installing LSD to front diff

Submitted: Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 16:44
ThreadID: 10758 Views:4865 Replies:8 FollowUps:7
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Was wondering has anyone completed this setup. Have been doing some resurch on this subject and cannot find any disadvantage with this setup. other than if a wheel is lifted of the ground you will lose some of the effect of the LSD no matter if its the front or the back wheels. For sand and mud this sutup is ideal as all 4 wheel will be driving. Yes i do realise that there are lokkers on the market and are a good product BUT the differance in price is the major differance. Any info concerning this subject would be greatly appriciated

cheers Mik
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Reply By: the puddle duck - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 17:56

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 17:56
gday mic.
let me know if you do it .i was thinking about the same thing but thinking is as far as i got.didnt survive duck season
AnswerID: 47906

Reply By: Davoe - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 18:30

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 18:30
How you going to steer???
AnswerID: 47915

Reply By: SteveW - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 18:32

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 18:32
Hi Mik,
I have 'lokkas' in the front and rear of my 4runner, i find them great, they only cost about $500.00 and you can install them easy and quickly yourself. they are not like the traditional locker, with the ones we have from 4wd systems-
the more torque you send thru to the diffs the tighter the lock is, and if your driving around on the road they disengage when turning sharp corners eg. roundabouts. they might be worth looking at, they will last loinger than an lsd which ive heard only last 40 odd km...
give it some thought

regards steve
AnswerID: 47917

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:00

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:00

GQ owners have been doing this for years. LSD out of the back and into the front and some form of locker in the back. On Toyota realy not worth the effort because of the weak LSD. However a constant 4wd a LSD is deadly in the front. I belive you can get a soft locker for the front of a constant 4wd now.

WayneAlways Out'N About
AnswerID: 47922

Follow Up By: the puddle duck - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:06

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:06
sounds like a plan
didnt survive duck season
FollowupID: 309854

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:56

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:56
Wayne, perhaps you mean an Auto locker is deadly in the front of a constant 4WD and that a front LSD is OK.

One should never fit an auto locker to the front diff of a constant 4WD (and IMHO not worth the effort/cost of fitting a front LSD - go the air locker for the front).


MarkNissan 2003 GU 3.0TD
Windsor Rapid Offroad
FollowupID: 309861

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 20:09

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 20:09
They may have been doing it for years, but it aint a good idea.. How do you steer for one?

Check the archives on Patrol or GQ list, all the gurus there are well against it.... ITs also been done here before.
FollowupID: 309864

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 20:42

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 20:42
Truckster (Vic),

GQ's have manual locking hubs. When the hubs are unlocked the axle does not turn with the wheels, the diff does not turn, unless transfer lever is in 4wd. On the hard top the vehicle is in 2wd. The front diff or front LSD will not drive the front wheels. The steering will not be effected. AS for driving on the dirt with a front LSD there would be enough slippage in the diff to steerand when driving in a straight line both front wheels should drive.

WayneAlways Out'N About
FollowupID: 309870

Reply By: Member - Raymond - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:46

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 19:46
Hi Mik Drove a Bronco for years with both front and rear LSD, it was great went every were that the ones with lockers did. Usually had to lead as the extra width cleared the track for the toyo's and Nissans
Ray wanderin' in retirement. victor 2010
AnswerID: 47927

Reply By: Janset - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 22:30

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 22:30
Hi Mik.

I have a '92 Troopie and I have gone down the path of auto front locker (Detroit Soft Locker) and now a LSD (Detroit Tru Track).

Changing over to a LSD is the best thing that I ever did. I had no-end of trouble with the auto locker.

In W.A. we have a hell of a lot of loose sand, especially on our beaches, and that was the problem. I wont go too deeply into it as I have, in the past posted very in-depth article on the matter on this forum.

Suffice to say, and in a nut shell. When I stopped in loose sand in 4WD and the moved off (tyres were deflated at the time), instead of the wheels walking out, they both spun in and went straight down.

Point 2, invariably, when leaving the beach, you have to go up a sand dune and make a sharp left or right turn at the top to follow the track.

I didn't, I went straight on because the axle would not dis-engage. If I took my foot off the pedal to allow the auto locker to unlock, I stalled because I lost momentum in the loose sand.

Point 3. When following other vehicles along the beach and in their tracks (or trying to) the truck always wanted to go straight ahead and not follow the weaving tracks of the truck in front, hence the old girls was all over the place, very difficult to handle.

Now come the worst!

When I tried to turn in the loose sand, both wheels would turn as the same speed resulting in one wheel steering O.K. but the other bulldozing up a huge mound of sand in front of it and most of the time, again, stalling or bogging me.

They same problems relating to steering occurred when driving in mud.

(If I was doing rock climbing under dry conditions, I could climb up a brick wall).

After putting up with this for 22 months I bit the bullet and complained to Detroit.

In all praise to Detroit Australia (I am sorry I can not recall the name they trade under) they came to the party without any quibbles and swapped my front diff over for a very minimal cost to their Tru Track LSD.

I could not be happier with the LSD, Detroit, or my Troopie.

The difference that I noticed in traction loss was next to nothing and more than adequately compensated by complete control of my vehicle.

AnswerID: 47954

Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 23:33

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 23:33
Hi Janset,

I had a Lockright Auto lokka in the front of my previous standard 80 series. I only had praise for the lokka and did not experience any of the problems you had.

In particular, I found it performed very well in sand by allowing accurate steering. I could follow in others tracks, or steer easily out of them, something i could not easily do before the locker.

My lokka easily unlocked on high traction surfaces or muddy slippery tracks. For whatever reason, it sounds like your lokka was reluctant to unlock. This would make its steering performance very difficult and I can understand your dislike of the unit. However, your experience may not be the norm.

Based on my experience i would still recommend a front auto lokka on a part-time 4WD (I plan to install one on my GU once the warranty is up).


MarkNissan 2003 GU 3.0TD
Windsor Rapid Offroad
FollowupID: 309886

Follow Up By: Dave from Fraser Coast 4WD Club - Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 23:49

Tuesday, Feb 24, 2004 at 23:49
Lock rights front and rear on my troopy. Seem to spend half my life on Fraser, Rainbow and Kinkuna, never experienced your problems Janset.

In fact I would assert that the lokkas have allowed me to keep pulling thru the softest sand, rather than a slight difference in grip conditions allowing one wheel to dig me in.

Everyone has their own experience, yours was bad, mine has been good!
FollowupID: 309890

Follow Up By: Member - Allan - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 00:37

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 00:37
Janset, I had a auto lokka in the front of my previous 80 series and it preformed really well in sand or mud. No complaints at all and steering was only slightly affected with hubs engaged. The problems you describe would also be applicable with the air locker which positively locks the diff and I don't hear many people throwing them out to improve steering characteristics.Cheers
FollowupID: 309897

Reply By: trikidiki - Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 19:16

Wednesday, Feb 25, 2004 at 19:16
One other point mentioning, you will lose around 3m.p.g. for each L.S.D.

AnswerID: 48070

Reply By: Janset - Thursday, Feb 26, 2004 at 15:03

Thursday, Feb 26, 2004 at 15:03
Hi guys.

I can not comment on full time 4WD such as in the 80's as I have not had any experience with them. for those of you that are satisfied with yours, that's all that counts. I had a lot of problems with mine, but then I do weigh 3.2 tonnes, that may have some thing to do with it.

It was also suggested in a past post that maybe the diff was not set up properly, that too is a possibility.

As for the comparison with an air locker in the front, I do not think that can in any way compare with an auto locker. An air locker I have compete control over, engaging or dis-engaging if an when required. In that case I would disengage the locker when doing 'u' turns on the beach or when about to turn at the top of the sand hill to facilitate the turn and then re-engage after the turn.

But like I said, if it works for you, money well spent, for me, money waisted.

AnswerID: 48215

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