Front Autolocker in Stock PT 4WD 80? (1 Viewer)

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Oct 5, 2019
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Hey guys, I’ve been searching and reading through related threads but haven’t found someone with the same question.

I have a 96‘ 80 series that was sold in Honduras CA. I live in Honduras which makes parts and capable mechanics a challenge. My 80 doesn’t have lockers, but a stock CDL switch and stock part time 4wd. (Yes it is stock not converted, central and South America received the 80s with PT). Air lockers are not in my budget and even if they were, installation would be an issue. I have purchased the Aussie Locker for the rear, and have been looking at the pros and cons of a front.
It seems like most say no due to AWD, but since mine is part time already I’d be interested in your thoughts. I drive 75% off road, in gravel corrugated roads and deep clay mud on steep mountain roads. Snow is obviously not an issue since it never goes below 50. I run 33” BFG kO2s with a 2.5” dobinson lift. Other than that it is stock. 1fZ, stock dual gas tanks and rear tire carrier. It’s an amazing truck, but when it rains in the mountains nobody gets through, I’d like to change that if possible. Thoughts?
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With your setup and use I wouldn’t hesitate to put an auto locker in the front. If you are ever in a tight spot and have too much traction to make a turn you can pop it out of 4wd or just turn out one hub.
 
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Yea it will be fine in a part time with in/out hubs. I’d do it if that’s what I had.

if nasty mud is mostly what you get into, money might be better spent on M/T tires. KO2s are awesome and I love them, but they aren’t good in thick mud.
 
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Joined
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Yea it will be fine in a part time with in/out hubs. I’d do it if that’s what I had.

if nasty mud is mostly what you get into, money might be better spent on M/T tires. KO2s are awesome and I love them, but they aren’t good in thick mud.

Thanks for the input! As far as tires it was more an availability issue for M/Ts, but something I will look into. We get 6 months dry 6 months rainy down here, the dry is fine, the rainy gets sloppy. A good buddy of mine hauls coffee out of the jungle for a living, they use 22res and petrol Hilux’s. When it gets bad they use mud chains on all 4 tires and get through some deep stuff.
 
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What some folks do is lock one hub but not the other, so essentially you're in 3wd as you go down the trail to reduce binding and steering issues. When you encounter a tough obstacle or get stuck, get out and lock the other hub and you've got 4wd and a locked front axle. I thought about doing this in my 60, but never pulled the trigger.

I agree with @Railwelder93, AT tires are really not suited to the mud. They just cake up and turn into a big spinning block of mud.
 
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What some folks do is lock one hub but not the other, so essentially you're in 3wd as you go down the trail to reduce binding and steering issues. When you encounter a tough obstacle or get stuck, get out and lock the other hub and you've got 4wd and a locked front axle. I thought about doing this in my 60, but never pulled the trigger.

I agree with @Railwelder93, AT tires are really not suited to the mud. They just cake up and turn into a big spinning block of mud.
That’s a really good idea. My main concern has been steering, especially as in mud I usually rock the wheel back and forth to get through tough parts. Also some of my routes include steep muddy hills with deep ruts, and often with turns in the middle, so steering is important.

You are correct on the tires, granted they have performed extremely well even in mud, I usually try to avoid driving in conditions where getting stuck seems eminent. With our roads that go along cliffs and deep side road gutters, it can be dangerous.
 
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I really appreciate everyone’s input so far, I like the idea of a front locker, but I am trying to weigh the options. Switching to m/t may very well be enough, although doing both (as budget permits) is appealing. I don’t think anyone here would ever say no to having a more capable rig.

With 33s do you guys have any reservations with birfield breakage w/ a front locker? Or is that more of an issue for 35”+ and rock crawling?

BTW this is one of the roads I drive weekly.
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Jul 4, 2019
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Lexington KY, Boston MA
I really appreciate everyone’s input so far, I like the idea of a front locker, but I am trying to weigh the options. Switching to m/t may very well be enough, although doing both (as budget permits) is appealing. I don’t think anyone here would ever say no to having a more capable rig.

With 33s do you guys have any reservations with birfield breakage w/ a front locker? Or is that more of an issue for 35”+ and rock crawling?

BTW this is one of the roads I drive weekly.
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You can break an axle in anything if you try hard enough.

But I think mud is the safest place for your axles bc your tires can always spin and slide, not much binding things up. I don’t think you would have a problem.
 
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I had front and rear autolockers on my FJ40 for 10 years with no problems. The only time you have hard steering is on high traction surfaces, like paved roads and it is about half the steering effort with electric lockers on an 80. you are unlikely to break a birfield on an 80 with 33s under most circumstances.
Buena suerte.
 

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