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How to Tell What Rear End Is in Your Ford F150? – [Easy Steps]

The rear-end of your Ford F150 aids in the rotation of the rear wheels. If you wish to drive and tow smoothly, you must know about your truck’s rear-end.

So how to tell what the rear end is in your Ford F150? The first thing you should look for is the Safety Compliance Certification Label. It could be on any door panel, front or back. Look for the axle and note the code under the axle. By the axle ratio, you can tell what rear-end your Ford F150 has.

For detailed information about the rear end of your truck, read this full article.


How to Tell What Rear End Is in Your Ford F150?

The rear end can be of three types; they are:

  • Conventional / open differential.
  • Limited slip or lock differential.
  • Electronically locking differential.

The rear axle code is the key to determining the rear end you have in your F150. Follow the steps to learn about your rear end.

1. Rear End Information From the Vehicle Certification Label

You will be surprised to know that there is some area in your car where you will get all the information available. Let’s see where you can find the information about the rear end.

  • Check your car door panel for Safety Compliance Certification Label. Usually, on Ford F150 models, you will find a safety compliance certification label on the left front door.
  • If you look closely, you will see a barcode on that label. And the piece of information you will look for is Axle. You will see some codes there.
  • The code under the axle is the axle ratio code.
  • Check the Ford website and look for the owner’s manual.
  • Now, if you scroll down, you will find the axle ratio chart.
  • Scroll up and follow the chart with your axle code to know all the information about your rear end.

2. Rear End Information From the Window Sticker

Another way to know about the rear end is your window sticker. The window sticker has all the information about your truck. If you already have the sticker, look at it and you’ll get the rear end information.

But if you don’t have the window sticker, to get it, you should know your VIN, which you will find on your dashboard (driver’s side).

Now, go to your dealer with VIN, and they will provide you with your window sticker.

Otherwise, you can check Ford’s official website for window stickers and insert the VIN on the website. And you will get all the information along with your window sticker.

3. Rear End Information From the Build Sheet

There is no better option than a build sheet to know about your rear end. After building a car, all necessary information is noted down in a build sheet.

From engine assembly to body assembly, everything is written on that. So, it is the best way to know about your rear end.


How to Know the Differential of Your Truck?

One of the most important factors for knowing the differential is the cover bolt count.

The reason behind its impact is that every differential has a distinct set of bolts in its axles. They can have 12, 14, or 16 bolts.

Another way to find out about the differential is to look for the axle type. Whether it is semi-float or full-float, look at the end of the axle shaft, and you will see some raised portion as teeth.

Now count them down, and it can be any number between 27 and 32 or 32 to 35.


What Is an Electronic Locking Differential?

An electronic locking differential is a series of mechanical gears that restrict how much one wheel may spin compared to the other wheel on the rear end.

A differential, to elaborate, allows one wheel on an axle, such as an automobile axle, to drive at separate speeds.

When turning, for example, the outside wheel must go a greater distance than the inner wheel.

There are usually two pieces to an electronic locking differential. The first one is sensors at each wheel that measure the wheel’s rotational speed.

This measurement is used by the car’s computer to determine if the wheel is sliding.

If it is, the second half begins. The second one is a locked differential that uses a clutch or gear system to make both wheels turn at the same pace.

When all four wheels are locked, they turn at the same speed.

An electrical locking system has the benefit of locking the wheels only when one or more of them is sliding. In a fraction of a second, the locking mechanism may be activated and deactivated.

Older, purely mechanical technologies aren’t as adaptable or quick as newer systems.


How to Tell If Your Ford F150 Has Electronic-Locking Differential?

In your Ford F150, you will see a nob just beside your steering wheel. It is a rotary knob. Besides changing gears in automatic, it does something extraordinary. If you pull the knob out, what does it do?

That is your electronic locking differential.

You can also determine if your truck has an electronic-locking differential from the window sticker of your F150.

Another way to find out is to jack up your rear-end from the ground and spin one tire. If the other one doesn’t move at all, that means you have an electronic locking differential on your Ford F150.


What Is A Limited-Slip Differential?

A limited-slip differential is a component of a car’s drive system that helps the engine deliver its power to the road more effectively. Doing this improves the vehicle’s performance and handling.

The limited-slip differential does just what it says in its name. It limits the amount of wheel spin when the driven wheels lose traction when power is applied.

And the limited-slip differential does this by shifting engine power to the wheels with the best grip, either mechanically, electronically, or a mix of both. A set of clutch discs behind the side gears usually restrict the slip.  

Spring tension is used to keep the various discs in place. The tension between the multiple layers of the disc rises as the slip increases, providing resistance to restrict the slide between the wheels.

One disadvantage is that they must be repaired as they wear out, and their efficacy decreases over time. The differential fluid used in limited-slip also requires a particular additive to allow the clutches to function correctly.

Besides, it avoids chattering while you turn the car.


How to Tell If Your Ford F150 Has Limited-Slip Differential?

Jack up your rear end by taking all necessary safety measures. Just make sure it is not touching the ground, anyway.

Now, go down to the tires and move one tire, observing the other one. 

If your car has a limited-slip differential on the rear end, then while moving one tire, the other one will move in the same direction.

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Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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