Should I weld front differential gears? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:25 PM
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Should I weld front differential gears?

I have a 1999 f350 4x4 Crew Cab Long bed, right now it has, I'm assuming, a factory open differential in the front, I just bought it a couple weeks ago. I was originally looking for a mini-spool to put in the front but couldn't find one that I knew would fit. I heard that welding the spider gears in the differential accomplishes the same thing and is obviously much cheaper. Only time I would use the 4x4 would be if I was on the beach or pulling a trailer out of the mud, trailer sizes would very from a few thousand pound bumper pull to 20k or more gooseneck.

So my basic questions are:
What dangers or downsides are there to welding the gears?
How difficult is it? and
Would welding the gears weaken them, since they are heat treated, so much that they would break very easily and then just end up costing me more in the long run?
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:32 PM
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You'd NEVER be able to drive on drive pavement again....

I've actually done this a couple of times. But, I have No Idea how it works for the Long-Term, in each case it was for Demo Derbys

Worked Great though!
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:38 PM
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I forgot to mention that I have manually locking hubs. As long as I have them unlocked shouldn't I be fine on pavement?
Did you have any problems with the differentials becoming brittle after welding them?
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:41 PM
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in that case you can lock just one and itd be similar to an open diff which is much better for the snow
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:44 PM
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I live in deep south Texas, no snow here. And if there happens to be as much as an inch of it they shut down all the roads.
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:55 PM
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Why would you weld the front end of a Dailey driver?
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Old 11-12-2013, 03:59 PM
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1 reason is I live close to the beach so I would take it out there a few times a year
2 and the more important one is that I have almost gotten stuck trying to move trailers that are sitting in mud.
I figure that if there isn't much down side and since it is cheap, I might as well weld it to make sure that when I need it I will never get stuck.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vannnce View Post
in that case you can lock just one and itd be similar to an open diff which is much better for the snow
it would always pull in the direction of the side you locked the hub in while the other side would freewheel not sure I would like that ?

We call this a "Lincoln locker" named after the Lincoln welder company

I don't think I would try it

Last edited by ZMANN; 11-12-2013 at 04:07 PM.
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:03 PM
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Ok stay with me on this, a welded rear end is NOTHING, when you weld your front end you will never turn easily again, pull into a spot and you will rip thru a set of tires every week not to mention you will prolly get about 6 mpg!

I have wheeled the chit out of my truck turning 325/75/16, I have buried my truck to the bottom of the rockers and still crawled out, no way will it be anything but a pain in the assss


Just my .02
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Old 11-12-2013, 04:06 PM
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I welded the front end of my 97 when i was pulling with it. Really was a waste of effort IMO and made it much more of a pain to drive around. Steering with the hubs locked was almost impossible. IMO a limited slip diff would be a MUCH better idea unless you have a designated mud or pull truck with full hydraulic steering.
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