rear locker- worth it???

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May 26, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA
I have a chance to buy an e-Locker from an 80 fairly cheaply. I've read all of the write-ups I could find on installing one in the rear of a 40 and other than needing a FF rear and special shafts the installation seems relatively straight-forward. The question I'm struggling with is whether its worth the trouble.

Let me start out by admitting that I'm a newb, and I have zero experience with locked axles so this may all be dumb. I thought I'd just admit my ignorance up front and try and pick up some education.

I think of lockers mainly being used in rough, rocky terrain where there's a possiblity of one of the wheels being totally off the ground. I'm in Louisiana, so there isn't a rock within 500 miles; mud is the primary offroad obsticle here. My 40 (if I ever finish working on it and get it roadworthy) will be a combination hunting camp and tool-around rig. Does a locker provide much of an advantage in this type of situation.
yes, its worth it.

drive your rig stock for awhile and then when you get the locker you will appreciate it much more
a rear locker will help greatly off road.....

as far as if the 80 conversion is worth it, depends on whether you are going to do the work yourself to make it fit. Seems to me a better, easier solution is to purchase a diff like an arb or other to lock the 40 rear end. The 40 rear ends are quite stout in stock form IMO.

You could get a different locker for the rear (lunchbox, ARB, ...), and go with this up front. Since the front is already a FF, you will only need to source the long spline inner shaft. That's the way I went with my 62 (Aussie Locker rear and 80 series elocker front).

Lockers will help in any situation where traction is a limited, due to articulation in rocks, or greasy crap and holes in mud.
a locker would make it easier drive up the levee when it's wet :hillbilly:

I am not sure I would go through all the trouble considering that an Aussie locker is ~$300 - maybe someone in the club even has a used one :idea:

(BTW, I am also in Baton Rouge :cheers:)
The locker motor will hit your oil pan up front unless you have a lift. Trust me.

The "FF and special shafts" makes the "straight forward" not so. In the long run a different type of locker in the rear might be an easier choice. Up front it's just one shaft, some grinding. and the circuit. Mudrak had some of those shafts last time I was up there.
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a locker is without question worth it and as much os (if not more) in wet muddy terrain. But... an Elocker conversion into a '40 is not what I would encourage for a relative beginner.

A lockright/Aussie locker or a detroit would be a more cost effective approach.

A locker it totally worth it in the mud. In the 80's I knew guys who put then in their two wheel drive pickups, we called it a poor man's 4 wheel drive, and those trucks did pretty good off road, where before the locker they could not go anywhere we went with 4x4's.
While what you say is true about a locker in rocky terrain, the same principle applies to mud. With an open diff, once you lose traction with one tire all the power will go to it and you'll be stuck in the mud. With a locked axle you'll always be slingin' mud from both sides of the axle so if you drop a tire in a wet muddy rut, the other tire (with traction) can still drive you out of it.

All that said, I wouldn't go to the trouble of converting an 80 axle when there are much easier and cheaper options for a 40.
Love my Aussie lockers in the 40.
Sometimes a locker will take you places you only thought you wanted to go.
Lockers and four wheel disc brakes are the best two investments I made in the 78 FJ40.
Thanks for all the replies and guidance.

I didn't mention that one of the primary reasons I'm looking at a selectable locker is that I have teen-age daughters and I know the lunch-box lockers can be a little quirky if you're not used to them.

Of course, at the rate I'm going my daughters will be out of the house long before the 40 is ready.....
All that said, I wouldn't go to the trouble of converting an 80 axle when there are much easier and cheaper options for a 40.

Careful. I bought, converted and installed my entire fzj80 axle for about the cost you'd pay a shop to install an ARB in a stock axle; maybe less. That includes Bobby Long axle shafts and drive plates. It was a lot of work, and not a project for a newb, but it was not expensive and the result is great.
You probably read my writeup about a shortened FJ80 rear axle into an FJ55.

Probably? I blame you. :flipoff2:

Lil'John said:
I spent roughly $1200 beyond the purchase price of the axle. That was with custom chromoly dual splined shafts, bob long drive flanges, AND having the FJ80 axle housing shortened.

I outsourced the axle housing for ~$200. I also outsourced the axle shafts for ~$800(I think)

It could have been cheaper if I went with a stock FJ80 shaft and then bought a short one. Say ~$500 cheaper.

I got a slightly bent, but complete axle with e-locker for $425 including mudship.

I got my custom axle and drive flange from Bobby Long for $245 and I ended up having to replace the calipers for $150. My welding was probably a bit less than $200. The side we cut was the side that was bent, so the fix for that came for free. My perches came with some other parts, so about $1100 complete. :eek: Add another $245 for when want to upgrade the long side to chromo.

Lil'John said:
I also spent SEVERAL hours grinding off coil mounts so I could weld some spring perches onto the housing. To me, it was no worse than doing any other axle swap.:meh:

More than several hours for me. Add another $50 or so for abrasive supplies. I wouldn't do it again without a plasma-assisted head start.
About 12 years ago, I spoiled myself with front and rear ARB's in an FJ60, and still haven't seen a better solution.

If you have lots of time, and most of the parts for the e-locker conversion on hand, it might be worth it, but I'd still rather have ARB's.
With ARB, you can instantly go from just like a stock open diff to a totally locked diff, and instantly switch back when needed.

This is very, very nice for the rear, but it can be critical for keeping control of the front in slick mud or ice -or to keep from breaking front birfs when reversing in downhill situations.

You can go back and forth with an elocker too, just takes a few seconds each way.

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