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Cost, functionality, familiarity. Cheap to get an entire diff with e-locker/4.30 gears instead of getting one built with Eaton or ARB. Compared to an ARB, no need to run air hoses and compressor etc. Already run them in my FJZ80 so there's some economy in parts/skills. The 8" Toyota e-lockers fits a bunch of different axles - mini-truck to FJ80.
I understand the attraction of the elocker in a Toy axle.

My point was you mentioned the cost of an elocker when someone pointed you to the Dana 30 option as a downside. You don't have to run an electric locker just because they are a good option in a Toy axle.
 

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Have you thought about sticking with the D30 in the front and doing a toyota with E locker in the rear. Matching the axle gears is the only thing you would need to do and this combo could be pulled off pretty cheap and easy. Bolt pattern is an issue I guess but you could convert the d30 to 6 lug pretty easy I think?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I understand the attraction of the elocker in a Toy axle.

My point was you mentioned the cost of an elocker when someone pointed you to the Dana 30 option as a downside. You don't have to run an electric locker just because they are a good option in a Toy axle.
Have you thought about sticking with the D30 in the front and doing a toyota with E locker in the rear. Matching the axle gears is the only thing you would need to do and this combo could be pulled off pretty cheap and easy. Bolt pattern is an issue I guess but you could convert the d30 to 6 lug pretty easy I think?
Cost is only one part of the equation. Between me and my friend, who's actually going to do the wrenching - we have 5 Toy trucks of different generations/sizes and bunch of spares all over. I have a set of FJZ80 axles sitting in my yard - for some time I toyed with the idea of shortening the FJZ80 front axle housing since it takes the same inner shafts as the mini trucks and then I can could reuse everything else from the axle.

Between the two of us, we know a lot about Toy axles and almost nothing about Dana axles <-- this wasn't as apparent when I started researching options and started this thread. But over time, I have been pretty convinced that Toy axles are the right decision, for me.

In terms of effort, the current steering is R/P and spring hangers were already moved by the PO. To go back to recirc steering, the spring hangers/shackles might need moving anyways so in the end, in terms of effort, Dana vs Toy may actually end up being the same.

I already have a rear Toy axle that I have started taking apart and cleaning. A front Toy axle has been located and needs to be transported. An e-locker is somewhere in shipping.

I will start a separate thread but where I need more attention/research now is tranny/t-case. The current tranny is some sort of 4-speed toploader from a Mustang. I need to figure out the best way to maybe get a T18 in there and swap the current Dana18 with a Dana 20.
 

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Discussion Starter #27

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Discussion Starter #28
Not nearly as much as people think. I am specifically talking about an automatic FRONT locker and a selectable REAR locker. In my opinion, it is the best balance between all the pluses and minuses of all the various combos. To start with, most maneuverability issues come from having the rear end locked. The rear axle is always going to be pointing straight ahead. Adding a full time locker or spool makes it worse. The front tires are generally pointing in the direction you want to go all the time. Most steering issues come from the front locker. There is a big difference between the maneuverability of the chassis and the ability to steer the front axle. I am firmly in the front locker first camp to increase vehicle maneuverability in 3wd and prevent the vehicle from being pushed wide through turns or walking the rear end down any hill/slope you may be on.

An automatic front locker is actually very good at automatically locking and unlocking when it isn't being pushed by the rear axle trying too much. It is happy just doing its lock/unlock/lock thing when needed as the front wheels change directions. A selectable locker on the other hand is basically a spool when locked and will have a greatly increased steering force when locked vs the automatic locker. You can build around some of this issue with hydraulic assist or full hydro steering. The other downside to most every selectable locker on the market, especially when used in the front, is that they don't like to unlock when bound up. You are basically stuck with a spool in front till you can unbind the system. This can be a total headache especially if you are running out of steering force.

I own both these combos.

My flatty is set up auto front and selectable rear. My Toyota is setup much like you want with factory elockers in both ends. If the Toyota wasn't full time 4wd because of the transfer case, I would seriously consider changing out the front locker. It is a noticeable difference.

I can drive my flatty all day rarely having to touch the rear locker button using basically 3wd. I never feel any steering drag. It is very happy just doing its thing automatically. Maneuverability is great.

My toyota on the other hand involves constantly turning the lockers on/off/on/off even on medium trails even with hydro assist steering. It is annoying.

My future vehicles I build will be automatic front locker, selectable rear locker, a transfer case that can front dig, and rear left/right/both rear cutting brakes ( which will decrease rear locker use even more and increase maneuverability ). The only time I wouldn't use a front automatic locker is with full time 4wd.
I think I follow your logic (and probably a ton of experience) but what when you don't want the front to lock and want a tighter turning radius and when you aren't strapped for traction? Wouldn't that auto locking front get in the way?

Just go slow so the front doesn't ratchet and lock? Or, Maybe I am missing the nuances of locking between a Detroit style automatic and spool type (either selectable or mini/full spool)?
 

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I think I follow your logic (and probably a ton of experience) but what when you don't want the front to lock and want a tighter turning radius and when you aren't strapped for traction? Wouldn't that auto locking front get in the way?

Just go slow so the front doesn't ratchet and lock? Or, Maybe I am missing the nuances of locking between a Detroit style automatic and spool type (either selectable or mini/full spool)?
In my opinion, there is no loss in turning radius with the front automatic locker and rear open ( selectable ) compared to open/open. In a lot of situations, especially on medium hard trails where the open/open isn't enough traction, the automatic front locker actually helps pull the vehicle around the corner turning tighter than any other combination.

In 4wd with the front automatic locker and rear open, the only real downside is SLIGHTLY increased return to center on the steering wheel when under power coming out of larger sweeping higher speed corners. ( and most of the time you don't need 4wd for that anyways ).

There is a HUGE difference when comparing a front spool ( or selectable locked ) vs a front automatic locker. You end up with much more steering force required because of tire scrub. The front end 'feels' much more bound up for sure. I am always waiting for my front selectable locker to unlock in the toyota after using it and I have never once had to wait for my front automatic locker to 'unlock' in the flatty ( with the rear diff open in both cases ).

I also notice that the rear diff is MUCH happier to unlock on the flatty vs the toyota. ( elocker in the toyota vs ox locker in the flatty ). I think this is because the automatic front locker in the flatty helps release some tension in the entire drivetrain once it ratchets....not just on the front axle. The rear axle is also going to be seeing more left/right speed differential than the front axle and that might help make the rear unlock faster.

If all we wanted to do was drive in a straight line spool/spool would be fine, but it is when you have to maneuver the vehicle that you start to pick up on little different quirks that make things better or worse. I call it the '3wd problem'
 

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If I had a set of FJ80 axles that were locked I would just do that. Have you thought about grafting the FJ80 suspension. It would be pretty sick to float a flat fender on FJ80 suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
If I had a set of FJ80 axles that were locked I would just do that. Have you thought about grafting the FJ80 suspension. It would be pretty sick to float a flat fender on FJ80 suspension.
Unfortunately, the pair of FJZ80 axles I have are not locked and that is why they are sitting in my yard. I swapped them out for a pair for factory locked ones on my '97 LX450. I looked into shortening the housings to make them mini truck width but not many shops around here that do shortening. One shop I called is backlogged with orders for ONE year!! Lady on the phone said she's looking to hire welders and machinists :D

Sorry, re-reading your post - actually, not with the FJ80 axles but I did think of floating the flattie on coil suspension :D But it's a ton of custom work - shorten the axle housings, find/fab control arms. But yea, that'd be sick. Going from Toyota mini truck and a Sammy - both with leaf - to my current 80-series Land Cruiser, I was blown by how well the coil suspension handles on and off road and my kidneys don't hurt after a trip :p
 

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I will probably be unwelcome for this, but I have been building Toyota 79-85 axle equipped rigs for a long time, long. It is not a huge deal. I have ran a Saginaw box on the first Jeep, an FJ60 box on one and then an IFS box. When we were young and poor, before the internet we would just run rear hangers and shackles on the front of the Jeep. Worked fine. I drove mine for years with that set up.

Of course my screen name lends to my bias. And yes, you will need to do a mild outboard on the hangers and shackles. I did it in college with a 110 Welder. Easy...

I say go for it and find that Elocker while you are at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
I will probably be unwelcome for this, but I have been building Toyota 79-85 axle equipped rigs for a long time, long. It is not a huge deal. I have ran a Saginaw box on the first Jeep, an FJ60 box on one and then an IFS box. When we were young and poor, before the internet we would just run rear hangers and shackles on the front of the Jeep. Worked fine. I drove mine for years with that set up.

Of course my screen name lends to my bias. And yes, you will need to do a mild outboard on the hangers and shackles. I did it in college with a 110 Welder. Easy...

I say go for it and find that Elocker while you are at it.
lol, things are already in motion, my friend - we are about to be a club of two :D Got a 79-85 rear axle and a built front axle with locker and gears (just need to swap out the IFS bearing hub with a pre-IFS bearing hub). An e-locker was delivered last week, for the rear axle.

Still noodling over tranny and t-case choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I would be curious to see some pictures of how they setup the rack and peanut steering before you rip it out








Last couple of pics, the shaft is kind of hard to see, hidden under the oil filter. Looking to move the oil filter and make it remote, and clear the way for the shaft to run straight to a front/corner mounted gearbox.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
I will probably be unwelcome for this, but I have been building Toyota 79-85 axle equipped rigs for a long time, long. It is not a huge deal. I have ran a Saginaw box on the first Jeep, an FJ60 box on one and then an IFS box.
I am looking at running a Toyota box (FJ60 or IFS). Can you please share some more details - steering shaft and gearbox placement and pitman? I picked up a mini truck front axle with high steer.
 

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Unless you are doing a ton of lift, Hi-steer is going to be a tough fit.

The FJ60 box is going to package way better on a jeep.
 

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Discussion Starter #38 (Edited)
Unless you are doing a ton of lift, Hi-steer is going to be a tough fit.
Well, I bought the axle for it’s locked 3rd and because seems to be freshly rebuilt/armored. The high steer came with it. But yes, I fully expect to have to go back to stock arms. Planning to keep SUA with 2.5” YJ springs.

The FJ60 box is going to package way better on a jeep.
Thanks, let me look into it. Do you know how the FJ60 box aligns with the mount that most places sell like Herm or AA?

Edit: Holy crap, those reman FJ60 gearboxes are a lot more $$ than the Ford ones that Herm recommends with this kit.
 

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Well, I bought the axle for it’s locked 3rd and because seems to be freshly rebuilt/armored. The high steer came with it. But yes, I fully expect to have to go back to stock arms. Planning to keep SUA with 2.5” YJ springs.


Thanks, let me look into it. Do you know how the FJ60 box aligns with the mount that most places sell like Herm or AA?

Edit: Holy crap, those reman FJ60 gearboxes are a lot more $$ than the Ford ones that Herm recommends with this kit.
The FJ60 box is an outside the frame forward swing box like a Scout II
 

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Discussion Starter #40
In my opinion, there is no loss in turning radius with the front automatic locker and rear open ( selectable ) compared to open/open. In a lot of situations, especially on medium hard trails where the open/open isn't enough traction, the automatic front locker actually helps pull the vehicle around the corner turning tighter than any other combination.

In 4wd with the front automatic locker and rear open, the only real downside is SLIGHTLY increased return to center on the steering wheel when under power coming out of larger sweeping higher speed corners. ( and most of the time you don't need 4wd for that anyways ).

There is a HUGE difference when comparing a front spool ( or selectable locked ) vs a front automatic locker. You end up with much more steering force required because of tire scrub. The front end 'feels' much more bound up for sure. I am always waiting for my front selectable locker to unlock in the toyota after using it and I have never once had to wait for my front automatic locker to 'unlock' in the flatty ( with the rear diff open in both cases ).

I also notice that the rear diff is MUCH happier to unlock on the flatty vs the toyota. ( elocker in the toyota vs ox locker in the flatty ). I think this is because the automatic front locker in the flatty helps release some tension in the entire drivetrain once it ratchets....not just on the front axle. The rear axle is also going to be seeing more left/right speed differential than the front axle and that might help make the rear unlock faster.

If all we wanted to do was drive in a straight line spool/spool would be fine, but it is when you have to maneuver the vehicle that you start to pick up on little different quirks that make things better or worse. I call it the '3wd problem'
Looks like I am going to end up with an automatic front Detroit locker. With the oil sump pan and general lack of clearance in the little Jeep, the Toyota e-locker pumpkin might be too big for the front axle. So I am going with the Detroit locker that came with the front axle I bought :D
 
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