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Toughts on the 14 bolt ARB air locker

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by bigredblazer, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. bigredblazer

    bigredblazer 1/2 ton status

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    For those of you running this locker what do you think of it so far? I'm trying to get some opinions on this set up. As far as that goes, what has anyone heard about them? Any feed back would be appreciated.
     
  2. Inu-Hanyou1776

    Inu-Hanyou1776 1/2 ton status

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    On UA this year, an ARB is what 4Wheel & Offroad used in the rear 14BFF in their Ultimate K10, and they said it eventually stopped working, and they only drove 4000 mi total round trip on UA this year with it. So I think there's room for improvement.
     
  3. bigredblazer

    bigredblazer 1/2 ton status

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    Does anyone have any first hand knowledge? Is anyone on here running this locker? I know there has to be a few.
     
  4. randy88k5

    randy88k5 1/2 ton status

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    Just bought one...

    http://coloradok5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=149681

    Havent finished the install cause Im waiting on a new seal housing (broke the copper tube on installation)

    Ill let all know how it works, and Ill do a nice little write up, as I got plenty of pics...
     
  5. Kennedy

    Kennedy Registered Member

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    I can tell you about my experience with the 14-bolt ARB, and also clear up any confusion about the one in Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine’s Ultimate Adventure K10. Mainly because I’m the guy (David Kennedy, Technical Editor of Petersen’s 4-Wheel & Off-Road Magazine) that’s in charge of that project truck.

    The ARB locker does just what you would expect it to. It works just like a stock “open” differential when it’s off. So there is no tire scrubbing around corners and no fish tailing when the road’s wet.

    When you engage the ARB it also does just what you’d expect- it locks both rear tires together so that they will both turn at the same speed no matter what.

    Like all ARB’s that I’ve had experience with, if you follow the installation directions, are careful with the O-ring seals, and KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN inside the differential the ARB will work very well and not give you any problems.

    Off Road Unlimited in Burbank, CA installed the ARB into the van housing we used, and they did a perfect job. I don’t think you could find a better gear/locker install shop than ORU.

    The only reason we had a problem with our ARB is because we changed the differential cover on the 14-bolt at the last minute to a heavy-duty prototype piece from Dynatrac in the dirt lot behind my house. When we did that we must have used too much silicone on the cover (we didn’t uses a paper gasket) and the extra silicone was floating around in the gear lube as we drove the truck 2,000 miles from Los Angeles to Missouri. The ARB worked fine on the first trail day of our Ultimate Adventure, worked fine on the street the next day, but started pumping air out the rear axle breather tube on our second trail day. We pulled the rear differential cover and found out that one of the two O-ring seals (that moves the locking/unlocking mechanism inside the differential) was in fact leaking. We pulled the ARB out of the axle to see if we could repair it, and found evidence of silicone in the O-ring seal. We also found silicone inside the ARB itself. At that point we knew that WE had caused the rear ARB to stop working.

    AT NO TIME DID ANY STRUCTURAL PIECE OF THE ARB FAIL/BREAK/OR WEAR OUT. THE LOCKING MECHANISM JUST STOPPED MOVING BECAUSE WE WERE NOT CAREFUL ENOUGH WITH OUR INSTALL.

    Because of the nature of our trip, we made the decision to “shim” the ARB into the “locked” position with some pieces of 7/32-inch Allen wrenches we cut to length. I can’t recommend you do that, as we could have damaged our ARB doing this. We then reinstalled the ARB into the 14-bolt, and drove the next 2,000 miles of our trip with the ARB in the locked position. As I write this that “shimmed” ARB is still in the truck. It’s probably got a total of 5,500 miles on the rear ARB, and when we get time we plan to take the differential back out of the truck, repair the O-ring seal, and reinstall the ARB.

    Hope that helps you,

    David
     
  6. bigredblazer

    bigredblazer 1/2 ton status

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  7. jms

    jms 1/2 ton status Author

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    All hail the mighty Tech Editor as he stuns the ARB naysayers of this board into silence!

    :bow: :bow: :D
     
  8. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

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    I wouldn't call myself a naysayer but I do have a few questions.

    1. Are all ARB systems that sensitive to contaminants?

    2. If you have to open that diff in poor conditions dirt/mud/moisture should you expect problems?

    3. How delicate are the seals that were damaged?
     
  9. 87BrnRsd

    87BrnRsd 1/2 ton status

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    Good questions. I know a bolt and a metal clip went through my 14ff with a detroit in it, and the bolt and clip just got eaten up. Do yourself a favor, make it an easier install, and cheaper with a detroit.
    -Harrison
     
  10. Kennedy

    Kennedy Registered Member

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    They’re really quite strong. I’ve never worn one out before, and my daily driver has a rear ARB in it.
     

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