My 4wd may only be a 3wd - please educate me - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 02-20-2010, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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My 4wd may only be a 3wd - please educate me

Today I was getting a load of wood on the truck and spun out on some snow covered ice. No problem I thought. I locked in the hubs manually and put it in 4wd low range. Well, the front right wheel spun fine but the drivers side front wheel didn't do anything at all. I tried turning the wheels, feathering the brakes, rocking the truck from forward to reverse, nothing got that wheel to turn. It was on the same ice as the other 3 wheels so I don't get it. Is this due to having an open front diff or is something going on that i need to be getting fixed? I'm going to get a set of Warn hub locks sometime but I don't think that's the issue in this case. I checked both my hubs to make sure they manually lock before winter hit. I finally got out but it was a hell of a fight, it would've helped a lot if all 4 wheels would've been turning! Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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post #2 of 15 Old 02-20-2010, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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I think I found the answer. This appears to be normal operation due to having an open diff in the front.

2000 F-250 XLT PSD Auto Super Cab SB 4x4
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post #3 of 15 Old 02-20-2010, 03:35 PM
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yep you pin pointed it you want full 4wd you have to lock both ends lsd can still spin sometimes and a locker will lock it up tight

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post #4 of 15 Old 02-20-2010, 04:26 PM
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What Jethro said. It sounds like you probably have a limited skip in the rear so that HELPS keep both tires in the rear turning. The front is an open differential. If you want true 4wd it would require a locker or spool in the rear and a locker in the front. There are other downsides to a setup like that, but I won't get into it unless you want the info or are thinking about going that route. Most 4wd vehicles are set up the same as our trucks.
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post #5 of 15 Old 02-22-2010, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenF350 View Post
What Jethro said. It sounds like you probably have a limited skip in the rear so that HELPS keep both tires in the rear turning. The front is an open differential. If you want true 4wd it would require a locker or spool in the rear and a locker in the front. There are other downsides to a setup like that, but I won't get into it unless you want the info or are thinking about going that route. Most 4wd vehicles are set up the same as our trucks.
-Aaron
Hi there what are the down sides? I hate how its called 4WD but not really from the factory lol.
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post #6 of 15 Old 02-22-2010, 09:34 AM
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lol ya front axles are generally open. which SUCKS!!!!!!

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post #7 of 15 Old 02-22-2010, 09:51 AM
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Hi there what are the down sides? I hate how its called 4WD but not really from the factory lol.
Tire wear and driveability. Remember, when you go arounda corner the outside tire has to trun faster and if they are locked together it tries to go straight. Not to mention keeping it straight in the snow. (Your profile doesn't say your location.)

I'm on my phone right now, but I am almost sure you could search and find a bunch more info or I will type more later. If you are willing to spend some coin, get an ARB locker for the front and rear and be done with it. They are selectable, so you get the best of both worlds at the flip of a switch.
-Aaron

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post #8 of 15 Old 02-22-2010, 09:54 AM
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it suxs, but the factory wanted to save some money. On my old 87 gasser, I welded the spiders. Probley not the best thing in the world to do. But I never did lock it is unless I really needed it, and the grounds would allow the tires to spin. The only positve side was, if I only wanted one front to engauge, just lock that hub. Once you weld the spiders, you never can realy use 4wd on the road again, you tend to bend axles, blow out warn hub locks, distroy hubs, u-joints... the list goes on. Oh ya, and you have to cut out the gears if you ever want to change it..... or if you can somehow get those dang c clips out, then you might be able too with out cutting. I do not recomend welding, but it does work, until something breaks

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post #9 of 15 Old 02-22-2010, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by GreenF350 View Post
Tire wear and driveability. Remember, when you go arounda corner the outside tire has to trun faster and if they are locked together it tries to go straight. Not to mention keeping it straight in the snow. (Your profile doesn't say your location.)

I'm on my phone right now, but I am almost sure you could search and find a bunch more info or I will type more later. If you are willing to spend some coin, get an ARB locker for the front and rear and be done with it. They are selectable, so you get the best of both worlds at the flip of a switch.
-Aaron
Yeah no snow where I live...I know with an LSD it allows the tires to turn separate even with power on a turn..but with a mechanical locker..I thought its supposed to be open under no load driving straight or in a turn...and will only lock when traction is lost? Wouldn't that mean the tire wear won't be affected adversely? Thanks!
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-22-2010, 11:24 AM
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Sort of....an automatic locker never let's a tire turn SLOWER than the driveshaft. Therefor with no load on it, it will "unlock" and allow the outside tire to turn faster. That being said, you will be suprised how little throttle it takes to get the inside tire to "slip" enough to lock up the locker. Now, in all fairness. I haven't noticed any significant tire wear from any locked vehicle I have owned. Driveability os a bigger factor, but the length of our trucks helps negate that. My biggest concern with mine is what happens when I have 2,000+lbs of pin weight on the back. Seems like a lot of added stress to the axle and a lot bigger chance of it "pushing" you in a straight line around a corner. I am saving for the ARB's myself, but if you don't tow and are willing to modify driving habits a bit then there is nothing wrong with something like a Detroit Locker.
-Aaron

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