If you are a new Ford Bronco owner and did not spring for the Sasquatch Package, Eaton Performance now has two differential upgrades for you. If you have the Bronco Raptor, KOH Edition, or even the APG ProRunner you already are good to go. A Bronco locking differential was optional and standard depending on the model, so let us break that down first for those not in the know.
Only the Bronco Badlands, Wildtrak, and First Edition models come with standard front and rear locking differentials. From the factory, Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, and Outerbanks models only receive locking differentials with the Sasquatch Package. The Black Diamond Bronco does receive a rear locker as standard equipment but no option to upgrade to a front locker unless implementing the Sasquatch. Also, the Big Bend and Outer Banks allow for the optional rear locker upgrade.
For as much as we love the new Ford Bronco, and its broad array of configurations, it still has its flaws. Aftermarket locking differential specialists like Eaton sees these limitations as an aftermarket opportunity for Ford Bronco owners looking for a bit more grip.
Recently, Eaton announced the launching of both a Detroit Truetrac and an Electronic ELocker4 Differential for all 2021-2023 Bronco vehicles not already equipped with a factory locking differential. From the looks of things, these add-ons offer a ton of grip for the money.
Eaton’s ELocker differential is a one-wire affair with actuation requiring zero airline additions or compressors. The Detroit Truetrac differential is even more simple. This limited-slip differential upgrade controls traction based on road conditions, providing improved handling, enhanced off-road performance, and increased stability while towing.
We’ve heard from our customers that these makes and models are increasing in popularity in the market, and Eaton is excited to provide our customers differential options for these vehicles. Owners of these SUVs are enthusiastic about off-road and recreational driving, and Eaton’s differentials provide the strength and durability needed to control traction in the most demanding conditions. —Tim Bauer, vice president, Aftermarket, Eaton’s Vehicle Group North America
Eaton Detroit Truetrac Differential
Praised for being “totally maintenance-free,” the Eaton Detroit Truetrac differential automatically engages when the vehicle is both in forward and reverse. Featuring Eaton’s patented parallel-axis, planetary helix gear design, this locking diff provides true “limited slip-type performance” in a wide range of scenarios both off-road and on.
Normal operation on the highway is like any other OE differential. But when a wheel encounters a loss of traction, the Detroit Truetrac unit shifts torque to the hub with the most traction. The unit remains engaged until wheel spin is either slowed or completely stopped, at which point the differential smoothly shifts back to the standard operation mode.
Bronco Locking Differential: Eaton ELocker4 Differential
The other option that new Ford Bronco owners have is the Eaton ELocker4 differential. This trick diff features a four-pinion design with net-forged gears for increased strength and durability, and a manual toggle mode for on-the-fly actuation.
By utilizing electronic controls, a simple one-wire actuation method allows drivers to select engagement and disengagement times. Unparalleled levels of reliability are provided by the fact that additional air lines and compressors are not needed whatsoever.
To increase traction, drivers must merely press the installation kit’s included activation switch, thus sending the Eaton ELocker4 differential the juice it requires to shift torque to both wheels equally. The result is maximum traction in challenging terrain, icy road conditions, or when a heavy load is causing havoc. Naturally, a wiring harness and a relay come with each kit, along with a chassis electrical system protecting diode, and a fuse for good measure.
Both of Eaton’s Bronco differential upgrades have one caveat. Any new Ford Bronco with factory 3.73 gears have a welded ring gear design. For this reason, those applications require a replacement M220 JL ring & pinion to complete installation.
One other thing to consider is if you ever plan to go to a larger tire size and need a different gear ratio, this job requires the complete disassembly and reassembly of the vehicle’s rear differential. It would be recommended to do both of these jobs at the same time. Also, it is best to consult with your local specialist if you are not up for the task.