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Thread: nearly new Ford trac lok not working on ice?

  1. #1

    Default nearly new Ford trac lok not working on ice?

    I recently upgraded with rear axle with 9" housing ends, Moser 31 spline axles and a Ford Performance (stock) 31 spline trac lok.

    I take it drag racing a decent amount and spectators tell me it takes a second or two to get both tires spinning in the water box. No big deal.

    I was up in the mountains today and got one tire on ice/snow and one tire on pavement...not on purpose. All it would do is spin the one tire on ice? Had to get pushed out of the way. Seems ridiculous to me, it's less than a year old and it hasn't really been right since day 1.

    Did I do something wrong? Is there a way to adjust these trac loks? Thanks for any input or help!
    1984 Mercury Colony Park Wagon - gone to the darkside. 5.3 LS Turbo Swap with 4L80E. 6.62@106 in the 1/8 mile (low 10's in the 1/4), full weight, AC, no compromises! Rocky Mountain Race Week 2020 and Race Week 2.0 2020

  2. #2
    GooGooG'Joob Quincy's Avatar
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    If it's a clutch-type rear end, then that's pretty normal if one tire has excellent traction, and the other has zero, provided the vehicle is moving forward. With negligible traction on one wheel, there's often not enough force to fully engage the clutches and "lock" the axles together. If the vehicle has one wheel spinning, yet it's not moving, that would indicate a malfunction. That's why some people prefer true locking differentials. With a clutch pack or cone style, it's not really locked up. You say it was a new unit? I don't know why it would be malfunctioning, unless you cooked the clutches at the track...
    Last edited by Quincy; 02-08-2021 at 12:30 AM.

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  3. #3

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    Yep, it's a clutch type. No, it wasn't moving at all. Shoot. Wish there was a way to tighten it up. Hate to have to go out and buy another LSD or Locker...
    1984 Mercury Colony Park Wagon - gone to the darkside. 5.3 LS Turbo Swap with 4L80E. 6.62@106 in the 1/8 mile (low 10's in the 1/4), full weight, AC, no compromises! Rocky Mountain Race Week 2020 and Race Week 2.0 2020

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    GooGooG'Joob Quincy's Avatar
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    Dropping acid probably won't help, but it will put things in a different perspective....

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    GooGooG'Joob Quincy's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert at Ford units, but I don't think new clutches is a huge job. Do some googling, there are probably some tricks for tightening it up while you're in there.

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    You can upgrade to the carbon clutches also you can remove a couple of the steel plates & add 2 extra clutches to the unit.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustang Eddie View Post
    You can upgrade to the carbon clutches also you can remove a couple of the steel plates & add 2 extra clutches to the unit.
    Got it...thx! Can this be done without removing the carrier? Just swapping clutches and steels in situ or do I have to pull the unit?
    1984 Mercury Colony Park Wagon - gone to the darkside. 5.3 LS Turbo Swap with 4L80E. 6.62@106 in the 1/8 mile (low 10's in the 1/4), full weight, AC, no compromises! Rocky Mountain Race Week 2020 and Race Week 2.0 2020

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    Quote Originally Posted by drhill View Post
    Got it...thx! Can this be done without removing the carrier? Just swapping clutches and steels in situ or do I have to pull the unit?
    I've never done it that way much easier to do on the bench with no ring gear on it but I guess it's possible.

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    F150 LSD spring also helps. It's quite a bit stronger. Theory about the one in my car is that it's got the F150 spring in it but it's also an 8-clutch setup. It grabs any time I give it anything over off-idle. But being stock engine with no real power stuffs it won't spin the tires in the dry at all unless I'm going around a corner and then it just chirps one tire as it skips on the road. Some would say that's a little too tight, but I don't mind it.

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    I'd inspect it, the s-spring could have fractured and is no longer applying pressure to the clutch packs.

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    Yup nevermind, a 9" LSD is designed completely different. No s-spring to fracture, and I'm not sure if the clutch stacking trick would work for this LSD like an 8.8. There is still springs that apply pressure, but I looks like they are coil springs that are captured in a block that would go where a spring is. Doubt the are broken but I could be insufficient preload. Also are you running a friction modifier in the lube?

  12. #12
    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    Fark. I forgot it was a 9 inch too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73
    ... and it should all work like magic and unicorns and stuff.
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    Told ya everything I know when I said hello P72Ford's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like its not a 9"; its an 8.8 with 9" ends on it. Eliminates the need for c clips, and uses press on axle bearings.

    Was friction modifier used at fill?

    Low 10s is pretty sporty for a heavy car with a factory style clutch type diff. Not saying it won't work, but for steady track use I'd recommend an upgrade to a locker if you can swing it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by P72Ford View Post
    Sounds to me like its not a 9"; its an 8.8 with 9" ends on it. Eliminates the need for c clips, and uses press on axle bearings.

    Was friction modifier used at fill?

    Low 10s is pretty sporty for a heavy car with a factory style clutch type diff. Not saying it won't work, but for steady track use I'd recommend an upgrade to a locker if you can swing it.
    correct it is the stock 8.8 with 9" housing ends. Yep, friction modifier was used. No chattering and super smooth driving. Maybe too smooth!

    I'd consider saving up for a better unit vs trying to tighten this one up (carbon clutches, extra clutched F150 spring) but we use it every day and my wife wont like to locker chattering around corners. Maybe a True Trac?
    Last edited by drhill; 02-08-2021 at 03:30 PM.
    1984 Mercury Colony Park Wagon - gone to the darkside. 5.3 LS Turbo Swap with 4L80E. 6.62@106 in the 1/8 mile (low 10's in the 1/4), full weight, AC, no compromises! Rocky Mountain Race Week 2020 and Race Week 2.0 2020

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    Told ya everything I know when I said hello P72Ford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhill View Post
    correct it is the stock 8.8 with 9" housing ends. Yep, friction modifier was used. No chattering and super smooth driving. Maybe too smooth!

    I'd consider saving up for a better unit vs trying to tighten this one up (carbon clutches, extra clutched F150 spring) but we use it every day and my wife wont like to locker chattering around corners. Maybe a True Trac?
    I think the Detroit true trac is decent; nowhere near as clunky as the original DL.

    I have a 2012 Boss 302 with a factory "torsen" diff (31 spline); not sure if they are available over the counter or or not. I do know it always lays the rubber down (even with 28 13.50 15s Quicktimes) and its operation is seamless; I've never encountered any funny sounds or clunks I'm kind of embarrassed to say I don't know what mechanism it uses, but I know it works good!
    **2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302: 5.0/ 6 spd/ 3.73s, 17K Cruiser
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    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    My car did one-wheel peels on ice even with the traction lock when I got it. It does both now, but the traction lock was rebuilt with 8 clutches (vs 6) to give it extra. I don't think it got the truck spring, I seem to remember that launching into the abyss in the garage so the original one went back in.

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    Beater gonna beat sly's Avatar
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    ok... then what I posted counts. Mine does fishtails in the wet easy... in snow it's power slides everywhere. Ice... yeah... just both wheels trying to melt the ice.

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    Lost and driftin' Arquemann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P72Ford View Post
    I think the Detroit true trac is decent; nowhere near as clunky as the original DL.

    I have a 2012 Boss 302 with a factory "torsen" diff (31 spline). I'm kind of embarrassed to say I don't know what mechanism it uses, but I know it works good!
    Torsen diffs are nice, probably a bit more expensive than regular clutch type LSDs. Unlike those, torsens are full of cogs, gears and screws and don't really ever wear out. TrueTrac is somewhat similar I believe.
    That being said, torsen diffs are more for street than strip. People I know have torsen diffs in a chevelle, firebirb (stock I believe), a couple Supras and even the center diff in my previous Audi.

    Best LSD is a working LSD lol
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadget73 View Post
    My car did one-wheel peels on ice even with the traction lock when I got it. It does both now, but the traction lock was rebuilt with 8 clutches (vs 6) to give it extra. I don't think it got the truck spring, I seem to remember that launching into the abyss in the garage so the original one went back in.
    Our last F-150, I should say "Ashley's" last F-150, was factory equipped with a 3.55 trac-lok. Only factory option it had! Noticed it was worn out so we had it rebuilt by a shop. I went to do the rear brakes immediately after we got it back. Noticed I could overpower the clutches by hand, only slightly better than it was... Called shop, they said that's normal, that the trucks are loose like that. Meeeehhhh, I told him to make it tighter. Not sure WTF they did but I could no longer overpower the clutches and if we were too spirited with the throttle, it would chirp the tires when cornering, chatter I guess. What the dude said it might do. I was totally fine with that.

    Quote Originally Posted by sly View Post
    ok... then what I posted counts. Mine does fishtails in the wet easy... in snow it's power slides everywhere. Ice... yeah... just both wheels trying to melt the ice.
    So did that F-150, and does my Firebird. That was an axle I got from an '83 Pace Car, so a posi unit without cone type clutches. To test it, I put one tire over moist dirt and the other over black top. Got in and nailed it- even patches between both tires. From that I feel that so long as everything is tight, both wheels should peel in a condition like that, unless extremely overpowered?
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  20. #20
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    if you can overpower the clutches by hand, its not going to distribute power very evenly. Clutch limited slip units are never 50/50 but if you can move it by hand its probably barely better than a peg leg.

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