Diff Lock or Winch?

Submitted: Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 16:54
ThreadID: 11001 Views:3794 Replies:13 FollowUps:7
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Have got the budget to fit one or the other at this point on my 2000 model HiLux, I have a winch bar and ARB compressor already. I do 95% of my offroad work alone and can't make up my mind, I was thinking of a diff lock, with prevention rather than cure (winch) in mind. Just wondering what your opinions are. Thanks, Isaac.
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Reply By: Member Eric - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:06

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:06
well I would think winch , you can almost avoid areas were your diff lock will help , but if you get in the s*it them you can winch out . Also can be used for moving fallen treas were you dont have room to move and drag back with chains or extention strap
AnswerID: 49151

Reply By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:07

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:07
Winch.... If you go into terrain where you are alone i would go winch without a doubt...Plenty will differ on this subject......
A difflock wont pull you out of a creek when you are stalled... I have both and i know which one i rely on more....
AnswerID: 49152

Reply By: Roachie - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:13

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:13
Isaac,
That's a tough one to answer without knowing a fair bit about your own driving style & areas travelled in etc. I have both a 9000lb winch and a front air locker on my Patrol and not sure which one I'd go without if I had to give one up.
It's a bit like comparing tennis with squash.
You say you do a lot of travelling alone.....okay, what about passing vehicles? Do you usually travel to places so remote that you would not see another truck for days at a time? I know it's not ideal to be relying on other vehicles to snatch you out of trouble. But if you get stuck without a winch and you're in a spot where another vehicle might be able/willing to assist you, then a winch might not be necessary. However, in the same thought, if you've been using your diff lock, you might end up being 100 yards further in the shiat than any recovery vehicle can get to!!
Another thought would be to go for the diff lock and spend a couple of hundred on a good hand winch; just in case. You'd be hoping like hell you never had to get it out of it's bag, but it'd be nice to know it's there anyway.
I think I'd probably go the diff lock if I had to choose.
Cheers,
Roachie
AnswerID: 49154

Reply By: basecamp15 - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:42

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 17:42
I have a 9000 lb winch and have never used it. A bit sad that but whenever I've been stuck, someone has pulled me out (I don't travel alone). If I had a Difflock, I would have used it several times by now (and probably wouldn't have gotten bogged those times either). :) It does help to have one car with a winch in the party as this will get you all out of the sh*t when it has too. As you travel alone, the winch would be the better choice.
Given my time over again, because I travel with mates, I would have went the difflock..... or chosen another career so I cxould have both lol
Cheers, Mark.
AnswerID: 49158

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 18:42

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 18:42
Difflock will get you into deeper bleep that you wont get out of - if you dont have a winch.

Catch 22.

Go the winch first you can always get out of the crap.
AnswerID: 49164

Reply By: Coops (Pilbara) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:14

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 19:14
people can't steal a diff lock
there's less maintenance
if you get stuck with diff locks then it's easier to convince the l"eader of the opposition" of the need for a winch
a diff lock will get you up that steep incline without the need to respool
a diff lock is no strain on your batteries

All of the above depends on the extemities of your off road work though
AnswerID: 49172

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:12

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:12
Isaac,

A winch can only pull you forward, sometimes further forward into trouble. A diff lock might get you out backwards. These items are mechanical and also electrical, both of which can let you down.

What ever you decide don't think just because I have some form of recovery "I will push to the limit." hoping that the diff lock or winch will get you out.

If you do a lot of driving alone I would not go out with out a hand winch, regardless of what else you have fitted. With a hand winch you can pull forward backwards and sideways, even put the vehicle back on it's wheels in the event of a roll over.

Wayne
AnswerID: 49176

Follow Up By: isaac - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:45

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:45
Should have posted as a follow-up. Sorry

Thanks guys. It's always good to get other points of view from people who have been there done that. I should have explained that the reason I do the majority of my offroad stuff alone as I am a shift worker, with days off during the week and out on the tracks I go I seldom see anyone during the week.
I think I'll go for a diff lock and a hand winch as the times when I have had to be winched out by others have been backwards.

Just one more, front or rear diff lock? I have a LSD in the back so was thinking front but how is steering affected?

Cheers, Ben
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FollowupID: 311046

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 22:18

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 22:18
Winch works well backwards for me... Straight under the car and out the rear....Just bolt a roller under the rear bar....
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FollowupID: 311070

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 22:42

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 22:42
Voxson,

That would mean the roller fair lead would be a lot lower on the front bar, so when the cable went under the vehicle it did not rub on the steering arms, the front axle, rear diff and fuel tank. How are you going to pass the cable under the vehicle if it is in a bog up to the sills. Hand winch has got to be the way to go.

PS How do you get the hook through the rollers on the rear bar?

Wayne
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FollowupID: 311075

Follow Up By: Voxson (Adelaide) - Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 09:04

Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 09:04
Hi Wayne./// When ya desperate and it gets me free i tend to say it worked well/..... I wasnt fussed about the cable touching arms and diffs because i was panicking... But it worked well...
The idea was to put a roller under the bumper for the cable to rest up to and not to go through.. But i prob wouldnt bother..
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FollowupID: 311101

Reply By: isaac - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:31

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:31
Thanks guys. It's always good to get other points of view from people who have been there done that. I should have explained that the reason I do the majority of my offroad stuff alone as I am a shift worker, with days off during the week and out on the tracks I go I seldom see anyone during the week.
I think I'll go for a diff lock and a hand winch as the times when I have had to be winched out by others have been backwards.

Just one more, front or rear diff lock? I have a LSD in the back so was thinking front but how is steering affected?

Cheers, Ben
AnswerID: 49183

Follow Up By: Roachie - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:48

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 20:48
Ben,
Depends a bit on type of vehicle. I have a GU patrol which is renowned for having an excellent stock LSD, so I went for a front air locker. Sure, it makes it just about impossible to turn the steering when it's engaged, but it also reacts very quickly to being disengaged (to turn) and then re-engaged (once you've got the steering pointed where you want it).
However, some other vehicles (landcruisers included) are supposedly fitted with less-effective LSD's (just what I've heard, so don't take me to task you L/C lovers), so you may be better off with a rear locker in a cruiser.
Cheers,
Roachie
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FollowupID: 311048

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 21:01

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 21:01
Ben,

Being a Toyota Hilux, a diff lock in the back, the LSD is not that good.

Having said that I belive that a diff lock only in the front is a waste of money, reguardless of what type of LSD is in the back. A rear Diff lock would get used 90% more than a front Diff lock ever would. That means better value for money.

Wayne
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FollowupID: 311054

Reply By: Kev - (Cairns,QLD) - Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 22:04

Thursday, Mar 04, 2004 at 22:04
Go for the diff locks !

I use mine all the time & very rarely use the winch.

Then throw in a Turfer later if needed.
AnswerID: 49206

Reply By: Member - Bob - Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 10:03

Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 10:03
I reckon some form of diff locking is essential, and turns an ordinary station wagon into a real 4WD. They are basic for any dune work. The winch is pretty esoteric and probably more appropriate for those who intentionally like to get bogged in mud etc The only sit where diff lock may be unecessary is where advanced traction control is used, but even then the addition of CDL confers an advantage.
AnswerID: 49243

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 10:50

Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 10:50
Isaac,

Depends on the terrain that you most frequent and the way you drive I guess.

Not much point in the winch if you have nothing to hook to. eg if you are always on rocky ground with no trees the locker would be best. In the more wooded areas ith a bit of mus probably the winch. I have both and have hardly used the winch for myself but then when I did I was grateful that I had it. The lockers can get you further in the thick stuff but can also make the difference of getting through or not.

You really need to analyse where yuour vehicle is used the most and the level of isolation/remoteness that you may go to when alone and then make your jusdgement from that. I got both over time for that reason so chose one and save for the other. The other thing to remember the winch you can change from vehicle to vehicle so if properly maintained will last for years so the cost over its lifetime will be minimal. The locker on the other hand you will usually sell with the vehicle so it really needs to go into a new vehicle or second hand that you will keep for a long time otherwise you will not get the added value back when you sell.
AnswerID: 49244

Follow Up By: isaac - Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 11:52

Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 11:52
Thanks for the feedback guys, all good points to think about. I've decided on a rear diff lock and a hand winch for back up and save for a power winch later on. Cheers, Isaac.
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FollowupID: 311119

Reply By: landie - Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 15:11

Friday, Mar 05, 2004 at 15:11
Difflock and hand winch - I'm with Wayne...........
AnswerID: 49273

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Saturday, Mar 06, 2004 at 13:11

Saturday, Mar 06, 2004 at 13:11
Gday Isaac
Just to throw some extra mud in, there is a diffloc on ebay at the moment for 200 bux, locrite already in the centre. If you were mechanically gifted, you could put it in the front diff housing, and it would only work when in 4wd. If you dont like it, you could put it in the back. That leaves some $$ for a hand winch, which will be hard work if you need it, but you will eventually succeed and think twice next time....go a turfer 516, or even a second hand lowmount winch, but then you need suspension to hold it up, and a second battery to run it properly etc etc etc.
PS the diff is a diesel one
Andrew
b4 you bag me out, walk a mile in my shoes, then your a mile away and have my shoes :)

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