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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Hey you offroaders using welded diffs!!

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37 replies to this topic

#1 ezapar



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Posted 04 May 2004 - 11:15 AM

I'm looking for testimonials as to what you think of it compared to open or limited slip diffs.

Me personally. . . I swore by the lsd for a long time. The first few guys to get theirs' welded were still fairly new at offroading, so really showed me nothing special. But Ken finally got one. And one day we had a chance to find out their differences at a pretty gnarly rocky climb at Reiters Pit. What caused me to really make the little hatch work with lots of tries, Ken was able to walk right up.

So I broke down and got one. Now I swear, the whole 4X thing got a whole lot easier!
And to me, the extra 7 minutes it takes to add/subtract a rear axle to make it offroadable/streetable is totally worth the added ability.
. . .And I still haven't broken a rear axle (knock on wood) just for not being so hard on the gas whle doing crazy snit.

#2 The Scooby

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Posted 04 May 2004 - 11:56 AM

sweet, then dont mind giving me your old junk LSD huh, since you dont need it any more, its just collecting space...

#3 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 11:59 AM

I agree. Buargu and I have some nice footage of us attempting a short hill climb where it's all covered with slick under-brush, and grass. I think he took about 5 runs at it with the open diff, and I went up it a couple times in a row with the welded diff. He's totally a believer now, and welded his too. We did a hill climb on our last run that NO ONE without a welded diff would have made. Even with the welded diff, His hatch had to make 4 runs at the hill to get up, and finally made it in 4 hi. I took one run in 4 lo and made it, but I do have better tires which I think helped me out.

I have broken 3 rear axles so far - 1 on pavement (I had to see what it would take!), and 2 off-road. 1 of the ones off-road was because of a bent mustache bar. The other I just plain busted doing a nasty hill climb at high speed.

While I have never personally used an LSD in my Subaru off-roader (used them in other brands over the years), my review of the technology, and the design of the Subaru LSD's specifically led me to beleive that they wouldn't work all that well for off-road conditions, as they were tuned mostly for rally style racing, or even track racing. IE - high speed, with both wheels in contact at all times. Some types of LSD's work well for an off-roader, but the Subaru version wasn't really designed for low speed, or situations where one wheel is totally free from the ground. That said, it's of course going to better than and open diff. But since my choice was welded or LSD, and the welded cost me nothing but the sacrifice of an open diff, which are plentiful, I just went that way. And pulling an axle is no biggie as Zap said. It only takes a few minutes, and besides it keeps them from rust-welding themselves to the hubs!

Besides - it's right there in the name! "Limited Slip" - screw that! I don't want ANY slip.


#4 Subarutex


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 12:18 PM

The first time I went wheeling, with Zap, and some other guys, i was open. It sucked. I felt like I was slowing everyone down. So then i wanted an LSD, but they are hard to find, and sort of exspensive. I then got a spare diff and had it welded by a friend of Jareds.

I've never broken an axle. However, i've bent the bejebus out of my moustache bar. So I got it reinforced. I still think its the beefiest moustache bar this side of... well anywhere.

I twisted a stub axle off on the rear hub. That was because of priorly driving to Spokane and back with both axles in.

It still takes me 20 minutes or so to put an axle in. And if I do it at a trailhead I always need help. People laugh at me and give me **** for being slow. But I don't mind. Just comes with the territory.

#5 TheSubaruJunkie



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Posted 04 May 2004 - 12:32 PM

A welded diff made me unstoppable when I had it. As soon as I broke it, I was vulnerable again and had to remember how to off-road :) I feel with a welded diff you dont have to pick a line... just point the car and shoot. With an open rear end its completly different. Havent used a LSD yet, so i cant compare against Weld vs. LSD.


#6 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 12:39 PM

Tex - you'll have to see my reinforced mustache bar! It's pretty knarly. I too bent the sn!t out of my bar, and had to redesign that peice. Did it myself with a little help from a friends welder, and some direction on how to bend the 1/4" plate steel to the shape of the bar. Bugaru bent the hell out of one of his front lower control arms a while back.... the stamped design is pretty strong, but we fail to understand why they didn't plate over the last 4 inches of it up where it bolts to the cross-member?? weird. At any rate, he plated over the replacement arm just as a precaution. Looks a lot stronger now. We just keep breaking things and each time more reinforcement is added durring the repair....


#7 Hondasucks


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 01:36 PM

I have no idea how much they cost, but my friend Brian was looking for 510 stuff (same rear diff as a Soob) and he found some place that has spools for the R160, which are a lot stronger than a welded diff....

#8 JWX


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 01:40 PM

how do you guys pull the axles?

#9 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 01:46 PM

While it may be true that a spool is stronger, the way we welded ours, there's just no way it will ever break. I'm breaking axles, and Tex broke a stub... so did Ken as I recall. When they are that strong already, what's the point in paying for a spool?

Pull axle = jack up car (tall jack, or a block of wood since the car is so damn high now), knock out inner and outer pins, pull off axle. Simple. If everything goes correctly, I can do it in 5 minutes.


#10 Sweet82


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 01:54 PM

I welded the diff,......but I have kept it in "3wd" while working on it.

I'll be using it on gravel roads and slick rock

Q. Am I going to need to beef the diff hanger?

Q. How tight can you turn on asphalt/slick rock with the welded diff?

Looking forward to actually using my diff!
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#11 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 02:00 PM

Yes - you need to beef the diff hanger. They bend if you even look at them cross-eyed. Even the one on my stock Brat that's never been off-road is bent....

Pictures of the massive reinfrocing I did (before paint):

Posted Image
Posted Image

As for turning on asphalt - that's a no-no. I turned into my driveway (fairly wide street), and busted one. You can't turn tight at all with big tires. The bigger the tire, the less you can turn before you snap one of the joints like a twig. Rock will probably be the same way. Gravel and Mud are fine usually, but high speed even on these can snap one.


#12 Sweet82


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 02:12 PM

I may need two diffs depending on where I'm going:confused:

What size steel did you use to reinforce the diff hanger?
Do you have a pic that shows the entire bar with the reinforcment on it?
I'm wondering what the center section looks like?

Thanks for your help!

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#13 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 04:11 PM

It's 1/4" thick mild steel flat bar - about 1.5" wide I would guess. I just bent it to the shape of the bar, and welded it in place - making sort of a half I-beam out of it. Gives it rigidity in more than one direction. The original bar is very strong up and down, but extremely weak forward and back. The other end (and the center) is no different, but I can take a picture if you want....


#14 Turbone


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 04:22 PM

When my diff was open, I was getting stuck all over the place, even in snow. It did ok in the mud, which surprised me. Once I got the welded diff in it was a whole nother story. The car wouldnt stop, it would just dig in and keep going. My diff hanger has been bent from the begining, and it still is :-\
There hasnt been any axle or stub problems, that may be because mine is a hatch (this will be all past tense after today :( ) Altho on our last outing I tore out the left side diff mount :eek: I wouldnt go any other way, except maybe a locker (straight axle).

#15 j.szigi


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Posted 04 May 2004 - 08:28 PM

i seem to recall after one very extremly long night after the sub weekend in the southend a few years back, that i had to drive the poor ole white hatch which used to be yours zap, with a welded rear-end i had installed, one axle already broken in the rear, both of the axles in the front toasted, in 4wd high, one axle remaining, drove that sucker 85 plus miles home while maintaining the speed limit. that very same unit prior to losing it's axle stub at evan's creek, made that one trail we did, you know the one where you have to climb the rock face, we those zuks where climbing all around us, well, remember that one area that i blasted through? you were still driving the green hatch then and we were in that super knarly ravine type area? anyways, i always liked the welded rear even though you could feel the rear end push you through turns or even sometimes hamper tight areas due to the back end wanting to come forward, especially in snow.

#16 Adam N.D.J.

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Posted 05 May 2004 - 09:07 AM

I have to sing the praises of welded rear ends. But then again, I've been useing them for years, that was one of the first mods I did to my Brat back in 98.
As far as a welded rear and and pavement, I dunno whot you guys are doing wrong, I run on the street every day to work and back (1.5 miles, lotsa turns).
As far as offroad, oh yeah, don't leave home without it. One of these days I'm going to get either an LSD of just weld up the front diff!

#17 ezapar



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Posted 06 May 2004 - 11:41 AM

Thanks for the stories and back up. I tried to get a buddy to believe me the other day that the welded diff would outperform his (viscous) lsd. He wouldn't hear it. If I could only get him to go out with us once. . .

#18 Rooinater


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Posted 25 May 2004 - 02:16 PM

love it in a subaru diff. and won't go with anything else in the rear of a subaru diff! i know i was one of those newer 4wheelers you were talking about. but i've been around 4xing for the last 10 years. just driving the last 5 of it... and the last 3 in a subaru.

#19 subaruguru



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Posted 09 March 2007 - 03:10 PM

i think ima try a weled caus a buddy gave me a whole car and im takin parts from it cause it aint got a title so ima weld one up ill let yall know how it gose
:burnout: Rob

#20 Sweet82


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Posted 09 March 2007 - 06:10 PM

I welded my diff since this thread was started and have not looked back.

Weld it, the difference is amazing. It's simple and quick to remove the axle.

#21 Phizinza


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Posted 09 March 2007 - 09:01 PM

I ran a welded diff for a while. It was awesome offroad. But because I used to use 4WD on road a lot it was a hard thing to do. I'm going with FT4WD now so I am planning something different for the rear.

You should see what my brother is doing ;) Once his done it, I'll post some pictures. We spent a few hours designing it a while back. As a hint, it's got to do with one of the driveshaft(or what you may know as axles.)

#22 chazmataz


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Posted 11 March 2007 - 11:21 AM

i have both a welded diff in my beast and i put an lsd in my other wagon that i dd for awhile and it was at WCSS8. but i preferred the welded for what is considered major offroading in a subaru. the lsd is good for road (all kinds), some mud and minor trails beyond that i go with my beast with the welded. the beast is currently my dd with one axle out.

i agree, a welded diff is the way to go if your wheelin your sooby.

#23 lapsed80


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Posted 13 March 2007 - 09:14 AM

I have to agree about the welded diff it is great for offroading. Initially Myej25 converted L ran an open diff and i had a lot of trouble transfering the power to the ground. After getting my diff welded it drastically changed the capabilities of the L. But the downside is taking the shaft in and out when going 4x4ing.

cheers chris

#24 [HTi]Dain


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Posted 13 March 2007 - 10:31 PM

Yeah, Savage and I ran open rear-diffs forever. finally wised up and welded em...we hit up some mud a while back with the open diffs, I ended up getting stuck in the deep stuff. went back a couple weeks later with 'em WELDED, and just tore the place up. If one of us got stuck in the deep stuff, we just hammered down, and at about 6grand, she'd start pullin out. Welded diff = all the difference. I run stocks on-road with it, it does create more tension, but no problems yet. I'd say keep your LSD's on-road, Welded-rear-ends off-road ;)

#25 crazy D

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 07:25 PM

i have an LSD in the rear (ea81) and did some crawling and i wasnt to impressed....you can feel it want to pull you up, and it tries to grab but it usually means backing down and trying it again. id like to weld a diff up.....ill see what i can find........oh yeah do remove the rear axle cuz it puts too much tensoin on it cornering ?

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