There are three basic types of diffs; Open Diff, Limited Slip Diff (LSD), and Locking Diff.
Open is pretty obvious, I go out on a limb and guess most of us know how those work. Or don't work as is usually the case.
Limited Slips have some method of limiting the difference in wheel speed from side to side. Some methods work very well, others work for a while and then slowly loose their ability to limit the difference. Clutch plate/pack LSD's
Lockers come in two basic types. Those that are automatic and those that require operator input.
Of the automatic type the Detroit Locker is the best known. It works by allowing the outer tire in a turn to freewheel or ratchet as long as the engine isn't supplying power or braking. When power or engine braking is applied to a Detroit it loads some plates such that both tires turn the same speed unless there is a massive torsional load in the unit. Then it allows a 'skip' which is what makes the classic "Locker Noise."
There are only three options in the other type of locker, and one of those is only available to Toyota owners. The most common is the ARB Locker which is a std open diff when unlocked. When you lock it compressed air moves a splined sleave inside the diff and couples one side gear to the diff case. Since one side now can not turn relative to the case and the other side is connected to it by the spider gears, both tires now HAVE to turn at the same speed.
The OX-Locker works in the same way, but instead of using compressed air it has a Morse type control cable.
The Toyota option also works in the same way as the ARB & the OX, but it uses an electric motor to move the sleave.
There is one hybrid LSD/Locker that I'm aware of. In the unlocked state it is a gear type LSD, but when an electromagnet is energized it locks up like the OX, ARB, & Toyota diffs do.
There is a fellow in the Neatherlands who maintains a page on every known diff type. What they're made to fit, how they function, etc. I've lost the link, but you might be able to turn it up with a google search.
I used swerve around my halucinations, now I drive right thru them.
Is this locker for a stock 10-bolt rear end? If so get ready for the big bang. I DESTROYED my S-10's locked up 10-bolt and decided to upgrade. I ran a Detroit Locker in my S-10 (had a Currie built 9") and that was one of the best things I ever did. It was as much fun on the pavement as it was in the dirt. In the snow it was fun and driving sideways for a mile was possible in the right conditions. My mom hated it though... as did each and every girl that ever drove it. In the rain or other slick surfaces an inexperienced driver would easily loop it when they were on the gas hard enough. My mom spun my truck and darn near killed me saying I had built a death trap. Laying two-tire-fire around town is a blast and I never got tired of it. Crawling in the rocks with a 2wd always amazes the 4wd crowd - if you haven't ridden in a locked 2wd it's pretty amazing where you can go - especially if the rear articulates well enough to keep the tires on the ground. I only had four or five really hard "engagements" that felt like the rear end was going to rip out of the truck and all were my fault - about 100,000 miles and never a broken component.
Until the Detroit Electrac has been battle tested I'd avoid it. Check it out at TracTech.com - saw some of the info at SEMA and it's a good idea - best of both worlds if you ask me. The ARB design would be awesome if they could 100% eliminate the air leaks that always seem to occur when you least want them to. The OX is available for quite a few applications but I don't think a GM 7.5" 10-bolt is one of them (if that's what you've got). I'd upgrade the rear end if I were you - no sense spending $$$ on a fuse.
Oh yeah... a locker will test your vehicles ability to resist axlewrap / wheelhop. The first time I drove my S-10 in Glamis the damn thing would hop so bad under acceleration I damn near broke the springs a few times maintaining speed up the hills.
yes it is for the stock rear end i just want it so i can crusie the dez alittle easier i hate getting stuck but the again that might be because of the way i drive. i was out in 29 palms sunday and my budy with a ranger was damn near getting stuck everytime he turned in the sand. I was going to get a limited slip but then i thought maybe a locker. if the lockers gonna blow my reend up in less then a year or so i wont be getting it cause i cant really afford to get a built reend for at least that long.
When a limited slip is "Locked" does it act the same way a true locker does? if so ill go witht he limited slip. i have said it before jeff but thanks again for the help its always appreciated even when it seems im being an @$$.
Yes a limited does the same thing as the locker, but it will give at that very last point where a locker won't. This means the Posi or Limited Slip will give rather then breaking your rear. If it matters at all I am going posi or LS (same thing) in my truck. Steve