Axle guts are not pretty. Spending the time and money to pull out your open differentials and add lower gears, stronger axleshafts, and locking diffs will never win you a trophy at the show ’n’ shine. It won’t impress the layman like shiny wheels and big tires. However, when the going gets tough, the rocks big, the mud deep, and the trail steep, you’ll be glad you invested in your axles and not your glossy paint and loud radio.
Getting power to traction is the name of the game, and lockers do just that by sending torque to every wheel. However, there are times when selectively turning off that torque is an asset, such as side hilling, in the snow, or loose gravel or sand. In these cases turning the traction down from 4 to 2 can actually help you move forward.
We recently returned from a long trip in our old 4x4 and decided on performance upgrades for the Dana 30 front with lower gears, Eaton’s Selectable ELockers, and stronger Superior Axle 30-spline axleshafts to up the ante in the dirt. In a single day we added strength, torque, and traction to a rig that was relying before on tow points and winch cable when the going got tough.