Axle guts are not pretty. Spending the time and money to pull out your open differentials and add lower gears, stronger axleshafts, and locking diffs will never win you a trophy at the show ’n’ shine. It won’t impress the layman like shiny wheels and big tires. However, when the going gets tough, the rocks big, the mud deep, and the trail steep, you’ll be glad you invested in your axles and not your glossy paint and loud radio. Getting power to traction is the name of the game, and lockers do just that by sending torque to every wheel. However, there are times when selectively turning off that torque is an asset, such as side hilling, in the snow, or loose gravel or sand. In these cases turning the traction down from 4 to 2 can actually help you move forward. The Eaton ELocker is a selectable locker, but rather than using a cable or air to actuate it, the locker uses an electromagnet. When activated the magnet forces a ball and ramp system to expand, driving a set of pins into the side gear and locking the spider gears from turning. This in effect spools or locks the two axles together, sending power evenly to both wheels. For a short video of the ELocker technology check out “How Eaton’s ELocker Technology Works” on YouTube.The Eaton ELocker is a selectable locker, but rather than using a cable or air to actuate We recently returned from a long trip in our old 4x4 and decided on performance upgrades for the Dana 30 front with lower gears, Eaton’s Selectable ELockers, and stronger Superior Axle 30-spline axleshafts to up the ante in the dirt. In a single day we added strength, torque, and traction to a rig that was relying before on tow points and winch cable when the going got tough. The Dana 30 open differential (left) is nothing to write home about. Found in the front of many Jeep 4x4s, ours had 3.50 gears and puny axleshafts and would quickly send all the power to whichever wheel had the least traction. The solution is Eaton’s ELocker with Superior’s 4.10 gears (right). This selectable locker has a four-pinion open carrier but still locks into a spool for traction when needed.The Dana 30 open differential (left) is nothing to write home about. Found in the front of The Dana 30 also comes with 27-spline (1.16-inch-diameter) axleshafts stock (left) which is fine for small tires and moderate four-wheeling. But when ordering our ELocker we decided to upgrade to larger, 1.31-inch-diameter 30-spline axleshafts (right). That small increase in spline and axleshaft size can make the difference between wheeling and wrenching on the trail.The Dana 30 also comes with 27-spline (1.16-inch-diameter) axleshafts stock (left) which i Running locking differentials ensures that power is going to each wheel, but with power comes responsibility. If the tire with traction also has power, the 4x4 will move forward, break traction, or break parts. We always want traction to be our weak link (we’d rather break the tires loose than break an axleshaft), so even though we like lockers we want good axleshafts to back them up. Our new 30-spline Superior axleshafts are made in the USA with rolled splines of dual heat-treated chromoly.Running locking differentials ensures that power is going to each wheel, but with power co Superior has also just released its Evolution U-Joint (right). This chromoly joint is stronger than the stock joint, but unlike some competitors that have a bronze or metal-on-metal cap, the Evolution joint uses the stock Dana Spicer 760 U-joint cap with roller bearings. This offers longevity and strength in vehicles that do not have selectable hubs and that are constantly spinning their front axles, such as Jeep Wranglers.Superior has also just released its Evolution U-Joint (right). This chromoly joint is stro The ELocker installs like a normal locker or differential but does require a small hole to be drilled in the housing for the two wires that power the locker’s electromagnet. The hole is sealed with a grommet, and we also thought of covering the wires with a vent hose to hide all traces of the locker install for ultimate sleeper traction.The ELocker installs like a normal locker or differential but does require a small hole to The ELocker system uses a maximum of 8 amps of constant power to activate and comes with a complete wiring harness to install in your 4x4. The lighted toggle switches tell you when the locker is engaged (along with the added ditch-dominating traction!). A relay protects the system, and the install consists of simply running wires and hooking up power at the battery and ignition switch.The ELocker system uses a maximum of 8 amps of constant power to activate and comes with a SOURCES 4Wheel Parts 400 W. Artesia Boulevard Compton CA 90220 877-474-4821 www.4wheelparts.com Eaton Differentials 1111 Superior Avenue Cleveland OH 44114 800-328-3850 www.eaton.com Superior Axle & Gear 9580 Commerce Center Drive Rancho Cucamonga CA 91730 888-845-0470 www.superioraxlegear.com By Fred Williams Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!