Diff Locks, Which way to go?

Submitted: Monday, Mar 17, 2003 at 21:05
ThreadID: 3902 Views:1298 Replies:7 FollowUps:12
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Hi I have a 92 hilux petrol with a HI LIFT kit and muddies and was after some general advice from others that have fitted diff locks to their fourby. Whether to go the air locker style or the detroit locker. I was thinking maybe put the lock right in the front so shes ready to go as soon as I've locked in my hubs and an air locker in the rear so that on the road she doesn't drive like a pig unless locked. I mainly do day trips mud, rocky/muddy hills big ruts etc and about once a month do a weekender and the occasional big week long trip.

I have heard that an air locker in the front up hills can kind of tractor along and be a bugger to steer whilst the lock right will give and take so to speak.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Reply By: tristjo - Monday, Mar 17, 2003 at 22:10

Monday, Mar 17, 2003 at 22:10
Airlockers are the way to go, in my opinion. Having an auto locking difflock in the front means you can't choose weather you want it engaged or not whilst in 4wd, so when driving on sand, or loose gravel, and slip occours, it'll try and lock up, wich can be a pain in the arse.The vehicle can get difficult to control and steer, and engages very savagely somtimes, which can damage driveline components. An airlocker is much more predictable, and can reduce wear on components considerably, as you can have complete control over it. With just one locker in the rear, it will be much more capeable than a vehicle with only an lsd, so you may find you dont need to put one in the front at all especially if you have a good suspension setup.
Well, these are just my thoughts, but i hope i have shed some lite.
Good luck.
AnswerID: 15417

Reply By: Truckster - Monday, Mar 17, 2003 at 22:39

Monday, Mar 17, 2003 at 22:39
Air lockers are way ahead of the rest, you pay for it, but you can steer when you wnat by turning it off if required.. the others you cant.

You also have a compressor as part of the deal...

So whats the HI LIFT, wheres some pics!
AnswerID: 15422

Reply By: Kev. - Monday, Mar 17, 2003 at 22:42

Monday, Mar 17, 2003 at 22:42
If you can afford it go air lockers , cant beat them !
Last weekend i tryed turning on a dirt road with my front air locker on and could not steer at all, Id hate it if i couldn't switch them on and off when wanted.

I wouldn't have any thing else but air lockers.
AnswerID: 15424

Follow Up By: Tony - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 08:19

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 08:19
Why have your locker in on a dirt road?
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Follow Up By: Kev. - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 18:58

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 18:58
yeah I could of been more specific,

I went to turn off the dirt road to climb a hill (not driving as i had allready stopped) and activated the locker to early i suppose , must of been excited and not thinking properly.

Even with power steering i could not steer at all.

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FollowupID: 9417

Reply By: Member - Chris - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 08:44

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 08:44
Mate,

I have fitted an auto Diff LOKKA kit to the front of my Troopy - it is the product on ooffer from 4WDSystems in case you are interested.

There is no effect upon the car when the hubs are unlocked.

When the hubs are locked, the diff locks are engaged and steering is slightly heavier, not a problem for the power, and tries very hard to centralise when unloading from a corner. You have to watch the thumbs on the inside of the steering wheel trick. There is no difficulty going around corners, apart from the heavy load, as the auto locker unit slips the wheels while still providing a percentage of drive. My turning circle is large anyway when the hubs are locked so I've no idea if it is worse now.

On normal dirt roads, you can still drive normally, albeit speed limited with the hubs locked.

I don't require any air, switches, in car control units - and the're cheaper than air lockers.

My advice would be to consider this option.
Chris
<- 1996 Troopy, the best!
AnswerID: 15467

Follow Up By: Chip - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 21:52

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 21:52
Have the same set-up and concur with Chris's comments entirely.Chip
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Follow Up By: Chip - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 22:05

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 22:05
What I forgot to mention also is that it makes descents much more controlled and less chance of slipping & sliding.Chip
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Reply By: Member - Lex - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 11:07

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 11:07
There seems to be a lot of misinformation /confusion about lockers in general and detroit type lockers in particular. The big advantage of a detroit in the front is that it will unlock and allow you to steer around obstacles whilst still giving drive to the wheel with traction. With an airlocker you have to decide when you need it off; which is not instantaneous in most situations and when it is off you may not have drive to either of the front wheels.
I've had both types and my preference is for a detroit locker for the front of a part time 4WD.
AnswerID: 15472

Follow Up By: Kev. - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 19:14

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 19:14
>

For one i would rather decide when both wheels are locked instead of the locker deciding that for me and the air locker is allways instantaneous .

No drive to either front wheel ???
I have front and rear lockers , does that mean that when i switch them both off i have no drive to any wheels ?

Bit strange !
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Follow Up By: Member - Lex - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 19:29

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 19:29
Kev whilst I respect your opinion re the type of locker that you choose;in a situation where both lockers are disengaged and one wheel on each axle is able to slip you will go nowhere as the open diff directs all drive to the wheel with least resistance. Very strange indeed eh?
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Follow Up By: Kev. - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 20:13

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 20:13
Ok i see what you mean , you say the detroit sends drive to the wheel on the ground regardless what side (lift or right)

The way i see it the LSD sends drive to the wheel with slip but a standard diff sends the drive to a specific wheel regardless of slip or on the ground .

Ive never had a detroit center but my mate had one in his Monaro for drag racing and it was a solid piece of billet steel that permantly locked the axels to the ring gear.

Im sure the offroad version is a bit different.
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Follow Up By: Chip - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 22:03

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 22:03
Kev
Lock Right will send equal amount of drive to both wheels and not just the wheel on the ground. It only disengages when cornering.Chip
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Follow Up By: Matt M - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 18:07

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 18:07
Kev! Your mate had a billet mini spool, which is not an auto matic locker, it is a constant locker!! The billet is a piece of steel (ie billet) that replaces the diff centre spyder gears completely locking the two rear axles as one! A detroit locker is an auto matic locker that does allow for normal driving etc with all the associated advantages and disadvantages that auto lockers have, although I do believe they are the strongest on the market!
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Reply By: Member - Peter D M - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 21:34

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 21:34
hi doubz

i have a rodeo with a lock-rite in the front diff. i agree with what chris has to say. in your hilux about $900 fitted about half price on air locker but no compressor. ive had mine over 2 years and the difference in traction is considerable particularly when on step, rough hills. it lets you climb a lot slower and so less chance of damage. as the diff is 'locked' when in 4x4 you have no engaging and disengaging as has been suggested.
look in members rigs at - wa "skip". i think he has a good review on diff locks on his web page.

regards peter
AnswerID: 15517

Reply By: Kev. - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 22:05

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2003 at 22:05
The only limiting factor to choosing a locker is price.

If they all cost the same you would not pass the air locker !!!
AnswerID: 15525

Follow Up By: Member - Chris - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 08:10

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 08:10
Kev, you must have shares in 'em mate. The auto locker we're talking about provides power to both wheels ALL of the time, while still allowing the differential action to work around corners.
An air locker, when disengaged, does nothing, particularly around corners.
I assume from the discussion on these units that if you're climbing a twisty track, or going down one, to get good steering control one has to engage and then disengage an air locker as one sees fit. We don't and we pay lots less and have less modifications to our vehicles.
Oh, and the only dissent I've seen is from those who don't have them.
So let's not cloud the issue with personal bias, the choice is with the buyer after considering the facts, not the embellishment.Chris
<- 1996 Troopy, the best!
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Follow Up By: Truckster - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 10:07

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 10:07
So let's not cloud the issue with personal bias, the choice is with the buyer after considering the facts, not the embellishment.
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exactly.. Very good point.

Look at what 99% of competition cars use.
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Follow Up By: Kev. - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 20:02

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2003 at 20:02
Hey Chris , Im not knocking any non ARB locker as they are proberbly very good but just thought every one new that the air locker is the best !

What about the rear diff ?
Im not to keen on hearing/feeling the diff crunching when cornering on onroad !
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