"Lockers" 101 - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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  #1  
Old 12-26-2008, 06:51 PM
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"Lockers" 101

I keep hearing about people having lockers, with switches to engage them, etc. From what I can tell is that they're to lock in yor differentials so that there is power to all your wheels. Am I right?

Assuming I understand correctly what I want to know is: Is this something you can add to stock axles, or do you have to buy different axles? How much are we talking about to get them? What else is involved with them?
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:13 PM
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Lockers "lock in" both axle shafts on the axle assembly so that both wheels have traction. In stock form the truck will turn the wheel with the least resistance. Some trucks come with possi track which is for lack of better terms a watered down locker.

In order to install a selectable (on/off) locker the differential or carrier must be replaced. The locker will be the new carrier. The ring gear must be taken off the carrier or new gears must be installed when installing the locker. If you ever wanted to re-gear, that would be a good time to do so. Lockers are made to fit the truck (or axle assembly) therefore you shouldn't have to have new axle shafts.

If you drive very much off road, you will be amazed how much more traction you will have by installing a locker or lockers (front and rear). If I had it to do over again I would install lockers first, and then lift and tires. Most definitely more bang for the buck with lockers. Since I installed my lockers about 5 years ago, I very seldom use my winch to get my self unstuck, always getting someone else out.

If you take your truck off road, go for it!!
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:22 PM
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Thanks for the info!!
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Old 12-26-2008, 08:01 PM
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I haven't researched it for the Surerduties. I have a Jeep and have delt with lockers on them, an axle is an axle. I don't know if anyone makes selectable lockers for those axles. Selectable lockers are the way to go, but expensive, lockers alone are expensive. There are EZ lockers that you don't have to replace your carrier and they replace your spider gears and side gears. And with EZ lockers you can do it yourself. Personally if I have to have major work done on my axle, I let pros hadle it. Plus I don't have the money for some of the specific and heavy tools that are required to do the job. Just my .02, hope this helps.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:09 AM
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Believe ARB makes a selectable locker for us. the auto locker choice would be Detroit Locker. I agree with lonestarcj7. I too rather have a stock truck with lockers vs a lifted open/open diffs truck.
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:49 AM
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Not sure if these companies make for our trucks but the selectable lockers I am aware of are:

Arb - Uses a switch inside cab to operate air compressor to engage and disengage locker. Air Compressor usually not included, have to buy that separately.

Ox Ė Cable actuated locker, has lever inside cab attached to cable to engage and disengage locker

Detroit Electrac Ė Operates off of a switch inside the cab, donít really know much about this one but assume has solenoid that engages and disengages locker.

There is nothing better than pulling up in a stock looking truck and have everyone tell you how to go around an obstacle like you canít make it. Then show everyone up by making it look easy since you have lockers!!
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Old 12-27-2008, 06:55 AM
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I've considered lockers too, especially if I get bigger tires and have to regear.
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Old 12-27-2008, 07:41 AM
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BIGCOUNTRYSG IS WHO YOU NEED TO POST, HE'S THE GURU. ONE HERE THEY SAY DANA TRU TRACK FOR A DAILY DRIVER.AND MAYBE THE ARB. THE DETROIT LOCKER IS NOT VERY FORGIVING, GOOD FOR OFF ROADER, BUT NOT A D.D. RAUL AT STEALTH AUTO CAN FIX YOU UP ONCE YOU DECIDE, AND GOOD LUCK THERE ABOUT SIX TO $750 A SHOT, PLUS INSTALL.
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Old 12-27-2008, 08:06 AM
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I'd probably do the ARB if I was going to put selectable lockers in my truck (My CJ-7 would get them first though). ARB lockers have been out for a lock time. The Ox locker seems good but I've read alot about reliability issues and customer service issues. I know they've changed hands at least once, maybe more, so maybe the issues are a thing of the past-not sure though.

There are other selectable lockers out there, but they might be all OEM, I know Jeep (in the Rubicons) and I think Toyota has selectable lockers.
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Old 12-29-2008, 12:32 AM
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After this weekend I'm looking into lockers. I was up in the snow and 4wd is really only 2wd when two wheels are slipping... and that pretty much sucks!

In my findings I found that the Eaton e-locker is made for our Dana 60 front end, but not for the 10.5 Sterling rear end. You could do an e-locker in front and a locker in back, but I read that running with a locker while towing or in snow/ice can be tricky.

Next I looked at the ARB air lockers. They make them for both front and rear of our trucks. For some reason I wasn't comfortable with the idea of running air lockers. I just think of all that could go wrong, all that could fail. I just felt like you were going from electricity to air compression, to locker activation when e-locker would be electricity to locker activations... you just cut a step out. I wish they were electric lockers. But since most people like them, I looked further. They seem to be reliable. But are pretty expensive. You have to buy the lockers and then the compressor too. I got to thinking about it, and figure if I'm going to run an air compressor, I want to be able to activate the lockers, air up tires, run air tools, and pretty much anything you can think of. I figure a 3-5gal tank would be a good idea too. So this got me to looking at air compressors. There are two basic kinds you can get... a simple 12v compressor (like the one ARB sells... but ARB's is a light duty compressor with a 20% duty cycle. Enough for just activating the lockers, but not much else.), or a belt driven compressor. Obviously the belt driven will give you more power and fill up a tank much faster. But at a price. Extremeoutback sells just the mounting bracket for $799! Then the compressor is $420. So, you're talking over $1200 and you have an awesome system. The compressor is pretty awesome, it's 8cfm @ 100psi and 200psi max working pressure. On my truck I have dual alternators, and read that they typically mount the compressor where the second alternator goes... I don't want to give up that second alternator so maybe a 12v compressor is what I should go with. For less than $600 you can get the ExtremeAire Magnum (1.5hp, 2.6cfm @ 100psi, 150psi max working pressure, continuous duty). It's a sealed system so you can mount it anywhere... I was planning in the frame rail somewhere and mounting a 3-5gal air tank under the bed.

Lockers in front, nah not a good idea for me. The TrueTrac in the rear was a possibility, but it's basically a better LSD. If you have one tire off the ground, it won't spin both wheels. Some say you can overcome this using the e-brake... but I don't wanna have to do that. Ease of use is what I want. What I really want is for Auburn to make the ECTED for our Sterling 10.5. It's a electrically selectable locker that is a limited slip when unlocked (vs open differential which is what the e-locker and the ARB is). The Auburn ECTED in the rear and the Detroit e-locker in front would be my ultimate combination.

Here's my dilemma. What if your air system fails when you are out? No lockers. That would royally suck. Right now I'm deciding if I want to do both front and rear ARB air lockers. Or a front e-locker, and a rear air locker. That way if my air system fails, I always have the front e-locker to help out (one locker is better than none). I think I'm being overly cautious, I haven't read where the air systems have failed. And if I have a tank that has at least 85psi I should be able to activate the lockers (I read that some people have gotten their lockers to activate with as little as 25psi). But I guess that's just me, I want to make sure everything is going to work when you need it. If you can't ensure it will work, then have a back up plan (e-locker). No matter which route I go, I'm doing an on-board air system because I want the utility of airing up tires and using tools as needed.

opinions?
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