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Front locker on 1st Gen

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Voss, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Apr 4, 2021 at 10:01 PM
    #1
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    I may be making a mistake but there’ll soon be a locker on my front end. This allows me to keep the LSD in the rear. I know our front diffs can fail but it seems the Spider Gears are what fail. Read 2 examples of front diff failure and both said it was the Spider Gears that broke. And this from @Bear
    https://www.tundras.com/threads/diff-locker.9793/

    Bear replaced his front diff and added a Powertrax front locker. On PowerTrax’s website they state their front locker replaces the factory Spider Gears. @Bear didn’t have any issues with his new diff with the locker which kinda reinforces the Spider Gears being the weak link in our front diff. From the post i read it seems like he wheeled hard as well.

    Powertrax website:
    http://www.powertrax.com/traction-systems-product/3102-differential-locker-1611-lr/?crt_viaSearch=path%3Apart%253Adrop-in-locker%3Bposition%3A%2523%2528front%252C%2Bn-a%2529%2523%3Bdifferentialcasedesign%3A_ANY_%3Byear%3A2003%3Bmake%3Atoyota%3Bmodelandsubmodel%3Atundra%3Benginesize%3A_ANY_my

    More into on the locker:
    https://www.powertrax.com/product-info/lock-right-locker-traction-system/

    The front locker is $325 on SummitRacing and a DIY install.
    https://www.summitracing.com/parts/pwt-1611-lr

    I’ll have some peace of mind with lockers, happy I have a LSD while in 2wd and it’s pretty affordable. My main concern would be driving in snow as I’ve read an auto lock front can take some getting used to. Heck if it sucks I’ll take it out.
     
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  2. Apr 4, 2021 at 10:15 PM
    #2
    assassin10000

    assassin10000 New Member

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    I personally would not recommend this.

    Front diff being locked will make the steering significantly more heavy when engaged. I have a Torsen LSD (gear driven) on the front of my Tacoma and I keep it out of 4x4 as much as possible. Due to the way stiffer steering.
     
  3. Apr 4, 2021 at 10:34 PM
    #3
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    It would only be engaged in 4wd so won’t have any issues driving around town or when I’m going fast. If it’s terrible I’ll remove it.

    Oh and they claim the locker allows the wheels to spin at different speeds while turning. It somewhat disengages on turns.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2021
  4. Apr 5, 2021 at 3:40 AM
    #4
    KarmaKannon

    KarmaKannon Master of None

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    I've had lunchbox lockers on the rear of two vehicles. One of them worked great and disengaged itself when turning and coasting (auto trans) and one is jumpy and doesn't like to disengage (manual trans). Both did what I wanted and locked when you needed it.

    I've never had one on the front and I don't think I would just because I commute in the snow. If I knew my wife would never be driving my truck in the snow or on a wet (muddy/slick) dirt road, I might consider a rear locker for my truck. Otherwise I'd just stick with the more expensive option like and ox or ected or something. Either would work on the front or the rear nicely.

    If you don't plan to drive in the snow on roads at speed or on a wet dirt road then maybe a front locker that isn't selectable is a good idea. That's up to you. I would think my lack of a front sway bar is less dangerous on a snowy highway in 4wd than a locked front axle. Then again you can shut the locker off by clicking back to 4wd...

    I am partial because I've always preferred to have the ability to lock the rear tires to hit the gas and turn with my right foot if needed. We are talking at speed here. Crawling around, likely that method won't get you a lot.
     
  5. Apr 5, 2021 at 4:03 AM
    #5
    KarmaKannon

    KarmaKannon Master of None

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    Voss [OP] likes this.
  6. Apr 5, 2021 at 6:05 AM
    #6
    KNABORES

    KNABORES Not so new-ish Member

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    I'm interested in how this turns out. I looked extensively at the Aussie lockers for the front and/or rear of mine. Not much snow here, would be mainly for off-road. Kinda lost the gumption as I haven't spent much time off-road lately and I've never gotten my truck stuck. But may be getting a new ride soon for the wife and I'll take over her Jeep GC as my daily. The Tundy could become a more dedicated hunting rig that I wouldn't have to daily. Aussie lockers front and rear would be a great DIY addition for traction on a dedicated play Toy.
     
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  7. Apr 5, 2021 at 8:27 AM
    #7
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    The Harrop locker is going to cost about $1,900 with tax and then gotta pay for install. ARB is $1k+ install. If this $325 locker which I can install myself sucks, I’ll consider the manual lockers.

    Since I don’t have a winch I’m worried about being stuck in mud or snow on trails in the middle of nowhere. Your comment has me even more concerned about turning now lol but for the price, it’s worth it for me to give it a try. Figure if it gets bad I’ll pop back into 2wd and put chains on.

    From what I read and I may be completely off, auto lockers are easier to turn when on the front vs the rear and work better when there’s more weight above them.

    I emailed the company about a long shot... wondering if there’s anyway to only have them engage in 4Lo. If this is a possibility it would be great! Drive reg 4high and only lock in 4Lo but guessing it’s just wishful thinking on my part.
     
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  8. Apr 5, 2021 at 9:48 AM
    #8
    KNABORES

    KNABORES Not so new-ish Member

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    The Aussie lockers are not selectable. They are self engaging and mechanical in nature, like a ratcheting system. Locks together up to a certain binding point, then they are able to release the tension by ratcheting forward a tooth or two. Great in a straight-line situation with low traction, not so great at turns. But Cheap, and rather dependable, hence the love from the Aussie's. Advantages probably stop at cheap and dependable. Other lockers will do what you want, but are not cheap. If you only want 4lo capability, has to be selectable, like an electronic or air locker. Both less dependable (more things that can go wrong) and not cheap (upwards of $1k with more install labor required).
     
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  9. Apr 5, 2021 at 9:56 AM
    #9
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    Yeah I figured my 4Lo hopes were off. I ordered the Powertrax vs the Aussie mainly because someone in this forum had them without issue for 100k miles.

    Every review I see of autolockers in front is favorable. A few YouTube vids with them in action in snow as well and they seem fine to me.

    What I find interesting is whenever I see a vid about lockers from “Downunda” they prefer front lockers while around here people reco rear. Just watched this one...
    https://youtu.be/Xex9hOBwjUs
     
  10. Apr 5, 2021 at 10:00 AM
    #10
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    I've read about lockers so many times. If I were to throw one in it would be the Harrop. Sure its more expensive but has less failure possibilities than the ARB. Air lines and o rings in the diff housing could be scary.

    As far as the front goes, I don't have a front diff yet so I'll sit back and watch the show.
    :pccoffee:
     
  11. Apr 5, 2021 at 10:05 AM
    #11
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    Yup, basically everything I read about air lockers said they weren’t very dependable and prone to issues. The price tag on the Harrop is just not feasible for me.
     
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  12. Apr 5, 2021 at 10:10 AM
    #12
    KNABORES

    KNABORES Not so new-ish Member

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    That video is encouraging. Seems to be a pretty smooth action.
     
  13. Apr 5, 2021 at 10:19 AM
    #13
    KarmaKannon

    KarmaKannon Master of None

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    I don't think ox has a locker for the 7.5. that's too bad because they make the locker I am most interested in. I swore they made one for the rear, but didn't see anything on the website just now.
     
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  14. Apr 5, 2021 at 10:35 AM
    #14
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    Just watched that video, he made a lot of great points but it looks like that rig has rear locker as well. Right near the end of the video it lifts a rear tire but keeps going. Still a lot of valid reasons to try it out.

    I love that they spelled it "Lokka" :D
     
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  15. Apr 5, 2021 at 10:58 AM
    #15
    KarmaKannon

    KarmaKannon Master of None

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    I know when I put a rear locker in my xj it meant I could go more places and go places I got to before with much less effort. Never did the front because the d30 was a bit of a weak link.

    My 2wd ranger with a rear locker can go some surprising places without 4wd or even more apparently missing 4lo.

    I'd imagine a front locker helping a very similar amount.
     
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  16. Apr 5, 2021 at 11:03 AM
    #16
    KNABORES

    KNABORES Not so new-ish Member

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    And it's the drive wheels under the weight of the motor. Even better traction in many situations.
     
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  17. Apr 5, 2021 at 11:32 AM
    #17
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
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  18. Apr 5, 2021 at 2:05 PM
    #18
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    Hopes and dreams crushed real quick. I had read autolockers are recommended for manual hubs but couldn't figure out why... IF these lockers only engage when you put your truck in 4WD then why do manual locking hubs even matter?... Well they don't only engage when in 4WD, they are ALWAYS engaged. In theory it is still ok because they work similar to a LSD system but if they don't disengage while you are turning one day for whatever reason... you are going to have a bad day.

    Cancelled the order, if only we had locking hubs... Toyota really just called it a TRD package without offering much in the way of true offroad features.

    Edit: I sent an email to the Lokka company from that first vid I posted. Dude in that vid says the front locker would not be engaged when the vehicle is not in 4wd. It's the "Myth #2" which starts at the 5:10 mark. Maybe this company figured out how to only engage when in 4WD.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  19. Apr 5, 2021 at 2:54 PM
    #19
    rock climber

    rock climber New Member

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    So, dumb question, but if 4wd isn't engaged, the front diff is still locked, but not getting any power from the transfer case. If the LSD system doesn't engage wouldn't it be similar to any other lunchbox locker where it pops and sounds bad, but doesn't hurt anything?
     
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  20. Apr 5, 2021 at 3:09 PM
    #20
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol The "Mangler"

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    I follow a guy with front and rear lockers on his 1st gen and he's posted some neat videos. During that recent snow storm that hit the Denver area he was able to power through some extremely deep snow once he locked it down.
     
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  21. Apr 5, 2021 at 3:11 PM
    #21
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    I think it's exactly the same. Now I'm probably the last guy who should be answering questions but from my understanding a LSD only engages when a wheel slips but this thing is always engaged and disengages when you try to turn. When I talked to the tech guy at PowerTrax he said the worry is IF for whatever reason the lock does NOT disengage for some reason when you are trying to turn. Say you're going 70mph in the freeway and the locker doesn't disengage when you are trying to change a lane for example.
     
  22. Apr 5, 2021 at 3:13 PM
    #22
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    Sounds like something I'd enjoy watching... have a link to those vids?...
     
  23. Apr 5, 2021 at 3:21 PM
    #23
    FirstGenVol

    FirstGenVol The "Mangler"

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    Basil Lynch on Instagram. The specific video that impressed me must have been on his story. His truck moved completely different in the snow with lockers on. Hard to explain.

    https://www.instagram.com/basillynch/?hl=en
     
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  24. Apr 5, 2021 at 3:49 PM
    #24
    Professional Hand Model

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  25. Apr 5, 2021 at 4:13 PM
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    Darkness

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  26. Apr 5, 2021 at 5:20 PM
    #26
    des2mtn

    des2mtn Touring the gas stations of CA/AZ via dirt trails

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    Here y'all go, this guy is in SoCal too. I almost did this recently but I decided the money would be much better put towards getting F/R lockers and re-gear first. If I have a wheel bearing go this will definitely be done.



    Screenshot_20210405-171522_Instagram.jpg

    Screenshot_20210405-171533_Instagram.jpg
     
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  27. Apr 5, 2021 at 5:25 PM
    #27
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    Thanks, at those prices I would just get the manual locker. I recently put in new hubs and bearings, I couldn't bring myself to change them out again. I just learned about these autolockers and been reading through the jeep forums, Xterra forums etc... seems like people have used these a lot over the years and mostly positive feedback. Wondering why the tech told me to not go for it unless I had manual hubs.

    There's a Xterra thread about the Lokka, the ones with it actually installed on their trucks have overall good feedback on them. Pretty sure the Xterra doesn't have manual hubs. The only negative reviews of autolockers in that thread are from people who used to have an autolocker of some kind at some point in the past. The people who run the Lokka say it doesn't even make a sound while they are in 2WD and not noticeable in any way unless in 4WD. Guessing what the guy in the video meant by "not engaged unless in 4WD" is that when there isn't a force on the autolocker it doesn't lock in the axels so both wheels spin freely. Xterra guys say even in 4WD the turning issues are minimal in snow, offroad, ice etc as long as they stay under 40mph... I don't ever go 40mpg when I need 4WD...

    https://www.thenewx.org/threads/cons-of-a-front-auto-lokka-locker.186089/

    Looked up the Lokka and it fits our trucks. Guess the front diff of their Prado is most likely the same as ours and it's only $250!
     
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  28. Apr 5, 2021 at 6:06 PM
    #28
    Voss

    Voss [OP] New Member

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    Man if I hadn't changed everything out recently I would be all over this with the autolocker!
     
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  29. Apr 5, 2021 at 7:25 PM
    #29
    tyler-brown

    tyler-brown New Member

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    So. Sorry to chime in late. And maybe a little behind the party...and curve.
    But. Is there a reason no one has mentioned the Eaton e-locker? Because that was a route I was planning on going for mine and keeping the LSD rear.
     
  30. Apr 6, 2021 at 5:11 AM
    #30
    KNABORES

    KNABORES Not so new-ish Member

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    Didn't mention it specifically, but mentioned electric and air actuated. OP was interested in the cheap and easy of the Aussie style lockers.
     

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