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 > ARB Lockers

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Sponsored By:
egarant

Mission Viejo CA

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Posted: 03/12/18 05:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi All,

I am exploring the possibility of installing an ARB lockers on either the front/rear or both axles.

I currently have a limited slip in the rear axle.

My ONLY reason to install an ARB is the ability to get through sandy areas. I am not a rock crawler, just want to cruise down a sandy wash in the desert without too much trouble. I want to try and not have to air down then back up to get through the occasional sandy areas.

I am not interested in any other brand of locker as I want the instant ON/OFF capabilities.

My truck is the 3500 RAM diesel with an TC on it fully loaded at 14K.

Questions:

Would an ARB on the front or back put undo stress on the other OEM components in my described application?

If not, would the front be better than the rear or visa versa? Would both be needed?

I don't have room for a winch as my front receiver already carries my Honda generator.

What do my locker experts think?


2013 RAM 3500 Laramie Crew Cab 4x4 DRW HO Cummins/Asin Trans, 4.10's
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KD4UPL

Swoope, VA

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Posted: 03/12/18 05:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not a locker expert but I will just point out there are other brands that allow for an on/off operation. I don't know if they fit your exact truck's axles or not. Eaton makes and E-locker, for instance, that is electrically controlled so no need for an air compressor.

SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 03/12/18 05:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have has an ARB in the front diff on my 1997 F350 Ford for about 12 years now. My front pig is a Dana 60 full float. I've has absolutely no issue with it. I had a factory limited slip in the rear and replaced that with a Detroit Tru-Trak. The Tru-Trak is noisy when it locks and unlocks but locked, it's like s straight axle.

I think leaving your factory clutch pack limited slip in the back and the ARB in the front, you'll be quite happy. I do off road camping with mine (here in Michigan) so no sand but plenty of rocks, streams and mud.

I like the ARB because unlocked, it a full open differential so no parasitic drag, it's quiet and reliable especially with my manual hubs.

ARB cut it's teeth in extreme off roading, it's bullet proof.

Whatever you do, choose an experienced shop for the install. The pinion must be reset and clearance to the ring gear and it takes an experienced technician to so that.

I better add that the onboard compressor for my air bags also provides the actuation air for the ARB.

My 2 dents.


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msiminoff

Silicon Valley, CA

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Posted: 03/12/18 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi egarant,

I discovered the hard way just how easy it is to get cross-axle'd in a full size 4X4 truck with super-stiff suspension & big sway-bars... and once that happens, 4WD instantly becomes Zero-WD. Getting un-stuck was not a fun experience, so I now have front and rear ARB lockers in my '05 Ram. Not sure that makes me an expert though [emoticon]

ARB is the only brand I considered my truck. They offer the very best of all worlds; An open diff when you want it (99.99% of the time), and a spool when you actually need it. In addition, they're super-strong, reliable, and engage instantly at any speed (just be sure you're on soft terrain when you hit the switch). But unlike you, I had open diff's in both axles, and 3.73 gears... and knew that I wanted to re-gear.

Since you already have 4.10's and a limited slip rear, I'll agree with KD4UPL and suggest that you consider installing an Eaton E-Locker in the front and call it good.

The traction with all 4 wheels being powered is stunning, but driving in sand with a heavy truck camper can be a challenge and there are no guarantees that lockers are going to get you through, so airing down to increase the size of the tires' contact patch should still be part of your desert driving ritual.

As long as you do not engage the lockers on dry pavement and drive with a light right foot, I don't think you'll stress any of the OEM suspension/driveline components.

Cheers,
-Mark


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BradW

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Posted: 03/12/18 07:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with what SidecarFlip and Mark posted. I have ARBs on the front and rear of our 1998 Jeep. I’ve never had a problem with either end. ARBs are a very well engineered product.

One thing I will add. If you have never driven a vehicle with an ARB in the front axle, you will definitely know its there when it is engaged. Your rig will want to go in a straight line, so turning requires more steering wheel input and still your rig will only turn about ½ as sharply with the front locker engaged. It will also put more stress on your steering components when you are turning sharply with some traction. If you are on something slick like wet muddy limestone, the steering doesn't bind up.

I don’t engage either ARB unless I need to get over something. If I can’t get over it open, I will usually try it with just the rear locked. With both locked, steering is an issue. You kind of need to be pointed in the direction you want to go.

We also have the factor e-lockers on our 2015 Jeep Rubicon. It drives similarly to the 98 with ARBs. The main difference is I don’t have to wait on the ARB compressor to pump up and I don’t have to worry about blue hose issues.


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Boatycall

Tacoma, WA

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Posted: 03/12/18 07:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BradW wrote:

I agree with what SidecarFlip and Mark posted. I have ARBs on the front and rear of our 1998 Jeep. I’ve never had a problem with either end. ARBs are a very well engineered product.

One thing I will add. If you have never driven a vehicle with an ARB in the front axle, you will definitely know its there when it is engaged. Your rig will want to go in a straight line, so turning requires more steering wheel input and still your rig will only turn about ½ as sharply with the front locker engaged. It will also put more stress on your steering components when you are turning sharply with some traction. If you are on something slick like wet muddy limestone, the steering doesn't bind up.

I don’t engage either ARB unless I need to get over something. If I can’t get over it open, I will usually try it with just the rear locked. With both locked, steering is an issue. You kind of need to be pointed in the direction you want to go.

We also have the factor e-lockers on our 2015 Jeep Rubicon. It drives similarly to the 98 with ARBs. The main difference is I don’t have to wait on the ARB compressor to pump up and I don’t have to worry about blue hose issues.

Everything Brad says is spot on. Having been an avid Jeep'r for years, all but one of my rigs have had ARBs. None have ever failed. I've used Viair compressors, specifically the 400c's because volume and pressure are much better than the ARB compressors.

One thing worth mentioning - If you're in a spot you need both lockers locked, you're likely in a world of hurt.... You need to be very mindful that you don't try to right-foot your way out with all 4 locked - you run a very high risk of blowing a UJoint, axle or TCase.

Ask me how I know....





time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 03/12/18 08:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have Eaton Trutrac front and rear. Goes through the sand (empty) fine at full tire pressure. Yes all 4 wheels spin. No steering issues, no binding issues. Always engaged. Works same today as 12 years ago when installed during a gear change.

I am sure ARB is fine too.


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SidecarFlip

SE Michigan

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Posted: 03/12/18 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Boatycall said it all... If you get in any situation where you need locked axles, don't try to power your way out, Use finesse always. Those rabid off roaders that are powering their way up over and out of stuff, those rigs are built and still break stuff.

What I do is, I only use the ARB when I feel it's needed, that is the Detroit out back isn't giving me enough traction and with the camper in the bed, traction isn't usually an issue. With the camper in the bed and the ARB locked in, steering in other than a basically straight line is very tough. Tough on me and tough on the driveline and steering components.

I've never broke anything but I've never pushed the truck that hard. I have a winch as well and I'd rather use the winch if I can. For me, it's camping off road, not an off road competition. Having lockers (for me) is a just in case scenario.

My air bag compressor delivers plenty enough air for the bags and the ARB.

deltabravo

Spokane, WA

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Posted: 03/12/18 09:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd do only the rear.

Call Northridge 4x4, they can hook you up: www.northridge4x4.com


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Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 03/12/18 09:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My vote is locker up front. Factory LS in back already works pretty good.


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