Locker up in the front (1 Viewer)

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I've finally gotten back on the road after a long hard winter. I'm putting my power steering on tomorrow, I'm got a 78 2F with a saginaw pump and mini-truck box. My birfs and axles up front stock (hd ones the is summer maybe) and I'm running a 285 75 16" tire size (approx32-33").

I want to lock this thing up front, I run a powertrax locker in the rear and have been very very happy with it. HOWEVER. I've got reservations about locking the front and breaking brifs, as well as steering capibilties with the minitruck box.

I don't want to break up birfs and have hard steering again. please post your thought and experience with running lockers in the front with minitruck boxes. I don't have a locker in the mail yet but am thinking about it soon. I also want to buy a set a spare birfs for the trail anyone got any clost to me for cheap? Thanks Ken
 
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search. lots of info on front lockers and birfs breaking. Id hold off until you get longs. Try the FAQ as well.
I disagree. I've been running a locker up front for about 8 years and 35 inch tires for the last 5 years. Still using my stock birfields.
 

pb4ugo

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Save up for an ARB or selectable locker & longfields. I had a lockrite in the frt yrs ago. I would do the 2wd low on the trails and would put in 4wd w/the lockrite when I needed it. It was a pain in the ass, and still blew birfs. At the time opted for the dana 44 w/ARB, that was b4 longs were available. My future plan is L/C frt end w/longs and ARB. It's nice to trailride w/an open frt end and engage the locker when you need it.
 

Josie'sLandCruiser

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Hi All:

I have to agree with "pb4ugo."

I have been running an autolocker (Aussie) in the front axle with Saginaw PS for the last three years. The combo works well, but leaves something to be desired.
I use the 2-Low function alot on the trail; 4-low is tough for tight steering (aka switchbacks.)

If you are gonna run big tires and a front 'locker you need to step-up to a pair of super-Birfs (like Longfields, Marfields, Smurfields, etc.)

Having a selectable front 'locker is great - do it if you can afford it.

Regards,

Alan
 
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Stock birfs are going to break, even without a locker. Driving style has a lot to do with it, but some of it is unavoidable. Carry spares or upgrade so that something else breaks.
 
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I disagree. I've been running a locker up front for about 8 years and 35 inch tires for the last 5 years. Still using my stock birfields.
To echo what someone else said it completely depends on driving style. With that said if you lock up a dana 30 with 44's my grandma could break it but a couple people could get by for a while with a dana 44.... I am simply trying to say F-junker how do you drive it??? If you are even slightly worried about turning or breaking I agree with Camcruiser and ARB would be the way to go since you would or may only use it when you truly truly need it preventing nope that's a bad word REDUCING a chance of breakage which would for sure eventually pay for itself IF you are wheeling the heck out of it a lot....... Just my 2 cents and its worth about 1 cent..... :D
 
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what kind of wheeling do you do .ours is mostly trails and mud i run locked up rear and downey power trax front since 77 and only broke 2 birfs.son ran stock 65 with 35s and welded front and rear when he was 14 and nothing ever broke .i think most breakage is due to good traction on rocks and super low gears and probably a few beers from time to time.almost every upgrade requires more up grades good luck
 

Pighead

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I will tempt the wrath of the 'CruiserGods here, but I've never broken a Birf. In the 21 years or so that I've had the Pig...
The first 16 years were with course-spline Birfs. I only went fine-spline when I got the discs and power steering and hi-steer and doubler and 35s.
But I've always been open in the front. And I've been to Moab and the Rubicon.
I always choose the easy line and still have a straight six.
And I've got 4 months to get locked up front before Rubithon.
I had a lock-rite in back, it was OK, I wore it out. The Detroit is much nicer in back...wondering how one would be up front?
I'll go ARB if I can afford it, Detroit would be second choice. Aussie if all else fails.

I assume I'll be doing Long's of some sort at the same time. One can only push one's luck so far...
 
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Your driveing style can keep your birfs alive with a auto locker easily until you move to big tires and lots of gears... I still have stock birfs in the front of my '40 with 40 inch boggers and 278: low gear and a chevy... they hold up fine for bopping down the trail andd for mud and climbs... but if I have to back out and up and turn out a a nasty spot.... they might as well be peanut brittle. Snap crackle pop.

I had no prblems with smaller tires and less gearing. stock drivetrain and 4.88s it was not a major problem.

only reason I still have these inthe axle is becasue I am swapping in '80 series axles with elockers.... those will get longfields.


Steering with big meats an auto locker in the front diff and lots of offset to keep the tires off of the springs when you turn.... makes for a rig that is for all purposes undrivable if the PS fails.

And road use in 4wd (We got a foot fo snow this afternoon for my drive home).... it is not the best place for an auto locker in the front end...

sooo... my position is... an auto locker in the front works for less extreme rigs for the trail... more extreme rigs or rigs that see road use of 4wd... save for the selectable.


Mark...
 

Southeast Overland

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I'm in a similar boat - I want a front locker but I have a Pig. I'm waiting until I can buy an ARB for the front. Then whenever I can afford longs I'll put them in and use my stockers for trail spares.
 
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I have an ARB in the front with stock axles.. I have stock PS.. I have 4.11 gears.. I have 2wd low.. I'm on my 4th CV in 6 months, but thats my fault.. I'd never have an auto locker in the front.
 
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Gentleman,
Your opinions confirmed my belief that that an auto locker in the front my not be a good choice for me. I'm running basically 33's with stock axles. I wheel this truck moderately. Most of the use is confined to onroad fun around town and getting to the trails when I can. I'm all too familiar with hearing the snap crackle pop watching pals back up and turn under load. I would like to go arb with a set of longs but that is a pretty big $ leap for me right now. I think I'll stay open and buy a spare set of used birfs, then plan on arb and longs on down the road. My tires are still quite new and will last for a few years until I go to a 35" tire. I'm still working on a good lower gearing solution. it was going to be a h41 but I think I might try and run an orion setup. I don't want to increase my driveline any more with another box or a split case. My rear driveshaft is short enough.

Running a d44 with an ox locker may be a better option the whole way around? Cheaper and easier than dealing with the oem toyota front axle?...
 
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If you are panning on going with 35"s why not add an ARB up front and keep you stock birfs. I run 37"s, I'm pretty careful about backing up at full lock, but this is my Rubicon truck and it's seen the trail back and forth dozens of times without issue... knock on wood, same stock birfs. Needless to say I do carry a spare!
 

Trollhole

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I will tempt the wrath of the 'CruiserGods here, but I've never broken a Birf. In the 21 years or so that I've had the Pig...
In my best Gomer Pyle "Ohh, yer goin straight to hell for that one"

I've been collecting parts for 2 years now for my front axle. Just now putting it all together

Hy-steer 4x4 labs arms and rods
Chromo birfs
27 spline Bobby Long axles
ARB RD02 with new seal upgrade
Asin Hubs
Marlin seals



As long as I don't go over 37's I think I can give it a lot of hell before something else would break.
 
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Joined
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Do you all think running a dana 44 up front with an ox would be better suited as far as strength and cost effectiveness? I really like sticking teq but lets face it this is not a resto quality truck nor do i want it to be, I like having a heavily built rig that appear some what stock.
 

pb4ugo

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Get Longfields and a selectable locker and be done with it. The 44 performed well but I think w/the advent of Longs the L/C frt end is stronger.
 
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