Lockers in the snow

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May 16, 2004
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How does a locker work on a snow covered road? is it better to go without lockers and leave the standard 4x4 on snow covered roads? Mine is a daily driver with some weekend fun everyonce in awhile. So i am curious on how a locker would work for me in the snow or should i just leave it as i got it?
 
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Pretty sure that lockers are bad on snow/ice. If you are going around a turn it may cause one wheel to skid relative to the other and break traction.

there's been a lot of posts on selectable v. non-selectable lockers, but I think if you will be driving on snow covered roads you would want an open diff. The locker will help you get out of something if you are stuck, but will be worse for driving.
 

stinkyfj60

 
 
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If you adjust your driving you should have NO problems at all. My dad has a Detroit in the back of his 40, snowpack and ice never give him problems. He says he just adjust his driving style to fit the lockers tendencies. I just dropped a Lockrite in the rear of my 60, I am excited to see what its like this winter.
 

Rice

 
 
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stinkyfj60 said:
If you adjust your driving you should have NO problems at all. My dad has a Detroit in the back of his 40, snowpack and ice never give him problems. He says he just adjust his driving style to fit the lockers tendencies. I just dropped a Lockrite in the rear of my 60, I am excited to see what its like this winter.

Agreed.

Keep in mind if the rear is locked (so not a detroit which will allow for corners) it means going around a corner requires one tire (usually the inside) break traction. Automatically that means some traction is lost. For pulls and straight up hills I much prefer having locked rears.
 
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I run a rear lock right and my truck has been my daily driver for 3 years now.
I've never noticed the lock right in my normal day to day driving.

If I get on the throttle going around a corner then I notice it.

Otherwise, the lock right has been mostly transparant.

If you're concerned, put in an ARB and don't worry about it.
 

pbgbottle

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i've been running front and rear lockers for 4-5yrs in my 40 i love them . i do adjust my driving in the winter for sure .i found tho that i usually have to leave the front hubs locked all winter ,shift on the fly because even with an inch or so of snow . i wouldn't move . the rig would just fish tail . shift it into 4hi and away i went but once i was moving i had to pull it out of 4x4 into 2 wheel drive .because of my soa wonky no cv front drive shaft .the ujoints would grumble and rumble . but i'm sure everybody has a different kind of story . there is alot of different types of snow out there .
dry powder .didn't need 4x4 ,wet slush .didn't need 4x4 .packed snow needed 4x4 .packed ice needed 4x4 . .blizzard needed 4x4 .

but i say go for it ,you'l love it .

put it in the rear . you'll get used to it nothing to worry about ,just drive responsibly
 

Living in the Past

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I won't drive my vehilce with Lock rights installed front and rear on icey roads. When in 2WD I notice the backend kicks to one side when shifting. I'm afraid that if I shift and there's ice on the road the tail end will spin out. No power steering so no fun to drive in 4WD unless on dirt roads. Now the Torsen lockers handle alot better on snow and ice. I won't recommend Lock Rights or the like for a DD in a short wheel base vehicle. Don't get me wrong I think the Lock Rights are great off road in the mud and rocks. Just not as a daily driver.


John
 

Mark W

 
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I said this alot in this and other forums.... I been driven lockers on winter roads (in Alaska) for years. All three of my daughters drive rigs with lockers on winter roads. I have installed a BUNCH of them for friends and customers. Everyone I mention has found that the rig is more stable and more capable once you understand how to adjust your driving style (if need be).

A front locker is a slightly different story. When you are not in 4wd it doen't make any difference at all. It is great on true ice and snow, but kinda squirrely on patchy bare pavement. I don't reccomend putting a locker only in the front in any event.


Mark...
 

REZARF

 
 
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Mark W said:
A front locker is a slightly different story. When you are not in 4wd it doen't make any difference at all. It is great on true ice and snow, but kinda squirrely on patchy bare pavement. I don't reccomend putting a locker only in the front in any event.


Mark...

Mark- Do selectable hubs eliminate the effects of a locker up front? When unlocked don't you "bypass" the locker itself...

Just wondering and still trying to figure out the locker thing. I am installing one (aussie) in the rear this winter (I live in Colorado), and I used to drive a V-8 Camaro in the snow, so breaking loose out back doesnt scare me and I understand it is more driver than machine when it happens.

However, I am still just a bit unsure of the ins and outs of a locker up front. It seems like if I have selectable hubs, then daily driving in 2WD shouldn't be an issue? Is that correct?

Thanks in advance-

Rezarf

I finally realized that tires and lift look cool on the street but lockers and gears look good on the trail! Now that I live in Colorado, I am seeing the benifit of traction.
 

stinkyfj60

 
 
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REZARF said:
However, I am still just a bit unsure of the ins and outs of a locker up front. It seems like if I have selectable hubs, then daily driving in 2WD shouldn't be an issue? Is that correct?

Thanks in advance-

Rezarf
In 2WD your Locker wont be an issue because your hubs are freewheeling. The front locker isnt an issue until you are in 4WD with hubs locked.
 

Advent

 
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I've had a rear locker for a couple years now, and I'm also in Alaska. The rear locker is great, I don't even drive with the hubs locked in the winter. If the conditions are so bad that I need 4wd, then I have time to get out and lock the hubs. It's only happened once, and that was because a jerk was 2' off my rear bumper on an uphill completely covered with ice. I could barely stand. Needless to say, I didn't feel too hurried locking my hubs to get out of their way.

As for the front locker, I installed one this summer. I'm not worried about it on the road because as I said, I rarely have the need for 4wd. But even if you drive with the hubs locked, it's not a problem. There isn't any power going to the driveshaft, so the locker doesn't engage. If you just engage 4wd to get going from stop lights, it won't be an issue at all.
 

brian

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REZARF said:
Mark- Do selectable hubs eliminate the effects of a locker up front? When unlocked don't you "bypass" the locker itself...

Just wondering and still trying to figure out the locker thing. I am installing one (aussie) in the rear this winter (I live in Colorado), and I used to drive a V-8 Camaro in the snow, so breaking loose out back doesnt scare me and I understand it is more driver than machine when it happens.

However, I am still just a bit unsure of the ins and outs of a locker up front. It seems like if I have selectable hubs, then daily driving in 2WD shouldn't be an issue? Is that correct?

Thanks in advance-

.

CCOME ON PEOPLE.........

a full time locker needs power to the axle for it to lock up. it has springs(in some cases only one big one) that keep the teeth apart when not under loaded.

sooo, when you have a front locker (as i do):
hubs unlocked, pointless
hubs locked Tcase in 2hi: no power to front end=locker unlocked=the two front wheel work seperate from each other.
either of the 4's= power going to front wheels, which means the two wheels are locked togther UNLESS you are not on the gas.

that is why when dealing with a rear locker it is recommended to coast around corners= no power no locker.

i had a rear locker, one winter and it was GONE.
in snow it was fine, great even, but when dealing with packed snow on roads it was wicked scary. ice was a nightmare.
yes there are many types of snow, for mine a rear locker did not work.
my front on the other hand, is a blast.
no gas, turn steering wheel in desired direction, step on gas and that IS where we go.

i'm thinking a rear locker in a 60 would work better......longer is better.
 

pbgbottle

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isn't the aussie locker always locked .just that when you coast there is no load on the locker .allowing the different wheel speeds .to force the locker to ratchet . thats why some times you hear the bank . different wheel speeds forcing the locker to unlock when still under some load . i don't know ?
 
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brian said:
a full time locker needs power to the axle for it to lock up. it has springs(in some cases only one big one) that keep the teeth apart when not under loaded.

Yuppers. I clutch and coast through corners whenever possible for a smoother ride, I'm runnin an Aussie in the rear and will be adding one up front during this rebuild. Lockers are great and even lunchboxes work great on winter roads as Mark W has pointed out. Jeff Zepp here in CO has been running lunchboxes in his DD cruisers for ummmm, like 25 years?
 

REZARF

 
 
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It is funny how something, really designed simple, has given me this much greif in figuring it out.

Thanks guys!

Rezarf <><
 

stinkyfj60

 
 
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IanB said:
Yuppers. I clutch and coast through corners whenever possible for a smoother ride, I'm runnin an Aussie in the rear and will be adding one up front during this rebuild.
In my 60 I find that if I power through turns its even smoother, but understeers all crazy. Of course corners dont work that way and you find yourself coasting through or doing the herky jerky :D
 

Pin_Head

 
 
 
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brian said:
CCOME ON PEOPLE.........

a full time locker needs power to the axle for it to lock up.

Not true!

Autolockers (Detroit, Lockrite, Aussie) can lock up (both sides) even while decelerating if a wheel loses traction. All that matters is that niether wheel can turn slower than the ring gear in the direction that it is being driven. One wheel can turn faster than the ring gear even with power to the axle, as long as the wheels have traction and are not slipping.


pbgbottle said:
isn't the aussie locker always locked .just that when you coast there is no load on the locker .allowing the different wheel speeds .to force the locker to ratchet . thats why some times you hear the bank . different wheel speeds forcing the locker to unlock when still under some load . i don't know ?
Actually 99% of the time on the road, only one wheel is driving (locked) and the other wheel is ratcheting (turning faster). The other 1% of the time the locker is switching which side is driving and which side is ratcheting. Most of the noise and jerking is caused by switching sides. The only time both sides are "locked" is when one tire is slipping.


For something that looks so simple, its operation is actually fairly complex.
 
Last edited:

Poser

Oh...Durka Durka Durka.
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Pin_Head said:
Not true!

It is when taken in the context in which he stated it, which was a reply to this:

" Mark- Do selectable hubs eliminate the effects of a locker up front? When unlocked don't you "bypass" the locker itself..."




A locker in the front end, with the tcase in 2WD, lock outs in " free ", will have zero effect on functionality of the vehicle....unless I am missing something... ;)



Your information on the function of the locker working with power or while coasting is correct, for auto locking units.
 
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