Converting OEM eLocker to ARB

csd1982

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I’m looking to buy a set of fj80 axles with OEM eLockers. They will go in my fj45 with 2F. I plan to run at least 37’s. I read here that OEM eLocker is no good for that size tire. Therefore I will look at an ARB. Can I use the 3rd member from the axle and swap out the locker and ring and pinion? Or must I get a new nonlocked 3rd member that does not have all the electronics on the outside?

Thanks
 
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I’m looking to buy a set of fj80 axles with OEM eLockers. They will go in my fj45 with 2F. I plan to run at least 37’s. I read here that OEM eLocker is no good for that size tire. Therefore I will look at an ARB. Can I use the 3rd member from the axle and swap out the locker and ring and pinion? Or must I get a new nonlocked 3rd member that does not have all the electronics on the outside?

Thanks
I do not know where you heard that BS, they are fine are you going to re-gear them to 4.88 or 5.29 ??
 

csd1982

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I do not know where you heard that BS, they are fine are you going to re-gear them to 4.88 or 5.29 ??
I read the OEM eLockers don't hold up to 37's + on this site. If that is not true then great. Yea I plant to run 4.88 on 37's or if I got larger then 5.29.

If I wanted to do air Locker can I use the same 3rd member or do I need to find a non eLocked 3rd?
 

Zjohnsonua

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If you plan on wheeling that rig, do Future You a favor and get the splines cut out of the area that twists during a failure. Search a bit and you'll find what I'm talking about. Also, go ahead and order a set of diff shims for when you ultimately decide to re-gear - they can take a little while to come in.
 
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If you plan on wheeling that rig, do Future You a favor and cut the splines cut out of the area that twists during a failure. Search a bit and you'll find what I'm talking about. Also, go ahead and order a set of diff shims for when you ultimately decide to re-gear - they can take a little while to come in.
This^^^^^^^^
 
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Yes, there have been reports over the years of problems with rear e-lockers when wheeling hard with 37" + tires. I wouldn't say it is common.
The problem is with the sliding dog collar design and the long splines on the axle. When frequently wheeling hard with large tires, it is possible to twist the splines on the axle shaft. When this happens, the sliding collar of the e-locker gets jammed. This makes it difficult or impossible to remove the axle.
Some guys have broken an axle with the twisted section stuck in the locker. When that happens on the trail, you can't remove the third or replace the axle. The only remedy is to cut open your axle housing to remove the broken axle stub.
These anecdotes are pretty rare though. I don't think the fear of twisted splines warrants replacement with an ARB or other locker.
To answer your original question:
Yes, you would need to swap to a non-elocked third. In addition you should also replace the long spline elocker axle shaft with a non-locked shaft.
You will also need to retrofit the wiring system and install an air source, whether it is ARB or York, etc. If you really want to go forward with ARB conversion, it would be easiest and make the most financial sense to sell your entire rear axle housing and replace it with a non locked housing.

Unless you are flogging your truck relentlessly on buggy lines, I don't think it is worth the effort. Do as suggested above and look into machining the splines, prepare for the unfortunate event of a broken or stuck axle and don't wheel alone.
 

csd1982

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Yes, there have been reports over the years of problems with rear e-lockers when wheeling hard with 37" + tires. I wouldn't say it is common.
The problem is with the sliding dog collar design and the long splines on the axle. When frequently wheeling hard with large tires, it is possible to twist the splines on the axle shaft. When this happens, the sliding collar of the e-locker gets jammed. This makes it difficult or impossible to remove the axle.
Some guys have broken an axle with the twisted section stuck in the locker. When that happens on the trail, you can't remove the third or replace the axle. The only remedy is to cut open your axle housing to remove the broken axle stub.
These anecdotes are pretty rare though. I don't think the fear of twisted splines warrants replacement with an ARB or other locker.
To answer your original question:
Yes, you would need to swap to a non-elocked third. In addition you should also replace the long spline elocker axle shaft with a non-locked shaft.
You will also need to retrofit the wiring system and install an air source, whether it is ARB or York, etc. If you really want to go forward with ARB conversion, it would be easiest and make the most financial sense to sell your entire rear axle housing and replace it with a non locked housing.

Unless you are flogging your truck relentlessly on buggy lines, I don't think it is worth the effort. Do as suggested above and look into machining the splines, prepare for the unfortunate event of a broken or stuck axle and don't wheel alone.
Why would I need to replace the long spline axle shaft?

I have installed ARBs on my Fj40 so got the wiring covered and air source. However if I stuck with the OEM eLocker I have to figure out how to wire that all up in my Fj45. I would like to keep it Toyota so I will look at keeping the OEM lockers and I will research about what to do to prevent the locking issue with a broken shaft
 
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Can I use a non locked axle shaft?

Yes.
That is why I say it makes more sense financially to just buy a non-locked axle assembly. Why buy an e-locked axle, then gut it to install an ARB locker. Last time I checked, non-locked axle assemblies were selling for about 1/3 the cost of an e-locker axle.

I'm still a bit confused about what you are trying to accomplish. Can we clarify a few things so we can give you the best advice?

You have an FJ45.
Planning for 37" or bigger.
You are retrofitting 80 series axles under the 45. Front and rear?
Makes sense; 80 series = full floater, 63" width, 30 spline. Do you already have the axles?
You obviously plan to wheel this thing, but are concerned about the twisted spline potential of e-locked axles. Right?
You don't want Chevy, Dana, or aftermarket axle assemblies. Right?

If you already have the e-locked axles, your choices are:
Run 'em as is.
Upgrade the axle shafts such as machining splines, or aftermarket chromoly shafts.
Sell them and recoup some cash to buy non-locked axles and then install aftermarket lockers.
Sell the e-locker third, modify the axle assembly for a non-locked third and axle shafts, buy non-locked third and axle, then install aftermarket locker.

If you haven't bought the axles yet your choices are:
Buy non-locked axles, then install aftermarket lockers.
Buy e-locked axles and run them as above.
Buy e-locked axles, sell the e-locker third, modify the axle assembly for a non-locked third and axle shafts, buy non-locked third and axle, then install aftermarket locker.

The last two scenarios on each list seem to be what you are asking about, which would not be the choices I would prefer.
 

csd1982

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Yes.
That is why I say it makes more sense financially to just buy a non-locked axle assembly. Why buy an e-locked axle, then gut it to install an ARB locker. Last time I checked, non-locked axle assemblies were selling for about 1/3 the cost of an e-locker axle.

I'm still a bit confused about what you are trying to accomplish. Can we clarify a few things so we can give you the best advice?

You have an FJ45.
Planning for 37" or bigger.
You are retrofitting 80 series axles under the 45. Front and rear?
Makes sense; 80 series = full floater, 63" width, 30 spline. Do you already have the axles?
You obviously plan to wheel this thing, but are concerned about the twisted spline potential of e-locked axles. Right?
You don't want Chevy, Dana, or aftermarket axle assemblies. Right?

If you already have the e-locked axles, your choices are:
Run 'em as is.
Upgrade the axle shafts such as machining splines, or aftermarket chromoly shafts.
Sell them and recoup some cash to buy non-locked axles and then install aftermarket lockers.
Sell the e-locker third, modify the axle assembly for a non-locked third and axle shafts, buy non-locked third and axle, then install aftermarket locker.

If you haven't bought the axles yet your choices are:
Buy non-locked axles, then install aftermarket lockers.
Buy e-locked axles and run them as above.
Buy e-locked axles, sell the e-locker third, modify the axle assembly for a non-locked third and axle shafts, buy non-locked third and axle, then install aftermarket locker.

The last two scenarios on each list seem to be what you are asking about, which would not be the choices I would prefer.
I would like to keep as much in my rig Toyota as I can. The only core “things” that will be non-Toyota are the sm465 and I’ll use an Atlas t-case (that is 1/2 Toyota 😜). Already did that swap in my 75 fj40. If I could find a fj55 tranny with that 5.x first gear I would go that route with a split t-case and the 4.0 gearing. Or if someone would sell my a marlin crawler box for my stock 4 speed I would use it. Both are unicorns at this point.

In the 45 I want front and back 80
Axles. I have the hellfire knuckles already. I think I might do a link suspension and try to keep it low to the ground as I can with articulation. My 40 is SOA and I think the center of gravity is a bit too high.

I’m in northern Illinois and I want to start doing trips out west to wheel and do more in the Midwest. However I also just really enjoy working on cars and modifying them.

Fj80 axles are not common in driving distance from me. I scour craigslist, FB market place and MUD weekly for LC parts.

A guy 2.5 hours from me has front and back fj80 OEM locked axles for 2,000. Based on what I have seen them sell for and based on the money I spent on my fj40 rear 80 non-locked axle, 1000 per axle seems reasonable.

I did 4.88 and ARBs in my fj40 (fj60 extended front with RVC shaft).

I was just thinking could be cool to keep the OEM lockers if they are reliable. I’m not married to going with ARBs.

I will use the 2F so no Chevy v8 swap.

I’m still debating on the axles for sale that are 2.5 hours away. They are real rusty. The seller says no pitting or flaking but you can’t run a flathead screw driver down the bad dpots without getting hung up. I’m told the knuckle balls are in great shape.

I’ll post pictures tomorrow of the axles for sale.

My current rear axle was pretty rusty when I bought it 5 years back. I had it media blasted and then I etched it and used POR15. The POR15 adhered great to the bear metal after I etched it.
 
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I read the OEM eLockers don't hold up to 37's + on this site. If that is not true then great. Yea I plant to run 4.88 on 37's or if I got larger then 5.29.

If I wanted to do air Locker can I use the same 3rd member or do I need to find a non eLocked 3rd?
You can use your stock thirds to go air lockers
 

csd1982

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Thoughts on these axles for 2k? Was told lockers work.

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Thoughts on these axles for 2k? Was told lockers work.

Do they come with the OE locker control computer thingy (cant remember the technical name) and wire harness? What about the dash switch? Hard to tell how deep the pitting is from the photos. Add the cost/time of tear down, sand blasting, chemically treating them, and painting them to the price tag.
 

csd1982

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The guy does not have the harness or ECU or switched but he claims a guy on this site makes a kit to wire this all up without the OEM stuff. I’ll look around but maybe someone here knows this person…
 
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Dang, I'm glad I live on the west coast.
Those axles would be a hard pass out here, but I know the challenges of living in salt country.
If you want to go forward with these, you have a couple advantages:
You will be cutting off all the stock mounting brackets. You just have to make sure the base metal is solid enough for welding new link mounts.
Search here on Mud for either air-actuated or cable conversion for the lockers. This has the advantage of simplifying/eliminating the wiring and also gets rid of the actuator motor which would leave more room for welding in new link brackets or spring perches.
 

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