Front diff locker

Bullbars, roof racks, suspensions and other accessories relating to vehicle performance
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AlanW
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Front diff locker

Post by AlanW »

Hi Patrol lovers. I am considering installing a front diff locker on my Y61 petrol to help with mud. A few questions please:
1. Do they make a difference in mud? My Y61 handles sand very well in stock form. I have BFG mud tyres which I deflate, and the Y61 just keeps going in sand. But mud is a different story, especially when it is uphill.
2. Which diff locker to get? Which is best, worst, cheapest, most reliable, easiest to deploy?
Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Alan
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Peter Connan
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Re: Front diff locker

Post by Peter Connan »

There are many different types of mud.

If both front wheels are spinning (IE the traction is roughly even on both sides) it will make little or no difference.
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Re: Front diff locker

Post by mvcoller »

I fitted a Lokka into my Pathfinder and one in my Patrol (Lokka.com). Both were front lockers. They are very well priced, last I looked around Aus $350 to $400 before postage and local duties. My service mechanic fitted them for me when the vehicle went for a service, it took less than an hour to fit. It arrived in a small box, about 25% smaller than a carton of 200 cigarettes!!

On both of them I had to pay about R2100 in duties. They arrived via DHL in about two to three weeks.

They are generally referred to as Auto Lockers, but are actually auto unlockers. It is locked normally, but when you corner, the side that runs the shorter distance selectively unlocks (you can hear a "click, click, click" sound when it is unlocks, while driving slowly), this is to enable the vehicle to turn a corner, and prevent diff windup and breaking spider gears.

I first did the Pathfinder and it made a huge difference, as the Pathfinder's traction control turned off as soon as you select Low Range. Most of them do that, as the ABS does the traction control and ABS turns off in LR. It made a huge difference on the Pathfinder off road, made it about twice (or more) as capable.

In the Patrol, that already had rear diff lock, the change was not as pronounced, but it does make a change.

With both vehicles having it on the front axle, you cannot "turn it off" if you enable 4WD. You can feel the "pull" when you turn, but it is manageable and not at all too intrusive, or an issue.

On the Patrol I now hardly ever use the rear diff lock when in 4WD, as the front locker does as well as the rear one, actually it does even better than the rear locker when climbing up a hill when traction is compromised by poor road/track surface conditions. I now only need to lock the rear diff in really extreme conditions...

I had the Pathfinder for 8 years with the front locker in and sold it about a year ago, and the Patrol has had it in for 7 years now. I have not for one day regretted fitting them, nor even one second's worth of problems with either of them. Lokka are really suburb, robust pieces of 4x4 kit....
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Re: Front diff locker

Post by Francois Theron »

I can second the auto locker on the front diff. I fitted Lockrite auto locker supplied by Mike Swan to two of my Patrols and can echo everything said by Malcolm. Now whenever I buy a Patrol, a front auto locker is the first thing to be fitted.
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Re: Front diff locker

Post by AlanW »

Thank you all. Very helpful. I'm going to try get a Lokka DHLed to me.
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Re: Front diff locker

Post by ra_01 »

Hi, please keep us posted of this mod.

Been doing some research about these. When you install the auto lockers, you may want to convert the locking of hub from auto to manual. Apparently, the auto lockers likes to engage by itself sometimes. I am not sure whether others have experienced this scenario.

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Re: Front diff locker

Post by Peter Connan »

I have a different concern about these auto lockers, which I have asked a number of installers about but have not received a clear reply on.

The basis of the concern is this: These devices are activated by an internal cam. When the diff carrier turns faster than the side-shaft, the cam pushes outward, locking a dog-clutch into engagement. But if the side-shaft turns faster than the diff carrier, the dog clutch dis-engages and slips. There are two separate dog clutches in the unit, one for the left-hand side-shaft and one for the right-hand side-shaft.

So here's the concern: it seems to me the locker should un-lock on a steep downhill when engine braking is required.
Can anybody confirm or categorically deny this?
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Re: Front diff locker

Post by Dungbeetle »

My response here is actually for the LOKKA system only, not hub lockers and maybe off topic, byt here goes:

The Cam function and space is so that only side can unlock upon differential torque at a time. There is simply no way that both can unlock. That does mean that 1 wheel can unlock and roll over an obstacle due to longer path than the other wheel, such as cornering but, not both. So on a downhill under engine braking it should not be a noticable event,....just be smooth with the brakes and especially careful if you press the accelerator!

The thing to grasp is that the locker is permanently locked, with the function that if one wheel is FORCED from EXTERNAL the diff to turn faster than the other, it is free to do so. BUT, only while there is tourqe on the other wheel. Meaning there is no way one wheel going over an obstacle will run free while the other is for example is in the air.

Yo, I hope my wording makes sense..

Another way to explain is: The LOKKA does not "see" any difference in going uphill under engine load or downhill under engine braking, so it will respond the same.
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