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Kam Drop in Locker - any feedback?

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Hi,

In the world of diff locks there are some names that build great reputation. Kam is solid brand but the typical solution was costly thanks to the retrofitting required to install their locker.

Now; maybe some time ago, I just notice a few days ago; they were able to solve that problem presenting the Drop in Locker.

Anyone installed this solution?

What is your opinion about this locker?

Thanks

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Well, it looks 4pin with a thick crown wheel mount. That's a bonus on either KAM style over OE centres, but most aftermarket diffs reduce the risk of the crown wheel stripping teeth.

Then there are the slip rings which normally work in industrial applications.

Like it because;

Can't see any harm in it,

Drops in,

No reason to assume it wont run well.

Dislike it because;

Trying to fit a locker dog in a diff rather than on the outside is always a tricky engineering job,

You can take the axel cover off the old style and you can see what is happening, (It could be made air or cable)

Old one has a warning light from an internal switch.

If it was a full offroader I'd personally go for the axel case mod unit, and I have the gear to do that, so that changes it round a bit. If it is play day and farm I would go with the drop-in version.

But I wouldn't? I'd go ashlocker. I'm pleased with the KAMs I have, but the air locker would be my choice on the full offroader. Unless I could figure a way to put a clutch-plate locker in there :)

Does the KAM drop-in take limited-slip plates? That's a bonus for the axel-mod version and I have seen one fitted with both limited-slip and the external locker clutch and it ran very well :)

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I actually did a little of the design / CAD work on the Drop In Locker.

I was at first a bit skeptical that you could fit the locking dog in to the space and make it strong enough - but actually it's pretty clever! The locking plate has a cut-out the same shape as the back of one of the sun gears - so it's engaging on the same teeth it uses to drive. The four solenoids are just slotted in the space between the four planet gears - which is normally empty so you don't loose any metal from the important bits.

It's really about as simple as it could be.

The diff centre has been designed to permit the addition of limited slip plates - though this is not in the initial release. You would only have to change one part to add the plates so I expect it will be an upgrade option.

I've not tested it nor seen test data - but the design looks very sensible. They have done a lot of testing, particularly of the slip-rings and brushes and I don't think these will be a problem even long term.

Also, unlike most of the competition, the whole thing is made in the UK. No Chinese bits at all!

The down side is the cost. The original plan was to make it low cost - but to make a good job of it, it needed to be less low cost. It compares OK with a single Ashcroft Locker + compressor, but not so well against two Ash lockers + 1 compressor. Better value than an ARB, but I think their day is almost over in this market.

Would I buy one? I would definitely consider it. I like the electric operation. It's a shame there is no positive feedback over whether it's actually locked or not - but nor is there on any of the competition. I guess that added an unnecessary cost.

Si

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And even though the standard KAM lockers I have indicate when it is in, it is always left wanting for an 'out' light :) Else how do you know if you are going in one direction because of terrain, or because the dog hasn't let go?

To be honest, if Simon says he had a hand in it, I'd buy one. Not blowing smoke up his exit, but he's not daft :D

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I did actually suggest to them a mechanism for detecting positively whether it is in or out. It's electronic - which I think was too much of a mystery to KAM. Essentially working in the same way as a metal detector but where the solenoids act as the coil in the metal detector head. It's the same method used by proximity switches and sensorless brushless DC motors. It would detect whether the rod in the centre of the solenoid is in or out, thus Locked or Unlocked.

Si

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Bit of a thread revival but since first posting has anyone had a play with one of these diff locks?

I'm looking at furthering my 90's capabilities and was looking at installing a rear locking diff, this looks pretty attractive due to not needing to find space for a compressor etc. Purpose of the locker would be for use to help get out of those stickier situations, although its more of a get you out of trouble or get me up a hill under more control rather than using all the time in any competition type environment...

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yes.

horrible

 

and I think possibly no longer being made.....or at least have been out of stick to buy for months

had more than a few in with faults to correct.  

Will no longer work on then as spares / support hopeess.

 

nige 

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11 hours ago, Hybrid_From_Hell said:

yes.

horrible

 

and I think possibly no longer being made.....or at least have been out of stick to buy for months

had more than a few in with faults to correct.  

Will no longer work on then as spares / support hopeess.

 

nige 

Interesting, but slightly disappointing. what was going wrong with them?

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The DIL Locker as it was called was started on the drawing board when I worked at KAM with Steve in 2009.

The original idsea and design changed time and time again, going down the wrong routes tasking up huge £s and time and getting nowhere

 

The ashlocker launched and at the time I said "Don't bother"...they did spending more monies then KAM was taken over by Allmakes who got frustrated that it wasn't sorted and it was then quickly redesigned to save production costs and went into production.

It costs about £200 more than ashlocker, and is not as strong, its got some very delicate bushes inside and all in all it didn't in anyway give the ashlocker competition.

 

A few have sold, and I have had at least 7 in for repairs. The sales were poor and the priced reduced, still didn't beat the ashlocker.

I think now KAM / allmakes are dropping lines - the locker could maybe go, as they don't offer a builkding service a la we did at KAM.

I won't build them . period.

For less money just buy a bloody ashlocker !..and s/h - take a brave pill, I will never ever buy a used one in / sell one of these ever !

Nige

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Fair enough, you obviously feel rather strongly about the subject, a shame, the concept looked pretty good. Thanks Nige for taking tome to elaborate.

Have you posted that sump plug yet.... ;)

 

Mav

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