It’s been a year and a half with this thing, and it’s time to come clean. This is a fantastic product, for the right buyer.
A conventional limited slip differential involves many different things; clutches, special oil, magic, luck, etc. Making an open differential into a limited slip requires all that, the diff itself, and roughly $500 in specialty tools.
However, there is an alternative. Torq-Master’s Aussie Locker.
Disclaimer: Aussie Locker was so interested in providing me this test model, they convinced my best friend to buy it for me as a birthday present a year and a half ago. 40,000 miles later, I figure its time for some consumer advice.
As stated in the disclaimer, I’ve had this thing for 40,000 miles. 40,000 miles is nearly twice across this rock we live on. And out of the way early, it’s still going strong. There’s no difference since day 1 (max points for reliability).
This Aussie Locker is installed in a 1992 Ford F150 Custom, regular cab, 8 foot bed, 300 i6 5 speed 4x4 which I drive daily. The truck is fantastic. I highly recommend a 92 F150 if you’re in the market for a new...anything. You can literally write it off each month for less than a monthly payment on any of the new 1/2 ton trucks you can find anywhere.
Regardless...locker...ok. Installation, in a word: simple. My dog could have installed this locker. Only complaints are you need to buy gear fluid, which is expensive (and should be expected as your pulling the damn axle cover off).
Instructions provided were easy to follow, the axle can stay in the vehicle, and all told, it takes about an hour.
Immediately afterwards, the number 11 is laid down anywhere at your command. Your vehicle goes through anything. ANYTHING. Cars are towed out of snow banks without even thinking of four wheel drive. Muddy, sandy, nasty hills become child’s play. Life is fantastic.
Then you need groceries.
Maybe it’s the 5 speed. Maybe it’s the fact the truck is 22 years old. I doubt it though. I have experience with 2 of these such setups. Parking lots
suck require much finesse.
Get ready to have onlookers. Rounding slight corners, you get the click click click click from the ratcheting action. Take a corner too sharp, a chassis (and spine) shaking THUNK THUNK THUNK.
I have had one or two experiences with a loud (shotgun-esque) BANG taking normal right hand corners, but over 18 months, that’s highly acceptable.
IS IT WORTH IT?
For me, meh. Right now in my life, I find myself less off road, more driving to and from work. The parking lot and turning thing is definitely a
nuisance pain in the ass. However, winter is coming. I live in New Hampshire. It snows. Much snow. Last winter this thing proved to be positively brilliant (and I plow for the town, so while ya’ll are fast asleep...yeah...you’re welcome).
Traction wise and value wise, the Aussie Locker gets an A+.
In my application, because I hate the parking lot “somethings wrong with your truck” comments, it will get a B.
As far as reliability, as I said in the beginning, 40K and its still barking at me and shows no sign of letting up.
Now if I could just stop the damn thunking....