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DisgruntleD
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3,822 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There have been various threads about rear lockers, limited slips, etc. Many of them often include references to how the poster has heard that lockers are bad or dangerous in the snow. Could someone please explain why they think this to me???:insane:

I have a locker, I live in the snow belt, I drive in snow all winter long, plowed or unplowed roads, in fact last weekend I was driving through roughly 15 inches of the stuff. None of that makes me a badass or an expert, just gives me experience. I fail to see how locker's are dangerous or bad in the snow. I'm not ridiculing anyone or trying to assail anyone's opinions, I just want some justifications for why lockers are bad or dangerous in the snow.

Maybe this can bring some clarity for those who have questions about whether a locker is right for them, and maybe we can get some firsthand opinions from those with various rearend setups who drive in snow.

My experience, locker good, limited slip ok, open bad. None dangerous.

That is all. :endofshow
 

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Bayou Surface Drive, LLC
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7,077 Posts
its idots who lockers arent for, people who panic and mash the brake or throttle too frequently. those are the ones who say things like my shit fishtails in snow when i mash on it, well no shit ti will you are locked, its a characteristic of a locker
 

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GMFS slowest truck :read:
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5,501 Posts
open diffs have one tire that spins, one tire "tracks"...so no fish tailing. you get both tires spinning, the rear wants to get around on you a whole lot quicker.
 

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DisgruntleD
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3,822 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
open diffs have one tire that spins, one tire "tracks"...so no fish tailing. you get both tires spinning, the rear wants to get around on you a whole lot quicker.
If one tire is spinning in an open diff, the vehicle is not moving, all the power is going to the tire with no traction, so you're right, there's no fishtailing, or any other type of movement.

I understand that your rearend gets around quicker with a locker, easy solution, use less pressure on the pedal under your right foot.

I'd like to reiterate that I have had a daily driver with an open differential for 3 winters, a limited slip for 1 winter, and a locker for 2 winters, I know how they all drive and what they can and can't do.

I'm going with Maxxis85 on this one, the locker itself is not dangerous, its the driver. Cause and effect. The effect is the rearend sliding around, the cause is too much power applied.
 

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submarine z71
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1,312 Posts
how bout open rear and locked front?
any problems there in the snow....besides the fact u have to have a SFA
 

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GMFS slowest truck :read:
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5,501 Posts
how bout open rear and locked front?
any problems there in the snow....besides the fact u have to have a SFA
yeah, theres this little thing that some of us refer to as "Steering". its really nice to have on and off road.
If one tire is spinning in an open diff, the vehicle is not moving, all the power is going to the tire with no traction, so you're right, there's no fishtailing, or any other type of movement.

I'm going with Maxxis85 on this one, the locker itself is not dangerous, its the driver.
Not always 100% true, but it doesn't make for quick movement. From what ive heard (and it makes sense, similar to mud in a way), you dig through the layer of slush and shit and get to asphalt and gain traction there.

and yeah, not everyone is a good candidate for a locker. An open diff is a lot safer for the unknowing.
 

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submarine z71
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1,312 Posts
u can steer with a front locker easy cant u?
 

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DisgruntleD
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3,822 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Not always 100% true, but it doesn't make for quick movement. From what ive heard (and it makes sense, similar to mud in a way), you dig through the layer of slush and shit and get to asphalt and gain traction there.

and yeah, not everyone is a good candidate for a locker. An open diff is a lot safer for the unknowing.
I will agree with you, you can move yes, but not quickly. And yes you can dig through the layer of slush and shit and get o the asphalt sometimes, most of the time you can't, and that's assuming there isn't ice involved or that there actually is asphalt underneath.

The digging through the snow and slush concept works great on paper, doesn't work worth a shit in the great outdoors. :pow:

You haven't driven in much snow have you? You've just heard about it?
 

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DisgruntleD
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3,822 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
u can steer with a front locker easy cant u?
When you have traction; yes. I wouldn't recommend a locker in the front for any type of snowy conditions unless its selectable.

Ever got a front wheel drive car to spin both front tires and tried to steer? Same concept as a front locker on snowy or icy roads. While I would love to have a selectable for the unplowed roads and trails, a fully locked would be no good. :nono:
 

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Mike D
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53 Posts
i have a the stock locker in my HD and i gotta say its awesome in the snow, partly because the truck weighs 7000 lbs but i really like how if i give it a little throttle to lock it up it pushes with both wheels instead of just sitting there and spinning one tire. i see how it could be dangerous for idiots that dont know how to drive in the snow but ive had open diffs in cars, lsd's in trucks and this ones the best yet in 2wd and snow. heck, i hardly use 4wd on the street unless i want to really get up and go on a slushy or snowcovered road and wouldnt really ever need 4wd unless it was real deep snow.
 

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Registered
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156 Posts
Experience stems from Canadian winters in Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Quebec. (two Ford Broncos with mechanical lockers front and rear, one Suburban with mechanical locker rear and soon a Suburban with selectable lockers front and rear)

For all around snow/slush driving, I find a locker to be a great asset. I find that I am not typically able to turn as tightly with 4X4 and locked, but at least I'm moving.

In the slush tracks where one side is often in a heap of slush and the other side is in snow or minimal traction loss, a locker will keep you going straight ahead as opposed to the sideways grabbing effect of the slush mounds without a locker.

I have never had a problem or incident where I felt the locker got me into trouble. They have always been a benefit.

My vote: lockers good, LS that I have owned limited benefit

Just my opinion.
 

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Suburbanite
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592 Posts
Experience stems from Canadian winters in Prince Edward Island, Ontario and Quebec. (two Ford Broncos with mechanical lockers front and rear, one Suburban with mechanical locker rear and soon a Suburban with selectable lockers front and rear)

For all around snow/slush driving, I find a locker to be a great asset. I find that I am not typically able to turn as tightly with 4X4 and locked, but at least I'm moving.

In the slush tracks where one side is often in a heap of slush and the other side is in snow or minimal traction loss, a locker will keep you going straight ahead as opposed to the sideways grabbing effect of the slush mounds without a locker.

I have never had a problem or incident where I felt the locker got me into trouble. They have always been a benefit.

My vote: lockers good, LS that I have owned limited benefit

Just my opinion.

Yep, Same thing about Canadian winters except I'm out West where the snow is slushy and slippery and just plain ugly to drive around in and then it freezes.
I have a selectable locker in both my diffs and I find they work awesome if you are climbing up a snow covered or slippery surface. They aren't as effective if you are going around a corner or you are on a side hill, however because they are selectable I can dissengage them in these situations if I want, and carry on as if I'm normal. The pluses to a selectable is that once they are locked they stay locked until you disconnect them unlike mechanical or LSD which can dissengage or engage without warning depending on your driving surface or gas pedal pressure.

Like gtjdvm, I have never had a problem or incident with mine where I felt the locker got me into trouble and they have always been a real benefit and never a detriment.:imo
 

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Architecture owns me
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2,351 Posts
I don't really know if a g80 is a good example, but I know when it sends power to both wheels and when it doesn't and it really hasn't affected my driving at all. I used to hear how everyone said it would be horrible, but I think it's better than single wheel drive. You can still make it fish tail with single wheel too.
 

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Chevy Owner
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1,363 Posts
All I gotta say is My old S10 and my old S10 Blazer both had open diffs in them and they did ok in the snow...but the LSD thats in my truck now has been nice and has handled great in the winter. Just like others are saying, if your an idiot and have a heavy foot then an LSD or Locker would really suck in the winter. But, if your smart, and know how to drive in the winter, an LSD or Locker does just fine...just depends who's behind the wheel :imo
 

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UH6TDRVR
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148 Posts
if you got stuck, would you want less or more traction? If you say more, you want a locker not a limted slip. the locker will be more predictable.......like stated buy about everyone, its the driver that makes the driving dangerous.......guns dont kill people, the idiots holding them do, lock it, give'er hell and watch the twin rooster tails fly!
 

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Registered
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I think it stems from people jumping on the bandwagon. Whatever is written on a forum people take for gospel and make it thier own opinion.
In snow there would be no disadvantage whatsoever, on the ice however would be another story. Granted I'd rather have a locker on ice but its just the people who can't drive who shouldn't have one but a lsd is just has dangerous.
 

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Mile High
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3,080 Posts
My gov-loc worked awesome this winter, especially with chains
Blizzardof0617.gif

This is funny because we had this discussion at work the other day and proceeded to drive various trucks in untouched snow when it was dumping. Obviously the setup of the truck has alot to do but my buddy's short arm 4" wrangler unlimited with 4.88's and ox lockers front and rear seemed to fair the best followed by a limited slip front/spooled rear '85 yota and an open front/detroit rear '05 f350 on 38.5 xterrains. I vote for locked but you can't be a retard while driving otherwise you are a safety concern for all :imo
 

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Registered
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2,806 Posts
I live in Winnipeg, Canada and we get our fare amount of snow and very cold temps that make driving very dangerous and if you dont drive like an idiot it is not all that bad but my summer car has ET Streets and a spool so try driving that in the rain. lol

It is ALOT of fun fish tailing around but you really have to know your truck before you start doing stuff like that.
 

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Left Jizz
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1,225 Posts
Living with snow I would have to say it's a driver thing.

The only person I've seen get in trouble with a locker is when one of my buddies with a spooled 44 front and locked 8.8 rear ran into the side of a van, but the van ran a stopsign so it wasn't my buddies fault. If he wasn't spooled he might have been able to steer, but he didn't have anywhere to go anyways (2 lane street with cars parked on both sides, basically making it one narrow lane).

If you know you need a locker, you're going to most likely be fine, but just don't let your girl with a front wheel drive car get in and try the nascar driving style on a foot of snow and ice!


To clairfy because of the post below me, I know that women in general aren't bad drivers, and I respect the ones who are good drivers. The ones that scare me are the ones that have never driven anything but a front wheel drive car and therefore don't know the characteristics of a rear or four wheel drive truck, much less one with a locker.
 
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