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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, Is there a kit, or something I can do to have the ability to lock and unlock the rear diff on a 96 2WD F350? Or would I need to get a 4WD rear axle before I could do this? Im looking for the ability to have a bit more traction when I need it, but I dont need a full 4WD.

Welding the Diff is out, I do not want full time rear diff lock.
 

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Two of them that I know of are Eaton Lockers, and Detroit Lockers.

As for the rear end you have the same rear that a 4x4 has it is a Ford Sterling 10.25
 

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ARB has a selectable locker but it's big money
 

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Is there a kit, or something I can do to have the ability to lock and unlock the rear diff on a 96 2WD F350?
Yes, it's called a "selectable locking differential", and it's very expensive, high-maintenance, and difficult/expensive to install.
Im looking for the ability to have a bit more traction when I need it...
That's exactly what 4WD is for.
...I dont need a full 4WD.
You kinda do.
Welding the Diff is out...
That doesn't increase traction - it just eliminates differentiation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My thought was getting a rear axle from a 4WD truck and wiring up/hooking up whatever it used to lock the rear diff for 4WD low. Then with a flip of a switch/lever (clap my hands and say the magic word) I could lock the rear end when needed. I did not know if maybe there was an easier way to do it with out changing the rear axle. I
 

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On standard 4WD setups there is no auto locking feature on the rearends when your in 4 wheel low (at least not that I'm aware of - my 97 4x4 doesn't have anything). The rear diff still behaves as a differential.
 

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All the rear ends are the same. The 4 low is controlled by the transfer case on the back of the transmission on the 4x4's.

Get the code off of your rear end and see just what it is. You can find it on the label on the door jamb or crawl under the truck and look for the tag on the rear end and get the numbers. The tag should be something like 3.55L, 4.10L, or 355 or 4.10. The door jamb sticker will give you a code that is listed on this link. The L at the end means that it is limited slip and may just need to be rebuilt or the correct fluid put into it


But to lock the gears you need to do or have someone change out a few things in the rear end housing and yes it can get expensive. Then there is the decision of what type you want, a air or electric locker.

Or you may just find a good rear end in the junk yard that is limited slip and just change out the whole rear end and cross your fingers that the limited slip is still good in it.
 

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The newer 6.7s have an electronic locking diff, but the diff itself doesnt have a tone ring, so it wont work with our Speedo/PSOM.

There is no easy/cheap way of doing it.

And 2wd vs 4x4 axles are virtually the same. My 96 2wd came with 4.10s and a Limited Slip just like my buddies 97 4x4.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thank you for this info, This is my first Ford and I just picked it up a week ago so Im learning a bit about it as I go. I went to move a trailer on a hill that had some wet clay in the area and as soon as the rear passenger tire hit the clay it would start spinning and I would be stuck. Had the same issue a month ago using a buddy's old chevy and he hit a switch to lock the rear diff and drove out with no issue. His truck is 4x4, but he has the lever the in the floor to go from 2WD to 4WD, and two different switches, one to lock the rear diff, the other locks the front. All he did was lock the rear diff to pull thru the area. But, his truck has had a lot of work done to it over the years, its a bit of a Frankenstein at this point. I've trying reading up on this a bit, but all I can find is a kit for newer 4WD Fords, it adds a way to lock the rear diff but pulling the button out. I thought maybe I could do something like this with mine.

Ill check the codes and see what type of rear end his has when I get home. If it should be a limited slip then it defiantly is not working. If thats the case then getting that repaired could help with my issues. Nothing worse then having a big nice truck and feel like you'll get stuck the first time it his a wet fart...
 

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The caption of this pic explains most types of differentials, with links:

(phone app link)


Very few trucks come from the factory with a selectable locker, so don't plan on swapping something & clapping your hands.
 

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I'd look for a Detroit locker. It stays locked and will get you out of that tight spot. It might make a little noise on some tight turns when it unlocks to allow the turn to be made without squeaking the tires, but most folks don't seem to mind. They're known to be bulletproof and will give you a full-time 2WD. Probably around a thousand bucks or so...?
 

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I'd look for a Detroit locker. It stays locked and will get you out of that tight spot. It might make a little noise on some tight turns when it unlocks to allow the turn to be made without squeaking the tires, but most folks don't seem to mind. They're known to be bulletproof and will give you a full-time 2WD. Probably around a thousand bucks or so...?
I would NEVER use a Detroit on the rear, in the rain they are just plain dangerous as they tend to run locked whenever power is applied to them, and unlock when wheels need to turn IE: through a turn or changing lanes

they have a nasty habit of suddenly locking or unlocking and makes your truck suddenly shift lanes without any warning

they are about 750.00 for the 10.25/10.5

there are the cheaper lunchbox lockers that replace the spider gears, I have no experience with these but some people have great luck with them and swear by them. 400-500

ARB: is air powered, meaning you need either a tank of nitrogen or compressor to run and air lines and power lines, that's all extra cost far MORE than what you initially spend for the locker.

Yukon Zip Locker: air powered, same like ARB

OX: Selectable Mechanical locker cable. Can choose it to be air, mechanical or electrically actuated, but the diff is mechanically held. Also has ability to lock engaged manually if you lose your air line/cable IE: snagged or ripped off from brush or something in the mud. Mechanical actuated cables for this are not cheap, nor is the hand operated shifter.


Detroit: 750.00
ARB: 1100-2000.00
OX: 1100-1600.00
Yukon: 1100-2000.00
 

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Or get a Detroit trutrac that is unlocked all the time and only locked when power is applied. I'm a big fan of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
thank you all for the input and information, I haven't had a chance to get under the truck to see if it had an LS tag on the rear, but either way it looks like I'm going between the Detroit trutrac or the Ox. The Ox seem to be exactly what I was talking about, but looks to be about $1300 + labor. Im seeing the Trutrac at summit for $660. At least now I have a direction go to. thank you
 

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thank you all for the input and information, I haven't had a chance to get under the truck to see if it had an LS tag on the rear, but either way it looks like I'm going between the Detroit trutrac or the Ox. The Ox seem to be exactly what I was talking about, but looks to be about $1300 + labor. Im seeing the Trutrac at summit for $660. At least now I have a direction go to. thank you
my bad, I forgot to mention that lol that none of those prices included the labor :doh:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I understand, I'm normally a hands on guy and try to do most stuff myself. I haven't tried rebuilding an engine or transmission yet. But with rear ends and having to setup spacing and shims, I'd rather leave it to someone with more knowledge than myself. I've changed spline and ring gears but I put all the shims and back the way it came out. Im guessing that adding something like one of these above it will need to be setup and spaced from scratch. Ill do a bit more research and go from there. Next task is rebuilding the front in, new ball joint and tie rod ends. Partsgeek has a it I'm going to try. Then new tires, and front end aliment. Then Ill be looking at the rear end. I'm kind of want to do a bit bigger tire, not sure what I can do with out a lift. Im not sure I want to go thru the trouble of lifting a 2WD truck.
 

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at least you know when to stop :p

you need a fair bit of specialized tools and understanding of whats going on, not a first time deal... a lot of mechanics wont touch them either cuz of the aura around them of just not understanding how they work
 
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