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Difflock functioning

Transmissions, Transfer Boxes, Axles, Drive Shafts

Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Johann 1984 » 11 Feb 2015 17:29

What's the difference in price between a standard locker and an ARB airlocker. Put otherwise, what can you expect to pay for each? Just FYI, tested the locker this morning in the drive-way, it engaged after I recon 4-5 seconds. This afternoon I dis the same but wiggled the steering wheel and it engaged once again. I heard a definite soft 'clank' upon engaging and disengaging on both occasions, thus I suspect it works fine.
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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Peter Connan » 11 Feb 2015 18:33

The engagement "time" of the standard locker has little or nothing to do with "time", but is a function of how long it takes to lign up the dog clutch. This is a function of differential speed between the left and the right wheels, and at what angle you try to engage. In other words, if you are driving straight, it may never engage, similarly if both wheels are in the air. If the one wheel turns 1/6th of a revolution more than the other one, the diff will lock (assuming all components are in good working order).

Any selectable locker will be damaged if major torque is applied before the locker has engaged completely. For this reason, I personally prefer not to engage the locker while driving in circles or weaving on hard ground, as there is no way to release the torque generated. My method is to either engage on dirt/grass, or to wait untill I lose traction. I then do as follows (very carefully):
1) Disengage (trap on) clutch, and wait untill the wheels are all stationary.
2) Switch locker on.
3) Very gently release the clutch. Immediately when the locker engages, disengage (trap) the clutch again.
4) Pull away normally.

Now for lockers. The following systems exist (but note that not all of them are available for the Patrol):
1) Auto lockers (for example Lockright). These are not controlled by the driver, but work automatically. They are generally the cheapest option, but also the least user-friendly. They are also noisy when working (sound like something's breaking).
2) Cable-operated (found locally on old Isuzu bakkies, old Gelandewagens and old Synchro kombies, I know of nobody still marketing these).
3) Vacuum operated (standard on the rear of the Patrol and many bakkies)
4) Air lockers (work with positive rather than negative air pressure, they are just as complicated and just as troublesome as vacuum systems).
5) Electric motot lockers (found for example on the current Hilux bakkies)
6) Electro-magnetic lockers. To my mind, the best of the lot, except for cable lockers.

Unfortunately, very few of these are available locally for the Patrol.
The standard system is not available for fitting to the front axle. Thus, as far as I know (but my research is 5 years old), you have the option of ARB air-locker, or two different auto-lockers.

If you are serious about doing something, speak to Ronald Hairbottle at 4x4 traction.
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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Johann 1984 » 11 Feb 2015 19:51

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the elaborate and informative description. I'm always heditant to use the difflock and always do so at extreme caution. When I got stuck in the mud the locker deffinately did not engage. That's probably a good thing as well because whilst 'rocking' the car back and forth the engine dod rev up between 1000 -1500 rpm. If the locker engaged at those revolutions, regardless of the vehicle being virtually stationary, the locker teeth could have been shattered I'm sure.

I am serious about the front locker but I'm in no mood to spend 25k on an ARB Locker. I just read about the Powertrax Lockrite locker snd they are +- 4k it seems. Then I got to see the 'Lokka' venue that imports for $198 US Dollar. Have you heard about them perhaps???

Thanks Again Peter!

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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Kagiso II » 11 Feb 2015 20:23

Mike Swann <nizaniauto@gmail.com> imoports Diff locks to SA -- I got the AUSSIE set from him [and he oversees the installation]
I could not find a better priced set in SA -- and Mike has been on Nissan like in forever [he is the first to install lockers on a Nissan Sani.

Contact him and get your answers

Permanent (Auto) locker in front on a Patrol worked fine for Wimpie.O .. I would go the same route for front IF the hubs can run free under normal.
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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Peter Connan » 12 Feb 2015 19:10

Wimpie did not have an autolocker, he had ARB front and rear.

Locka is similar to Lockright in operation, but is claimed to be smoother. I have no idea, having never used either. I have heard that front autolockers increase the vehicle's turning circle when 4x4 is engaged, but I don't know that for a fact. I was seriously considering one of these myself, but have decided rather to improve front articulation.

Either approach has both advantages and disadvantages.

My suggestion: call somebody who fits them, get him to recommend a happy client, and beg that happy client to take you for a spin...
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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Johann 1984 » 13 Feb 2015 21:40

I'm going to fit a auto-locker. How exactly do they function? If I'm in 2x4, ot's not goimg to do anything. In other words it will be quiet on tarref road and nornal driving. If I go into 4Low, it then engages automatically? What happens if I turn? Does it then disengage en engage again when the steeringwheel is straightened? Then, lastly, will this locker damage the front axle or the drive train? Or stress it? Is Locka better than ZlockRite?
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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Johann 1984 » 13 Feb 2015 22:10

Hi Kagiso,

I mailed Mike Swann.

Thanks for the help

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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Tinus lotz » 14 Feb 2015 08:27

Johann 1984 wrote:I'm going to fit a auto-locker. How exactly do they function? If I'm in 2x4, ot's not goimg to do anything. In other words it will be quiet on tarref road and nornal driving. If I go into 4Low, it then engages automatically? What happens if I turn? Does it then disengage en engage again when the steeringwheel is straightened? Then, lastly, will this locker damage the front axle or the drive train? Or stress it? Is Locka better than ZlockRite?

as i understand it as soon as you lock your free wheel hubs your front diff is locked ....with auto locking hubs it will do that in low and high range :mytwocents:
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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Alex Roux » 14 Feb 2015 09:07

Hi Johan

Most of us only have theoretical knowledge of the front locker options for Patrol.
So please keep us posted of your experience with it, installation, performance etc.

Thanks
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Re: Difflock functioning

Postby Johann 1984 » 14 Feb 2015 14:58

Hi Alex,

See Mike Swann's reply, for your interest:

AHi Johann

Thank you for the inquiry.
As a Nissan owner myself I do know a fair amount about the diffs used as well as the most cost effective traction control options on offer .
So here we go.

Aussie Locker Nothing available
Lokka. More than likely but won't supply me 'cause as the sole Aussie Locker Iistributor for Africa and India they feel that there's a conflict of interests.
Lockright. Definitely but are a little scarce 'cause of low production volumes hence the price increment.

I prefer the A/L because of really stringent quality control although I was the first person to introduce Lockright into S.A. in 1993.
All of the above use the same basic design principles patented by John Zentmeyer so it all boils down to warranty back up and to a lesser extent price.

Any locker is going to lock both wheels together in the same axle thus imparting 50% power to each wheel in effect strengthening the axle making up to 9 times stronger than a conventional open diff as all the side gear teeth mesh with the cam gear's at once.
Pushed really hard the CV's will break and then the hub locks but you'll never break a ratchet style locker especially one made by A/L in the USA.
As you eliminate wheel slippage in a cross axle obstacle for eg the axle/diff is effectively that much stronger as previously discussed.
Power goes to the wheel on the ground, directly opposite to an open differential as you well know. Both wheels turn at the same speed regardless of axle position relative to the terrain you're traversing.
There's a 2 year warranty with most of the ratchet style lockers and in the event of a locker failure you can revert to an open diff by simply replacing the damaged locker with the OE g/set.

Let me see what I can do about getting you a quote which will take a couple of working days.
Please visit my website www.difflocks4africa.co.za for further discussions on traction control options

Cheers
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