View Full Version : weld the front?

12-06-2008, 12:26 PM
im back with another stupid question:o

Would there be any downside at all to welding the front diff on my '82?
Im still a bit undecided on what I want to do with the rear but I think welding the front would be the cheapest and easiest way to go.:confused0006:

dirka dave
12-06-2008, 02:44 PM
First there is no such thing as a stupid question. [16]

What you need to ask yourself is....what is this rig going to be used for, how many times do I want to replace my birfield joints, and how many times do I want to jump in and out of the cab to unlock one side so I can turn.

A welded front diff is great when you are lined up for a straight shot through the mud, snow or up a rock face, but when you want to turn, forget it, especially if you are locked in the rear.

If you can afford it a selectable front locker is the way to go, otherwise you might want to consider a "TWIN STICK" which allows you to run in low 2 in the rear with the fronts locked.

If given the choice, weld up the rear and leave the front open until you can afford something like an ARB or an E-locker.

I have a Detroit in the rear and an ARB air locker in the front of my 82', works great !!

Hope this helps.

12-06-2008, 02:56 PM
I personally prefer how the detroit feels up front then a selectable (which is just like a welded when locked) like dirka said if it were a mud bug or when you need all the traction you can get it would work fairly well but for the majority of the wheeling it would be more trouble then it was worth for the average person.

12-06-2008, 03:05 PM
im welded front and back. i dont have any problems. the only time i get out and unlock a hub is if im gonna be driving on gravel road for a long time. I've never had to unlock one hub on a trail to turn. You only break birfields if your stupid. I have broken 4. each time i knew before hand there was a very good chance that one could break. My front tires hitting the leaf springs causes more problems turning then the welded diff.

12-06-2008, 07:27 PM
You only break birfields if your stupid. I have broken 4.


12-06-2008, 07:52 PM
im welded front and rear with 38.5" superswampers, aired down on pavement i can turn just fine. but i have hydroassist :)

12-06-2008, 08:46 PM
yup im welded front and rear,see no problems[cheers]

12-06-2008, 09:29 PM
My bet is you will not like the welded front, steering sucks big time... ideally a selectable is what you want...
Try to get a run in a truck with a selectable before you commit is my humble opinion

12-07-2008, 08:41 PM
My bet is you will not like the welded front, steering sucks big time... ideally a selectable is what you want...
Try to get a run in a truck with a selectable before you commit is my humble opinion
if the hubs are not locked in, the truck will steer like normal on pavement.
its only once you lock the hubs in will it be tougher to steer,but who cares.
i have an ARB front locker and detroit rear ,but if i were doing a budget build id weld front and rear and be done with it..

12-08-2008, 11:05 AM
Peoples opinions are always very interesting. Ive taken a few peoples welded fronts out as they had continuous issues. You talk to the guys that weld them, and they all say "no problems ever". Talk to a guy that has the money, and run selectable lockers, but once had them welded, and you'll hear different. Ive seen many tight trails and the Toy with the welded front cant turn the corners tight enough, and is a real headache. You have to realize the stress you will be putting components under, that were never designed to accommodate thus situations. In conjunction with the stress of the locked front, you need to think about scrub radius. I do not know your truck, but most guys run an offset rim, in order to run a larger wider tire, and some even like me, run a wheel spacer to widen the track. upon a stationary turn, the knuckle is under emence stress especially with your foot on the brake. your not turning on the axis, but rather pushing the tire forward. Well you think, "I only run it in 4wd off road", so this shouldn't matter, regardless of where you are, hard dry rocks, low tire pressure, positive traction all around, now you need to steer, your poor scrub radius combined with a front that wont differentiate, and stuff starts to break. some guys like building trucks on the trail, and some like a smooth day out. Hey, say your coming down a snowy icy hill, or up, or a snowy day that you need to drive on the road, good luck steering down the highway, it gets pretty scary. And embarrassing that a big 4x4 goes into the ditch. There is something to be said about having choice at your finger tips. Id keep it open till you have the money, and or put the money into a winch unless you already have one. Saved my ass more than once, and more than a locked front would have.

dirka dave
12-08-2008, 12:34 PM
Well said.[stupid]

12-08-2008, 04:13 PM
So your open-open now? If money is an issue well then an Aussie Locker in the rear is cheap. About $300 including shipping and exchange and then beg someone to help you install it, I never did one before and have no mechanical background and I've done two now....one 8" and one IFS diff....not too hard.
There is an awesome instructional site on the net. "Zuke Guy" or Zuki Guy or something like that. I does help to have an extra 3rd to install your locker in, that way you don't feel rushed to get your truck rolling again.

The road characteristics of an aussie in the rear is not bad, it takes a day to get used to. I now have a Detroit "softlocker " in the rear and you rarely know its there .

hope this helps,


12-08-2008, 04:28 PM
welded front ends suck on fullsizes...

12-08-2008, 04:40 PM
ok well, my truck is an '82 toy 4x4, 100% stock right now.
I plan on using my truck as a daily driver, as well as some light trail blazing. Im probably going to go with about a 4" suspension lift with either a 32x11.50 or 33x10.50 tire.
Im thinking about putting an ARB in the rear so that way Ill be able to run an open rear end when Im on the road (will probably be about 70-80% of the time)
I was just thinking of having a welded front because I have manual locking hubs so I could just leave the passenger hub locked for most off-roading, then get out and lock the driver side hub when things get a bit serious.:confused0006:


12-08-2008, 04:48 PM
Get a spare third for the front, weld it up and see how you like it. :dontknow: Just use it when you figure you need it. With the ARB in the rear you aren't probably going to need the front that much anyway for "light trail blazing." Or just leave it, my fronts open on my FJ and it works good off road.

12-08-2008, 05:52 PM
Use Bubble gum !!!!!! On the front and crazy glue on the back !!!!