Compression Ignition Addict
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: So. Cal. Desert
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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.
07 F250 DSG 4x4 CC SB SRW | SCT | Magnaflow 4" Turbo back w/3.5" DP | Rammat | Alpine Stereo Equipment| JL Stealthbox | 424RWHP 873RWTQ