Detroit locker

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Posts
5,788
Reaction
7
I was thinking about putting a detroit locker in my chevy. Its going to go in a ford 9" rear end. I was driving in my friends truck to snow summit this weekend to go boarding and was thinking how a locker might not be a good idea on mountain curving roads. I know the detroit only engages when the gas or brake is applied and disengages when coasting. If I was driving up a mountain road how would the locker act if I was gasing it or braking around the turns?
 

JBO

Well-Known Member
Posts
241
Reaction
4
not the best for snow...

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.therangerstation.com/LockerComparo.html>http://www.therangerstation.com/LockerComparo.html</A>
 

jeff

Moderator
Posts
7,422
Reaction
314
A locker in the snow requires some driving talent. Locker + Snow/Ice + Gas Pedal + Turn = Sideways

I know that lots of people say otherwise... but I think a locker in the snow is more predictable and easier to drive than an open diff.

Aloha
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Posts
5,788
Reaction
7
What about a totally dry mountain road? How will the tires act around the turns? Roads like ortega hwy and the 76 going out to ocotillo wells etc. tire wear?
 

K5Blazer

Well-Known Member
Posts
127
Reaction
1
You have to coast or apply very light throttle around the curves or you'll squeal the inside tire.
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Posts
5,788
Reaction
7
I didnt think it would be that bad. Only about 5% of my driving is going to be on curving roads. Im going to get the detroit it will be alot better than a limited slip and more fun.
Thanks guys

Motoxscott try a search on detroit lockers alot of info will come up.
 

Chris_Wilson

Well-Known Member
Posts
3,277
Reaction
1,301
I have detroit lockers in my crew cab and also had one in the rear of my bronco.
In the crewcab you don't even notice it's there except it does not get stuck
nor spin a tire. The truck is so long and heavy that the detroit locker never
affects the steering, never causes handling twitches and is very easy to live with.

In the bronco it was so bad that when it came time to buy a new diff for my
upgrade to 35 spline axles that I went with a spool instead. The detroit locker
would require steering corrections around corners as you rolled on or off the throttle.
The worst part was these twitches were not predictable. At first I thought it was
cool and no problem since I'm joe racer. But after a couple years it was just a
pain in the arse. And my wife always hated it since she is smarter than I.
The spool does drag a tire and squeal on corners but there is much less
driveline lash and it is super predictable. I would not want to drive it in the
snow or rain but since this is purely a desert/baja truck we needed 100% lockup.

So the answer to your question is that it depends on the truck and what you
can tolerate. BTW, I also used th have lockers in my 4x4 ranger. It was the
125" wheelbase model and the rear locker was not as bad as it was in the bronco.
 

NorCal_Prerunner

Well-Known Member
Posts
305
Reaction
0
I have a Detroit Locker in the trophy 88 yota. Even my wife can drive it just fine as a daily driver. She can also get it pitched very easily when she wants to. A locker for a daily drive is fine, especially worth it when it hooks up off road. kisses, J_

It's never too late to be what you might have been....
 

orvacian

Well-Known Member
Posts
420
Reaction
1
I have a Detroit and I love it! With a automatic transmission and xtra-cab it is not bad at all. I do not even notice it except when I give it a lot gas around tight corners, and obviously you will notice it when climbing steep hills and on loose surfaces. No problem on winding roads either.
If I had a manual, I would get a limited slip or ARB though.
 

Bryan_D

Well-Known Member
Posts
1,328
Reaction
15
I have a Detroit in my Cherokee and I love it for the rear. I have a LOck-Right in the front and love that also. You cant beat the durability of the Detroit. The only thing is my girl wont drive mine because of the snap when it engages. Plus mine is in a 5spd so it makes it a trip in the rain.
 

rdc

- users no longer part of the rdc family -
Posts
5,788
Reaction
7
My truck is a 1998 chevy 1500 extended cab short bed which is pretty long. It dont know the exact wheel base off the top of my head. I have an automatic transmission since no 5.7L came with a stick. I think the Detroit would be perfect for my truck and driving habits even though 80% of my driving is on street. Now im worried about my transmission going its a 4l60E any ideas on what I can do to save it or upgrade it PM me or post here.
Thanks
 

ntsqd

Well-Known Member
Posts
2,429
Reaction
27
My 84 Xcab yota came to me with a rear Detroit. Manual 5 sp. 112" WB. Took me about a day of driving it to get used to curvy mtn roads. With you heavier truck &^ longer WB, just jump. You won't regret it in the dry.

Snow = mud & I don't do mud so you're on your own there.

FWIW, all of the Detroits in the pipeline now are so-called "Soft Lockers". These have a Belleville spring in them that makes them much better about engagement/disengagement handling quirks.

TS

I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
 
Posts
150
Reaction
0
I had 2 4x4 vans with a Detroit NoSpin ("Detroit Locker"), a Chevy '71 & Dodge '82 (current vehicle). Okay, '71 van. I was coming down Mt. Pinos @9000 ft, hit a snowy/icy patch, hit the brakes..& did a 180. When I hit the pavement, the vehicle abruptly stopped, & my rear doors flew open & ejected my telescope mount!! It flew out like a frisbee, & survived (only the case was kinda bent up). I think this story points out the dangers of a locker in icy conditions. There are articles around which point this out, I think an article was pointed out in this thread.

In both vans, ocassionally there will be a big "bang"..which is normal. Kinda alarming, but that's the way it is. If tire pressures are not equal in the rear, one tire will get all the power & will wear more. I currently have that situation..one tire is worn almost completely down, the other one has a lot of tread left. Yeah, the inside tire will chirp, & will increase tire wear. Some idiot even approached me in a gas station & said I was being an a**..well, I had a comeback to him verbally & on the way out I bumped into his girlfriend (accident). There was almost a fight.

I did a lap @ '99 Fireworks 250 (prerunning) entirely in 2WD, that's how good the traction is. Steep hills, in 2WD. The 4WD is there for security, in case i get into a stuck situation. (I've seen big $$ prerunners get stuck in 2WD. In the '93 Baja 500, Curt Leduc had to call Mike Leslie for help, just outside of Ensenada)

I never noticed any weird handling problems around corners, just the chirping tires. The previous owner even put a detroit locker in the front, which I suppose would be a real handful offroad in 4WD, in terms of handling. Super traction, though.

If you do any sort of offroading, I recommend it. A posi with good tires is a killer combination. If the vehicle is a "urban assault vehicle", forget it..it's like most SUVs, just a showoff car. "Look at me, I'm a wannabee. I'm a geek, & think I'm a man..I spent a ton of $$ on a Landrover & use it for groceries. Duh."

I just got back from S. Africa, & most of the vehicles are REAL offroaders. No suspension or body lifts, just LandRovers & Landcruisers built for real offroad use (tires look small & skinny to the standard 33" & 35" you see here in USA). They use ARB lockers, my Landcruiser had one. We went offroading in the Limpopo river (dry) & Sand river (dry). It was a matter of letting air out of tires, engaging the posi, & keeping up the rpms. I got a lesson in sand-driving. The Landcruiser's V8 was overpowering the axle/wheel-tire combo (we had General mud tires), so we were digging into the sand. We got "rescued" by a Landrover Defender, using the SAME tires..but fully inflated. The Defender had less powerful engine, but it;s overall gearing (engine, transmission, Xfer case, axle, tires) worked *perfect* as a system..it was crawling around in the soft sand like nothing. We, on the other had, were struggling.

I like the Landcruiser (2 door, pickup with bed canopy, not the corny Landcruiser station wagon you see here), it was great. I also got partial to the old Landrovers I saw at the shop (I basecamped from their place), they did complete custom bumpers & accessories. I want to emulate it for my current vehicle. They told me the Land Rovers they sell in USA are WAY overpriced (it's basically done because it targets the wealthy yuppie c**s**ker types, like you see in Beverly Hills), you can get one for reasonable in S. Africa. Click here for some pictures of my S. Africa offroad experience. I almost flipped the Landcruiser in the Limpopo river (driver error). I had to get rescued by a Landrover.

"Go for the Gusto, Go for the Overall"
-- Robby Gordon, SCORE off-road champion
 
Top