July 6, 2020

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G80 vs Truetrac

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Captn. Crunch
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
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G80 vs Truetrac

Post by Captn. Crunch » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:16 am

As some of you may remember, my last van was equipped with Torsen carriers front and rear. When road cancer ate my beloved test mule to the bone, I found it’s replacement. My latest van is the spitting image of my ‘99. It’s four years newer with leather so it’s a bit of an upgrade. They both sported 3.73’s but the latest one came with the G-80. The first thing I did was to swap the Torsen equipped cast iron front diff. I thought about pulling the G-80 and installing the Truetrac but thought I’d see how it would handle with the G-80 locker rear and Torsen front.
Well it snowed yesterday and I’m swapping out the G-80 this weekend.
Twin Torsens in the snow was unbelievable. You actually had to TRY to upset the van. It wouldn’t slide or go sideways-nothing! It just went where you pointed it. The only way to get in trouble was to go into a turn way to fast and the front end would push.
Yesterday I stomped on the gas and was quickly cranking on the steering wheel as the ass end came around on me in the snow. Hmmmmm.
Now to be perfectly honest there are one or two variables to take into consideration. One is I’m not running the same tires as on the Test Mule. She was wearing Goodyear Wranglers. I loved those tires. When I went to the tire store to put 16’s on the ‘03 I opted for the Falken Wildpeaks AT3’s,a better tire in the snow I was told. I’m running the AT3’s at 45 psi which is 10 psi more than I ran in the Wranglers so it’s not exactly apples to apples but I don’t think there would be THAT much of a difference in tires to warrant that much of a handling change. I’m blaming it all on the clunky brutish factory locker.
The Torsens react instantly to varying traction situations and constantly adjust torque vectoring from wheel to wheel as conditions dictate. I will pull the G-80 and install the Truetrac. I will wait for more snow and re-visit the traction test scenario I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Til then....
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

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timelessbeing
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: G80 vs Truetrac

Post by timelessbeing » Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:42 am

I loved how my G80 performed in the snow. Very confident. My six passengers agreed. But then I was driving normally, not stomping on the gas and quickly cranking the wheel. :)

Captn. Crunch
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: southeastern ct

Re: G80 vs Truetrac

Post by Captn. Crunch » Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:23 am

I have no problem with the G-80. It does what it does. The van moved forward as it s supposed to. It went sideways as a locker/limited slip is supposed to. In normal driving scenarios it acts entirely proper. My normal seems to be more towards to outer edge of the envelope than most as it states in my signature.
I spent a long time puzzling over the dynamics of the interaction between twin Torsens and the np236. I was the first one to put it all together and was thrilled with the outcome. I had an opportunity to see how the system would react to a G-80 rear unit and while the results where predictable, they were unacceptable.
I’ll be returning to my originally designed setup as soon as possible. There will be a gently used low mileage G-80 in a box on a shelf in my shed.
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

akforceten
I get chills without my van.
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How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4

Re: G80 vs Truetrac

Post by akforceten » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:01 pm

since I'm always working on a super low budget a Truetrac would be nice but a little out of my price range. I ended up coming across a G80 for free it looks like that's what I'm going to use I also use to have one of those lockright lockers that was one of the noisiest things plus when the 4WD broke last winter it made for some interesting driving
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1997 RWD Astro

1995 GMC Safari 4x4 lifted 5"

Captn. Crunch
Site Admin
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Posts: 546
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:10 pm
antispam: No
How many wheels are on an Astro van? (4): 4
Location: southeastern ct

Re: G80 vs Truetrac

Post by Captn. Crunch » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:41 am

While the Detroit Truetrac is the cats meow right now, don’t forget that GM put thousands and thousands of Eaton zexel Torsen units in firebirds and Camaros for decades. Keep an eye out on eBay. I got my first one there for like $80. Served me well for years.
Captn. Crunch
"I don't beat my rig-I use it to it's maximum potential"
1994 Safari conversion (sold) and miss'n it!
1999 Safari SLE AWD junked
2003 GMC Safari AWD SLT
cast iron Torsen equipped front diff
S-10 leafs-G80 rear w/3.73’s
2” body lift w/Falken Wildpeak AT’s

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