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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So its getting to the point where I want to get lockers for my Samurai. I'm running 31's currently and have a sidekick transfer case that I will be mating to my samurai case with 4.16 gears. I would like to get ARB's as I still drive the truck on the road in the summer and sometimes in the winter. But with the dual cases I am planning to run I know that axle shaft breakage is inevitable and I don't want to drop $2000 for ARB's and then swap over to toyota axles and have to buy lockers again.

Anyways long story short. I am thinking about getting lockrights as they are a fraction of the cost, but since I have never tried them before, I have a few questions.

How durable are they?

Have they ever failed on you?

I hear they make tons of noise when engaging/disengaging. Are they really noticeable?

Should I do both front and rear, front only, or rear only?

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks
 

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i run a lockrite in mine i love it snaps alot when driving but its a locker wife hates it with a passion something about dry weather a wet bridge in mission and going "around" a work crew litterally on a bridge hitting the bridge safety wall LOL
 

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Im from the island, we are imfamous cheap bastards.. so I will present the other cheap aproach. Its a samurai, they are light. I have run different forms of welded or spooled rear ends for about five years dd on pavement. I have had minimal tire wear, and find the handling very predictable. You only notice it doing low speed tight cornering like backing into a parking spot. Chirps a lil bit, but i like it and ill take the odd chirping tire over the constant clicking and clunking of an engaging and disengaging lunchbox anyday. Low gears 31s and a rear locker and you will be surprised where you can drive these lil trucks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So it sounds like lockrites aren't all that bad then.

Sorry snakebird, but I think i'm going to shy away from welding my diff for now (i have considered before it though).

What about what to lock first? Front or rear? Any thoughts?

Thanks for the input.
 

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welded. cheap and predictable.
 

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i'm going to shy away from welding my diff for now
Im running a trail tough mini spool, they cost about 100 BUCKS.. no welded gears or carrier just nice predictable, locked up handling. And fairly easy to setup, if your into that kinda thing.

and i would go rear first, many will say front (for easy street driving unlocked), but i cant get enough balls to the walls sideways 2wd drifting, so i will say rear. I will also argue most obstacles that you need the locker for, you are inclined, shifting large amount of weight to the rear tires.
 

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spool = welded. And I have seen more spools fail than welded carriers.

87samy - The only thing I dont like about lockers is that they can unload at the worst times. Especially on snow/ice. And when it ratchets it can kick the vehicle. I ran welded 3.90 diffs in my samurai for years, the only thing I wasn't crazy about was the tire wear (uneven). But knowing what the rear end is doing was WELL worth it.
 

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Lockrites are fine. My wife drives her samurai with two of them and doesn't complain. I drive my Xj with two aussies, and I don't complain either.

I've never seen a spool fail, i've seen countless pictures of failed welded carriers.
 

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lockers are such a subjective topic. It really depends for what purpose, budget and rig they are going in. Also depends on the driver and what they expect from their vehicle. Durability is also very subjective, Ive setup alot of diffs with varying results. There are so many ways to weld a diff, its a topic all on its own, but it is documented thoroughly several places on the internet. I think from the sounds of this, the OP is going to be satisfied with a lunchbox locker its a simple enough thing that will likley meet his expectations. I think the options have been covered well and they should be able to figure out what they want to try. ultimatly experience trumps heresay. Take the plunge, lock it up and get out wheelin!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Locking the rear first was what I had originaly thought (mainly to keep some control when steering), but snakebird's argument about the rear doing most of the work is pretty good.

As for welding the diff, I don't like the idea of welding hardened gears and lots of uneven tire wear(even though i know it has been done many times and works). My biggest problem is that I am not ready to stop daily driving the truck and I think I'm trying to compromise too much between having a locked diff and good road handling. The reality of the situation is that if I can't drop the coin for an arb, then what ever locker I put in is going to have some qwerk that I will learn to live with.

As for a final decision, I think i'm going to go with a lockrite in the rear and leave the front open for now. Once I start wheeling I can see how she handles and decide later about either axle shaft upgrades our toy axles.

Thanks again, always good to hear input from people who run this stuff.
 

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Dont waste your money on an ARB, throw in a pair of lockrites. and in 5 years with the springs are shot and the corners are all rounded off throw them away and put an new one in. the front will likely last you for a lot longer as its not engaged very often. I run 2 of them in my samurai with 33 boggers, as far as axle breakage, knock on wood i've yet to break one, you shouldnt have to drive like a lead footed retard with 2 lockers and dual cases. oh and put spools in if you like buying tires :poke:
 

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i beleive the best line i have heard is " the only thing better than 1 locker is 2"

Now if you dont have the $$ for two lockers at the same time get the front done first. Since it is your DD and see how that drive's offroad.
Then lock the rear.

I DD mine i would love an ARB for the rear but for the cost of a lockright i opted to go that route and if you stick with the 31's you will run just fine. Keep and eye on your tire pressure and you shouldn't have any issues with the locker doing weird things on you.
 

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i dont know about everyone else but I got a sami because I like tight trails and front lockers dont go too well with that. Unless you have arms like popeye or like getting in and out to unlock the front I wouldnt bother for now. When you do the toyota swap just get axles with stock elockers then you can avoid an air tank and air lines, not mention lots of them are the high pinion 3rds. I loved my spool didnt notice too much tire wear, unless you constantly chirp the tires it shouldnt scrub too much basically use your own discretion on wearing out your tires because you can hear it happening. I dont like lockrite ever since it locked and then unlocked as I sped up changing lanes in the snow.... not fun in traffic. Good luck in your choice and just remember if you dont like it you can take it out and sell it on here, suzuki guys are cheap and always want used crap
 

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i dont know about everyone else but I got a sami because I like tight trails and front lockers dont go too well with that. Unless you have arms like popeye or like getting in and out to unlock the front I wouldnt bother for now. When you do the toyota swap just get axles with stock elockers then you can avoid an air tank and air lines, not mention lots of them are the high pinion 3rds. I loved my spool didnt notice too much tire wear, unless you constantly chirp the tires it shouldnt scrub too much basically use your own discretion on wearing out your tires because you can hear it happening. I dont like lockrite ever since it locked and then unlocked as I sped up changing lanes in the snow.... not fun in traffic. Good luck in your choice and just remember if you dont like it you can take it out and sell it on here, suzuki guys are cheap and always want used crap
My wife doesn't mind dual lockers in tight trails, she's not exactly popeye either.. time for you to spend some more time at the gym eh? ;) :poke:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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I guess it depends what kinda of trails your on to how hard it is to turn... I found it hard on basketball sized rocks in washouts,but that was in a toyota with 35s so maybe that was why. Congrats on your new lockers sounds like a good deal, power steering sounds like it should help lol
 

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Thanks for all the above info, This is been something I have also been looking at. Pardon the newbness again. I am under the impression that FRONT lockers will do nothing if the hubs are disengaged correct?? No poppin or weird handling issues on dry asphalt?
Once engaged on trail or snow, do they engage upon acceleration and disengage during de-accel? Im talkin about the lockrite setup.
 

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Thanks for all the above info, This is been something I have also been looking at. Pardon the newbness again. I am under the impression that FRONT lockers will do nothing if the hubs are disengaged correct?? No poppin or weird handling issues on dry asphalt?
Once engaged on trail or snow, do they engage upon acceleration and disengage during de-accel? Im talkin about the lockrite setup.
With hubs unlocked they do nothing..no effect, no change in handling whatsoever.

A lockrite style locker is engaged all the time until there is a reason to unlock, IE opposite wheel resistance (going around a corner). At that point they will/supposed to ratchet open/closed/open/closed as they go from tooth to tooth.. This is the 'click click click' you hear as you turn corners.

When there is torque applied they tend to want to stay locked however, so when you are gassing it around a corner it can hold and then "BANG" unlock.. this usually scares you the first few times but it's normal and doesn't cause any noticeable harm.

You will notice that with a lockrite in snow they don't unlock very often, this is because snow reduces the amount of friction/traction your tires get, reducing the opposing force the locker sees to unlock.. the result is oversteer or understeer. If the locker is in the rear and you drive on snow you get massive oversteer - your rear end kicks out around corners etc etc. Front lockers are the opposite, huge understeer. When you have both it kind of balances out and works pretty well.. that being said, you'll probably want to keep it out of 4x on those snow days UNLESS the snow is deep and consistent everywhere.. simply because you don't want to hit a non-snow patch while going around a corner locked front and rear..
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well I got around to installing the rear spartan locker over the weekend. The locker install went well, but the other issues I found were not so good...

After tearing it down, I found that the pinion flange nut was loose and the splines in the flange were almost all rounded off (lots of play). Next the passenger wheel bearing was on its way out, and finally the passenger side inner disk brake pad was worn down to bare metal (outer still had half pad thickness though....).

I robbed a flange from a spare diff and put it on, nice and tight, so that was an easy fix. Next I went on to the bearing. When I bought the lockers I also bought some rear wheel bearings and seals for the spare shafts I have. I opted to just replace the passenger side bearing/seal as the drivers side was alright (both should have been ok as I replaced them both 2 yrs ago when I did the rear disk brake swap...)

The brakes werent seized at all, so I am a little confused as to why the pads would have worn unevenly, but a new set of pads will fix the problem for now.

Here's how the lockers look when you get them (minus the 4 pins and springs)



Installed in the diff. I found that when all was bolted up, the spider gears bound up on one side as the block that the cross shafts pass through was taller on one side, I simple filed it down a bit and bolted it back together.



I made this tool to adjust the bearing pre-load, works nicely and can even put a torque wrench on it if you need to.





New wheel bearing on a spare shaft and the disk brake adapter I made a few years ago.





My initial impressions of the locker are good and bad, it works great offroad, but the clunks and bangs are really loud and apparent when driving the truck right after installing the locker. But with that being said I have driven it a bit more now and it is getting much better and less apparent as they wear in a bit. I can now go around a corner with the clutch in and not even notice the disengaging/engaging. The low torque turning is still kinda rough, but it is getting smoother the more I drive it.

Overall I say it was worth it and the best bang for your buck.
 
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