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Adding a locking diff to a newer subaru


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13 replies to this topic

#1 godwinaustin

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 02:28 PM

Is it possible to add a locking differential - NOT some lame LSD etc etc. - but a real fully engageable front or rear locker to a newer model forester?

This more than anything else would make a subaru so much more capable in poor conditions.

#2 monstaru

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 02:37 PM

search is yo9ur friend

but in short,there is speculation about availability from nissan/nismo to fit the r180/r200 applications.the little research i have done has been unrequited.it seems to be a unicorn.but then again i am not a thorough searcher.
a majority of the application is geared towards the rear wheel drive aspects of the "z" model cars and later.
the sx line as well.

the r160 diff found in almost every subaru vehicle has changed very little.there is ,as far as i can find,only an lsd option.these are available new from nismo for ONLY around 950 dollars.they were only an "option" in subaru vehicles.besides one . the RX.

anyways,it does not look good for us in subaruland.but we live with our lsd's,vlsd's and 4wd/awd......

people have tried mounting attacks against this anamoly.but alas money stands in the way.no one that has the money , wants to spend it on a market of cheapos!:lol:cheers, brian

#3 Caboobaroo

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 02:45 PM

IIRC, you can put the RX locking center diff into the tranny but for front and rear, like monstaru said, the NISMO one and the LSD/VLSD were the only onces available IIRC.

#4 grossgary

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 06:53 PM

i'd so some searching on the this site. there's also a forester site too, i bet those dudes know. someone mentioned a fully locking rear diff before but i don't know if they really meant they had done it (seems like that is what they meant). but i know no details.

weld the rear diff and pull a rear axle if you have automatic and can put it in FWD. if you have a manual you're hosed.

what do you mean by poor conditions? depends what kind of driving you're doing but by "poor" conditions if you mean in snow and slick roads then the clutch type LSD's should do you quite well actually. they're weak for off road but for slow, treacherous snowy road conditions they do very well.

#5 monstaru

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 08:39 PM

umm,clutch type lsd's are not the best for snow.now a vlsd would be perfect for snow stuffs.which i am sure is what you meant gary.as you know way more about this stuff then i do.cheers, brian

#6 grossgary

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 11:37 PM

umm,clutch type lsd's are not the best for snow.now a vlsd would be perfect for snow stuffs.which i am sure is what you meant gary.as you know way more about this stuff then i do.cheers, brian

i don't know much about it but i prefer the clutch type by far. apparently different terrains/uses/opinions for people.

there's already a thread debating this, but for my kind of daily driving the VLSD's are weak. not engaging until slippage starts isn't ideal when driving slowly on steep mountain switch back snow covered roads i don't know the reasons but the VLSD's i've driven do worse for what i use them for.

others seem to prefer the VLSD.

#7 Numbchux

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 01:03 AM

there's been some speculation about the r180. since the STi already uses an r180. you could swap that into the back of your forester. in STi trim, it already has a pretty beefy LSD in it (stronger than any factory r160 LSD).

BUT, nissan trucks used an r180 in the front. and I remember hearing some thoughts about getting a locker for the nissan, and putting it in the subaru diff. on paper, it would work. in practice........well, I don't think it's ever been done. some research, and $$$....who knows.


or...weld 'er up.



but, in short. no, there is no locking option for an r160 other than welding it up.






or....put a solid axle in 'er :grin:

#8 monstaru

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 01:35 AM

i was just reading back on this r180 locker.it appears that when i checked before the national arb did not have any,and neither did anyone local.low production,low sales i am guessing.cheers, brian

#9 Numbchux

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 11:00 AM

just did some looking around...

the r180 was in the front of nissan frontier pickups. '98-'04. ARB does make a locker for them. not sure of gear ratios.

also, there are detroit and other options for the H190 diff that was in the hardbody/pathfinder. this diff was also used in the rear of the 200SX (and even available as a 4.11). pics of the r190 (h190 locker fits...) looks identical to an r180, except for the bolt-on axle flanges.


couple links I stumbled on:
http://www.gordon-gl...rg/lsdtech.html
http://forums.hybrid...ad.php?t=114798

#10 monstaru

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 01:25 PM

just because they made it does not mean there is one available..call ARB in renton.they'll know.cheers, brian

#11 Numbchux

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 06:13 PM

just because they made it does not mean there is one available..call ARB in renton.they'll know.cheers, brian


it certainly doesn't, but while searching, I stumbled across an ARB dealer that had them listed....

#12 grossgary

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 08:52 PM

i think the datsun guys (who are always trolling here for LSD's) might have some insight?

if they get subaru diffs to work in their vehicles (requires some minor mods to the axle flange), and if the old and new subarus can swap, and they have figured out actual lockers, then maybe that's a road.

that one datsun site has all sorts of info and i'm sure covers if locker are available or not.

#13 Phizinza

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 01:27 AM

If you have a manual gearbox the rest of this applies:
I'd say locking front or rear diff with an AWD box that uses a centre VLSD is just asking for trouble. You'll burn up that centre diff and its not the easiest thing to replace.
If your serious, I'd be getting an old RX gearbox, putting the centre diff from that on the back of your Forester box (and also get a D/R Forester box if you haven't got one already). Then you'll have real 4x4. Then you either need to spend $$$$ on a custom locker or $$$$ on a independent suspension diff that has lockers already made for it or go solid axle with a locker.
I wouldn't put a locker in the front either because the CV's are already under enough strain in a Subaru.

#14 Gloyale

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 03:36 PM

The helical OBX front liminted slips for the WRX will fit in any of the older 5spd trannys.

Couple that with center locking diff AWD box (RX) and a Clutch or viscous LSD rear (available factory options) and you'll have pretty positive forward propulsion.




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