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Joined: May 2015
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Housekeeping (Moderator) Making a Stovebolt Bed & Paint and Body Shop Forums
I don't think anything from 1946 came with a limited slip differential. If so it would be very rare.
An open differential (standard on nearly every vehicle) will let one wheel spin if there's any kind of drag on the other side. If the brakes are adjusted a little too tight on one side, then with both wheels off the ground, that side will not spin and the other side will spin at twice the speed that the speedometer indicates.
If both wheels are on the ground, both drive the truck forward, unless one side broke traction, at which time that wheel would spin or "burn rubber" (probably not going to happen on a '46 truck with a stock engine.)
A limited slip differential limits the ability of one wheel to spin freely if it breaks traction, and will still drive the truck forward.

Be sure that your brakes are adjusted equally, without drag on either side, if you're testing up on jack stands. Another check is with both wheels off the ground, the transmission in gear, engine stopped and the clutch engaged, turning one wheel forward would result in the opposite side turning backward. That's normal action for an open differential.

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umoeker Offline OP
So I am a bit embarrassed. Guess the passenger side is the drive wheel and the driver's side wheel shouldn't be spinning. But for some reason the driver's side wheel was spinning like it was the drive wheel the first time I tried to run through the gears?

Joined: May 2023
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umoeker Offline OP
Thanks for your post. Didn't see it was on page 2 of the replies before I added the post above. That answers just about everything. Haven't done a final adjustment on the huck brakes yet so that is probably what is causing the driver's side to spin.

Joined: Jan 2022
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A non limited slip differential (like the one that left the factory in your '46) can often only spin one tire when both are off the ground as yours are. It will spin the one that has the least amount of drag/resistance unless both sides have the same amount of drag.

'57 GMC 102, Original 347 V8, HydraMatic, 3.08 rear gear, added A/C, disk front brakes, HEI, AFB carb, '98 Honda Black Currant paint. T-boned and totaled 10/13
'52 GMC 152 Stake Bed, Original 228, SM420, added A/C, disk front brakes, '67 Chev 3.55 rear gear. Gets used as a real truck.
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It is completely normal for only one drive wheel to turn with both wheels off the the ground. If it had a posi-traction
or limited slip differential, both wheels would turn.

1956 3100 Pickup/Red/350/3sp OD/PS/Disc Brakes
1957 Bel Air Sport Coupe/Red/355/TH350/PS/Disc Brakes
2017 Silverado LT Single Cab SB/Black/5.3/6 Speed Trans
1947 Willys CJ2A w/F-Head engine
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I was going to say I am going to ask a really dumb question. And that question was going to be if the other tire was spinning and you just didn't see it being on the driver side.

Looks like you answered your own question.

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