Locker or crawler gear???

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 19:34
ThreadID: 56898 Views:3429 Replies:5 FollowUps:11
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Hi Folks,

I wonder if those in the know can enlighten the rest of us novice's as to which product is deemed "more necessarry" or "more desirable" to have on a fourby primarily used as a weekend warrior?

I have in my GU a very low ratio crawler gear and just love what it does to my rig and the control it gives me in any situation. I have only ever had a rear locker on one car and that little beast was very scary to drive thanks to this locker, it got me into places were I should not have been but I wonder if there was a crawler gear in this vehicle as well whether I would have felt more in control or not? (not haveing to go so fast through some of the more narly sections might have been better?)

So I pose the question: If you could get one of either a single locker (fr or rear) or the low ratio crawler gear, what would it be and why?

Hope this topic may help some others thinking about either product make a decision one way or the other as well.

Cheers, Trevor.
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Reply By: Crackles - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 20:49

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 20:49
Trev it really depends on the country one drives in. A locker is useful in many different terrains where as lower gears are pretty much only for steep rocky hills therefore the locker would be far more useful & better value for money overall.
For some vehicles like the Pootrol their standard low range is pretty high compared to a Landcruiser or Landrover so crawler gears would have a greater impact particularly as the standard limited slip diff works well. Have seen several Nissan's struggle to get going on steep hills even in low 1st and given a serious rock ledge, crawler gears would be far safer than attempting it at a faster speed.
For me I have a Cruiser so as it has a respectable low 1st already, I've gone with 2 lockers to improve the performance of it's useless diffs both in traction & strength.
Cheers Craig.........
AnswerID: 299928

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:55

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:55
Thanks Craig,

It is for my GQ that will be my weekend hack so probably crawlers first then after the funds restock a little maybe a front locker.

Please enlighten me as to why or how a locker "strengthens" a diff?

Best regards,
FollowupID: 566332

Follow Up By: Crackles - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 09:26

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 09:26
Trev 100 series front diffs are notoriously weak, the centre itself being of open design. The common belief is that it flex's under severe load allowing the pinion to ride up on the crown wheel & sheer the teeth off. The ARB diff centre casing is a 2 piece unit bolted together & far more rigid. The Patrol doesn't have the same problem.
For a weekend warrior crawler gears fitted together with long travel suspension & over-sized tyres would certainly be your priorities. Have driven a Patrol set up this way (no lockers) on the Mt Darwin track in Tassie, which has a series of 1m rock ledges. The extended wheel travel kept the tyres on the ground & the low gearing meant there was no bouncing & therefore minimal wheel slip. Afterwards the owner asked what it was like to drive & I said "Pretty good, I haven't driven a Bulldozer before!" :-))
Cheers Craig.................
FollowupID: 566377

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 26, 2008 at 19:31

Saturday, Apr 26, 2008 at 19:31
Thanks, Craig for all your info.

You are certainly backing what is on my mind for this GQ.

Cheers, Trevor.
FollowupID: 566797

Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 21:34

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2008 at 21:34
yep Locker for me too, in a GU put it in the front and if its an auto locker Detroit or the like its even reasonably easy to drive
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AnswerID: 299946

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:03

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:03
Thanks Bonz,

I thought I had it sorted till you come and blow my thoughts out the water LOL!!! I thought the Patrols were very good in the diff department so crawlers would have been more "desirable" or "beneficial"????

Only one other bloke up here with lockers that I go wheelin with and the terrain where he goes with lockers engaged is nothing short of "insane".....probably not where I would be game to go even if I had lockers hehehehe. Not yet anyhow.....maybe with a few more "wheelin lessons" I might get "mad enough" to give it a go????

Thanks mate,
FollowupID: 566333

Reply By: Wayne (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 06:33

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 06:33

Good question.

Both the locker and the crawler gears should allow the vehicle to go slow over very rocky terrain or steep climb.

The standard low range in Patrols is a bit high compared to Cruisers.

Patrols have a good LSD so crawler gears in the Patrol.
Cruisers have a good low gear so locker in the Cruiser.

Now the ideal set up.

78Series RV Turbo Diesel with crawler gears and front and rear diff locks.

Second best,
78 Series RV Turbo Diesel with rear diff lock or GU Patrol 4.2 Turbo Diesel with crawler gears.

Petrol vehicles and vehicles with front diff locks are way down the list and don't even come close.

AnswerID: 299997

Follow Up By: Redback - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 07:50

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 07:50
FollowupID: 566155

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 08:28

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 08:28
G'day Wayne,

I was with you all the way until your last part of your last sentence..... QUOTE: "and vehicles with front diff locks are way down the list and don't even come close"..... hahaha

The front locker in the diesel Patrol, with it's excellent LSD, is a perfect fit for superb traction.

However, to make up for my lack of driving skill, I have opted for the 43% crawler gears AND a front air locker. If I could only choose from one of these, I would say the crawler gears have been more useful and more regularly used than the air locker. But, the air locker has certainly got me outa some chitty situations!!!! hahahaha

FollowupID: 566157

Follow Up By: Ti Trol - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 14:58

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 14:58
Hey guys, tell me where I can get crawler gears for my GQ? The only place I have found is Marks 4WD in WA and that is just a bit far away from Bris.
FollowupID: 566231

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:51

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 21:51
Ti Trol,

I don't know of anyone in WA that does the crawlers. Mark's has a good reputation and that is who I went with for my 3.7 ratio crawler gear. Another mob I saw and thought of using were snake racing in Sydney. There is a few others out there so just do a search on the web and you will find a few. For the GQ it is the same as the GU and 3.7 ratio is about as low as you can go, but even this ratio requires the grinding out of the inside of the transfer case to fit it in. So it is not a job for the faint at heart or rooky....leave it to the gearbox specialist. I think Roachie's are about a 2.8 ratio??? and they fit in with less hassle. I reckon I have about 2 and a bit lower gears than the factory GU, so it does slow you down heaps.


I share your sentiments and with a standard GQ sitting in the front yard as my next "project" I was wondering whether the lockers were "more necessary" than the crawler gear. I was leaning towards doing the transfer case before the locker up front but like so many things, I always do plenty of homework then plenty of procrastination before the work begins. Thanks for the help.


Thanks for your knowledge and input. I am just a tad worried that with a locker, I will go further into the poo before I wake up to myself and realise I should never have attempted that with my limited skill, where with a crawler and standard diffs, I will still have a reality check before it gets too dangerous for my driving ability. The little blue Blizzard I had was rear diff welded and that thing was so scary where I could put it, wheels completely skyward and the rear end would keep driving them further off the ground....something has to give and a rollover would have been all too easy on many an occassion. I even remember getting it on one front passengers side wheel while the other three were trying to overtake it at a rate of knots on a nasty downhill once....very scary, as close as I ever want to come to rolling another car.

Cheers blokes,
FollowupID: 566330

Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:23

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:23
Hi Trevor,
I have a wish list for the 100 series and lockers are up the top, I have never considered crawler gears because the cruiser has low enough gearing for where I'm willing to go. (you've seen me!)


I can recall a certain Blizzard having the ability to climb a heavy rutted track with gay abandon, due to having a locked diff, and I reckon you would not get it places you did with crawler gears.
If 1 or 2 wheels are in the air, the lowest gearing on the planet is not gunna help you up.
Thats my bit, Shane
AnswerID: 300088

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:09

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:09
Too true Shane, but that's true if I had left the blizzard with two open diffs but if it had a rear end as good as the Patrol then it may have still gone allright???? even the Blizzard could have done with lower ratio gears on many an occassion, the welded rear end on the Blizzard just made me silly enough to try things out of my capabilities and the result often showed this.......wheels in air ect ect LOL!!!

This is homework for my GQ, so it seems the transfer case might need some attention before I get a front locker for it??? Leaning this way anyhow.

How is your middy, have you still got it? Hope you are all well down your way.

Best Regards,
FollowupID: 566335

Follow Up By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 16:10

Thursday, Apr 24, 2008 at 16:10
This thread has got me thinking. . . . . . ,HMMMMM no
I'm still in trouble over the Middi, better not spend anything for awhile, well, until I gain access to the credit card, . . . .when ever that will be.

It's a bit of a long sad story, I bought it just before I went back to work, thinking I just pick up where I left off, only to find the job I was doing didn't exist anymore, basically I spend 5-6 weeks earning less than what I was getting on compo!, some weeks below half, anyway I had House insurance, 100series rego/ins, and rates with no immediate increase in income I had to sell the Middi.
All in all I lost about $600 from what I payed for (everthing) and it is now at Esk.
I'm back doing what I left 12 months ago as a payed employee, with a little bit w/end work on the side.
I 'll catch up to youse later.
FollowupID: 566425

Reply By: Robin Miller - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:52

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 15:52
Its a no contest for a GU - Locker in front.

Lack of a crawler gear means, I may be untidy but I always get there.

Locker in rear - not a lot of use , worthwhile once you have the other stuff.
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 300094

Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:12

Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008 at 22:12
Thanks Robin,

It's for a GQ so same would apply as for GU. See above responses I have posted to see my inclinations and why. Probably safer for me if I leave the locker till I get a bit of pucker factor about me LOL!!!

Best regards,
FollowupID: 566336

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