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Old 10-09-2011, 02:41 PM   #1
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open diff or limited slip?

hi everyone, im looking to buy my first jeep wrangler (or at least order it) in a few weeks, one of the main reasons being i hate getting stuck in the snow with front wheel drive cars (live in michigan). i want the jeep for its ground clearance and 4 wheel drive since my street doesnt get plowed, my question is between the standard open diff, and the optional limited slip rear, which would be better suited to get me through snow up to a foot deep?

(btw, im thinking about a 2door, manual trans, 3.73 gear)

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Old 10-09-2011, 02:45 PM   #2
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Limited slip.

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Old 10-09-2011, 03:17 PM   #3
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Uhm for your purposes a grand Cherokee sounds better suited.
Limited slip
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:35 PM   #4
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Uhm for your purposes a grand Cherokee sounds better suited.
Limited slip
no thanks
honestly i dont like extra crap on a vehicle, i like simple basic things, gimme crank windows , manual trans, manual locks , id rather have an older simpler wrangler or maybe a truck, but also want somthing new (warranty, no/low miles) so a wrangler is really the only thing that fits the bill
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:40 PM   #5
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no thanks
Maybe a liberty?
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:04 PM   #6
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I really like my LSD in the snow. I added lockers to the front for trail needs and left the rear with LSD just for snow reasons.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:06 PM   #7
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I really like my LSD in the snow. I added lockers to the front for trail needs and left the rear with LSD just for snow reasons.
does the back end tend to step out on you at all?
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by xJOINorDIEx

does the back end tend to step out on you at all?
The LSD prevents that. That's the point. An LSD will--in all circumstances--perform better than an open diff in snowy conditions. If the LSD has traction problems, an open diff would be really bad. That's my understanding anyway.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:18 PM   #9
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The LSD prevents that. That's the point. An LSD will--in all circumstances--perform better than an open diff in snowy conditions. If the LSD has traction problems, an open diff would be really bad. That's my understanding anyway.
what ive read so far seems to indicate that with an open diff, you may have one wheel break traction and spin, but if that happens more power goes to the free spinning wheel and keeps the opposite wheel from breaking traction and sort of "power sliding" , that a lsd is better for forward movement, but not as stable laterally as an open diff
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:26 PM   #10
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does the back end tend to step out on you at all?
Hasn't happened to me.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:36 PM   #11
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I had no issues last winter in NY with my non LSD sahara.
Got through a foot of snow with ease.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by xJOINorDIEx

what ive read so far seems to indicate that with an open diff, you may have one wheel break traction and spin, but if that happens more power goes to the free spinning wheel and keeps the opposite wheel from breaking traction and sort of "power sliding" , that a lsd is better for forward movement, but not as stable laterally as an open diff
I'm not buying it. An LSD is better for snowy conditions than an open diff. Period.

It's not necessary of course, an open (like mine) will do okay and all JKs have an electronic "brake locking differential" that simulates an LSD on any open diffs.

But still, for snow, if you're given a choice, pick the LSD.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:48 PM   #13
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Exactly. The Brake Lock Differential ( an electronic control system that mimics the behavior of a mechanical LSD by using the brakes to transfer power from the spinning wheel to the wheel with traction) minimizes the difference in snow performance between the open diffs and LSD equipped Wranglers.

I don't think you'll find too many people saying that their JK sucks in the snow and they wish they had the LSD.

With a "real" LSD, your brake pads will last longer, but at least you won't have to change the differential fluid and friction modifier on a regular basis. Open diff fluid has a much longer service life since there aren't friction clutches dumping crap into the fluid as they wear out.

Also, not all LSD's are equal, and the factory option is not one of the better ones, from what I've heard.

All of that said, since you're not considering a Rubicon, for which you can't order the LSD but get locking differentials instead, there's no harm in getting the LSD, and it'll probobly be marginally better than just BLD in the snow.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:50 PM   #14
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I chose open differential because it rains like crazy down here. If one wheel loses traction, then sending all that power to the other wheel will probably cause it to kick out too, especially in a turn.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by glowingghoul View Post

With a "real" LSD, your brake pads will last longer, but at least you won't have to change the differential fluid and friction modifier on a regular basis. Open diff fluid has a much longer service life since there aren't friction clutches dumping crap into the fluid as they wear out.


.
didnt think of that, somthing important to consider
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:00 PM   #16
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I chose open differential because it rains like crazy down here. If one wheel loses traction, then sending all that power to the other wheel will probably cause it to kick out too, especially in a turn.
thats what im thinking, i remember a camaro i had with a lsd, it sucked in everything but sunny weather
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:01 PM   #17
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I have LSD in a van and never had problems in snow with it. OTOH open differential sucked big time in an identical van 1 model year older. I'm talking RWD not 4WD here. Is the BDL really as good as LSD in snow?
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:20 PM   #18
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Get a Rubicon and then there is no debate. 6spd. and 4.10's of course.
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:33 PM   #19
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Id say Open.. Rather have a after market limited slip or even a locker then what jeep puts in them from the factory. Go with the open diff then if you still want a limited slip get a detroit tru trac
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Old 10-09-2011, 05:41 PM   #20
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:17 AM   #21
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I am seriously debating the factory LSD too

First off I have a couple of links I have found while researching.

Jeep Locker Overview
This is from that article and I am guessing it is the same limited slip type as the new JK's. At least the name is the same?
Trac-Lok
Overview: The Trac-Lok is the OEM limited slip differential offered in many vehicles-from early CJs from the mid-'70s up through XJs and some TJs. It uses stacks of friction discs that hold the spider gears from differentiating until enough torque is generated by the shafts to let them spin.
Street:
You'll think you're driving an open diff. The Trac-Lok is largely unnoticeable.

Off-road:
You'll think you're driving an open diff. The Trac-Lok is largely unnoticeable. Unless it's new from the factory, don't expect anything but poor performance off-road from a Trac-Lok.

Good: It probably came in your Jeep from the factory. The unit can be rebuilt at home.

Bad: They require gear oil with a friction modifier and have wearable clutches inside. If you're planning on adding a lunchbox locker, you'll need to order a special application that will work with the clutch disc recess in the case. The recess inside of the case makes it slightly weaker than a standard open diff case. It's difficult to weld into a spool if that's your thing. Basically, they don't work well, so don't waste your money. You're better off with an open diff.

Read more: Jeep Locker Overview - Jp Magazine
If you are at all unsure why you need limited slip disk (LSD) or lockers then I would check out this old ass video which is really easy to understand. I'm pretty green to this stuff so it really opened my eyes.



I'm wondering what the maintenance is on the Trac-Loc.
*How often do you have to put in the Gear Oil (vs Open).
*How often and easy/expensive is replacing the clutch disk.
Also is it something that you can just unbolt if you want to later? I guess if it wears out it wouldn't hurt to just have it on there?

It seems like the LSD is actually a better solution for snow then lockers being that you don't have to be in 4-Low.

From what I have read the Detroit Truetrac LSD seems superior, or at least they are pretty highly recommended. About how much would these cost to be installed (vs. factory $295 option). It appears that the Detroit's are around $450 for hardware? Installing the Detroit Truetrac bolt on to the gears and don't replace them?
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:38 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by glowingghoul View Post
Exactly. The Brake Lock Differential ( an electronic control system that mimics the behavior of a mechanical LSD by using the brakes to transfer power from the spinning wheel to the wheel with traction) minimizes the difference in snow performance between the open diffs and LSD equipped Wranglers.
It doesn't "transfer power". It appies the brake to the spinning wheel.


Quote:
Originally Posted by glowingghoul View Post
With a "real" LSD, your brake pads will last longer, but at least you won't have to change the differential fluid and friction modifier on a regular basis. Open diff fluid has a much longer service life since there aren't friction clutches dumping crap into the fluid as they wear out.
All JK's have BLD whether there is a LSD or not.
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:29 AM   #23
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thanks rooster, i found that video while searching too, unless sombody can still sway me, i think ive made up my mind to go without the lsd, because i wouldnt want it working all the time , i think ill give the brake system a chance to win me over, then if not i can look at selectable locker or other upgrades later, thanks for the replys everyone
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:10 AM   #24
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It doesn't "transfer power". It appies the brake to the spinning wheel.



BLD applies the brake to one wheel in order to transfer power to the other side.

The BLD works much in the same way that a mechanical differential works except that it applies brake force to the wheel that's spinning faster once that differential is reached. The concept of the BLD is to simulate an LSD by using brake force instead of a mechanical coupling of the two sides.

The BLD is based on the use of an open differential which sends power to the wheel with the least resistance (grip). The BLD simulates grip at a wheel which doesn't have any by using the ABS system to brake that wheel in order to add load to that wheel to make the differential "think" that there actually is grip there and send power to the other wheel which does in reality have grip.

I hope this makes sense, if not let me know and I can take another run at it...
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:13 AM   #25
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We're saying the same thing, just semantics.
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:29 AM   #26
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no thanks
honestly i dont like extra crap on a vehicle, i like simple basic things, gimme crank windows , manual trans, manual locks , id rather have an older simpler wrangler or maybe a truck, but also want somthing new (warranty, no/low miles) so a wrangler is really the only thing that fits the bill

Straight up, dude!
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Old 10-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #27
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My Silverado does uses its brakes to control slip as well, not sure how much I like/dislike it yet though. I'll find out this January, but I liked how my locker (aftermarket) on my s10 responded in the snow. Personally though, I prefer lockers over open diffs, with or without the ESC.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:09 AM   #28
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Around the Corner

I had seen the video before through a Scout web site, but didn't fully understand why an open differential spins out on one wheel with no traction until now. It works like this:

Input torque turns the ring gear on the carrier. The ring gear will force the planet gear to turn, but which way the planet gear will turn is based on the least path of resistance - it will turn the side gear with the least resistance (the wheel that spins more freely than the other one) while the planet gear itself will rotate freely along the teeth of the stationary side gear. This is what makes the wheels turning at different rates possible (I understood that part, but not the getting stuck part).

The LSD limits this natural behavior of an open differential by using friction. Another way to use friction is by using the BLD. Now, the BLD looks like it's simply an automated way of old school "getting unstuck" - using your brakes gently to put resistance to the spinning wheel so that the stationary wheel begins to turn enough to get you going. It sounds weird, but it works. The whole idea is to slow that spinning wheel down so that resistance begins to force the planet gear to not freely rotate so easily around the stationary side gear because of lessening resistance relative to the braked spinning wheel.

Thanks for bringing it up and making it crystal clear to me.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:23 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by xJOINorDIEx View Post
thanks rooster, i found that video while searching too, unless sombody can still sway me, i think ive made up my mind to go without the lsd, because i wouldnt want it working all the time , i think ill give the brake system a chance to win me over, then if not i can look at selectable locker or other upgrades later, thanks for the replys everyone


This is like debating whether you should get a vehicle with 2wd or 4wd for the snow, because you're concerned that having the front wheels pulling in 4wd may make it harder to handle and so you pick the 2wd vehicle.

An LSD improves snow performance, and I've never heard anything to the contrary and see no reason to believe it's not true. I'm sort of surprised this debate is even happening. There's a reason my wife's Subaru Outback does so well on snowy roadways even with it's all season generic tires.

That said, whether you get an LSD is up to you. I would strongly discourage you from adding a locker--selectable or otherwise--for usage in the snow. That's a terrible idea and will perform poorly in anything other than very deep snow.

Best to worst in snow performance is: LSD-->Open-->Lockers.

I'm sure you can read endless yack about it online and convince yourself otherwise, but that's up to you.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:31 AM   #30
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This is like debating whether you should get a vehicle with 2wd or 4wd for the snow, because you're concerned that having the front wheels pulling in 4wd may make it harder to handle and so you pick the 2wd vehicle.

An LSD improves snow performance, and I've never heard anything to the contrary and see no reason to believe it's not true. I'm sort of surprised this debate is even happening. There's a reason my wife's Subaru Outback does so well on snowy roadways even with it's all season generic tires.

That said, whether you get an LSD is up to you. I would strongly discourage you from adding a locker--selectable or otherwise--for usage in the snow. That's a terrible idea and will perform poorly in anything other than very deep snow.

Best to worst in snow performance is: LSD-->Open-->Lockers.

I'm sure you can read endless yack about it online and convince yourself otherwise, but that's up to you.
Why would an LSD perform better in the snow than BLD if they both do the same thing (transfer power the the wheel with grip), even if they use different methods to accomplish the same end result?

I'm not trying to argue, but if you are correct then I'm missing somerthing. Saying an LSD offers better perfomance in the snow because "it just does" doesn't make any sense.

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