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Old 02-24-2009, 08:33 AM   #1
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Limited slip axle - must have?

It's not the cost ($300), but the constraint. The choices are these:

1) 3.15 Non-limited slip axle ratio
2) 3.55 Non-limited slip axle ratio
3) 3.55 Limited slip axle ratio
4) 3.73 Limited slip axle ratio

I know that higher ratios tow more weight, and lower ratios get better fuel economy and are somewhat quieter to drive in non-towing situations (lower RPMS).

Seems like 3.55 is the way to go, rated for 9700 lbs, in case I want to pull some bigger Airstream some day, without being overkill. It's also the most common and available.

Is there a down side to having limited slip?

If I buy a new truck with non-limited slip, will I regret it? Is limited slip a must have?

-CB-
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:41 AM   #2
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2wd or 4wd

Limited slip highly recommended esp. for 2wd. Remember non-limited is really "one wheel" drive.

3:73 probably the best "all around" axle ratio.

Need more info for detailed opinions.

IMHO, I prefer having a TV with 4wd, it's been a fanny saver many times for us.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:51 AM   #3
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CB, living in Atlanta you may think you don't need 4WD, after all that's for people like Bob Cross who live in perpetual winter, but when you're trying to get up a muddy hill in a rainstorm in a campground, you'll be real glad to have 4WD. If you want to tow a large, heavy trailer during the life of the tow vehicle, best to go with 3.73 axle ratio. Some people go with lower numbers because the tow vehicle is a daily driver and they want better gas mileage, but when they are towing they may be testing the tow vehicle and wearing out very expensive components prematurely.

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:53 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbgenrich View Post
4) 3.73 Limited slip axle ratio


Seems like 3.55 is the way to go, rated for 9700 lbs, in case I want to pull some bigger Airstream some day, without being overkill. It's also the most common and available.

Is there a down side to having limited slip?

If I buy a new truck with non-limited slip, will I regret it? Is limited slip a must have?

-CB-
There is a downside. Right around 35,000 miles mine failed. I got stuck in the mud in two wheel drive with the trailer attached. I swritched to four and got out.
I had to have the entire clutch pack assembly replaced under warrenty. I am not wusr how it failed but they said the plates were burned up. The only way this can happen is if the pack was too tight when going around corners. THe replaced the pack and things are working better.
Get the limited slip but test it regularly for tightness or failure.
They did away with it on the Fords 08/09 and finally added 4 wheel traction control.
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:09 AM   #5
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It depends on the truck. A limited slip is always a good idea. The new five and six speed trannys have all but eliminated the 4.xx series of rear ends. The lowest rear-end ratio available in a Titan now is a 3.35 in the "Big Tow" version and the tallest is a 2.94 or something close to that... and the Big Tow is rated at 9500 lbs. Now, that's just nuts... but for a 7500 lb trailer it'll do fine.

Toyota, OTOH still offers a 4.30 rear end in the Tundra... and they're rated at 10k lbs towing, a more reasonable approach IMHO.

I'd get a locker if it's available and you're buying new; if not at least the limited slip is valuable in either 2WD or 4WD. There have been a number of times when I've used 4WD just to get the rig moving on wet grass so I didn't tear tire marks into the campsite.

I haven't really kept up on the domestics.

Roger
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Old 02-24-2009, 09:15 AM   #6
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Great topic. This week I'm switching out my 4.10 rear axle to 3.55. It will be nice to keep up with traffic and bring the RPM down and if i hit a hill i can always pop it out of overdrive. Fuel mileage will come up too! No limited slip though.. just a set of duals on each side. Should be ok for what i need.

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Old 02-24-2009, 10:00 AM   #7
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Remember that the final drive ratio is what is important. A 4.30 differential with a 6 speed transmission should produce cruising rpms around 2000 or less in 6th gear-which usually produces fairly good fuel economy. The same setup will let you move almost anything in 1st gear. I prefer the limited slip and 4wd.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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Michelle's post suggests something I hadn't thought about—doesn't traction control replace limited slip differentials? I think traction control (which is computer controlled) is far more sophisticated than limited slip.

Seeleylaker is correct about 4.30 axle ratio combined with 6th gear running around 2,000 or less rpm, but I'm not sure when towing if my Tundra ever goes to 6th unless I'm rolling downhill. The Tundra transmission has 5th and 6th as overdrives. I can't keep track of which gear it's in because I lose count when it's going through them—I can't make it through more than 4 gears. I have to watch the tach to know when it shifts because it shifts so smoothly I can't feel it. I have to look at the road sometimes.

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Old 02-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #9
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I'm not concerned about RPMs, fuel economy, or engine noise when towing. That is what it is. However, I hate to give up fuel economy or quiet all those non-towing miles, just so I can have a vehicle that *can* tow when needed. I'm looking for the right balance - not too little, not overkill. The comments here are helping me understand that.

-CB-
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:18 PM   #10
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I wouldn't buy a truck without the limited slip. Just make sure when you have the differential oil changed that they put the additive in with the new oil. If they don't don't you will hear all kinds of chattering from the clutch plates when you go around a curve.
I would also skip the traction control. My brother has a Mercedes suv with "traction control". He was stuck in a turn lane on top of the packed snow. The thing wouldn't go anywhere until he figured out how to turn the darn traction control off. Just learn how to drive the vehicle and you won't have to have a computer compensate for your heavy foot.
I would opt for the 3.73 if you think your going with a bigger trailer. As others have stated this is a good all around gear ratio. Hopefully the transmission you select will have some good over drive gears for the highway.
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:30 PM   #11
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Traction control is not the same... it will apply brake or reduce power to the slipping wheel.... if that one wheel does not have traction, you won't go anywhere... traction control or not.

I put a limited slip on my 1 ton 2wd van... it's made a world of difference... I can even notice it in the rain. In the snow, it adds stability to the van as well. With chains, I'm almost unstoppable.... just don't ask me to stop!
Marc
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:36 PM   #12
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I suspect you would be very disappointed if you don't get the 3:73 with this truck...

Bill
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Old 02-24-2009, 12:39 PM   #13
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I have had both limited slip and non-limited slip. I doubt I would ever buy another non-limited slip, particularly if it was 2wd. I have 4x4 now and also have limited slip. I would also get 3.73s if possible and is an option. Much easier on the tranny in all situations...of course now I have 4.10s.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:19 PM   #14
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Regarding 4x4, I'm sure plenty has been said here and elsewhere about that matter. Still...

If you have it on your truck, that means you have the option to use it when you want to, even if you never exercise the option. If you don't, then you don't have that option. Always better to have options, but there's a price you pay for the option.

Reasons *not* to get 4x4 (I lean towards 4x2 but postings here have me thinking):

1) Degraded fuel economy (even if only because of the extra weight)
2) Initial cost higher
3) Tow & payload limits reduced (due to extra weight)
4) More maintenance issues
5) Vehicle higher off the ground

If not for these, everybody would always get 4x4? Did I miss any reasons why you wouldn't want 4x4?

-CB-
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