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Why would anyone want to fit an ARB air locker?

Discussion in 'Differentials' started by mattyboii, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. robwade6900

    robwade6900 New Member

    I have to agree I had air lockers in my first patrol and when they got about 6 years old the seals did need doing , if your compresser has to keep coming on for no reason at all while the locker is on thats a seal . thanks rob
  2. bmurray2250

    bmurray2250 4x4 Earth Contributer

    I have ordered and have a date to have the rear open diff replaced with a ARB air locker. As the Challenger is not a common vehicle like the Patrol and Cruisers for lockers, I had to wait until it was made for me. So the end of this month I have to test the new locker out.

    At this point in time, I doubt I will get a front locker
  3. lockedup

    lockedup Member

    a friend of mine is having a chinese air locker installed atm. The compressor runs fulltime and there is bubbles around the seals. He is having a proper diff specialist install it so i can guess he is installing the o rings properly. any ideas?

    he also, got arb o rings just in case and they didnt fit. i heard there were two more o rings in another part of the locker? could one of them be damaged?

    a real puzzle...

    in other news - i had an arb rear locker installed the other day and im reasonably happy with the service. I dont particularly like how when i was deciding on suspension at the same time the best i could get from arb stockist and the arb endorsed mechanics was ome suspension is the best. i cant tell you why but is just the best. Being a mechanic and wanting to make the best decision with my suspension set up i want more detail. I nearly went ome because it is made by munroe but went dobinsons (suspension stuff flexy coils) and while extremely happy, OME would have been good (and cheaper) too. I just liked how suspension stuff took the time to really discuss my needs.

    i think you have to remember arb deal with alot of dreamers and tyre kickers and so every now and then someone who is genuinely ready to buy gets treated like a bit of a dope.

    I didnt tell them i was a mechanic and knew my stuff so i got the diff lock from them and spent another 5g at other places on suspension and tyres. there loss.

    Overall, they fit a million lockers, and arb sell a huge amount - so sometimes its better to go Australian made with plenty of options for warranty and sometimes its better to go chinese because theres a big mark up on australian gear and it the same stuff. with lockers ill stick with ARB. now with fridges thats my next decision... hmmm....
  4. frosty

    frosty Well-Known Member

    OME springs are manufactured by King Springs. As is Tough Dog and several others. Kings make 75% of Aussie coil springs apparantly.

    I now run Dobinson. 3 rd set. Still happy.

    And i still think the E locker is the way of the future.
  5. 460cixy

    460cixy Member

    I'm useing dobinsons and bilsteins and it a pretty good combo on the defender. As for the leaking locker there's Orings on the lollie pop part of the diff lock and it may also have Orings on the bulk head fitting going throu the diff housing when the hose fits depending what bulk head fitting came with the locker
  6. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    Yeah I'm starting to believe that too...
  7. Towie

    Towie Moderator

    E-Lockers R GOLD

  8. Pure Yobbo

    Pure Yobbo Moderator

    So are my ARB air lockers :)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. cptmud

    cptmud New Member

    i havnt read all the reply post properly, but 1 point i did pick up on is 100psi+, you dont put that much air into the locker, this may be why seals are being blown. I have had an air locker for around 5 years now and no problems, but if a seal goes, its just another maintenance job to do. deal with it and get on with life
  10. Towie

    Towie Moderator

    I agree i have had 2 sets of ARB Lockers & only problem was once the conduit wore through a hose (no big deal) easy fix.
    Another time the pressor shyte itself otherwise i love ARB Air Lockers too.

    To be honest they are all good if installed properly thats the big key to success IMO

    PS. listen to whatever Yobbo says cause he is famous now front cover Ledgend status..:D:D
  11. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    Went for a drive in my mates older hilux last week up little bunyip track (gee it gets trashed up there)..Anyway straddling the deep ruts the locker went well,decided to turn back about 200m from Anderson s as he had no winch and plenty of sticky clay mud to ruin the rest of the arvo if we preceded forward..

    He has had this in his vehicle for 10 years without one issue...Makes me wonder that ARB have great quality control of a product but it lacks the same quality when it trains people how to install them properly..
  12. Pure Yobbo

    Pure Yobbo Moderator

    I'll bite swaggie please explain what installation has to do with quality of the lockers? Keeping in mind we are discussing ARB here themselves not franchises


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Schweggy

    Schweggy New Member


    I agree with Matty... purely on an engineering level the air lockers are not the best. I haven't had any dealings with ARB personally and cannot comment about their service (which sounds atrocious, by the way). The torsens diffs are brilliant! They are used by Quaife ( UK racing), by Audi, Mazda... The list goes on! They have a brilliant principal, in which the two side shafts "wind up" on each other until the reach a full lock. So it basically slips for "x" degrees, gradually increasing torque to the slipping wheel until it reaches full lock up, at which point it has the same positive drive as a locker. There is also a lot to be said for electric lockers. All the big manufacturers fit them to 4WD's if lockers are factory standard. Mitsubishi, Toyota, Mercedes... Etc. there is obviously a reason these clever people, who design cars, use them over air lockers??
    My big question is where do I get anything other than an ARB locker for my Patrol? The ARB's are everywhere and for everything. My personal preference would be an Eaton electric locker. Whilst I like the torsens more, the electric locker gives me more control of when the locker is engaged or not.
    Nice post Matty. I'm sure it's food for thought for a lot of people.
  14. Schweggy

    Schweggy New Member

    Errr, Swaggie even? Sorry, don't know where I got Matty from? Lol
  15. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator


    The statement wasn't meant to provoke offence in anyway.I thought it was self explaning but here we go..Seems it has been mentioned through a lot of Forums including here that people feel its not the locker that let it down but the person that installed it incorrectly..A locker is worthless without being installed.

    Poor customer service was mentioned,so i believe if its poor at the counter generally the service in the mechanical side isn't much different..Ive had this personally.

    Whats the use of having a good product and the person that installs it gets it wrong..Like winches they can be installed feet up causing the water to stay in the units causing failure to the motor more so than feet down...

    Oh by the way this particular locker was fitted by a reputable independent 4wd operator.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  16. MrEX

    MrEX Member

    My mates have them and their Forbies seem to be holding up quite well.
    They've had them in a few years no probs. they can't fault them.

    I bought Eaton e-lockers from the USA. Personal preference as ive had detriot lockers in falcons which were great, and I hate dealing with a large 4wd store at Moorebank as they put my Explorer in the too hard basket for anything.
  17. noelh

    noelh Member

    In my enquirers I found that it was the same price to put a e-locker in as it was to put a ARB air locker and my preference would be to go with the E-Locker in the front and re-shim the LSD in the GQ Patrol
    Noel H.
  18. ruffgq

    ruffgq Member

    What exactly are all these mechanics doing wrong when they install airlockers? Not trying to be smart, but saying they were installed incorrectly seems like an excuse to me.
  19. Towie

    Towie Moderator

    Like anything there are a few mistakes they can make causingalot of heartache for the owner... Thats why you want someone with experience & a history of installing them.

    On one set i returned several days later with oil pooring out the front diff & i hadnt even engaged them at that stage. Someone stuffed uo the seal on the front diff.

    I believe the back lash is a critical part of instalation.
    Air lines are simple we can all do those ourselves.
    The wiring & plumbing is all straight forward so that leaves us with the dismantal & re-installation process where things can go wrong.
    For example the apprentice puts some of it back together unsupervissed :rolleyes: ok if he has done plenty of them of course.

    I made ARB Gaurantee the head mechanic was doing mine simply because its my $$$ so i want him doing it. Spke to him before & after the job & when it leaked & they fixed asap i was extremely happy with both sets of ARB's but switched to E-Locker anyway.
  20. Swaggie

    Swaggie Moderator

    Yeah mate a good question.

    Who says they are qualified mechanics ????,no-one i would guess would ask for there papers before installation on there vehicle...
    Even if they were lets say,who says there been trained to install them correctly or forgotten a step etc etc...

    As there are many issues,I wont have that issue to even worry if its a TattsLotto type scenario whether they've been installed correctly or not,or manufacturer issue,I wont be using air lockers now and in a way glad these type of threads have come up.Although i have an ARB under-bonnet type compressor and it was installed there,After it starting playing up and just turning itself on and off i traced it back to a badly installed power wire to the unit..

    So my advice to people dealing with this company and others dont take it for granted its been done correctly and pay at the counter and just drive off..Check everything over,not mechanical like me (although i am trying to learn everything about my vehicle) bring a mate that knows.. (that's just my view)

    From what i have read over the years: My first choice will be an E-Locker by Harrop
    Second Choice: TJM Locker
    3rd Choice: would be a ratchet lokka


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