Locker? Front or Rear? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 03-13-2008
"Monster Truck"'s Avatar
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Locker? Front or Rear?

I want to get another tire spinning. I drive 90% on road and 10% off. Should i lock the front or rear, and which locker? Why?
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Old 03-13-2008
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limited slip in rear end... great for onroad but should work good enough for you offroad as long as you aren't doing anything too extreme. if you wanna go front locker, you need to get an aussie.
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Old 03-13-2008
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front locker hands down. Get the aussie locker. Its cheap, durable, and is invisible when 4x4 is not engaged.
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Old 03-13-2008
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yeah I agree actually... when he does need an extra tire spinning, it will be offroad so might as well get the locker in the front since it will only be engaged when the 4x4 is.
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Old 03-13-2008
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I was just deciding this a few months ago. I originally was going to go with a front Aussie Locker ($230). The price and that it would be practically invisible on road was appealing to me. The IFS is weak though and I put my truck through some rough spots I shouldn't be in. I don't want to be going through CV joints, shafts, whatever all the time. Sometimes you just have to hammer down the gas and you can't always go easy on the truck. I live and wheel in the desert. That means rocks, dirt, and sand. Mostly rocks and dirt which aren't friendly to vehicles. My truck rattles so much it's crazy. Maybe if I had more mud and soft dirt I would go with a front locker but out here climbing up and over rocks and ledges puts a lot of stress on the truck. I'm surprised I haven't broken anyhting significant yet, knock on wood. Friday I'm getting the Lock-Right installed in the rear. It's only $330 and the rear is much stronger than the front. I'll post up on what I think of it.
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Old 03-13-2008
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thats the great thing about a locker in the front if you want it to be open just don't lock one side. I know you guys with 98+ rangers have a vacum but if you gt manual hubs you could have "open" locker per say. Thats what I plan on doing, for when I'm driving in snow or something I'll just have one side unlocked and the other locked so it doesn't keep pulling.
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Old 03-13-2008
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Correct me if I'm wrong , but unless hes willing to convert his 2001 to locking hubs, his front end would be "locked" 100% of the time since its a live axle. When the 4wd was engaged, would the aussie let the differential work correctly through turns, they way the powertraxx no-slip and lockright do? When it snows or ices up, would going down the highway at safe speeds in 4wd be a scary experience since torque would be locking up the front end pretty much continuously if it works like powertrax units? not trying to be the devils advocate here, I actually wanna know how its manners are in 4wd and bad weather since I'm getting gears in a couple weeks, and I might have them throw one if its that good, definately getting a powertrax no-slip in the the back(open diff) for fathers day. Mines a daily driver, so I'm figuring about a 90/10 mix like Jordan said also....

Brett

Last edited by brettstaman; 03-13-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2008
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The Aussie locker functions in exactly the same way as the no-slip does. The locker still unlocks when the truck is in 2wd though.
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2008
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I live in Iowa and we have lots of snow and a pretty good amount of mud. So theres alot of times my 4wd will be locked in the winter for a week at a time. (I live in the country) My concern is turning radius.? And wear and tear on the front end. ?????????
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2008
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does the aussie make a clicking noise when you turn the wheel??? i thought i saw something on extreme 4x4 that said it does.
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2008
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i have been doing a lot of research on this and read mutilple times that with a locker in the front, you tend to break CV shafts. If like you turn at full lock and give it a little gas and blooie. i think Matt even broke one with the 4x4 disengaged. he had manuel hubs too. if you know how to replace CV's then buy them in bulk and get that locker! not to mention you have to take apart the entire front suspension to get at the differential cover.
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  #12  
Old 03-14-2008
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I haven't broke one yet. The locker is completely invisible with the 4x4 disengaged. If you don't install the locker properly and check the clearance with a feeler gauge like Aussie suggests, then yes you can break shafts with the 4x4 disengaged, but install the unit properly and that won't happen.


I should also note that the CV shafts need spacers with the RCD kit and they are not compatible with trucks equipped with the PVH system (98-00). Without these spacers you can very easily overextend the CV shafts which greatly increases your chance of breakage. Hence the high number of broken shafts on 99ranger4x4's truck.


EDIT: yes the aussie makes a clicking when turning, but its not real loud. It doesn't bother me but I could see how it could bother some people.
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  #13  
Old 03-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brettstaman View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong , but unless hes willing to convert his 2001 to locking hubs, his front end would be "locked" 100% of the time since its a live axle. When the 4wd was engaged, would the aussie let the differential work correctly through turns, they way the powertraxx no-slip and lockright do? When it snows or ices up, would going down the highway at safe speeds in 4wd be a scary experience since torque would be locking up the front end pretty much continuously if it works like powertrax units?
From the reviews I have read all of these issues you raise apply. These auto-locking diffs are supposedly quite good off-road.. but at speed in the snow and ice I think they are a poor choice, especially if you want to use 4WD in these conditions. In my opinion a part-time 4WD pickup truck like the Ranger is already handles poorly enough in these conditions. The 3-channel ABS system we have that seems to be tuned primarily for wet and dry pavement performance does not help matters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Monster Truck" View Post
I live in Iowa and we have lots of snow and a pretty good amount of mud. So theres alot of times my 4wd will be locked in the winter for a week at a time. (I live in the country) My concern is turning radius.? And wear and tear on the front end. ?????????
Bingo! Sounds like an auto-locker for the front is a poor choice for you. (And me as well, FWIW.) If you saw more off-road time and less snow and ice, then maybe things would be different, but if you only off-road ~10% or less of the time, I think there are better options.

I would focus on the rear. Personally I think limited slip differentials are the best, most economical choice for street use. ... FYI Ford and most major manufacturer seem to agree w/ me as this is what they offer in production packages.

The only exception to this advice would be the Torsen l/s for the front axle, which is not yet available, but supposedly will be available in the near future. However they do have a Torsen available for the rear. I have a Torsen diff in the rear axle of both my vehicles and I like their product quite a bit. It is HIGHLY street-able and I believe it does contribute to my truck's snow and ice performance. Highly recommended.. sadly, not very affordable!
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  #14  
Old 03-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGGer View Post
thats the great thing about a locker in the front if you want it to be open just don't lock one side. I know you guys with 98+ rangers have a vacum but if you gt manual hubs you could have "open" locker per say. Thats what I plan on doing, for when I'm driving in snow or something I'll just have one side unlocked and the other locked so it doesn't keep pulling.
I'm no expert, but I can't imagine this would be a good plan. I would think leaving one hub unlocked would achieve the opposite of what you are trying to do. Having one half-shaft disabled would cause the auto-locker to lock up constantly, thus pushing all the power to both axles. This would mean you were putting power to the locked wheel, but not the unlocked wheel all the time. This would cause the vehicle to pull quite hard to the side that was not locked.

The biggest advantage to manual hubs I can imagine (aside from reliability concerns) would be that you could leave both hubs unlocked and put the t-case in 4Lo. This would effectively give you 2Lo. I dream of this every time I work a boat trailer at a ramp.

But I can't imagine an advantage to running w/ just one hub locked.
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  #15  
Old 03-14-2008
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2008
04 EDGE
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i like my rear locker, gets me up hills at the mounds others cant
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  #17  
Old 03-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 04 EDGE View Post
i like my rear locker, gets me up hills at the mounds others cant
.............ouch.
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  #18  
Old 03-14-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaGGer View Post
thats the great thing about a locker in the front if you want it to be open just don't lock one side. I know you guys with 98+ rangers have a vacum but if you gt manual hubs you could have "open" locker per say. Thats what I plan on doing, for when I'm driving in snow or something I'll just have one side unlocked and the other locked so it doesn't keep pulling.
Another local Ranger guy.. sweet.. sorry to be O/T but I love seeing local guys around here into Rangers.... But yea.. Aussie Locker is a deff buy!! 230$ im doing it this summer
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  #19  
Old 03-14-2008
04 EDGE
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Originally Posted by deathbypsi View Post
.............ouch.


< giving brian a big hug
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  #20  
Old 03-15-2008
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I vote for a rear locker first. I have front and rear but I live on the beach in Cali. I do not use my truck at all in the snow anymore. I drive up to the snow every winter and I do not feel safe driving the truck with the front locked in the snow. I know other people say they can with no problems but I dont see how. I have tried. I will say though, In mud and rocks It is unbelievable! It is pretty good in sand steering on high speed stuff is a little hairy.

For what its worth, I will trade out my aussie for a torsen in a heartbeat if they ever make one.
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2008
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Front locker all the way. I've had my for over 3 years no problems daily driving and like Brain R said in his post, front lock feels better in snow than w/o. You point the truck where you want to and it goes there.

And outdoorsman, with a locker you crawl up things instead of hammer down.
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2008
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Originally Posted by SuperSonicFX4 View Post

And outdoorsman, with a locker you crawl up things instead of hammer down.
......truth
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2008
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I think front is more beneficial offroad as the last 2 post stated, but there are advantages to it being in the rear. You can use 2 lo (front hubs not locked in) to go until you get stuck, then just lock the fronts to get going again. I've heard people say they can go further in 2 lo locked than they could in 4 lo open. Plus in the back its more fun driving on the street (bad *** burnouts, fishtailing, etc.) I don't have experience with lots of different lockers, but I can tell you that I don't mind my lockrite on the street. I don't even hear it clicking. But if you did, would it really bother you. I think it would put a smile on my face as I think "Hell yeah, I'm locked motha f-----"
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