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locked rear ends

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by David Chandler, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    I have a battered 2 wheel drive truck that I use to plow snow. It has a 77 12 bolt truck rear end in it. I have traction problems in reverse if I'm on much of an incline, as the weight of the plow being lifted tilts things forward.
    I would like to lock the rear end, using the cheapest way possible. I do not drive this vehicle on the road, nor more than 10 or 15 mph tops. So my question is how do I go about it? I have heard that you can simply weld the spyder gears, but don't know anyone who's done it, that isn't 6 feet under.
  2. GassersGarage
    Joined: Jul 1, 2007
    Posts: 4,729


    Welded spiders gears was the poor man's posi. If used off road, it may last for awhile due to loose traction.
  3. scottybaccus
    Joined: Mar 13, 2006
    Posts: 4,109


    use a spool. it will be more reliable. Also add a weight mount on the rear bumper to counter the plow. it will add traction in all conditions.
  4. The Shocker
    Joined: Dec 30, 2004
    Posts: 3,540

    The Shocker

    I know alot of dirt trackers around here that weld them up .Most of them dont have problems with it off road...
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  5. stuart in mn
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
    Posts: 1,781

    stuart in mn

    A locked rear end may not be such a good idea. You'll have a hard time steering - when you try to turn, the front wheels will just plow through the snow and you'll go straight ahead.
  6. porsche930dude
    Joined: Jan 5, 2008
    Posts: 268


    If you decide to weld the spiders there are writeups out there about how to do it right. If you do it wrong you risk shrapnal chewing up all of your gears then youve got nothing. Id say that or a mini spool would be the best option for you. That and/or fill the back up with stones :)
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,511


  8. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    Thanks for the replys!
    I do run quite a bit of weight in it now, and was thinking of adding more. I've also driven a rig that was locked, and I know what you mean about it wanting to go only in a straight line. I have considered using a mini spool, but if this works then I won't have spent the money on the spool. I do have a spare rear end so if it dosen't work out, I could always swap it.
    Thanks again.
  9. jessechop
    Joined: Dec 30, 2006
    Posts: 60


    We weld them in our stock cars. We run asphalt and if we just weld the gears we break the welds with ease, so we weld the gears to the carrier, no not right but they dont break this way
  10. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,243


    My bet is that you'll still just skid instead of moving, but now the back of the truck will slide sideways too...right into the snowbank!

    You need to add weight as far back in the bed as possible to offset the plow weight...but if you weld the diff AND add weight your chances of breaking an axle due to turning stress will go WAY up.
    Locals using 2wd vehicles (not many!) to plow flat parking lots have a salt/sand spreader in the back with a good ton of extra weight on the rear axle.
    The only real answer is 4x4...
  11. HanibleH20
    Joined: Jan 17, 2004
    Posts: 139


    I've use two methods. I use to use the method listed in the post above. You have three teeth that are meshed together one completely and two slightly. You fill the teeth on each side of these three. Now we weld the vertical gears to the carrier. You no longer need the horizontal gears and you now have a poor mans spool.
  12. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    I had never heard of welding them to the carrier, but it makes sence.
    In my case the rear of the truck is only about 3 ft long, with the axle mounted solid to the frame. The rest of the frame was rusted to oblivion.I was planning to add another foot or so to it so I would have more room for weight behind the rear wheels. I'm also running chains. I have noticed that if I go over an uneven patch of ground sometimes the drive wheel will lift enough to give me problems. I assume if I had springs in the back it could follow the contour better.
    I recall seeing gears that were sort of "8" shaped, that you could use to do this, but it was probably 40 years ago, and I haven't seen them sence.
    Again, thanks for the replys!
  13. v8 Bake
    Joined: Dec 23, 2007
    Posts: 296

    v8 Bake

    Lock right Lockers work good and still let you turn. But they are noisie.
  14. GoManGo1951
    Joined: Jul 30, 2008
    Posts: 229


    I had an old dump truck 2 wheel drive I plowed with. Before winter we had 1500 lbs of sand put in the back. Great traction.......but.......stopping in the snow was an issue.
  15. I bought a 1939 Ford standard from a lady whos husband had died several years before I got the car and after I installed a battery and some gas I was able to crank the car,,,she told be his was going to make a race car outta the old car.

    the brakes had been updated to 40 and they worked so I decided to drive the car home,,,only about 10 miles,,,driving down her dirt driveway everything was fine as I turned to hit the main road all hell broke loose,,that car jumped and shook like the reatr axle was about to explode!:eek:

    I made it to the house and after talking to one of the guys that knew the car he explained the the rear had been welded up to gain traction on the dirt track,,,I had a new rear end in the car a few days later,,,no fun. HRP
  16. That solid mounted axle may be a big part of the traction problem, as there is NO damping of bumps, etc. I think a locked axle will tend to make this problem worse, as it will have some inherent "hop" when turning.

    Welding the gears to the carrier is the best method, as it takes all the load off the spider teeth, as well as giving you a much larger weld surface. A lot of people don't like to do it because it makes the carrier a throwaway, but I've personally never seen one break when done that way.

    Steam clean the carrier, rotating it as you do, or use lots of carb cleaner to get the residual oil out of there. Depending on the gear ratio, you may have a hard time getting the welder down behind the side gear on the ring gear side, but if you're stick welding it this shouldn't be a problem. Be sure to clean any slag or berries out of the housing before you button it up.
  17. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,965

    Shifty Shifterton

    Another nod of agreement on the solid mounted axle. I assume the tires are already aired down to nearly flat? If you could just modify the axle to mount on a solid pivot over the pumpkin it would help alot.

    None of the plow guys I know like positrac at all. You don't want wheelspin to make the truck slide sideways.

    I think the plowers would also tell you if they had their way, 2wd would be front wheel drive, and when they needed 4x4 the rear axle would kick in. Think about the change in dynamics......... just food for thought if you ever build another 2wd snow buggy. Good luck!
  18. B-Man
    Joined: Jul 17, 2006
    Posts: 125


    how about some actual long term experience? I have been running a spool in the rear of my Bronco for the last 5 or 6 years. I can tell you about both welded gears, mini spools, and full spools. I had a mini spool in the rear. As long as you don't have huge tires or lots a torque, you'll never have trouble with it. Mini spools use the cross shaft to transmist 100% of your torque to the axles. In my case, (no pun intended), I broke the carrier in half. So I went to a full spool in the rear with larger axles. Fo my uses, it will never break. This is a very short wheel base vehicle and I drive it on the street as much as off road. The traction is unbelievable. I have driven it int he rain and in snow up to 2 ft deep.

    I have never noticed it oversteering, it doesn't drive funny, it steers just like a normal truck. The shorter wheelbase would be most likely to exhibit these characteristics.

    A word of caution, if you cannot control a vehicle in a low traction situation, you will have problems. If the wheels spin, then it will want to slide sideways. But his happens with lockers and limited slips (tight ones). I have a Trac-lok in my old Ford truck, it slides just as much as the spool in the rain. If you drive like a normal person, you will never know it is back there.

    Now, about "Lincoln-Lockers". I welded the front axle on the Bronco. Most will think this is crazy, as it DOES make steering a bit tougher. It's hard on parts and it really plows ahead in a straight line. But even then, you can still steer it just fine. you just need more room. The traction off road is amazing, I could drive up a tree if I wanted to. It is not to be used on the street (in the front of a 4x4).

    Welded gears can work, but if you can go with a mini spool, full spool, locker, or limited-slip you will be better off. I only say this, because if your welds aren't super strong, they WILL break loose. Then they do, it will probably eat up the ring and pinion. Mine broke once and I re-welded them with big ol' stick welder. I used a high nickel rod to tie the side gears into the carrier (cast iron) and also welded the gears to each other. I still consider it temporary.

    Lockers are great, they do unlock, but only under a no load situation. If you are on the gas in a turn, it will still chirp or slide just like a spool. I am not in the habit of letting off the gas every time I want to turn. The older ones have a tendency to make some noise when they lock and unlock. Spools are quiet and you never know they are there.

    In your case, I would actually go with a limited slip. Since you should never have a tire off the ground, you will have excellent traction and no noise. They are cheaper (well, not cheaper than a spool - full or mini) and they don't put as much stress on the axles.

    Eaton makes an excellent one that is affordable and is designed just like the Posi-Traction unit that was available for the 12 bolt. I have one and love it. It is on the tight side, but still allows for smooth turning and no noise. You don't know it is there until you get stupid in the rain. It will lay two black marks as long as the pedal is down.

    There are other brands, shop around. They tend to be cheaper than actual lockers. I do not recommend the Auburn "cone -type". It lasted a couple of years and is not rebuildable like the Eaton.

    I also have a weight transfer issue like you, but in a much shorter truck. The locker/posi/spool will make a huge difference, but any weight you can add back there will always help.

    One last thing, 12 bolts are C-clip axles, so if one breaks, it's going to slide out. Spools are notorious about snapping axles at the splines. I have not had this happen, but the 9" that I have will at least hold the axle in if it breaks. This might be something to keep in mind if you are leaning toward the welded gears/spool idea.

    Hope this helps you out, goo luck with it.
  19. lucky_1974
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 1,066


    I would go with weight before I would lock that rearend up. Posi in the snow sucks, your ass is going to go left or right every time you hit a slick spot. Also investing is some leaf springs (solid mounted axle is bad for traction as mentioned earlier) and under inflating your tires that might help.
  20. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    Thanks again for the replys. I will add more weight. And I may hunt for a posi unit instead of fiddling with this one. As for sliding sideways, I've had that experiance with the only posi that I ever owned. At least I have time to sort out my options before I need to do it.
    Thanks again for the information.
  21. dvmnorthwest
    Joined: Jun 3, 2008
    Posts: 31


    For what it's worth, my father is a long time truck puller. He runs welded spyder gears on his 800 hp '73 ford with a Dana 60 and has yet to have a problem with them. I promise you, if it's done right, it's very strong. If you have ever seen truck pulling, they pull a 40,000 lb sled that is on a weight transfer system. That's more weight and torque than your truck will ever see.

    You want proof of just how strong a welded rear end can be, here it is:

    (sorry, I know that's not "traditional" but it is on topic and I'm really proud of Pops!)
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  22. A locked rear will not help your problem.Your wheelbase,method of rear end mounting,and weight over rear wheels is where to correct the issue you have!
  23. shorty54
    Joined: Oct 9, 2007
    Posts: 81

    from Arvada

    I have a mini spool in the 54 Ford that just got totaled. Was going about 40mph hit a puddle and the car went side ways in no time. Lesson learned and will not be running another, should have listened to all the old guys. I would suggest another method.

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