Air locker opinions

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montaillou

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I'm debating about putting on air lockers or not. One mechanic friend is like, it's a 6x6, you'll never need them, but another mechanic (and also my opinion) is that if I ever do need one, it'd suck to be without.

I don't plan on doing any rock crawling, but beach/desert sand, unimproved roads, mud, maybe the occasional water crossing and I could see situations.

Opinions?

3 axles seems way too much overkill, but 2 or just 1?
 

rustystud

Active member
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I'm debating about putting on air lockers or not. One mechanic friend is like, it's a 6x6, you'll never need them, but another mechanic (and also my opinion) is that if I ever do need one, it'd suck to be without.

I don't plan on doing any rock crawling, but beach/desert sand, unimproved roads, mud, maybe the occasional water crossing and I could see situations.

Opinions?

3 axles seems way too much overkill, but 2 or just 1?
I would go with a set in the front and a set in the middle axle. If you can afford a set in all three axles that would be the best ! I worked on and drove these trucks in the Marines. (if anyone doesn't believe I was in the Marines I can provide my DD-214 and my commission to Sergeant ) They got stuck on a regular basis. Once we got a deuce stuck on the beach with the tide coming in ! Thirty marines where pushing and rocking and digging out sand to free this truck from the sand. We got it out in time but it was close !
 

cattlerepairman

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Montaillou, your mechanic is wrong! :) No severe off roading needed. All you need to do is pull over on a highway and sink all three wheels on the passenger side into soft ground, over the hubs . 3 spinning, 3 stopped. Truck leaning over to the passenger side. Game over.

Will air lockers save you? At least you get power to the 3 wheels on asphalt! Fighting chance.

Beancounters will tell you "getting a tow once or twice is still cheaper than 3 ARBs with install". But where is the fun in that?

If I wanted to mitigate nothing more than the rare, occasional "I need some extra traction on the OTHER side, gawddangit!!!!" - situation, I think one Detroit (or Yukon or Grizzly) locker in a rear axle would be sufficient. In any modern OTR truck, the middle axle would be the axle of choice. In the Deuce, I remember reading that the suspension actually loads the rearmost axle on acceleration, so the rearmost axle would then be the better location. Deferring to better experts. If air locker is a must...and only one...prob in front.


Pics courtesy of WHIDBEY:

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Nomad1

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I'm debating about putting on air lockers or not. One mechanic friend is like, it's a 6x6, you'll never need them, but another mechanic (and also my opinion) is that if I ever do need one, it'd suck to be without.

I don't plan on doing any rock crawling, but beach/desert sand, unimproved roads, mud, maybe the occasional water crossing and I could see situations.

Opinions?

3 axles seems way too much overkill, but 2 or just 1?
If your only putting one put it in the front. If money isn't a issue do all three.
 

davidb56

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If money is a issue, put a ARB air locker in the front. if you got 550$ extra, put a detroit locker in the rear. If your rich, or single, put a ARB air locker in all, but keep the front on a separate air engagement. Or if you are poor like me, (wife and kids) only get stuck near a healthy tree so you can winch yourself out.
 

Floridianson

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Myself one = front. Two front = front and rear rear. Three no explanining there bad azz truck. Yea my USMC dumps had both Detroit rears and did great at the mud bog better that no locker 5 tons. My bobbed 809 series 5 ton with Detroit in just rear would do pretty darn good. Sold the two 5 ton bobbers I built and sold the Detroit locker I was going to put in a tandem USMC 5 ton mud truck in the front. That would have been as said bad azz 809 5 ton.
 
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montaillou

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The way the deuce rear axles move side-to-side, would this have any effect with the detroit lockers?

I'm thinking of going with 2. I will be looking into some sort of secondary air system once I get through my current list of "must haves"
 
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cattlerepairman

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The way the deuce rear axles move side-to-side, would this have any effect with the detroit lockers?
The axle shafts themselves and the differential gears are not moving side to side, it is the whole axle assembly. So, no, this would not affect a locker. The mechanical lockers simply lock up when power is applied to the driveline and unlock for coasting.
People that have mechanical lockers should chime in whether or not it affects driveability on the road, eg tight turning in parking lots etc. I would think it is minimal.
 

Floridianson

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The Detroit I had are always locked up and only unlock / ratchet when one axle spins faster than the other. The axles are locked together when sitting still or under power or coasting. I have had no problem on the street when in a tight turn or making a 90* turn from a stop. Sometimes I would if the light was green or the turn was not a stop to go easy on the Detroit I would coast through the turn. They were still ratcheting / unlocking because of the different axle speed just no input power from the drive train. Then apply fuel when I got straight. Never heard any tire chirping.Yes I could chew up the yard / grass when not on solid ground. Believe air lockers are a much better than the Detroit if one was looking for lockers. Mine were already in the USMC dump trucks.
 
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winfred

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mine has a detroit in the front and it was a bit of a pain to steer on NDTs but was near undrivable on 395s on pavement, worked just fine in a field, hubs were a must and as long as one is unlocked i can steer (needed to drag a very large tree down the street and into the field and didn't have the option on time to risk not being able to get it moving again on dirt, so i was running in 6x5)
 

davidb56

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mine has a detroit in the front and it was a bit of a pain to steer on NDTs but was near undrivable on 395s on pavement, worked just fine in a field, hubs were a must and as long as one is unlocked i can steer (needed to drag a very large tree down the street and into the field and didn't have the option on time to risk not being able to get it moving again on dirt, so i was running in 6x5)
thats where a air locker would be better in the front. Also you can still run the regular hubs and engage/disengage the locker from inside the cab with a flip of a lever.
 

tobyS

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I'd like to go with the 4.90 gears, air lockers on both 4x4 axles and lockouts on the front... but the low cost alternative is probably Detroit on just the rear.

3x4 has to be better than 2x4 and I hear tight turns are not a big issue with the Detroit.
 

winfred

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yea, i plan on moving the detroit to the rear and put arb's in middle/front, eventually

thats where a air locker would be better in the front. Also you can still run the regular hubs and engage/disengage the locker from inside the cab with a flip of a lever.
 

tobyS

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thats where a air locker would be better in the front. Also you can still run the regular hubs and engage/disengage the locker from inside the cab with a flip of a lever.
Yes, that will lock axles but with regular hubs, everything turns all the time.
 

montaillou

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Decided to go with 2 air lockers. After scouring the web I found a price of $975. I just got off the phone with these guys (I thought maybe they were calling about the price), but they explained a few things to me. They're not supposed to advertise less than the agreed upon price by ARB [$1050 atm], but they can sell for less if you call them. I don't know if that's a thing everyone does or just them. Their shipping isn't free, but it was only $5 per order, so, not much of a problem. If I had bought a 3rd, they would've sold it to me for $947 - I decided to go with just 2, but still, if you're in the market...

Anyways, thought I'd bring this up, they're extoffroad.com
 
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davidb56

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Decided to go with 2 air lockers. After scouring the web I found a price of $975. I just got off the phone with these guys (I thought maybe they were calling about the price), but they explained a few things to me. They're not supposed to advertise less than the agreed upon price by ARB [$1050 atm], but they can sell for less if you call them. I don't know if that's a thing everyone does or just them. Their shipping isn't free, but it was only $5 per order, so, not much of a problem. If I had bought a 3rd, they would've sold it to me for $947 - I decided to go with just 2, but still, if you're in the market...

Anyways, thought I'd bring this up, they're extoffroad.com
Too bad you didn't live in east WA, I'd drive a 150 miles one way to watch you do it and hand you beers or soda.
 

montaillou

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Too bad you didn't live in east WA, I'd drive a 150 miles one way to watch you do it and hand you beers or soda.
I'm gonna have a shop do it. I don't really have a good place to lift the truck and leave it lifted for the hours I would need. When I swapped wheels I used the company's shop (they have an air system) but my boss didn't like it.

At least that's the plan. I spoke to a shop today, they needed to see the truck and I'll have to bring a locker to them to see if they'll do it. If they won't do it, I will find another way. I live on a 1/10th acre lot, not a lot of room to work. This shop (Motor Trucks) is currently working on an LMTV so I'm hoping they won't mind working on mine.
 

davidb56

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@Montaillou. I'd look for a shop that has experience with installing a ARB in a Rockwell 2.5 Ton. They are popular in the 4x4 off road community. Having to "see" the locker, doesn't inspire much confidence...........but theres always beginners luck.
 
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