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Old 02-22-2009, 07:56 PM
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LETSROLL LETSROLL is offline
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Question FJ80 Factory Lockers vs ARB?

I'd be grateful for some commentary on the question factory CDL vs going with aftermarket ARB air lockers?

I'm looking for a new 80 and see a lot of low mileage rigs for sale without CDL. Is the ARB option just as good, not as good, or better than factory?

If ARBs were as good or better than factory CDL then my list of available trucks is considerably bigger.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-22-2009, 08:04 PM
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Well to start, your terminology is a little off. 93 and up 80's are fZj's, including your 97. And CDL is center diff lock, and they all have them- it's what switches you from AWD to 4WD. So if you are looking at some and they don't have the CDL switch (shown here) that's ok, you can add that later to any model 93 and up.

Now for the axles themselves, IMO factory lockers are way way better than ARB's, and the premium you'll pay for a truck with lockers will be less than the parts & install you'll pay to put ARB's in an open truck.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:07 PM
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Thanks! Appreciate the terminology correction. Snf I see you understood my question despite the incorrect terminology. Go factory and avoid the ARBs.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LETSROLL View Post
Thanks! Appreciate the terminology correction. Snf I see you understood my question despite the incorrect terminology. Go factory and avoid the ARBs.
While many prefer the factory lockers there is nothing wrong with ARBs, so there is no reason to "avoid" them. I like mine and they lock much faster then the factory e-locker in my Tacoma. I have seen several cases of ruined e-locker accuators and they are not cheap (new or used). Older ARBs may be subject to leaking o-rings and that can get a bit pricey if you can't do the labor.

The main consideration is the cost. You should be able to find a truck with factory lockers at a reasonable price and avoid the additional expense of adding ARBs (or buy go ahead and buy a truck with ARBs already installed). If you found the "perfect" truck without lockers you can swap in some factory lockers or go with ARBs ... the cost will be very similar with no huge advantage to either.
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Old 02-22-2009, 08:52 PM
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I agree with Mike 100%. Factory lockers are slow. In the rear, its not a big deal, but in the front, the speed of ARB's is nice.

Nakman, why do you feel factory is so much better than ARB? I have heard nothing on either one being significantly stronger. Also, the factory lockers have a motor that can get smashed in the rocks.

LetsRoll, either one will work GREAT, and you'll be happy.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:50 AM
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The ARB case is stronger as it's made of 300m, although the OEM lockers are not weak.

The problem with Factory lockers is that #1 if you wheel hard with 35's, you could twist a spline on the axle and then you are going to have to cut into the axle /3rd member area to get that axle out. If it's twists, you are are screwed and in for a huge PITA fix. Also if the actuators goes bad, they are like $500~$600 to replace that part.

ARB's are perfectly fine to use. If you twist and axle, no worries, it doesn't stay locked or cause issues. THe O-ring issue has been solved with the new stye so the leaking isn't really an issue. If it is, It's really not hard at all to replace. Especially the rear, you can have the 3rd out in less than 30 mins and it takes all of 4 minutes to replace the o-rings if they are bad. It's like $10 in parts not counting oil.

The only ARB failure I've had was due to the carrier bolts backing loose and allowing the locker to move and pinch the oring. tightend, new o-rings and good as new.

I would personally look at trying to find the cleanest, lowest mileage best recorded 80 that you can find lockers or no. Although I always tend to search out the locked one's first.
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Old 02-23-2009, 09:59 AM
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A good ARB setup is bomber, no question it can work well. But my preference for the factory lockers mainly because of their simplicity of use- they tend to just work, while a lot of ARB setups I have wheeled with tend to have recurring issues, mainly air & oil leaks, or some reason to continually be screwing with the compressor or something.. I don't know what all the issues are, other than it seems like people with ARB's often seem to be fiddling with something.

But since the question is about looking to purchase a new 80, why not get one with the lockers arleady in it? One of great things about 80's is how a stock one can be so functional right out of the box. In fact the lockers themselves may be close to free, so you can spend that locker money on tires or sliders or something more fun that you'd actually use every time you drive the truck.

And I don't feel I wheel that hard to worry about twisting an axle. I'm surprised you guys say the fronts are slow to engage, mine is almost right away, it's the back one that takes a little longer since the splines are larger, the axle needs to twist a little more to get it to all line up. Though it's rare I'm rolling up to something flipping on the locker in a panic at the last second, usually there's a little more time to plan. It happens, though.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:46 AM
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I can't tell you how many runs I've been on over the years with an ARB owner running open because he is trying to diagnose ARB problems. YMMV.

There is nothing wrong with them, if I was buying an open diff 80 I'd put an auto locker in the rear and convert the front to e-locker, personally. The 80 is so heavy that if you really need lockers, meaning you are on a difficult trail, then you are going to pretty much have the rear locked for most of the trail anyway.

My front e-locker engages immediately, I have no issues, and as stated above for difficult trails I leave the rear engaged anyway until I am done with the serious stuff.

The great thing about the 80 is you can buy a locked one, add a 3" lift, 35" tires and lower diff gearing and go about anywhere a vehicle of this size is suited to go. This means little to no constant wrenching, repairs, etc.

Now if you like to get on it and are planning tires bigger than 35", starting unlocked and building up both axles is going to make good sense, including things like cryo R&P, upgraded chromo axles, etc.
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:57 AM
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How many have had the rear splines of the axle twist wheeling with 35's? I have thought about the poly pro axles and was wondering if it would be wise to do as a preventative measure? I've dropped like $6K on my rig recently; what's another 500 bucks?
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Old 02-23-2009, 11:02 AM
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So Rubithon crew, both Cheeseman and I run ARB lockers. How much down time do you guys recall there being from us fiddling with our Air Lockers? Unless you were behind us on Cadillac I would suggest zero and the Cadillac slow down was maybe 5 minutes total? If you take care to install the air line securely and generally keep things in order, Air Lockers are not trouble children. I clean and rehab my compressor periodically, inspect air lines, check fittings, run them once a month usually just to check and lube the seals. It's really nothing too tough. I have a second compressor that is used to refill tires normally, but it could be pressed into service if need be, carry some extra tubing and most importantly the female-to-female tubing quick splice. That is the best $10 any Air Locker owner can spend.
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