep in mind that when in 4wd and snow you will not be able to turn as well. Personally I would never want a front locker in snow, but that's just me! If you can find a selectable that would be the perfect choice.

If you can get manual hubs go for it! I wish my Ranger and Jeep came with manual hubs, but the lazy rule!
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Old 04-29-2005
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Ah I didn't know about the differences between years. Thanx Carl
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Old 04-29-2005
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Yes, I would only get a selectable locker generally for the front.
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Old 04-29-2005
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BE VERY CAREFUL with a locked front. u'll eat u-joints, hubs and axle shafts like candy if ur whompin on it, especially with 33s.

id suggest a limited slip up front, which is what im going to run. the TTB is a strange beast...
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Old 04-29-2005
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Read this. Adrian loves his setup, says its great in the snow. But I just don't buy it. I'm w/ Carl here, not sure I'd want a non-selectable locker on snow/ice. I find the braking/ABS performance of my truck is unpredictable enough as it is in 4x4..
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Old 04-29-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckgnarly
So long as you do not have a live axle (some 98 and all after 98) !
Up to 00 1/2' had PVH/Selectable hubs, 01 was the first year of live axle..
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2005
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It would be a POWERTRAX Lock-Rite which says it gives the slipping for turns, now I have never locked the front axel and don't know if that would be true. Im having a very rough time finding L/S but I can seem to find electronic Lockers L/S when not enguaged, locked when enguaged... but thats a costly investment, I will however been making the jump to manual lockers as soon as money permits
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Old 04-29-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bschittler
Im having a very rough time finding L/S
Yeah, finding an L/S for our front axles is pretty much impossible. Somebody explained why once over on ORR. Have you searched that forum? There's a guy there w/ a Torsen up front (on an '02 FX4 or '03 FX4 LII), meaning he has torsens on both ends.. Has to be nice.. That plus a lockable center diff (a-la Land Rover) would be my version of perfect!
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Old 04-29-2005
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guys he has a 1994 madza which has hubs...ill search a little, i have my resources =-D
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2005
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That should be a modified Dana 35 Ford TTB setup...my Bronco of nearly the same year as well as your '93 F-150 also has a modified TTB setup except the Bronco and F-150 its a Dana 44.

He won't have a single problem finding anything for that rig, Dana 44 and Dana 35 are the most common axles since they're used in Jeeps and such. He also can get some nice Warn manual locking hubs as well, its just not as nice though if he has the electronic transfer case as I had in my Bronco, it's silly to hit a button and then get out and lockem manually, but there are strength advantages and such. The manual transfer case is just cooler with manual hubs! :)

The limited slip up front is probably the best way to go as far as I've seen guys do on early Bronco's (pre-1978) which is a comparable size to the Ranger and used similar axles.
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  #14  
Old 04-29-2005
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oh man thanx for hittin those points, i didnt have a chance to.

any traction aid for a dana 35 axle will work in ur front TTB. i suggest a Detroit trueTrac.
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Old 04-29-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rngprerunner
Up to 00 1/2' had PVH/Selectable hubs, 01 was the first year of live axle..

OOPs! You're right, I was thinking when they went to IFS from the TTB, THAT was 98+
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  #16  
Old 04-30-2005
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Sounds like a decent solution for my problems, that should allow me to have all 4 spinning at once, avoiding most open differential problems, What I didn't want is having 1 wheel spinning at full speed and the oposite sitting still, because we all know that 3 wheels can be spinning and you can still be stuck, sometimes that 4th wheel can help, as well as inable me to keep only one wheel on a highly solid surface to limit my chances of getting completely stuck. I think this would be the perfect solution for the front end since, generally a locked rear can get you out of pretty much, but a l/s front hopefully proves to be a worth while investment when climbing over things instead of ramming over objects. It should decrease my running speeds and increase overall performance. Also I think with the Low 4:56 gears w/ only 33" tires it will become very useful, in 4X4 low, 1st gear will literally crawl, as it only goes to about 5mph now, it should only go to about 2 or 3mph after the changes, this should directly increase my traction and hp for each wheel turning.

Thanks for the Advice!!
- Brian
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  #17  
Old 04-30-2005
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Also if you get manual hubs some guys will only lock one hub when driving in the snow onroad to avoid the negative effects of driving with a locked front. You still have 3 wheel drive. Don't do that on any high stress situations though, as you are sure to break a shaft that way!

If I were you, I would go with manual hubs and a cheap lunchbox locker like the Lockright/No-Slip in the front. But, if you got the money and if there is anything out there for the TTB (ARB or maybe the ELocker or Auburn Ected?) a selectable is the best way to go.
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  #18  
Old 05-04-2005
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Lock that *****, if it breaks, build it stronger...
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  #19  
Old 05-04-2005
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Brian you WILL end up putting manual hubs up front. I had the same 94 mazda as you. Break those hubs and they are 300 a piece to be replaced. I did it in the chesepeake river. Locking the rear will make your truck plenty efficient. I would just save the money so you can afford better tires.
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2005
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Tires are everything I wouldnt even think about locking both ends unless you are
running some good tires.
You might also consider running 2 sets of tires.. one for play one for daily driving. Get some solid A/t's for everyday.. and mud tires or interco(brand) tires for fun. If you have a good jack you can change out all 4 tires in about 15min.(or less)
You can get cheap black steel rims for cheap too maybe in a size more advantageous to your play tires.

Rand
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  #21  
Old 05-11-2005
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You people just don't get it. Lock the front best mod i've done. And again, if only the front is locked not the rear you won't have this no turning probelm in the snow. Since you have the TTB with hubs you can get selectable hubs and put a loc-rite (cheaper than powertrax works the same) and you will be good to go. And I will a sure you that your truck will go places you never thought of. And if you do ran into the 3 wheel problem, than push the e-brake in a little and see what happens.
Putting a non-selectable locker in the rear of a daily driver or even a rig that sees alot of pavement is hard on axles. But a locker on the front of a TTB set up will never tell it is there on daily driving, front locker on a 01+ also feels like it is not there when on pavement.
You guys need to come down to New Mexico and drive my rig with the front locker!!
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  #22  
Old 05-11-2005
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locking the front with 33s is gunna be really hard on the u joints. the turning issue isnt as bad as everyone says it is...i drive my dads 95 effer with front and rear LSDs and it drives almost the same as mine with just a rear LSD.

as we spoke about before, that would be the cheapest way to go. dual limited slips with the modded rear LSD will be badass and cheap.
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  #23  
Old 05-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optikal illushun
locking the front with 33s is gunna be really hard on the u joints. the turning issue isnt as bad as everyone says it is...i drive my dads 95 effer with front and rear LSDs and it drives almost the same as mine with just a rear LSD.

as we spoke about before, that would be the cheapest way to go. dual limited slips with the modded rear LSD will be badass and cheap.
Sure it will be harder on u-joints or cv-axles, depending on which year you have, but the thing is will a locker you can just crawl up things instead of hammering down.
Front locker and your done.
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  #24  
Old 05-12-2005
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Front and rear lockers: All Wheel Drive, the way it was meant to be...
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  #25  
Old 05-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSonicFX4
Sure it will be harder on u-joints or cv-axles, depending on which year you have, but the thing is will a locker you can just crawl up things instead of hammering down.
Front locker and your done.

for ur type of wheelin maybe...
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