axle fractures

Submitted: Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 18:09
ThreadID: 4979 Views:1548 Replies:5 FollowUps:1
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Does anybody know of (not heard of) axles being broken due to the fitting of ARB Air Lockers.

I am thinking of having a front airlocker installed, but want to gather a little more info from the users rather than the sales people.

Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Pieter van Gent - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 18:29

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 18:29
Any type of diff locking system can cause axle fractures/breakages.

This is caused by turning the wheels and going around a corner.

Unless the track surface that you are turning the corner on is slippery you will cause the axles to break or start to fracture.

This is an issue with any type or size of locking truck differential. On trucks working in quarries that are fitted with diff lockers they put LARGE flashing lights in front of the driver so he remembers to switch off the diff locker as soon as it is no longer needed or not to turn a corner with the diff locker engaged.
AnswerID: 20369

Reply By: Dozer - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 19:09

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 19:09
Hi Paul
I have had 4 landcruisers with lockers now and never broke an axle.
The problem with lockers in my opinion is the operator! If they are used incorrectly (like anything) they can brake things.
It amazes me how hard it can be on vehicles with open diffs to get up a section of track ,which sees them wheel spinning and bouncing over boulders to maintain momentum. I idle up them with barely a squirm from the tyres. Thats not to say i am putting less pressure on the axles, but i am sharing the load and minimising shock loading to individual axles. The track stays undamaged, and so does my cruiser (usually)
Andrew Wollongong
AnswerID: 20374

Reply By: chopper - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 19:11

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 19:11
I did 2 cvs and an axle in one go getting some loony out of Eli Creek on Fraser last year. I have lockrights.
AnswerID: 20375

Reply By: Matt M - Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:26

Sunday, May 18, 2003 at 20:26
Two issues to cover with breaking axles, one is operator error as descibed earlier and the other is now they locker system.

1st the opperator, if you leave them locked on bitumen/hard surfaces, yes axle windup can occur that will eventually snap something in the driveline. It could be the axles, cv's, propshafts etc, whatever is the weakest in the link.

2nd is the system. If you fit lockers there is more strain put on the driveline than a vehicle without. If you (unlocked) tried to climb a slope and one wheel front and one wheel rear started to slip, you are stuck. So you would only ever be able to move your rig with the weight evenly distributed by at least two wheels!! But with lockers, you can get to a stage where only one wheel is moving the entire rig, so obviously this can put alot more strain on individual axles/cv's etc!
If this is clear then great if not, let me know and I will try to explain it better. All said....I would never be without them if I had to choose! The added benefit of the lockers means all ascents and decents can be more controled and in that respect, prevent breakages!!
Enjoy, Matt.
AnswerID: 20378

Follow Up By: Peter L - Monday, May 19, 2003 at 09:21

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 09:21
Paul, I agree with all the above but would like to go further.

Obviously lockers are a benefit in travelling UP hill (you don't need them to go down) so the vehicle will be very high at the front with the weight transferred to the rear. In this situation you are likely to lift a FRONT wheel if on rough terrain. Combine that with the necessary power required to conquer the obstacle (plus in many cases an unnecessarily heavy right boot) and imagine the now faster spinning front wheel as it hits the ground again (instantly gaining mega traction due to the downward force of the front of the vehicle) SNAPPO.

In summary the front is more vulnerable than the rear but the answer (as Andrew stated) is to take things very quietly and allow the vehicle to do it's job.

FollowupID: 13074

Reply By: Member - Paul T- Monday, May 19, 2003 at 16:32

Monday, May 19, 2003 at 16:32
Thanks guys

The info provided is great and clear. I will go ahead with putting a set in the front (TD 100 series cruiser [yes the bad bogie IFS).

I always knew the operator/driver was a problem in a lot of the circumstances, especially when I see what some of the lunatics are doing out there (and I am not talking about well organised competitions etc), however I was wondering about the load transfers to axles even when operating the lockers properly.

The example of the load being taken by one wheel is good.

Thanks again fellas much appreciated.PT
AnswerID: 20430

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