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mbella1
01-28-2010, 11:54 AM
Looking at install a PowerTrax Locker in my FJ40. Just wondering if anybody has one and how it works for them. Also, should I install it in the front or rear diff. if I only am installing one? Any comments are appreciated:beer:

Mbella1

MDH33
01-28-2010, 11:57 AM
Welcome to the forum.

Install in the rear diff. Auto lockers can make steering tough when in the front.

:thumb:

farnhamstj
01-28-2010, 04:04 PM
Welcome. Second the rear.

RicardoJM
01-28-2010, 04:29 PM
Looking at install a PowerTrax Locker in my FJ40. Just wondering if anybody has one and how it works for them. Also, should I install it in the front or rear diff. if I only am installing one? Any comments are appreciated:beer:

Mbella1

Is this a lock-rite that you are looking at? If it is, I have the same in the rear of my FJ40. I have noticed a difference when on the trail. I am able to go slower in places where I used to have to rely on momentum. When you consider that more power is needed for momentum and more power stresses the equipment (particularly when spinning wheels hit the ground) it follows that being able to slow down is better. Control of the vehicle is also better when it is moving slower. The on road manners of the truck are very different, but it does not take long to get used to it. Ideally, a selectable locker gives you control over when you are locked - but for the cost a lunch box locker is a worthy investment considering the improvement over an open diff when you are off road.

There are several in the club with the lunch box locker; lock-rite, aussie locker. I'm sure they'll chime up with their thoughts. The first one installed should be a rear locker.

Rezarf
01-28-2010, 05:46 PM
I'd lock the rear too. There is so much weight in the front with that 2f that there is hardly a time where I have had the front spin. Now the rear with the top off is another story...

Drew

mbella1
01-28-2010, 07:28 PM
Thanks for the comments. I am looking at a PowerTrax System, not a Lock Right. Both are made by Richmond, I think they recently released the PowerTrax. Sounds like it works like a limited slip until you need it. The price is pretty good if it works like they say. Anyway, I will let you all know after it's in.:thumb:

subzali
01-29-2010, 09:42 AM
That one is different than a lot of people install in their trucks - most people go with a Lockright or Aussie Locker. These are both full lockers, not limited slip (though they ratchet on high-traction surfaces to reduce strain on drivetrain components). The limreited slip you are looking at will significantly increase traction, but in extreme situations where you are running into your axles being crossed, tire in the air, or low friction surfaces, it may lose its effectiveness. One way to aid this is to press on the brake a little bit (counter-intuitive I know) to help regain some traction. The on-road manners should be better than a Lockright-type locker, however. There should be less pulling, banging, etc. The other thing about posi type differentials is they usually require special oil that has to be replaced more often, and if it's a clutch pack type then the clutch discs wear out eventually and it doesn't do anything any more. What kinds of needs are you expecting to use it for?

mbella1
01-29-2010, 10:03 AM
Matt,
I use it to plow snow at times. also as a recreational driver. Plan on doing more 4 wheeling this summer than in the past, but I don't want the problems that most lockers can cause. I understand what your saying about braking to gain traction. I talked to a Richmond Rep and he said no special fluids or new ring and pinion setup are required. He also said they desigend this unit to grab like a locker but drive like an open diff. I think I am going to go with it and be the guinea pig. I will let you know how it works. I am planning on going to MOAB, so that will be my test run. Thanks for your help.

Marc
:bowdown:

leiniesred
01-29-2010, 11:12 AM
Welcome to the forum.

I would put it in the front since you'll want a full locking differential of some kind in the rear after you discover the limited slip just isn't cuttin' it.

"Limited slip equals limited traction." -Ryan Sigworth a.k.a. "Smartboy"

My real advice? Hold out for a selectable rear locker. Keep savin' your money up until you can ARB it. You are actually pretty close if you have the bread for the lockers you are looking at. Especially if you consider used equipment.

REVISED COMMENTS:
Revised thoughts:
http://www.sporttruck.com/techarticles/powertrax_no_slip_traction_system/index.html
Well, look at that, it will lock 100% like the lockright. It just won't bang like a lockright. It will have the added drivetrain backlash like a lockright.
So, sure, put it in the back now and try it out!

rover67
01-29-2010, 11:16 AM
is this the one you are talking about?

http://www.powertrax.com/powertrax/nsexploded.html

I think it's pretty much the same as the aussie or lockrite.. it does look liek it has a few more doodads in it though.

mbella1
01-29-2010, 12:19 PM
Yes, that's the one. I think it sounds like a good application for 4 wheel drives. I know the ARB is great, but $495.00 also sounds great compared to $1500.00.

teamextreme
01-29-2010, 08:08 PM
This debate always comes up with the same results, everyone recommends the rear. With your intended use (nothing hardcore) either end would work fine, however, I'll offer the alternative viewpoint.

A non-selectable locker will cause handling issues on the road (maybe not so much with the model you're choosing). Installed in the rear you have handling issues 100% of the time. Installed in the front you only have handling issues when you're in 4wd.

The other question on placement is which end gives you a better traction improvement when off road. When do you lose traction on the rear? That would be when it un-weights, which would going downhill. How much traction help do you need going downhill? Not much, gravity works. On the other hand, you lose front traction when going uphill, thats when you need the most help. I lift front wheels all the time, hardly ever lift the rear.

The argument for rear locker is that thats where all the weight is transfered, so it has the best traction, so that's where you should put the locker. That's totally backwards logic to me. It has the traction, it's the front that needs the help.

mbella1
01-29-2010, 09:03 PM
You have a great point, looking back on when I have been bogged bown or stuck, one of the front tires has lost traction, usually the right front. You know how it goes, left rear falls in a hole and right front lifts and your stuck. Thought I had made up my mind until your post. If the locker works as described I don't think I will have the normal issues of binding and popping, but what they say and what really happens is a crap shoot. I guess I will think about it a little more before I order the unit. Thanks again! :cheers:

corsair23
01-29-2010, 10:21 PM
I'd still vote for the rear...With an open diff, either end, once one tire loses traction that is it. If the left rear goes in a hole and unloads the right rear, it doesn't matter what the front is doing so much, especially if you are going UP a hill and the front is already mostly unloaded as it is.

Valid point about the locker being in the front and only having handling issues when locked. But unless you ONLY lock the front hubs when offroad I'd be concerned when the handling issue could bite you...say driving around town, in the snow, with the front hubs locked in, and going around a corner with a little power :confused: - Bad time to have your front end lock up on you and make steering a bear IMO.

teamextreme
01-30-2010, 08:27 PM
If the left rear goes in a hole and unloads the right rear, it doesn't matter what the front is doing so much, especially if you are going UP a hill and the front is already mostly unloaded

If you're going uphill and the left rear goes in a hole, the right rear doesn't unload, the right front does. So both rear tires are fine, but you've got a light right front. Guess where you need the locker?

wesintl
01-31-2010, 09:07 AM
I would not put one in the front unless you have ps. Also be familiar with birfield service in the field. There have been very, very few times i wish i had a front locker in my 70 running 33's and smaller

Mendocino
01-31-2010, 09:20 AM
I'd put it in the rear and eventually put an ARB in the front. I have ARBs F&R and generally lock the rear mucm more often than the front. I'll second the "know field birfield service" comment if you put the locker in the front.

teamextreme
01-31-2010, 11:39 AM
Very good point on the birf's. Since I've gotten Longfields I sometimes forget about that. Put a locker in the front and anything bigger than, oh say, 32's, and you'll be replacing birfs more frequently than oil changes. And the power steering comment is also valid, I forget about that too :D

Like I said, I have the minority viewpoint and I never convince the overwhelming majority of people of my reasoning, but I still stand by it and can't figure out why no one else can see it.

Hulk
01-31-2010, 01:39 PM
Why not buy the Lock Right (http://www.richmondgear.com/powertrax/lockright.html) and put it in the rear instead of the limited slip? I've run one since 2001 in my FJ40 and it's been great.

Mendocino
01-31-2010, 02:30 PM
Very good point on the birf's. Since I've gotten Longfields I sometimes forget about that. Put a locker in the front and anything bigger than, oh say, 32's, and you'll be replacing birfs more frequently than oil changes. And the power steering comment is also valid, I forget about that too :D

Like I said, I have the minority viewpoint and I never convince the overwhelming majority of people of my reasoning, but I still stand by it and can't figure out why no one else can see it.

I have a Birfield Eliminator Kit that has chromo axles and I still worry about having the front locked when the wheels are not pointed straight ahead. Then again, I generally apply too much of the skinny pedal.:D

mbella1
01-31-2010, 05:16 PM
Allright, I ordered the rear PowerTrax instead of the Lockright. I am going to give technology a chance. Should be here in a week or so. I will let you know how it was to install. Supposedly only an hour install, we will see. Comments were great!

teamextreme
01-31-2010, 05:37 PM
What, you're going to keep us in suspense? What end are you going to install it in?

mbella1
02-01-2010, 08:45 AM
Oh yea, forgot to mention that. I didn't want to hurt your feelings, but I am going with the rear unit. But I do get your point. It probably would be better to go with an air or electric locker on the front for more control of when it's locked. At least if it damages the birfields, I know it was my decision to lock the front in. The main reason I went with the rear is I use this to plow my neighbors and my driveways. Most of the time I don't have to use 4 wheel drive until I loose traction on a small hill. Hopefully this will save me the hassle of getting out and locking in for a 30 minute job. I appreciate the input though.

Marc:clap:

nattybumppo
06-03-2010, 01:39 PM
Follow-up please!!! How did it work this winter and at Moab?

mbella1
06-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Friggin awesome! It was like I was in a different vehicle. I would highly recommend it.