Re: Kaiser Lockers
I believe that it may be interesting for some of you to get an update on the results we got here in Greece from the KAISER after using it on several makes and models of 4x4 offroad vehicles with different types of transmissions systems.
I have been cooperating with NEKARTH as their representative and distributor in Greece for the KAISER locker since 2010.
We have fitted some of them on the following range of vehicles:
Land Rover Defender D110 with the P38 rear axle,
Discovery 2 (front and rear axle),
Range Rover Classic (front axle),
Daihatsu Feroza (front axle),
Suzuki Grand Vitara (rear axle) and
Jeep Wrangler (front axle).
Mitsibushi Pinin (front and rear axle)
The following input was received from the end users:
1. Land Rover Defender D110 with the P38 rear axle and manual gearbox. The unit was removed from the vehicle following client's complains related to very noisy and inappropriate for road use operation and behaviour.
2. Discovery 2 V8 with automatic gearbox. The client has fitted only the rear axle unit and has been extremely happy with its operation and the way it has totally transformed the handling and driving characteristics of the vehicle both on and off the road on conditions ranging from dry tarmac, to mud, snow, ice, sand, wet grass, gravel etc. In fact he was so happy with the general handling of the vehicle that he has never bothered to fit the front KAISER unit to the vehicle and therefore we have no input about how this unit would have behaved if fitted.
3. Range Rover Classic, V8, with automatic gearbox. The client has fitted it to the front axle. The vehicle is fitted with a rear 100% McNamara locker. Unfortunately the KAISER fitted on the front axle has made the vehicle almost too dangerous to drive on tarmac roads and it is to be removed soon.
4. Daihatsu Feroza. There were three units sold and fitted. On all occasions the owners of the vehicles have agreed that the KAISER is an extremely capable locker but it can only be used for offroad driving conditions. When the vehicle was driven on tarmac with the four wheel drive system engaged it could render the vehicle almost too dangerous to use or should be only used by a VERY experienced driver. (one of the users is racing with his Daihatsu on the Greek offroading championship)
5. Suzuki Grand Vitara. The unit was fitted on two different vehicles of the same type. On both occasions it has shown extremely noisy operation inappropriate for non experienced drivers when used on tarmac surfaced roads. On the other hand it was an absolute joy to use when driving offroad and it has totally transformed the capabilities of the vehicles in a positive way. On the first occasion the owner (who had initially ordered the unit) has removed it immediately due to the dangerous and noisy operation of the KAISER. The second user has fitted it to his vehicle and still makes use of it but his vehicle is used almost exclusively for offroad driving.
6. Jeep Wrangler. The owner has never got back with impression and I was unable to reach him so can not provide any input from him.
7. Mitsubishi Pinin. The owner first fitted the rear axle unit where he has found that it developed some noise and relatively "nervous" operation on tarmac use. It was extremely good and handled perfectly for offroad driving and on offroad condition or conditions of limited traction. When he has fitted the unit of the front axle he has decided to keep it but is not using four wheel drive on tarmac surfaced roads anymore since the KAISER makes the car almost dangerous to drive like that. On the other hand it has totally transformed (in a positive way) the capabilities of the Pinin when used for offroad driving or on very slippery conditions.
As a result and following extensive tests we have concluded to the following:
The application of the KAISER locker on the front axle should only be permitted to vehicles that are focused exclusively for offroad use.
Application on the front axle and use on tarmac surface road should only be allowed to very experienced drivers and always following the warning that it can lead to extremely "nervous" behavior of the steering system even on a straight road.
Application of the KAISER locker on the rear axle of vehicles with manual transmission should only be advised to vehicles that are focused mainly for offroad use. Use of the KAISER locker on the rear axle of a vehicle with manual transmission for tarmac use can randomly generate excessive sudden "clonking" noise and vibration of the rear axle due to sudden locking of the differential when the foot of the driver is taken off the accelerator pedal when negotiating a turn or when the driver engages the clutch again when negotiating a turn.
On the other hand when the KAISER is fitted to the REAR axle of vehicles with AUTOMATIC transmission and used either on the road or for offroading all the above mentioned negative symptoms are totally cancelled and it may only exhibit some sudden but not alarming noise when reversing and then accelerating hard forwards.
On all occasions of offroad driving (front or rear axle use, automatic or manual transmission) the KAISER locker is an extremely capable unit and performs without any of the alarming or dangerous symptoms that are present on tarmac driving.
We have also established that it is practically impossible to break a KAISER locker and it has been found to be extremely kind to the halfshafts of the vehicles where it was tested.
Its way of operation is the total contrast of how an ordinary locker operates and this peculiarity is what leads it to the very strange result of making it work like a dream on vehicles with automatic gearbox transmission systems. It just needs to have torque applied to it from the transmission at all time, even this amount of torque is just what the torque converter always "feeds" to the rear wheels even when the car is simply coasting without the driver pressing the accelerator pedal.
I would NOT recommend or sell a KAISER locker for use on the front axle of a vehicle with either a manual or an automatic gearbox transmission system unless if it were to be used exclusively for offroad use.
The NEKARTH factory may advertise that it has no negative effects for tarmac use but we have found otherwise.
I also have to openly and publicly say that the NEKARTH factory has declined any responsibility and has not agreed to reimburse even the ex factory value of the units that were removed from vehicles of unsatisfied client for the fact that the units have behaved in a totally different way from what it has been advertised. I have personally covered all the cases of returned units simply because I respect the people who have bought them from me but I consider the Brazilian factory and its managers and client support team as unworthy of any future orders from my side. I expect a responsible company to stay behind its product and respect its end buyers and its representatives. Something which unfortunately was not the case with NEKARTH on the occasions where the KAISER has totally failed to perform as advertised as a locker which is totally "invisilble" when used on tarmac road driving.
This has only been found to truly apply when the KAISER is fitted to the rear axle of vehicles with automatic gearbox transmission systems.
As a conclusion and specifically for our Landies our testing has given the following results.
1. Not recommended for front axle application on vehicles to be used on tarmac.
2. Not recommended for rear axle application on vehicles to be used on tarmac and fitted with manual gearbox.
3. Highly recommended for rear axle application on vehicles to be used for both on and offroad and fitted with automatic gearbox.
4. Highly recommended for front and rear axle application on vehicles for use exclusively for offroading and especially for rock-crawling, trial or baja style racing but driven by experienced drivers.
5. Almost bombproof. It has actually been abused with the intention to break it or break at least the halfshafts (on the front axle of the Daihatsu Feroza). Amazingly it withstood the abuse with no problem at all on both the KAISER unit and the halfshafts. Also still no complain at all from the other end users.
Hope the above will be of assistance.
LAND ROVER CLUB OF GREECE (founder and member)
Land Rover World
CTOC (co-founder and member)