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Eaton G80 Limited Slip Differential - should I upgrade when 4:56 gears installed?

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by mfleetwood, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    I want to get some opinions on the scenario below:

    I will be having 4:56 gears installed soon and the person/shop who I am thinking of having it done through also recommends changing out my G80 limited slip differential to a higher quality limited slip. He said because he is already doing the work on the gears, he would not charge me any additional labor. The differential he is recommending is an Auburn Pro Series Limited Slip. It comes with a 5 year parts and labor warranty and the cost is $400.00.

    I do moderate off-roading 15x to 20x per year, which includes steep hills, which at times are made up of loose gravel or dirt. I also like to go over obstacles that are as high as my truck can handle with a 4" suspension lift and the 315/70/17 tires.

    Will the G80 suffice for my needs, should I upgrade to the Auburn, or any other suggestions/recommendations?
  2. dsfloyd

    dsfloyd Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner Gold Member 1000 Posts

    I havent looked at the auburn limited slip but keep in mind the g80 isnt just a limited slip, it is actually a locker. It acts like a limited slip in that when one wheel begins to spin a little faster it engages but it fully locks, where a limited will only supply a limited amount of power but still transfers most power to the wheel with least resistance. I have heard of the g80 exploding but mostly from those that are really rough. I would think its still good enough or i would switch to a real locker (electric or air). Auburn also makes lockers. Eaton lockers makes the G80's, so still a good named company
  3. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Ahh yes, good point. I did not even consider that I would be losing the locker function. Definitely something to consider. Thanks!
  4. Badbrad469

    Badbrad469 Rockstar 100 Posts

  5. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Thanks Badbrad - I like the no maintenance part, especially since I was told that I would have to have the clutches serviced from time to time. Another great point to consider.
  6. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Some good points to consider. I would add that it might also depend on which axle you have (10 bolt or 14 bolt). The G80 seems to be weakest in the (already weak) 10 bolt axle. It seems that much fewer of the 14 bolt G80's blow up.

    I can't tell from the information whether you would have a 10 bolt or a 14 bolt. Most half ton (1500) and lighter duty use the 10 bolt. 3/4 ton (2500) and heavier duty tend to use the 14 bolt. I would be more inclined to do the upgrade if I had the 10 bolt.
  7. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Thanks for your input MrShorty. I have the 1500 and just went out and counted the bolts. And as you expected, it has 10. Very helpful info...thank you!

    PS..good call about not knowing what type of truck I have. I will add to my signature.
  8. mfleetwood

    mfleetwood Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Okay, so after looking into, it appears that I can get the Detroit for only a little bit more that then Auburn, but I am still concerned about losing the locker function. Adding one that is driver controlled really jumps the cost of all of this way up. As typical with me, I want it all but my budget usually over-rides my wants and I have to start getting creative and making sacrifices.

    So tell me if this idea is reasonable: I am thinking about finding a used (as new as possbible) 14 bolt G80 and then having 4:56 gears installed. Since the 14 bolt is tougher than the 10 and I would still get to keep the locker capabilities without spending an arm and a leg. Will this work? and if so, what are the pros and cons?
  9. MrShorty

    MrShorty Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    14 bolt is a fairly common swap. A lot of pros to the swap. The main con is that the vast majority of 14 bolt axles have 8 lugs at the wheel (I expect your half-ton has six lugs). I haven't done the research, but you'll either have to limit your search to a 14 bolt SF with 6 lugs (usually come out of the rare 1500 diesels or some 2500's) or you'll have to figure out how to convert the axle you get to 6 lug (maybe new axleshafts). Like I say, I haven't done the research, but that is one issue you'll want to investigate to make sure you get what you want in the end.
  10. Badbrad469

    Badbrad469 Rockstar 100 Posts

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