Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: San Diego, CA
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Re: what are lockers?
Here's my explanation:
First, the 30, 35, 44, and 60 you see a lot refer to the model number of axle that a company called Dana made. Your '93 wrangler has a Dana 30 front axle and a Dana 35c rear. The 44, 60, and even 70 are larger models usually used in 1/2, 3/4, and 1 ton trucks.
As for lockers, it helps if you understand how a standard differential works. Here is how normal differentials work: The gears (spider gears) in the differential allow the wheels on the same axle to spin at different speeds. So, as you corner, the outside wheel can go faster than the inside with relatively the same amout of torque. Now, if you have ever seen a car stuck in the snow you can see the disadvantage to the standard differential. One tire can be on dry cement while the other is on slick ice. All (or almost all) the torque goes to the path of least resistence (the tire on the ice) and the wheel spins and the car goes nowhere.
A locker is a device that replaces the spider gears (at a minimum) and locks the two wheels so that no wheel spins slower than the drive shaft. Lockers do allow one wheel to spin faster in a no/low torque situation. So in a parking lot with the clutch in (no torque) the outside wheel can spin faster around the corner.
The reason they are good four wheeling is the wheel with the most traction gets most of the torque. If you have a tire completely off the ground the other tire gets all the torque and neither wheel will spin slower than the drive shaft. This means you won't be stuck because of a lifted wheel. In the snow example a locker would mean the wheel on the cement would get effectively all of the torque and the car wouldn't be stuck.
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