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Traction aids: Spool, or Auto-locker

Auto locker or spool  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer the idea of an auto locker in your diff, or would you prefer a minispool?

    • Spool
      0
    • Auto locker


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Well, we'd all rather have an air locker or e-locker in our diffs, but not everyone can have one financially.

 

Would you rather have a full spool / mini-spool in your diff, or an auto locker such as a detroit or a lunchbox locker?

 

For me a spool just seems rough for a car used on road, they put differentials in them for a reason. So a auto locker allows limited differential effect whilst locking up when you need it to.

 

On the other hand, they can be atrocious/unpredictable to drive and "pop" from time to time. So some people prefer a spool because its predictable, but these chew out tires and are illegal.

 

Personally, I chose the auto locker. How about you? and why?

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if it was my truck that i use as a daily driver I would run open diff until I can find the 300 extra bucks to go from detroit locker price to electric locker. I like the air locker but they are 900 bucks plus 300 for a compressor. The electric costs about the same as the air locker but you don't have to buy a compressor so you save a few bucks. 

 

is this a daily driver? if you can't wait then get a detroit style locker, they make a soft locker which is less notchy. If it's a trailer toy then just spool it and save a few dollars. 

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In a daily driver , auto locker definitely . But having had a vehicle with one they do have there drawbacks. Auto lockers will lock and unlock , pop , bang , ratchet and change from oversteer to understeer and all of this is even worse with a manual transmission. And they are scary on ice . In the same vehicle I had a lincon locker (welded diff) up front and that made for hard steering but lockers will get you farther offroad than any other mod you can do

Edited by mec500
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Selectable locker that goes from a limited slip unit when not engaged to a full locker when it is engaged. Only compromise is the price.

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Nah I'm only asking for opinions. The auto locker has been in for a while now. On road its getting better and better, off road its untouchable.

 

Just had people express the opinion that they'd rather drive a spool, even daily driving. No way IMO.

 

So wanted to hear more opinions, I will be going air locker when the budget affords it.

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When I was young(er) and dumb(er) I had a spool in the back of my K5. All my desert racing buddies ran spools and I had been running a Detroit in my previous axle. I took it out after less than 1000 miles. While having to light up the tires EVERY time I made a turn in town was "cool" it got a little too much negative attention and in that short period of time I lost a considerable amount of tread off of the rear tires. I went back to a Detroit and couldn't be happier. I have an ARB in the front end and rarely feel the need to engage it as it tends to "push" when engaged (any locker/ spool will do that)... I found myself having to shift back to 2wd to make turns on rock, a selectable locker in the rear would help there but as you mentioned, it's an added expense and it can only be fully open or fully locked so you can't coast through a turn with it engaged like you could with an auto locker.

 

I like the idea of an electric selectable locker as there are fewer parts and less chance of failures compared to the air locker, though admittedly the only air locker issue I've ever had was a pinched airline. I'm currently weighing my options between a 32 spline (stock for my van) ARB ( ~$1100 + compressor) vs 35 spline Detroit (~$700 + $350 for axleshafts) or 35 spline electric locker (~$1100 + $350 for axleshafts) as those 2 aren't available for my 32 spline Dana 60. Clearly the Detroit setup is cheapest AND strongest, but this is for a 15 passenger van that is mostly driven onroad so a few hundred more might be worth it for the selectable. By the time I factor in an air setup, the ARB and E-locker are nearly identical in price but only because I have to buy new shafts for my particular application. If it was a more standard application I would choose the e-locker.

 

I wouldn't consider a spool for anything other than a race car/ truck that rides on a trailer down the highway.

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