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  #1  
Unread 29th October 2017, 07:01 PM
J_Jones J_Jones is offline
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Default Effort to get Aussie Locker produced; need info

Hello all. I have a 2005 Forester 2.5x that I would love to get a rear locker into and as such, have contacted two companies in an attempt to get that going: Aussie Locker and Lock Rite. Couldn't find contact info for Spartan. I got my first response back from the makers of the Aussie Locker, TorqMasters.com and they had a few questions that I hope you all can assist me in giving the correct info.

My message:
Hello. I was wondering if you all plan to or currently have anything in the works for Subarus? Specifically the R160 rear differential found in almost every Subaru since the early 90's (Not the r180 found in STI's, they have enough options). I know there is a high demand for something in the Subaru community and couldn't see why the venture wouldn't result in a profit. There is basically nothing available for the r160 besides the OEM optional VLSD that to be honest, is useless offroad.

Their reply:
We looked into center diff spools. I think you would have to lock the center diff to get a rear locker to work? We are not Subaru experts, so your input is appreciated.


My reply:
While a locker option for the center differential would also be nice, it isn't necessary for the rear locker to work. Manual transmission equipped Subaru's have a viscous limited slip in the center differential that give 50:50 front:rear torque distribution all the time and adjusts as needed. Automatics have either a multi-plate transfer clutch or variable torque distribution system which both vary in how much torque is sent to the rear but we have found a way of locking them with a flip of a switch so that is no longer an issue: http://www.subarufor...mand-4eat-3091/


Sorry for the long reply but short answer is yes, a rear locker will definitely be beneficial in any drivetrain configuration, even without modifying the center differential.


Their reply:
Thank you for the explanation, very helpful! Our Aussie Locker is popular in Sweden with rally Volvo's, we know they can hold up to the turbo cars well. To make a prototype we will need a rear differential and part of the axle shaft that slides into the diff. Can you tell me fitment? Which years this diff was used? I can source a local diff from a junk yard.

So that is where I am. Turns out, the person that is responding to my emails is the president of the company and sounds interested. Anyone confident in their knowledge to answer this question? I'm guessing here, but I think that they would need to source a standard open differential and associated axle. From pictures of the open vs VLSD and my experience, the VLSD would not be a good choice due to 1. the vlsd portion itself could cause issues and 2. the open differential has a much larger opening to the spider gears in comparison to the VLSD and that is how you get these type of lockers in.


From everything I have been able to find out so far, Subaru r160's are able to swap differentials from one to another without issue. While there are some external differences and axle differences, I should be able to take an open differential from any subaru with an r160, install the Aussie Locker in it, and then swap it into my car's original housing and adapt axles if necessary. Is this correct? Basically, the manufacturer is wanting to make sure that this part works for many cars, with some work of course.


From UltimateSubaru, it was suggested that an open differential from anything 95+ that has axles which insert into the differential would be the way to go for adaptability.


Sorry for the long first post but I figured you all may be interested in this. Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks all.
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  #2  
Unread 29th October 2017, 07:27 PM
SquiresSquire SquiresSquire is offline
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@NachaLuva might have some input, he has been working hard trying to get a rear locker made for the R160 Diff
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  #3  
Unread 29th October 2017, 08:53 PM
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NachaLuva NachaLuva is offline
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Hey J_Jones,

Good work, post this up on the locker Facebook page, the others will want to hear how you go:
www.facebook.com/R160.Diff.Locker.Project

Not sure why they're called Aussie Locker, because they're in the US lol. We really need someone to make them here. For an Aussie made locker costing $1000 AUD delivered (in Australia), it will cost the same in the US because of the exchange rate, ie, ~$1000 USD delivered. However, if it's made in the US and costs $1000 USD delivered (in the US), due to shipping & the exchange rate, it will cost around $1470 AUD. This puts it well above the price most people are willing to pay (see link)
https://www.facebook.com/R160.Diff.L...type=3&theater

This is an auto locker, or more correctly called an unlocker. 3/4 of people want an e-locker (electrically operated)
https://www.facebook.com/R160.Diff.L...type=3&theater

37% are simply not interested in an auto unlocker & 45% only if a manual locker isn't available
https://www.facebook.com/R160.Diff.L...type=3&theater

To be viable, we need the largest number of people interested possible.

However, I definitely want a locker! So regardless of where it's made & what type I'll be getting one

The viscous LSD & open diffs are almost the same, the viscous part is a tiny piece off to the side (see pic, vers 2 viscous)

The diff itself is interchangeable on all EJ and later models (ie, Forester, Legacy, Outback, Impreza, Crosstrek) and afaik most EA Subarus. Anything with a R160 diff. On some models, axles will have to be swapped & on others custom axles made. This shouldn't be too hard though.

Yes, you'll have to give them a diff to play with. I suggest one with male axles as this is the most common type. Ie, axles that slide into the diff instead of having stub axles

Do you have a link for the Ultimate Subaru thread?
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File Type: jpg 2 R160 rear.jpg (88.9 KB, 6 views)
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Last edited by NachaLuva; 29th October 2017 at 09:28 PM.
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  #4  
Unread 30th October 2017, 08:29 AM
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Rally Rally is offline
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I have a locker diff being made to fit my MY04 Forester right now, although it has an R180 rear diff. I think having a locking centre diff would be a good idea, something my car also has. I hope to have my car back on the road in a few weeks.
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  #5  
Unread 30th October 2017, 01:39 PM
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jf1sf5 jf1sf5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rally View Post
I have a locker diff being made to fit my MY04 Forester right now, although it has an R180 rear diff. I think having a locking centre diff would be a good idea, something my car also has. I hope to have my car back on the road in a few weeks.
How will you operate it ? Air, cable, electric, vacuum, telepathy ?
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Unread 30th October 2017, 03:19 PM
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Rally Rally is offline
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Telepathy would be nice- electricity will have to do for now. Assuming we can get this to work, of course.
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Unread 30th October 2017, 08:48 PM
J_Jones J_Jones is offline
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Nachaluva, thanks for the info. I will get on that facebook page and link here for those interested. Here is the link to the ultimatesubaru thread, although nothing new: http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/...or-production/

Good news however, I relayed the info from this thread as well as the UltimateSubaru thread to the manufacturer and have already gotten back another reply.

My message:
1. The best differential for the prototype to be made with would be an open differential from any Subaru 1995-on that has male axles that insert into the differential. The differential itself should be interchangeable on all EJ and later models (forester, legacy, outback, Impreza, Crosstrek) and also some EA Subarus.

1a. The VLSD should be avoided as that function would probably interfere with the locker and: A) the opening into the differential is much smaller in comparison to the open oneís and that would lead to difficulty with installation. B) the VLSD differential uses different axles on each side while the open differential uses the same axles on each side. People with the VLSD will have to find an open differential and one matching axle, but that is not a huge deal for people that really want both of their rear wheels to actually spin.

1b. The older subaruís (pre-95) also use an r160 but have axle stubs that are bolted to the outside housing and then the axles bolt to the stubs. These models will be able to swap in the 95-on R160 differential with appropriate axles however so this Locker is still good for them, although they have a little more work to do. Luckily Subaruís have used an R160 since the 70ís so needless to say, many people are excited at the idea of a rear locker.


2. Although I donít know for sure, this locker may also work for the older Nissan/Datsun crowd as they also had a variant of the R160.


I hope that this information is helpful. Please let me know whatever else you need and Iíll get it.


Their reply:
HI Jeremy,


Thank you for the information!! Some questions for you:


- What is EJ and EA?
- "open differential from any Subaru 1995-on that has male axles that insert into the differential" Do you have the years and models that the open diff was available?

Side note - we only design for open differentials, for the same reasons you listed.

- Does the Crosstrec use this open diff as well?

- Did the axle shaft spline count change throughout the years?


- What is your go-to website for Subaru parts and parts diagrams, like this: [shows an exploded diagram of a rear end with part numbers for each part that I can't seem to post on here]


So, anyone know the answers to these questions? I got the EA and EJ thing is applying to the engine family found in certain cars with EA being older and EJ the newer (like the EJ253 in my forester). Really seems like this is going to actually happen now that the manufacturer sees how many vehicles it will apply to!

Thanks for all the help everyone.

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  #8  
Unread 30th October 2017, 09:07 PM
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NachaLuva NachaLuva is offline
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To answer your questions:

All modern Subies use an open rear diff except SG Forester, WRX & maybe 1 or 2 others.

The axle spline count is the same on all modern Subies, but the configuration changes (male/female axles, circlip position). Dedman might be able to tell you which diff to use as the most common

Don't get too excited lol, he's showing interest & that's great. We've had interest from 2 groups before that ended in a dead end. Keep chasing this up & hopefully something will happen.

While you're talking to him, let him know that at least half of the people interested in a locker come from Australia, so he would need to do something for us to make it more viable
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Unread 30th October 2017, 09:19 PM
J_Jones J_Jones is offline
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Thanks for the info NachaLuva. When you say that "All modern Subies use an open rear diff except SG Forester, WRX & maybe 1 or 2 others", do you mean that all other Subaru's are open and those are the only ones that have an option for VLSD? I know for a fact that my 2005 Forester 2.5x has an open rear diff so I think that is what you are meaning.

Good to hear that the axle spline count is the same across the board. I believe that the differential that accepts the male axles is the one with the widest application but would definitely like to get more confirmation on this.

I'll try not to get too excited but there are some parts that I left out of the emails that had us talking about my Volvo 244 that I rallyx and this person seems really cool and sincerely interested in people getting out and having fun with their vehicles.

I will for sure tell them about you Australia folks and see if they have a distributor there to help keep the price down. Just to give an idea on the cost of this, the Aussie Locker for my Volvo Dana 30 is only $260.
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Unread 31st October 2017, 12:32 AM
MiddleAgeSubie MiddleAgeSubie is offline
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I am not into the mechanics of this but I assume you are talking an auto locker like these ones:
http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/tr...cker-shootout/

I still don't understand how that would work if the torque is mostly sent up front. There is no permanent 50/50 split or 45/55 split as on my VTD. If the car's front wheels are unloaded on a steep and loose hill, the front wheels will spin. With VDC, I can proceed very well with two wheels in the air diagonally over ruts or small steps, but the front spins like crazy on steep and loose enough hills, unless momentum is maintained. That's where brake-based differentials meet their match, especially without low range. So, if only a bit of the torque is sent to the back, what does it matter that the rear is fully locked? I would assume that you would need a way to keep the center locked firs, like the flip switch you mentioned for some models.

After all, about 93% of US sold Series 80 Land Cruisers, per the respective forum, have open front and rear differentials and, of course, no VDC-like system. But low range plus the locked center get the job done. Similarly, the percentage of rear diff equipped LR3s sold in the US is minuscule though I have not seen an exact number.

Finally, I think that if the price is kept low and the center diff issue is resolved there could be a market for these for older model Subarus.

You may want to contact someone like the Offroadsubarus of Colorado. If anyone can give you a sense of direction for the US market, it is those guys.
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