EZ Axle Upgrades - Locking DifferentialPosted in How To: Transmission Drivetrain on January 1, 2006
Next to a flexible suspension, positive traction is one of the most important off-road extras you need. Locking differentials add that extra advantage when wheeling by positively powering both tires on an axle, rather than having one slip and the other stand still. For our EZ upgrade section we found that the Lock-Right locker from Richmond Gear was the simplest to install, and applications are available for almost any axle. For the most part this unit can be installed at home with a minimum amount of tools, while the mess of gear oil is the biggest problem to worry about.
It helps to have a copy of the factory service manual for your particular axle, as each model may have some differences from what we show here. The concept of the Lock-Right is to replace the standard spider gears in an open differential with drivers and couplers. These units positively lock a differential when under power, yet allow the gears to ratchet when needed for cornering. The strength of the system is limited to the stock carrier, but for many applications this unit is just the ticket. Many models can be done without removing the carrier from the housing, but of course we chose one that took the extra work-a Dana 41 semifloating axle with 5.38 gears.