going from Torsen LS to Aussie locker questions - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 07-09-2010
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going from Torsen LS to Aussie locker questions

ok so in the future at some point i will probably want a locker and i've decided that my best bet would most likely be an Aussie locker because its not terribly expensive and fairly easy to install apparently. my questions is, though, is it still easy installation if i have the Torsen LS in the back right now or am i going to have to jump through hoops to remove the torsen, open the differential, and THEN install the Aussie?

and to anyone who has it and has done the install, did you have any problems with anything and if so, waht?

thanks, pavel
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Old 07-09-2010
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You will need to buy an open carrier. And, so you will then need to recheck the backlash and gear pattern. It is easy, but you will need some specialty tools.
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Old 07-09-2010
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Yep. You need to pull the torsen out, install an open differential, set it up properly, then install the locker.
It would be just as easy (may be more expensive) to just install a full carrier locker like the Detroit. However in my experience, the aussie is smoother than the detroit.
Make sure you read some reviews from people who have automatic lockers and manual transmissions before you commit.
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Old 07-10-2010
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brian, why would it be easier to install a full carrier locker like the detroit? would the not require removing the torsen and installing and open diff first or what?

also, i can't even find a detroit locker for a 31 spline ford 8.8, they're all for ford 9 inchers but i dont know how much that matters...

Edit: what about the powertrax lockrite locker? has anyone had any luck wiht that? its fairly inexpensive and says that it can be installed even with a limited slip already in there... is that true?

Last edited by abq02ranger; 07-10-2010 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 07-10-2010
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there out there for the 31 spline. its easier to do the detroit because after you set the backlash and pattern you are done. with the aussie you have to have a diff set up THEN install the aussie. i think between setting up a diff and then installing a locker you will be kinda close to a detriot in price. but will make up for that in ease and time.

detroits are nice but do have a good firm enguagement...any one how has owned call attest lol. you feel it. however the aussie is smoother but imo dosent have the record that detroit has.

also why get rid of the torsen?
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Old 07-10-2010
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The Torsen will have to come out regardless. Also, the gears will have to be redone regardless. So it really doesn't matter what you go with as far as ease of install.

You plan to do the install yourself?
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Old 07-10-2010
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The Torsen will have to come out regardless. Also, the gears will have to be redone regardless. So it really doesn't matter what you go with as far as ease of install.

You plan to do the install yourself?

Exactly. My only point was that it would be the same amount of work no matter what. The torsen comes out, a new carrier goes in and get set up again.
The detroit is probably a little stronger, but the Aussie is plenty strong and smoother in my experience.
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Old 07-10-2010
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The detroit is probably a little stronger, but the Aussie is plenty strong and smoother in my experience.
I agree; I'm sure you will never have a problem with either as far as strength. The main thing is just make sure it is set-up properly.
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Old 07-11-2010
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well from the sounds of it i won't be able to do the install myself in which case i'd have to fork out money for labor but after reading up on some things i'm really leaning towards the Powertrax No-slip instead of the Aussie especially if i have to pay for the same amount of labor anyway ya know? Apparently the no slip is the same lunchbox type of locker but is smoother for on road driving and will probably be at least a LITTLE bit more condusive to my standard transmission...
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Old 07-11-2010
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Are you sure you want a locker with a manual transmission? I could do the install if you are interested. I’m about 200 miles away from you.
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Old 07-12-2010
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well i can't afford an e locker or an arb let alone the price of labor for someone to install those either so a traditional lunchbox locker is my only option if i want anything better than the torsen i have back there right now no?

having a stick and a locker would just take some getting used to i;m sure but its probably something i could deal with. and as for the install, once the money comes into my hands i might just have to take you up on that offer cuz that'd also give me a chance to see that badass truck of yours! :D
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Old 07-12-2010
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Are you sure you want a locker with a manual transmission?
what's wrong with having a locker and a manual? I really want an electric selectable locker and am hoping someone makes one for a 28 spline 8.8.
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Old 07-12-2010
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what's wrong with having a locker and a manual? I really want an electric selectable locker and am hoping someone makes one for a 28 spline 8.8.
Eaton e-locker
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Old 07-12-2010
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what's wrong with having a locker and a manual?
The primary drawback is their characteristics when they engage such as accelerating out of a turn or going from torque to no torque to torque again such as when a manual transmission vehicle is shifting gears. In short, itís just awkward and will most likely require a change in driving habits.
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Old 07-12-2010
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It's not undriveable but its going to be different. The biggest change is going to be accelerating through a turn.

Start out moving in first, locker is locked causing slight understeer. Let of gas to shift, it unlocks and steers back into the turn a bit. Get back on the throttle and it locks again. You get the picture. With an automatic it is much more smoother as it keeps it locked under a certain amount of pressure.

It's not bad but it does take the smoothness out. There are a ton of people with manual transmissions and lockers on their daily drivers. My friend's daily for years was a lifted wrangler with manual trans, 33s, 4.56 gears and a rear Detroit. He even used it for over a year pulling a 6x12 work trailer.
But unless you are wheeling the thing frequently it probably wouldn't be worth the change in handling for most people. It will no longer be something you'll feel like throwing the keys to someone as it would scare the crap out of them if they didn't know what to expect.
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Old 07-13-2010
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i'm so undecided on this subject now it is ridiculous. i can't make up my mind whether or not it will be worth so much money for such a change in driving habits or if i even wheel enough to make up for the change.
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Old 07-13-2010
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i think i may have actually generated somewhat of a better ideal for what i may be able to do affordably and not ruin my driving habits. brian, after talking with you about locking the front instead, it might make more sense to just find a locker that will fit a hybrid d35 and lock that because to my knowledge (correct me if i'm wrong) its open up front and would take the headache out of the whole open carrier process and still be totally drivable in 2wd. no? thoughts? EDIT: that way i'd still have locker traction in 4wd up front and my torsen ls in the rear which isn't all bad...

KLC what's your take on this, and about the difficulty of the install? also, would anyone be able to recommend me a locker or link me to one that would fit the front for my truck? thanks
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Old 07-13-2010
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Get an Aussie for the front. They are discontinued, but can still be found new. I have an Aussie in the front and Torsen in the rear. I like the combination myself.

The install isn't difficult. Just involves more than the rear because the differential has to be dropped.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Some vendors on pirate sell the front Aussie.
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Old 07-13-2010
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the driving change is minute... you can feel it more than anything. natural habbit its to give it more gas cus it feels like it drags.
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Old 07-13-2010
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An aussie locker up front is completely undetectable in 2wd, aside from some occasional "ratcheting" noises when making sharp turns at low speeds. Otherwise, you cannot actually feel anything from it.
If you lived in a very snowy climate I would try to steer you away from the front locker, as it can be 'tricky' in snow on public roads with the front locked up.

Granted, the truck is going to be different in 4x4 with the front locker, but it is only when 4x4 is engaged. The install is pretty easily, and removing the front diff isn't as much work as it may seem/look like. There are plenty of write-ups for removing the diff, and some tricks that will allow you to remove it without even removing both front wheels.


If you have any way to, I would suggest finding someone with a manual trans and automatic locker. It may not be as bad as you would think. It is kind of a love it or hate it thing.
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Old 07-13-2010
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ok last thing, could you explain why in snow it would be tricky or weird? i've heard several people say that as well and i kinda just need to weigh my options here.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Well the basic idea...
The front locker functions the same as it would in the rear, mostly. Steering is a little tighter (or was for me) when coasting in 4x4. When you're on the throttle in 4x4, the wheel will want to straigten right up and pull you straight ahead. It impacts steering more than a rear locker. I only got to use mine a little bit in the snow, but it was no problem on the highway for me. Turning sharp in intersections on snow in 4x4 was awkward because it just wants to go straight when you're on the throttle. But you can still either coast through it, or power through it with wheel spin to scrub off the wheel speed difference if that makes since.
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Old 07-13-2010
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Originally Posted by brianjwilson View Post
Well the basic idea...
The front locker functions the same as it would in the rear, mostly. Steering is a little tighter (or was for me) when coasting in 4x4. When you're on the throttle in 4x4, the wheel will want to straigten right up and pull you straight ahead. It impacts steering more than a rear locker. I only got to use mine a little bit in the snow, but it was no problem on the highway for me. Turning sharp in intersections on snow in 4x4 was awkward because it just wants to go straight when you're on the throttle. But you can still either coast through it, or power through it with wheel spin to scrub off the wheel speed difference if that makes since.
I've experienced the same as well.

With a front Aussie locker and rear Torsen LS I have never lost traction on the pavement in snow. I was able to drive around like normal when other 4x4 vehicles were sliding around. Like Brian said, the only con is having to fight the wheel to keep the vehicle on track when going through a turn. And, of course, the occasional ratcheting/clicking sound on sharp turns.
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Old 07-13-2010
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i personally feel that an L/S like a detroit true trac (vary similar to the torsen) is ideal for the fort. in the snow you still feel the wheel but its manageable. and unless your rock crawling or wheeling hard the trutrac is amazing. it will slip but only under really hard binds.

however an aussie is cheaper and easy to find
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