Need to add traction to Suburban

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May 14, 2004
The Great State of Texas
Friend of mine has a fairly new suburban (2wd). He wants to add some traction to aide in getting up the boat ramp and getting up and over (wet) dirt trails for camping. He's not mechanical so that is why he asked me for advise (his first big mistake :frown: ).

I don't know what is available for Chevy and I'm not fully clear on the differences between auto-lockers and limited-slip. He is just needing some added traction for occasional situations and is willing to sacrifice off road capability to keep the on-road handling.

I need some guidance and education on what is available for Chevy, whether it be limited-slip, auto-locker or on-demand e-locker.

lunchbox locker of some sort..

Past that, it is a carrier replacement. He probably would be happier with a limited slip. But they will be considerably more expensive and harder to install..
We haven't gotten to the point of how much he is willing to spend, but I would expect that he is willing to spend about $1K to get it done correctly.

Mace - I'm not up on all the nicknames for the different locker types. Can you explain what a "lunch box" locker would be? Is that what you are calling a "lockrite" type of locker?

I've got a better understanding of the types of lockers thanks to the thread:

This fits with what I was describing to my friend as far as my knowledge of types.

Considering that he is very concerned w/ not loosing any on-road handling, I would suspect that he would want to go w/ either an LSD or on-demand type of system.

Anyone know what type of on-demand e-locker or cable-locker might be available for Chevy? Also how much they may run?

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if he does not want to lose any on road handling he would be a lot better off getting a LSD.

An Air locker (ARB) is not a bad choice at all. But they do ad failure points and he has to be concentious about turning it on and off..
Sounds to me like an ARB is the best solution for him. It would give him a compressor too, which has other uses (airing up tires, for one).

Mace is right- he has to remember to turn it on/off. On is usually really easy... he'll notice the tires slipping! :) If there is a dummy light somewhere obvious to remind him that the locker is on, that should take care of it.
Some nice tires would be my first suggestion, beyond that a limited slip for the rear.
If there is a LSD for the 'burb, especially if you can get one at a wrecker, that is the cheapest and least noticeable way to go.
just sell that one then get a 4wd model. That would be the easiest and wouldnt have to worry about adding something.
Going with a 4wd model would be your best bet, but in cases of traction aid, i would recomend a cheap locker. Like a powertrax lockrite. Had one in my blazer for about a year and loved it. I retired it for my toy. The only problem i had was driving in fourwheel on pavment and taking a hard turn coming out a street that had about 3.5 feet of water and i had no clue what was in there, or if there was any road left and even with wet pavement it wouldnt go the way i wanted... It performed well at 107+ mph. Who new a box could fly! And was driven daily for around 10,000 miles.

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