thought carefully of many places I could go to test out the effectiveness
of the Powertrax No-Slip locker. A nearby trail called "The Pony
Trail" came to mind, and on this trail is "The Pony Rock".
The trail cuts across a rocky stream bed, and the Pony Rock lies right
smack-dab in the middle of the trail.
the years that I've been attempting this solitary obstacle, I have
never made it over without taking a bypass. My initial attempts were
in a YJ with 2.5" ProComp, and 32" mud terrains. That was
futile. My second attempts were in a 4.5" XJ with 32" mud
terrains and a Detroit in the back. This came close, but I feel break-over
angle was the problem. Finally, I tried in the TJ with 2" Old
Man Emu, 31" tires, and a Powertrax No-Slip in the rear differential.
went smoothly at first. The rock was slick, and the Jeep walked right
up my line becoming flexed out and off-camber. Suddenly, the rear-end
slipped sideways down the rock as the passenger side rear struggled
for traction on the slick vertical surface. This caused my line to
change completely, and a new problem entered the equation.
Jeep was off-camber with its soft-top next to the remains of a long
dead tree stem that still stands erect next to the rock. If the remains
of the tree were going to get me, I wouldn't have been the first victim!
The situation became more difficult but not yet hopeless as the TJ
struggled for traction. The Dana35c groaned and my seat tasted soft
as I anticipated the invetible <SNAP!> from the rear axle...
a common occurance for the more persistant four-wheeler.
some tweaking of the line, and with a turn of the steering wheel,
the TJ lifted its driver side front wheel into the sky as the back
tires bit into the rock and lifted me to safety. When the front
came down I knew that I had finally conquered the "Pony Rock".
The Powertrax No-Slip, at that very moment, became well worth its
price, and it made one Jeeper very happy.
The final word
is, we are extremely pleased with the off-road strength and performance
of this locker. It provides a 100% lock to both wheels, and provides
excellent off-road traction, just as a locker should.
On the road,
while it isn't the "miracle" invisible locker that acts
like spider-gears that I had dreamingly hoped for, it is very quiet
and very well-mannered. After it was initially installed, I noticed
it the most going around corners, and a stereotypical torque transfer
when going from drive to coast, but it was very tolerable.
picture be a warning to all four-wheelers with freshly installed
lockers. After overcoming every obstacle in sight, I found a
trail over THIS rock. I got myself wedged in there pretty tight!
It took a bottle jack under the rear bumper and some stacking
to get out of this jam. Don't get cocky... and never 'wheel
has a learning curve, and after one week of driving my TJ continuously,
I hardly noticed the locker was there. Every now and then I hear
a tire chirp when turning 90-degrees onto roads from stop signs,
but that isn't bad. I've driven 5,000 miles with it since it was
initially installed, and it feels even smoother and less noticable.
This is due to a combination of "breaking it in" and just
plain getting used to it. The Jeep is my daily driver, and I drive
40 miles to work and back every day. My better half drives it frequently
and she is also very comfortable.
No-Slip, I am convinced, is the most bang-per-buck, least compromise,
easiest installing, 100% locking differential unit available for
four-wheelers today. I will be recommending this locker to my friends.
(unless of course
they're alread locked.)
If you have
any more questions regarding this locker that I didn't cover in
this article, please don't hesitate to e-mail
to OK Auto, 4wd & Tire
in Stewartsville, New Jersey for taking the time and man-power on
a Saturday to install the locker.