Auto Lockers up front

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Tray

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I’ve been considering putting an auto locker (or lunch box locker) on the front of my F-150. I’m in south Texas so snow really isn’t a huge consideration. My biggest question is when not in 4WD, will I still hear the ratchet sound during turns? It’s my daily driver and that may get old quick or maybe you get used to it, IDK. Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences.
 

MidOH

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The F150 has hubs that use vacuum to open up in 2wd. You won't feel the locker at all in 2wd.

The only question is, can an F150 front end handle a Yukon Grizz or Detroit locker without grenading? Depends how often you use 4wd. I'm guessing rarely in the south, so you might be ok.
 
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Pathfinder I

You would only use the front locker when in 4Lo and then only in extreme conditions. For normal driving you want the front diff to be open. As far as strength it depends on how heavy a right foot you have. My front diff is a Dana 30 7.2 inch w/27 spline axle, not the strongest around. I haven't read about any ZR2 owners busting the front diff and I know some guys trash them hard. I'm chicken, I'm very careful when the front is locked.
 

Tray

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You would only use the front locker when in 4Lo and then only in extreme conditions. For normal driving you want the front diff to be open. As far as strength it depends on how heavy a right foot you have. My front diff is a Dana 30 7.2 inch w/27 spline axle, not the strongest around. I haven't read about any ZR2 owners busting the front diff and I know some guys trash them hard. I'm chicken, I'm very careful when the front is locked.
My truck is older 2005 and my daily driver so i try and use the appropriate amount of throttle, usually.
 

MidOH

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E locker or Truetrac is a better option for a 150 if 4wd is used often. Assuming the truck already has a rear elocker, a Truetrac up front is a decent option.

Many of my southern friends, due to dry arid terrain, only use 4wd to shoot across a ditch. So they all run front autolockers and often spooled front axles. 2wd 99.9% of the time. On the slick rocky trails up here, they'd all destroy an IFS front end quickly.

Obviously front autolocker is the perfect option for a 250. But that's a solid dana60.
 
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Dilldog

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I wouldnt worry too much about the front axle not being able to handle it (F 150s run an 8.8 differential with 31 spline shafts, weak link in it would be the aluminum housing). So long as you dont just stand on the throttle youll be fine. Most modern lockers will click in quite seamlessly with constant and light throttle. So long as your truck has a way of disconnecting the axles from the wheel ends I think its a great option for a daily driven rig. The only concern I would have is in the rare case you will need 4x4 on the street, with an automatic front axle lock out it will make things weird. When I ran just a front locker I had manual hubs, so if need be I would just run one locked and the other free. But with some work you could rig up a switch that would keep one hub from locking.
 
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Downs

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I've ran front locked rear open on the past 3 XJs I've owned. For my daily driven Jeeps that's been the ticket for me. And our hubs don't unlock. I went with a Powertrax No Slip on this latest Jeep, my past ones I used Lock Rights. The Lock Rights made some noise and some feedback though the steering wheel in tight full lock parking lot turns but with the No Slip I have to have the windows down and the radio off to hear it. This allows me to keep my street manners but still have a significant off road boost.
 
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Nomad164

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I’ve been considering putting an auto locker (or lunch box locker) on the front of my F-150. I’m in south Texas so snow really isn’t a huge consideration. My biggest question is when not in 4WD, will I still hear the ratchet sound during turns? It’s my daily driver and that may get old quick or maybe you get used to it, IDK. Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences.
I have just fitted an auto locker in the front diff of my Nissan Navara D40 (I think you guys call them Frontiers or similar in the US) and a Harrop E locker in the rear.

The Harrop E locker is an Eaton one made under licence here in Australia.

I haven't yet tested the auto locker out yet (or the rear locker) but will next weekend when we head away camping and 4WDing for a long weekend.

While in 2WD there is no difference to the driving - you don't feel or hear the locker.

My auto locker is made here in Australia by 4WD Systems and they have been around for a while.

Here is a good video on fitting front lockers that may answer some (or none :grin:) of your questions - it is also the one I have fitted to my vehicle -
Hope this helps.

Karl
 
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Tray

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I have just fitted an auto locker in the front diff of my Nissan Navara D40 (I think you guys call them Frontiers or similar in the US) and a Harrop E locker in the rear.

The Harrop E locker is an Eaton one made under licence here in Australia.

I haven't yet tested the auto locker out yet (or the rear locker) but will next weekend when we head away camping and 4WDing for a long weekend.

While in 2WD there is no difference to the driving - you don't feel or hear the locker.

My auto locker is made here in Australia by 4WD Systems and they have been around for a while.

Here is a good video on fitting front lockers that may answer some (or none :grin:) of your questions - it is also the one I have fitted to my vehicle -
Hope this helps.

Karl
Thanks Karl, keep us posted on how they worked next weekend
 

Tray

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I've ran front locked rear open on the past 3 XJs I've owned. For my daily driven Jeeps that's been the ticket for me. And our hubs don't unlock. I went with a Powertrax No Slip on this latest Jeep, my past ones I used Lock Rights. The Lock Rights made some noise and some feedback though the steering wheel in tight full lock parking lot turns but with the No Slip I have to have the windows down and the radio off to hear it. This allows me to keep my street manners but still have a significant off road boost.
Good to know thanks!
 

Nomad164

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Thanks Karl, keep us posted on how they worked next weekend
An update on my new lockers - They are awesome :grinning: :grinning: :grinning: :grinning: :grinning: :grinning:

I have done two off road trips with them in various terrain from flat open outback country with an extremely steep hill climb to a trip today in hilly bush country.

Initially I was worried about the auto locker in the front but it worked well with no issues.

In regards to the steering it was no worse than driving a car without power steering and even then I hardly noticed it.

Travelled at various speeds from crawling at 5 kph up to 80 kph with the front locker engaged and not an issue - in fact a part from the slight stiffness in the steering you wouldn't even have noticed that it was there :blush::blush:

The eLocker in the rear worked well the couple of times I played with it.

So overall I am extremely happy with it so far.

Karl

Photo of my Navara at Billgaburna Rock, Mid-west Region Western Australia.

2019-09-29 4WD - 003-Edit.jpg
 

Tray

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An update on my new lockers - They are awesome :grinning: :grinning: :grinning: :grinning: :grinning: :grinning:

I have done two off road trips with them in various terrain from flat open outback country with an extremely steep hill climb to a trip today in hilly bush country.

Initially I was worried about the auto locker in the front but it worked well with no issues.

In regards to the steering it was no worse than driving a car without power steering and even then I hardly noticed it.

Travelled at various speeds from crawling at 5 kph up to 80 kph with the front locker engaged and not an issue - in fact a part from the slight stiffness in the steering you wouldn't even have noticed that it was there :blush::blush:

The eLocker in the rear worked well the couple of times I played with it.

So overall I am extremely happy with it so far.

Karl

Photo of my Navara at Billgaburna Rock, Mid-west Region Western Australia.

View attachment 120679
Thanks for the update, I’m glad you like it. Pretty convincing testimony.
 
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joshjunior

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I’ve been considering putting an auto locker (or lunch box locker) on the front of my F-150. I’m in south Texas so snow really isn’t a huge consideration. My biggest question is when not in 4WD, will I still hear the ratchet sound during turns? It’s my daily driver and that may get old quick or maybe you get used to it, IDK. Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences.
i'd run selectable up front
 
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Boostpowered

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I have to ask why do you believe you need em? Are you pulling livestock trailers through muddy fields? Are you doing serious rock crawling somewhere? I get wanting them id love for a front limited slip diff to be available for the colorado, but do you really need it and how often would you be using it?
 
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MidOH

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I use my rear locker nearly every weekend, and it ain't near enough. I desperately need a front locker.

Wet grass with super slick soft clay underneath has been the big problem lately. Combine that with a newly formed rut/ditch, and both axles locked, and everything a rockcrawler needs, also apply.
 

Boostpowered

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I use my rear locker nearly every weekend, and it ain't near enough. I desperately need a front locker.

Wet grass with super slick soft clay underneath has been the big problem lately. Combine that with a newly formed rut/ditch, and both axles locked, and everything a rockcrawler needs, also apply.
Get mud tires i garauntee you wont need a front locker i used to have that exact same embarrassing problem with wet grass, slick clay and a/t tires then i switched over to m/t and i havent been stuck anywhere since.
 
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MidOH

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Will be adding Cooper Stt pros when the time is right, as well.

That same situation with MT's, and snow up to my diffs, will stop a MT tired truck in it's tracks. Maybe not in a straight line, or at speed, but as soon as you need to make a slow tight turn.

I'll have to regear for them, so a front locker is going in at the same time.
 

Boostpowered

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Ya know there is an old school trick if you dont have a front locker when your front tire starts slipping hit the brakes it will cause the tires to get traction again.