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#725702 - July 14th 2017 12:30 pm Driver-selectable differential purchase  
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 97
VanSolo Offline
journeyman
VanSolo  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 97
Alexandria Safe Zone, VA
I've been considering purchasing some sort of locker or rear differential. I have a 1986 Chevy Beauville G20. 3/4 ton.

Here's what I want to be able to do: drive the occasional (somewhat) steep gravel road in the Shenandoah Mountains, take non-paved country roads with no hesitation, comfortably drive camping areas, fire roads, and down to the river's edge. Move through light mud and (very) light snow. Nothing extreme that would require a 4x4. I just can't afford the conversion.

My research points me towards a driver-selectable locking differential. Drive with it open on paved roads, and flip a switch when I need max traction.

Thoughts? Am I on the right track with a driver-selectable? Any particular brands I should look at? Any brands that suck? At this point, I'm not sure what's compatible with my van, but I'll be looking into this. If anyone has bought one, I'd love to hear from you. I think this is a worthwhile investment.

#725720 - July 15th 2017 1:40 pm Re: Driver-selectable differential purchase [Re: VanSolo]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,352
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,352
Fircrest, WA
ARB air locker. Expensive, but worth it. On-demand locking differential. I think you have a good plan. A locking rear axle will get you most places you want to go, unless you want to go WAY off the beaten track.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!
#725743 - July 16th 2017 4:30 pm Re: Driver-selectable differential purchase [Re: Reed]  
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 97
VanSolo Offline
journeyman
VanSolo  Offline
journeyman

Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 97
Alexandria Safe Zone, VA
Reed, thanks for the ARB air locker recommendation. I actually have heard that elsewhere as a favorite of many. I'm about to read up on them...

I think also adding high quality snow tires in the winter will be give me a sense that I can handle most of what I'll encounter, with A/T tires during the other 3 seasons.

#725745 - July 16th 2017 5:13 pm Re: Driver-selectable differential purchase [Re: VanSolo]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,352
Reed Offline
Maniac
Reed  Offline
Maniac

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 11,352
Fircrest, WA
A good set of snow tires is a good idea in areas where you actually need them. Just be sure you get true snow tires with the softer winter rubber compound.


Windows- they're what make a van worth owning!

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