Diff Locks

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Aviator
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Hello fellow offroaders,

Does anyone not use the diff locks when driving on sand and why in that case? I've read on other forums that people avoid it unless they have to to avoid getting "winding" issues with the gear box. But how likely is that to happen on sand?

Also does anyone know where to get an after market diff lock installed in Dubai. I know ARB will do it but I'd prefer an electronic rather than a pressurised air locker.

Cheers and Ramadan Kareem
cyanide
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Hi,

To my knowledge Diff lock is not much of use in Soft sand that we drive on, its better applicable on rocky, mountain, muddy terrain where there is much slower speed to get more traction.

Diff lock on sand can only save you when you get stuck, but that also has a limit as to in how much depth you are stuck.

The winding issues that you have mentioned I also read it some where, it has to do with the differential or some thing with the 4wd gear but that's not much of a concern, proper usage will not give any winding issues it's only when applied in wrong situation you get the noise.

If you want to go with Diff lock go with the pressurized air one because that is more practical, the electronic ones are standard on most car and are of limited help.
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matts
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Hi @Aviator

The winding up of the transfer case you mention refers to, cars like wranglers that have part time 4wd and only happens on hard surfaces like tarmac because the individual wheels cannot slip and release the tension. What this means is that for those cars when you put the lever into 4H there is no centre diff, so the front and rear axles spin at the same speed no matter what. For other cars this would be the same as driving in 4H with the centre diff lock turned on.

This is bad because, in reality, there are always differences in speed between the axles (different tyre wear etc) which builds tension between the front and rear axles and stresses all the drive train components. I accidentally did this and had to replace 2 U joints on my drive shaft (I was lucky, this was a cheap fix). (20mins in a straight line on the highway). If you try to make a sharp turn on a hard surface you will know immediately if you are in this case because the car 'bucks' or jumps. In wranglers you will probably feel this even on the sand if you make full lock turns.

There are normally 3 diff's in 4wd vehicles, front, centre and rear. Many cars come with centre, some with centre and rear, very few with front. I would say that the better driver you become, the less they will be needed in the sand. That said, ive got a wrangler so my centre is always locked in the sand and i've never been in a situation where I thought an additional diff would help me much. + when they're engaged you're only supposed to drive in a straight line as turning stresses the axles drive components.

Forgive me if i'm telling you things you already know, I dont know how much experience you have. My advice would always be drive your vehicle as much as you can as it is before you decide what is necessary for you.

Cheers,

Matt
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They are very usefully when you get stuck on sand.

I see a guy got stuck while climbing and recover the car going "upwards" from the sand very slowly by using his front and rear differential locks.

That was great!
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Zorro
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Hi Aviator,

i'm not an expert in the topic, but rather than looking at a diff lock for desert driving, I'd look more on a LSD (limited slip diff).

Wihle a diff lock may help you get unstuck, a good LSD will help you to avoid that situation in the first place. I have an Eaton Truetrac LSD in the front axle in my JK and it's great!

I heard Eaton also makes an electronically lockable LSD, that would be my choice if I was looking for one. Mebar may have them.

cheers
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matts
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Hi [MENTION=1803]Zorro[/MENTION] do you have an Lsd in the back too? Mine has one in the back but not sure what condition it's in, I'm under the impression they gradually where out and give up at about 100km which I'm rapidly approaching
Zorro
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matts;43050 wrote:Hi @Zorro do you have an Lsd in the back too? Mine has one in the back but not sure what condition it's in, I'm under the impression they gradually where out and give up at about 100km which I'm rapidly approaching
Hi Matts, in the rear I have the stock. The Truetrack doesn't use friction plates, so should reduce the wearinig-out issues. The best would be to have the Truetrack both front and back
Aviator
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Thx for the replies, my understanding of diff locks is kind of basic but I do understand the principal of locking them to get 2 or more wheels turning at the same speed regRdless of traction. So I would assume when driving on the sand on loose surface it wouldn't stress the gear box engaging the diff even during a turn. But when on a paved or hard surface in a turn you would notice the car reluctant to turn due to the inner wheels turning at the same rate as the outer ones. But with the low friction on sand that would not be much of an issue?

Ive only been on a few trips with friends and the learning curve is steep and due to working shifts with work I've been unable to come on the newbie days to get more advanced tuition from guys in the group. But looking forward to joining on the first opportunity.

anyway stay safe on the roads during the last week of Ramadan.

Cheers and Ramadan Kareem
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