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Classic Mustangs Tech Forum

Technical discussions specific to 1964-1967, 1968-1970, and 1971-1973 Classic Mustang. Discuss all tech related to in-line six cylinder and V8 powered Vintage Mustangs here.

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Unread 08-12-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default 8" Detroit Locker?

I bought an 8" rear third member today & the person told me it is a Detroit Locker. Everything is fairly new including the Richmond gears which are 3:55 which is what I was looking for.

My question is, are they're 2 different Detroit Lockers available? How can I tell by looking which type I have?

I thought that I had read a while back that there is a "Softer" type Detroit Locker????

BTW, I paid $300 for it. Hope that was a good deal.
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Unread 08-13-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Anyone?

Also, is there a certain type of oil to use with a Detroit Locker?
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Unread 08-13-2011   #3 (permalink)
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Hello. The Detroit locker rear ends were only made for either 9 inch or the newer 8.8 rear ends, like those used in a Ranger or Bronco II. They are still being made to this day as an Eaton product. If the rear end that you have has a cover plate on the back which is held on with a bunch of bolts, that's an 8.8 rear end. If the rear end has center section which loads from the front and is held on with a bunch of nuts, and you can't get a socket wrench on the bottom two nuts, that's a 9 inch rear end.An 8 inch rear end has the nuts on the front, also, but, you can get a socket on all of them. There was also a limited slip version of the 8 inch, but, it was not a Detroit locker. If the rear end is a limited slip or locking differential, you need to add a bottle of the friction modifier that is available from the parts department of any Ford dealership. It's not at all expensive. Hope that helps.
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Unread 08-13-2011   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply Veronica.

This rear end is in fact a 8" as the socket fits onto all the bolt openings & the person I bought it from showed me the housing it came out of. It was in a 67 Fastback. He didn't know much about it other than it is a Locker & came with the car he just bought. He wanted lower gearing. That was the reason he sold it.

I also found out that it is in fact a Detroit Locker. Detroit Locker 187S13D - Eaton Detroit Lockers - Application - SummitRacing.com This is exactly what is in the 3rd member that I have. I can look into one of the openings and see a big spring, but no clutches. Not knowing too much about these things. They might be up inside further.

I'm just trying to find out if it is what they call a "TrueTrac" or just a Detroit Locket.
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Unread 08-14-2011   #5 (permalink)
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Hi again. What you are describing sounds an awful lot like the limited slip version of the 8 inch rear end. This could turn out to just be a question of semantics. Ford built a variety of rear ends that had the net result of having both rear wheels pushing the car instead of just one. These were called limited slip. The Detroit locker was one of them, but, there were others, also, which were not called Detroit lockers. That was a brand name, much like a Xerox machine. There are lots of copiers that are called Xerox machines in conversation which were not built by Xerox at all. :nogrinner
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Unread 08-14-2011   #6 (permalink)
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ok, thanks....Anyone else have any other info on this.
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Unread 08-15-2011   #7 (permalink)
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Of course there is a full case Detroit Locker for the Ford 8" rear. I've had one in my '66 Coupe for years. If you got a real Detroit locker with 3.55 gears for $300 you got a good deal.

The Detroit Soft locker is the same locker as the older standard Detroit with a few small extra parts in it to help it unlock a little easier for street use. Both work very well for street or race. They are filled with gears and 2 springs and only need standard gear oil. No additives needed and they do not recommend synthetic gear oil.

They WILL spin both tires when power is applied but will unlock when off the gas making turns. I can't even tell it's there in my '66 Mustang with automatic but my '97 Jeep with 5 speed and soft suspension it is very noticeable. Still love it though!
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Unread 08-15-2011   #8 (permalink)
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a detroit locker is a detroit locker... any other names are just marketing (brand) names like True Trac and whatnot... same thing as limited slip differential being called posi or trac lock.. theyre the same thing

I agree with Vinyl66, if you got yours with 3.55 gears for $300 thats a steal since the unit itself is ~500 and gears are around ~200 plus installation costs

You'll know its a locker for sure when you go around some turns at a reasonable speed depending on how loud it pops

I think that Ford used detroit lockers in the early mustangs but maybe only in the shelbys.. but they deffinitely sell modern versions that fit in 8" housings
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Unread 08-16-2011   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info guys. I've read a lot about to use of synthetics or not on these. I think I'm sticking with the "Old School" method & stay with straight gear oil.

Here's 2 pics of what I have. I can see the big springs on both sides, inside the locker through the small holes in the case.

Never having one of these lockers before, I'll find out soon enough.

thanks again........
Attached Thumbnails
8" Detroit Locker?-100_0532-800x600-.jpg  8" Detroit Locker?-100_0533-800x600-.jpg  
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Unread 10-20-2011   #10 (permalink)
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Update....I installed this and works great. The left or right tire, (depending on which turn I'm making), will skip until the car is going straight.

Not really any loud popping noise though.

What a big difference in pickup over the 2.80 gears I had.

Thanks again for the help......
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