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Old 03-31-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
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Detroit TruTrac experience

Hey Guys,
has anybody had the Detriot Trutrac diff setup in a D30 front axle yet?
Would be nice to get some info of how they perform... Since I don't want to lock the steering axle due to the fact I take the rig every now and then on normal roads as well. And I don't like the behavior of the Aussie locker and such.

Thanks a lot
Matt

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:59 AM   #2
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I had front and rear Truetracs for several years. On the road, they are unnoticeable. For Michigan's winters, Truetracs would be ideal.

They were eventually replaced with lockers because offroad, they had the same characteristic... unnoticeable, in that they didn't help on the type of terrain I wheel on since it is uneven enough that it occasionally lifts a tire up enough where a limited slip differential like a Truetrac is of no help.

But on slick streets, flat dirt roads, or gentle trails, Truetracs would be awesome... which is really what they were designed for.

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Old 03-31-2014, 11:03 AM   #3
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I have Truetracs in the front and rear of my Jeep.

The front steering got tighter when I had the Truetrac installed, but I'm not sure if that was from the Truetrac or because of the axle change. At that same time I swapped a high pinion Dana 30 in and had the alignment re-done. Offroad it works well, but not near as well as a locker. If I had to do it over again, and I will, I would put a selectable locker (Eaton E-Locker) in the front to allow the front end to pull itself over big rocks and ledges easier.

In the back it's completely invisible on the street, other than the fact my tires don't spin near as much as they used to. Offroad, it is AMAZING!!! The terrain really has to get very challenging before I even have to put the Jeep in 4wd. I will never put a full locker in the rear.

HTH
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:03 AM   #4
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That's actually the type of feedback what I was looking for.
It is not my DD and I don't need it in the winter, it was sitting all winter long in the garage.
But I wanted to know how those perform off road, we don't have tons of rockie terrain here, but a tire lifted up in the air would happen as well...
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:05 AM   #5
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Based on that, I'd go with lockers. Truetracs are next to useless offroad when the terrain gets uneven enough that tires start lifting up so they are not in firm contact with the ground.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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Based on that, I'd go with lockers. Truetracs are next to useless offroad when the terrain gets uneven enough that tires start lifting up so they are not in firm contact with the ground.
That's what the Currie Antirock sway bar is for. Not everyone plays in rocks as large as the ones you do, Jerry.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:22 AM   #7
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Actually my idea was to put the new 4 pinion eaton e locker in the rear dana 44, and leave the dana30 in the front and put the TruTrac in it...
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:25 AM   #8
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Either, way, I'm sure you'll be happy. Do you have an AR?
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:45 AM   #9
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Either, way, I'm sure you'll be happy. Do you have an AR?
Do you mean a antirock swaybar?
I ususally disconnect my swaybar when I go wheeling.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:02 PM   #10
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Do you mean a antirock swaybar?
I ususally disconnect my swaybar when I go wheeling.
You might want to consider installing an Antirock. It helps big time with off road traction and stability.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:00 PM   #11
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You might want to consider installing an Antirock. It helps big time with off road traction and stability.
The most articulation you will still have with no swaybar at all,
what would be the benefit of a less stiff sway bar? (compared to the stock one)
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:19 PM   #12
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The most articulation you will still have with no swaybar at all,
what would be the benefit of a less stiff sway bar? (compared to the stock one)
The stock sway bar limits my articulation. The AntiRock does not. Only the shock length limits my flex.

In off-camber situations, the AR still provides some stability, whereas if you're disco'd your body can "flop".

Also, with the factory sway bar disco'd, at times the axle may droop, but will have very little weight on it, thereby limiting traction.

Search "Antirock" to find out more.

Also, I would never drive on road disconnected, but I've driven everyday for over ten years with my AntiRock.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:33 PM   #13
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It is not my DD
Lock it - you'll be happy. I run TrueTracs because my Jeep is my daily driver and my wife drives it on occasion. If I had the funds, I would have gone selectable but alas, I don't.

Don't get me wrong, I am happy with my TrueTracs and for the type of wheeling I do they are fine (check out how they do in the vids at the bottom of this link). Honestly I am more concerned with going taller and getting more clearance than I am with locked diffs. But that's a money pit in its own as if I did upgrade height i.e. 33" tires to 35's, I would have to lock as the TrueTrac begins to lose it's effectiveness at tires exceeding 35" IMO.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:08 PM   #14
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I'm runnning already 33's and a 4" lift plus flat fenders on the way, I'm good at this point right now. I just need some nice lockers, and even though it is not my DD I still want to be able to take it just for a spin around in town therefore I'd prefer something not that dramatic. The rear I'm solid on getting a selectable locker, most likely an Eaton e locker.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:24 PM   #15
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Around town, you would be in 2wd which would make the front transparent. If anything, because you're on 33's, install a lunchbox up front: Aussie, No-Slip, etc.

Oh, the height and clearance remark was directed for my build lol.
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Old 03-31-2014, 06:26 PM   #16
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I am only adding that I am exploring this as an option as well. I DD my TJ as well and we have mild winters here but I have family in the mountains of NC with considerable snow. So auto's are out for me, I have a Ford limited slip in the rear (8.8) and got a price for ARB in the front today.... 2300 out the door installed....ouch.....I know its worth it but damn...

I think I could get out w/ limited slip in the front for about 1k.

I will probably keep saving and go ARB. but will follow this thread with interest.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:01 PM   #17
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One point that has not been mentioned is that a selectable locker can only be used in 4L, whereas a limited slip works in 2H (for a rear LSD) and 4H (for front and rear LSD) as well. That is one of the main reasons that I would prefer a TruTrac in the front of my Jeep (there is already a TracLok in the rear).

Something for the OP to consider is that if you decide to do a TruTrac up front and selectable locker in the rear, then that does nothing to help your traction in 2H. So if you have any concerns with traction in 2H, then think about putting the TruTrac in the rear and a selectable locker up front instead.

One last thing. Saying that a limited slip is useless when one tire is off the ground is a bit of an over exaggeration. It may not be a locker, but it is still better than running open-open. It just depends on your perspective.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:08 PM   #18
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I've got dual Trutracs on my 13' JKU. No problems whatsoever. The front really helped out this winter in 4H. Make sure you find a reputable place for the install.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:36 PM   #19
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That's what the Currie Antirock sway bar is for. Not everyone plays in rocks as large as the ones you do, Jerry.
I'm not sure what your point is but lockers are not limited to use on large rocks, they are useful for most forms of offroading since they are a traction enhancing device... nothing more, nothing less.

Lockers were originally developed back in the 40's for racers at the dragstrip so to say lockers are only suitable or meant for large rocks couldn't be further from the truth.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:59 PM   #20
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I'm not sure what your point is but lockers are not limited to use on large rocks, they are useful for most forms of offroading since they are a traction enhancing device... nothing more, nothing less.

Lockers were originally developed back in the 40's for racers at the dragstrip so to say lockers are only suitable or meant for large rocks couldn't be further from the truth.
I agree with you 100%.

What I meant to say is that Truetracs are only useless in the really big stuff that you (and others) like to play in, but the Antirock can compensate (to a point) for not having full lockers.
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:04 PM   #21
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I've got dual Trutracs on my 13' JKU. No problems whatsoever. The front really helped out this winter in 4H. Make sure you find a reputable place for the install.
Those must work pretty well with your brake lock differential, huh?
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:49 AM   #22
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One point that has not been mentioned is that a selectable locker can only be used in 4L, whereas a limited slip works in 2H (for a rear LSD) and 4H (for front and rear LSD) as well. That is one of the main reasons that I would prefer a TruTrac in the front of my Jeep (there is already a TracLok in the rear).

Something for the OP to consider is that if you decide to do a TruTrac up front and selectable locker in the rear, then that does nothing to help your traction in 2H. So if you have any concerns with traction in 2H, then think about putting the TruTrac in the rear and a selectable locker up front instead.

One last thing. Saying that a limited slip is useless when one tire is off the ground is a bit of an over exaggeration. It may not be a locker, but it is still better than running open-open. It just depends on your perspective.
Thanks for the detailed feedback.
I'm not concerned about the traction in 2H and normal street driving, I just want to increase the off road capabilities.
Could you explain to me why a selectable locker in the rear couldn't be used in 2H?
That the locker/LSD in the front doesn't do anything until I switch into 4H or 4L is obvious.

Thanks
Matt
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:21 AM   #23
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One point that has not been mentioned is that a selectable locker can only be used in 4L, whereas a limited slip works in 2H (for a rear LSD) and 4H (for front and rear LSD) as well. That is one of the main reasons that I would prefer a TruTrac in the front of my Jeep (there is already a TracLok in the rear).

Something for the OP to consider is that if you decide to do a TruTrac up front and selectable locker in the rear, then that does nothing to help your traction in 2H. So if you have any concerns with traction in 2H, then think about putting the TruTrac in the rear and a selectable locker up front instead.

One last thing. Saying that a limited slip is useless when one tire is off the ground is a bit of an over exaggeration. It may not be a locker, but it is still better than running open-open. It just depends on your perspective.
Selectable lockers work fine in 4Hi, only the Rubicon's selectable lockers have been designed not to work in 4Hi. I relocated my Rubicon's compressors used for its lockers into the engine compartment and completely rewired the circuit with new switches and wiring... and they work fine in 2wd, 4Hi, and 4Lo. Not that I would use them except when I'm in 4Lo.

And in my personal experience of several years of owning front and rear Truetrac limited slip differentials, they did nothing (!) when one of my tires was up in the air. That is the sole reason I spent so much $$$ replacing them with true lockers. Limited slips are well known for not working when a tire is up in the air and knowing how they physically work would allow you to understand how and why they don't. So I can't agree that in that situation they are better than an open axle.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #24
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What about an Aubun Ected? When it's not activated as a full locker it performs as a limited slip. I know they are avail for a front Jk D30. I was thinking of another ARB in the front, but I like the idea of the LS in front for snowy roads.
Looks like around $800 beans with bearings and install kit. About double the price of a Trutrac but the best of both worlds.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:50 AM   #25
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The statement that LSD don't do anything as soon as one wheel is in the air is simply incorrect. Of course they can't transfer 100% of the torque to the wheel which is still in contact with the ground like a true locker, but they do definitely more than an open diff. which does in that case 0%.

And I think I'm not the only mechanical engineer in that forum who has the background to understand how they work.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:09 AM   #26
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What about an Aubun Ected? When it's not activated as a full locker it performs as a limited slip. I know they are avail for a front Jk D30. I was thinking of another ARB in the front, but I like the idea of the LS in front for snowy roads.
Looks like around $800 beans with bearings and install kit. About double the price of a Trutrac but the best of both worlds.
the Auburn ECTED is best described as a clutch based variable bias limited slip. the "LSD" function is a low bias setting and the "locked" setting is just a very high bias setting. It's not a true locker either.

Quote:
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The statement that LSD don't do anything as soon as one wheel is in the air is simply incorrect. Of course they can't transfer 100% of the torque to the wheel which is still in contact with the ground like a true locker, but they do definitely more than an open diff. which does in that case 0%.

And I think I'm not the only mechanical engineer in that forum who has the background to understand how they work.
I've had great luck with my TrueTrac's front and rear....both off-road and on-road, in varying weather conditions. I will occasionally lift one or two tires off-road, but the majority of the time I keep all the tires in traction. Maybe that's why I've had better luck with them than Jerry - I don't ask them to perform outside their design limits. I don't ask my TT's to climb over giant boulders in the desert...I see a much wider variety of terrain, including snow, ice, mud, rocks, forest service trails, etc.


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Old 04-01-2014, 11:30 AM   #27
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Well they do claim it will fully lock. I would probably not chose Ected as a primary rear locker, that's why I have an ARB. But it sounds perfect for a front locker even if it doesn't lock up at 100%. I would find it difficult to wear out the friction material, wheeling a few times a month, and really there's very little but the most extreme terrain (the upper limits of my build) that can't be overcome with just the rear locker. The Ected front locker would be a good occasional "get out of jail free card" when needed.
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Old 04-01-2014, 11:47 AM   #28
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Selectable lockers work fine in 4Hi, only the Rubicon's selectable lockers have been designed not to work in 4Hi. I relocated my Rubicon's compressors used for its lockers into the engine compartment and completely rewired the circuit with new switches and wiring... and they work fine in 2wd, 4Hi, and 4Lo. Not that I would use them except when I'm in 4Lo.
I stand corrected on the selectable lockers than. However, practically speaking, I feel that lockers should not be used in 2H or 4H, just like you said. I feel the vehicle would be uncontrollable at high speeds, which is what 2H and 4H are designed for, whereas a limited slip in this case would be useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias_TJ
The statement that LSD don't do anything as soon as one wheel is in the air is simply incorrect. Of course they can't transfer 100% of the torque to the wheel which is still in contact with the ground like a true locker, but they do definitely more than an open diff. which does in that case 0%.

And I think I'm not the only mechanical engineer in that forum who has the background to understand how they work.
I may not be a mechanical engineer, but I do have an engineering background, and I do agree with you. Everything that I am about to say you probably already know, and you can probably correct if I say anything incorrectly. But lets say you are in 2H and the driver's side rear wheel is off the ground, but all other wheels are one the ground. The vehicle will not move until the difference in torque b/w the driver's side and passenger's side tire exceeds the torque bias. But since the driver's side wheel is in the air, the amount of torque require to spin that tire is much less than is required to move the vehicle (passenger's side tire), so you have to put a LOT of gas into it before the vehicle actually moves. If it were an open diff, no amount of gas will move the vehicle, where as a locker, any amount of gas will move the vehicle.

Now consider the same situation, except in 4H or 4L. Since both front tires are on the ground, the transfer case is already providing 50% to the front axle to move the vehicle. Therefore, the driver's side rear tire does not have to spin as quickly in order for the passenger's side tire to have enough torque to "contribute" to moving the vehicle, since it has help from the front axle. In this case, it is even more clear that an LSD is better than an open.

And then there's the situation that I mostly find myself in: where both tires contact the ground, but the surface is slippery, thus traction is not consistent throughout the surface. This is where LSD really shines, because the constantly changing traction is enough than an open diff will keep switching between which tire to spin, but the difference in traction is small enough that with a LSD, both tires will spin with very little extra effort needed.

In my opinion, what you decide to get will depend on your situation.

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