FX-4 & Tremor & Front Locker

Yama_Ranger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Threads
1
Messages
64
Reaction score
132
Location
Earth
Vehicle(s)
2013 Raptor Soon 2021 APG Ranger
I was hoping for a front locker for my Ranger build but after a little investigation, the front diff is not strong enough in stock form and will require a bunch of money to get it up to snuff.

I've had several rigs with rear lockers, currently have a truck with a rear locker and front LSD, and have had 1 with front and rear lockers. Regarding the fully locked truck, I mostly used just the rear but on occasion where I needed to tip-toe through a technical line, the front locker added a great deal of additional control. But, beyond those edge cases, it wasn't something that I used often.
Sponsored

 
OP
OP

TunaFresh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Threads
8
Messages
50
Reaction score
52
Location
Pa
Vehicle(s)
Subaru
I was hoping for a front locker for my Ranger build but after a little investigation, the front diff is not strong enough in stock form and will require a bunch of money to get it up to snuff.

I've had several rigs with rear lockers, currently have a truck with a rear locker and front LSD, and have had 1 with front and rear lockers. Regarding the fully locked truck, I mostly used just the rear but on occasion where I needed to tip-toe through a technical line, the front locker added a great deal of additional control. But, beyond those edge cases, it wasn't something that I used often.
Chevy must put a pretty robust differential on the front to handle a front locker.
 

Yama_Ranger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2021
Threads
1
Messages
64
Reaction score
132
Location
Earth
Vehicle(s)
2013 Raptor Soon 2021 APG Ranger
Yeah, they figured this all out back in the Hummer H3 days. Those were basically the predecessor to the modern Colorado. The early ones had issues with the front diff but they solved that in '09 when they beefed it up. It appears they simply carried forward that design to the current gen Colorados. I wouldn't be surprised if Ford does the same eventually.

It's a tricky issue. A front locker can save a lot of drivetrain wear by eliminating slip/spinning in technical situations but only if the front diff is up to the task of dealing with that load.
 

Brian8256

Member
First Name
Brian
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Threads
1
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Location
Las Vegad
Vehicle(s)
2020 Ford Ranger
Occupation
Glazier
I have never actually *needed* the rear locker to get through any obstacles... and I've taken this truck off road quite a bit. I only recall actually engaging it on a trail once - and that was a 35Âş uphill incline on a really loose gravel / dirt surface... I was climbing just fine in 4 low, but decided to try the locker just for good measure. I likely did not really need it.

I do recommend swapping out the stock FX4 front coilovers and rear shocks. Specifically, I'm running Eibach front coilovers set at about a 2.5" front lift, and Eibach rear shocks. They make a pretty large difference in the handling of the truck both on and off road, and lifting the front just a tad adds just enough extra ground clearance to avoid banging up your bash plates.
 

Brian8256

Member
First Name
Brian
Joined
Feb 3, 2021
Threads
1
Messages
8
Reaction score
1
Location
Las Vegad
Vehicle(s)
2020 Ford Ranger
Occupation
Glazier
Did this void our your warranty?
 


801Ranger

Member
First Name
Kyle
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Threads
0
Messages
22
Reaction score
34
Location
Utah
Vehicle(s)
2020 Ford Ranger XLT Sport 4x4-Race Red
I wanted ask those that do moderate off-roading if they felt the FX-4 is sufficient enough? I've watched so many videos and reviews over the last few weeks and have come away more confused.

The Chevy ZR2 is a beast for sure, with its front and rear locking differentials. One of the few vehicles that has both. From what I've read, they are beneficial but a truck with just a rear locker and crawl control system, is also quite capable.

I was watching this video below that took a stock FX-4 through a Jeep trail, and it did great. Which begs the question, is the FX-4 more capable than some give it credit for?

2019 Ford Ranger Off-Road Test - Broken Arrow Trail Sedona, AZ - YouTube
A good set of tires will make way more difference than a front diff in my opinion. I put 32 inch all terrain Toyo AT3's ( https://www.toyotires.com/product/open-country-at3 ) on mine and the difference is shocking. I don't do any crazy off roading so I have the 4x4 Sport package with 4H, 4L and the rear diff, it's great. Good luck!
 
OP
OP

TunaFresh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Threads
8
Messages
50
Reaction score
52
Location
Pa
Vehicle(s)
Subaru
Pretty favorable review of the FX-4 from 2019.

The Only 2019 Ford Ranger Review That Matters | Outside Online

"
Traction the Modern Way
Because traction is the first and most difficult problem off-road, it’s the fitment of a front-locking differential to the Colorado ZR2 that Chevy uses to justify that model’s $41,300 starting price. As of yet, there is no spec’d-up off-road special version of the Ranger. Instead there’s an FX4 package that’s available across all trim levels. For a $1,295 premium, that package adds three skid plates, a locking rear differential, stiffer shock absorbers, and a package of electronic traction aids that Ford calls Terrain Management. You can get that on a 4WD Ranger that costs under $30,000, and I think it actually works better than the front locker found on the ZR2 or other much more expensive rivals.

To recap: four-wheel drive locks the speed of the front and rear axles together. But when wheels start to slip, all the power goes to the wheels on those axles with the least traction. So four-wheel drive really only powers two wheels when things get slippery. To fix that, you need locking differentials on each axle, which then lock the speeds of the two wheels on either side together. To truly power all four wheels equally, you need lockers on both axles.

Or at least you used to. Back in the 1990s, Land Rover started developing an electronic alternative to locking diffs. Thanks to antilock brakes, all trucks are already fitted with wheel-speed sensors and the ability to precisely apply individual brakes to control those wheel speeds. Land Rover just figured out a way to make that system work in reverse, correcting wheel spin rather than lockup. The advantage is that such a system is lighter, simpler, and capable of activating only in the split second that you need it. Traditional locking diffs are a real bear to activate and impair a vehicle’s steering once you have them on.

Well, guess who owned Land Rover for a couple years, at the exact moment that technology was perfected? That’s right, Ford did. The company will not comment on whether or not its Terrain Management system shares software or components with Land Rover’s Terrain Response, but I can report that the two systems function identically when it comes to how they manage traction; they even share similar control units, graphics, and language, which drivers use to interact with the systems. I can also report that both systems are extraordinarily effective; the Ranger’s electronics will get you through any terrain that mechanical lockers would and are a lot easier to use. "
 

daniel3507

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Threads
20
Messages
559
Reaction score
1,186
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger XLT Sport 4x4
I was worried I would miss the locker I had in my f150. To be honest, I rarely used it but I liked that it was there. This weekend the ranger really surprised me though. even in situations with only three tires on the ground and slippery mud I had no problems. I could tell the terrain management was kicking in (that odd grinding sound of traction control) and I really didn't expect it to make the difference it did. I don't think I'll be missing that locker anymore.
 

bentroia

Well-Known Member
First Name
Ben
Joined
Feb 26, 2021
Threads
13
Messages
215
Reaction score
352
Location
Auburn CA
Vehicle(s)
2021 Ranger Tremor
Occupation
Logistics
I wanted ask those that do moderate off-roading if they felt the FX-4 is sufficient enough? I've watched so many videos and reviews over the last few weeks and have come away more confused.

The Chevy ZR2 is a beast for sure, with its front and rear locking differentials. One of the few vehicles that has both. From what I've read, they are beneficial but a truck with just a rear locker and crawl control system, is also quite capable.

I was watching this video below that took a stock FX-4 through a Jeep trail, and it did great. Which begs the question, is the FX-4 more capable than some give it credit for?

2019 Ford Ranger Off-Road Test - Broken Arrow Trail Sedona, AZ - YouTube
A front locker is for extreme conditions. Its great that we each get to decide on the level of investment in our trucks always trying to balance our cost/service needs.

Unless you want to drive the more difficult trails, deal with the expense and sometimes snowball effect of modifications, it is best to keep it simple and close to oem to reduce chance of unintended problems.

A set of shocks and tires in a reasonable size-weight will take the fx4 to the next level without throwing the essential charachter of the truck out of whack.

The tremor does this nicely. It is a great model of simple, functional, reliable mods.

I asked the same Qs you did, and just bought the Tremor to avoid immediate replacement of tires and shocks at a minimum...

Good luck making good decisions and being content with them!!
 
OP
OP

TunaFresh

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Threads
8
Messages
50
Reaction score
52
Location
Pa
Vehicle(s)
Subaru
A front locker is for extreme conditions. Its great that we each get to decide on the level of investment in our trucks always trying to balance our cost/service needs.

Unless you want to drive the more difficult trails, deal with the expense and sometimes snowball effect of modifications, it is best to keep it simple and close to oem to reduce chance of unintended problems.

A set of shocks and tires in a reasonable size-weight will take the fx4 to the next level without throwing the essential charachter of the truck out of whack.

The tremor does this nicely. It is a great model of simple, functional, reliable mods.

I asked the same Qs you did, and just bought the Tremor to avoid immediate replacement of tires and shocks at a minimum...

Good luck making good decisions and being content with them!!
Great points. Congrats on the Tremor! I love the way the Tremor looks.
 

JohnnyO

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jon
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Threads
21
Messages
1,523
Reaction score
4,459
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle(s)
2020 Ranger STX 4x4
Occupation
Asst. Greenskeeper, Bushwood Country Club
 

awd.nv

Well-Known Member
First Name
Anthony
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Threads
16
Messages
688
Reaction score
1,082
Location
Las Vegas, NV
Vehicle(s)
'21 Ranger XLT Tremor
Occupation
Computers
Most people that have opinions on this sort of thing severely over-estimate what you need to go off-roading. It's amazing how much money people dump into their trucks only to face obstacles that can be cleared by almost any 4x4 pickup. The stock FX4 is pretty good at keeping traction and handles mild jeep trails well. It's definitely not a rock crawler, but it will do its job when the road stops being a road.

I frequently ride jeep trails in Central FL with my brother in his lifted Wrangler. I find when going down the same trails I tend to end up on three wheels much sooner than he does, but I make it through all the same. A lift and bigger tires will come at some point, but I really prefer to save the hard off-roading for my mountain bike and just use the pickup to get me and my gear out to the sweet riding spots.

Edit: I've used the locker a handful of times to make it up steep, rutted climbs where I end up with wheels in the air. It works very well and allows you to steadily move forward in a controlled manner instead of flooring it to bounce over obstacles.
Man I totally agree about what people think you need for off-roading. One of our trail vehicles is a 2016 Honda Pilot AWD Touring w/2" lift, skid plates and Nitto Ridge Grapplers. People are always surprised by it but in reality, people just over estimate what they need.

Granted, we just picked up a Tremor and I can't wait to try the same trails with proper off-road tuned suspension, but that said, I originally thought I needed to trade in the Pilot for a 4runner with all you read online.
 

103

Well-Known Member
First Name
Dustin
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Threads
16
Messages
176
Reaction score
329
Location
Florida
Vehicle(s)
2019 Ranger XLT Sport 4x4
I had front and rear lockers on my TJ Rubicon. I don't think I ever actually used them other than to make sure they worked.
 

JohnnyO

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jon
Joined
Apr 8, 2021
Threads
21
Messages
1,523
Reaction score
4,459
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle(s)
2020 Ranger STX 4x4
Occupation
Asst. Greenskeeper, Bushwood Country Club
Last edited:
 



Top