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LubeLocker:
Just Say No To RTV.

By Shawn Pagan

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Simply remove the LubeLocker from it's package and install.  What could be simpler? 

LubeLocker provides a perfect fit

Filling the diff

Simply lay the LubeLocker on your cover, lift the cover into place and install the bolts by hand. Using the torque wrench, I made a quick pass in the order shown in the instructions and tightened everything down to 15 ft. lbs. Then I adjusted my wrench and made another pass at 35 ft lbs.

That's it. It's done. it was that simple. I then filled the diff and drove my rig with peace of mind, knowing that I had changed the fluids and everything was good to go down below. 

But wait - that's only half or maybe a third of the solution offered by LubeLocker.

Don't forget to torque everything down properly!

There are still other distinct advantages of LubeLocker that we need to discuss, besides the simplicity of the tear-down.

After about two months of daily driving with a LubeLocker already installed, I wanted to see how easy it would be to take the diff apart again and service it. 

Quickly drain as soon as the bolts are removed - no need to hammer or pry

Notice the nice clean fluid. This is what it should look like

The cover slides easily off - no force required

The gasket doesn't stick to either surface

See how clean the cover is?

See how clean the diff mating surface is?

I wanted to test the reusability of the LubeLocker. I had ordered a 2nd LubeLocker gasket, but I opted to simply reinstall the gasket I had (at least temporarily).  I found no issues with reusing the gasket but I will point out that LubeLocker does not recommend it - "We will not endorse reuse. We will tell you that people have done it and it has worked. We will not tell you how many times. It depends greatly on the application, interval between disassembly, and other "environmental factors";  however, for a trail repair or a quick fix or test run, it worked and I think it's a viable solution.

When my new gasket did arrive from LubeLocker, I went ahead and serviced my rear end one more time.  This time, I took the original LubeLocker gasket out and replaced it with the new one.  I made a few observations.  (1) LubeLocker has changed their packaging and I find it much more attractive and it shows me they are not resting on their laurels and (2) there was some slight distortion in the original gasket's bead which would lead me to agree with LubeLocker on the issue of reusing the gasket.  In other words, it is obvious to me that a new gasket will provide you with a better seal. However, I will stick to the thought that for trail repairs this gasket will allow you to do what needs to be done and can be reused to get you off the trail. As for reusing it over time, I will leave that to your personal judgment.

New LubeLocker packaging

New LubeLocker instruction sheet

New LubeLocker on the left and original one on the right

Notice the deformation around the bolt hole

Conclusion: Of course the question to ask now is how and why the LubeLocker does what it does. For a quick answer I simply went to the LubeLocker website and this is what I found.

  1. The Gasket installs dry, no paper, RTV or other sealant needed
  2. Has full perimeter elastomer beading on both sides (the cover side and the diff side)
  3. It's made out of steel for superior torque retention
  4. The elastomer beading will not stick to the cover or diff housing

For a longer answer, simply review the article again and decide for yourself.  In my opinion  I will probably never do another diff without using a LubeLocker Differential Gasket.  The installation is clean, easy and quick and the subsequent service is much easier without having to hammer the cover off and without having to scrape and clean the mating surfaces of the diff and the cover.

In my mind the LubeLocker has distinct advantages over the use of RTV or paper gasket (which are generally even harder to cleanup from than RTV); which include the clean up, ease of installation and ease of disassembly - all of which means that maintenance and trail repairs are done faster and easier.  It's a simple product that does what it claims to do - something that someone should have thought of a long time ago.

We are so pleased with the LubeLocker that we ordered a Dana 30 model for up front.

Availability: Today LubeLocker gaskets are available for Dana 30, Dana 35 and Dana 44 axles.  In the near future they will have them available for Dana 60, 70 and 80 axles and the very popular Ford 8.8 and Ford 9" (other models may be available later on). 

 

Resource
LubeLocker, Inc.
sales@lubelocker.com
PO Box 444
Dayton, NV 89403
www.lubelocker.com

 

Shawn Pagan

Shawn Pagan is a staff writer for ROCKCRAWLER.com as well as Our Land Use Editor. Shawn resides north of Houston, TX.

Contact Shawn at thepagan@rockcrawler.com