Detroit Locker: one wheel spins, one doesn't - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old September 16th, 2014, 09:21 PM
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Andrew Clarke
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Detroit Locker: one wheel spins, one doesn't

I noticed the other day when pulling a trailer up a muddy hill that I was spinning one rear tire and not the other. Since I have a Detroit Locker, this shouldn't happen. This evening I lifted both rear wheels and spun the tires. I discovered I need new wheel bearings, but I also found that I could spin the left tire freely, but the right tire only rotated back and forth maybe 15 degrees before meeting resistance in either direction. This is how I expect a Detroit should work.

What might cause the left wheel to spin freely? I'm probably going to take it to a shop and have them look at it, but I'm wondering if there's any information I should arm them with. They're good people, but it's a basic shop. Any serious diff work though and the diff is going to go to a specialist.

Thanks,
- Andrew.
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  #2  
Old September 16th, 2014, 09:36 PM
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My guess is a broken axle... Same thing happened to me in Moab with a Detroit- i know it doesn't make the most sense but your symptoms are exactly the same. Unfortunately snapping an axle forever locked my Detroit and it had to be replaced under warranty.

Good luck

Jay
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  #3  
Old September 16th, 2014, 09:49 PM
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Yeah I thought that, but I haven't been doing anything stupid so I'd be surprised. Then again, obviously SOMETHING is wrong. It would definitely suck if I had to replace the Detroit though.
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Old September 16th, 2014, 10:39 PM
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If its a salisbury detroit I doubt you hurt the locker. Its either a stripped wheel hub or broken shaft. I have done both
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Old September 16th, 2014, 10:48 PM
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shayne young
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Don't Detroit lockers need to be "loaded" in order to lock up...a friend of mine was telling me that if he needed both wheels to lock up he had to get a straight shot first of all and get both wheels to lock up in order for the cam/locking mechanism to engage.. I have kaisers in mine and they work different to true tracks, detroits and LSD units.. But the new truck is getting ARBs.. I don't like the way trutracks and Detroits "unload"..

------ Follow up post added September 16th, 2014 10:50 PM ------

With the rear wheels jacked up and you turn the driveshaft both wheels should turn..if not you probably have a broken axle shaft..I believe most lockers have enough frictional binding to at least turn both wheels when they have zero load on them..
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Old September 16th, 2014, 11:03 PM
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Nope. With a detroit if there is power to the pinion, it locks. I once destroyed a front drive shaft @ The Cove and also popped one rear axle. Put the truck in difflock and drove three hours home with one wheel drive.
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  #7  
Old September 16th, 2014, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
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Nope. With a detroit if there is power to the pinion, it locks. I once destroyed a front drive shaft @ The Cove and also popped one rear axle. Put the truck in difflock and drove three hours home with one wheel drive.
Me too- minivan style from Moab to Bill Burke's house for a Sunday night axle change(thank you Rachel) and bearing repack!
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  #8  
Old September 16th, 2014, 11:33 PM
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Broken halfshaft or flange. If they are stock it os not unexpected. Pull the left axle and have a look. It only takes five minutes.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 09:51 AM
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Thanks everyone. I'll post a followup once it's all apart and I see what the problem is.
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Old September 17th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genie90 View Post
My guess is a broken axle... Same thing happened to me in Moab with a Detroit- i know it doesn't make the most sense but your symptoms are exactly the same. Unfortunately snapping an axle forever locked my Detroit and it had to be replaced under warranty.

Good luck

Jay
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Douglas View Post
If its a salisbury detroit I doubt you hurt the locker. Its either a stripped wheel hub or broken shaft. I have done both
Mine was snapped hub bolts, the axle and locker itself was fine.
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  #11  
Old September 19th, 2014, 11:43 AM
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It was a stripped hub, so that could have been worse. Thanks again all of you for your help.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 11:45 AM
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I would suggest getting aftermarket shafts and flanges. The stock ones are not really up to a Detroit. Otherwise, you should be carrying spares of both.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 11:47 AM
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I would suggest getting aftermarket shafts and flanges. The stock ones are not really up to a Detroit. Otherwise, you should be carrying spares of both.
Brand recommendation?

Thanks,
- Andrew.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 12:08 PM
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I'd rather strip a flange than snap an axle.. The flanges are supposed to be the weak link..sacrificial .. New flanges are easier to carry spares and replace than axles..I think terrafirma makes a good quality screw on cap unit..
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Old September 19th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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I would get Ashcroft. Great service.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the rover shop View Post
I'd rather strip a flange than snap an axle.. The flanges are supposed to be the weak link..sacrificial .. New flanges are easier to carry spares and replace than axles..I think terrafirma makes a good quality screw on cap unit..
IMO, this argument does not make sense. The flanges don't strip from overload. They strip from long term wear. They do not protect the shaft. I've seen lots of salisbury shafts break and the flanges are perfectly fine. It is a wear problem due to crappy materials.
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Old September 19th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the rover shop View Post
I'd rather strip a flange than snap an axle.. The flanges are supposed to be the weak link..sacrificial .. New flanges are easier to carry spares and replace than axles..I think terrafirma makes a good quality screw on cap unit..
Not to take anything away from Shayne's D90 cred, but I agree with Red on this one, people make same arguments defending the weak halfshafts in the series rear axles. They were not made weak as a "fuse" to protect anything. They were just made weak. There are fused CV's available. Forget who make them.

Its pretty easy to make a strong rear rover type axle for stock-ish sized tires. A "fuse" shouldn't be needed. And like Red said, I've seen (and done) my share of broken shafts and gears where the drive flange was fine.

If you want to check your flanges, pull the rubber cap and have someone put the car in gear with the brake held down. You'll see if there is any play in the flanges. Sorry Boost Club members, steelies only...
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Old September 19th, 2014, 01:32 PM
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I agree with what you are saying about the wear factor..I have never snapped either of them but my heavy duty 4 wheeling etc is somewhat limited.. The op stripped a flange and my point was that it was better than snapping an axle.. I have heard varying reports on heavy duty axles twisting vs snapping and I think it was someone from maxi drive in Australia had mentioned that using stock flanges on extreme duty axles the flanges strip or crack before the axles.. But using heavy duty flanges made the axles more prone to snap/twist before the flanges gave way.. I do know that x-engineering makes a really heavy duty telescoping magnet for the express purpose of removing a broken remnants without having to disassemble everything.. And I carry both rear axles and a couple of flanges in my expedition truck..but I have a sals..

------ Follow up post added September 19th, 2014 01:34 PM ------

The terrafirma heavy duty flanges are a screw on cap that refuses water ingress and dirt in there causing premature wear..
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  #19  
Old September 19th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the rover shop View Post
I have heard varying reports on heavy duty axles twisting vs snapping and I think it was someone from maxi drive in Australia had mentioned that using stock flanges on extreme duty axles the flanges strip or crack before the axles..
I've wheeled and spent a bit of time chatting with Mal Story and I'm pretty sure that was not his opinion.

Everyone that I wheeled with there was in agreement that flange failures are due to lack of lubrication. Changing to oil fed bearings and flanges was always the recommended way to go and that is what Mal would do when putting a locker on your truck.

And yes, also carry a shaft removal tool. But you won't break an aftermarket shaft with a stockish truck.
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  #20  
Old September 19th, 2014, 02:11 PM
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Yeah upgrade. Its always a pain when an axle breaks. I've broken 2 axles and 3 flanges on my 109. Its always a pain. Both times the axles broke, it left a piece in the 3rd member. So both times I had to pull the 3rd member. If you ever have to do the same, get an old couch cushion (fortunately a curb side couch the next block over offered its cushion for the cause) and throw it under the diff. If it flies out, it will have a soft landing or you can easily lower it after getting it free.

Dunno, just something I thought I'd throw out there.

I think rover tracks (if they are even still around) had HD units for the defender salisbury.

Last time I broke a flange, I pulled the locker apart. A bit of wear in spots but otherwise looked great. Those lockers are pretty stout. Just wish it didn't have a 1/4 turn play in it. Otherwise it would be perfect.
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