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Detroit electracs


 
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Candi
Sick Puppy
Sick Puppy


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: This side of sanity

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:20 am    Post subject: Detroit electracs Reply with quote

Lo, these many months ago, I decided to trash my jeep. :Smile Actually, I really had decided to spring over, regear, bigger tires, d44's, etc. The works. I switched my yj to d44's front and rear. I put in bigger tires. I also decided that I was going to lock front and rear. My brother and I had read some preliminary reviews of the detroit electrac locker. We found a great deal on them, and I wound up with front and rear gears, lockers, and install kit shipped for about $1500.

The install of the detroit electrac wasn't very hard. There are many great places to put the switches inside. Easy to do in a YJ. The main install issue is no room behind the carrier to grab, making a test fitting difficult to remove (I don't have the tools, do gears the hard way). It is limited slip when not engaged. When set up properly, it locks when turning on the power.

In terms of performance when all is well, I'm mostly happy with it. The locker, which is supposed to be locked the whole time it is switched on, mostly stayed locked. Every now and then, however, when first encountering a NEED for the locker, it lets go. You have to back up an inch or two, and then the locker re-engages. Very odd. It is an infrequent problem, but the locker is supposed to stay locked. The real issue here would be if you were competing. Reverse=points, which is bad.

In terms of durability, this is a real problem. Part of this is design related. The actuators for the lockers are EXTERNAL to the diff. Yes, external. As in a large 2"X3"X1" piece of plastic, sticking out the side of your pumpkin. And yes, I said plastic. Not thick plastic, either. They do give skid plates to cover these actuators. They also do caution in the installation papers that the skid plate is not meant for heavy-duty rock crawling (or as they referred to it "severe duty off road use"). The skid plate covered 3 of the 6 sides of the actuator. It adds inch downward from your pumpkin. It is held on by 2 flimsy bolts.

On the front, the actuator faces down due to room between the actuator and the springs, which are now over the axel.


The shiny metal square to the right of the diff (diff has ugly lightning bolt sticker on it) is the actuator covered by the skid plate. We knew that would be an issue, but didn't know how bad it would be.
I have shattered 2 of these in two trips offroad.

The rear actuator faces up. This, due to space issues under my jeep, hits the gas tank skid when going over a "big drop" Wink.


Snapped one of those, as well.

The actuators broke very easily. I didn't break them on the hard stuff. I did the hard stuff after they broke, because what more damage could I do? The really bad part? The actuator turns out to be a GM part. It wound up costing my $70 to replace each one. That is the wholesale price, because a friend got it for me. GM dealers sell the part for $92.00. Detroit doesn't sell it. Neither do their resellers. Neither do the discount gm parts sites I tried.

Also should be stated that the actuator, when broken, automatically engages the locker. That means that until you either a:install the bypass patch and spring or b: install a new actuator , you are locked. That means a spooled rear. Or a locked front (unless you have hubs, like me). I have given up on replacing the front locker actuator at this point. My hubs allow me to unlock it. My turning radius off road just stinks, is all.

Oh, and about those springs and patches: don't lose them. The loss of the actuator results in a hole in your diff. If you lose the spring, you cannot unlock the locker. If you lose the patch (metal to bolt over the actuator hole), 4 layers of ziploc baggie tightly bolted down will get you home.

But you don't want to run that way for long. I haven't been able to locate replacement patches and springs, either.

The other problem? The c-shaped clip (real term escapes me ???) that holds the locker engaged is very weak as well. EDIT- This is the shift fork, and it keeps the locker DISENGAGED (- sorry about that). When my front actuator wires got damaged, the actuator kept trying to engage and disengage. It snapped that fork. The tips on both sides are gone. Drained into the oil pan. So now my front locker is completely damaged. It must remained locked.

So what now? Hope they hold up while I save for air lockers.
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LAWrangX
Member


Joined: 06 Jan 2004
Location: Monroe, LA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to hear that you are having so much trouble with something that costs as much as they do. Seems that alot of the new lockers that have come out with in the past couple of years have had issues to work out.

Here is a pic of a buddie's that was put in a full size Bronco, back in early Dec. He hasn't had it quite long enough to any problems yet.

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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
Cherokee Muderator


Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going ARB.. Is that what you are changing to Candi??


I already have OBA so its going to be pretty easy for me..

Sorry about your crap luck with the Electrac.. Hope you have better luck with the Air locker... (There is always OX locker )

carl
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BONE STOCK
Unless you include the sawzall work..

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Code3TJ
Hacker
Hacker


Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Uzbekistan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to hijack, but has anybody heard anything from Ox? I read a few months ago in one of the mags that they couldn't even get in touch with the company concerning their ads. Anybody heard anything since?
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WhatWasIThinkin
Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Epping New Hampsha

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The poop Im hearing is that one of the bigger online and magazine aftermarket companies somehow managed to get an exclusive on there products written into there contract and the Ox people didnt read the fine print and was in the process of marketing and shipping products out when it was discovered that they basically gave up there rights to there own product and then couldnt produce the quantities ordered. Ox was basically a small company with only a handful of employees with limited cash flow.
That was one rumor.

Another rumor. They just fell apart as a company. Again small company of mostly Cheifs and no indians, and internal fighting at the top over profits caused them to spend more time fighting and less time manufacturing and lost some huge contracts with retailers when they werent producing and shipping products on time. So now they have built products with limited funds, so they have inventory with no sales and no more money to continue.

I thought that Ox looked like a great product, and I would guess that somewhere there is some truth to internal company problems. 1 easy out which hasnt happened as far as I know, they could sell there design to the highest bidder and bail. I would think that there are a few companies that would love to be able to produce and sell that kit.
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Real Jeeps dont wear Bra's
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Candi
Sick Puppy
Sick Puppy


Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: This side of sanity

PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I'm dedicated off-road in the jeep and street performance isn't an issue, a spool in the rear and full detroit in the front are my solution. Work begins this weekend. BTW, even when the lockers aren't "broken" they lock and unlock at will. I have multiple testimonials to this fact from others using these lockers.
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Owen
Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2004

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

because of the trouble that Candi reported when I was out with her and her YJ. I went ARB... No problems at all for me. Locks and unlocks when its supposed to. No actuator on the outside of the diff...
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