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Selectable diff lock


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#1 ozymax

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 05:53 AM

As the topic suggests, I'm putting the feelers out to get an idea on how many people would be interested in a kit to convert the front diff into a selectable locker.

My style of riding has me frequently wishing that I had a fully locked up diff before a certain obstacle is approached. So I've been working on a way to solve this problem.
I have at the moment (thanks to a mate of mine) a near new front diff out of an 08 vintage machine in pieces on my work bench.

The first idea I explored was to understand just how the Visco system worked and see if I could modify it to work better as in the 2010 machines. Now that I've seen how it is machined and operates I've decided it would be to much hit and miss involved in getting it to work faster. From another forum member I noticed that he has done a conversion to the 2010 unit at a fairly hefty price and while it has made a big improvement it still requires wheel spin to operate it.

I am about to machine up a prototype of my idea in the next week or two. My plan is to remove all of the silicone pump system out of the diff and replace it with an electric over hydraulic system. The part that does the actual locking of the axle will be reused as we know that it is effective at doing it's job. Doing it the way I propose will mean that the diff lock should be able to be engaged at any speed without fear of damage to the drive train. This can be achieved due to the fact that it's simply applying pressure to a clutch pack instead of trying to align splines etc.

What sort of actuation system would people prefer? Cable operated, Hydraulic lever or a handle bar mounted switch. I've ruled out the use of compressed air as I've found that to be to unreliable, much like the ARB style airlocker that is designed for the 4x4 industry. I got sick of fixing them over the years with faulty pumps, leaking solenoids, leaking "O" rings etc.

My preference at this stage is to aim for a handle bar switch to operate a motor drive similar to the 4x4 actuator which is then coupled to a hydraulic cylinder. I even thought that with some trick electronics and wheel mounted stator rings that the diff lock could be controlled much like traction control ,where it senses wheel spin and varies lock up pressure. :riding:

Any way that's what I plan on doing so lets hear some ideas and what you think of the concept.

Edited by ozymax, 06 October 2009 - 05:56 AM.


#2 Joe Clark

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 08:52 AM

I would be very interested in seeing something like this.

Joe

#3 FatTireRacer

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 09:21 AM

I would be very interested.

In most situations the ViscoLoc works great, but when I'm in a sandy wash with big boulders I wish I could hit a button and be fully locked, all the time. Would your system still allow an open diff option? I have thought seriously about retro fitting a diff from a different machine. I know that would require many things to work out; gearing; upper A arm relocation; axle fitment.

I know over at Aurora someone was getting feelers out on this subject, but I don't think it went anywhere.

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#4 REPOMAN

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 09:42 AM

yes that would be nice but if you could run it unlocked also that would be great id be interested if it would unlock

#5 ozymax

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 04:54 PM

I would be very interested.

In most situations the ViscoLoc works great, but when I'm in a sandy wash with big boulders I wish I could hit a button and be fully locked, all the time. Would your system still allow an open diff option? I have thought seriously about retro fitting a diff from a different machine. I know that would require many things to work out; gearing; upper A arm relocation; axle fitment.

I know over at Aurora someone was getting feelers out on this subject, but I don't think it went anywhere.


One of my ideas that I need to do more research, on would be to adapt a Gearless locker to the front diff but there are only 4 different units available and drive shaft splines might be an issue.

The way I intend for it to work would mean that when riding in 2 or 4wd you would have an open diff until you selected it to be locked. It could be selected while moving and at any speed.

I'll have to check out Aurora. You wouldn't have a link to the topic by any chance would you?

#6 Rebel Renegade

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 05:49 PM

I like the idea of the open diff to fully locked. I think a electronic switch would be nice. The cable idea (like the brutes) is nice, but kind of a pain in the arse!!!

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#7 Joe Clark

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 06:37 PM

Elec. switch would be my pref. also.

Joe

#8 HIGHOCTANE

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 06:46 PM

I noticed that he has done a conversion to the 2010 unit at a fairly hefty price and while it has made a big improvement it still requires wheel spin to operate it.



You might want to check the QE out first hand...mine locks with NO noticable wheel spin. I have tested it on the trail climbing over lagre dead fall trees and on jack stands..it loks so fast that you can not detect any wheel spin at all...go check it out...
The ability to run open and then locked via rider choice is appealing...with the QE it is close enough to me...you either need 2 or you need 4..select 2 and you get 2..select 4 and you get 4...instantly....need 3wd?
JMO

#9 Joe Clark

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 08:35 PM

The more I think about this, what I really want is the discolok QE, AND a selectable locker built into one unit. :-)

Joe

#10 FatTireRacer

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 12:05 AM

I hate to say this, but the QE almost sounds like the Polaris set up. Seems like it might lock up to much just trail riding. I have that happen now when I'm on the gas hard.

Ozymax, I found that topic. It was a system that would be locked all the time if I recall. So 2WD or locked 4WD, no open diff.

Edited by FatTireRacer, 07 October 2009 - 12:28 AM.

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#11 ozymax

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 02:41 AM

I hate to say this, but the QE almost sounds like the Polaris set up. Seems like it might lock up to much just trail riding. I have that happen now when I'm on the gas hard.

Ozymax, I found that topic. It was a system that would be locked all the time if I recall. So 2WD or locked 4WD, no open diff.


Thanks for the link. It made for good reading and made me realise how many people want one. It would appear that his idea may have been based on a sliding dog spline arrangement and has either slowed to a crawl or stopped completely.

I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, so I'll mention that I'm 'not' getting an engineer to design and build one, I'm designing and machining it myself in my own garage so I have to work on it when I can. I'm in the process of building my wife a computer desk, so you guessed it, that takes preference.

At this stage I fully intend on getting at least one unit working. That would be for my bike of course, then if it works successfully my main riding mate will get the next one. So between the two of us we'll test the system before it goes any further.

#12 ozymax

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 02:50 AM

You might want to check the QE out first hand...mine locks with NO noticable wheel spin. I have tested it on the trail climbing over lagre dead fall trees and on jack stands..it loks so fast that you can not detect any wheel spin at all...go check it out...
The ability to run open and then locked via rider choice is appealing...with the QE it is close enough to me...you either need 2 or you need 4..select 2 and you get 2..select 4 and you get 4...instantly....need 3wd?
JMO


I hear what you're saying and have seen the You Tube vid and it does look streets ahead of the earlier unit. One concern I would have about the QE unit is what happens on fast twisty trails where you are on the loud lever all the time. Does the front become heavy to control in that situation. If the QE unit locks to fast, then surely that would translate into heavy steering. Ok if you have p/s, but I don't.
I would be interested in hearing your thought on that.

#13 MUD707

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:55 AM

Could you possibly make one like a E-locker instead of fluids or air it uses a electronic magnet to pull a pin to lock your diff. Just runs off of 12V power source throw the switch and it locks right in. Jeep has switch from a air locker to this kind of set-up. Here is a link to Eaton's site might help explain it better. http://www.eaton.com...ocker/index.htm
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#14 canam k

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:44 AM

I like the system my 09 T-Cat has...I never liked the visco thats prob the only thing that I don't

like about the Outty.

#15 REPOMAN

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:52 AM

it wouldnt matter if if could lock on the go if it looks that bad stop and lock it down no big deal

#16 ozymax

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:54 AM

Could you possibly make one like a E-locker instead of fluids or air it uses a electronic magnet to pull a pin to lock your diff. Just runs off of 12V power source throw the switch and it locks right in. Jeep has switch from a air locker to this kind of set-up. Here is a link to Eaton's site might help explain it better. http://www.eaton.com...ocker/index.htm


Thanks MUD707 for posting that link. I new that the Eaton locker existed but never knew how it worked. Now that I've seen it I think that my design will have one big advantage over it and that is mine will be able to be deployed at any speed because it's not using splines or pins that need to be engaged.
I would dearly love to use an electro magnet style actuator but I simply don't have the facilities to produce it. I do how ever have the facility to go the hydraulic route. Maybe if I can prove my idea works, then I can get something made for the job.
Thanks for your input. :D

#17 Go Hard

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 07:58 AM

Now we are talking!

Let's keep it simple, if you are going to do this.

No wheel sensors, keep it simple, either a cable operated or simple on / off electric switch.

I find that you either need 4 X 4 or not, not 3 wheel drive. I ride 95% time in 4X2.
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#18 ozymax

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 02:59 AM

Ok.
Today I ordered a couple of bits I need to start the project.
Just have to wait till they arrive, then I can start to make some swarf.

Does anyone have any links to suppliers of linear actuators?

#19 HIGHOCTANE

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 04:18 PM

I hear what you're saying and have seen the You Tube vid and it does look streets ahead of the earlier unit. One concern I would have about the QE unit is what happens on fast twisty trails where you are on the loud lever all the time. Does the front become heavy to control in that situation. If the QE unit locks to fast, then surely that would translate into heavy steering. Ok if you have p/s, but I don't.
I would be interested in hearing your thought on that.


Yes..depends what you are going to be doing..without power steering, if you like to run around with 4x4 engaged at high speeds ect...say you nail the throttle in a corner breaking traction in 4x4 when it locked it would likely make the front steering stiffer(not sure how much since I have PS and can't feel any added resistance in 4x4)...so if you plan to run high speeds in 4x4 in an out of the throttle....probably wouldn't be a good idea to run the QE without PS...3 wheel drive with a selectable locker would be safer IMO. If you just use 4wd when the going gets tough at lower speeds the QE probably wouldn't be that bad...no worse than a locked diff IMO. Basically if you like to hot dog in 4x4 the QE wouldn't be a good idea without PS IMO.

#20 wheelerwilly

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Posted 08 October 2009 - 09:35 PM

IDK i'm just thinking about this but if it is we want to lock the clutches, and assuming that some ambiant pressure helps apply the piston, could the chamber be pressureized by an outside source? maybe, as a prototype, a nitrogen or CO2 cilinder could be used to increase the chamber pressure for lock up? then released for normal visco operation?

would be simplier and easier than a mechanical set-up?
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