ByUnsealed 4X4October 21, 2017

What goes into fitting ARB Airlockers?


In an effort to get my ’Cruiser tougher for off-road work and towing caravans into places I probably shouldn’t, I started looking at diff locks and what was on the market. There are several options available; however because I already had an ARB compressor in place and I was fitting a rear bar, roof rack and bush rails to match the ARB bullbar, I decided that ARB Airlockers would work. Having had them in my last ’Cruiser I was used to how they worked and familiar with any potential problems (of which I’d had a few). More about that later.


One thing that resounded in my mind was being told that the IFS ’Cruisers have a weak front diff, and when you see the pics, it’ll blow you away how a 2.5+ tonne 4WD can even function on such a small front diff – let alone hold the title of ‘King Off The Road’ (which is how it was marketed back in 1998 when the first 100 Series ’Cruisers were let loose on our sandy shores).


Other than major modifications to replace the whole front end there is one small replacement part that can make all the difference to the strength of an IFS front diff. The only downside to this is that it’s a pain to fit! Yep, replace the collapsible spacer on the pinion gear with a solid one. Mind you, knowing how to drive properly in 4WD to avoid bounce and drive will also help keep the diff in good nick! This job is not a small one and you could reasonably expect to lose your vehicle for up to four days. I opted to use ATOC Auto in Belgrave South (Vic) to fit my diff locks for several reasons. One, they use genuine parts such as seals and gaskets in the rebuild. Two, they know what needs to be done to route pipes and set a vehicle up properly because they have been into serious off-roading and competition work for years. Three, I have been servicing my ’Cruisers up there for over 20 years and they have helped keep my vehicles reliable. Four, they are used to me turning spanners and they are also happy to put up with me with a camera in hand (of course they are happy just to put up with me… I think).


ATOC Pricing

Total price on the rear locker to be supplied and fitted with genuine parts: $1,592.25

Total price on the front locker to be supplied and fitted with genuine parts: $1,735.00

Total price on supplying and fitting the solid spacer and new bearings and seal: $823.50

A compressor will need to be supplied and/or fitted; as well as lines run; and this will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Pricing on application. My compressor with a tyre inflation kit loom and bracket retails for $370 from ARB.


NOTE: Switches and air lines are supplied with the Airlockers.



ARB offers a 5-year warranty against defects. Of course the lockers have to be fitted correctly, and serviced and maintained correctly, which is all fairly standard fare. The operating manual has all the required wording.


ATOC Automotive warrants its work for six months or 10,000km on its labour; plus there is the product warranty to cover any manufacturing faults.

More info ON FITMENT:

More info ON LOCKERS: