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Old 01-23-2014, 08:20 PM   #15
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A little farther South than you but we're also making the switch from a 1500 gas to 2500 diesel. Both 2WD. We haven't been into grassy places but understand your concerns about sliding. 4WDs are selling better than 2WD but in ten years of using the 1500, we haven't been to areas where we needed 4WD. Don't know anything about locker kits as we have stayed with stock. With the GMC I'm guessing there are lots of mods available for performance and economy. Have fun with the A/S and truck. I believe you made a good decision based on the experience you described.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:23 PM   #16
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Are you sure it doesn't already have an Eaton locker in it. Look on the SPID label for option code G80.
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Old 01-23-2014, 08:52 PM   #17
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I would give a serious look at the Ford F150 EchoBoost. I have a 4WD and am getting 18+ highway while not towing and about 11.5 to 12.5 while towing. Around town 15 or so. Most sophisticated vehicle I have ever owned. New for 2015 the panels will be made of Aluminum and will save over 700lbs in weight. Worth a look see.
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Old 01-24-2014, 05:19 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Are you sure it doesn't already have an Eaton locker in it. Look on the SPID label for option code G80.
Yes, look on the label in the glove box for G80 in the list.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:17 AM   #19
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one was quoting about $700 for labor which seems high. For that price he would completely rebuild differential, install new bearings and the locker kit. Its a well respected shop, just wonder if I need full service on a truck that only has 38000 miles on it.
I do not remember the cost breakout but had a Ford Racing locker put in my F150 for just a bit over $900 total. It did not include new bearings.

At 38,000 mile on a 3/4 ton, those bearings can be considered hardly broken in. The shop may want to do that to avoid call backs, or perhaps your differential design needs to have the bearings pulled in order to install the locker. If it is the latter case, I'd go with new bearings - top quality only.
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:10 AM   #20
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I definitely don't have the G80, I have checked the label, crawled under the truck and even had dealer confirm on their computer. What I have now is essentially one wheel drive.

Regarding the ecoboost, it seems nice, but I am already beating those values. I have been getting 19-20 unloaded on highway and around 13.5 or so towing. I also like the large full size bed.

I think with the locking rear end and some new Michelin LTX A/T tires I should be fine. (My current Michelin LTX tires are fairly worn- it looks like previous owner did not rotate that much). I am also going to mount a hidden winch behind grill cutout (under front bumper) so I can self extract if ever needed. I have not had traction issues towing, just when empty with no load on back wheels.

(Wayward) thanks for the tip. I think he wanted to do full process to make sure bearings were perfect from a warranty standpoint. He also said they would do full gear shim, backlash and mesh procedure so it sounds like they are pretty thorough. I am not sure of bearings have to come out to install it. It may just be worth it to spend a few extra hundred bucks to make sure it is done perfectly. I believe the parts amounted to around 700 and about 650-700 in labor. I have read in online forums that if the gears do not mesh perfectly it can cause them to wear out in 20,000 miles.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:37 AM   #21
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Tire type (M+S vs highway) and weight in the bed can make all the difference in traction... we generally add sand or cast metal weights to the box on 2-wd trucks when the snows begin to fly around here.

Of course - as was already mentioned - sell them both and get what you want!
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:41 AM   #22
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Tire type (M+S vs highway) and weight in the bed can make all the difference in traction... we generally add sand or cast metal weights to the box on 2-wd trucks when the snows begin to fly around here.
Sand is best as ballast when dealing with snow/ice. With a shovel in the pickup bed as well. That way, if you do get stuck, you can shovel out some sand in front of the wheels to provide traction.
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:42 PM   #23
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I think with the locking rear end and some new Michelin LTX A/T tires I should be fine. (My current Michelin LTX tires are fairly worn- it looks like previous owner did not rotate that much). I am also going to mount a hidden winch behind grill cutout (under front bumper) so I can self extract if ever needed. I have not had traction issues towing, just when empty with no load on back wheels.
I agree with your decision. No need to buy 4wd when your 2wd with a rear locker will do the job. I think that a front winch may be overkill, but that is a personal decision.

I bought a 2wd 2008 Tundra. It has electronic limited slip, but I have found that it is worthless. I would buy it again because I saved $3,000, repair costs (?), gained maybe 1 mpg fuel economy and some payload. A rear locking differential does not seem to be available. My only option appears to be a set of rear chains. I bought from Amazon for $200 (Thule- made in Sweden. Easy on and easy off). I have not needed them yet, but when I do get stuck (and I am sure that I will), I will put my chains on and should be on my way.

Dan
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:13 PM   #24
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I like the chain idea also. We lived in Alaska for five years and I used them a few times. They made a lot bigger difference than the 4wd did.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:16 PM   #25
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Figure 12.7 to 14 mpg with the Duramax, our trailer is about 9800 lbs. Three different Duramax equipped trucks gave similar mileage as an average over 40-50k towing miles. I don't think a couple of thousand pounds either way would make much difference in the mileage. Have a ball!
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:32 PM   #26
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when i bought my dodge diesel, i went two wheel with a the limited slip diff.
i figure that the better mileage with a two wheel drive and the difference in price between 4 wd and 2 wd would pay for a lot of towing.

two tows to date in ten years and they were free
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:12 PM   #27
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I had the Detroit mechanical locker installed a few weeks ago, the day before the Atlanta ice storm. I had to drive back from work 30 miles the following night when roads were still a bit icy in places. It performed much better, even with the tires that are worn. I also went online and bought some tire chains as cheap insurance. The engagement is a bit harsher than a limited slip differential, but that is just the way they operate, and they are supposed to be very durable differentials. No clutch pack to wear out like a LSD.

My darling spouse gave me a hard time about the chains telling me I would never use them, but we are forecast to have a big ice storm again 24 hours from now, so glad I have them if ever needed. The good thing is I don't have to work that day!
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Old 02-11-2014, 10:42 AM   #28
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I also went online and bought some tire chains as cheap insurance.

My darling spouse gave me a hard time about the chains telling me I would never use them, but we are forecast to have a big ice storm again 24 hours from now, so glad I have them if ever needed.
That is a good way to look at chains. They really are an insurance policy; the nice thing is that you only pay for them once. Doubt that you will ever wear them out.

Dan
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