4 x 4 Australia - - Front Page -

OUR GIVE­AWAY Hilux is a 2010 SR spec, so it pre­dates elec­tronic trac­tion con­trol (ETC), and while it might be okay off-road, the trac­tive abil­ity of these early rigs is pretty av­er­age without some form of af­ter­mar­ket help. Thank­fully, the Aus­tralian 4x4 af­ter­mar­ket in­dus­try is in­cred­i­bly strong and turns out top-notch prod­ucts that’ll trans­form your ve­hi­cle into what­ever cus­tom rig you de­sire.

A big player in the in­dus­try is Har­rop Engi­neer­ing. With a his­tory in motorsport that spans decades, the Mel­bourne man­u­fac­turer is now turn­ing its tal­ents to the 4x4 game, and one of its key com­po­nents is the Har­rop Elocker. With proven re­li­a­bil­ity and a sim­plis­tic de­sign, the Elocker is just the ticket for our Hilux.

Har­rop makes the locker us­ing tech­nol­ogy from US driv­e­line gi­ant, Ea­ton. Ea­ton makes driv­e­line com­po­nents for heavy ve­hi­cles, and it orig­i­nally de­vel­oped the Elocker for use in the AM Gen­eral HMMWV mil­i­tary ve­hi­cle. It was soon adapted for recre­ational four-wheel drive ap­pli­ca­tions.

Har­rop saw the po­ten­tial of the Ea­ton Elocker in the ex­ten­sive num­ber of 4x4s sold here, and – Aussies be­ing Aussies – thought it could im­prove on the prod­uct. This in­volved de­vel­op­ing a stronger fourpin­ion-de­sign dif­fer­en­tial, and cast­ing and ma­chin­ing the car­ri­ers here to suit our ve­hi­cles. This also en­sured the best qual­ity con­trol.

The sim­plic­ity of the Har­rop-ea­ton Elocker cen­tres on its elec­tro-mag­netic ac­tu­a­tion, which means there’s just one wire go­ing to the dif­fer­en­tial. That means no air com­pres­sors or lines are needed, as with many other se­lectable lock­ing dif­fer­en­tials. The sin­gle wire comes from a re­lay in the en­gine bay, with its switch lo­cated in the cabin.

Once pow­ered, the elec­tro­mag­net locks the two sides of the dif­fer­en­tial to­gether

The Har­rop-ea­ton Elocker’s elec­tro-mag­netic ac­tu­a­tion means there’s just one wire go­ing to the diff, so there’s no air com­pres­sors or lines needed

to send equal drive to both wheels. Sim­ple, se­lectable trac­tion!

The Har­rop Elocker can be fit­ted to the front, rear or both axles of most pop­u­lar 4x4 ve­hi­cles. When fit­ted to both axles they can be locked in­di­vid­u­ally front or rear, or both to­gether to pro­vide max­i­mum drive to all four wheels. Har­rop re­cently fit­ted a trio of Elock­ers to a 6x6 Land Rover, with lock­ers in all three axles.

Be­ing in Mel­bourne, we took the Hilux to the Har­rop Per­for­mance Cen­tre to in­stall the Elocker in the rear diff. The Elock­ers are also sold through Op­po­site Lock stores and Ter­rain Tamer stock­ists na­tion­ally.

The Hilux looked a bit out of place in the Har­rop work­shop, where it was sur­rounded by su­per­charged Hold­ens and BMWS, but Kevin Braun­ton’s muddy TJ Wran­gler sit­ting out­side on 35s was re­as­sur­ing. Kevin, who did the in­stall for us, started by drain­ing the diff oil, pulling the axles, drop­ping the tail­shaft and re­mov­ing the orig­i­nal LSD cen­tre. It was then taken to a spe­cial diff assem­bly room where the car­rier was re­moved from the pumpkin, the crown wheel re­moved from the OE car­rier and all the re-us­able parts sent off for a hot wash.

The Elocker is a fully as­sem­bled unit and comes with a wiring harness in­clud­ing the re­lay, switch and de­tailed fit­ting in­struc­tions. Af­ter check­ing that the orig­i­nal crown wheel and pin­ion gears were ser­vice­able, Kevin fit­ted the for­mer to the Elocker by heat­ing it up in the parts washer and then torque­ing it down. Be­fore it was re-in­stalled, a hole

The Hilux looked a bit out of place in the Har­rop work­shop, sur­rounded by su­per­charged Hold­ens

was drilled and the fit­ting in­serted to pass the power wire through. The locker was then placed back into the cen­tre and the lash was set. It was then ready to go back into the car with fresh LSD oil. With the me­chan­i­cal parts back in the car, the wire was run along the top of the chas­sis rail to the en­gine bay, where Kevin picked up 12V from the Pi­ranha Off Road fuse block we in­stalled with the dual-bat­tery sys­tem. The wiring was then passed through the fire­wall and along the back of the dash to where we mounted the switch within easy reach of the driver. The Elocker in­stal­la­tion took the best part of a day, but we messed around quite a bit with pho­tog­ra­phy and video.

Aside from set­ting the lash on the crown wheel and pin­ion, the job is one that any com­pe­tent home me­chanic could carry out with ba­sic tools and jack stands. But if you’re in any doubt, leave it to a qual­i­fied in­staller.

The crown wheel is heated to fit it over the car­rier and then torqued down to the fac­tory specs.

The Har­rop Per­for­mance Cen­tre in Mel­bourne has a spot­less work­shop and dyno room that’s usu­ally home to faster cars than our Hilux. How­ever, our Hilux will go fur­ther than them!

HAR­ROP ENGI­NEER­ING 96 Bell Street, Pre­ston, Vic­to­ria www.har­

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