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Old 10-03-2009, 08:11 PM   #1
Asha'man
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Default Rear diff options - what locker?

So I found a 4.88 front chunk at the yard today. It's ADD but I believe I can swap my non-ADD axle tube on and call it good, so I'm not worried about that. Having the factory setup front diff is good for peace of mind and cost effectiveness, but having a factory rear is not so great from what I've read (lack of non-factory replacement parts). So the plan right now is to have a 4.88 rear 3rd built to match. While I'm in there anyway, what should my locker options be?

Obviously we have the ARB crowd, but I pretty much refuse to pay that much money at this point and deal with all the associated requirements (compressor, lines, etc). Not really an option unless I am convinced that it is the hands-down best way to go.

E-locker. There was a 3rd gen Runner at the yard today with the sticker that indicated it had an e-locker, but naturally it was gone already. I rather like the idea of the factory electric locker; it's easier to deal with than an air locker, is retrofittable to an older 8" diff, and is still a true selectable locker. Found one on CL for $600 for the whole axle; really haven't looked around yet to see what the lockers alone are going for (ebay, YT, etc). Any reasons why I shouldn't go this route?

Aussie/Detroit locker. The very idea of a non-selectable locker in what is mostly a street truck just rubs me wrong, but I am willing to consider it. Arguments for or against?

Anything I've overlooked? Will most likely be having Scotty do the rear third assembly, and then maybe a HOW or some assistance pulling and replacing the front section would be awesome.
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:38 PM   #2
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I will admit I have had my fair share of troubles with my ARB, but I totally disagree that an elocker is "easier to deal with than an air locker". Whatever issues you can have with the air lines, you will have with the electric connections. The install of the compressor is pretty darn easy - much more straightforward than the epic issues I've read of people trying to figure out the wiring harness for the elocker.

Every locker has to sacrifice either on-road drivabilty, off-road performance, or cost/complexity to optimize the other two. The only lockers that don't have performance sacrifices are the selectables, and I wouldn't have anything else in an area where you have to drive on snowy roads.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:25 PM   #3
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I wasn't so much worried about the install of the compressor (that's not a bad idea for other things; tires, etc), but rather the added expense and complexity. From reading about your and AxleIke's issues with leaky or worn-through air lines inside the diff, I'd much rather troubleshoot a few wires.

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Originally Posted by RedRunnertc View Post
The only lockers that don't have performance sacrifices are the selectables, and I wouldn't have anything else in an area where you have to drive on snowy roads.
This is why I was leaning away from the Aussie/Detroit style locker, and thanks for confirming that my thought process was at least leaning in the right direction.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:29 AM   #4
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I've been researching some options myself, and FWIW, I've really been leaning towards ARB. Really it isn't much more than I've found e-locked rears for, ($900) (although I do have a non trd so I have to swap the whole axle). I think I would still use a seperate compressor for locker and tires though. The ARB seems kinda small to do tires if you ask me. I would put it in my jack bay though, and heating would be an issue as well in that case. Also in my case, I'll be re gearing front and rear when it comes to this, so I've been looking to find a deal on gears/ install kits/ ARB front/rear/compressor all at once. I think if I buy that much crap I can get a few hundred off in a deal.

More to your situation, I can't see why a couple of hundred is a big deal for the added drivability of a selectable in the snow. I have heard from a few people that they have no problems in the snow with detroits/aussies, but I think they must drive differently than me. I like the skinny pedal, and I drive to the ski hill a lot each winter. That makes selectable the only way to go, for me at least. So, 1k for arb and compressor, or 900 for e-locker, plus the parts I need to make it work in my non trd. Thinkin ARB, as it can then power the front.
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Old 10-04-2009, 07:47 AM   #5
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Keep in mind you do not have to buy an ARB compressor to run your ARB Locker. You can always set up a higher volume compressor with a tank to run your ARB Locker(s). That would be the ideal way to go in my opinion.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:33 AM   #6
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Yes, but if you get the compressor from them, it comes with a plug n play wiring harness, all the switches, etc.

The new generation ARB compressors are MUCH better than the older ones. The CKMA12 will hold its own against just about any other electric powered compressor.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:35 AM   #7
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While I love the full Detroit in the rear of my 85, I hated it in my wife's old 87. Having as much power as I do in the 85, and the fact that it is an auto, the Detroit really was great in the snow. I couldn't move in 2wd without having the locker, but could drive around in 2wd anytime I wanted after installing it. It does take some learning to figure out how it will act, but once you know what it wants to do it isn't bad. That being said, I wouldn't put another one in a daily driver. When my 85 was down with tranny problems I put it in my wife's stock 87 4Runner with the 22RE 5 speed. I hated driving it, and she hated it even worse. We got all of the clunking, banging, and bad characteristics that we'd heard about, and removed it fairly quickly.

I love my ARB in the front. I have never had a problem with internals, but I have had two problems caused by the PO's installer. He didn't crimp one of the connectors at the compressor, and he ran the blue tube into a coil under the battery. Acid and it didn't mix very well. Once I'd fixed the crimp and replaced the cable, and routed it better, I didn't have any more problems.
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Old 10-04-2009, 10:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Brewer View Post
More to your situation, I can't see why a couple of hundred is a big deal for the added drivability of a selectable in the snow. I have heard from a few people that they have no problems in the snow with detroits/aussies, but I think they must drive differently than me. I like the skinny pedal, and I drive to the ski hill a lot each winter. That makes selectable the only way to go, for me at least. So, 1k for arb and compressor, or 900 for e-locker, plus the parts I need to make it work in my non trd. Thinkin ARB, as it can then power the front.
A couple hundred is no big deal at all for a selectable over an autolocker, and I've said nothing differently. With $270 for an Aussie and ~$500 for an electric, it's kind of a no-brainer. Not real sure why you're seeing $900 for the e-lockers. As I said, I've found a couple for around $600 and that's for the whole axle, which I don't need. I'm sure I can find just the locker for ~$400 or so.
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:01 PM   #9
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I won't name names, just a local guy who has elocked axles had them for 900. I suppose if I searched around I could find cheaper. Sounds like you did. One other thing about selectables, at least for the front, is that its much easier to make tight turns if you have to when you can unlock the front. But I guess we're only talking rears here. Ummm.... Rears.... Can't think of any reason why you shouldn't do an e-locked rear, in fact, if you can find them for that cheap I may have to consider it as well, at least next spring when I start putting money into my truck again and not my skiing addiction.
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:46 AM   #10
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theres a yard in fort collins that has full e locker axles for 650. i cant remember the name,you might want to check it out ill get the info for you.

the concept of selectable is the way to go. i love that when youre locked it is hard locked, but i dont like the troubles that most people run into. i was in the same situation not wanting to spend that pretty penny for a locker. i went with a detroit and havent regretted it. its my daily driver year round and i dont really notice it on road with my style of driving. if youre ever around fort collins youre welcome to drive it and see how you like it. oh and offroad its a beast.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asha'man View Post
AxleIke's issues
I have had zero issues with my ARB.

The worn carrier is a result of wrong gears (install) and the nicked air line was also install.

However, my locker has never leaked, nor stopped working at all during this time. Even with the nicked air line, it worked flawlessly. I replaced it simply because I'm anal. It has never failed on the trail, and I can leave it on all day and at most, It causes the compressor to cycle once (I have the mini compressor, so just turning on the rear locker causes it to cycle. I have ZERO leaks)

To be honest, its really your call on the locker. I advocate ARB above all else, because they are the best. However, there is really nothing wrong with any of your other options.

Are Aussies and other lunchboxes different in the snow: Yes. However, you can learn to drive with them with just a little practice. ARB and Detroit are stronger carriers, so you gain strength there. Elocker is a little less so, but still a strenght upgrade over the stock IMO.

I suggest you find a couple folks who have various lockers in their trucks and see if you can drive the trucks around on the street a bit. Thats what I did, and I found I hated auto lockers. You might find them just fine for your style of driving. Try before you buy.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:52 AM   #12
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See troy has had a bevy of issues with his ARB's and initially due to install. But then come to find out ARB had some design issues. I think they have those worked out and now send the upgraded seals with the lockers. Still I get irritated with the fact that he seems to have a leak in his rear locker way to often....
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:28 AM   #13
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I skipped a lot of the reading, but, IF you went the E-locker way. There is a company that makes a cable adapter so that you don't have to worry about wiring it up.

If you were able to find the tacoma housing with the e-locker it's damn near a bolt on replacement. The spring perches are the same width. I have a friend that has one in his 85 4Runner. I am probably going to do something similar. So I don't have to worry about grinding the existing housing out for the E-locker third. This way one can amass the parts and do the swap in a day or so.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
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I skipped a lot of the reading, but, IF you went the E-locker way. There is a company that makes a cable adapter so that you don't have to worry about wiring it up.

If you were able to find the tacoma housing with the e-locker it's damn near a bolt on replacement. The spring perches are the same width. I have a friend that has one in his 85 4Runner. I am probably going to do something similar. So I don't have to worry about grinding the existing housing out for the E-locker third. This way one can amass the parts and do the swap in a day or so.
I'm okay with the wiring, it's just basic relay logic. I've found a couple of wiring diagrams and if I still can't figure it out, there's always a phone call to the boss.

I thought the newer rear axles were different enough from our trucks that it wasn't a direct swap? Total axle width? What about the LSPV? Brake sizes (for proper fluid volume)? I guess I've never heard that much about it but ASSumed, and forgot that even the newer Tacos still had leaf springs. That would indeed be a damn good option, come to think of it.

etan, if you can think of the yard, let me know. If it's Blake's, Russ already gave me that info and I just need to call them. If not, I'm all ears.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxleIke View Post
I have had zero issues with my ARB.

The worn carrier is a result of wrong gears (install) and the nicked air line was also install.

However, my locker has never leaked, nor stopped working at all during this time. Even with the nicked air line, it worked flawlessly. I replaced it simply because I'm anal. It has never failed on the trail, and I can leave it on all day and at most, It causes the compressor to cycle once (I have the mini compressor, so just turning on the rear locker causes it to cycle. I have ZERO leaks)

To be honest, its really your call on the locker. I advocate ARB above all else, because they are the best. However, there is really nothing wrong with any of your other options.

Are Aussies and other lunchboxes different in the snow: Yes. However, you can learn to drive with them with just a little practice. ARB and Detroit are stronger carriers, so you gain strength there. Elocker is a little less so, but still a strenght upgrade over the stock IMO.

I suggest you find a couple folks who have various lockers in their trucks and see if you can drive the trucks around on the street a bit. Thats what I did, and I found I hated auto lockers. You might find them just fine for your style of driving. Try before you buy.
I guess I was thinking about your nicked line when I mentioned you; not sure I knew about the worn carrier. Either way, I just don't like the idea of relying on the integrity of air lines for my operations. Probably comes from ripping out pneumatic systems all the time at work and installing digital stuff as replacements. Or it could be that I'm a cheap bastard and don't want to drop upward of a G on an ARB + air + install.

If the elocker is even a somewhat stronger upgrade over the stock carrier, that's just one more tick in its favor IMO. Thanks for that bit of info, I had not picked that up before.

My style of driving is probably adaptable to an autolocker, but I really don't want to fuck with it. For only a couple hundred more I think I can find an elocker, and IMO that's worth it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:46 PM   #16
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I'm eager to see how my dual aussies work in the '80...but in the meantime, I would choose an e-locker given your situation. And I'm particularly interested in this cable actuator that PoorBoy is talking about. That sounds foolproof.
I have nothing against ARB, but it just seems that even in the most ideal circumstances, it is a more complicated design, with more moving parts, and more potential for failure (internal leaks, external leaks, compressor failure, etc, in addition to the mechanical and electrical issues that it can share with the e-locker)
E-locker sounds economical and practical in your case.
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Old 10-06-2009, 09:27 PM   #17
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I know downey sold them but....

Downey Off Road Mfg. ceased operation on July 31, 2009.
There are ongoing negotiations with six different well known companies who are interested in continuing major portions of the Downey product line. You will no doubt find Downey products at one or more of those companies in the near future. We thank your for being a part of our 39 year history.


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I'm sure someone else will be selling/mfg. them. I like the idea of the cable locker.
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Old 10-06-2009, 11:27 PM   #18
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Sky Manufacturing sells the cable activator for the e-lockers. I believe they are out of Oregon.
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:37 AM   #19
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I have read about 10 negative reviews of the cable actuator and 1 good one - seems highly dependent on attention to detail during setup.
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I have read about 10 negative reviews of the cable actuator and 1 good one - seems highly dependent on attention to detail during setup.
Hmmmm....like the ARB?
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:19 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Hmmmm....like the ARB?
So fucking true. I know I should not speak ill of the ARB but in terms of troy's luck with that damned thing... ARGH!!!!
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:33 AM   #22
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stupid o rings.............
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:39 AM   #23
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I'm eager to see how my dual aussies work in the '80...
They work killer on the trail! I've had them F&R for 3 years now. The rear will pop and click on the street and I'm OK with that. I have no experience in the snow/ice on the street with them. I can't wait to get out there this winter and try them out.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:25 AM   #24
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there's several threads over on Pirate about the converting e-locker to cable... most of the bad things have to do with cable routing (binding, things along those lines)... those who have everything routed correctly seem to be happy with the setup.

I personally don't see the benefit, unless the e-locker motor is toast, then this option makes sense to make use of the existing 3rd that is otherwise just fine.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:07 AM   #25
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My guess is, the benefits to having mechanical over electric is, loss of power to the motor, or motor failure, it hangs out there a little bit asking to be hit by a rock (though I don't know of anyone, personally, that has done this). The locker has to be disassembled to release it. Even then the locker can be disengaged with a small turn of the worm gear. Where as when a cable fails it's not as much of a pain to release, but the cable could snag on something if poorly routed.

All in all I would go with: Tacoma rear housing w/ elocker. It's bolt on and the wiring is simple. No air lines to hook up and maintain, regulators, o-rings, copper tubing, etc. Parts can be bought at a local toyota dealer, not shipped from somewhere.

ARB's are great don't get me wrong, When properly set up and maintained they offer more than just a selectable locker, some people go the On Board Air route and they have air for tools, and tires.

I was just throwing suggestions out there, I'll get some pics of the cable locker on a tacoma housing in a 1st gen 4Runner for ya.
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:50 PM   #26
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From a couple of searches on YT, the Taco rear is in fact not a bolt-on affair. The spring perches are different, as is the driveshaft flange, and the e-brake is on the wrong side. I honestly think I'd rather do a bit of grinding, welding and drilling/tapping (will need to set up a HOW or something though lol) and just leave everything else stock. YMMV though.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:05 AM   #27
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you're decision is.. well.. you're own. But from your list... welding, grinding, drilling, tapping... kind of sounds like the same effort to deal with the e-locker and move spring perches.

FWIW, I'm planning on putting an elocked axle in the rear of my 85. and will go thru all that. (if/when I ever get around to getting back out in the garage)
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:20 AM   #28
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FWIW, I'm planning on putting an elocked axle in the rear of my 85. and will go thru all that. (if/when I ever get around to getting back out in the garage)
What plans do you have for the difference in width between the E-locked Taco axle (60.75") versus the mini truck front axle (55")? That's the major downside I see to using an E-locked rear Taco axle. The modifying of an IFS rear axle (58") to accept the E-locker really isn't that difficult.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:39 AM   #29
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What plans do you have for the difference in width between the E-locked Taco axle (60.75") versus the mini truck front axle (55")? That's the major downside I see to using an E-locked rear Taco axle. The modifying of an IFS rear axle (58") to accept the E-locker really isn't that difficult.
Spacers up front. good plan? don't know yet, everybody has an opinion.. but that's my plan.
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Old 10-09-2009, 12:28 PM   #30
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Spacers up front. good plan? don't know yet, everybody has an opinion.. but that's my plan.
I run spacers and 2.5" 10" wide backspaced wheels on the front just to get the front end as wide as possible (stability). I've never had an issue with the spacers and that much backspacing, minus the complete lack of turning radius from the scrub radius being so large I two-three-four point almost every sharp corner on the trail.
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