2008 Silverado LS want a locking differential

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by getrichschemer, Apr 7, 2013.

  1. getrichschemer

    getrichschemer New Member

    I fish, hunt etc. My truck will be paid for in 12 months, and don't want to get back under a note. Im always in soft terrain and constantly stress about getting stuck. I wish I would have bought a z71, but I didnt. Im considering compensating with a locking differential and All terrain tires.

    Whats the recommended method and hardware?
  2. MrShorty

    MrShorty Moderator

    I don't know that there is a single recommended method or hardware to add a locker after the fact.

    Cheapest, especially if you can sell your current axle for about the same as a junkyard axle, is to buy an axle with the matching gear ratio and a locker (almost certainly a factory Eaton Gov-lock G80). The main limitation here is that you will almost certainly end up with the G80, which is not everyone's favorite (especially in the 10 bolt version).

    Cheapest aftermarket option is to put in a lunchbox locker (Powertrax lockright or Detroit EZ locker or similar). These replace the "spider" gears in your open diff with a locking mechanism. They are much cheaper than full carrier lockers, and are cheaper/easier to install (using the existing carrier, one does not need to go to the effort of setting up the gears and rebuilding the differential).
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Moderator

    Im gonna recommend a little different traction method here.
    Have you ever thought of getting a winch? I think it would be more useful for what your doing.
    Not only can you get the truck unstuck but you also have a nice way to lift your game and hang it for dressing.
    The z71 package wouldnt have really helped a lot in this case I dont think. one issue Ive allways had with the g80 is it doesnt liked to stay locked and reverts back to an open axle quickly. Which is why I always use and recommend selectable lockers if your gonna add one. Yea more expensive but with the offtiad experiences ive had I believe worth the expense.
    Tire are an important part of the traction equation. But allterains arent all ways necessary. Next time you hit the trail try lowering your tire pressure to 20psi and see if that doesnt give you a fatter foot print with better traction.
    Dont forget to bring along a portable compressor to air back up or make sure you know where the closest air source is.
  4. j cat

    j cat Active Member

    having a 4wd SILVERADO I found that with just the locking rear diff , the increased traction is not all that much of a help if you should get stuck. the locking diff does however keep the vehicle better under control when traction is lost /////being stuck is another issue.

    If you keep the truck I also agree that you should get a high powered winch.

    the other solution would be get a 4wd vehicle .
  5. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member

    I'm with [MENTION=14295]tbplus10[/MENTION] on this. A lift, appropriate tires, and a locking diff all help keep you from getting stuck. But once you're actually stuck ... a winch is king. And a winch does, indeed, have plenty of other uses.
  6. steved

    steved Former Member


    My only heartburn with this idea is that you can potentially get an axle with a G80 that is completely worn out and is no better than an open differential...its a pretty big chance to take spending the $$ they ask for complete axles...
  7. ahmitchell1

    ahmitchell1 New Member

    One reason I had to get a winch on my silverado. I used the one on my dodge the most for lifting up deer and dressing them
  8. getrichschemer

    getrichschemer New Member

    Im looking at this locker.
    http://streetperformanceusa.com/i-8...nd-down.html?gclid=CKvdwL31w7YCFQv0nAodMzsAbw

    As fas as getting stuck, I got stuck in my friends yard. I just drove up and felt a little slosh. I didn't want to rut up his yard so I tried to slow pace it out, but it start slipping. I ended up with nice size rut on one tire. Had both tires been spinning, I would have crawled out. Not to mention on the boat ramp too!
  9. MrShorty

    MrShorty Moderator

    I have heard good things about the Detroit Truetrac, though I have no personaly experience. Technically, I would not call it a locker -- it is a gear type limited slip. A lot of people prefer the Truetrac over conventional "clutch type" limited slips because there are no clutches to wear out, so it should last a long time.

    Because it is a full carrier replacement unit, be prepared to pay for (or learn how to DIY, if you don't already) a full diff rebuild, including setting up the ring & pinion. If you have 2wd and have considered changing the gear ratio, now would be a good time to make that adjustment, as you will be setting up the R&P anyway. If you have 4wd and want to add the expense of regearing the front, it might also be a good time to consider regearing even if you have 4wd.
  10. getrichschemer

    getrichschemer New Member

    I'll call around and see what it cost.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just called local 4x4 custom shop. They said a detroit locker $799 and 300 for oil and labor.

    I'll buy the locker myself and save. How do I know which one to get?
  11. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Moderator

    I had the Detroit installed when I had my gears changed. I do a lot of off-roading and so far, it has treated me well. As @McShorty mentioned it is not a locker; but if you find yourself getting into a difficult situation, you can get it to "lock" or transfer power by applying the right amount of brake pressure.

    Here is a great video that illustrates how much power each wheel gets when traveling over different sufaces (near the end of the 3 minute video).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTXvH3T8Bsg
  12. getrichschemer

    getrichschemer New Member

    I have 2WD. I don't know about changing the gear ratio. I just wan't both wheels to spin when I hit the mushy stuff lol.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Think the tru-trac would satisfied my needs? Mostly driving through mushy terrain.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  13. j cat

    j cat Active Member


    2WD will not give you much more than you have now. the OEM eaton locker works very good to lock both wheels when slippage is had .I have had many times to engage my 4wd to get out of my driveway with just a small amount of snow.

    you have 1 WD really. 2wd is with the locking rear diff.
  14. stchman

    stchman New Member

    Find a wrecked Silverado/Sierra with a G80, preferably 2011 or newer and get the entire rear axle from it to put in your truck. Remember, you will need to get the gear ratio and if it's different from yours, you have to get a programmer to tell the ECU the new axle ratio.
  15. MrShorty

    MrShorty Moderator

    If it's just about "spinning both wheels" here's how I see it:
    An open diff will sometimes spin both wheels.
    A limited slip will spin both wheels more often than an open, but will still sometimes allow one wheel to spin alone
    A locker or spool will always force both wheels to spin.

    If you are unfamiliar with the different types of differentials, you might consider a little reading. There are others, I'm sure, but this is a site that I'm familiar with and could find quickly http://therangerstation.com/Magazine/Feb 06/tech.htm http://therangerstation.com/tech_library/LockerComparo.html Recognize that these guys are offroad guys and so they are biased towards lockers over limited slips, but they still describe the differences between the differential types so you can think it through.

    Will you be satisfied with a Truetrac? If you are like me, you will be perfectly satisfied with your limited slip until the day you get stuck (remember that a limited slip or locker is not a guarantee against getting stuck). I wish my crystal ball was good enough to tell you exactly how happy you will be with it, but it is hard to say based on what little we can see on an internet forum. Gut feel, you will be well served by the Truetrac and will have few occasions to curse it. How irritated will you be on those few occasions when you could use a real locker? How irritated will you be with a locker when it is chattering/ratcheting on corners? These kinds of decisions are about weighing pros and cons without any one right answer.
  16. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 New Member

    If I was buying a "locker" I would get a selectable one. ARB is one of the more popular ones. Why? When you don't want it engaged it isn't. And unless there is a malfunction will not engage so you keep your stock driving characteristics. When it is needed it is easily engaged with total lock up.
    Some things to help with traction is a bit of weight in the bed if you know you are going out into what could be sticky situation. As was mentioned lower air pressure (which the air compressor for the air locker could help remedy when you are done).
  17. j cat

    j cat Active Member

    since I have the eaton locker OEM rear diff on my SILVERADO , I have never had any chatter going thru the turns. remember it only goes into lock mode when the rotational differences are sensed. then [WHEN WORKING CORRECTLY] gradually locks into full lock.

    what most have happen is the fluid is incorrect or not replaced every 30-40,000 mi. the diff will not work correctly and engagement is not smooth.

    with the car limited slip that uses clutches like my 1996 impala SS this is the diff that does not ever disengage. this diff will chatter thru turns if throttled to much. this diff will cause one wheel to spin when stuck .

Share This Page