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Installing a Limited Slip Differential (clutch style) for a Super 8.8

TexasTruck

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Thanks to @5.0Screw22 for mentioning I may want to consider a LSD. I guess I thought the built in traction control would be enough...

My 4x4 truck has a Super 8 (8.8/3.31) rear differential. It does have an e-locker and of course traction control. As we know, our traction control is basically a "software LSD" where it uses the brakes to slow the spinning wheel to direct power to the other wheel. I can't use a fancy, dancy Torsen in my differential, so I've been researching a traditional LSD.

I like to do things myself, as much as possible, to learn. I've been around long enough that my faith in mechanics is almost gone. Not that I would do this job myself per-say, but I do want to be some what educated in the process.

I found this video informative. I've watch a lot of how-to videos. Many of them take too many short cuts or assume you know how to get from A to B. I have to say this one is pretty dang complete.

Any way, I hope this helps you guys contemplating the same task…

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5.0Screw22

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This is on my list. Once I get this parts and do the install, I'll share my findings. Anyone who has done this to a 21+, please share your experience. Some people with the 2015-20 trucks shaved the C clips and others modified the side gears to install the M-4204-M Traction Lock differential.
 

Iconic22F150

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Depending on where your at in TX there’s a real good axel shop in San Antonio if you decide not to do it yourself. I have a Ford 9” there now getting a complete overhaul and TruTrac LS. Hopefully I’ll be having them put in a Torsen LS in the front diff of the F150 before the end of the year.
 

5.0Screw22

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Depending on where your at in TX there’s a real good axel shop in San Antonio if you decide not to do it yourself. I have a Ford 9” there now getting a complete overhaul and TruTrac LS. Hopefully I’ll be having them put in a Torsen LS in the front diff of the F150 before the end of the year.
What do you have the in the rear of your F150?
 

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I'm confused, your going to ditch the factory E-locker for a limited slip? Why would you want to do that? When the locker is engaged, both rear tires are locked. Way better then a LSD. What am I missing?
 

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5.0Screw22

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I believe the E-locker disables after 25 mph. A traction lock LSD is an "always on" differential. This is for a high performance application. A Torsen or TrueTrac would be better, but they are not made for the Super 8.8" rears in F150s.
 

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There is a Torsen available for the front differential. It is used in the Raptors. I think it is also an option in the Tremor?
 
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amschind

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It sounds like he has an 8.8" rear open differential and wants something with better traction. I will add this one snippet: A clutch pack LS differential depends upon clutches which have to slide against one another every time you turn the truck. The clutch packs are wear items and will wear out. You must pull the differential out of the truck to replace the clutch packs; if you leave worn clutch packs in, you have an open differential which you must pay ALL of the labor cost of the original install to restore to full function.

A large part of the popularity of E-Lockers and Torsens is that they are simple and robust mechanical devices which don't have (planned) wear components. An automatic transmission will wear out eventually, but the expected maintenance is replacing the transmission fluid and filter vs a manual in which planned maintenance involves removing the transmission from the engine and replacing clutch packs. I think that's a good analogue for Torsen/E-locker vs clutch pack LSDs.
 

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It sounds like he has an 8.8" rear open differential and wants something with better traction. I will add this one snippet: A clutch pack LS differential depends upon clutches which have to slide against one another every time you turn the truck. The clutch packs are wear items and will wear out. You must pull the differential out of the truck to replace the clutch packs; if you leave worn clutch packs in, you have an open differential which you must pay ALL of the labor cost of the original install to restore to full function.

A large part of the popularity of E-Lockers and Torsens is that they are simple and robust mechanical devices which don't have (planned) wear components. An automatic transmission will wear out eventually, but the expected maintenance is replacing the transmission fluid and filter vs a manual in which planned maintenance involves removing the transmission from the engine and replacing clutch packs. I think that's a good analogue for Torsen/E-locker vs clutch pack LSDs.
It's rare to wear out a LSD clutch assembly under normal usage. They don't start fully engaging until the spider gears try to spread apart when there's differential torque applied to the wheels. Typically works great for burnouts. Not quite sure if there's going to be anything but marginal difference when there's an active tractive system.

I know the active system in the MME w/ open diffs is damn fine engineering. Its torque vectoring which is handled entirely by the brakes is amazing. I don't throw the F150 around like I do the MME despite being a 5klb vehicle.
 

JExpedition07

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I’m presuming you are supercharging a 5.0 if the factory rear axle setups aren’t robust enough for your traction needs. If that is not your intent, the factory E-locker on the 3.31 axle will stay engaged at any speed (no limit) If you put it into deep snow/sand or mud/ruts mode on the drive mode selector for when you need it to stay engaged otherwise.
 

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Back in the olden days, Ford equipped their HDPP trucks with mechanical LSD. My 2014 XLT 301A steel Bodied, HDPP truck came with heavy duty everything and the mechanical LSD rear end.
 

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I'm confused, your going to ditch the factory E-locker for a limited slip? Why would you want to do that? When the locker is engaged, both rear tires are locked. Way better then a LSD. What am I missing?
Unless you're going to do serious off-roading where you expect to lift one rear wheel often (like rock climbing), a limited slip probably makes more sense.

Outside of that specific use case, I can't imagine a scenario where a locker is going to make a significant difference when all 4 tires are in contact with the ground and you're in 4wd with a rear LSD.
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