Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • I put diff lock on and now it won't come off!
  • how far/fast can I go before something horrible happens? It’s a 4×4 by the way.

    Boba Fatt

    surely you should be able to go quite far, just very slowly


    What 4×4?


    If it’s the central diff, and you drive on firm tarmac, you’ll get transmission windup that could break the transfer box.

    If it is an auto with electronic diff lock, make sure the engine is running and you are in neutral when you turn off the diff lock. Other combinations may work, for example start in drive, turn off diff lock, then put into neutral. Consult your manual.

    Just dont go around a corner! Its only meant to be used in a straight line. If usd on corners it stores kinetic energy and will usually end up seized or exploded! Thats what i was told when i did my off road driver training at deepdale nr barnard castle. If duff info dont shoot the messenger you horrible lot!



    RTFM ho ho ho -it’s at home next to my bed waiting for me to find time to read it!
    Manual car – patrol x60. I have read that they can stick on. It has spent its life as a town car so diff lock never used til now. Had to use it, was sliding down hill into other cars.

    What sort of car?

    If its a landy, gently rock it on the clutch while you try and ease it out.

    If its a jap part-time 4WD, make sure the steering is in the straight ahead position or it won’t unlock.

    RTFM ho ho ho -it’s at home next to my bed waiting for me to find time to read it!
    Manual car – patrol x60. I have read that they can stick on. It has spent its life as a town car so diff lock never used til now. Had to use it, was sliding down hill into other cars.


    No idea how the patrol works but you may find there a return spring that isn’t up to the job. Reversing/jiggling may help as above or get underneath and see what you can ‘help’.


    Straight wheels, clutch in if not auto.

    Had to use mine yesterday (Defender 110) to get out of an icey field (that had a “ramp” down to it hidden by snow) – pretty certain that without it, I’d still be there! Even with it, I exited sideways. Lots of fun!


    Steering straight, edge backwards and forwards, should sort it out.

    Don’t drive anywhere with it locked. I found my sister practising reversing a trailer with my Hilux once, full lock in 4H did not suit it. When I suggested that she might have noticed something wasn’t quite right she said “Yes it was making angry noises and jumping about, so I thought it wasn’t happy”.

    The Shoguns we have at work need to be reversed for about 5m to ‘unlock’, always great fun when your 9yr old son says “whats this lever do” just after giving it a good thump into lock whilst you’re waiting at a very busy roundabout with a mile of traffic behind and no hope of reversing!

    As into de_void says…..Steering straight, reverse back for a few metres, try again, works every time on my patrol. Worked on my Diahatsu Fourtrak as well, worked on my landy and my Chevy blazer as well. etc.


    Another recommendation of back and forth shuffling/rocking until it disengages, works for Land Rovers, no idea in Jap stuff with electronic locks. The electronic diff-lock in the tractor normally just switches, otherwise any change in the transmission is enough to knock it.

    Premier Icon Duc

    Rocking works on Landies so may work on japs but if you’ve driven with it on surfaces that don’t need it (which is a surprising amount) then expect a lot of rocking to unwind the transmission.
    There are some other tricks that require a lack of mechanical sympathy to unlock it but I wouldn’t recommend them as most involve putting some sort of shock load into the transmission but that is normally cheaper than the drive train damage that can result from leaving it locked


    Pretty sure it needs reversing 5m to get it off.


    just out of interest, would jacking a wheel or two off the ground let things unwind?

    Premier Icon Duc

    thats part of the “unsympathetic approach” but just jacking a wheel or two won’t really help as you have the axle diffs as well which will kick in in this situation.
    If you can lock all diffs independently then you may be able to do something with it but you’re talking full mechanical lockers like ARB or KAM to be able to control them all independently


    Duc, presumably all 4 wheels off would work relatively gently, how about both wheels at one end?


    I think another alternative that’ll work is to stick two wheels (on the same side) on something slippy and the other two on something grippy and blip the throttle – may just give you enough play to unlock it and/or take out any diff wind up.

    Right, I’ve just got in.

    Tried jiggling, rocking, moving the switch with my foot on the clutch, wheels straight, in 4H in 4L in 2H, and combinations thereof. No good.

    Ok. A friend said take out the fuse. I looked for it. Couldn’t find.

    Rang the RAC.

    RAC came. Disconnected the batteries. No good. Took the switch out. No good. He left, saying he would send a recovery truck.

    Then I remembered I’m in the Nissan4x4OwnersClub. I texted the chairman. The actuator was stuck and I was to drive round in very tight circles. It worked, almost instantly!

    BTW, the going backwards thing is to turn your hubs off if you’ve got automatic hubs. I haven’t, mine are manual, the autos broke and Nissan wanted over £300 plus VAT PER SIDE, so I got manual ones.

    Thank you all for your input, as always.

    Premier Icon wwaswas


    might be worth switching it on and off every so often to avoid a repeat.

    Good idea ^^^^.


    Or get a proper 4×4 😆


    mmm ARB and I seem to remember some very happy days on

    kona_ona – Member

    Or get a proper 4×4

    😆 Yeah, I forgot, Landies never have any problems 😆

    Each to their own eh?

    Premier Icon spooky_b329

    Got a friend who drove their old landy over a muddy field with the locks on. Got out, his wife drove it 100yds in a straight line, turned into their drive and bang, can’t remember what they broke, it was either prop, diff or half shaft. Oops!

    If you’ve got manual free wheeling hubs, then disengaging the hubs will prevent transmission wind up if the diff lock is stuck in.
    Just be aware that if the diff lock suddenly disengages by its self, you will have no drive until you re-engage the hubs.

    I think the risk of transmission damage from driving with the diff lock engaged is exaggerated.
    If I’m on a lane with patches of snow for example, I’ll leave the diff lock engaged. Nothing’s ever broken on the tarmac bits between the snow.
    Leaving it engaged long term where there’s good grip though will increase tyre wear and may cause damage to the transmission.


    Reversing is for unlocking auto hubs, but can also free up a reluctant centre diff. They should unlock with forward motion, but if they don’t reversing is often the key.

    It’s definitely worth finding somewhere local with a loose surface where you can work the transfer box through every month or so, just to keep everything moving.

    Premier Icon willard

    I need to do that with my Frontera. Has a complex switch operated 2H to 4H system (well, complex to me!) and needs to be used or it takes ages to go into 4H and back again. 4H to 4L is a lever on the transfer box, so is very easy.

    I’ve not needed it yet this year though


    What vehicle?
    If its a LR product it is very likley that its out but the little plunger light switch hasn’t moved, thus leaving the light on. Especially likely if the Difflock isn’t used much.
    LR or my old Lada just needed a bit of back and forth rocking or reverse a bit. Try it gently around a few tarmac bends .If the steering is heavy then its still in, if its ok then its unlcoked.
    Moral of story for all is use the difflock more than occasionally.
    great 4wd website, not just for difflocks

    Premier Icon Stoner

    for my edumacation…

    does the entire “blue” ring gear & side gear assembly rotate around the spider gears on the ends of the axles?

    And then when a differential is locked, the SIDE gears show in the blue assembly (but obviously NOT the ring gear) are locked in position relative to the spider gears so that the load to the spider gears can only be equal?

    That shows a differential on an axle. The principles of a centre diff are the same though.
    They’re not using the same terminology for some of the parts that I would, but I’ll stick with it for clarity.

    The pinion gear is the input from the engine and gearbox.
    The right and left axle shafts on that drawing would be the front and rear propshafts on a centre diff.

    Under normal conditions, the pinion drives the ring gear.
    The two lugs with the side gears on them are attached to the ring gear so they all go round with it.
    In a straight line, the side gears and spider gears don’t move in relation to each other. The whole lot goes round as one and both axle shafts turn at the same speed.

    When you go round a corner, the outside wheel needs to travel further.
    To do this, the side gears will rotate slightly allowing the axle shafts need to turn at different speeds.

    kona_ona – Member
    Or get a proper 4×4

    That don’t come with difflocks as standard, hence why many owners who truly use them buy the ARB aftermarket products.

    The problem comes when one wheel loses grip.
    The differential will allow that wheel to spin freely while the other one does nothing.
    A diff lock locks the side gears and spider gears together so everything turns at the same speed.
    This improves grip, but means that when you go round a corner, one wheel is travelling further than the other, but still rotating at the same speed.
    Something’s got to give.
    On a loose surface, one of the tyres will slip a bit.
    On a hard surface with good grip, it puts a lot of strain on the differential.

    I’ve put limited slip diffs on my 110.
    They’re either a compromise, or the best of both worlds, depending on how you look at it.
    On normal roads, the diff works like a standard open diff. There’s enough slip not to notice any difference when cornering.
    On slippery surfaces, they limit how much faster one wheel can turn than the other. Not quite as good as a fully locked diff, but not as much strain on the transmission when I hit a grippy patch, and easier to steer.

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