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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1 wheel drive with no bed is tough, lots of tire spin doing non-tire-spinny stuff. I do have some wooden planks as a flat bed, but I'm way light on the back end.

I tried a no-slip, broke it inside of 3 days, never again.

I figure with a light rear end, the chirping and chattering and such won't be that big of a deal, plus with mud tires, I don't have that much tread on the pavement.

This is not a DD, it's a dirtbike hauler. It will never see snow or ice, rarely will it even see rain here in Colorado. It will see 80MPH though.

It won't see enough miles to make tire wear an issue, plus I have 15s, tires are mad cheap for this truck, so I don't really care about added tire wear, I'll rotate them alot.

Pros/Cons? Hopefully from people who actually have welded diff and live with it, thanks. Around town and in the dirt is a no-brainer, but what kind of action are we talking about on the interstate? The no-slip pretty much never unlocked until it broke, not enough traction to get it to separate, and it was pretty ok at all speeds.
 

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It's a recipe for disaster.... Sure, there's going to be someone on some forum somewhere that's gonna tell you that it's ok and they do it all the time, but the reality here is, if you drive it on the road (especially at 80 mph) you risk the possibility of having a terrible wreck. A spooled rear end is going to force a tire to slip, a slipping tire has less traction. Add to the mix a light rear end and mud tires that as you say has less rubber in contact with the road....well you should be getting the idea. You say it won't be a DD, but the fact that you're driving it on the road means it has to be safe for you and anyone whose riding with you. What if it does rain? Or it snows? Weather happens. It's going to be a handful to drive in those conditions.

My suggestion, unless the truck never sees pavement, don't weld the diff. You want traction? Pony up the cash and step up to a Detroit Locker or an ARB air locker. These are far more durable than any other diff.

You need more weight over the rear. Lighter is better if you're saving fuel, but for traction, the harder you push the tires into the ground, the more traction you'll have. A wood flat bed can be very useful but add some weight. This weight could be in the form of a winch, a rear mounted battery, maybe a tool box, or a tank you could add water to when you need it.

Ed
 

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Yes, an R/T axle would be unicorn stuff anywhere. You could broaden your search by looking for Durango axles. The limited slip option was available for those too. You could also swap in an axle from a 4x4 Dakota, (with LS) but you'll have to flip the spring mounts or better yet, you got an axle with a built in 5 inch lift. If you're gonna swap axles, get one with disc brakes. It's a great upgrade.

Keep in mind that even if you get lucky and find an axle with a limited slip, you may have to rebuild the differential since the clutches and plates do eventually wear out. Personally, I'd refer back to my original suggestion, if you want the best possible traction, and with 2wd, you need all the help you can get, invest in a locker.

BTW 2wd isn't totally worthless! Sure, even with a locker you won't be able to rock climb, but they can be a very capable and fun trail runner, and if you improve the front suspension, can be a fun desert prerunner.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I find value in it as a reliable (up until recently, it won't engage forward gears anymore) dirtbike hauler, but there's an odd mentality in Colorado that all cars must be AWD or 4WD for the 4 days a year that we get snow. I did 2 years in a 1WD S-10 with snow tires, no problem, just have to know how to drive. Knowing how to drive is not required here though (look us up, I think we've made it into the top 5 for idiots on the road). The fact is though, it's a rust bucket from St. Louis, it has no proper bed, 200K miles...worthless on the market but for parts. I tried the 400 dollar no slip, first one arrived broken, second one broke on day 3. I don't plan to spend any real money on the truck, if I can't get this TCM thing figured out I'll just part it out and send the shell to the yard. I figured if the only downside to the welded diff was squeaky parking lot maneuvers, no big deal.

I am curious though, with the ominous warnings, what have you personally seen go wrong with a welded diff? The anti-crowd says they kill you, the pro-crowd says they daily them daily. As for accidentally getting into snow or other bad weather, no chance. We only ride when it's in the 70s and rarely at high altitude. I have a 4WD Chevy for bad weather, a 1WD Lincoln for good weather, a 2WD BMW for great weather...you get the picture. I just pick the tool for the job that day when I'm looking at my assembled fleet. One thing I do use the Dodge for is taking the cat to the vet, then I don't get fur all in my good cars.
 

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My dads 66 cuda has an old welded 8.25 in it that he has no issues with being a 4 speed. Doesnt dd it or anything. But physics are physics and a welded dif in rear does cause one tire to attempt to spin when it cant while cornering at any speed.

If your dak is a 5 speed, i need some trans parts if you are parting it out! =D
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Slushbox with extra slush. TCM won't power up, I think it's the ECU not sending 12V to it, but I can't find a schemo nor a Dodge mechanic who wants to make some cash on the weekend. Very frustrating to have a solid truck go down to a wiring issue.
 

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1988 Dodge Dakota LWB RC 3.9V6 3 speed auto
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Could always pick up a 2000 Dakota factory service manual.

If nothing else, eBay for used paper or for the occasion supplier selling the Bishko CDs; Bishko Books web page to order direct; or order through a retailer like Summit Racing or the dealership.

RwP
 

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....but there's an odd mentality in Colorado that all cars must be AWD or 4WD for the 4 days a year that we get snow.
That odd mentality exists everywhere, especially in 4x4 forums. You can fix that easily! A little lift, some mud tires and 4x4 badges.

.....if I can't get this TCM thing figured out I'll just part it out and send the shell to the yard.
If you suspect a bad TCM, replace it with another one from a junk yard.

I figured if the only downside to the welded diff was squeaky parking lot maneuvers, no big deal.
It's not an unreasonable conclusion, if you were only looking at that. But there are reasons why we need a differential, least of which is safety....

I am curious though, with the ominous warnings, what have you personally seen go wrong with a welded diff? The anti-crowd says they kill you, the pro-crowd says they daily them daily.
If you're a competent welder, then the task of welding up the spiders, is no big deal. OTOH I've seen bird sh*t welds that fail and eat the rear end. Idiots who chose the ground the housing and end up fuzing the bearings, etc.

But lets say the diff is welding up good and tight with no possibility of failure. Handling is going to be affected. Much of that can be controlled and you can adapt to it. But here is what's going on. The world is not a straight line. Every time you enter a turn, the tires will be fighting each other for traction. One tire is going to lose this fight and that means it has to slip or slide. This is why you would hear tire squeal in tight parking lot maneuvers. Under most circumstances, you can adapt to this with driving technique, but there are a few circumstances when the fight for traction comes up a draw, meaning both tires lose traction at the same time. It can happen for example when the ground is wet and the turn is tight. The truck enters the turn, the tires fight for traction, with one forced to slide while the other forced to slip. The result can be a spin out. At slow speed, you might be able to sense it before it happens and make steering corrections. At a little higher speed you maybe able to handle a slow speed drift, but at highway speeds, you can lose control, and at those speeds, it could be fatal.

But what about dry pavement? The same physics apply. Even on dry pavement, having both tires fighting each other for traction is not a good thing. If you had a magnifying glass and could see the point of contact between tire and road, when a tire slides or slips, for example slamming the brakes, the rubber heats up, burns and tiny microscopic chunks begin to roll up and peel off. The tire rides on tiny rubber rollers at that stage. We see this as skid marks, and this is why manufacturers developed things like anti lock brakes and traction control. They keep the tires rolling and not skidding to maintain traction. The slipping /sliding effect of a welded diff isn't as apparent as say jamming on the brakes in a panic stop, and you won't really see skid marks, but it's still there. You would experience this as accelerated tire wear.

As for the people who say they DD their welded diff trucks, I call them lucky. No one can change the laws of physics. When a tire has to slip, it loses traction. Even very tiny amounts of slip results in small losses in traction. The thing about traction loss is it can rapidly grow. A windshield crack can be very small for a long time, then one day it grows to the full width of the glass in a micro second! It's not that you were warned that the glass would completely crack, but that you knowing lived with it.

As for accidentally getting into snow or other bad weather, no chance.
About a couple of decades ago, I used to own an early model Bronco. It didn't have a top, so I only drove it when the sun was shining. I would never drive it when rain was predicted. Until the day I had to drive it in the rain. It wasn't supposed to rain, but rain it did. I believe riders deal with this too, but the good ones always prepare to get caught in the weather. I wasn't prepared. No one can accurately predict the future.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Found a factory trans service manual online for 14 bucks, gonna start there.

I put in an ebay TCM a few years ago when the trans first started acting up, they can be found for 10 bucks shipped. No real change. When it totally crapped out, I dropped another 10 bucks, no change, so I put the known good-ish one back in. Neighbor's fancy scanner says the TCM isn't there, ECU can't find it, and I've had some codes in the past that equate to TCM power loss, so I believe the TCM is either not being powered up the ECU, or they've lost communication. My solenoids don't engage, so I believe the TCM has no power, and my understanding is that if it's talking to the solenoid pack, you can still drive, just with several codes in the ECU. I can currently only drive in reverse, which has no solenoid. All grounds are confirmed good, battery is new and everything else works tip top. I did have a relay go berserk on the last day of normal function, I think the ECU fires that relay, which in turn fires the TCM. I swapped it with a known good one from another component set, no change. If this manual I ordered has a schemo, I can start checking pins at the TCM for power to confirm the ECU bad, which I understand needs to be coded by a dealership to talk to the truck when replaced. Also a $100 part on ebay, so a bigger gamble to just throw one in.

Anyone need a probably good TCM for cheap?

I can dig your reasoning on the high speed negatives of the welded diff. I also ride, so I have been caught in some weird weather. Good tires and a smart throttle hand are necessary to get you home without a flatbed. I'll give it a re-think, have plenty of time to kick around ideas since trucks that don't go obviously don't have traction issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Reviving this thread, I got hit head on, truck is effectively totaled, but insurance is going to write me a check to go away. I found a cheap Durango that's complete and has a corporate 8 anti slip differential in it with 3.55 gears. I can strip the front end to fix my damage, but what's involved in getting that corporate 8 LSD into my corporate 9 open diff 2WD? Bolt in and go?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Ok, so perches are inverted like mine, single brake line, same shock mounts, same width, same yoke for my driveshaft? Just need to rebuild the LSD, tune up the shoes and drums and replace the U-bolts? Any idea if a 99/00ish Durango would have my rear-only ABS? I think the lock sensor is in the differential if I recall correctly.

Some of my research is showing that the shocks mount differently between the two platforms, anyone have both trucks outside that could confirm?

Also a possibility of newer trucks having a flanged input vs my yoked input?
 
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