Diff Lockers

Diff Lockers


A differential lockers (or diff locker) can make a significant difference in the performance of your 4WD in certain situations. Also known as diff-lock or locker, it is a modification to the standard automotive differential. Its purpose is to restrict each of the two wheels on an axle to the same rotational speed regardless of the traction available to each wheel.



A locking differential is designed to overcome the chief limitation of a standard open differential by essentially “locking” both wheels on an axle together as if on a common shaft. This forces both wheels to turn in unison, regardless of the traction (or lack thereof) available to either wheel individually. When the differential is unlocked (open differential), it allows each wheel to rotate at different speeds (such as when negotiating a turn), thus avoiding tire scuffing. An open (or unlocked) differential always provides the same torque (rotational force) to each of the two wheels, on that axle. So although the wheels can rotate at different speeds, they apply the same rotational force, even if one is entirely stationary, and the other spinning. (Equal torque, unequal rotational speed). By contrast, a locked differential forces both left and right wheels on the same axle to rotate at the same speed under nearly all circumstances, without regard to tractional differences seen at either wheel. Therefore, each wheel can apply as much rotational force as the traction under it will allow, and the torques on each side-shaft will be unequal. (Unequal torque, equal rotational speeds).


Four wheel driving across rough terrain can lead to some of the most exhilarating adventures one could have. But as any four wheeler can tell you, spinning your wheels and getting stuck leads to nothing but frustration. Often you know you have the right vehicle to take on the most extreme terrain, yet still you find that it baulks at the slightest of obstacles, losing traction at the most inappropriate times, leaving you stranded.


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