View Full Version : TOTM: Lockers

05-03-2012, 01:27 AM
What locking diffs have you run? Ever brake anything? Did it work right? Noisy? Air lines piss you off? Tell us what is worth the money and what isn't.

05-03-2012, 08:55 AM
Air lines piss you off?

Thinking of GSSE 2010? :D

05-03-2012, 10:07 AM
Spartan locker in both the d30 and 8.8, no complaints about either one. I like the big 4 pin design and the fact that they come with new hardened cross pins. The one I had in my 44a a while back held up great to a couple bent shafts as well. Sure theres the clicking and occasional bang on the street, but not a deal breaker by any means.

05-03-2012, 11:03 AM
Funny you bring this up! Lockers are a little like do you prefer Coke or Pepsi. Personally I would never run an ARB. Damn near everyone I've ever wheeled with that has an ARB from the east coast to Moab has had a problem on the trail with them at one time or another. There are to many things that can go wrong with them. I have always loved my Detroit lockers in all the axles I've had them in or seen them in. The bad part about those is when you break a shaft there is a high probability the Detroit will break as collateral damage. Which is what recently did happen to me with my HP D60. Solution is trying a Grizzly. They have the warranty to back it up from collateral damage as well. Then there is also a spool and they have their pros and cons as well and are far cheaper. But I'll let those who run them speak to that.

Before I was running Detroits I used the Aussie lunchbox locker. For my front D44 it was fantastic. I've no longer tracked the progress of those type lockers but I think they are an excellent alternative to full lockers. They are reasonably priced and they are forgiving. Meaning I've notice they tend let go (unlock) before breaking a shaft if pushed hard enough. Where a spool for example is not going to be forgiving.

And one final note. When you get a carrier for a HP D60, just always get the one for 4.10 and down. They offer both due to the rear D60 being the same carrier. But as far as reverse cut gears for a HP D60, they are most often only going to be available for the 4.10 and down carrier. Meaning get "thick" gears. I learned that the hard way today. You can get thin gears for a 4.56 and up carrier, but they are not as easy to come by. The HP D60 is one of those axles where you can't simply follow the carrier break rule with what gears you are running. I am using a 4.10 and numerically down carrier with a 5.13 "thick" ring gear. Hopefully that saves someone the mistake I just made! :cool: And to add to the tech on the subject here is a little more data I found if you can't tell which carrier you already have because you bought the axle used. Which was what happened to me.

To distinguish a 4.10 and down carrier (called a 3-series carrier) from a 4.56 and up carrier (called a 4-series carrier) you need to measure the distance from the face where the ring gear sits, to the end of the carrier.

For a 3 series carrier (4.10 and down, Spicer part number 706040X) Dimension is 2.225"

For a 4 series carrier (4.56 and up Spicer part number 706041X) Dimension is 2.360"

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc86/PearceYJ/YJ Build/2012-05-02_21-59-42_171.jpg

05-03-2012, 11:24 AM
I ran Aussie lockers in my HP30 and 8.8. Never directly had a problem with the either locker.

However, Aussie lockers reuse the stock crosspin and of course the stock carrier. This can be problematic if you have a built D30. My first failure was from the crosspin breaking into three pieces. I replaced it with a hardened crosspin then later completely twisted a stock carrier. I also blew up a R&P and carrier before I ran chromo axles when I broke a stock axle. The locker survived all three failures and I was still able to resell it afterwards. Although I did need to replace the pins and springs every time I got the axle rebuilt (the kit is like $10-15, so it's not a big deal).

I can also attest to the fact that lockers flat out suck on the roads when snow is sticking to the roads. A rear locker is worse than a front locker, IMO. The rear causes the rear end to kick out. If you have an automatic locker, the front of course is only engaged when you are in 4wd. Unless things are really, really bad, I usually only engage 4wd when I need to make a slow sharp turn and/or start moving after being stopped at an intersection.

I think I'm just going to run spool/welded diffs for my build. I'd love to run ARBs, but I'd rather put the money into wheeling trips, plus it's one less thing to worry about breaking or malfunctioning.

Speaking of spools -- I don't have personal experience, but if you spool/weld a front axle, you need to make sure that the u-joints are in phase with each other.

05-03-2012, 11:31 AM
my first locker was a Powertrax NoSlip in an 8.25" rear axle. Great locker but expensive. sadly Motive gear/MidWestTruck has opted to stop making the no-Slip any more (that's why I removed them from my site).

I ran an D30 Ox locker for 1 season...biggest mistake ever.

I followed the installation instructions Exactly as written and still melted cables. I had to constantly adjust the shifter/linkage to get the damn thing to engage. Finally hd enough when I opened the the diff to change the oil and a half dozen or so bolts came out with the oil.

I've installed a number of ARB's for folks...and had to repair quite a few as well. Not the panacea that some would have you believe.

I've been running Eaton E-Lockers (front and rear D44's) since '08 without any problems at all.

Steel City ZJ
05-03-2012, 12:02 PM
I also run F/R Eatons in my 30/8.8. I got them about two years ago after hearing good reviews from Serious and haven't had any issues with them. I love them. At first I used them a lot and would crawl right up whatever I pointed my Jeep at now I use them more sparingly but am still impressed at their performance.

Ken L
05-03-2012, 12:15 PM
I'm running an ARB in the rear 60 and an Auburn ECted in the front 30. Here's my take on both.

ARB: I modified some push-to-connect fittings to fit the ARB bulkhead fitting so that I could run some "standard" 1/4" poly tubing rather than the blue crap that ARB sends with the locker. I went with tubing that I had a lot of experience in industrial situations that have high wear resistance, good heat resistance and good flexibility. Been running it for 4 years or so now with no issues.

The locker itself has performed flawlessly for me. I also am using industrial solenoid valves rather than the ARB valve, and have a York on-board air compressor filling an air tank, regulated to 90psi output to the locker. The industrial valve is one that I developed for a customer that manufactures cement trucks, and it performs great in my application since it was designed around way more abusive situations than I'll ever throw at it.

ECted: Has been somewhat disappointing. I took the diff cover off this past weekend looking for reasons why the ECted doesn't lock up. Clutches seem good, and it locks up when the axle is off the ground, also locks when one tire is on the ground but takes almost a full rotation of the wheel that's in the air to engage and lock up. Not sure what's up with that. I need to figure out how to get that working properly or else I'm going to start saving the money to put another ARB in the front. Frustrating when I need the front locked up and it doesn't. I thought it worked properly when first installed but it's not doing the job now. Friends have put ECteds in the rear of their TJs and YJs with good results. Maybe mine is just bad.

I like the selectable lockers because I drive my Jeep to the trail, and I really like the "open" handling on the street. My CJ had a spool in the back, which I liked because it was always there, but street driving had it's challenges.

05-03-2012, 12:45 PM
ECted: ... almost a full rotation of the wheel that's in the air to engage and lock up.
I've never run one, but I did a lot of research on them. From my understanding, they are supposed to take about 3/4 of a rotation to actually engage. In addition they also disengage/reengage when you back up. The general consensus was that the failures of such lockers are typically due to people hammering down before the locker is fully engaged. This was as of a few years ago I looked into it, so perhaps they improved the design. What I researched about them didn't seem very suited to terrain that required a lot of throttle immediately after changing directions -- which is very common here.

Someone please correct me if this information is incorrect.

05-03-2012, 06:41 PM
Afew years ago I was in Moab with a group of random folks from Colorado. one of the guys in a TJ had a newly installed Ected in his rear d44. The first time he engaged it on the first bit of slick rock it slipped....a lot. It never did fully "Lock".

The ECTED is not a true locker, it does not mechanically lock the axles together.

05-03-2012, 06:51 PM

The full case auto lockers are the best out there for all applications.
The selectables are best suited for rear applications of street driven vehicles and front of comp rigs.
Inserts are ok for D44 or larger.
and electric lockers are ok if used in appropriate tire/axle size applications.

Dana 30 front I would do a grizzly, lowest cost and argueably the strongest, full case locker out there. The Dana 30 has a very weak carrier. Just look at how thin the Casting is in some parts. For those with a very tight wallet, the Spartan is the most bang for your buck. But dont be surprised if your carrier breaks apart if running 4:1 or higher HP stroker, or over a 35" tire.

Dana 44/F8.8 rear or front non selectable hub style - Spartan, for low budget, or grizzly if wanting stronger and better mannerisms. If you're in a icy region then a selectable is best. I like the Yukon zip air lockers over all the rest. A few hundred less in $ and full forged case and chromoly internals with a warranty that’s beyond anyones. Then the E-Locker. I only say air first, because you should have a air system on your jeep anyways, and it’s the installers error that causes a air line failure, but the air locker is significantly stronger then the electric designes.

The best discussion / arguments are always… "What do I lock first, the front or rear?" I believe front if in soft stuff ever, and if not then either. But in soft stuff (sand, snow, mud) when one tires spinning like crazy and the other isnt, the one that is not is building up a very nice and large wheel chock in front of it. A locked front would remove all material in front of tires while trying to pull you forward.

If you have the $, a selectable locker front and back is the best setup, for a trail rig. Im my KOH rig we run a spooled 14b rear and Grizzly locker rockjock front, soon to be swapped to a comp Zip locker that is locked unless air is fed to it, then it unlocks.

Ken L
05-03-2012, 06:59 PM
I realize that the ECted is a limited slip that, when actuated, ramps together to make a "tighter" limited slip. That's what I wanted for the front, because I figured that without somehat of a torque bias I'd be breaking the 30 on a regular basis. The torque bias is relatively high but it's still not truly locked like a spool.

What you said about it needing 3/4 of a rotation to engage sounds about right. Thanks for the info. I'll see how I can make that work for me this 'wheeling season. If it doesn't work then it will be replaced for an ARB.

05-03-2012, 07:29 PM
I realize that the ECted is a limited slip that, when actuated, ramps together to make a "tighter" limited slip. That's what I wanted for the front, because I figured that without somehat of a torque bias I'd be breaking the 30 on a regular basis. The torque bias is relatively high but it's still not truly locked like a spool.

What you said about it needing 3/4 of a rotation to engage sounds about right. Thanks for the info. I'll see how I can make that work for me this 'wheeling season. If it doesn't work then it will be replaced for an ARB.

Keep in mind that to get the most "engagment" possible and the tightest, use a pure conventional oil and start with a minimal about of friction modifier. I would start with about 2/3rds the recommeneded amount (pay attention to what the bottle says) and then see if theres any chatter. If no chatter then your good. but the more modifier you add, the less "tight" the device is. the more additive makes the clutches more 'slippery' and they will break free and slip with less tq then with less modifier.

Its the people that run a nice synth oil then add in a modifier that really have a loose ECTED. The synthetic oils all have properties of that of a conv and modifier. Look at the bottles of synth oils, they say for limited slip also. meaning they dont need the aditive and actually they may be to slipery for a ECTED, even without modifier.

05-10-2012, 12:12 AM
Thinking of GSSE 2010? :D

Yup. :)

Most of the ARB problems that I've seen occur are because of installer error - mine included. When I had problems it was because the air line got pinched due to poor placement. Now I carry spare line and fittings. They're light, small and easy to store so it's no big deal to carry parts. My brother recently had his ancient ARB compressor overfill (I assume) and blow the reservoir right off so you can have air source problems too.

I have run a Lock Right and ended up breaking it. It worked ok before it broke but it was annoying to drive with. Selectable lockers have been my first choice despite the complications but I am starting to think that a couple of Detroit or Grizzly lockers might be the way to go for a 95% trail only rig. For a true dual purpose rig I'd still go with selectables. I did have an Ox locker a while back and liked it but the shifting was a bit of a hassle, especially when compared to an air locker. The machined diff cover that came with it was nice too.

05-10-2012, 10:59 AM
Speaking of Detroit or Grizzly lockers, this is a current thread on Pirate that is very applicable here:

It makes me very wary of running a Detroit due to the probability of them exploding when a shaft does and I've yet to see any accounts of Grizzlies being blown up.

I love automatic lockers, but they do (at least the lunchbox style) have some funky handling characteristics at times -- especially in the snow. For a DD'd rig that is going to see snowy roads, I'd recommend either leaving your rear open or getting an ARB. If you are running an auto locker in the rear and it's snowy, you need to be mindful on straightaways that your rear doesn't kick out -- and I would recommend engaging 4wd before going around any sharp turns, or else you can pretty much expect your rear end to fishtail.

Of course a selectable locker gives you the best of both worlds at the expense of money and some added complexity -- but it also gives you a lot more flexibility (especially if you want to add cutting brakes to literally turn on a dime). So it's just a classic tradeoff.

05-10-2012, 01:04 PM
What are people's thoughts on running a non-selectable locker in frount? Right now I have a Detroit in the rear (8.8) and a True track (gear type LS) in the the frount (D44). I was thinking of getting a Eaton E-locker for the front but was wondering if I could just throw another Detroit in there.

05-10-2012, 10:24 PM
Party in the front, business in the back? (spool/grizzly respectively)

Very happy with this combo. Of course full hydro is probably a prerequisite for a front spool. Coming from front and rear spools it turns better and still makes good traction

05-10-2012, 10:55 PM
I have an aussie in the front and a grizzly in the back. The aussie works great, but even with a ps cooler I have to send my son to lock/unlock hubs constantly when wheeling. Guess it's time for hydro-assist... I could never run 4wd on the street or highway as it feels like the front end wants to drive out from beneath the jeep.If I had it to do all over I'd go grizzly/grizzly. Grizzly has a good warranty and good road manners, nice subdued clicking noise- that and tire whine are sweet, sweet music. Neither the aussie or the griz have given issues offroad, short of the aussie making steering annoying between obstacles. Easy to get around corners and into parking spaces w/ griz, too- just stay off the stupid pedal or things get fun.

05-10-2012, 11:47 PM
I have a Spartan in my 44a, the PO had it installed. I drive mainly on the street, and try to make it out wheeling one weekend a month or so. It's noisy, and when it disengages/engages it causes the Jeep to pitch, usually predictably, to one side. No snow here last winter so most of my driving has been on wet roads at the worst. It performs as expected off road and I have no complaints about it's off road performance, on road leaves a little to be desired but not to the point that I'm dissatisfied with it.

05-11-2012, 01:27 AM
Perfect TOTM for what I have been trying to decide, while the jeep has been sitting around getting worked on "slowly" I have been thinking about how I want to lock it up. So far I am liking the idea of a grizzly or the like up front, but the rear is what I keep tossing around. Who here has ran a locker up front with the stock crap in the rear? I have 2 D44a's so I would rather use them instead of going to the 8.8 swap to keep cost down for now. I am planning on the 30hp up front and gear it down to 4.10 ( already have the 4.10 gears in the spare D44a) Does the combo work at all? Or is it total crap.
249 is being replaced with a 231. so that isn't an issue.

05-11-2012, 11:24 AM
Also, here is my opinion of the classic "If I can only lock one axle, which should I lock first?"

In my experience with my rig and wheeling with others, a locked rear is generally more effective in "power" situations -- mud, slick terrain, hill climbs. However, a locked front is generally more effective in rocks or getting up a ledge. Of course, I say "generally", because I'm sure you can find specific obstacles that go against that logic. In addition, a rear locker negatively affects turning radius more than a front locker -- but a front locker puts more stress on the steering components.

If you want to put in a selectable locker:
1) Pick the stronger of the two axles and lock that (or the axle that actually offers a selectable locker).
2) Go with two lunchbox lockers instead. Price-wise, it might be cheaper.

Now assuming we are talking about an automatic locker:
1) If your rig is primarily street driven, lock the front. It'll be transparent in 2wd and won't give any funky characteristics except perhaps some clicking going around turns. If you live in a snowy region, this will make snow driving a bit easier.
2) If your rig is primarily off-road, lock the rear if you wheel mostly in slick terrain or don't want to stress your steering, lock the front if it sees mostly rocks or ledges.

Assuming we are talking about a spool or welded diff:
1) If your rig is primarily street driven, save up your money for an automatic or selectable locker.
2) If your rig is primarily off-road, I would lock the rear and deal with the now horrible steering radius. It'll be easier on the steering.

Oh and this entire logic is assuming regular power steering. If you can afford hydro-assist or full hydro steering, you likely are going to be locking both axles anyways.

Again, this is my opinion and yours could be different.

05-12-2012, 02:04 AM
props to you guys out there wheeling with one or no lockers. these days whenever a locker fails we are usually dead in the water and it's hard to remember we all started out open/open

05-12-2012, 05:15 AM
No kidding Cam

My rig is trail only but is a lot of fun to drive on the road

Im running full spool in the rear and a welded lock-rite up front. Drive slugs after breaking warn premium gold manual hubs.

Its not the best but it is dependable and pradictable plus with hydro assist it turns ok. When making hard turns on pavement it barks like crazy and jerks all funny. Cops always look.

As nice as it would be to have a select locker I like to keep it as simple as i can. And I would only get a auto lock if I was broke with a beater with 35" or smaller tire.

I have a stock 2000 chevy blazer I take out to a local spot when i need a fix and a reminder of how it use to be with no flex open diff's and scrape on every little branch and rock.

Texas ZJ1
05-25-2012, 05:53 AM
I ran the detroit locker in the Super 35....oh no, not that...and the detroit truetrac up front. Really liked both. No problems.


05-27-2012, 11:53 AM
I know this thread is about lockers, but I see a lot of steering comments. That being said, my PS pump is bleeding out the front seal and before I replace it with a re-man what so yall recommend for an upgrade. I am currently on 32's with a factory ls, but have a hp44 and 35's probably to be installed over the winter.
Before this thread I was thinking ARB up front and Detriot rear But now a couple Grizzlies are sounding like the ticket since it is no longer my DD.

06-15-2012, 03:19 AM
ARB's front and rear now. I love them and can live with the occasional issue. Proper line routing is critical as well.

Started with front only on the 30 when I had a read 35. Moved to both axles locked when I went with the 44 iron in the rear. Generally now I just lock the rear to keep steering happier, but don't have an issue locking both when needed and steering isn't bad.

Issues: Original used--way used--ARB compressor air tank started leaking. Fixed with a Cadillac suspension air pump and copper air tank and going on six years w/o an issue. I do need to replace the freaking e-locker push button switch as it doesn't always engage, but that isn't an ARB issue.

I would have ran the e-locker in the rear but part of the kit was missing and since we didn't install it w/in the year after purchasing it, Eaton would not honor the warranty. I had the switch wired in when we found the issue during the 44i install and I just left it and wired int the ARB.

I can crawl things that other open/open have to hit harder so I think it has saved me from other issues. That isn't to say that a lot can't be done on open/open as Greg on Rose Garden Hill did it open w/35's and didn't have to take too many attempts at the more challenging obsticals. Still less wear and tear on the compents w/33's vs. 35's.