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ARB Air Lockers for an 80?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by dsjackson, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. dsjackson

    dsjackson

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    I have a 93 TLC that I originally bought for hauling the kids around, camping and towing our boat. We have gotten into the habit of some serious 4wheeling around Arizona and CO. Several times we have been beaten by a trail due to lack of traction. I have added a Slee Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier, Slee Transfer Case Skid Plate, Slee Rock Sliders, ARB Front Bumper with a Warn M12000 Winch, Garvin ¾ Wilderness Roof Rack, OME 2.5” Heavy Duty Suspension Lift, and 33” BFG MT Radials.

    I am now regretting that I did not hold out for a cruiser with Lockers. I am considering ARB Air Lockers. Does anybody have an opinion on their performance and durability?
     
  2. Junk

    Junk

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    They suck but are the only real option at this point. Either that, or buy another cruiser, swap the axles and sell the cruiser without the lockers. Just don't F up like one weenie in TX and do it with the wrong year. :eek: :flipoff2:
     
  3. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    Ah come on Junk. Not all suck, just the ones in your truck :D

    Junk has had some problems but they are out of the norm (did you ever check your pressure in your air system?).

    We have installed them in a number of trucks and all work great. Yes, if installed incorrectly, they will leak. If the airlines are run wrong it will melt. If the compressor is installed incorrectly it will get trashed or stop working.

    I have wheeled with both, and I can say that I preffer the ARB's due to faster disengagement. Especially the front.

    Also the ARB carrier in the front is stronger than the E-lockers.
     
  4. Cruiserdrew

    Cruiserdrew SILVER Star

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    I have them in 2 of my TLC's-they work great. I had to have the rear resealed on my fj40 immediately after install, but since then they have been great. I have also used the stainless lines, but after having to re-run one of the lines after an engine fire, I prefer the standard blue plastic airline because it is much easier to work with. In fact, a good idea I cannot take credit for is to run the blue plastic line inside some fuel line to protect it. Route the lines carefully to avoid pinch spots and rubbing on the suspension. I ran the lines down the flexible brake line to the axle and this seems to work very well. Highly reccomended product.
     
  5. WolfpackTLC

    WolfpackTLC

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    Don't listen to that Christo guy, what does he know.... :D

    Just kidding. I've recently acquired a rig from that very Christo guy, and it's ARB'd F/R and they are phenomenal. I much prefer them and their quick disengagement to an e-locker any day. Driveability over a standard locking diff? Please... ARB hands down.

    J
     
  6. Junk

    Junk

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    Probably true. :flipoff2:
    No. :-X

    As far as options, I still think the elockers are the best choice. You can force them to stay locked if there's a problem right? Not so with the ARB's. All I know is that with all the problems mine have had, there is no way I would ever put them into another rig. Maybe that's why a lot of mofos on POR prefer not to use them? :p I have had too many issues with them to just sit back and say it's due to bad install. Sometimes even the stuff is failing on the first use after reinstall. Oh, and ARB has never warranteed anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... even after using my beater for their add, they provided no warrantee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I'm not surprised Christo's shop has had no problems. Those guys can make anything work effectively. In my opinion, it is not a finished product design. Too many flaws and weak links. They simply figured it was good enough to sell and don't bother to look at the problems.
     
  7. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    [quote author=Junk link=board=2;threadid=4432;start=msg33209#msg33209 date=1061308640]
    As far as options, I still think the elockers are the best choice. You can force them to stay locked if there's a problem right? Not so with the ARB's.
    [/quote]

    That is all true, however we have seen some failure of actuators lately. Some that can not be repaired. It then becomes pretty costly.

    [quote author=Junk link=board=2;threadid=4432;start=msg33209#msg33209 date=1061308640]

    All I know is that with all the problems mine have had, there is no way I would ever put them into another rig. Maybe that's why a lot of mofos on POR prefer not to use them? :p

    [/quote]

    I have seen a lot of people bitch about them, then when you ask them what went wrong, they say the lines melted, or a variety of issues that was install related.

    [quote author=Junk link=board=2;threadid=4432;start=msg33209#msg33209 date=1061308640]
    I have had too many issues with them to just sit back and say it's due to bad install. Sometimes even the stuff is failing on the first use after reinstall.

    [/quote]

    That is really a shop issue and not an ARB issue. Yes they are tricky to install, and yes sometime we are going to have comeback as well, however ARB has always stood behind us when we wanted something waranteed. However they will not warrantee abuse. Not saying that you abused it, you would never do that ::)

    [quote author=Junk link=board=2;threadid=4432;start=msg33209#msg33209 date=1061308640]

    Oh, and ARB has never warranteed anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... even after using my beater for their add, they provided no warrantee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [/quote]

    Did you get the pressure guage on your system? I am still interested to know what went wrong with your system.

    [quote author=Junk link=board=2;threadid=4432;start=msg33209#msg33209 date=1061308640]

    I'm not surprised Christo's shop has had no problems. Those guys can make anything work effectively. In my opinion, it is not a finished product design. Too many flaws and weak links. They simply figured it was good enough to sell and don't bother to look at the problems.
    [/quote]

    I think we avoid some of the issues by using the Toyota switches etc etc, however it does cost the client a lot more money than slapping in the harness and then just hooking up the switches. I know you had some issues with the switches, but that type switch is a pretty common switch used in the automotive market. As for the rest of the pieces, the are pretty well made. The did have some issues with internal oil seals that has now been changed over to a new style.

    If you can buy a truck with factory lockers, yes, you are ahead of the game. If you can buy a wrecked truck with lockers and swap diffs, you are ahead as well, depending on how the $'s work out and if you can dump the other truck. However that is a lot of work.

    ARB's are by far the best non-oem choice for trucks where you don't want ANY effects from the locker on the road. That said, if you are a POR dude and run big ass tires etc etc and are heavy into rock crawling etc etc, I can see why you would run a Detroit. No fuss, no mess, just run it.
     
  8. BMT

    BMT

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    There was a thread a few months back on putting factory lockers in a cruiser that did not come with them. You can do the front and rear at different times if $$$ does not allow an all at once install. Another option is the used axle route. I think it is cruiserparts.com has locker equipped axles. Rear $1,000.00 and front $1,500.00. A few guys on the board have done it. As soon as I can get my wife to stop doing things like having french doors installed I too will put in factory lockers.
     
  9. Hltoppr

    Hltoppr SILVER Star

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    BMT,

    It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.... just get the axles, she won't even notice...

    -H-
     
  10. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    BMT,
    Get the axles and get them installed under the cloak of darkness. Then paint the old ones up real nice, put a bow on them with a card that reads " A nothing special reason gift for a very special wife". When she asks what they are with a big smile you reply "Bird Houses".
     
  11. dsjackson

    dsjackson

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    Based on the advice and products that I have received from Christo, if he says ARB Lockers are ok, I’m sold. I just wish Slee were not a 14 hr drive each way so I could have them install them as that seems the tricky part. Do you have any good suggestions of a shop in Phoenix that might do a good job?
     
  12. Big_Moose

    Big_Moose

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    Dsjackson

    I will have to agree with all the others that ARB's are an awesome locker! I have been running them in my '40 for the past 12 years. They have performed flawlessly even with the air seal retaining, allen head bolts vibrated loose about 9 years or so ago. I also installed my own ARB's in the diffs, really not that difficult.

    Christo doesn't need the truck to install the ARB's. Remove the differentials and send them to him for installation. During this downtime, you can complete the front axle rebuild if necessary, since you are in there anyway.

    I think Junkster is jinxed when using ARB products.

    Joe
     
  13. LINUS

    LINUS Waiting for the Great Pumpkin

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    I was in the same place as you, and I chose to go factory lockers for the reason that doing my own install it's going to be cheaper than to go ARB. My way of thinking is that factory parts will be easier to work with in the long term if I wear something out or the like. My main use is for snow traction when I go to the local mountain snowboarding. I have a fairly realistic view that if I get into wheeling too much that I'll probably just buy a 40 for off-road and keep the longer wheelbase 80 for street / light stuff / snow.

    On that note, my locker package is still sitting in the garage waiting for install. :mad: Once I finish painting the house the lockers go in.
     
  14. Junk

    Junk

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    Dang Linus - you should have checked first. Someoneon this forum may have some extra actuators. ;) :flipoff2: :D
     
  15. BMT

    BMT

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    dsjackson...born and raised in Phoenix. The shop that has been around the longest and does everything from mild to wild is 4Wheelers Supply & Off Road on Washington. Check out the shop. Another one that might be O.K. is Off Road Unlimited but I'm not 100% on that one. It is the old Republic Offroad and I had a few friends that worked there. They do quite a bit with rock crawlers. I would stay away from any of the chain stores. We don't drive a Ford, Chevy, Dodge or Jeep. Hope to run into you sometime.
     
  16. BMT

    BMT

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    landtank & Hltoppr...good advice but she has spent all my money!!! The only thing I could do is sell something. Hmmmmmmm...lets see...For Sale...one wife...barely used...comes with 2000 Chevy truck and a cat...please call. :D
     
  17. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    No offence BMT, will you part out the cat? :D
     
  18. dsjackson

    dsjackson

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    BMT,

    Thanks for the information. I think I will swing by and talk to Off Road Unlimited. They did the install of my ARB Front Bumper, winch and OME.
     
  19. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    I retro-fitted OEM electric locks to my 80. I modified the original rear housing to accept the locker diff and used a new front housing for a lock equipped vehicle. The main reason I did it was to see if it could be done. In addition, I "knew someone" to get the reqired stuff from ;) . I spent a bit more than I would have to get ARB's but I have not looked back. If anyone is GENUINELY interested in the conversion, I would be glad to share my Knowledge regarding said project. I will warn interested parties up front that this IS NOT CHEAP if you do not have a donor vehicle. If you choose to utilize a new front housing, parts will push 4 grand. So, if you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it. ;)
     
  20. Rogue

    Rogue

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    Hey Dan,

    How much is it? :p