Author Topic: locker in front or trutrac  (Read 1872 times)

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Offline jaltb4k

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locker in front or trutrac
« on: July 19, 2020, 04:50:09 pm »
hey guys, i have a question about what i should do for my front differential. its a 1985 so i think it has manual locking hubs. should i get a detroit locker or a trutrac? since the front isnt locked all the time, cant i just run a locker or spool in the front and have no trouble driving it every day?

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    Offline u2slow

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #1 on: July 19, 2020, 05:42:59 pm »
    Correct, your traction device "goes away" when you unlock the hubs and run the tcase in 2wd.

    Auto trans or manual? Reason being that only the manual has the feature of being able to unlock a locker at-will by simply lifting your foot off the accelerator. Not sure about the tru-trac in this respect.

    I have so far run Lockright in a Dana 60 front, and a No-Slip in a Dana 30 front.

    IMO, the tru-trac will be smoother and more forgiving, but the locker will ultimately be more effective traction in nasty situations.
    DD: 90 D250 6BT|5spd|D60/3.54/Lockright
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    Offline KurtfromLaQuinta

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #2 on: July 19, 2020, 06:15:18 pm »
    Correct, your traction device "goes away" when you unlock the hubs and run the tcase in 2wd.

    Auto trans or manual? Reason being that only the manual has the feature of being able to unlock a locker at-will by simply lifting your foot off the accelerator. Not sure about the tru-trac in this respect.

    I have so far run Lockright in a Dana 60 front, and a No-Slip in a Dana 30 front.

    IMO, the tru-trac will be smoother and more forgiving, but the locker will ultimately be more effective traction in nasty situations.
    Yes to that.
    I'm running a Tru- Trac in the front. I can say it works unbelievably well. It can be a little overpowering at times. Can you say "Pump-U-Up"?
    Using it in the front and a Detroit Locker in the rear... all you need to do is point and shoot at pretty much any obstacle and just laugh at it.  ;D
    One thing I do notice... with the hubs just locked in, and the transfer case in 2 High, I can still feel the pull of the Tru- Trac in the turns.
    « Last Edit: July 20, 2020, 09:42:46 pm by KurtfromLaQuinta »
    500 c.i.- Scat Crank, Scat Rods, Indy Aluminum heads, Comp XR280HR Cam, Six-Pack, Milodon 8 qt. Pan, 727  (reverse-manual, low band apply, 5 clutch disc, 3 qt. xtra. pan), N.P. 205, Ford 9" rear axle (4:11, 31 spline axles, Detroit Locker, converted/ disc brakes). Dana 44 front (converted/ disc, 4:10, Tru-Trac limited slip). Hydra Boost Brake Booster, Gear Vendors OD. 600+ ft. lbs. of torque

    Offline jaltb4k

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #3 on: July 19, 2020, 09:32:13 pm »
    thank you very much for your feedback. mine is a automatic. i like the idea of being able lock the hubs and get locker type response. thats great input :)

    Offline jaltb4k

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 10:15:52 pm »
    Correct, your traction device "goes away" when you unlock the hubs and run the tcase in 2wd.

    Auto trans or manual? Reason being that only the manual has the feature of being able to unlock a locker at-will by simply lifting your foot off the accelerator. Not sure about the tru-trac in this respect.

    I have so far run Lockright in a Dana 60 front, and a No-Slip in a Dana 30 front.

    IMO, the tru-trac will be smoother and more forgiving, but the locker will ultimately be more effective traction in nasty situations.


    how much work was it to get the tru trac installed? i saw it is made for a abs tone ring. what solution did you come up with? mine is a 1985.....i wounder if i would still have the same issues?

    Offline Elwenil

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #5 on: July 20, 2020, 05:40:40 am »
    Keep in mind your front axle is only a D44 and has pretty weak axle joints for using lockers in a full size truck with big offroad tires.  Also be aware that a front locker can make it near impossible to steer in certain situations.
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    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #6 on: July 20, 2020, 08:04:39 am »
    personally I run Grizzly lockers (same as a Detroit) in both front and rear, with lockout hubs.  To me, when in 4wd the truck performs more 'predictably', and I like knowing that all 4 tires are pulling at the same rate all the time - no bias based on traction.  True that the auto lockers like a Detroit, Grizzly, Aussie etc can give some quirky steering feedback but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.  Upgrading your steering with ram-assist is also a good idea.
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    Offline u2slow

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #7 on: July 20, 2020, 01:07:23 pm »

    how much work was it to get the tru trac installed? i saw it is made for a abs tone ring. what solution did you come up with? mine is a 1985.....i wounder if i would still have the same issues?

    Ummm.... I haven't installed a tru-trac in anything yet. (Lunchbox lockers only.)

    As far as ABS tone rings, you can normally omit them, and mount the ring gear just the same. (Dana 70/80 or Ford 10.25" for reference.)
    DD: 90 D250 6BT|5spd|D60/3.54/Lockright
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    Offline jaltb4k

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #8 on: July 20, 2020, 01:20:26 pm »
    oh i see. how do you like your lunchbox locker? is pavement friendly? ill be daily driving mine

    Offline u2slow

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #9 on: July 20, 2020, 02:08:08 pm »
    oh i see. how do you like your lunchbox locker? is pavement friendly? ill be daily driving mine

    Both my drivers (D250 and W250) have Lockright rears. I like them. Both are 5 speed trucks... you learn to drive 'with' them rather than against. I didn't care for the locked rear and auto trans though.

    A Spartan is going in the front of W250 when the next round of axle work is due.
    DD: 90 D250 6BT|5spd|D60/3.54/Lockright
    Tow/haul: 93 W250 Club 6BTA|5spd|D60/80/3.54/Lockright|4" lift|35's|HX35|5x.012s|4" pipe
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    Offline jaltb4k

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #10 on: July 21, 2020, 03:44:35 pm »
    thank ya gents!  ;D

    Offline pc1p

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #11 on: July 22, 2020, 10:37:14 am »
    The question that really needs to be asked/answered for general questions like this is: What are you looking to do with the rig?

    If you're looking for excellent traction in all sorts of terrain and plan on lifting tires off the ground, a locker is really the only option. A full case locker such as a Detroit or Grizzly will give increased strength and a long service life, but will require setting up the diff properly. A "lunchbox locker" (aka "LL") will give similar traction performance, at the expense of strength and service life when compared to a full case locker.

    A LSD such as a TrueTrac gives excellent tractions as long as both tires are touching the ground and are great in mud, sand and snow. They are predictable and bias power smoothly, yet they allow differentiation that is much more controlled than an autolocker.

    For the ultimate traction device, a selectable locker gives excellent and predictable on-road performance with none of the typical quirks of a locker. At the flip of a switch, a selectable will give absolute traction potential in the form of a spool.

    Things to consider:
    - Lockers (LL or full case) in front axles are not fun on snowy roads. They tend to plow and understeer bad and even though auto-lockers will "unlock" when torque is removed (such as coming off the throttle), unlocking can be erratic in extremely slippery conditions as the locker requires some friction and movement in the axle shafts to release mechanical bind and energy.

    - Lockers in the rear are more manageable but still have their quirks. A short wheelbase (such as a Jeep) and rigs with manual transmissions will have more quirks and handling issues than longer wheelbase or automatic rigs. Driving with a locker in the rear takes some getting used to but isn't too bad. Similar to lockers in the front, a rear locker on snowy roads takes some confidence and practice but is doable.

    - Lockers and baby axles (aka 1/2 ton axles) don't do well with big tires or heavy trucks. A set of aftermarket CM shafts can help, but you'll always have to deal with that tiny, 19-spline stub shaft (not as fun) or hub damage (not as bad) if pushing it hard. If you're "throttle smart", you can reasonably expect a D44 front axle to serve you well with 33" in rough terrain (rocks) or 35"s in more forgiving terrain (mud).

    - LSD's give traction when both tires are on the ground. They're smooth and generally consistent, though some such as the TrueTrac have a higher bias ratio than others, meaning they can "push" more torque to the non-slipping wheel. Any torque biasing needs, well, bias - so in other words if one tire has no traction/resistance, it will not bias towards the other (bias-ratio x 0 = 0), and torque going to the wheel with traction will go to zero. If you rock crawl or climb ledges often where one tire is off the ground, they will work the same as an open differential. While you can sometimes manipulate the parking brake to get some traction, that only works well in the rear and even then, effectiveness is marginal in really technical terrain.

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    Offline SuperBurban

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 02:59:13 pm »
    Its been a few years since I looked into lockers, but back then, the trutrac was the only diff that the manufacturer says can be used in a front axle, with the locking hubs engaged on the highway.
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    Offline KurtfromLaQuinta

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 07:07:43 pm »

    A LSD such as a TrueTrac gives excellent tractions as long as both tires are touching the ground and are great in mud, sand and snow. They are predictable and bias power smoothly, yet they allow differentiation that is much more controlled than an autolocker.



    I have to disagree with you. Unless I have a unique Tru- Trac.
    I've had my front tires "hanging in the air" numerous times. And it continued to pull hard.
    Tru- Trac's aren't your normal limited slip.

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    Offline SuperBurban

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #14 on: July 22, 2020, 07:57:46 pm »
    I have to disagree with you. Unless I have a unique Tru- Trac.
    I've had my front tires "hanging in the air" numerous times. And it continued to pull hard.
    Tru- Trac's aren't your normal limited slip.
    I understand that if you stop with a wheel in the air, and then try moving with more the gentle throttle pressure, it will slip. But every case I heard of, you can overcome the slip, by adding a little brake pressure.
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    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #15 on: July 23, 2020, 08:17:38 am »
    ...for me it comes down to this - I want all 4 tires pulling all the time and at the same rate, regardless of traction, and I plan to use my truck in any conditions and in any weather, including deep snow and ice when I'll have evil nasty chains on each corner.  I don't want one tire making shiny holes - I want all the tires 'connected' so when I look out at the left front tire I can see how fast all 4 tires are digging.  Plus, I want all 4 tires 'stopping' at the same rate too - if I apply the brakes I want all 4 tires slowing me down at the same rate with no front 'bias' - if the front begins to lock up the rears have no choice but to also begin to lock up, and I personally feel I have much more 'predictable' control that way.

    No setup is perfect, but I love strong auto lockers like the Grizzly because it gives me the most predictable setup possible while also giving me good steering (unlike a selectable/spool which gives me none).

    ...and...I also have a winch at both ends for when everything we've discussed ends up in the ditch ;) :)

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    « Last Edit: July 23, 2020, 08:19:36 am by Mad Max »
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    Offline RedneckInTraining

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #16 on: July 29, 2020, 10:46:22 am »
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    Offline tv_larsen

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #17 on: July 29, 2020, 09:17:33 pm »
    I've owned cone type, clutch type, and torsen style limited slips, I've also owned a Detroit locker, an ARB air locker, and a full spool. 

    No limited slip has ever come close to the offroad traction a locker or a spool offers.  For the front axle of any 4x4 that will ever be driven on the street I highly recommend a selectable locker like an ARB air locker or a Detroit E-locker.  The only down side is cost, otherwise its the best of both worlds.

    However, if you can only afford one locker, put it in the rear axle.
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    Offline pc1p

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #18 on: July 30, 2020, 04:51:50 pm »
    I have to disagree with you. Unless I have a unique Tru- Trac.
    I've had my front tires "hanging in the air" numerous times. And it continued to pull hard.
    Tru- Trac's aren't your normal limited slip

    I've used many TrueTracs over the years, including currently in my RC. In no instance have I ever experienced or seen one bias to any tire hanging in the air. Be it clutch, gear or cone style LSD, you cannot bias anything with a multiplier of zero. You're continuing to pull (or push rather!) thanks to your rear locker.

    Here's a good example of what I've seen countless times wheeling on both sides of the country: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIe9XGrPtmw

    While I love the TrueTrac for it's friendly street manners and predictable traction, I would never consider one for serious wheeling, at least not without a front locker and heavy duty winch (ironically exactly what I'm adding to my RC  ;D )

    I understand that if you stop with a wheel in the air, and then try moving with more the gentle throttle pressure, it will slip. But every case I heard of, you can overcome the slip, by adding a little brake pressure.

    See YouTube video above :) Occasionally you can get it to work, in very limited instances, but it's a challenge to do even when you're on relatively stable ground. Being off camber or in a compromised position I have yet to see anyone do this "trick" well enough that I would consider it a viable alternative to a locker.

    This guy ALMOST does it --> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMy7az5rPWs

    ... but as you can see, he's using disc brakes and is in a very static situation. Had he tried that with a locker and he would have pulled the truck off the jack in 2 seconds!
    '93 RamCharger LE | 408 cid stroker | Built 46RH | Dana 60s | TrueTrac Rear | ORD Crossover Steering | 37" Milestars | 17x9" Method 101 Beadlocks

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    98 Jeep TJ | 4.0/AX15 | 4" RE Super Flex | D30 30-spline | D44 CM shafts | E-lockers | 5.13 | 35" KM3

    Offline pc1p

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #19 on: July 30, 2020, 05:09:12 pm »
    ...for me it comes down to this - I want all 4 tires pulling all the time and at the same rate, regardless of traction...

    Why do you say this?

    I'm genuinely curious... For me, there are many instances where differentiation is beneficial and even an autolocker will "unlock" when warranted. As someone who wheels in desert environments in very off-camber situations, I'll say that I love having the ability to switch-off my e-lockers, especially on my Jeep that didn't have hydro-assist (my RC will however). This is particularly so when lateral stability and tip-over are coming very close to each other...


    Plus, I want all 4 tires 'stopping' at the same rate too - if I apply the brakes I want all 4 tires slowing me down at the same rate with no front 'bias' - if the front begins to lock up the rears have no choice but to also begin to lock up, and I personally feel I have much more 'predictable' control that way.

    I may be mistaking what you're saying, but unless you have a center differential in your t-case, your front and rear drivelines will brake evenly. You can get side-to-side bias (which is typically beneficial during braking) but total rotation will never exceed driveshaft speed, so braking hard in 4Hi or 4Lo will slow both drivelines down equally.

    My other Jeep buddies, all of whom run automatics, are always amazed at how smooth and predictable my rig is coming down off ledges and steep canyons:

    A video of my and my boy on our first shake-down run of the YJ a few years back: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rbhee-VkSuQ&t=33s



    In my experience, a locked-up wheel is never predictable, especially when slowing down a +4000# rig. This is why I tend to go toward selectable lockers - having the ability to differentiate and allow a slipping wheel to lock up while allowing the counter wheel to stay rotating is the basis of ABS.


    No setup is perfect, but I love strong auto lockers like the Grizzly because it gives me the most predictable setup possible while also giving me good steering (unlike a selectable/spool which gives me none).

    Are you saying a selectable doesn't give predictable steering??
    « Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 05:15:36 pm by pc1p »
    '93 RamCharger LE | 408 cid stroker | Built 46RH | Dana 60s | TrueTrac Rear | ORD Crossover Steering | 37" Milestars | 17x9" Method 101 Beadlocks

    Link: https://ramchargercentral.com/projects/pc1p's-1993-ramcharger-le-1ton-build/

    98 Jeep TJ | 4.0/AX15 | 4" RE Super Flex | D30 30-spline | D44 CM shafts | E-lockers | 5.13 | 35" KM3

    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #20 on: July 31, 2020, 08:37:35 am »
    Why do you say this?

    I'm genuinely curious... For me, there are many instances where differentiation is beneficial and even an autolocker will "unlock" when warranted. As someone who wheels in desert environments in very off-camber situations, I'll say that I love having the ability to switch-off my e-lockers, especially on my Jeep that didn't have hydro-assist (my RC will however). This is particularly so when lateral stability and tip-over are coming very close to each other...


    I'm looking at it 'mostly' from an off-road perspective (mostly rock-crawling but also deep snow) but it also applies to the street in bad snowy weather, but knowing that all 4 tires are rotating at the same speed as the left front (the one I can see) helps me understand what the truck is doing.  When I 'read' a line I know that if that left front is not turning then neither are the other three, and so I'm not inadvertently kicking out the rocks I just went over and am counting on being under there when the back end reaches them or digging shiny holes in the snow, etc.  In snow I don't want any single tire making a shiny hole while others are not rotating.  If that left front stops then I stop trying and back up for another run at the snow bank, and if that left front is spinning then I know my right rear is too and no joy getting up over that ledge I just tried.


    I may be mistaking what you're saying, but unless you have a center differential in your t-case, your front and rear drivelines will brake evenly. You can get side-to-side bias (which is typically beneficial during braking) but total rotation will never exceed driveshaft speed, so braking hard in 4Hi or 4Lo will slow both drivelines down equally.


    ...when locked in - yes, but open diff - no.  As far as I understand the front brakes have always had more bias than the rears, and when I use the 'gears' to slow down (and not the brakes)...like I do many times in icy/snowy conditions and for sure in loose off-road conditions...I want all 4 tires slowing the truck at the same even rate and not subject to the front tires wanting to slow the vehicle more than the rears and push out the front end, all while not touching the brakes.  Even in my AWD Subaru - when the weather is really snowy/icy I always downshift through the gears to slow the vehicle down which always works much better than using the brakes - use the gears to slow down and the brakes to stop.


    In my experience, a locked-up wheel is never predictable, especially when slowing down a +4000# rig. This is why I tend to go toward selectable lockers - having the ability to differentiate and allow a slipping wheel to lock up while allowing the counter wheel to stay rotating is the basis of ABS.


    for me it's the exact opposite - an open diff is never predictable but a locked diff is.  It lends to different characteristics sure, but I can rely on the results more so than I can unlocked.  It's probably personal preference, but having driven and wheeled open, selectable/spool, and locked I'll take locked (but not spooled) every time.  What I don't like about selectable lockers is they are essentially a spool, which I don't like in any conditions.


    Are you saying a selectable doesn't give predictable steering??


    well, when engaged a selectable becomes a spool, which on dry pavement can be very difficult to steer (auto is not), and in the rear one tire always drags - great for competition/off road only use but I'll never put on in a truck I'll drive on the street, and if you forget to unlock it get ready for some seriously 'unnatural' steering situations and potentially broken axle shafts.  Is it predictable - sure I guess so - when unlocked it drives perfectly smooth on dry pavement, and when spooled it doesn't want to steer at all, and you'll for sure need a ram to push the tires through the counter-rotation, and absolutely for sure off road.
     
    Auto lockers allow for steering and differentiation, but spools never do.  You can select the diff to locked/spooled and get out of a hole, but by the time you realize you needed it engaged you're already in the hole.  I've seen so many guys get into a real bad situation because they forgot to engage the lockers - they attack a ledge only to bounce off of it and even break a shaft of the spinning tire on the rebound; Auto lockers are 'always on' and always pulling, allow for steering and turning, and you never have to remember to turn them on/off, especially useful in those times when all of your attention is on keeping the truck on the road - that's not when I want to be trying to find that friggin switch...

    Ask 10 guys you'll get 10 recommendations - same old story :).  I prefer auto lockers.  I'll deal with the chattering and occasional quirky turning characteristics that come with auto lockers and enjoy having a 4-wheel-drive truck that actually has all 4 wheels driving, all the time.

    To each their own.  I know many many guys that love their ARBs - great for them and they work for them.  I also know three very seasoned wheelers in my club who just recently decided to swap their ARBs for a Grizzly or Detroit at both ends because they're tired of the 'selectable' thing - they want all 4 pulling all the time regardless of whatever this or that reason etc etc - all 4, all the time, every time.

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    « Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 09:04:41 am by Mad Max »
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    Offline dodge82273

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #21 on: August 1, 2020, 04:25:50 am »
    I like the auto as well , power into a turn , its locked , let off a second, get back on its unlocked ... easy .
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    Offline pc1p

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #22 on: August 4, 2020, 05:41:01 pm »
    Ask 10 guys you'll get 10 recommendations - same old story :).  I prefer auto lockers.  I'll deal with the chattering and occasional quirky turning characteristics that come with auto lockers and enjoy having a 4-wheel-drive truck that actually has all 4 wheels driving, all the time.

    To each their own.  I know many many guys that love their ARBs - great for them and they work for them.  I also know three very seasoned wheelers in my club who just recently decided to swap their ARBs for a Grizzly or Detroit at both ends because they're tired of the 'selectable' thing - they want all 4 pulling all the time regardless of whatever this or that reason etc etc - all 4, all the time, every time.

    Fair enough and good points - I was just genuinely curious since you're a western-states guy and play in the rocks...

    I was building a set of tons for my YJ (which will now be used for a buggy) and was going the auto-locker route as well. For a mainly off-road truck, they're hard to beat in terms of reliability, traction, etc. I was viewing the thread in terms of a "dual use" rig and in my experience (and really, as you said, my personal preference), is a selectable wins for dual use rigs (which is why I think you see them on factory vehicles). However I could never say, at least not with a straight face, that an autolocker is predictable on the streets, especially with a shorter-wheelbase rig and a manual transmission and definitely not in the snow.

    It's been funny to see how the industry and preferences are changing. I didn't wheel out west until I moved to AZ (15 years ago), but in the east coast, we welded up the rears (which oddly enough I find more predictable than an autolocker on the snow/ice) and ran whatever we could afford up front (usually a used Detroit off of the local "AutoTrader" parts section!). Nowadays, after almost three decades of reliable selectable lockers on the market, I see what you have seen and see people going to autolockers for simplicity. Oddly enough, in the west (at least in Cali and SoCal), I see a lot of guys going with autolockers up front and keeping selectables in the rear. A lot of big shops, including some famous ones such as John Currie, recommend this setup too.
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    Offline u2slow

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #23 on: August 4, 2020, 07:24:14 pm »
    For a mainly off-road truck, they're hard to beat in terms of reliability, traction, etc. I was viewing the thread in terms of a "dual use" rig and in my experience (and really, as you said, my personal preference), is a selectable wins for dual use rigs (which is why I think you see them on factory vehicles). However I could never say, at least not with a straight face, that an autolocker is predictable on the streets, especially with a shorter-wheelbase rig and a manual transmission and definitely not in the snow.


    I'm firmly in the auto-locker camp. For dual-use, actually mostly pavement... daily-use as its turning out to be.

    The factory needs to coddle the general, new-truck-buying public; thus selectable. It can't have awesome traction that cannot be turned off - frustrating/scaring your spouse or teenager. The dealer does not want a 'feature' on a vehicle that causes it to drive different. That can be a lost sale, or a potential liability issue.

    I will say auto-lockers are predictable with a straight face... on the street/highway - in the snow - manual trans - short or long wheelbase. It behaves different than an open diff for sure (takes a little getting used to) but they're very predictable IMHO. My biggest change-my-underwear moment has come from being in 2wd with a trac-lok in slippery conditions (too concerned with abusing the part-time 4wd.) Lesson learned. I readily drive to 70mph in 4hi part-time (as conditions permit) with a front or rear auto-locker. Again, very predictable.

    From first-hand experience, an auto trans or AWD tcase (or AWD mode ) don't play the nicest with auto-lockers. The auto trans doesn't allow it to predictably unlock on-demand. The inherent backlash in an auto-locker cycles the AWD differential briefly and harshly for a moment until the locker engages. You feel it happening on every gear change with a manual trans. In the case of the GF's Jeep, having a smooth AWD was more preferable than being locked.

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    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #24 on: August 5, 2020, 08:14:56 am »
    that was my assessment of 'predictable' as well - auto lockers may be quirky, but I 'know' they're going to be quirky, and thus I know what to expect in snow and on the street, and if one tire has traction, you've moving.  , That's why I love them on the rocks - traction is constantly changing, and so long as one tire is touching the Earth the truck continues to move forward and a nice, slow, predictable pace.

    They do take getting used to, but once you know how your truck will behave then you can rely on it behaving that way every time, and IMO off road there's nothing better.  And they can definitely be loud when re-engaging after ratcheting - sometimes they sound like something just broke, but nope, just confirming they're doing their job {cool}.

    Auto lockers are basically a spool with some 'slack' built in, and that makes all the difference.
    « Last Edit: August 5, 2020, 08:16:38 am by Mad Max »
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    Offline pc1p

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #25 on: August 5, 2020, 11:24:34 am »
    ... and if one tire has traction, you've moving.  , That's why I love them on the rocks - traction is constantly changing, and so long as one tire is touching the Earth the truck continues to move forward and a nice, slow, predictable pace.

    This is a great discussion and is the main reason I try to keep up on the forums vs the typical "what size tires can I fit without a lift" questions/discussions on social media... :)

    I will say that we must have vastly different experiences in the rocks... I've had plenty of instances where one or more tires have been touching the ground and still could not get over an obstacle or maintain vehicle speed (and this is with both the "billy goat" switches turned on). Hell I've had all four tires touching the ground with both lockers on and couldn't get traction!  :'(  I guess I drive more by "feeling" the terrain (and sometimes by "Braille" as my wife says) and seeing how the rig reacts, rather than focusing on what a wheel may or may not be doing at any one time.

    Never once in my >20 years of wheeling can I say that I have looked at my line out the window and thought to myself that I was glad I knew what the back tires were doing. I guess this also goes back to why I was confused at your earlier comment about being able to look at the front-left wheel and see what it is doing and that somehow being useful. I could have (and often had) all 4 tires spinning at the same speed but that means very little in my experience as traction is extremely dynamic and "movement" is even more so, to which traction is only a somewhat small part of.

    That said, I'm definitely going to play with this concept however, particularly as my RamCharger will be running autolockers shortly...



    This discussion does make me think back to a recent trail where all 4 tires were touching, up what was likely a 20 climb (vertical) on a trail that was probably 6-8 off camber. Here is the only good shot I was able to take of it, but you can see the other Jeeps down the trail some, particularly the blue JKU dealing with both the incline and off-camber. For those in central AZ, this is the "loop" portion of the Sunflower Mine Trail.



    A side note for my central Arizona folks - Most people play in the rocks along the river and turn around at the "hill". The rock garden is very fun and always changing due to rainfall, erosion and water levels (we get lots of rocks to play in here in AZ, but rarely wet/slippery rocks!). If the rig above looks familiar to you, it's none other than Trent McGee in the 2019 Ultimate Adventure IH Scout (https://www.fourwheeler.com/ultimate-adventure/2019/1907-building-ultimate-adventure-2019-ultimate-international-part-1/)... we ran into Trent and some east coast buddies doing a week long wheeling trip here in AZ. The photo above was taken near 3358'02.4"N 11128'33.4"W and I think it's near the highest point on the loop and offers some awesome views, so I suggest doing the full loop, though you should know that it will add ~1.5 more hours to the trail, but depending on season you'll get to wheel in snow at the peaks  8)



    Anyways, back to the original story - the white Jeep behind me has a front auto-locker (well a LL locker, but same principle) and was constantly fighting his steering, turning almost directly into the canyon wall while holding a straight line. His only saving grace was the periodic breaks that he got due to having to climb a ledge, allowing him to reset his line before moving forward again (he did occasionally clutch-in to make a few of the turns, at the expense of momentum - something his baby 2.5L wasn't happy with). With my e-lockers, I simply left them off and maintained throttle up the entire hill. There was some slipping as the terrain alternated between loose ankle-breaker rocks, eroded dirt, snow/ice, and the periodic rock ledge, but I never lost momentum, my arms never got tired and I was never fighting the rig. For me, this is the ultimate advantage of a selectable and it's exactly why my TJ got dual Eaton E-lockers!


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    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #26 on: August 5, 2020, 11:57:08 am »

    ...I've had plenty of instances where one or more tires have been touching the ground and still could not get over an obstacle or maintain vehicle speed (and this is with both the "billy goat" switches turned on). Hell I've had all four tires touching the ground with both lockers on and couldn't get traction!


    ...well I did say 'traction', not 'contact' ;) - so long as one tire has traction the truck should be moving...unless something of course is in the way etc.  I think we're both saying the same thing but in different ways...


    I guess I drive more by "feeling" the terrain (and sometimes by "Braille" as my wife says) and seeing how the rig reacts, rather than focusing on what a wheel may or may not be doing at any one time.


    well...same here.  For me, knowing my RR is about to attack the big rock my RF just went over is why I like to be able to 'see' the LF tire so I know the RR is still rotating and trying to claw its way up and over.  If the LF is not rotating then the RR (or RF or LR) must be in a really deep wedge and I'd better have a look before I apply more throttle and possibly snap an axle...



    Never once in my >20 years of wheeling can I say that I have looked at my line out the window and thought to myself that I was glad I knew what the back tires were doing. I guess this also goes back to why I was confused at your earlier comment about being able to look at the front-left wheel and see what it is doing and that somehow being useful. I could have (and often had) all 4 tires spinning at the same speed but that means very little in my experience as traction is extremely dynamic and "movement" is even more so, to which traction is only a somewhat small part of.


    ...and yah like I said if the LF is spinning then I know all 4 are spinning...and if I'm not moving then none of my tires have any traction, so, time to either bump it or maybe try another line.  If I had a selectable lockers then I'd first have to double check to make sure I remembered to engage them, and then wonder if they're working the way they're supposed to, and by then I'm already frustrated...

    Some say auto lockers are for lazy drivers, which I disagree with and instead say they don't make me lazy...they give me two less things to wonder about.

    Again I think we're more or less saying the same things and kinda talking past each other.. :)
    « Last Edit: August 5, 2020, 11:59:56 am by Mad Max »
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    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #27 on: August 5, 2020, 12:11:56 pm »
    ...during this whole discussion I had another thought - my responses have all been relative to the hard-core off-road truck I'm building (and similar trucks I've had in the past) but not relative to a daily-driver, which gave me reason to ponder that very instance, so here's what I'd say to lockers in a daily-driver that would not see real off-road action.

    First off, an auto locker in the back of any big heavy truck is almost 'unnoticeable' - the heavier the truck the less pronounced the ratcheting seems to be, tho I don't think I can say 'why' with any scientific certainty. 

    But anyway, I'll take my 07 Cummins Megacab dually 4x4 as an example.  First off...I don't think that truck would ever have a genuine 'need' for actual "lockers".  It's a highway tugboat and executes that mission very well, and even with open diffs it does 'fine' in the snow in the very VERY few times I've had to go out in it through the white stuff.

    So, because that truck will not be 'off-road' I cannot foresee any need for either auto or selectable lockers.  That said, if I were ever inclined to put some sort of 'traction aids' in the diffs I would most likely go with either limited slips at both ends or an auto in the rear and limited slip up front.  Regardless I would not ever put selectables in either end because I do not want a 'spool' in either end.

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    Offline pc1p

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #28 on: August 5, 2020, 01:47:32 pm »
    Some say auto lockers are for lazy drivers, which I disagree with and instead say they don't make me lazy...they give me two less things to wonder about.
    I've heard that too but I look at it like you do - auto-lockers are one less thing to focus on or worry about, both in terms of use but also reliability. I've seen plenty of ARB's leaking o-ring these past few years, plus a couple of failed solenoids and even one actuator get smashed (Ox locker). This is why I went the auto-route on my D60KP/14B combo that I was building for the YJ (that is now for a future buggy once we move).

    Selectables do take some getting used to but the learning curve comes quick. Once you realize how locked (really spooled) axles will cause the rig to act, both independently and together, you can really use it to your advantage. For example, keeping the front unlocked but rear locked so that I can "push" the rear forward and overpower the front tires, pushing the front into a wall, and getting a lot of bite before turning into and then off the wall is one of my favorite moves on these narrow canyon rides.

    You'll also quickly learn to "feel" that you left the lockers on (or off). I can now tell what axle is locked without even looking just by how the rig feels.

    ...during this whole discussion I had another thought - my responses have all been relative to the hard-core off-road truck I'm building (and similar trucks I've had in the past) but not relative to a daily-driver, which gave me reason to ponder that very instance, so here's what I'd say to lockers in a daily-driver that would not see real off-road action.

    I was wondering that myself. The OP clarified that he was using it for a daily driver, so I have been tailoring my advice based on my experiences of "dual use" setups. I assumed, possibly erroneously, that the OP would be using the rig mainly for on-road (90%+) and off-road on the weekends or a few times a month (10% or less). For a truly dedicated trail rig, I'd be pushing a spool in the rear and an autolocker in the front with hydro-assist (or full-hydro and double spools!) :)

    First off, an auto locker in the back of any big heavy truck is almost 'unnoticeable' - the heavier the truck the less pronounced the ratcheting seems to be, tho I don't think I can say 'why' with any scientific certainty.
    This is my experience too... my first time driving a rig with an autolocker rear was a M1008 K30 CUCV and I didn't even realize it had a Detroit back there! Weight and wheelbase tend to tame auto-lockers.

    So, because that truck will not be 'off-road' I cannot foresee any need for either auto or selectable lockers.  That said, if I were ever inclined to put some sort of 'traction aids' in the diffs I would most likely go with either limited slips at both ends or an auto in the rear and limited slip up front.  Regardless I would not ever put selectables in either end because I do not want a 'spool' in either end.
    I see a lot of 2500's at the boat ramp wishing they had a LSD. Some of the modern "Auto-LSD's" help, but there are so many rigs I see at the lake struggling to get their rig off the boat launch, even in 4x4 with A/T tires. Again it's instances like this that we are seeing many e-locker rear (and fronts in some cases) axles in off-road oriented trucks that drive mainly on the road.

    Again I think we're more or less saying the same things and kinda talking past each other.. :)
    Kinda sounds like it a bit too :)
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    Offline SuperBurban

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #29 on: August 5, 2020, 03:26:21 pm »
    For many years I used to drive from Baltimore north to PA every morning, watching the rush hour traffic heading into Baltimore. Every day that had snowfall, it was common to see many vehicles going south, in the ditch on either side or center of the road. 3 things most had in common, 1 a straight stretch of road, 2 a single vehicle, and 3 a 4x4 suv. 4x4, locking diffs, limited slip, are good driving tools, but if the driver does not know how to use them, they can and often will make driving worse.

    If I had to spec a fleet of vehicle that were to be used by many drivers, I would choose a full time 4wd, and open diffs. If it was drivers I could train, I might look at it differently. The newer systems with traction control, could also change my selection.
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    Offline pc1p

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #30 on: August 5, 2020, 05:15:10 pm »
    For many years I used to drive from Baltimore north to PA every morning, watching the rush hour traffic heading into Baltimore. Every day that had snowfall, it was common to see many vehicles going south, in the ditch on either side or center of the road. 3 things most had in common, 1 a straight stretch of road, 2 a single vehicle, and 3 a 4x4 suv. 4x4, locking diffs, limited slip, are good driving tools, but if the driver does not know how to use them, they can and often will make driving worse.

    If I had to spec a fleet of vehicle that were to be used by many drivers, I would choose a full time 4wd, and open diffs. If it was drivers I could train, I might look at it differently. The newer systems with traction control, could also change my selection.
    We head up to the mountains almost every opportunity we can get here in the Valley... 90% of the vehicles we see stuck are 4x4 SUV's. My Subaru on the other hand would go through 8" of powder on the ground without blinking an eye!

    I drive all over the Rockies for work as well, plus British Columbia (starting from Spokane, WA). I do everything I can to get a small AWD SUV or AWD car.

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    Offline Mad Max

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #31 on: August 5, 2020, 05:34:10 pm »
    yup, we love our 2013 Subaru Outback for many reasons, including and especially its outstanding capability in snow {cool}
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    Offline SuperBurban

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    Re: locker in front or trutrac
    « Reply #32 on: August 5, 2020, 06:20:02 pm »
    Yep, I had a first gen Legacy, nice car, but did not do well in Pa.s deep wet snow, and when my Son was born, the car seat would not fit. Thats when we went to Suburbans.
    77 W200, 360/727/NP203/D44HD/D60 (Wifes Toy)
    77 M887- 318/727/NP203 D44HD/D60
    78/86 Ramcharger.  360/727/NP203 D44/9&1/4
    85/89/90 D150/W250 5.9TBI/435/241 D44HD/D60HD
    85 W350 360/727/241 D44HD/D60
    97 B3500 5.9MPFI/518 D60HD
    20 Pacifica Hybrid, 3.6 V6, EVT 1 speed trans.
    projects:
    85 Country Coach RV, 5.9 Cummins/TH475,GV od,US gear Exhaust brake,D70HD (4 wheel disk brakes, 10 lug 19.5 rims.