Why I think the Detroit locker is better then ARB and Spools - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Why I think the Detroit locker is better then ARB and Spools

I was all set to install a Detroit Full Automatic locker in the rear but wanted to find out more on spools, since I really haven't read too much on them. I knew they were low cost but wanted to find out if it was possibly a better choice.

After reading this article http://www.bc4x4.com/pr/2000/spool/spool.cfm it confirmed my thoughts about spools. I think an Automatic locker may just be the best traction aid for offroad use, even better then selectable lockers (such as ARB).

This is all in theory though because I have never wheeled with an ARB or a spool, just an automatic locker (lockrite)

The spool is ultra low cost and tough as nails because of no moving parts. We know this. But when wheeling in the rocks, say there is a tight turn that needs to be made and it's a steep section. The spool will not allow the outside tire to crawl full time when cornering on the rocks. It MUST skip or slide a little bit. That is not theory. It's physics. It has to travel further then inside wheel but turns at same speed. It has to slip across the rocks. Is that exactly a bad thing? Maybe not, but it's not the best thing either.

OK, so how about an ARB? Same thing basically. You're going to be locked in that same situation and I'm not sure but I don't think the ARB is going to allow the outside tire to turn faster.

Now the Detroit, that's going to stay locked but ratchet and allow the outside wheel to turn faster, thus allows it to CRAWL and not skip or slide on the rocks during the turn.

Sound logical? What I want to know is anybody that has wheeled a spool and an automatic locker. Do you see a real difference on the trail?

I think the Detroit may just be the best offroad application of all the choices because it allows full time wheel crawl while nothing else allows that. Again, unless I misunderstand the ARB, I think that acts like a spool when activated.

Last edited by ZONA; 04-05-2006 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had a mini spool in my Zuk and you couldn't even tell it was there unless you were aired down or made a super tight turn. I then went to Toy axles and an IFS rear with a spool then it was a problem the spool was actually pushing me making it hard to drive. I then added power steering and it was great no problems. I have an ARB in the front and have actually wheeled with it fully engaged and forgot it was. I have Hydro assist to add to the Zuk but havent and dont think I really need it. Jim
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Old 04-05-2006, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Shear an axle with the detroit and its a good possibility you will end up with an expensive paper weight
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Myanarchy
Shear an axle with the detroit and its a good possibility you will end up with an expensive paper weight
Not entirely true. I've broken an axle and birf or two. The worst to happen is the pins shear. Thats why they sell replacement pin kits.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by POWERSTROKEN
I had a mini spool in my Zuk and you couldn't even tell it was there unless you were aired down or made a super tight turn. I then went to Toy axles and an IFS rear with a spool then it was a problem the spool was actually pushing me making it hard to drive. I then added power steering and it was great no problems. I have an ARB in the front and have actually wheeled with it fully engaged and forgot it was. I have Hydro assist to add to the Zuk but havent and dont think I really need it. Jim
That's what I mean. Most of the time, you are aired down and tight turns are a part of every trail most of the time. I would love to save cash and get a spool, but not at the cost of compromise on the trail.

Last edited by ZONA; 04-05-2006 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Go with mini spool or welded and spend the money you have left on beer
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Non Urban
Not entirely true. I've broken an axle and birf or two. The worst to happen is the pins shear. Thats why they sell replacement pin kits.


Then again, thats your experience. Search in gen. 4x4 for other's experiences
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bogger61
Go with mini spool or welded and spend the money you have left on beer
Have another.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZONA
That's what I mean. Most of the time, you are aired down and tight turns are a part of every trail most of the time. I would love to save cash and get a spool, but not at the cost of compromise on the trail.
Since I added the Toy IFS power steering I cannot tell both ends are locked. It drives smooth and effortless.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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When Im in 4low and making a tight turn with torque applied my lockright won't ratchet anyways. It just stays locked and the tires scuff.

This is a lockright rear in stock axles, with 4.89:1 tcase gears.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Pffffffffft.

hydro ram assist on the front with an ARB hi-pinion toyota 3rd, toyota e-locker 3rd in the rear - If need, I can force the turn.

You forgot something else - when you have the wheel in an undercut, and you break the axle shaft - you probably will have just shattered, or weakened a part in your Detroit.

The ARB/Elockers/Spool just laugh and keep on going.

I can also totally, utterly unlock the front and rear, both in a manner of moments (usually 2 axle rotations on the E-locker, 1 on the ARB..)



I refuse your reality, and insert my own.
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Old 04-05-2006, 03:53 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkZuk
When Im in 4low and making a tight turn with torque applied my lockright won't ratchet anyways. It just stays locked and the tires scuff.

This is a lockright rear in stock axles, with 4.89:1 tcase gears.

Same here (they're not supposed to ratchet when under torque anyway, just neutral throttle or coasting)

I just replaced my driver's rear wheel bearing, and man I have some wicked spline twist going on...
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Old 04-05-2006, 04:10 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I went from detroits f/r in my stock axles to a welded rear and detroit front in Toy axles. No difference from where I'm sitting. As others have said, no ratchet action with torque applied, so no difference. If I had the want to spend more money, I'd do ARBs so I could turn tighter when I don't really NEED all of my tires churning.
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:16 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crashnzuk
I went from detroits f/r in my stock axles to a welded rear and detroit front in Toy axles. No difference from where I'm sitting. As others have said, no ratchet action with torque applied, so no difference. If I had the want to spend more money, I'd do ARBs so I could turn tighter when I don't really NEED all of my tires churning.
Travis..
You bring up a good point there. When the trail demands a front locker type of obstacle, you got it on deman. When the trail is less severe but you need to turn tighter, you got it.

Hmmm.........you guys are making me seriously think about running a spool in the rear then and an ARB up front. I could afford that.

OK, next question then. Why don't I just use some kind of E-locker instead of an ARB? I wouldn't have to have a compressor and no noise. The cost should be actually less considering no compressor but is the quality the same? I don't know how well built E-lockers are. Aren't they made by Detroit also?
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tdavis
Pffffffffft.

hydro ram assist on the front with an ARB hi-pinion toyota 3rd, toyota e-locker 3rd in the rear - If need, I can force the turn.

You forgot something else - when you have the wheel in an undercut, and you break the axle shaft - you probably will have just shattered, or weakened a part in your Detroit.

The ARB/Elockers/Spool just laugh and keep on going.

I can also totally, utterly unlock the front and rear, both in a manner of moments (usually 2 axle rotations on the E-locker, 1 on the ARB..)



I refuse your reality, and insert my own.

Why didn't you just put an ARB in the rear to match the front? Just curious as to why you chose the E-locker for the rear.
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've got the wimpiest of all lockers, the lunchbox, and my rear still pushes the front when I'm crawling. I'm definately going welded/spooled in both ends when the toys go under it. Ideally, I could go for and ARB/E-locker, cutting brakes and f/r driveline disco's.

But then again, I drive a sami and I'm all about KISS........
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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With the PS and assist I could have saved $750 and bought a spool for the front. I got the mini comp. for $125 for my ARB.
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Old 04-05-2006, 05:56 PM   #18 (permalink)
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so much to learn...................

I don't know why I didn't think of this but I just called Dave at Asian Auto Parts of AZ (he's doing my build) and he said a spool was a great choice for the rear and then I said cool, that means I can afford to put the ARB up front. He said, why do you want to do that, what a waste of money for what you are doing. I said huh? He said my Dana 44's had locking/unlocking hubs so I could just put an automatic locker in the front but just take it out of 4WD and unlock the hubs when on the pavement so it's not locked....essentially.

Another good point he brought up. Since I have Dana axles, which have offcentered diffs, an auto locker would pull me one side to the other, where as a toyota axle with centered diffs would not do that. Details. They're everything aren't they............sheesh.

DUH

Am I understanding that correctly or am I just having a bad brain moment?
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:09 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZONA
Why didn't you just put an ARB in the rear to match the front? Just curious as to why you chose the E-locker for the rear.
E-locker only needs power to switch states from locked to unlock and vice-versa; an ARB needs air to stay locked and will unlock when no air is applied.

If the e-locker motor dies, I can simply pull it and unlock/lock it by hand. If my air compressor dies, I loose the ARB 100%, which has happened.

The problem with the e-locker up front is space (the locker motor hits the spring), and speed of the lock/unlock. If it's bound, it will not unlock, and it does take axle rotation to lock it. The ARB does NOT have this problem.

I also like the diversity.
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:15 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You can substitute "selectable locker" for ARB in my previous post if you like, no difference to me. The reason I like the "idea" of a selectable is when you're on the trail you don't want to get out and unlock the hubs and put it in 2wd on the easy parts and then put it back when you get to something requireing all 4 tires. With selectables it will turn good even in 4wd when they are disengaged, and go back to turning like a battleship when you click them on. The reason I said ARB is that I already have air, so it would make no difference to me either way.
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Another thing to consider is if said vehicle will be operated on the roadway in bad weather (snow, ice)? If so and you have a "locker or posi" you will not be able to power through a turn. You will have to coast around them. If you try to make a turn under power the vehicle will track straight.
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Old 04-05-2006, 06:58 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Another thing to consider is if said vehicle wil be operated on the radway in bad weather (snow, ice)? If so and you have a "locker or posi" you will not be able to power through a turn. You will have to coast around them. If you try to make a turn under power the vehicle will track straight.
Thats the reason I'm getting a selectable setup for my front axle. I plan to use my Zuk in the winter as transportation, and I never used it this past winter for I feared a welded all the way around setup would not be a good idea. I tend to think the rear would be allright but the front could be catastrophic.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:27 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Since I have Dana axles, which have offcentered diffs, an auto locker would pull me one side to the other, where as a toyota axle with centered diffs would not do that.
Uhhh.......what? This makes no sense.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Uhhh.......what? This makes no sense.
Yes it does - think about it. It also mentions that in the article link at the top of this post. Another thing I noticed when I had mine was I felt that "backlash" when you took your foot off the gas. Not just from not giving it gas anymore, but a jerky feeling.


This differential's default state is to lock both left and right wheels together. When driving around corners, the outer wheel is allowed to ratchet and turn faster than the speed of the inner wheel. Hence, when going around corners on pavement, the inner wheel usually does the driving because the outer wheel is driven faster by the pavement. The automatic locker works beautifully on the trail but on pavement, the locking and unlocking action creates noticeable side-to-side jerking when applying or releasing the throttle while going around a corner.

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Old 04-06-2006, 12:05 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Detroits blow, in general. Never had one in my Zuk, but I've broken 3 of them in my Ford 9". twice when a shaft left town, once just under load. VERY expensive paper weights. Aslo a lot of driveline slop. spools are pretty damn reliable, not to mention absolutely predictable, but might be hard to light up for tight turns with a 'zuk motor . selectable or auto up front is my pic, or weld a trail truck, but for winter road duty I like the front open or preferably a trutrac. Always been sceptical of ARB's, but I finally bought 2 for the latest project, so we'll see how reliable they are. a small bicycle pump will easily give your tank enough for a few 'shifts' if you lose your compressor, but lines and seals are another story. We'll see. proper care, feeding, and setup SHOULD eliminate those issues. Just to reiterate, Detroits blow
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