How essential is a LSD?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 18:58
ThreadID: 5505 Views:2086 Replies:11 FollowUps:6
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I’m looking at buying a Mitsubishi Challenger and can get a good price on one at the government auctions. Thing is though that none of the government one’s have LSD’s. That I've seen so far anyway, LSD's were an extra option.

I’m wondering if I can get away without a LSD and how much difference they really make offroad?

Will only be doing fairly easy 4WDriving, mainly beach and bush tracks, only interested in getting to good fishing and surfing spots. Will be heading to the Kimberley for some exploring next year as well. I’ve read in the archives a lot of LSD’s are only good for up to 150000k’s anyway.

Is it a possibility to retro fit one? Or perhaps I would be better off putting the money towards some sort of locker if need be? Don’t know if you can get one for the challenger or not?

Thanks in advance for any info.

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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:25

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:25
They make a world of difference...

Unless you get a locker or LSD fitted which would defeat the purpose of saving $ at the auctions.
AnswerID: 22803

Follow Up By: cookie - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:44

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:44
G'day Truckster, I reckon I can save about 4 grand at auction so maybe it would still be worthwhile.

FollowupID: 15050

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:58

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 19:58
Sweet, some good buys there, mate got a dual cab Lux and made $10,000 on it

Lockers if available for Challanger, round $1500 with compressor, so still ahead.... But you still end up with open diffs when not using locker... So call around Mitz dealers and ask what LSD is worth.. picturing it wont be cheap...
FollowupID: 15051

Reply By: Rob - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:20

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:20
ARB will be bringing out a front air locker for most Mitsu 4WDs this year. There may be a rear locker already available.

LSDs are worthwhile, and look for one from a wrecker to save costs.

The Challenger really needs some traction aids as it's not got the best wheel travel on the market, especially the leaf versions.


AnswerID: 22812

Reply By: Member - Scotti - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:50

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 20:50
Rear locker is available from ARB.

I Don't have one YET....Looking forward to Kalbarri in July..
AnswerID: 22819

Follow Up By: cookie - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 15:41

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 15:41
Hi Scotti, just wondering if your challenger has an LSD? I've noticed from different posts that you get offroad a bit and from what I've read they seem to make quite a difference. Do you know how much the ARB Locker is out of interest? I'm currently looking at a 2001 model at a good price but doesn't have an LSD so weighing up whether to buy it and maybe fit a locka or keep looking for an LSD model.

Thanks for any info.

FollowupID: 16223

Reply By: Derek - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 21:37

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 21:37
Cookie. Personally I reckon if you are only going to get one locker and assuming one is made, put it in the front diff. If you have to put one in the rear, get the ARB Air Locker. I have a Detroit Soft Locker in the rear of my 80 series and it has turned the car into a pig to drive on the bitumen. It's brilliant off road, but if I had my money over again I'd get the air locker. I've been told the Challenger is based on Triton running gear. If this is true, it opens up more avenues for sourcing a second hand LSD. I had a genuine LSD in my L300 and it worked great. Good luck.
AnswerID: 22829

Reply By: kezza - Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 22:25

Tuesday, Jun 17, 2003 at 22:25
Without a decent LSD you really only have a 2 wd in sand and mud and up steep rocky slopes - why bother having a 4wd without at least some form of traction control.

Even old LSDs often work well and 'again' once some 'right' and good quality oil is used.

Always pulling people out of sand in Great sandy region without LSDs (or common sense ie too high tyre pressures)

When helping a friend find a 4wd lately we went into a caryard asked to look at any 4bys he had with LSD - the salesman asked 'what do you want a LSD for?' Needless to say he was only selling 4bys for urban use - we left and found the perfect Nissan Patrol at the next place which he bought.
Now there is a LSD

AnswerID: 22837

Reply By: desert - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 09:36

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 09:36
There is probably only one factory fitted LSD that is any good off-road, and that is the one fitted in the Nissan Patrol's. And even these have a finite life span. LSD's were designed for cars travelling along hard surfaces where the chances of a lot of wheel slip are small. In this climate, they function well within their design parameters. However, once in a 4x4, where the chance of a lot of wheel spin and for lengthy periods, are common, they wear very quickly and cannot handle lots of wheel spin that is usually the case when negotiating muddy/loose conditions. They rely on a friction plate material which has to grip across on to another plate. Obviously, if excessive spin is induced it wears this lining down, the clamping or friction pressure begins to lessen allowing further slip, etc,etc,etc. By all means, pay the extra dollars for the LSD, and if your driving is occassional 4x4, or is road biased or sand/dirt biased, then you will gain some life benefit from it. But if your driving is lots of mud and hills and heavy going, you would be wiser to invest that cash toward a positive locking differential and that is another story!
AnswerID: 22855

Follow Up By: Simon - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:20

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:20
The lsd fitted to the Mitsubishis is nothing short of brilliant. Expensive tho, If you can source a second hand one for under $800 get it.
I beleive the lsd in my Triton is all but as good as an air locker but better because it works all the time.
I would never take out my lsd and fit a manual locker in the rear diff , maybe Id try an auto locker but not a manual.
FollowupID: 15088

Reply By: Member - Rohan K - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:31

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:31
Cookie, one of the reasons the Pathfinder is a much better off-roader than most give it credit for, is its billiant rear LSD (same as the Patrol). I don't about the Mitsu LSD, but if its a good (tight) one, having it will make the vehicle MUCH better for off-road work.Talk is cheap ...
Rohan (Sydney)
AnswerID: 22870

Reply By: Camper - Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:06

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2003 at 15:06
Hi Cookie'
I own a challenger with diff lock and have considered a diff locker for the front, ut Ive just read the current forum question and responses on mud driving. Chains get a good report. So I might go for chains instead. A four chain setup might be serious traction in the wet!
AnswerID: 22893

Follow Up By: cookie - Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 11:49

Wednesday, Jul 02, 2003 at 11:49
Hi Camper, I'd love some more info on your locker and how you find it. What sort of locker do you have on the rear, how much did it cost? What sort of driving do you do and when do you use it? Do you find it necessary for moderate tracks or on the beach. How is the vehicle offroad without the locker engaged? Is your challenger, coil or leaf rear spring?

Lots of questions, grateful for any response. I'm currently looking at a 2001 model for a very good price privately but alas no LSD so I'm still weighing up whether I should hold out for one with LSD.

Thanks again, Cookie.
FollowupID: 16150

Reply By: Camper - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 15:26

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 15:26
Sorry Cookie I have led you astray. When I said we had diff locker on the rear I meant to say LSD. Freudian slip I suppose. At least the owner's manual says we have LSD, so I assume we do.
Last weekend we drove tracks in the Mid North of S.A. and it was pretty wet. We have tyres at the moment which are two thirds worn down and which only started life as highway tyres anyway. I was really surprised at how well the Challenger handled the conditions which varied from slippery clay roads to bush tracks with deep muddy holes out of which the little truck pulled us with ease. It seems to me that with good tyres it would probably do any thing we asked of it without any additional help from lockers or any thing else. I have thought that carrying a set of chains might allow us to get out of any thing we might encounter.

We have leaf springs in the rear as it is a 1988 model. The originals were replaced by the previous owner because they sagged apparently. He used Old Man Emu replacements which suit us fine because we tow a camper trailer even if it means we get rear tyre squeal at times when unladen and accelerating round a corner.

Basically we wanted a little comfort or the long treck over bitumen to get to the interesting stuff and some reasonable 4wd performance in the rough. Looks more and more that that's what we are getting. We have driven in the Coorong in sand and it handled that with ease it tows the camper superbly and after last weekend we know it handles mud. Rock hopping may be the next test and I guess with the good clearance it might just handle that O K.
One of the things we wanted to have was low ratio 4wd and manual. Some of the more comfortable 'soft roaders ' fail to spply same and it really is essential. Again the Challenger has handled every thing we have thrown at it in this dept. even though its low ratio is ratio is not as low as some similar vehicles.

It seems that the more we use the vehicle the happier with it we are, considering that every 4wd has its limitations.

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 24109

Reply By: Member - Scotti - Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:57

Thursday, Jul 03, 2003 at 21:57

Yes we do off road quite a bit and yes our Challenger has LSD. Still no comparason to diff lock though but does make some difference apposed to no LSD.
Are you sure you don't have LSD in the one your looking at.I was under the impression that all Challengers from 01 on had LSD(I could be wrong).Ours is 2000 and I know in that model the LS which is distinguished by the 2 tone paint came out with LSD.
The ARB air locker is just short of 2 K's installed.
Aside from the LSD issue we found the challenger to be quite rugged & willing to go where any 4wd dares to go.Only issue is ground clearance.We have now wound torsion bars at front for extra 20mm and had rear leaf springs reset. When a tyre change is due will go for 32x11.5x15.

Let me know how you get on.

CheersLooking forward to Kalbarri in July..
AnswerID: 24143

Follow Up By: cookie - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 11:01

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 11:01
Hi Scotti, thanks heaps for the info. I've decided to hold out for a few months and look for a 2001 model with LSD. I was planning on buying closer to the end of the year but this one came up at a good price so I thought I would check out the options. It's still for sale incidently. I think for the type of driving I intend doing a diff lock might be a bit excessive and I am pretty new to 4wdriving so would rather ease my way into it and I think a LSD will suit my purpose. Diff locks in the future maybe.

As far as I know the 2001 model has an option pack including LSD, cruise control and 2-tonne paint. I believe this is the same for the new model. The one I looked at did not have LSD, I ckecked the sticker on the diff. The 2001 LS models that I have seen don't have 2 tonne paint, seems funny for a higher spec model, they have all leather etc and standard LSD. There is one on the autotrader site for sale in perth. There are only a handfull of 2001 model coil spring challengers for sale in perth, and ony a couple of those with the option pack including LSD. Seems to be quite a few of the leaf spring versions around at good prices. Mitsubishi salesman tells me that really there isn't much difference in the ride, which I can believe. How do you find them??

Will keeping looking for now.

Thanks again.


FollowupID: 16433

Reply By: Member - Scotti - Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 00:23

Wednesday, Jul 09, 2003 at 00:23
Are you in Perth?
If so when you get your Challenger drop me aline and we can go test both cars togethe.

The option to hang out for LSD is probably way to go.
I have seen reviews and heard the coil spring rear is better but a lot of reviews say that due to the full ladder type chassis it still is not ultimate comfort.
However I can vouch for the fact that they certainly can be very aggresive and capable off road.I certainly am pleased with mine.I guess at the end of the day it comes down to what are you looking for in a 4wd.For me it was basicly a seven seater wagon small enough for city travel and also get off the beaten track and have some.Looking forward to Kalbarri in July..
AnswerID: 24530

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