By now you’ve heard about the new Locker on the block, and the news is electrifying. Literally, the new Detroit Electrac is an electrically actuated locker. It’s ready to step up and take a few swings at the other selectable boys in the neighborhood, namely the ARB, and the Ox locker. Make no mistake though, the Electrac has a serious leg up on the competition… it’s not just an open diff, then a spooled diff when locked like the other selectable lockers. Instead, it operates as a full-on limited slip differential in the unlocked mode, and gives 100% lock-up at the push of a dash-mounted button.
According to Tractech, this should reduce the number of times you have to fully lock the differential on the trail, thereby reducing the stress and wear & tear on other drive train components (thank God). The engagement of the unit from limited slip to full locker is done via an electric solenoid mounted to the front of a specially designed steel cover. The solenoid moves a shift fork that in turn moves a triggering ring to fully engage or disengage the unit. One of the added features of the Electrac is an included emergency kit, so if any of the external components fail, such as the solenoid, switch or wiring, you can remove the two screws holding the solenoid in place and install the included spring and block of plate, doing so will still allow the unit to function as a limited slip to get you home. That in itself is a saving grace and a well thought out contingency plan on Tractech’s part.
All in all selectable lockers are a great addition to any off road vehicle, but the full-time limited slip and emergency limp-home mode features really add icing to the cake.
The first thing we noticed prior to installation was the carefully, handcrafted differential cover housing. The cover uses the heavy-duty, thick steel cover, not the thin stamped steel cover seen on the back of some Dana 44’s. The cover has obviously been modified to accept the actuator assembley and as well, has been beefed significantly with the addition of some armor plating to protect the not-so-tough actuator and it’s respective parts. Unlike the simple bolting on of other differential covers, this one is a bit trickier as you’ll have to align the shift fork with the triggering ring. This in itself was a pretty easy task though, so standard maintenance should be a breeze.
Moving back in time, the Electrac installs much the same way as it’s fulltime brethren, the Detroit Locker. The Electrac is a full replacement carrier that the ring gear will be attached to. As always, a qualified mechanic or differential shop should perform the installation of the selectable locker. And as with all of our differential installations we took our Dana 44 axle, and Electrac to Tucson Differential to let their professional staff handle the install.
Along with the Detroit Electrac we also upgraded our ring and pinion to 4.56:1 gears. We ordered our gears and a complete install kit from Randy’s Ring and Pinion. Randy’s is also a distributor for the Electrac and has units in stock and ready to ship for the Dana 44. As soon as you read this they should also have units available for the Dana 60 as well.
|Tucson Differential||Randy’s Ring & Pinion|
|1102 S Venice Ave.
Tucson, AZ. 85711
Phone: (520) 750-1309
|10411 Airport Rd. SE Suite 200
Everett, WA 98204
Phone: (800) 292-1031
Phone: (425) 347-1199
Fax: (425) 355-1529