Front Lokka or rear?

Submitted: Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 18:23
ThreadID: 20074 Views:3244 Replies:13 FollowUps:30
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I know this has probably asked a squillion times but should i put a LOKKA in the front or rear of my part time 80 series 1hz cruiser. she has a 3 inch lift and i use silverstone mt sports in the mud. i need a bit more traction and the front seems to cause all the problems being an open centre, rear lsd seems to be working ok. Any help would be grateful!!
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Reply By: Member - Chrispy (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 19:04

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 19:04
My Patrol also has a great LSD ........... so the locker will go up front :)
AnswerID: 96493

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 19:48

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 19:48
Rather than saying which to put in, front or back, have a think obout this.

I have never had a Lokka or simular, prefer ARB lockers front and rear, so I can't say how they handle, however the locker that you are asking about is realy a un locker.

This is my understanding of how they work.

When the vehicle is travelling in a straight line, the locker is locked ,ie, both wheels on the same axel are getting a equal amount of drive. The diff is locked.

When the vehicle is turning a corner, roundabout or bend in the road the inside wheel has to ratchet over because of the diffrent arc and speed that it has to travel.

If the inside wheel has enough traction this will happen, but if there is not enough traction for the inside wheel to grip then it will not ratchet and will continue to drive. With both wheels getting equal drive then the vehicle will have a tendency to go in a straight line. This is the same as if a air locker was engaged while turnig a corner. The inside tyre has to go the same speed as the outside tyre and this causes the inside tyre to spin, a good LSD will do the same thing.

On the back of the vehicle this is not a big problem as the vehicle can still be turned by the front tyres, however if the front tyres have equal drive and want to go in a straight line, then turning a bend on a dirt road with little traction might cause a problem.

Shifting back to rear wheel drive only and having the front hubs locked, the problem is still there , the front diff is still locked. Unlocking the front hubs is the only way to free the front tyres.

This is why when the lokka and simular first come out they would not go into a constant, all wheel drive, vehicle like the GXL 80 Series. A soft lokker was then on the market but I think it was more like a good LSD.

This is how I think these type of locking diffs work,if not I stand corrected.

Wayne
AnswerID: 96502

Follow Up By: Chaz - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 21:25

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 21:25
Wayne,
I agree with all that you have said eccept that I have never noticed anything unusual when driving in two wheel drive and having the front hubs locked (with a front auto locker). I have been using LockRite Lockers for years and the only downside that I've found is that the steering is heavy and they certainly do also create some understeer, but you'll get that with an air locker as well.

Chaz
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 21:36

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 21:36
Chaz,

You will only get understeer with air lockers if they are left on.

When they are turned off you have a open diff and no effect on the steering at all.

I know a lot of people who have them and they think that they are great.

I started with air lockers when I had the 88 Pathfinder. One in the rear, at the time there was nothing for the front. Next, the 80 Series, air lockers front and rear, same with the Troopie.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Chaz - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:44

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:44
Wayne,
At the risk of sounding sarcastic, if it's not on, its not a locker!
But I know what your saying.
Personally I prefer a good LSD in the rear and an autolocker up front. So far I haven't spoken to anybody that has had one, and isn't happy with it, but as Captain says, each to his own.

Chaz
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Reply By: Member Eric - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:00

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:00
I am yet to see a good LSD in a Cruiser . If you were talking Nissan , I would put it in the front , but cruiser , I would put it in the rear .
AnswerID: 96503

Follow Up By: Timbobaroobob - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:15

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:15
so you think it would be a good replacement for the lsd rear? and keep the open centre in the front
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Follow Up By: Timbobaroobob - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:19

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 20:19
I thought tightening the lsd up a bit in the rear and putting a locker in the front would be the best answer as it is driven everyday, but as with no experience in this area i thought i would put it to you guys and gals to give me the best option
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FollowupID: 355214

Follow Up By: Member Eric - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:09

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:09
I have been running a Lokka in the rear of my cruiser for 2 years now and love it . I run a air locker in the front , this way i have the best of both worlds . Air locker can fail sometimes due to air lines /compressor or seal failure . This way , you still have a operating locker in the rear if this happens . I have played with the cruiser lsd's and have never achieved any better results . So I now know that the best possition for a Cruiser LSD is in the bin .

cheers
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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:02

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:02
Hi Timbobaroobob,

I had a 1HZ 80 series with a front Lockrite and reckon it was great. I would not hesitate to put it back in the front again. However, I would not put a lockright (or any auto locker) in the rear. This is effectively on all the time and will give noticeably different handling characteristics on the road, plus increased rear tyre wear. I would only go an air locker in the rear.

As for the handling characteristics of a front lockright, yes they can be felt but are not a problem and only exist when in 4WD. I still prefer the lockrite over an airlocker in the front for many reasons, but mainly because they still enable good steering control while locked. Others may disagree but I have tried both and know what I found better.

And as for the cruiser rear LSD, not even worth spitting on! I now have a GU Nissan and finally understand that an LSD can actually make a real difference!

Cheers

Captain
AnswerID: 96532

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:12

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:12
Captian,

As I have not used this tpye of locker in a vehicle I would be interested to know how they react if going down a steep hill and the brakes are being used to help slow the vehicle.

Will the steering be harder because the ratchet over is now harder because the brakes are on.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:42

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:42
Hi Wayne,

Its an interesting point you raise here, but the answer is that any locker helps significantly. With a locker, both front wheels travel at the same speed so it helps resist one wheel from locking due to the brakes being partially applied.

Without a locker and the front brakes partially applied, if one front wheel loses traction it actually INCREASES its speed (if you hold one wheel stationary, the other wheel will travel at twice driven speed due to the action of the sun and planetary gears in the diff). As this wheel spins, it has the tendency to try and increase the vehicle speed downhill.

Bottom line is, there's a noticeable improvement in downhill braking with a front locker, far more controllable and much less prone to wheel locking.

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:05

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:05
Sorry wayne , he is talking Lokka , not lockright . I wouldnt put a lockright in my rear also , but a Lokka , any day
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Follow Up By: Timbobaroobob - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:44

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:44
thanks for the straight forward answer, cheers
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:20

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:20
Ps , I have never owned a lockright thats why I didnt coment on that type of locker

Cheers
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FollowupID: 356088

Reply By: Dodgy - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:06

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:06
I myself would put that lokka in the front Tim.. you already have the LSD in the rear..think about it?? when do you lock the front in?? when your off road and in a situation when the wheels are loosing traction.. when do you disengage?? when you have traction again so what steering is impaired by having the locker in the front is not worth mentioning..it turns on and off so there's no problem with steering when it's turned off..i hope that helps a little..

keep your whistle wet and your powder dry..Regards Dodgy..
AnswerID: 96533

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:17

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:17
Dodgy,

The lokka can not turn it self off. It is on all the time, except when it has enough traction on one wheel to ratchet over, or have I got it all wrong

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:29

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:29
Hi Wayne,

You are basically right, but that is also the very reason why there is minimal effect on steering. If there is sufficient traction, they "unlock" and presto you have steering ability. But if not enough traction, they stay locked and as there is minimal traction anyway their is no noticeable effect on the steering.

There are many different opinions on auto lockers vs air lockers and whether they should be front or back and basically it boils down to personal preference. There is advantages and disadvantages for each type in each location. But one thing everyone agrees on is that any locker in any axle is FAR better than none.

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 11:17

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 11:17
Why do people keep saying 80's would have an LSD.. Yota LSD's die usually within 30,000klms.. Would be a new 80 for that many klms.

As Eric says, Rear is the go.. at least you have some rear drive instead of an EH Holden Single Spinner.
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Reply By: Dodgy - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:33

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:33
the lockers turn on and off manually Wayne.. when you need extra tractions to lock in both sides of the axle you engage the locker.. if there isn't a big traction problem you disengage them and drive it like a normal 4b in 4 wheel drive..
AnswerID: 96537

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:42

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:42
Dodgy,

Now I have got it. When you want the locker to work , engage the front hubs, and when you don't want them to work unlock the hubs and drive in 2 wheel drive.

Wayne
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Reply By: Dodgy - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:42

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:42
Appolagies Captain.. i referring to manual locking diffs and not auto's.. my mistake.. i better post it right next time huh..LOL..Dodgy..
AnswerID: 96540

Reply By: Dodgy - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:56

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 22:56
Hey Wayne.. you almost got it.. a locker actually locks both sides of an axle together so both wheels turn the same revs.. if one wheel is off the ground the same amount of torque is still at that wheel as is the one on the ground.. all that hub locks do is engage the axles to the wheels.. here's an example.. your going up a hill and your rear end starts to spin.. ok you lock in your hubs and put it in 4 wheel drive.. your going up the same hill and your loosing traction.. engage the locking diff.. now you have the added traction of both wheels on the front or rear driving together.. it locks the differential to both axles..
hope that helps pal..
AnswerID: 96547

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:11

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:11
Dodgy,

" your going up the same hill and you loosing traction.. engage the locking diff"

Are you now talking air locking diffs?

I must be doing something wrong. When ever I go 4 wheel driving I always lock the front hubs and engage either 4H or 4L. If I have to climb a hill that I think I might loose traction I will engage the rear diff lock or if it is very rutted the front diff lock as well.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:00

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:00
in the front they are a nightmare.. they clunk when you turn as they lock/unlock etc..

IF you must have one, put it in the back, as cruisers have no such thing as an LSD, and save for Air locker in the front.

This discussion has been had a billion times in the past... Have a search, you can get a few 100 other opinions.
AnswerID: 96549

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:36

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:36
You are also better off with a locker in the rear.

Going up hill is when you usually need a locker, Correct? All the weight is on the rear of the car. So gettin max drive out of it is the idea isnt it? More weight, more grip, more drive...

So the front is light, if both wheels spin, and dont go forward, as you play the wheel left to right and back, the car CAN tend to go sideways bringing the front around causing your ringhole to pucker up greatly onto the Recaros.
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:36

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:36
Always different opinions, none necesarily right or wrong. I would put a lockrite in the front over an air locker anyday, but only an air locker in the back, never an auto locker.

But each to their own...

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:37

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:37
Why?
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:46

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:46
For the front, I like the ability to steer with the locker on, with an auto locker you can steer much better compared to an air locker. But the tradeoff is the small but noticeable effect the rest of the time you are in 4WD.

As for the rear, when on bitumen an auto locker is always present and has varying effects on road handling plus increased tyre wear. But you can turn an air locker off.

And I would put a locker in the front before the back, but two lockers is the best solution.

Many may not agree with me, but I have used all different combinations and thats what I prefer.

Cheers

Captain
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:47

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:47
Truckster,

That question has benn answered 2647678467 time before, have a search.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: basecamp15 - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 02:07

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 02:07
To me, if one diff lock in the front of a certain brand provides better steering when turning then another, it's not as good as the one that's hardest to turn. This suggests that the air locker locks the diff 'fully' (as you'd expect) while the other is allowing some cross axle slippage.
Cheers, Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 11:25

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 11:25
Hi basecamp15,

I think you have missed the fundermental difference between auto lockers and air lockers.

An air locker is on 100% of the time when switched on regardless of how much traction is available. An auto locker is on 100% all of the time (when in 4X4) BUT it unlocks to allow one wheel to OVERspin ie. if traction is available while turning, it allows one wheel to travel faster than driven speed to accomodate the turn. What it does not allow is the engine to turn one wheel faster than another. Confusing, yes, but bottom line is that an auto locker does NOT allow one wheel to go slower than driven speed.

Here is an article I wrote many years ago that may help explain a few things diff lock article

Cheers

Captain
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FollowupID: 355311

Follow Up By: Member Eric - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:19

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:19
Sorry captain , I will differ to your opinion on this one .

My experience has been that I have no driving effect with a Lokka on the black top . Actually I go as far as to say I have a better drive on the black top than with a lsd . Reason ? Jack up a LSD vehicle on one side and try turn the wheel . Almost imposible , with a lokka , it takes little effort to brake open . I do agree that there are bad on road handling carracteristics when driving with a detroit locker . I found a vehicle I had with them in a rear a little dangerous at high speeds around bends. It would kick in and send the back end out of shape.

Also i have found all front auto lockers a pain to negotiate in snow and mud around trees ect. this is why I ended up switching to a air locker. Now i have the option of switching it off when negotiating opsticles and the locked up car just wants to go straight.

Just what i have found , I guess we all experience diffrent things due to the diffrent off road terrain we come accross .

Regards EC
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Follow Up By: Member - Captain (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:32

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 19:32
Hi Eric,

Yep, we all have different opinions and experience but at the end of the day, there is no definitive right or wrong answer here. I don't drive on snow (being a sandgroper), but have had my share of "fun" on greasy mud.

I haven't experienced a lockrite in the rear, only a detroit and airlocker, and the detroit was downright dangerous at times for the reasons you stated above. Detroits may be a strong diff centre, but comes at a cost! I find the lockrite (lokka's the same design, different manufacturer) have a MUCH softer cam action than the detroit hence my preference for them.

But I would take any diff lock (lockrite, lokka or airlocker) at any end rather than an open centre any day.

Cheers

Captain
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FollowupID: 356090

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:53

Thursday, Feb 03, 2005 at 23:53
Tim,

As Caption says to each there own, and while there is a choice of lockers on the market there will always be diffrent opinions.

Good luck,

Wayne
AnswerID: 96563

Reply By: Tuff60 - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:26

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 00:26
I make no comment on using Lokka(or any simular device of different name), in the bush, but if you ever go up to the snow where, as you have a 4WD you only use chains on the front, any snow/ice covered slippery corner could be your last. The reason being is if the inside wheel slips, on comes the lokka, sending the car straight, regardless of where the wheels point. Just plain dangerous.

There are other options, both cable and electric, factory, lockers are available for the rear of an 80's, and I would be putting it in the back(Toyota and Nissan owners agree, there is NO such thing as a Toyota LSD), as truckster said it's where the weight is when climbing, and the front diff in an 80 is it's weakest link.
AnswerID: 96565

Follow Up By: V8troopie - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 02:16

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 02:16
Tuff60, I read your comment several times but still do not get it.
Why would you put snow chains on the front wheels? I would prefer them on the back wheels, giving me a choice of deselecting the part time 4WD.
My troopie has a Lokka in the front diff (and air locker in the rear one). The way I understand the Lokka's work is that they unlock the *outside* wheel, the inside wheel is doing the work when driving around a curve.
So, your comment "on comes the lokka" is misleading - its on all the time if the front hubs are engaged AND 4WD is selected.
From this I would assume then, if one wheel spins (turning faster than the other for any reason) the driving power would go to the wheel that spins slower.
Now, tell me again why the car would continue to go straight when trying to drive around a corner
Klaus
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Follow Up By: Tuff60 - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:22

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 10:22
As for fitting chains to the front, I do it because it gives me forward traction(ie 4WD), steering and as your front wheels do up to 70% of the brakeing, stopping. Which end you fit your chains is up to you.

"on comes the lokka" makes perfect sense, as you said they are on all the time. Correct, but snow/ice like it is slippery, so when you turn there is no force to unlock the lokka, like on the road, and while it stays locked the car only wants to go straight, as any body on here will tell you, front diff (air)locked, the car wants to go straight.

So what I probably said is that the "lokka stays on" rather than "on comes the lokka"

When the first lokka owner, wanted his front one removed, I put it down to an incorrect setup, ie to tight/sensitive, but since removeing two more for the same reason, including driving one myself, I now agree, that they're not safe in snow.
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Reply By: Timbobaroobob - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 08:29

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 08:29
Have you guys ever read the explanation of how the lokka actually works? some of you are talking as if it is locked all the time, like a spool or a cig welded diff. it works like a detroit locker, can operate like an open centre or lsd and when traction is being lost to a wheel it will lock in and send engine torque to that wheel. anyways have a look at this: http://www.4wdsystems.com.au/html/lokka.htm
AnswerID: 96583

Follow Up By: flappa - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:03

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:03
it IS locked all the time

From the website

Quote: 2. LOKKA is normally in a fully locked state and only allows differential action by uncoupling the unit when the ground driven force acting on a wheel (either during turning or when negotiating obstacles) forces that wheel to turn faster than the other driven wheel.

A lot of folks call these Units Auto UNlockers , because thats what they do , they basically Unlock , to go around corners.
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FollowupID: 355289

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:53

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 09:53
Tim,

Just had a look at that site and the way I read it,it is saying that the Lokka is locked all the time except when turning a corner.

Paragraph 2 on how it works said that it is locked all the time, which is my understanding.

Wayne
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 11:11

Friday, Feb 04, 2005 at 11:11
And the thing is as you turn, it slips in and out as the wheels travel at different speeds.. it just cant be good for the unit to slip and clunk and bang.

Read Tuff60's post.. thats another reason you dont want one in the front. same happens on slimey greasy roads..
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Reply By: Coops (Ex-Pilbara) - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 11:32

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 11:32
haven't read any other responses but will give my opinion be it conflicting with those or concurring.
I have had Lokka's in front of my STD 80 series for over 5 years and 120 000 km's and haven't had a problem to date. People complaining about heavy steering need only think back to days when there was no belts and pumps. I find the steering moderately harder than normal when in 4WD but when I am using 4WD I find that I have other things to concentrate on and this is the whole reason we go 4WD'ing in the first instance isn't it?
I wouldn't recommend Lokkas in rear as you will get clunking and bangs etc so Air Locker is only option there (this is first hand experience and not hearsay), so given the cost factor then Lokkas to front will give you added performance and allow you to reassess as to whether or not you need to spend heaps more to put air lockers in rear. My tip is you won't bother unless there's no oher mods left for you.

Feel free to ask any further questions if you have any but this will be the cheapest performance and reliability mod you perform in my book. My girl will go anywhere I point it and places other similar vehicles (without Lokkas) have not.
AnswerID: 97074

Follow Up By: Timbobaroobob - Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:43

Wednesday, Feb 09, 2005 at 18:43
Thanks Coops, this is the only straight forward answer that has been given to my question. I wanted to put one in the front but just thought i would check here first, cheers
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