Diff Locker Maintenance


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On our last adventure trip into Colorado's San Juan Mountains, I had noticed how slow the front and specific the rear axle diff lockers were engaging.

Back at the home compound, I started to crawl under the truck to have a look.
Everything I could see just look A1 ok.....no leaks or torn off pieces:victory:

So the next step - removing the locking cylinders, first from the front just to check things out. It was easily removed and opened carefully, clamped in a vise.
The small spring loaded piston, which moves the actuator finger, did not come out of its bore by itself. Loaded up with some fluid (brake fluid) residue and weird crud, the piston had to be pushed/pulled out.
After cleaning everything, including removing the seal and o-ring from the piston, the bore and the little piston still checked out great - no corrosion damage from maybe-water in the fluid or so.
No having new seals on hand, I re-assembled the locking cylinder again using the existing parts,but made a note to order new ones for sure.
Same thing with the rear axle cylinder......

I'm glad I did open these two cylinder and do believe a simple fluid change wouldn't have cleaned out all the accumulated crap in there.

BTW - I bled the front and rear locking system by running the engine and turning the locker switch (for each axle) on and off - to build up system fluid pressure - until no more air bubbles were seen coming out of the bleed nipple.

The following driving/locking test on the old Mulholland Drive (dirt road) rendered real satisfying results - fast diff locking action.

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