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Detroit Locker, Real World Opinions???

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Old 03-18-2004, 08:11 AM   #1
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Detroit Locker, Real World Opinions???

Hey guys,

I had a friend suggest a Detroit next after ARB(outa my price range) for my daily driver/weekend trail rig. As most of you know I'm on a budget build, and the Detroit sounds tempting at the price, strength and durability factors. My first 4Runner had the factory e-locker and I loved having a selectable, so an auto locker never came into my mind, I heard they were loud at times and caused premature tire wear from the locking in turns and so on. Living here in NC I see my fair share of snow, maybe 2,3,4 times a year and alot of ice storms, would a Detroit make drives like this dangerous or harder to drive in?

What I really need to know is that I know alot of you are in the same place I am with a dual function rig or even a non-trailor queen trail only rig. What are the real world day to day characteristics of the Detroit??

ANY input is great, thanks in advance.
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Old 03-18-2004, 08:28 AM   #2
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I had a Detroit NoSlip in my '87 Short Bed P/U, 22RE, 5 speed, IFS w/ 5" total lift and 35" BFG's (pre-SAS'd)

I hated it for highway driving.

I loved it off highway. Awesome traction, very rarely unlocked, was pretty consistant behavior wise.

On road manners w/ a light weight P/U were annoying- it exhibited a lot of "locker wiggle" when shifting, banged, clunked, popped, chirped when turning on asphalt, and wore out tires almost as fast as my current full spool. Snow and Ice driving sucked- I never knew when it would unlock on corners.

I kept it for a month or two after completing the SAS, and went to a full spool- it chews up tires, but is really alot easier to drive than the Detroit was.

If I had it to do again, I'd definately save the extra bucks and go ARB- front and rear. If you want to wheel while your saving up the $$$, weld the spiders- the ultimate cheap locker.

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Old 03-18-2004, 09:15 AM   #3
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I had a very different experience w/ my Detroit EZ locker and it is probably because of the weight of a 4Runner vs a Pickup. Onroad, mine always slipped when I turned. I could always count on that even in rain and snow. Unless I floored it around a corner, I could count on it slipping. I rarely had the tire chirp issue as a result, but I had brand new 285 MTR's when I put it in. I put about 15k on them and still never had them chirp. I would assume though if your tires are balding or just dont grip the road well...they are gonna chirp.

As far as driving in snow and ice...I loved it. But if you arent in 4wd...then yeah, you are going to have issues. I spent about an hour in a snow filled parking lot and learned how to drive it...couldnt have been happier afterwards. Like I said, it always slipped on slow turns. I spent 5 winters in Detroit/Chicago...2 of which I had the locker in...I loved the change.

Now the clicking sound did piss me off at times...especially on dates and stuff. This is the conclusion I came to as to wether or not I would get it again...Now?? No I wouldnt. But that is because Im older, getting mairried, and If I had a 3rd would be too nice to throw one it. HOWEVER, if I was still 20 - hell yeah I would do it again. I was young, my friends thought it was pretty damn cool, and people always looked at me in the grocery store like my truck was broke.

So my questions for old are ya? This is your daily driver, but do you take it out for night time events, movies, road trips, etc. If it is just your daily driver then trail truck...and you have a 2nd car for going out and whatnot...I say Detroit all the way.

BTW: I had the Detroit EZ locker in my '96 4Runner
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Old 03-18-2004, 12:32 PM   #4
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I'm 20 so that answers that question, and this is my daliy driver and trail rig, but I do take it out for dates and what not. At the time I still have my 96' for dates if need be, but I can't count on that being around forever, it's up for sale. The truck being 20yrs old and making it very apparent that it is already makes it a hard date car. My girlfriend of 2yrs is very very understanding and forgiving of my off road addiction, but even she is having a hard time addapting from one 96' then bumping to a nice leather, ltd 96' and now jumping into and 85' it's a big change for her and I, I adapt much better though. So I guss I'm still in limbo, I just can't see hitting the trails this spring open diffed, when all my other trips were locked, traction is VERY addicting. ANY other input or more opinions would be greatly appreciated, this is helping me way the options really well.
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