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Discussion Starter #1
Been looking for a decent manual 10th gen 4x4 reg cab F-150 for a while now..
Decent ones are rare and command a high price.
And to be honest, I don;t want a jacked up heavier truck.
A coworker has a 2wd TRD Taco (as I guess they all are unless they say 4x4 on the side) with the locking rear differential, and this last winter after he got new tires he said it was unstoppable.
That made me think.. can a 2wd truck with a locking differential or really tight LSD offer as much snow travel capability as a normal open differential 4x4?
It seems like it would be more likely to have one front tire and one rear tire spinning with no traction same time and than have both rear spinning with no traction.

Opinions?

Is a Detroit locker bad for snow use?

 

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Been looking for a decent manual 10th gen 4x4 reg cab F-150 for a while now..
Decent ones are rare and command a high price.
And to be honest, I don;t want a jacked up heavier truck.
A coworker has a 2wd TRD Taco (as I guess they all are unless they say 4x4 on the side) with the locking rear differential, and this last winter after he got new tires he said it was unstoppable.
That made me think.. can a 2wd truck with a locking differential or really tight LSD offer as much snow travel capability as a normal open differential 4x4?
It seems like it would be more likely to have one front tire and one rear tire spinning with no traction same time and than have both rear spinning with no traction.

Opinions?

Is a Detroit locker bad for snow use?

Detroits and similar lockers can be really bad in the snow because they require a certain amount of friction on the pavement in order to "unlock" the diff. If there isnt sufficient friction, it wont unlock and one wheel will slip, causing iffy handling. You definitely do not want them in a front axle in the snow, the rear can be doable, but can still cause some weird handling as I said.

The downside of only rwd and a locker is that you may not have enough weight in the rear to get sufficient traction, especially if you have a cap or bedcover on it. At least if its an open bed it can fill with snow giving some weight. But if its just a light snow, you now have a really light rear end with no real traction no matter whether you're locked or not.

4wd is still much better in the snow. 4wd>2wd locker>2wd open.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In that case, maybe a tightly shimmed LSD is a better option.
And I'm not against keeping some chains or similar in the truck if I need them.
I just don't plan to do any off road other than driving around to the backyard.
 

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I see where you are from. I know the area.

The good: although you get *some* winter, it's nothing compared to ours (Toronto area) and ours is nothing compared to Quebec, some parts of New York state, Minnesota, etc.

The bad: no one down there knows what winter tires are.

I've never owned anything that has all wheel drive. BUT, I use winter tires.

Locking differentials can make rear-drive vehicles very unstable to drive in slippery conditions.
 

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In that case, maybe a tightly shimmed LSD is a better option.
Absolutely! 100% this. LSD are much better in slippery conditions than full lockers. A truck with just rwd and an LSD will not be a bad option in snow if have good tires on it (mud tires are awful in snow and ice). Let the bed fill with snow or put sand bags in the bed to give you some weight in the rear and you'll do just fine.
 

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My truck is 4WD, with a rear LSD, I've driven it in the snow with 4WD on and off. The only difference I see is the 4WD gives just a bit more confidence than just RWD with the LSD. Where you are it wouldn't be bad with a RWD only truck with an LSD and some Offroad tires.

Sent from my SM-G900F using Tapatalk
 

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I've got a Tacoma Prerunner with electronic limited slip and factory tires as well as an old XJ Cherokee 4x4 with open rear and General Grabber AT2s. Might have a lot to do with the tires, but there is no way in hell that truck can compete with the Cherokee in the snow.
 

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I've got a Tacoma Prerunner with electronic limited slip and factory tires as well as an old XJ Cherokee 4x4 with open rear and General Grabber AT2s. Might have a lot to do with the tires, but there is no way in hell that truck can compete with the Cherokee in the snow.
Whoa, don't see many fellow calvert county residents on here!
 

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I'd say an air locker or a cable actuated locker would be better than an LSD. Hit the switch and it's locked when you need it. My truck is locked front, rear and center with ARB's in the axles and factory CDL in the center. Only other upgrade I'm thinking about for my drivetrain is an ATB for my center diff, which I've heard is pretty nice when driving in snow.
 

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Been looking for a decent manual 10th gen 4x4 reg cab F-150 for a while now..
Decent ones are rare and command a high price.
And to be honest, I don;t want a jacked up heavier truck.
I don't know what you mean by "jacked up" but is a 4WD really going to be so much heavier you'll really notice it day to day? While a 2WD 10th gen may handle "better" than a 4WD, the handling etc. still won't be "good". I can't imagine paying a premium for a 2WD truck, and all other things being equal, you'll always get better resale on a 4WD.

I also don't know where you guys live that "normal" 4x4s have open differentials. Every 4x4 I've ever owned (domestic and Japanese) came with some form of limited slip, and in my experience, 2WD trucks tend to have an open differential (consistent with their generally lesser option packages) unless someone ordered an oddball combination.
 

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I've got a Tacoma Prerunner with electronic limited slip and factory tires as well as an old XJ Cherokee 4x4 with open rear and General Grabber AT2s. Might have a lot to do with the tires, but there is no way in hell that truck can compete with the Cherokee in the snow.
Those General Grabber AT2s are redonkulously good in the snow. I have them on my XJ with a rear lunchbox locker. I just put the locker in this summer, so I've not yet had a chance to try it out in the snow, but it's a ton of fun to powerslide around in the rain.
 

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I've got a Tacoma Prerunner with electronic limited slip and factory tires as well as an old XJ Cherokee 4x4 with open rear and General Grabber AT2s. Might have a lot to do with the tires, but there is no way in hell that truck can compete with the Cherokee in the snow.
I got stuck in wet grass a few times in my Prerunner on BFG Trails... :(
 

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While it may help launching in the snow, a locker may make turning in the snow a bit tricky. That's what you do when you want to go drifting.
 

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i got an 8k lb crewcab longbox ford on 37s. lsd rear open front.
Tight lsd, 2wd in the snow still sucks, walks the rear end out. 4wd, (open front) and it walked through any snow no problem.
Just put a detroit in, no snow but man it is amazing in the mud.
Real thick sticky stuff here and 2wd jsut walked through it.

LSD is good for light vehicles, but is easily overcome by high friction/power/gearing in a heavy truck.

the detroit also feels fine in my truck because of the 172" wheelbase. narrow wheelbase vehicles can get quite squirrely.
 

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I should also add that the above truck, in its lesser pre modded form had an open rear diff. that thing was super stable on the highway in slush and snow. hammer the pedal and only 1 wheel woudl spin so it just kept tracking straight.
then with the new rear axle and factory lsd, you could hammer the throttle and get it sideways on the freeway. low friction conditions the lsd worked as it should, transfered power to both wheels, maybe not 50/50 but enough that you can slide the rear end out everywhere with throttle input.
SO a tight diff vs a locker on snow ice will work the same IMO. again, i have not tried the locker on ice yet...
but the locker is a huge improvement in higher than snow traction situations...and it works in reverse. my lsd did not.
 

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Years back had a 92 RWD Ranger that had a Aerostar? LSD in it. With a few sand bags in the back and PROPER winter tires, it worked great in the snow. Went thru as much if not more than my FWDs.
 
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