Intro to E-Lockers
Based upon Eaton Corporation's proven technology and forged gears, The Harrop Eaton ELocker is simple, strong and quick. Here is a great video from Terrain Tamer on elocker technology, installation and operation - just click on the video below to watch.
Wikipedia provides an overview of differential types and function here.
Manually actuated or selectable locking differentials are designed to "lock" the axles when selected so that motive energy is equally allocated to the two wheels. Manual lockers (vs. automatic lockers) come in three basic types, based upon the method used to manually engage (actuate) the locking mechanism in the differential:
Cable - Old school method used in early days of Land Cruisers. As the name suggests, a lever in the cabin is moved to pull the cable and close the mechanism in the front or rear locker. Not seen on North American spec rigs from Toyota. One manufacturer offers an aftermarket cable locker.
Air - Popular as an aftermarket "upgrade" for unlocked vehicles, there are several manufacturers that offer aftermarket air-actuated lockers.
Electric - Toyota now fits electric lockers throughout its offroad models. Eaton Corporation offers the ELockerTM fo fit many popular American vehicles.
|Issue / Feature||Air Locker||Elocker|
|Fast Locker Actuation||Usually||Definitely|
|Air Line Leaks||Maybe||Never|
|O Ring Leaks||Maybe||Never|
|Fast Tire Air||Maybe||Always|
|Low Temp Freezing||Maybe||Never|
Note: With an air locker, the big question is whether your compressor and tank will be up to the tasks laid out above.
A CO2 air tank does not rely on your truck's engine or electrical system. Yes, you have to keep an eye on the tank level, but CO2 is inexpensive and readily available.
E-Lockers vs Air Lockers
Manual locking differentials are a proven solution for anyone seeking on-demand traction for trail use, rock-crawling or just getting up the boat ramp. The most popular aftermarket manual lockers for your rigs are electrically actuated and air actuated - usually with an on-board air compressor and storage tank.
Air lockers are fine if you don't mind the added complication and cost of an on-board compressor, tank, wiring and air lines - along with the occasional air leak. Also, diff lube can be drawn into the airline and air lines can freeze in low temperature and deep snot conditions.
Toyota lockers from the factory are electrically actuated. Electric lockers are simple, strong and quiet - no compressor noise or vibration. So why add the expense and complexity of airlines and a compressor? If the installation (ELocker and wiring) are correctly executed, these units are virtually bulletproof.
Here is a quick functional comparison of air locker (with a compressor) and electric locker (with an air tank):
One difference from air lockers is that the Harrop disengages when put in reverse and then re-engages when power is re-applied. Aggressive rocking front to rear is not recommended and usually not needed.
Harrops present great value. Some applications may cost up to 10% more than comparable air locker systems, but your get so much more for your money.
Still Need Onboard Air?
If you need air to fill tires after a trail run, or to operate tools, you will need something more than a small on-board compressor anyway. A PowerTank CO2 system can meet all of your air needs and we will even help you pay for yours with a $50 discount on a PowerTank.