SEMA 2023: Eaton Detroit Truetrac Differential For Ford F-150

Each year, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas brings us innovations in the automobile and manufacturing worlds. This year’s exhibition showed off incredible custom builds and incredible new products.

One of the most significant developments comes from the Eaton Mobility Group. Soon, Ford F-150 owners can use the Detroit Truetrac differential in their rigs. Here’s what we learned at SEMA this year.

Eaton’s Detroit Truetrac Announcement

Eaton Mobility Group, part of the Eaton Corporation, announced it will add new differentials to its aftermarket selection. The new differential system will fit your Ford F-150 models from 2015 through 2022. Eaton unveiled the new differentials at SEMA earlier this month and said they’ll be available through distribution starting in the first quarter of next year. 

“Eaton’s aftermarket team continues to listen to feedback from our customers as we add additional products for vehicles operating in North America,” said Jason Denardo, product manager, Aftermarket, Eaton’s Mobility Group. “We are excited to launch a Truetrac for F-150 trucks with 8.8-inch axles and expand our performance differential portfolio. “This Truetrac will allow F-150 owners to easily improve their truck’s traction and performance.”

Examining The Detroit Truetrac Differential

Eaton’s Detroit Truetrac has long been a popular differential because of its reliability and stabilizing characteristics. This system employs a helical-style differential because it’s generally smoother than conventional straight-cut gears. Using the Detroit Truetrac ensures a limited slip and a smooth ride anywhere. Making the loose dirt road feel like fresh solid pavement is hard, but we can help ourselves with this differential. 

Seeing the Detroit Truetrac differential pair with the Ford F-150 is a welcome sight. Off-roaders have enjoyed Eaton differential system on the Ford Bronco, Jeep, Toyota, RAM, and GM pickups. 

The F-Series is America’s most popular truck, so seeing these upgrades will please many F-150 owners. Starting in the first quarter of 2024, we’ll see the Eaton differentials for the F-150’s front and rear axles. Here’s what we can expect from each. 

Front Axle

Rear Axle

Axle: 8.8” IFS Snap Ring” Axle: Ford Super 8.8” C-Clip
Ring gear diameter: 8.8” Ring gear diameter: 8.8”
Axle shaft diameter: 1.32” Axle shaft diameter: 1.32”
Spline count: 31 Spline count: 34
Gear ratio: All Gear ratio: 3.31 and higher

How The Truetrac Will Upgrade The Ford F-150

Installing the Truetrac differential in a Ford F-150 pickup would be a huge game-changer. Here are a few reasons why we’re excited about this recent announcement. 

Less Maintenance

Taking F-150s off-road can strain the truck and accelerate wear if the driver isn’t careful. While off-roading is fun, the bill required to pay for maintenance and repairs might not be. The Detroit Truetrac makes life easier by giving a driver more control while off-road and requiring minimal upkeep. We already have enough to worry about concerning our off-road tires, air filters, and other crucial parts.  

Eaton says its differentials are maintenance-free while making rides smooth each time. The manufacturer recommends regular lube changes for the helical-cut gears to prevent failure. This gives us more time on the trails, in the desert, or backcountry than in the garage.  

Improved Towing

Often our excursions have us towing out to the next adventure. One downside is that the towing can strain a truck’s capabilities especially while off-road. Luckily, the Detroit Truetrac improves performance by limiting slip and maximizing traction. The Detroit Truetrac sends transfers torque and traction to the ground, assisting the vehicle to continue on the path as desired. This is crucial for drivers on both the highway and entering the woods.

Better Handling

The torque transfer is one element aiding the traction Ford F-150 drivers will notice with the Detroit Truetrac differential. This system is smart enough to identify when the truck loses traction or shifts to a different terrain. Obviously, driving in mud is different from asphalt. 

The Detroit Truetrac transfers torque to the vehicle’s wheel which needs traction from the wheel that is uselessly spinning. Once the F-150 re-gains traction to both wheels like normal, the differential returns to normal. Fortunately, this automatic operation is available when driving forward or reverse. 

Giving The Older F-150s A Lift

Eaton’s Detroit Truetrac differential system has proven its performance capabilities in numerous vehicle platforms over the years. Now, the time has come to apply this technology to modern late-model Ford F-150 trucks starting in 2024. Eaton Mobility Group’s announcement is a welcome sign for F-150 owners, as they can upgrade their traction and towing without worrying about maintenance. Refitting these trucks with a Detroit Truetrac will extend the life of these F-150s, even if they are a little older.

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Jack Shaw

Jack Shaw is a seasoned automotive expert and freelance writer, specializing in the thrilling world of off-roading. With a career spanning six years researching and writing about the automotive industry.
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