Lokka in Challenger

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 22:42
ThreadID: 29994 Views:5624 Replies:14 FollowUps:16
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Thinking about locking diff's for my challenger.
I've got almost as much lift I can legally get out of it, the only thing left I can do would be improve the traction.

The car doesn't have LSD at the moment.
I can't really afford an ARB setup and there isn't room under the bonnet (with the dual battery) to put a compressor easily anyway.
I'm waiting to hear back how much the Lokka would be but I believe its substantially cheaper.
They only make a lokka for the front of the vehicle.

How long would it last?
Can you tell its there when its in 2wd?
Has anyone fitted one to a challenger? can you give some feedback please.
In 4wd how does it affect steering?
In 4wd how much do you notice its there?

If I can't get a workshop manual for the car is it likely I can diy it (I'm handy but not done anything to a diff before).

Has anyone seen a workshop manual for a Mitsubishi Challenger?

Apart from the ARB, what other options do I have?
Thanks guys.
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Reply By: geocacher (djcache) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 22:48

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 22:48
Buy a Patrol?

Sorry, your question was pretty general. But like other challenger owners I know it sounds like you've explored your vehicle to it's limits and it may be time to move on.

I know from experience I'm not spending any more on my truck (even though ARB have just released an Air Locker for it) - I'm far better off putting that money toward a more capable truck in 18 months or so's time.

I know two other Challenger owners doing the same thing.

AnswerID: 150222

Reply By: Member- Rox (WA) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 23:23

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 23:23
I'd be putting lockers in that space shuttle 4wd that would be the ultimate.
AnswerID: 150233

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 23:31

Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 at 23:31
lokka is cheaper for a reason.

As stated, you have pretty much found the limits of this truck. How much are you willing to blow on it before moving on?
AnswerID: 150236

Follow Up By: The Explorer - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 00:15

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 00:15
No expert on lock diffs but suspect fitting one to any vehicle (even a 2WD vehicle) would increase its capabilities a lot, so (based on this fact alone) limits of Challenger have not been reached. In fact (IMHO) fitting one or two locks is the best thing you can do to any off road vehicle before considering any other performance enhancing mod e.g. body lifts and "aggressive" tyre treads (not to be confused with mods carried out to increase safety/reliability for general 4WD activities) . The requirement to "move on" is dependant on a host of other factors relating to users requirements, the details of which are not provided within the body of original question.
I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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FollowupID: 403656

Reply By: Gerhardp1 - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 02:08

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 02:08
I'm a bit pithed at he moment and can't understand why you would consider posting when you own a mibufishi wallenger

Get a jack and come back
AnswerID: 150243

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 02:22

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 02:22
ring ring, oi Kettle, its the Pot, he wants a word.
FollowupID: 403670

Reply By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 02:20

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 02:20
Well said Explorer.

So I guess for clarity, a little background on what we're wanting to do with the vehicle.
Like most 4x4ers I reackon, we go off-road a couple of times a month or more. That means better than 90% of the time we're poodling around on the blacktop.
This is our daily driver. It does that comfortably and does almost everything we've asked of it whilst having fun off road too.

We like camping and fishing and this vehicle is just the right size to cart me and SWMBO where we need to go with the gear we need when we get there.

We can't justify having a truck to drive every day in order to get those few places the Challenger can't get to (now)

We've been out with a few clubs and its gone everywhere the other vehicles have gone, lets face it, most of the time its more important where you put your wheels and planning your approach than it is how high or tough your vehicle is.
However, out by ourselves we've gotten stuck a couple of times with one of each wheel (front and back) off the ground and going nowhere. 15 mins with a shovel, and we're on the go again, but with drive to the wheels getting traction we would have driven out first time.

It carries about 2/3 (or less) the weight of a troopie. Runs on a heck of a lot less fuel than most 4x4's, and with a little tweaking will very likely get us everywhere we're likely to want to get to in the next few years.

If the reason the Lokka is cheaper is because its not as good then tell me why. If its cheaper because it uses less parts, is a simpler mechanism, and I can put it in myself then thats a good reason for me to consider it. If its going to drastically affect our daily blacktop driving then thats definately going to be a black mark against it.
At $700-800 for a Lokka vs $2000 for the ARB there's a heck of a difference. I agree that if we're spending thousands then its probably a good idea to look at what we're doing and find a vehicle more suitable for the job. However, the Challenger is a 2000 model, worth under $20k. What would we get that would still be a reasonable daily driver, good on fuel, and then much better off road too. Not much. If I can spend a grand or so and make this vehicle twice as capable as it is from stock then that was money well spent in my books.

The other (very good reason) is that we're committed to keeping the vehicle for the next 2 years odd.
So lets forget about changing cars, I'll get back to you on that in a couple of years on that score. For now, if you've got any idea's how I can make the best of the vehicle I've got then lets hear them :-)
AnswerID: 150244

Follow Up By: V8troopie - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:17

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:17
My opinion on the lokka - and my troopie has one in the front diff - is that they are great for part time 4WD's. I have no idea where your challenger fits in there.

I use the troopie every day and on the blacktop, its my only car, with the hubs disengaged there is no indication that a lokka is fitted.

When I engage the hubs on the blacktop to stir up the diff oil a bit, I can feel no difference either, but I would not dream about engaging 4WD on the bitumen here in Perth. I would think that a working lokka would make steering a tougher job for the power steering pump and driver.
FollowupID: 403766

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 20:25

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 20:25
The Challenger is part-time 4wd too (lever to select, no free wheeling hubs). So that answers my question about whether it would be noticable when in 2wd.
How much do you notice it when you're cornering in 4wd?
Does it help with traction if you're trying to negotiate an incline on a corner or is that when its gonna cut out anyway?

I think that from what people are saying that in the case of an ARB or a Lokka if what you're stuck on is on a bend you're stuffed anyway, the Lokka will disengage and the ARB will make it impossible to turn.
FollowupID: 403853

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 06:26

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 06:26
Locked Drive Systems Pty Limited
5 Peel Street, Granville, NSW, 2142, Australia
Phone: +61 (0) 2 9897 7912
Fax: +61 (0) 2 9897 7913

Give these fellows a call and have a talk.
They will set you on the rite direction.

All the best
AnswerID: 150246

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 14:40

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 14:40
I gave them a call Eric. Unfortunately they don't have a Detroit locker for a Challenger. They didn't have any advice about Lokka's as they don't deal with them.
It was worth a try. Thanks Eric.
FollowupID: 403754

Reply By: TerryGLS - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 12:11

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 12:11
For the workshop manuals try


Not sure if this still works but it did have pdf files for the Challenger/Triton under the Montero section
AnswerID: 150273

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 14:16

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 14:16
The site appears to be down :-( I'll keep hunting, but thanks Terry.
FollowupID: 403748

Reply By: flappa - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:30

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:30
Nothing really wrong with the Lokka Diff locks. A lot of guys run them and very happy with them.

They are substantially cheaper because they are completely different to the ARB lockers.

The Lokka Diff locks are essentially , and Auto UNlocker. by that I mean , They are locked all the time , and unlock to go around corners.

the ARB are Air lockers that can turn on and off as required.

The guys I know that run them , say they notice none to very little difference in everyday driving , ie 2wd.
AnswerID: 150314

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:44

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:44
From what I've read, steering while the ARB is enganged (up front) in 4wd is pretty painful, almost impossible.
I'm wondering what the Lokka would be like in 4wd for steering (when its in the front of course).
FollowupID: 403772

Follow Up By: flappa - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:49

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 15:49
But there is the biggest difference.

Yes , the ARB locker is VERY hard to turn , but , you can turn it on and off as required.

The Lokka Diff locks , UNLOCK when turning. They are noticable , because they click in and out , but you can certainly turn with them . . . but caution is required.

I have heard of someone getting tossed off the track when it didn't unlock properly.

I was going to put one in my Pajero , but just never got around to it.
FollowupID: 403773

Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 16:17

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 16:17
Have given a lot of thought to putting a diff lock in our Challa as we have bogged down towing the CT.
1 Would put it in the rear. Uphill traction from the front is going to be less when you need it most.
2 Would avoid a Detroit in case it failed to unlock on bitumen in which case the drive train would really take too much strain. You could fix this with ARB freewheeling hubs but that's more expense.
3 Would find the money for ARB because it gives most control and you get a compressor as well. ( Would mean I would have to sell current Thomas compressor. but that is irrelevant here).
4 A lottery win would see an ARB locker front and back.

I improved Challa's performance a lot with a set of Yoko AT tyres.

Ignore the crap about Challas, for the bucks they go well.

AnswerID: 150326

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 16:30

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 16:30
Nice1 Camper thanks.
A set of Cooper ATR's are on the shopping list in another 10,000kms. They're a little higher and fatter than the ones on it (265/70R15's).

We've got a good compressor already and if I had to buy another one I wouldn't spend $450 on it which is what the ARB one costs which is irksome. With the lousy travel of the front wheels with torsion bar, and because the Lokka only comes for the front of the Challenger I thought that would be the go. It would make up for the lack of travel I thought.

For the back, the ARB appears to be the only option available. (certainly no-other suggestions have been forthcoming).

When I've been stuck 50/50 its been while turning, so I thought with an ARB (at the front) that wouldn't have helped at all anyway.

Why the hell doesn't the ARB come with a simple hydrolic lever option?
For the ARB they would need to re-shuffle heaps under the bonnet (if they could get it in there) or take up some of my valuable storage space (cos I'd likely take the current compressor anyway - if I'm going to wear one out I'd rather it be a $130 jobbie than the ARB one). First impression from someone who claimed to know was that they wouldn't be able to find a place to put it under the bonnet of mine now that the extra battery is there.
FollowupID: 403782

Reply By: pickle - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 19:22

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 19:22
I would not get riled at the crap they post about Challengers not being capable.... At least they don't cost us a fortune for the 95% time they are on the road. Their light weight helps immensly in getting up some tracks and besides most of the people bagging them spew when a Challenger gets up some of the grades the other guys get up. Heres your link for your workshop manual.
AnswerID: 150391

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 20:20

Monday, Jan 23, 2006 at 20:20
Cheers Dave, they haven't got a montero sport manual and the suspension at least is different on the Paj so thinking it might be different with the diff too. It will work in lieu of anything else though if I need a reference. thanks for the link.

FollowupID: 403849

Follow Up By: slyonnet - Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:33

Friday, Jan 27, 2006 at 15:33
Yes, don't listen to any of those responses about the capabilities of the Challenger. It is a very good performer for its category and you selected it for some other reasons than just being able to perform off-road.
I can't really help you with the choice of locker because that's something I am planning to do later on but haven't thought too much about the details yet.
Regarding the manuals, I downloaded the manuals from this website (look for montero sport): http://www.pajero.dn.ru/Factory-manual-89.html.
If it does not work I could give you an electronic copy one way or another as I am in Perth too.

FollowupID: 404906

Reply By: BennHW - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 17:27

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2006 at 17:27
Hi t0me,

About the Lokka - I've considering one for a while too - for a Holden Frontera (around $599) I believe.

Like you I can't justify the bucks on an air-locker. I just wouldn't use it enough. I couldn't justify an electric winch for the same reason.

I've read that you will probably notice a clicking sound when cornering with a Lokka - whether you're in 4WD or not. (I'm guessing this applies front and rear.)

Note that the Australian Defence Forces fit Lokkas to their vehicles - so that should be a pretty good endorsement. They could not afford to risk equipment failures on the battlefield.

To avoid CV joint damage and undue wear, consider manual locking hubs so the front diff doesn't move at all when you're not in 4WD. (Manufacturers claim an improvement in fuel economy too - which I could certainly use - but I haven't tested yet.)

I have a set of AVM hubs on order from ARB ($220).


AnswerID: 152092

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 21:42

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 21:42
Cheers Benn, that gives me some idea of the costs. I still haven't heard back from 4wd Systems (3 emails now requesting a price!).
So from what you're saying the front diff still moves even if 4wd isn't engaged?
I'd much rather keep the auto lockers its got as its great to be able to switch between 4wd quickly. I like to put it in 4wd whenever I'm on gravel just for the extra traction it gives, would be a real pain in the a$$ to have to get out of the car and I guess I wouldn't engage the 4wd as often.

Do you know of anyone who's had their CV's stuffed by having a lokker without manual hubs?
FollowupID: 406343

Reply By: Rock Crawler - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 21:58

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 21:58
hI t0me , We have build a challenger in the past , got some good mud tyres on it and it performed well. It now runs front and rear airlockers , and yes if you move your canister , you will find room for the compressor . If you want to go the lokker , you will find it will perform well. After fitting a few of these , the only one that stuffed up andwas mine on my 80 lol , just a bit of bad luck I guess , sheered a bin , and the fix was not costly at all. Be ware of people who bag things that they have never used or even seen . With front and rear lokkers , you will find that with muds , your traction will be exellent , but the vehicle will bog down a little on very steep hills , as it doisnt have the power. Make sure you cut off the bottom of the mudflaps , as you will loose a flair with it , if you dont. There are heaps of after market fits fo rthe front end now as well , to get it up .

I had a highly modified cruiser and my mate Tony with his challenger came to most of the places I went . But the first key was good mud tyres

and dont forget to note , that I did say most places lol.

have fun
AnswerID: 152609

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 22:13

Thursday, Feb 02, 2006 at 22:13
Cheers Rock, I moved the canister already to stick another battery in :-) getting pretty crowded under the bonnet. I'm kinda stuck with a lokka up front as the only option without moving the battery again. I'll have a look at the mudflaps, thanks for that tip.
Any idea's who makes any of the front end mod's for the challenger? I know I can get heavy duty torsion but don't know if I can then get the camber sorted or not. The travel is the main problem, I'm guessing stiffer torsion bars won't help that anyway.

Muddies probably won't be on the cards as 90% of the time we're on the road with it and it would be a bit of a pig with them I guess. We're thinking Cooper ATR's (new, replacing the AT's), good price, and similar price to BFG's but with a guarantee for the mileage which I reackon is pretty good.
FollowupID: 406351

Follow Up By: Rock Crawler - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 07:57

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 07:57
I woudnt consider the warranty as a option , because i havent actually met someone that showed me a check from coopers. after a while , i find that the compound goes to hard to drive in the wet , so people get rid of them anyway under the 80 ,000 kms .

I drove my 80 with , 35" muds , almost every day . But whats wrong with keeping your road tyres and ten having a second set of tyres and rims .

Apart from a little more noise , I think you will struggle to see a diffrent in the drive on the road between the at and mud tyre , If you are going to go the AT , defenenlty dont get the BFG's , I would go a MTR goodyear. BFG for muds . The MTR is more a all terrain tat a mud , and so far has impressed me with what it can do .

Hope this helps . As far as doing front end mods , there are heaps of people advertisinng in 4x4 monthly . and its more that torsion bars , its a whole new bolt on front end
FollowupID: 406381

Follow Up By: Member - t0me (WA) - Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 11:57

Friday, Feb 03, 2006 at 11:57
I reackon carrying the 4 extra wheels on the roof will give a bit of wind resistance not to mention the extra setup time when engaging 4wd when we get there... ;-) Just kidding mate, thanks for the tips. I'll pickup a copy of that mag.
FollowupID: 406430

Reply By: BennHW - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 19:48

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 19:48
Hi t0me,

Sorry 'bout the delay in getting back to you.

Re: front hubs. On the Frontera, you can shift-on-the-fly into 4WD and back again, but the front hubs are permanently locked - so the front axles, CVs, diff and drive shaft always rotate whether you're in 4WD or not.

If the Challenger has automatic front hubs, then they should engage/disengage automatically when you shift in and out of 4WD. (I understand you usually need to reverse a short distance to get automatic hubs to disengage.)

I don't know much about Challengers - you might want to check that the front hubs really are 'automatic' or whether you have a 'basic' shift-on-the fly system like the Frontera. If they are truly automatic, then you don't need to worry about getting a manual set.

Re: damage to front CVs and CV boots. You would only experience unusual wear if you've had the suspension raised a reasonable amount above factory.

I've installed a 3" lift, which significantly increases the angles on the front axles - hence the likelihood of excess wear on the CVs and CV boots. The lift supplier recommended manual locking hubs to reduce wear. (Important for me as I spend about 90% of my time on the black-top.) Don't mind the idea of reducing wear on the front diff too.

They also suggest (open) manual hubs will reduce fuel consumption, which could be true given the car won't be pushing the extra front drivetrain metal around most of the time.

Hope that helps.


AnswerID: 153184

Follow Up By: t0me (WA) - Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 22:00

Sunday, Feb 05, 2006 at 22:00
Good one, unless someone specifically know's and posts I'll have to check with Mitsu about whether the axle's cv's etc still spin when not in 4wd. Or if the selection disconnects it in the Diff instead.
I reackon from the way they actuate it from a gear stick near the gear box then its gonna be disconnecting it in the gear box. That would mean I guess that the front diff and everything to the wheels is always rotating. Wouldn't that always be the case with a Diff involved anyway. therefore not much extra wear. Or have I got that totally wrong?
FollowupID: 407127

Reply By: BennHW - Monday, Feb 06, 2006 at 10:20

Monday, Feb 06, 2006 at 10:20
Locking hubs are just that - they lock (and unlock) at the hub. So when they're unlocked the front wheels free-wheel at the hub and don't drive the front axle, diff etc.

Manual locking hubs have a spline system that slides laterally to engage/disengage when you twist the 'knob'. To be honest, I don't know how automatic hubs work, but they're supposed to engage when you go into 4WD and disengage when you change out (though, like I siad, you often have to reverse a short distance to get them to unlock).

Check out AVM's (or Superwinch's) website for more info on manual and automatic hubs.


AnswerID: 153290

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