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Old 03-28-2010, 11:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default front (miller) locker

Anyone running a front welded locker?
Am I correct in thinking I can unlock one hub and it would be fine to run on the street?
How long did it last before destroying things.
Why did you get rid of it?
(I tried to do check the archives/history but didn't find anything)
I've been thinking about going this direction. I'm also running a Trac-Lock limited slip in the rear (D44 from an old 3a(?)) and figure this is a good and cheap upgrade to work with it.
As an even odder question anyone running a front locker with a plow?

TIA
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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yep, if you're front hubs are Unlocked then the locked diff and axles wont be turning as long as you're not in 4wd. This way you can drive around on the street without having to worry about adverse reactions on pavement.

I plan on putting an auto locker up front in mine, just haven't gone around to it yet. I do know that steering with be more limited though so keep that in mind.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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sorry, I didn't give enough info.
I was talking about running in 4wd, but with one hub locked so I can make turns. (think in lightly covered snow roads, running down places that you don't want both wheels spinning so you don't slide down a hill sideways.)
The only time I will want both front wheels engaged is when I'm in trouble.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I would not recommend it - I can tell you what I would expect.

In 2WD the vehicle will probably pull to one side - the one with the hub locked, and in 4WD, it'll probably pull the other way - research torque steer.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When running in 2wd street/around town neither hub would be locked. Why would there be an affect with no hub locked? Even with one hub locked in 2wd, why would there be torque steer? And yea, I understand about torque steer. I've had many front wheel drive cars and for about 6 months I had to drive the sammy around with the rear shaft out with just front wheel drive. (didn't have $ for the rear shaft)
With no power going to the front axle/locked wheel there would be no torque steer... right?
Plus, I'm not overly worried about torque steer. It's not my main ride... would not locked the hub for highway use... etc.
But, thank you for the warning/heads up.
I was mainly talking about what would wear quickly, what would grind to a stop, what would break, etc. Also how long do welded gears last? Yea, I know when welded, the spider gears just move back and forth a little but I figure they bash against the side gears only so many times has to have a limited life span. Plus when no hub is locked they shouldn't bash anyway... or do I not understand?
Years ago I did weld a back set for a friend but after a few months he swapped rears so I'm not sure how long they would have lasted anyway.
Again, TIA.
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Old 03-28-2010, 06:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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in 2wd with one hub locked it would actually be drag steer wich is pretty similar. You have one wheel freewheeling while the other wheel is driving the axel, differential and driveshaft.

If you plan on welding it, why would you run with only one wheel engaged? seems pretty pointless. You weld them so that they are locked together and you have equal power distribution. You would do better to have a open diff than half of a locked axel. The axels on the samurai are really light weight and easy to snap even when you are sharing the load across both axel halves. Putting the whole load on one birf is asking for failure.
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Running a welded axle is the last resort for a low budget trail rig. But only do it to the rear if you are going to do it at all. You are better off going to a lockright up frontand here is why.

Unlless you are only going to run straight lines (mud racing, etc) welding the front diff will hurt your offroad capability. When the hubs are locked in, and then you try a tight turn, the vehicle will try to continue straight ahead no matter how hard you have the wheels turned. Both tires will try to pull forward at the same rate (speed). This is one of the reasons you 'hear' folks with air lockers actually turn them off when going into tight turns on the trail.
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Baratacus-
I guess I would weld them for when I needed a full locker. If I had a full welded locker I bet I would have more of a need for one.

Billjohn-
I thought guys who run air lockers turn them off in order to make turns, 'cause it's hard to turn the wheel otherwise. I guess I'm wrong? I'm not sure how I would still go straight if both front wheels are pointed to the left. But then if for that situation, I am only running one hub locked, why would it go straight?
In past winters I have locked the hubs at the first snow and unlocked them at the last snow fall. I just shifted in and out of 4wd as needed. I've done the same with a F250 I had... never noticed any difference other than getting about 1 or 2mpg less.
I may have a Lockrite for a Sam rear axle that maybe I can swap someone for a front one... Then again I was thinking about going from 33" rubbers to 35". Maybe this would be a good time to swap to another housing. Not sure how long the sammy front can handle 35" rubber.
w/o starting another thread, anyone know how a D44 compares to a Toy axle?
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Old 03-30-2010, 09:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I guess that was the part I didn't get... With only one wheel locked up front, you down to 3wd (assuming you put the lockrite in back). You can't always be assured that the locked side is always going to be lucky enough to always have the traction. (and 35's will snapit like a twig in anything but loose sand, snow or gravel)
Yes, we turn off the air locker to turn more easily.
The reason a welded (or activated air ocker) doesn't turn as easy is the number of rotations the tires make in a turn. The inside tire does not make as many revolutions as the outside tire. If they are locked together (same revolutions) then they will both go forward at the same rate of speed. Think of it like a tank. The inside track (or tire on the zook) has to almost stop while the other side continues around the circle.

{edit}
Forgot to add that while the front tires are pulling forward, the rear tires are pushing forward with equal pressure.
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Last edited by Billjohn; 03-30-2010 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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i guess what is gasjr4wd is trying to ask and what i am also looking for is:

if there was a front lock installed, while driving on-road with 2wd and with 1 front hub locked(to steer normally), will it damage anything?

and whenever we will go off-roading, we will engage 4wd and lock the 2 front hubs.(no problems here)

will this work safely?
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