The Mighty Merc – Front Locker Woes

Bit of a chicken or the egg situation I had going on with my front Spartan Locker. I’m not entirely sure what failed first, but, lots of stuff broke… kind of.

This issue was a bit of a pain to track down an started on our last CO nearly a year ago, and was slowly getting worse. Everything would check fine when it was cold, but after being on the trail for a bit, the front locker would start acting more like a spool, and when it did unlock, it was very violently. Even with just the hubs locked in, running around in 2wd, the front would do all kinds of nasty things.

A leaking axle seal finally pushed me over the edge to look into things, and I got to Christine the new garage with its first real project:
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

I got at the axle seal first. Turns out that finding the OE style seal is becoming a bit of a pain, so I tried to make the new SD seal work. I guess 40 year old axles are finally starting to fall out of favor? No dice on getting the new style of seal to work, I think it would work with some trimming, but I didn’t have time for that. Summit Racing to the rescue:
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

Once that was out of the way, it was onto the locker issue. It turned out to be two fold issue wise. First, the pins in the lunch box were all munched in roughly the same place which makes me think it was an event that did this (not sure which one though):
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

And the cross pin had some heavy wear marks on it (New pin next to the old):
Sara L.: Build and Misc &emdash;

I’m not entirely sure what caused what to fail, but I can see now why it wanted to “Spool” once it got hot. $30 worth of parts from Amazon and I was back in business.

There were other causalities though. Both front hubs (Warn Premiums – 30 spline) are now cracked on the collar that meets the axle stub shaft. They both work fine, but I know it is a time bomb now. Funds are too tight right now to upgrade to the Yukons so I am looking at my options:

Option 1: Just run them and hope for the best while out west (less than ideal)
Option 2: Pick up some cheap ass hubs to throw in the truck and hope I don’t need them (G2?)

We will see what I can come up with!

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