2 Big Broncos 4x4 Technical White Papers

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Description and Reasoning

An Installation of the Powertrax No-Slip Traction System This is an ideal and easy way to convert an open differential into a locker. The item installs inside the carrier in the matter of about an hour. It simply takes the place of the spider gears. Remove the spider gears, install the No-Slip, and your done. The break-in period is up to 400 miles, according to Powertrax, but, during that time, no special care needs to be taken. It just may take that long before the No-Slip has had a chance to fully work itself into your system. A definite advantage over the LockRight, the No-Slip employs active spacers, which hold the locker open when it disengages. The locker opens when it detects a difference in the speed of the two wheels on the axle. The spacer holds the locker open until the speeds synchronize again, and then the locker re-engages. This prevents the 'clicking noises' associated with the LockRight and other similar 'budget' lockers. During the break in period some popping may be felt until the individual edges of the teeth are smoothed. Then the popping stops. In my own case, all popping ceased after about only 100 miles.

The Time Required

I spent about an hour doing the installation.

The Work Required

Remove both rear wheels and place the axle housing on jack stands. Remove the differential cover. Carefully loosen the retaining bolt, which holds the shaft in place. It will be held in place with lock-tite. Be sure to use a six-sided wrench. A 5/16 worked on my application, or a 8mm also would have fit. Be very careful removing the bolt. If you break or round it, you're in for a lot of heartaches. Slide the shaft out. Push the axles together and remove the c-clips. Then remove the spider gears, side gears, and thrust washers. Now you're ready to begin installing the No-Slip.

First, let's see what we're starting with.This is the differential with spider gears still in place. Next, get familiar with the parts of the No-Slip.

This is the stock differential. No-Slip schematic

Here is the differential ready to receive the No-Slip. All parts of the spider gears, the old shaft, and the c-clips have been removed.Before you begin installing parts, grease is applied to all major and minor parts. This acts as a 'glue' to keep things from falling apart during the assembly. It is very important to grease the saddle springs into their holes in the drivers. The passenger (right) axle is pulled out, making room to install the coupler on the driver's side axle. Be sure that the widest gap in the synchro ring is facing you. Push in on the driver (left) axle and install the c-clip in that axle ONLY.

The empty carrier Driver's side instal. Installing the C-clip.

Push in far enough on the passenger axle to install the coupler. Be sure that the widest gap in the synchro ring is away from you on this one. The non-slotted spacer is inserted into the non-slotted driver. These are then slipped over the end of the left axle, with the pin-side of the driver facing inward. Engage the driver teeth all the way around. Now the slotted spacer with the slotted driver is slipped over the end of the passenger axle. The reason for the slot on this side is to receive the other c-clip. Again engage the driver teeth all the way around. Things are starting to shape up now.

Installing the passenger side coupler. Installing the passenger side coupler. The passenger side coupler installed.

Rotate left axle 1/4 turn to expose spring slot. Here a double spring is installed. It's a spring within a spring. Rotate left axle 1/2 turn to expose the other spring slot. Install the other double spring. At this point the gap between the drivers is checked with a check block. The block must fit perfectly between the drivers, using the narrow side of the block. Note the check block sticking out of the gap, a perfect fit. Here you can see that the c-clip has been partially installed into the passenger axle. The check block was used to help push it in. Then pulling out on the passenger axle locks it in place.

Installing the double spring. Installing the 2nd double spring. Installing the passenger side C-clip.

Now the drive shaft has been rotated to align the hole in the No-Slip with the hole in the carrier. Using the retaining bolt as a handle, begin pushing the new shaft into the driver. Rotate the shaft, pressing hard, to get it to pass by the saddle springs. Here the shaft has been inserted all the way into the carrier. Care must be taken to get the hole in the shaft to line up with the hole, which will hold the retaining bolt.Here the retaining bolt is being tightened. Note the Lock-tite under the head of the bolt. Tighten this bolt securely.

Aligning the No-slip and the carrier. Installing new pinion shaft.  Make sure the retaining bolt holes lines up.  The retaining bolt is tightend up.

The differential cover has been replaced and we're ready to replace the differential fluid. It took four quarts to fill this one.

The Results

After this, the wheels and tires are replaced, and the vehicle is set back on the ground, ready to try out the new locker. The first few turns resulted in some firm popping sounds, but this quickly smoothed out as the unit got broken in.

All in all, I have been very pleased with the unit. I would recommend it to anyone for its strength, smoothness, and ease of installation. The unit is said to be able to withstand a 1,000 horsepower engine, for the extremes of auto racing. If it can do that, it surely will work in a Bronco! There is a Dana 44 version of it available if you would like to install one in your front differential. I may eventually do that myself. It will definitely be my choice if I do decide to lock the front end.

Jim Westcot - shadetree351@home.com
Savannah, GA. 1987 XLT Bronco

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