Powertrax Lock-Right Locker

Install and Review

 

 

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Consumables Required:

  • Gear Oil
  • PermaTex Gasket Maker
  • Thread Lock

Tools Required:

  • Wrenches
  • Sockets
  • Lug Wrench
  • Jack
  • Jack Stands
  • Oil Drain Pan
  • 1/2" ratchet
  • Torque Wrench

Tools Recommended:

  • Impact Wrench with Metric Sockets
  • Pry Bars
  • Cotter Key Plyers
  • Putty knife/scraper
  • Center Punch
  • Hammer
  • Coffee Can
  • Vise Grips

Approximate Install Time:

  • 4-6 hours
  1. Jack up the rear of the truck and remove the tires.  Be sure and use the Jack stands to support the vehicle for safety.
  2. Drain the differential oil.
  3. While the differential oil is draining, begin loosening the 4 bolts holding the Driveshaft to the Rear Axle.  This may require using a breaker bar or impact wrench.

 

  1. Disconnect the Emergency Brake Cables from the brake drums.
  2. Place a set of vise grips on the Rubber Hose portion of the Brake Line, making sure that the Hose is crimped to stop fluid flow.
  3. Disconnect the Brake Lines from the Drums.
  4. Unbolt the axles from the Axle Tubes.  There are 4 nuts that must be removed that are located directly behind the Brake Backing Plate.
  5. Remove the Axle's from the housing by giving a quick tug on the Axle.  At this time, you can either fully remove the axles, or just pull them out about 6" as I did.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9.       Unbolt the Third Member and removed it from the housing.  Caution: The Third Member is heavy and it would be nice if you had a second person to help you remove and reinstall it.

  1. Place the Third Member either in a Vice or on a workbench using a Coffee Can to support it.

 

11.    Mark the Bearing Pre-Load Adjusters.  Do this very well, and make sure that you will be able to see your marks when you reinstall everything.  Also, mark the Bearing Caps in relation to which side they are - They must go back on the same side they came off.

12.    Now, grab the Ring Gear and move it back and forth to get an idea of the amount of backlash you currently have.  Make a mental note of how far the Ring Gear moves before it contacts the Pinion Gear.

13.    Unbolt the Bearing Caps and place them on the table.

14.    Lift the Carrier out of the Third Member and place it on the table.

15.    Remove the bolts holding the Carrier together.

16.    Remove the Spider Gears and replace them with the Lock-Right.

17.    Using liberal amounts of Lock Tight, bolt the Carrier back together.  Be sure to tighten the bolts to the correct Torque Settings.

18.    Put the Carrier back in the Third Member and install the Bearing Caps, making sure that each Bearing is on the correct side and that the Bearings are properly torqued.

19.    Now, tighten down the Bearing Adjusters to match with the marks you made in Step 11.

20.    Repeat Step 12.  The backlash should be the same as before.

21.    Reverse Steps 1-10 to reinstall the Third Member.

22.    Fill with differential oil and go through the tests that Lock-Right recommends in their install book.

Review

Street:

Overall, the Lock-Right takes a little time to get used to on the street.  Upon initial installation, I noticed it ratcheting and clicking quite often.  However, within a couple of days of driving, I had learned how to handle and drive with it installed.  Because the Lock-Right is an Automatic Locker, it will always be locked, but in certain situations, such as turning on dry pavement, it will unlock and allow the outside tire to turn at a different speed than the inside tire.

Wet traction:

Great, taking straight off from a stop light is much easier.

Dry Traction:

Great, just remember it is there when cornering.  After a few trips, you will be able to drive and not notice that it is installed until you get on the gas hard.

Snow/Ice Traction:

This is where it gets tricky.  It can be scary at times.  But again, once you get used to driving with the Lock-Right Locker, it is not a problem.  Nothing handles well in Icy situations, but an open diff is better.  The Lock-Right (as will any locker in similar conditions) will cause more fish-tailing and slipping in the rear of the vehicle, but if you lock in 4wd, you will be fine.  In situations where I would have been fine in 2wd, now I have to run 4wd to keep the truck going straight or to take off at a stop light.  But, then we should all drive slower and with more caution in the snow anyway.

Off-Road:

Dry Traction:

Man, I cannot say enough good things about the Lock-Right Locker.  It is great.  Lifting a tire is no longer a problem.  I can now crawl through ruts, up rocks, or nearly another situation where I would have had to use lots of throttle and literally bounce through.  This is possibly the best off-road mod that I have done - And for the cost, it is great.

Muddy/Snowy traction:

Again, this is great.  2wd will get me a lot farther now.  However, I must put in these words of caution.  Lockers in slick conditions are somewhat unpredictable.  When the back end loses traction it will fish tail or "crab walk" as it is called off-road.  This is particularly bad in an off-camber situation.  As long as you are prepared for this odd feeling, you should be fine.  Again, this just takes some time to get used to and learn how to drive again.

 

Overall:

Overall, I love the Lock-Right Locker.  To me, the benefits definitely outweigh the bad points.  If traction is what you want and you have 31 splined axles, the Lock-Right is a good way to gain the needed traction.

 

Questions:

Cliff Planck