I Might Just Know What I'm Talking About
Join Date: May 2003
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Eaton E-Locker Issues
Well I was hoping to have these issues wrapped up and simply post a little "got things resolved" post. But I will start with what I have now as I know at least one of you may be thinking about purchasing an Eaton E-Locker.
I bought my locker for the D44 on about the 15th of November. Prior to the purchase I thought I had done my homework and I felt this option would work best for my rig.
The locker arrived quickly (Friday the 21st) and it really does seem to be an impressive piece of equipment, although the instructions could use some work.
Anyway, I unpack the box and remove the shipping label. The receipt says in bold letters "Warranty void is used with lager than stock tire size.) OK, hardly anything on my Jeep is stock anymore and heck, a lot of it including the axle this locker may go in isn't even "Jeep". So now what?
My first thought is that the company I bought the locker from simply put this on the packing slip and I was about to call them and start chewing, but stopped short and decided to look over the warranty registration card in the box. Yes, that bright orange card with the bold letters at the top stating "The very best differential warranty available. In the middle of the much smaller "non bold" print the card clearly states the warranty is void for "abnormal use (IE tire diameter in excess of vehicle manufacturer recommendations" and so on.
Now I'm a little pissed. I ordered this thing so I could get right on the front axle over the holiday break... and cold have purchased an ARB for about $55 less.
I am sure you have all noticed the Eaton "Hardcore Edition" E-Locker add at the top of the SWB BBS pages... it's there almost all the time. Clearly the blue Jeep shown stopping to activate the switch and then crawling up the rock pile effortlessly, is sporting larger than factory rubber. Also, as I was first admiring the fancy black box the locker came in, I noticed each of the four sides has a fancy color photo on it. One side clearly shows an Eaton sponsored Chevy Avalanche sporting oversize rubber crawling through a dry river bed, and another shows an Eaton E-Locker sponsored Jeep with what appears to be 35 or 37 inch tires on frickin beadlock wheels.
Now I am simply throwing things around the garage knowing that my holiday weekend is not going to go anywhere near as planned.
By Saturday (22nd) morning I can't help it, I have to call or e-mail somebody. A quick internet search nets me an e-mail and toll free customer care number for the Eaton performance differentials customer service. I fire off a polite but to the point e-mail outlining the advertising for and on their product and my own confusion and worry about installing the product in my "modified" vehicle with oversize tires. Probably the same size tires as their own Eaton Jeep. I got no response.
On Wednesday (26th) morning, I fire off a second e-mail, a little more to the point and asking for some sort of reassurance that I made the right purchase. No response. I call later the same day (it was 1:30pm central time and the number I was calling is in Michigan) and get a recording stating that they have begun their Thanksgiving Holiday and will be back in the office on Monday.
No response as of this posting. A couple of hours ago I called and tried every "choice" I could, but only got voice mail for just about everyone who works their I think. There is one bright note. I called the main customer care number and spoke with a real person. She verified that I was calling and e-mailing the correct "division" and said that she would call directly and try to have a human call me back. She called back a few minutes later and advised that she was only able to reach voicemail as well. She said she did leave a voice mail instructing someone to call me ASAP and to also report back to the "main office" to let them know the call had been returned. She said she would then call me to follow up. She apologized and went out of her way to try and help me out. I don't expect a call back today. She thought tomorrow would be a realistic possibility.
Yes, you may blast me for not simply buying an ARB in the first place. I have my reasons for opting for the Eaton and may still use it if I can discuss the warranty issue with them. If they aren't able to convince me that I have not made a mistake, I will exchange the Eaton for an ARB anyway. It just sucks because I will eat the price difference in shipping both ways.
I do have a question for you ARB guys. What types of warranty or repair issues have you encountered? Does ARB have this "factory tire size clause"? I understand there has to be language in the warranties to keep Joe Idiot from filling his dif full of landscape rock and wondering my his locker exploded, but this stock tire thing seems a little absurd.
Oh and by the way... My fancy, five day Turkey Day weekend / garage fest didn't go so well. Wednesday evening @ 8:00pm I got called in to talk a barricaded suicidal guy out of his apartment... luckily that only took a couple of hours. Then about 1:00am as I was just heading to bed, I got a call from a fellow investigator. He was off duty and tried to offer a drunk waling down the middle of the street a ride home. The drunk attacked him with a knife and stabbed him in the back of the neck. My friend was extremely lucky. I stayed with he and his wife at the hospital ER until about 4:00am and he was released by 6:00. The rest of Thanksgiving went well and the family had a nice time... but by 9:00pm, I was sick as a dog. I spent the next two days blowing snot out of my nose and resting. I got very little done on the Jeep, but did manage to get the rear axle pulled and stripped, I am now making my set up carrier bearings to begin reassembly.
Is this the only hammer you've got?