Once in a while something
very simple but really neat and handy comes along. Not long ago, Keith
Urban from Urban Design and Fabrication, Inc. gave us a call and wanted
us to check out a product called the Bumper Buddy. Well, who are we to
was waiting for a miracle locker. One that would smoothly allow my
Jeep to scale walls out on the trail, and yet one that would magically
disappear as soon as I pulled out onto the pavement. This seemed particularly
naive, but I dreamt it, nonetheless. I had high hopes during the introduction
of the relatively inexpensive Detroit Gearless locker, but these hopes
were quickly squelched due to horror stories of a weak unit that had
a high failure rate.
long after the rise and fall of the Detroit Gearless locker, the Powertrax
No-Slip entered the scene. Was this the miracle locker I was looking
for? Powertrax, the company that manufactures the Lock-Right, started
production of the Powertrax No-Slip which is also a spider gear replacement
locker. It seemed funny that one company would produce two very similar
lockers of two entirely different names. I did a little research and
decided to give this new locker a try.
Powertrax Lock-Right, as I mentioned before, cost approximately $275
for my vehicle, while the Powertrax No-Slip cost approximately $375
for the same application. Either locker fit my budget. All I had to
do was figure out what made the Powertrax No-Slip better than the
Powertrax Lock Right. In the picture to the left, you can see the
packaging, instructions, and dissassembled lockers side-by-side. Both
lockers pictured are for Dana 35c axles.
you can see, they are very similar, and nearly indistinguishable to
the untrained eye. What I established from the advertising and talking
to Powertrax was that both lockers performed similarly on the trail,
however the Powertrax No-Slip is minimally stronger and smoother operating
than the Lock Right. Lock Right units typically make a ratcheting
sounds (series of clicking) when turning corners on the pavement,
and this characteristic was supposedly eliminated in the No-Slip unit.
replacement lockers are only as strong as the carrier they are in.
The carrier, as you can see in the picture, houses the spider gears
which allow speed to vary from one wheel to another around bends
and so on. When you're four-wheeling, traction goes from the wheels
that grip, to the wheels that slip, so if your suspension is flexed
out and one wheel on each axle lift from the ground, you will usually
stop dead in your tracks. The "locker" locks up both wheels
on one axle so there is no loss of traction, and you can proceed
unhindered. Vehicles equipped with lockers are usually significantly
more capable than those without in most conditions.
Taking off the
differential cover and disposing or containing the gear oil are
your first steps to putting a new locker in. If the inside of your
differential is dirty, it probably wouldn't hurt spray the inside
with brake cleaner, and stick an old rag in there to soak it up.
Here, you can
see Jeremy at OK
Auto, 4WD & Tire unscrewing the fastener that holds in the
center-pin, which in turn, holds in the spider gears.
If you're running
a Dana 35c (disposable) axle, pull off your c-clips, slide the axle
out a little bit and the spider side-gears inside the carrier should
fall right out. When that is all done, you're pretty much ready
to put the new locker in!
This was done
in a 4x4 shop for the sake of documenting the installation, but
this can easily be done in your driveway or on the trail with simple
tools. Just make sure you have gear oil and containers.