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  #1  
Old 04-02-2014, 03:01 PM
Daleksandrovich Daleksandrovich is offline
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Yukon Lockers

Any one have experience with this company and there products? I'm looking to install a full time locker for traction in the pasture in snow.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:32 PM
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I run the grizzly locker in my 14 bolt, and it has held up to a few years of abuse with no problems. Before that, I ran the Detroit locker, and it was broken within a few months. I couldn't get it warrantied so I opted for the cheaper Yukon and it has worked out good thus far.
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Old 04-03-2014, 11:57 AM
Daleksandrovich Daleksandrovich is offline
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How much of a difference did you notice? Mainly in snow and loose dirt?
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Old 04-03-2014, 02:49 PM
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I've had very minimal experience in the snow, so I'm not much help there. Full time lockers can be night and day when it comes to mud, ruts, rocks and pretty much any other offroad situation.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:02 AM
totalloser totalloser is offline
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Traction performance mimics a detroit. Basically the same design. Not very friendly on ice and snow at road speeds if you aren't careful. But for getting you through, it is a locker, lockers are king for traction.

Where it is truly beyond night and day is when you cross up the suspension and would spin a one legger... with a locker the one with all the force on it still turns, even if the other is up in the air. Going from open to locked at both ends is about as much of a difference as going from 2wd to 4wd in heavy off roading.

On road is something you get used to. You are either on the throttle or off. Otherwise the locker will pop and clunk and push you around.

If you put one up front, it will try and steer you straight when going forward, and try to turn you one way or the other in reverse when in 4x4.

Basically think of a ratchet wrench for each axle, and with a little bit of slop that changes the direction of the ratchet mechanism. It doesn't work *exactly* like that, but very similar.

I'm confident in my Yukon in a 10.25, but haven't really put it through the paces yet.
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:03 PM
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If you put one up front, it will try and steer you straight when going forward,
Only when both front tires have traction. When one front tire loses traction it will try (and usually succeed) to turn toward the tire that's slipping.

I had lockers front and rear in an F-150 once. The first time I was driving in 4WD on a snowy freeway, the first time I went to change lanes as the right front tire hit the deeper ridge of snow between lanes the steering wheel jerked about an eighth of a turn and the truck had jumped 10 feet to the right before I could correct it. The next lane change I was ready for it and caught it quicker (it only jumped 8 feet that time).

I've had rear lockers in a few vehicles, and although they do have their quirks I don't mind them there. But in my opinion automatic lockers should never be put in the front axle of a vehicle that will be driven in 4WD at any speed above a crawl. Go with a selectable locker there and only lock it when you need it and are going slow enough to be able to recover from the extraneous steering inputs before you change lanes.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:36 AM
totalloser totalloser is offline
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If you are going to put ratchet and selectable in a daily driver, having the selectable in the rear rather than the front has a few advantages. First, the "slop" from the ratchet locker tends to put more of the work on the rear axle which is virtually always more durable than the front axle. But the best reason to put the selectable in the back is for normal on-road behavior and towing. A ratchet in the rear is not as nice to u-joints on pavement either.

Ratchet lockers are a bummer for on road handling, but are pretty much invisible up front when in 2wd. Even with the hubs in. The only time you really know they are there is if you have a panic stop and lock up one front tire. The locker will buzz from rapidly ratcheting.

For high speed driving that's a very good point. High speed front performance= open, posi, spool, or selectable.

Oh and the traction vs no traction in forward causing severe steering has a LOT to do with offset of the wheels. The further out the wheel sticks from the pivot point of the knuckle the worse this is. On vehicles I have run with front lockers, I have used very close to stock offset, so this issue didn't even hit my radar without being pointed out. The force that causes the heavy torque steer is basically the traction acting like a lever with the balljoints or king pins being the fulcrum. The further the tire tread extends from this pivot point the worse this issue will be.

Edit: One exception to invisible in the front: Tight turns in parking lots with lock right style. Clunkity clunk. This issue is only with u-joint axles though. That is because axle u-joints transmit power in pulsations as the angle gets steeper. This pulsation for lack of a better description, "confuses" the ratchet mechanism. Universal joint axles (birfields) do not have this issue at all, and are *truly* invisible in the front- Toyota, Samurai, IFS trucks.
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Old 06-21-2014, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by totalloser View Post
If you are going to put ratchet and selectable in a daily driver, having the selectable in the rear rather than the front has a few advantages. First, the "slop" from the ratchet locker tends to put more of the work on the rear axle which is virtually always more durable than the front axle. But the best reason to put the selectable in the back is for normal on-road behavior and towing. A ratchet in the rear is not as nice to u-joints on pavement either.
Open diffs (or unlocked selectable lockers) always have the nicest manners. But open diffs get you stuck the easiest and selectables tend to be the most expensive. Yes automatic lockers are noticeable on road. But most truck enthusiasts don't mind the quirks given the performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by totalloser View Post
Ratchet lockers are a bummer for on road handling, but are pretty much invisible up front when in 2wd. Even with the hubs in. The only time you really know they are there is if you have a panic stop and lock up one front tire. The locker will buzz from rapidly ratcheting.
I wouldn't hesitate to put an automatic locker in the front if all of the higher speed driving (everything over about 5 or 10 mph) would be in 2WD. As you say, it really doesn't come into play then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by totalloser View Post
For high speed driving that's a very good point. High speed front performance= open, posi, spool, or selectable.

Oh and the traction vs no traction in forward causing severe steering has a LOT to do with offset of the wheels. The further out the wheel sticks from the pivot point of the knuckle the worse this is. On vehicles I have run with front lockers, I have used very close to stock offset, so this issue didn't even hit my radar without being pointed out. The force that causes the heavy torque steer is basically the traction acting like a lever with the balljoints or king pins being the fulcrum. The further the tire tread extends from this pivot point the worse this issue will be.
Yes, the steering inputs from a front locker are due to the leverage the front tires have around the pivot point of the knuckle, so the more offset your wheels have the more leverage they will have. But I was running stock wheels on my F-150 when it jumped around violently like that. Hence my recommendation to never use an automatic front locker at higher speeds.
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Old 06-21-2014, 01:45 PM
totalloser totalloser is offline
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Don't misunderstand me I am not disagreeing, just offering different perspectives. I guess in snowy areas where spending significant time on the highway in 4x4 the game is a bit different.

Stock backspacing from knuckle pivot can vary but I was thinking more along the lines of high speed fire road driving, wasn't really thinking of the snow reference though I could see that being pretty colorful due to random driveline windup release. Where I live snow is quite rare.

Torque steer from the rear is worse with shorter wheel base, but front to rear driveline windup is worse with a longer wheelbase.

I do like to offer the benefit perspective of selectable rear rather than front because magazines for years have promoted the other way around and generally miss the significant benefits of going the other way.

Personally I don't care much for selectables anyway. They are expensive and less reliable. The only one I have run was on the rear of a Tacoma (using modded 8" housing) and it failed several times. Twice the motor got sticky, and once water got past the actuator seals. A couple of my buddies run ARB and both have had problems at one time or another leaving them open.

I've only had one ratchet locker fail and that was physical breakage that took out the axle at the same time. They handle funky, but can be counted on to work (unless abused ). One other detail is that in a daily driver the rear is the one running all the time. So I think it's better if possible to put a full case rear. Not because of strength per se, but because of design. Full case lockers use straight cut teeth and a cam plate to walk the ratcheting side forward. Lunchbox design use a ramp to engage the crosspin and engage the locker at an angle. When caught by torque at the wrong time the teeth can engage at the tips and chip them off. This led to my broken axle as the wear allowed the locker to slip a tooth and engage hard on pavement which sheared an axleshaft exactly one spline forward. This type of failure is close to impossible with the full case design if I'm understanding the principles right. And this type of failure is pretty much impossible in a front application.

PS IMO This banter back and forth probably is REALLY good info for anyone considering lockers. I call that a thread "win".
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:12 PM
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I'm certainly not offended by anything you're saying. We're just exchanging experience and opinions. Yours are different than mine, but neither is wrong.

Yes, the uncontrollable torque steer from a front automatic locker comes from suddenly losing traction almost completely on one side. Otherwise the two sides tend to cancel each other out. It can be twitchy like that, but generally not uncontrollable. And yes, snow and ice are a "good" place to completely lose traction on one side, so it does show up there pretty solidly. But I experienced how uncontrollable it can be. Fortunately both times it happened I was trying to change lanes in that direction already and the lane was empty, so I didn't hit anything. But in my opinion, the risk of losing control is way to high to ever consider using an automatic locker in the front when you're driving at a speed that is high enough that you won't be able to react quick enough to avoid what, at the speed, could be a very severe accident. Yes, the odds of that situation occurring are lower on surfaces that give good traction than they are on snow, but for me it's simply not worth the risk. Maybe you've never had it happen, but I think the risk is too high. Especially when for just a few hundred dollars more you could put a selectable locker in front in place of the automatic locker and eliminate the risk.

Now if you're only going to use 4WD at lower speeds, then sure, take the risk with an automatic locker in front if you want. It's not as big of a risk because the truck won't jump over as quickly so you can catch it before it goes very far.
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:12 PM
totalloser totalloser is offline
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Ah good. I do agree 100% that highish speed front locker 4x4 is sketchy. Even on dirt it's iffy IME except in hog snot mud. Then it's very helpful. Wheel spin can steer you back where you want to go.

I have run two front posi's and they work better than you might think at first since the traction is a function of preload and gear deflection against the clutch packs. Since the front of most all 4x4's is heavier and the tires tend to stay on the ground the effect is significantly better than a posi in the rear where it's easier to lift a tire off the ground rendering the posi close to useless. And high speed driving in 4x4 is very good. Though in ice/snow there is still the issue that both tires will probably try and break free at once rather than having one spin a one legger and the other helping keep your directional control intact.

I do have one rig with a rear posi and it's performance is anemic.

Sorry for the big hi-jack, I do really think the Yukon is as good as the best or better as far as ratchet lockers go. That's why I got one. Some folks claim the yukon is tougher than the Detroit.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:21 PM
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I doubt anyone's too worked up about a hijack on a thread that had been dead for over 2 months.

The biggest issue I have with posi is that it's a clutch-type limited slip in a GM axle. Ford's brand name is Trac Lock. The generic term is limited slip, although that also includes the True Trac and Torsen, design, so I go with "clutch-type limited slip" to keep it clear without implying that GM is somehow superior to Ford and we should use their names for things

The second issue I have with them is that when they are worn out they act like an open differential, and when they are set up tight they act like a spool. I don't want either of those, so I can't imagine a clutch-type limited slip ever being my choice. Although to be fair, I don't have much experience with them. My wife had an Explorer that we got new with limited slip, and it never bothered me, but I never really feel like I tested it either. And my 170,000 mile F-250 has one in the rear that might as well be an open diff. But I wouldn't call either of those "experience" with a limited slip.

Having mentioned the True Trac, I think that would be my first choice for the rear axle of a truck that would see a fair amount of towing and no off-roading. Doesn't wear out like a clutch-type limited slip and supposedly the best road manners of any traction aiding differential (I don't have experience with them either, but it makes sense to me that they would, knowing how they work). Someday I might put one in the rear of my F-250, but that's WAY down the priority list.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:51 PM
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I actually just remembered, I did have some good luck with a rear limited slip in a Japanese application. Can't believe I forgot- it's parked in the yard- wife's Sidekick putt putt got a power brute. Tight clutch pack type, off the throttle it doesn't spool up, but on the throttle it chirps tires in corners. Actually her other car (TDI golf) got a helical (quaife) when I had the transmission out for a bearing. That thing spools up in corners pretty bad even though it's got the engine sitting on top of it.

A few years ago I modified a clutch pack type from the butt end of a Cressida and put it in the front of my buddy's Hilux (Toy pickup) and it's been completely seamless. No one leggers, virtually invisible otherwise. Strange design though, almost thought it was a locker when I first opened up the donor. Had to machine pockets for the longer IFS shafts using a carbide endmill on the rotary table after realizing that not only would the shafts not clear, but it was NOT gonna get cut by anything HSS.

I dunno, I think they have their place. I plan to restack the rear P-lock on my Dodge diesel, and I have a p-lock for the front that will go in at some point. But that thing is a pavement pounder- 20 feet long and big rig rubber. Probably wouldn't win follow the leader with a minivan. Traction control or not. But at least with all corners *trying* to pull I can avoid getting stuck in a turnout!

One really nice thing about them is that you can routinely score them in the junkyard, and a lot of the time you can get one for the front from a rear application. But a locker they ain't. I guess there's gov-locs too, but I *really* don't like those things.
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