A common misconception suggests that a 4x4 and traction go hand in
hand? you can?t have one without the other. The truth, however, is
that most 4x4 vehicles send power to the wheels with the least amount
of traction once difficult terrain is encountered. The problem is simple ?
when one (or more) of your vehicle?s wheels loses traction, your highway
minded factory differential directs all of your vehicle?s power to those
spinning wheels. On road, the standard """"open"""" differential allows each
of your wheels to turn independently thus eliminating any binding during
turns. Off road, this becomes a major burden as engine power will take
the path of least resistance, which occurs at the wheels with little or no
Newer vehicles with limited slip differentials (LSDs), positraction etc may
offer some improvement over standard differentials, but more often you?ll
find the slipping is not """"limited"""" enough to maintain forward progress.
Automatic locking differentials also have their disadvantages. Aside from
being noisy, automatic locking differentials often upset the on highway
and off road driving characteristics of your 4x4. During normal driving
conditions, vehicle responsiveness becomes less predictable, and when
highway surfaces become wet or icy, the driver must use extreme
caution just to keep the truck in control.
ARB has been challenging conventional thinking on off road equipment
designs for over 30 years, and the ARB Air Locker has been a success
from the very beginning. Created to provide 100% traction on demand,
without sacrificing any of your vehicle?s highway driving performance,
ARB Air Lockers employ a 12 volt air compressor designed to activate
(and deactivate) a solid and durable locking mechanism inside the
differential. This gives you the traction you need, when you need it, all
at the flick of a switch, all within the safety and comfort of the driver?s
The advantage of the ARB Air Locker lies in the pneumatically operated
locking system inside the differential. When activated, the Air Locker
prevents the differential gears from rotating and therefore prevents the
axle shafts from turning independently of each other. With both wheels
tied directly to the rotation of the ring gear the vehicle maintains
maximum possible traction at all times. When unlocked, it operates just
like conventional """"open"""" differentials.
In addition to providing outright improvements to a 4x4?s off road
capabilities, the Air Locker offers significant environmental benefits.
When approaching difficult terrain, less reliance is put on momentum.
An Air Locker equipped truck can be driven in a slower, safer and more
controlled manner as a result of vastly improved traction. This style of
driving greatly reduces the likelihood of incurring vehicle damage and
lessens the environmental impact as well.
AVAILABILITY & INSTALLATION
Air Lockers are currently available in over 100 configurations to suit a
wide range of 4x4 vehicles from around the world. Because the Air
Locker is only engaged when needed, it can be installed in BOTH the
front and rear axles, with separate switches independently controlling
the locker from within the truck.
Installation should be performed by a qualified differential technician,
although no special tools or skills are required apart from those
necessary for fitting a standard differential. When installed with an
ARB air compressor, the locker system is supplied as a complete kit
which contains all of the parts necessary for proper installation,
including industrial grade control switches, air lines and fittings. ARB
offers two compressor models suitable for Air Locker operation. A
dedicated air activation system is available which is extremely durable
and compact. Alternatively a larger compressor can be specified, which
is also perfect for inflating tires, air mattresses and a host of other
applications where compressed air is required.
This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 10 January, 2007.