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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Locker \"VS\" Spool

Hey Guys,

What is the main difference between a locker and a spool? What exactly is a spool?? Anyone running one in a AMC20??

Thanks

Kevin Speicher
New England 4x4 Club
http://146.189.121.83/
79 Jeep CJ-7
 

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Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

A locker locks, and unlocks the axles together. When you go around a corner it is designed to unlock, letting you turn easier. A spool locks both axles together , as if you had one solid axle connecting both wheels. I ride on the street to much to have either one. But I do have my front dana-30 welded.
 

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Official Curmudgeon
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4,707 Posts
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

That is why I chose the ARB air locker. I have the best of either world at the push of a button. Locked
for off-road or, in my case, mostly ice and snow or open like grandma's Cadillac for the street. No
herky jerky engagements either. I know a YJ that spent a week in the body shop when the stock
limited slip locked up unexpectedly on ice and hit a tree when it was only a month old. (The Jeep was
a month old, I don't know how old the tree was.)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

The main difference is that a locker holds both axles locked together most of the time and releases under certain conditions while a spool is a solid piece of alloy steel that holds the axles locked together under all conditions. A mini spool does the same thing, but it uses your existing carrier and replaces the spider gears (kind of like a lockrite would). I don't believe either is available for a Model 20. This whole spool thing has taken off like wildfire since the magazine article on them came out. As a former drag racer I have always been a big fan of spools, but whenever I mentioned the idea of running them in Jeeps people acted like I was crazy. I had decided I was going to run one in my Dana 60, and along comes this darn article. Now it looks like I'm just following the crowd. I would expect to see more availability of spools as they are likely to become more popular once the 4x4 community at large becomes more familiar with them. In my opinion spools offer 100% reliability (they don't break) and 100% predictability (you're locked up, period). That's hard to beat. The down side to spools is pretty much the same as with a locker: increased tire wear, chirping around corners, and can be squirrelly on ice.

"My other car is a BULLDOZER"
 

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Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

It's true, since Petersen 4Wheel & Off-Road Magazine did there article on a full-spool, the topic has appeared several times on this board and other ORC boards. I even went looking for a supplier for a Dana 44 full spool. I found a company that does offer a full spool for a Dana 44. The company is DEWCO (765) 962-7201. I won't mention price, but full spool for a Dana 44 is not as cheap as Halloween candy.
It might be possible that DEWCO makes a spool for an AMC 20. It would also be possible to just weld the spider gears of an open differential AMC 20 to work like a full spool. The welding of spider gears is not uncommon, the procedure even has a nickname (Lincoln Locker). Lincoln Electric is a very popular brand of stick welding rods. Hence the nickname Lincoln Locker. I would not recommend using two piece AMC 20 axles with a full spool or Lincoln Locker.
dave
 

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Official Curmudgeon
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4,707 Posts
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

Sounds like I'm going to be seeing those square spider gears back in the J. C. Whitney catalog.

We welded up the rear on a TR4-A back in the late '60s for SCCA racing. Didn't really notice it on the
street but we never drove it in the rain or anything. It was a dedicated race car and we only took it out
on the street once in a while when the urge struck.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

If you weld spider gears the proper way to do it, from what I understand at least, is to fill the voids in the teeth in the spider gears before and after where 2 gears mesh instead of welding the teeth that mesh to each other. this way the welds are less likely to break, therefor ring and pinion eating particles are kept out of the differential.

does this make any sense?

Jeff
'83 Toyota long bed
"look Ma no doors!"
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

Dont forget people, spools also wear out the front tires on the street, because the spool pushes harder than lockers, when your going slow and turning, I know because, I run a spool in my cj8 with a 60 in the rear. To help tire wear, I run higher air pressure on the street, just my opinion.
The Doc.

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Mike Duncan
[email protected]
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

so then wouldnt WELDING the spider gears (LINCOLN LOCKER) be the same as a spool???

Thanks

Kevin Speicher
New England 4x4 Club
http://146.189.121.83/
79 Jeep CJ-7
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

But if the frond hubs are unlocked, then the vehicle won't care if the front diff is open or spooled - right? With the hubs free and the tcase in 2wd the front diff is essentially disconneced (thus, street driving won't effect it). Even with the tcase in 4wd, as long as the hubs are free, the axle will just spin in the housing and shouldn't contact the wheels - right? It seems the best setup for the front would be a spooled diff then. Or am I missing something? (No ice on the road where I live.)

(former user: ddehaan)
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

the problem is that when you ARE locked in at the hubs and t-case, you'll find it even harder to make turns... especially in the mud, soft sand, etc... even with the tires turned full lock, your only going to get limited turning. AND with a spool in the front, as soon as you lock your front hubs, you'll have the same problems, 2 or 4 wd regardless.
An automatic locker is much less noticable in 2wd with the hubs locked. its there, but not really, just makes you turn the wheel alittle harder. When you have an mechanical locker in the front, and the hubs are engadged, but the t-case is in 2wd, the slowest tire determines what speed the front driveshaft turns, the faster wheel does what its supposed to and unlocks from the drive... Therefor, the only noticable affect is minimal, and due to spinning the driveshaft, but it'll always be on the inside wheel. When you engadge 4wd, the driveshaft's speed is no longer determinded by the wheel, its determined by the t-case. The understeer is caused because the inner wheel is trying to turn at the same speed as the rear inner wheel, and on a soft surface this is ok, the tires slip and slide some, and you just have to plan on wider turns, but only the inner wheel is trying to go straight. If you had a spool in the front, both front tires would be turning the same speed as each other, and if you also had a spool in the rear, all four tires would be going the same speed, at that point, your front wheels are as effective at turning the jeep as a boat's rudder, while its on the trailer.

Florida Mud CJ-5
'77 RB304, t-150 D20 4" 35" swampers
 

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Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

For you guys who are always in sunshine and never see snow, like all you Arizona kinda guys, I think that the spool sounds like a great idea (and I think that's where the guys were who wrote and contributed to the article, and what their mind-set was). How about this - manual hubs on the rear axle, and a spool. Just leave only one side locked in, let the other one freewheel.

I drive in snow and ice and rain and stuff all the time - gonna stay open-diff. Off-road ya just gotta get used to saying "get the winch cable..." /wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif

Pete

88YJ, 4"susp, 33"BFGMT, 9k#winch, rear homemade swingout, reb.258, 999, 4.10, weber32/36, GMHEI.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

You're right, I'm so close to AZ that I could almost throw a rock and hit it.
Forgot about turning when off-road - that would be hard with a spooled front. Of course, you could always jump out and free the drivers side hub to get your turning radius back.
A spooled rear sounds the best to me now (with the free-floating axles). But with the cost of putting free/lock hubs on the rear, wouldn't a locker be the way to go? With it in the rear, you never have the option of disconnecting it and still driving.

(former user: ddehaan)
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

spools and lincoln lockers are a great thing, no clunking, no slop. but do not (BIG DO NOT) put hubs on the back and try to drive on one axle. very bad things will happen to you and your ride. driving only one tire leads to torque steer, hub failure, and premature carrier bearing failure.

dan

/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.giflet it snow/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Re: Locker \"VS\" Spool

Where is Jo-Jo? He's had the front of his CJ welded up into a "Fozzy" locker for well over a year. He'd be someone to ask for first hand knowledge.

_____________________
John
95.5 YJ with "stuff"
http://SonsofThunder4x4.com
 
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