Welp, it happened. I blew my front diff (4 Viewers)

aaronrules

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Long story shortish, I went to Windrock with @ga12r1 to do some scouting for some stuff that may be happening later in the year. Well, he LOVES trail 30 and that was the first one we did one the first day and that where I blew my diff. I can’t remember the other person who blew a diff on the same trail...on the same obstacle...because Lee loves that trail, but I think we both can claim it’s his fault. 🥴 Anyway he did save my bacon and helped (actually did all the work) in pulling the front drive shaft and drive flanges and I am driving it home today. A 10 hour drive!

I’ve got the caps ordered from @BenCC and will get them installed as soon as they come in. Thanks Ben!

I wanted to solicit some opinions and ideas on how I should proceed going forward.
Just a little bit my situation:


2006 LX with 207k on the odo. I’ve put about 60k of those miles on it.
1) I don’t see any reason for me to even stop owning this truck and using it as my daily driver as well as my “do dumb stuff” truck. I’m never going to stop doing what some people may call dumb stuff.
2) I’m not loaded and money is tight. Even after taxes and the stimmy.
3) I’m currently running like 34.6” tires, but on my next tire purchase I am going to go with true 35’s.
4) With the vvti and the extra gear I’m not sure if regearing is necessary, but I want opinions on this from people who have done it.

So I think there are very many options and variables for this decision. Everyone would love to be triple locked regeared running 35’s and I would as well. It’s the not knowing if the regearing is worth it. All this stuff is going to cost more than the blue book value of my truck!

So maybe this wasn’t a long story short, but that’s why you guys like me! 😬

Let me know what you all think. Also anybody have any recommendations on a shop within a decent distance of the Fort Smith, AR area? Also, any vendors want to reach out and do a partnership? I’m kidding, but not really. I’m kind of a big deal and partnering with me can bring a lot of good traffic you way! 🥺
 

ga12r1

The "triple locked" king himself...
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Fun times!!!

97E9CC92-4B64-4AD0-882F-1854FA91E978.jpeg
 

aging fleet

Out adjusting my torsion bars
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Stuff is going to break, but that sucks it happened on the first run of the first day, sorry. I haven't been down this path, but if/when mine were to blow, I'd probably have the front diff rebuilt with a locker and stop there. A re-gear would likely exceed my wife's Land Cruiser spending tolerances and send me down a rabbit hole for a month researching different options.

At least @ga12r1 got a good picture before it blew.
 
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I gotta agree, put a selectable locker in and use it sparingly to save the front end , I’d Really think about the 35” tire. It’s pretty amazing what these rigs will do on 33’s without all the mods and issues of running 35’s , just armor it up well with a reliable winch and dont be overly dumb. yours is not a dedicated trail rig and spends the vast majority of its time on the highway.
I replied to your post about a mechanic in NWA, bohannan should do you a good job. Doing dumb stuff is my life, but I learn from it. If your gonna be doing a lot of harder wheeling around here, no offense but your in the wrong rig
 
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aaronrules

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I gotta agree, put a selectable locker in and use it sparingly to save the front end , I’d Really think about the 35” tire. It’s pretty amazing what these rigs will do on 33’s without all the mods and issues of running 35’s , just armor it up well with a reliable winch and dont be overly dumb. yours is not a dedicated trail rig and spends the vast majority of its time on the highway.
I replied to your post about a mechanic in NWA, bohannan should do you a good job. Doing dumb stuff is my life, but I learn from it. If your gonna be doing a lot of harder wheeling around here, no offense but your in the wrong rig
I’ve had 33s and they are great. I might as well have 35s now and they are awesome! After the front diff gets done, I will finally get a full set skids which was going to happen first before my diff forced my hand.
 

ClassyJalopy

... which went well!
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Looks like fun was had! Being able to do dumb stuff is the reason we don't drive a minivan!

Cheapest Option
Find a used front diff (around $500 shipped last time I looked!) and swap it in your driveway. It will probably last a long time and with ATRAC and the CDL on your truck you will go a lot of places.

Most Expensive Option
Regear to 4.88 and put in eLockers on both ends. regearing cost $0 in labor when you are putting in a locker too.

Middle Ground
Put an elocker in the front but don't regear. A front locker is not as useful as a rear locker but since you have to replace the carrier anyway, might as well get a locker out of it.

Other thoughts: At least one other member was not convinced that regearing his 5 speed truck was a good use of his money (@MongooseGA ) - He has run through the Windrock a few times and I believe his is riding on 35" shoes too.
 
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It's $700 for the R+P set and install kit. I pulled the diff myself (Really easy, if you can pull CVs, you can drop the diff) got Nitro gears in the original 4:30 ratio, and was all in under $1200. I don't expect to go anywhere on 33s that needs a front locker that my winch won't help get me over, and I tow with the truck, so 4:88s and 35s are not a real need or option for me... I'd get way more use out of my Nitro front and adding a rear e-locker, myself.
 
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Lame! That sucks to have happen especially on a newer '06 that is tougher. What was the section like when it blew? In that photo above? I assume muddy and therefore lots of wheel spin or was it a different situation?

I'm seriously leaning hard towards LSD instead of lockers when the time comes.
 

aaronrules

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The conditions were terrible. It’s that thick and slippery crap. Plus a very good incline into that big ass rock with a stump on the right side in the perfect place to catch the rear passenger tire. I did have fun the next two days riding shotgun in Lee’s pimp 200!
I think the play here is replace the front and put in an e locker. Then later down the road I’ll get the rear locked. I’ve looking around and I think I can get the whole assembly and put it on myself.
 

abuck99

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“True” 35’s? A stated 35x12.5x18 or 17 is still 34.5” so you’re really not gaining anything over what your currently running. Save your $$ and put that towards a re gear for running anything over 33”.

OEM gears are expensive- x2 the cost of Nitro or Yukon. Or find someone that re geared that didn’t blow their diff and buy their ring and pinion. Still you’re in for labor and others parts.

IMO the OEM front carrier is not a strong as an aftermarket locked carrier- I think oem allows for more flex where the ring and pinion pull away from each other and you’ll just set yourself up for another failure. If you’re going to wheel your truck, I’d figure out how to pull the coin together and upgrade to a locker and re gear.

Re exceeding book value: forget about it and join the club. Enjoy your truck.
 
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I decided (and due to a fat tax return last year) to go with an ARB front. Out of an abundance of caution, I ended up buying all new gears and internals to go with it, plus an air compressor.

If I didn't feel the utility for the compressor, I would have done an elocker.

The philosophy was to never blow the front diff again. Locking it in bad conditions will make sure it doesn't happen.
 
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I decided (and due to a fat tax return last year) to go with an ARB front. Out of an abundance of caution, I ended up buying all new gears and internals to go with it, plus an air compressor.

If I didn't feel the utility for the compressor, I would have done an elocker.

The philosophy was to never blow the front diff again. Locking it in bad conditions will make sure it doesn't happen.
Just a note to others - Locked front in bad conditions when in reverse = busted front diff
 
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Have 2000 LC 4sp on 295/75R16. For many years just had rear locker. In 2013 broke front diff on Gold Bar Rim. Replaced with ARB and Nitro 4:30 (stock ratio), did not use front locker much. Few years ago went to 4:88s and crawler gear in T-case, the lower gearing is great on the trail, I don't need lockers as much now.
That being said with the 5sp the need for lower gears is not as great. Go with 4:10s and a locker.
 

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