checked out, and our installation went smoothly. The pinion shaft
and retaining bolt were replaced, and the rear wheels were spun by
hand, both unidirectionally, and adversely to ensure proper operation
of the Powertrax No-Slip locker. This test revealed some of the engaging-and-disengaging
qualities of the unit.
turning the wheels, I noticed very smooth operation. Of course, the
amount of force one puts on a rear end with their hand is slightly
different than the amount of force used to scale a rock face on the
trail. One thing that was very obvious to me was the visible lack
of ratcheting. Once the teeth on the drivers disengaged, they stayed
disengaged until the wheels were spun at matching speed. This picture
is of a very complete Powertrax No-Slip installation.
superstar mechanic, proceeded to gasket up the diff cover, bolt
it in place, and refill the pumpkin with gear oil - approximately
2 quarts of 80w90 gear oil in a Dana 35, if this is your first time.
Get 3 quarts just in case and for extra. Some silicone gasket sealer
for the differential cover is good, too. Some folks prefer the cork
gaskets you can get at automotive retailers.
Our TJ is now
locked in the back, and it is time to test it out.
sure-fire way to test a locker is to hit the articulation ramp. I
left my front swaybar connected as to produce high-visibility results.
Here is the TJ prior to the installation on the ramp. With two open
differentials, the Jeep loses traction and stops in place while the
driver side rear tire, and passenger side front just spin in the air
lightly scuffing the ground.
With the same
configuration, but this time with a locker in the back of the Jeep,
the TJ crawls up the ramp effortlessly, paying no heed to the wheel
that is lifting off the ground in the back. With a locker activated
in one or both of the differentials, the Jeep would continue up
the ramp and flop onto its side. This is a good thing, but it requires
you to familiarize yourself with your newfound ability. Next time
you are on the trail, your vehicle might not lose traction and stop
when the situation gets hairy.
Just for my
own personal satisfaction, and some "oooooh's" and "aaaaaah's",
I felt obligated to disconnect the front swaybar and drive on up
the ramp. Lockers sometimes give the impression that there is a
flexibility increase just due to the vehicle being able to now "stretch
its legs" more effectively in situations of high articulation.
I didn't measure, but this is roughly 900 points on a 23-degree
ramp with tires at full psi on gravel.
Now its time
to hit the trail with our locker.