By: George “Kickstand” Pandoff
Anyone that has really wheeled their vehicle quickly learned about open differentials. For those that don't know, if you
have one tire on pavement and the other on ice, the tire on ice will get all the power and spin like mad. Your thinking if
that tire on pavement would only turn you would be moving right along. This is where a locker comes in. The locker "locks"
the two axles allowing each tire to turn independant of the other tires situation such as the ice scenario.
Installing the Powertrax
Most important! Invite your buddy over. This is a two person job.
This modification is
for the mechanically inclined. You need not be a master mechanic but comfortable with understanding mechanical things.
Powertrax Lock-Right comes with an excellent install manual that covers a few different applications. Because it covers a
few applications, take your time, read the book through once, and then read it as you do the install.
At times the install
will be frustrating. You will look at the instructions cursing there is no way that goes in there. The fit and finish of the
Powertrax Lock-Right is very tight. Because of this, there will be times when things just don't want to go together. Keep
working at it, when it is lined up just right parts will go together.
The Powertrax Lock-Right has been in "T"ank "J"ammer for nine months. Daily driving is accompanied by the ratcheting sound
of the locker around corners and occasional tire chirp. Additionally, the Powertrax Lock-Right has been thoroughly tested
through Moab Easter Jeep Safari 2002 and one broken axle at Little Moab, Utah.
The increased traction and climbing ability of the locker is immediately noticeable. Climbing steps, rocks, and steep angles
that once challenged are now simple now. Down side to this, you start looking for harder things to do. This leads me to the
point of breaking axles. The open differential acts as a pressure relief valve when the torque of one axle becomes too much.
With a locker, that pressure relief is gone.
Putting all these things together, this is how I broke my axle.
the increased now locked capability I was climbing a two foot step onto a very steep angle. Long story short, "T"ank
"J"ammer slid back and fell off the angle/step. On the forth attempt/repeat of falling off, and no open differential to act
as a pressure relief, I snapped my axle.
snapping the axle showed the quality material the Powertrax Lock-Right is made
from. NO damage to the locker minus cosmetics.
I give this modification 4 out of 4 tires.
$240 from a vendor during Easter Jeeps Safari 2002
Keep in mind many vendor/stores will price match or get really close
to the prices found online/from competitor.