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Old 10-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #1
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Calling all gear heads!! Lockers!!

Greetings All!

Well.. I am fishing for some real solid opinions here as some of our fine 4X4 retailers have me completely confused...

Here is what I do know:

I am going to upgrade my gearing from the 3:73 to 4:56 ratio. I wasn't going to do that until all three of these purveyors of fine overpriced 4X4 parts echoed the exact same thing.. Gosh, i didn't have any qualms with her power until they all exclaimed about the benefits of the 4:56 gear ratio.. Will it really be more road/trail friendly, have more power, and get more MPG with that ratio? I am not a mechanic (like I say in every post), but I do understand math quite well.. I always thought that the higher the ratio, the more low-end and less top-end..

So here is where I am confused:

I was pricing the ARB RD116 (w/4:56), RD100 (w/ 4:56), and a CKMA12 air compressor.. I also will upgrade the diff lines to kevlar.

The first company swore by the Auburn Ected Lockers.. They did say that the ARB Lockers are great, but overpriced and overrated. The other said that the Auburn Ecteds were the lousiest lockers on the market. He also added that every one he installed on a Jeep had to be removed because they would permanently lock up.. Now, he did say that he hasn't carried that brand in a couple of years, so Auburn could have made drastic changes, but he was still adamant about staying away from them and going with ARB.

Now, the Gentlemen who were providing me info on the Auburn Ected stated that those lockers have far less parts than ARB thus reducing the potential of trail break-down.. They also said that if an ARB locker breaks a line; i am stuck on the trail..

Would you guys please make some sense out of this?

I am always very appreciative of your advise all!! I really hate spending money twice.. We are talking of a price difference of like $400 between the two..

Timberman!

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Old 10-02-2008, 11:33 AM   #2
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I'll come back to this thread and post more later but don't upgrade the air lines to kevlar or any other heavier-duty version of ARB's air lines. Not even ARB recommends doing so and they say so in their FAQ section on their website. Install only the standard air lines.

That sounds odd I know but here's why... let's say that an air line was mis-routed during installation so it could get snagged offroad. If a kevlar air line was installed, it's strong enough to resist breaking but it's also strong enough to rip out or destroy a fitting instead if it got snagged. ARB's standard air line is plenty strong but it was designed to snap cleanly if it get snagged which can be easily repaired in about 10 seconds with ARB's quick splice air line repair kit. Repairing a fitting, however, on the trail would be very tough if you had used a break-resistant air line.

But... if the ARB Air Locker is properly installed and the air lines are properly routed so they are up and out of the way so they can't get snagged, all of this is a non-issue. Afterall, we don't snag our fuel lines, brake lines, or electrical wiring on the trail because they are all simply properly routed and placed so they are out of the way.

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Old 10-02-2008, 12:32 PM   #3
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Do you have an automatic or a 5-speed? That will make a huge difference on what ratio would work best with your 33" tires. Do you think you might ever go to 35" tires?

And to get the higher/lower ratio terms straight, a higher ratio is actually one that has a lower numerical value. So a 3.73 ratio is actually a higher ratio than 4.56 is. So if you refer to 4.56 as being a lower ratio than what you have now, there will be a lot less confusion. A lower ratio like 4.56 (when compared to say 3.73) can actually improve power at both the low end and high end. If you have too low of a ratio, like 3.07, with big tires, it can struggle both offroad and on the highway at 65-70 mph so regearing to a lower ratio will usually improve both.

And on ARB not recommending a heavier-duty air line than the standard air line already is, you can see it at at ARB FAQ's Click Here where it says:

"Q) Does ARB offer a stainless air line to go with the ARB Air Locking Differential?
ARB does offer a heavy duty Aeroquip reinforced rubber hose kit for the Air Locker, part number HDAL.

Note, this kit is available due to popular request, however ARB believes that a correctly installed Air Locker with the standard nylon tube correctly routed along the path of the brake lines of the vehicle is the best for most applications.

Why? Well a reinforced rubber or stainless line can still be snagged, but will do a lot more damage to related components and it is much harder to repair this damage in the field.

A nylon line repair kit is available part number ASK001 and it contains spare line a connector and spare hardware to make speedy and simple field repairs."
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:46 PM   #4
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Jerry,

I do have the 5 speed and no, i do not ever plan on going to 35" tires. 33 X 12.5 will be fine for what it do.. It would be one thing if I wheeled all the time, but she is just a pleasure vehicle that I want to be able to tackle rocks and hills... or Hills with Rocks.. Whatever!

I really do not notice a lack of power with her. I think the speedo is off quite a bit because when I travel down I-5 at what i think is 60mph, I am flying by people. If I can get more power and mileage out of the 4:56 it just seems logical that i do so. Doesn't it? I will have the gears apart with the ARB, so for an extra $300-$400, why not do it while we are down there. right?

Thanks sir!
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:03 PM   #5
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4.56 would indeed be the right all-around ratio for 33" tires and it'd make a huge improvement in both on and offroad driving... well worth the extra $$$ to regear. For 33" tires and 4.56 gears, a 39 tooth will give you a dead nuts-on speedometer. For 33" tires and your present 3.73 gearing, a 31 tooth speedo gear will do the trick.
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:19 PM   #6
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I'm surprised no one has asked if it is a D35 and told the regular horror stories of locking one.

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Old 10-02-2008, 06:39 PM   #7
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I'm surprised no one has asked if it is a D35 and told the regular horror stories of locking one.

You missed reading the OP's signature that clearly states he has a Dana 44.
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Old 10-02-2008, 06:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
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You missed reading the OP's signature that clearly states he has a Dana 44.
Yup, she certainly is a 44..

Thanks for the info Jerry.. I was also told that I could upgrade the axles in the Dana 44 and add a RD109 ARB (i think) which would make it not only basically "Bullet proof," but the equivalent to a Dana 60.. Any Truth to that?
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Old 10-02-2008, 07:26 PM   #9
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Well the 35 spline axleshafts certainly would be but not the R&P gears and axle housing itself. Still, that kind of an upgrade would make it a tough axle that would be hard to bust.
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
You missed reading the OP's signature that clearly states he has a Dana 44.
Yep, I'll be damned I sure did. .......Nevermind. lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timberman View Post
Yup, she certainly is a 44..

Thanks for the info Jerry.. I was also told that I could upgrade the axles in the Dana 44 and add a RD109 ARB (i think) which would make it not only basically "Bullet proof," but the equivalent to a Dana 60.. Any Truth to that?
Good deal.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timberman View Post
Yup, she certainly is a 44..

Thanks for the info Jerry.. I was also told that I could upgrade the axles in the Dana 44 and add a RD109 ARB (i think) which would make it not only basically "Bullet proof," but the equivalent to a Dana 60.. Any Truth to that?
D44 w/ ARB equiv to D60? Not really.

Bulletproof? No.

Most of all the depends on how you wheel it. I've seen guys w/ c-clip D35's run 35" tires all day long with zero problem. I've seen guys with D44's run 33's and snap 'em.

Dunno, I'm still not convinced that there is such a thing as a "bulletproof" axle, no matter what you stick under there. ('cept for maybe a 2.5 ton rockwell)

ARB vs. Ected? Only know one guy that runs an Ected...and his first offroad trip with it will, by chance, be this weekend. ARB? Know several that run 'em (myself included). All love 'em. Over the years, I've only had 2 problems ever with mine. One time the rear axle was jammed far enough up that it snapped the air line -- 20 mins later was running again. The other time I had the front not want to engage -- enabled and disabled a couple times and it was fine. Zero other problems.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:45 PM   #12
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Isn't the Ected friction clutch-based? If so, I wouldn't want my locker dependent on friction clutches. I got a PM from a a guy last year that told me his slipped when the going got real tough.
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Old 10-03-2008, 11:47 PM   #13
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The Ected sucks. It locks only 100% in the first few days. Then the clutches begin to wear out.


When you install lockers with new carriers itīs time to think about upgrading to 30 spline axle shafts in the front and/or 33 splines in the rear.
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Old 10-04-2008, 11:48 AM   #14
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Hm. I Like ARB's, ran front and rear, no issues, most important part is the install. As stated stay with standard air line. 4.56's would be fine with 33's. As for the dana 44 with bigger shafts vs a 60, even if shaft size is the same the 60 give's you bigger RP, tubes, housing etc. Its made to handle the shaft size and work as a unit.

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