I had long wanted a selectable locker for the front of my rig. While my old welded-up spool provided all the traction I ever wanted, the handling it induced was terrible. The overwhelming tendency for the front wheels to plow straight ahead while turned, seriously compromised maneuverability. It was especially annoying in tight, technical rock crawling where precision is key and a few inches can mean making or losing the line. Adding full hydraulic steering did nothing to help ‘ sure, it reduced the steering effort a lot, but it can’t make the wheels track a turn the way an open differential can. I tried various other ‘solutions’ to the problem: I added cutting brakes and I tried using locking hubs instead of drive flanges but nothing stopped the front end from plowing. And so I knew that if it was the ultimate in both traction and turning I wanted, a selectable locker I must have. But which one?
Every wonder what it takes to accomplish a driveway ARB air locker install, wonder no more as this article steps you through the process.
What started as a simple review of the new ARB 14-bolt locker grew into a mini-bible on ARB air lockers, including installation tips and techniques and a large FAQ section.
I wrote this because I see a lot of info posted about lockers. Sometimes it’s not right, sometimes it’s incomplete, and sometimes it’s very biased. I tried to put together a list of commonly available lockers and how they work. I know I missed some stuff and probably got something wrong. It would be GREAT if this could be made a sticky. I know this stuff has all been covered before, but it always gets buried, and it’s the second most popular question behind “What gears should I use?” Additions/Corrections are welcomed. *Note – This was not written by 4×4 Mecca
Recently, when it came time for me to install my new 14-bolt ARB Air Locker, I was horrified to find that my gears were in atrocious condition. So much for maintenance…gulp! I guess 27 years of hard use – the last 7 or so under brutal conditions in the rear of my rock buggy take their toll on a set of gears!