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Old 07-26-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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detroit truetrac vs detroit locker

I'm already set on either gettin a Selectable eaton e locker or a full automatic detroit locker for my rear ford 8.8.
But the front Dana 30 I'm not so sure about. I know I want it to be a Detroit but I'm not sure if I want the detroit truetrac or the "full" detroit locker. Any thoughts on the two? I will be running 33" mud tires. Do mostly street/highway driving but I like to get out at least once every two weeks to do some trails and or mudding. Any thoughts would be nice to have, thanks

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Old 07-26-2011, 09:47 PM   #2
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How uneven are your trails and are they uneven enough to lift your tires up off the trail? If so, forget the Detroit Truetrac (I used to run f/r Truetracs on a previous TJ) as it is ineffective when tire is in the air. Only a locker works well in those conditions. That is why I switched from f/r Detroit Truetracs to true f/r lockers many years ago.

You won't even notice the Detroit Locker on the street in 2wd.

Have you considered a less costly lunchbox locker for up front? The Powertrax No-Slip lunchbox locker is virtually undetectable in 2wd and works fine for up to 35" tires. I ran a rear Detroit Locker (which I miss!!) and a front No-Slip which was an awesome offroad combination.

So what size tires and just how tough/uneven are the trails you do?

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Old 07-26-2011, 10:10 PM   #3
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Why would it become useless when a tire lifts up off the ground? And would a lunch box Be just as useless?
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:01 AM   #4
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I recommend a selectable in front (I have E-Locker) and the timeless Detroit Locker in the rear. I have this set up and I would do it again if needed.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:34 AM   #5
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I recommend a selectable in front (I have E-Locker) and the timeless Detroit Locker in the rear. I have this set up and I would do it again if needed.
Why is that? In the front you don't even notice it till your in 4wd
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:47 AM   #6
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Why would it become useless when a tire lifts up off the ground? And would a lunch box Be just as useless?
It would become useless because a trutrac is just a limited slip...not a full locker. If you put a tire in the air, a trutrac doesnt lock up strong enough to spin the wheel on the ground like a true locker would. Lunchbox lockers are real lockers, they are just cheaper because of the way they install. Rather than replacing the whole carrier like a Detroit locker, a lunchbox locker fits inside of the stock carrier. These lockers will only lock up when you are in 4WD, similar to the detroit locker.
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Old 07-27-2011, 10:52 AM   #7
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Why is that? In the front you don't even notice it till your in 4wd
I think it all comes down to where you will be at. I have heard that in snowy conditions it is better to have a selectable locker up front because if the roads have snow/ice on them and you engage 4WD, an automatic locker will affect steering on ice. If you have a selectable locker up front, you can control whether or not it is locked in 4WD, which would probably be a good thing in snowy conditions.
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:13 AM   #8
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Why would it become useless when a tire lifts up off the ground? And would a lunch box Be just as useless?
When a locker-equipped axle has one of its tires up in the air, it sends 100% of the torque to the tire on the ground. When a limited slip (Truetrac) equipped axle has one of its tires up in the air, there is so little torque available to the tire on the ground that it won't be able to keep you moving.

I wrote two articles years ago I reposted into a forum that cover this issue that you may be interested in reading. Sorry they're a little long but they will probably help you understand the issue.

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Old 07-27-2011, 11:35 AM   #9
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how dose the lunchbox do in tight trails can you still trun good?
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Old 07-27-2011, 11:59 AM   #10
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The lunchbox locker will perform much like a full locker when "under power" in turns, poorly. Which is why people like to use selectable in the front, to unlock during tight corners and also good for in snow/ice.

Auto locker in rear and selectable in front is usually the preferred combo
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
How uneven are your trails and are they uneven enough to lift your tires up off the trail? If so, forget the Detroit Truetrac (I used to run f/r Truetracs on a previous TJ) as it is ineffective when tire is in the air. Only a locker works well in those conditions. That is why I switched from f/r Detroit Truetracs to true f/r lockers many years ago.

You won't even notice the Detroit Locker on the street in 2wd.

Have you considered a less costly lunchbox locker for up front? The Powertrax No-Slip lunchbox locker is virtually undetectable in 2wd and works fine for up to 35" tires. I ran a rear Detroit Locker (which I miss!!) and a front No-Slip which was an awesome offroad combination.

So what size tires and just how tough/uneven are the trails you do?
Good Point!

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how dose the lunchbox do in tight trails can you still trun good?
There lies the rub. An auto locker in the front while in 4 wheel drive can be fun to turn on a tight trail. Also, a detroit would be a little stronger than the stock carrier/lunchbox combo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Austerlitz View Post
I recommend a selectable in front (I have E-Locker) and the timeless Detroit Locker in the rear. I have this set up and I would do it again if needed.
Nice set-up, but a little more expensive. Also, selectables have cables, wires or air hoses and do not have quite the simplicity that a Detroit locler does.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:08 PM   #12
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Also, a detroit would be a little stronger than the stock carrier/lunchbox combo.
True but at least on the front, the carrier and lunchbox isn't normally what breaks, it's normally an OE axleshaft and u-joint that gives the problem.
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Old 07-27-2011, 12:29 PM   #13
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True but at least on the front, the carrier and lunchbox isn't normally what breaks, it's normally an OE axleshaft and u-joint that gives the problem.
Unless you're running chromos with the nice Spicer 760 u-joints and full circle clips

Jerry, what would you rather have in the front of your rig; a full detroit, a Powertrax No-Slip, or a selectable of your choice?

(Providing you're running chromos with the nice Spicer 760 u-joints and full circle clips )
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:19 PM   #14
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Unless you're running chromos with the nice Spicer 760 u-joints and full circle clips

Jerry, what would you rather have in the front of your rig; a full detroit, a Powertrax No-Slip, or a selectable of your choice?

(Providing you're running chromos with the nice Spicer 760 u-joints and full circle clips )
A lot of offroaders that are running bullet proof axle and Ujoint combos will run lock out hubs that are designed to fail slightly before their axle or ujoint fails kind of like a safety fuse in the system that is easily repairable. If you're running really strong axles and ujoints, and you also run a super strong locker, the next part to fail will be your ring and pinion unless you're running an upgraded center section... I would want my parts to break where they are most easily repairable, but that's just me.
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Old 07-27-2011, 05:21 PM   #15
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If the OP has an auto tranny, could he apply a little break and get the front TrueTrac to "lock" if a front wheel is in the air?
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Old 07-27-2011, 06:19 PM   #16
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If the OP has an auto tranny, could he apply a little break and get the front TrueTrac to "lock" if a front wheel is in the air?
Some people believe in the "hit the brakes when one wheel is in the air and all of a sudden I've got a locker" myth... it isn't true. If one wheel is on the ground with 100% traction, and the other is in the air with zero traction, and you apply the brakes, what make sense that all of a sudden the tire on the ground will magically decide to start propelling the vehicle forward? If you hit the brakes you're applying an equal amount of braking force to both wheels, so the tire that already isn't moving will have that much more pushing back against it to prevent it from moving, and the tire that is spinning in the air will only slow or stop it's spinning... the only time this will work is when on ice, and it would just be easier to let off the gas until the tires slow down and grip instead of spinning, which is basically what you're doing when you hit the brakes. Unless you could apply the braking force to ONLY the wheel that is in the air, the wheel that is grounded and under the full weight of the vehicle will just sit there and not move. It's a simple matter of math, 100% resistance to movement on one side, and 0% of resistance to movement on the other, plus x amount of resistance to movement on both sides equally will still equal 100%+x, and 0%+x.... it doesn't matter what number you type into the variable "x" the side that isn't moving will always have more resistance than the side that's spinning.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:25 AM   #17
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Thanks for all of the help guys! I think I'm going to go with the cheaper lunch box locker up front since I do not ever drive in snow or ice. Thanks again foe the help!
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #18
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Thanks for all of the help guys! I think I'm going to go with the cheaper lunch box locker up front since I do not ever drive in snow or ice. Thanks again foe the help!
Good decision.

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