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TJM Pro Locker?

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Does anyone have any experience with TJM Pro Lockers? Everyone is so goo for ARB, and I'm sure they're great, but I deem TJM to be reputable, too. Their air locker is nearly $100 cheaper...and all other TJM components are also cheaper than their ARB counterpart. Rugged Rocks sells the 33-spline (p/n 168PL04) and 31-spline (p/n 168PL05) variants for the H233B.


One thing I like about the TJM is the pneumatic piston mounted on the carrier cap via bracket. This means that, in case of failure, it can be easily replaced without pulling the carrier or doing any related work.




It might also mean that a custom mechanism could make it either electric or cable-driven by replacing the actuator, if someone wanted to forego having OBA. TJM and OX designs are very similar, and OX provides manual, electric, and pneumatic shifters for their lockers. The piston design also seems to overcome some issues with ARB's sealed bearing design.




The interwebs haven't provided compelling reasons to not consider TJM. Anyone here have any thoughts?


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Their website has me convinced that this is a pretty good product. Lockers are not in my near future plans. I hope someone will try this out on an R50.

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I'm weighing it. If I go through the trouble of swapping in 4.636 diffs down the road, they're getting locked on the way in.


As far as the company goes, the most common misconception I read was that TJM was realtively new to the locker game. Word on the street, though, is they've been badging lockers from a well-established company, Jack McNamara Differential Specialty Ltd., who've been making them for Land/Range Rovers, LandCruisers, and Hiluxes for decades. The pics at their website look exactly like the (few) TJM ones I've seen. http://www.mcnamaradiffs.com.au


Some other murmurs indicate that TJM owns JMDS now; a couple US and AUS patents online indicate some truth to that, with TJM now being the patent owners.


I guess I'm more curious why TJM loses the ARB war. Maybe it's a distribution thing? Though in AUS, they have TJM stores, so I'd expect some following there, too. I'd like to see a TJM vs ARB locker video...vs. Yukon Zip Locker

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I wish I had the money for these kinds of mods and the experience to go with it, but I don't. I cannot comment on any of them but of course I do recognize the ARB brand and that's the whole point. I seriously doubt this has anything to do with product quality, but more so it's the psychology of a hugely recognized brand name and all the macho mod guys out there are really happy to buy that NAME with their locker or manual hub or whatever. ARB has the market share because they've always had the market share, it comes down to PR.


I'm sure there's no reason TJM wouldn't have 90% of the market share if they had been able to woo spend happy gear heads first, and then (the 2nd half) wage a really good PR campaign through branding, look and feel so when a couple of guys show up to a rock trail climb in Lostinthedesert, Utah, some dude can brag about his new TJM locker and everyone will say, "Oh cool..sweet man, yeah I love mine, it's been great!"


It's just there because it's always been there. I just bought the house I'm living in from my Mom and with some few little odds and ends still left hanging around and I still find myself saying..."uh, why do I have this random thing here? How long have I just been overlooking / ignoring these random dishes in the cabinet?" It's like stuff belongs to the house, that's been there for so long that we've just accepted it and live and move right around it without even noticing. I think this ARB deal is the same thing.


Who knows, maybe TJM is bunk, maybe they're not paying their R&D department 10% of what ARB pays their guys, all anyone can do is research whatever there is to learn and then throw em a bone and see what happens. It'd be great to get up the same trail just as easily as the guy infront of you for half the price and let 'em all know about it.

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Well put, gv280z. I guess that's what it boils down to...brand name and brand loyalty. Aside from airlines, though, neither of those matter much to me personally, but I'm certain they do for others.





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I tried to recover a stuck Silverado this morning that was stuck in a snow drift. My rear wheels again weren't both spinning, leaving me having, having to rock back and forth and try to snap him out. We all know that never works lol. Tow strap was shredded, which I fully expected as it was my crappy old one. No biggie. Got him out in the end but my point is, I need a damn locker!!! I hate seeing my wheels not even try to spin! Stupid LSD. Maybe when my house sells I'll buy a locker. Well not maybe, definitely!!

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In the meantime, use the tow strap for towing and get a snatch strap for recoveries.

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Well...I pulled the trigger on a TJM today. Summit has had them on clearance for a few weeks now at $695 (and also on eBay), which was just too good to pass up. There are a few other TJM products on clearance there, which is a little concerning, but I decided to stand by my original/virtual quality assessment and design for the TJM over the ARB.


Since I've also been unable to sell the R200A ARB locker that I picked up from another member here, that was the other factor here, and I'll be using it now. Goin' full air, boys!


I tore down the ARB the other night and despite being quite old, it's held up well. I had slowly been collecting all the other replacement parts that were missing wondering if I was ever going to use it. Earlier in the year, I paid $50 for a new/genuine ARB solenoid and bulkhead kit...which is a deal in itself...but those also came with some bar-pin eliminators for Jeep shocks that I sold for for $35...win!). New bearings on order, just need to pull the diff down and get to work.


One downfall about TJM is that their product information and documentation is non-existent. I can't even tell what all is included in the box. From what I can tell, it includes new bearings, which might be good and bad. Good in that it saves $80+ in bearings that you would have to buy for an ARB (if you didn't re-use yours), but according to a Patrol forum, I don't think it uses H233B bearings. Could make the search for replacements in interesting when the time comes.


Anyway, when it comes in, I'll post the details up.

Edited by hawairish
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Alright, here it is!








6mm x 15m air hose

1/4" x 1m rubber hose (attaches to bulkhead, then adapts to 6mm...more on that later)

2x bearings (yes, they are different from OE)

ring gear bolts




actuator bracket w/ hardware

Carling switch base (looks like it has a red illumination LED, and a green "on" LED)

Carling switch paddle ("TJM PRO LOCKER REAR")

bulkhead fitting, barbed fittings, and other related pieces

bumper sticker (like an actual bumper sticker, not something cooler like a vinyl cutout)








I guess extrusion machines (or is it, "equiment"?) don't have spell-check. For reference, ARB uses 5mm hose, while TJM 1-ups them at 6mm.


More pics of the locker to follow, but here's a comparison of an ARB seal housing vs. TJM actuator:




The mechanical function between the ARB and TJM is very similar, it's just how the air is used to move the mechanisms. The ARB seal housing routes the air inside the locker (sealed by two large o-rings), applies pressure to a large rubber-coated washer/seal, which moves a cage (plastic in the RD107 for an R200A, btw) and engages the gears. The TJM keeps the air external to the locker, moving the fork-like piece on the actuator against a sliding ring, when then engages the locker (the pictures below will probably explain this better).


From L-R: MAC, TJM, and ARB solenoids:




I'll be using a pair of the MAC solenoids to purge the lines when the system is idle or off. More on that later...


Edited by hawairish
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Here's where the magic happens...






Kinda hard to see, but the area around the boss on that socket bolt in the center is a bit rough. Manufacturing defect, but no impact on function.




The guts. Beef Supreme!




Seriously, these internals look robust. No plastic inside (I wonder if all the ARBs have a plastic internal cage?) . That ring (spur?) gear is one thick sucker.


Side gear:




This might explain better how it works... This ring on the outside of the locker is moved by the actuator (slides up and down in relation to the picture; shown down/disengaged) is moved by the actuator:




When the actuator is disengaged, the ring gear is disengaged from the side gear, and the locker is unlocked (open):




When engaged, the ring gear slides around the side gear, keeping it stationary to the housing and locking the differential:






First impressions...this looks awesome. I'd love to have a newer ARB to do a side-by-side, but this makes my (older) ARB RD107 look like a Chinese knock-off! The sliding mechanism moves very freely. Aside from the cosmetic defect above, it's solid.


I like that it includes a thick rubber hose for connecting to the housing, offering far more protection from line damage. Not sure if I'll use it on the barbs without hose clamps, which weren't included. I won't be using the bulkhead fitting, though...nothing wrong with the pieces, but except that it's 1/4" BSPP threaded, and I'm not going to buy a tap for it when I already have a 1/4" NPT tap (and conveniently, a spare ARB bulkhead kit).


The bearings that are included have a 50mm ID, which is larger than OE (can't get a good measurement right now, but guessing about 6-8mm smaller ID). The included bearings are made in Japan by Nachi (p/n E32010J), which was surprisingly easy to find on Amazon, though the low price (~$25) seems low. But hey...bearings included!


The solenoid seems a bit cheaper than the ARB and MAC, but then again...if it works, that's all I care about. Everything else with the kit seems like good stuff.


Price-wise, $694 for the TJM vs. $950 for an RD135 ARB...I'll take that chance. I've dropped at least another $200 in just fittings, manifolds, pressure sensors, valves, compact manifolds, 1/2 gallon air tank...it really adds up quickly! But, I think I'll be pleased with the system when all is said and done.


I may as well turn this into a my install thread...


For pneumatics, it'll be plumbed to allow for tire inflation still, and with a tank will provide enough reserve for the lockers for several engagements, I'd think. The MAC solenoids will allow me to purge off the 'chambers' before and after my check valve. This will prevent the compressor from hi-load (backpressure) at start-up (I don't think this is an issue with an ARB compressor, but I'm not running one).


For electronics, I won't be using Carling switches. Instead, I'll be using the All-Mode switch found in other R50/QX4 models in the following manner:

2WD = OFF (system purge)

AUTO = Compressor on (with 70/100 pressure switch)

4HI = Rear locker

4LO = Rear + Front lockers


The transfer case controller normally controls the logic for each dial position, but if I understand the circuit correctly from the FSM, a pair of diodes will get me the effect I need. It'll look completely stock of course, and should have all the safety features I need...though I might put a separate switch upstream as a 2nd layer. I would have no reason to run the front locker by itself.


To fit in in the dash bezel, all I need to do is replace the lower bezel insert with this:




I'm still waiting on a lot of parts before I can tackle this, but hopefully I can at least have the locker in the axle by week's end, and then plumb/wire everything up soon after. Stay tuned!

Edited by hawairish
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I've finally been making some progress on this install. The front ARB was installed the other week, and am about 95% done with the air setup (awaiting one more part), and just finished installed the TJM-equipped 3rd member last night. Disc swap completing today hopefully, and probably changing out the driveshaft u-joints, too. Truck's been on stilts for the past few days.


But anyway, here are some more pics and notes of the installation...


Finished assembly:




Snaking of the line above the carrier (didn't want to cut any of the tubing):




I think I made a few minor adjustments to the line after this, but there's about 1/4" clearance from any surface (not that it'll be moving), and it's ample relief.


If you installed the actuator the way it came (with the tube pointing down), you'd soon realize the tubing is too short to reach into the housing. I initially attempted to rotate it, and it was really stiff...so much that I worried about collapsing or breaking the tube. But with enough persuasion, it does rotate (there's a small ring clip keeping it together, but I didn't want to mess with it).




Fitment of the actuator to the bracket wasn't great. Everything is nice and square, but the slots in the actuator didn't clear the holes in the bracket, so I had to file the slots a tiny amount. Hard to see here, but neither bolt would fit without risking cross-threading. And although there's a set-screw hole on the bracket, it didn't include a set-screw, and I didn't deem it necessary.




I also had to file down the bearing cap, although the instructions don't mention a need. The caps have these small metal protrusions that prevent the bracket from sitting flush, and it made the actuator sit a little crooked, too.








Then the actuator could be aligned properly...hard to tell, but it clears nicely.




How do you like my makeshift work stand? Quick clamp was used to keep the locker engaged. I don't have a giant vise for this sort of work.




Also, one of the crown bolts had this tiny, nearly unnoticeable dent on the starting thread that almost immediately manifested into a cross-thread. I had to file that one down a bit. Let this be your gentle reminder to finger tighten bolts first.


All things considered, from an installation quality perspective, the TJM is ok. Had to do a bit more work than anticipated to make this all work. More defects than I would expect, but nothing that prevented install. And that sucker is heavy...noticeably heavier than the open or LSD carriers.


I have yet to fully test it, but it's back in the axle. I just need to run a line to it, then I can do a full system test. More to follow...

Edited by hawairish

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And in case you're curious about the air controls, here's how that's turning out...


Diodes doing their thing...






The AWD switch controls all compressor and locker functions as described above.






The dual gauges are so that I can see pressure levels on both sides of a check valve that is buried in there. The upper gauge is for the air tank and lockers, and the bottom is for the direct readout for the quick connector (shown rotated). The system will relieve the compressor of a charge without discharging the air tank, just to avoid any compressor start-up issues. I've got safety valves on both sections, the cooling fan runs when the compressor is running, or if the compressor is off and above 50°C/122°F. I'm waiting for a digital pressure switch that will allow me to preset an inflation pressure and have the compressor shut off automatically when met, but I've also added a manual switch to bypass that if desired.


Here's the manifold that's installed behind the cargo panel, underneath the window. (Didn't get a pic of the installed location apparently.) Safety valve, ARB solenoid, 70/100 pressure switch, TJM solenoid, tee with line from compressor and line to a 1/2 gal. Viair tank.




Space is at a premium inside the vehicle, and I didn't feel like mounting everything (really, anything) underneath the vehicle. The unfortunate part is that all the compartments where one could install things (the cargo tub, the quarter panel, under the rear passenger seat) don't "connect"...you can't run wires or hoses between them very easily. So, ended up using some bulkhead push-to-connect fittings.




The open one is for the TJM.




The lines sit above the muffler (removed in these pics), and while I think there's enough clearance to avoid heat issues, I may craft some sort of heat shield just in case.

Edited by hawairish
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Looks clean! You could always wrap the lines in heat tape, or something of the like, but a metal heat shield would protect them from rocks and such, so that might still be the better route.

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Looks clean! You could always wrap the lines in heat tape, or something of the like, but a metal heat shield would protect them from rocks and such, so that might still be the better route.


That's not a bad idea. I was originally thinking about sleeving them in rubber fuel hose for rock protection (one of the things I like about the TJM is the inclusion of ~3' rubber hose for attaching to the diff), but not sure if the rubber is a good approach. I'm aware of heat shield sleeves...but maybe a silicone hose as a sleeve would be the best of all worlds?

Edited by hawairish

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Long overdue update to my locker setup.  The locker itself is great...still worth every penny.  No problems whatsoever.  Having since installed a few other ARB units in a few trucks over the years, I still prefer the TJM.  Unfortunately, I have a feeling these won't be available much longer.


I've made several changes to the onboard air setup that supports this over the years.  I eventually moved the MV50 out from the cubby area because it was too loud.  It was reinstalled under the hood:




The 1/2 gallon air tank also got removed from the system.  It was nice to have some reserve for air locker usage, but wasn't too useful for other functions because it just meant additional compressor run time to pressurize it.  I may incorporate it on another project.


At that time (I think), I had also wired in a digital pressure gauge in the glovebox plus installed air/Schrader valves at each tire for use with 3' whips for a tire inflation setup.






The petcock gave me the ability to also dump air, which is nice to get everything to a consistent PSI.  I also re-wired the digital pressure switch to have switches to manually override the power and relays for other functions.  Made the whips with clip-ons, hose clamps, and a cut-up Harbor Freight air hose.


Then in 2020, the installation of ARBs in Rockit's QX4 prompted the need for an air compressor in his truck, so I pulled my setup out, acquired cruise control parts to match his setup, and made some brackets to shoe horn an ARB into his truck:




This took a lot more effort than I had anticipated because of the cruise control pieces.  For reference, the space normally looks like this:




I made 3 brackets total: one to move the pump closer to the fuse box, another to move the 'bulb' closer to the firewall, and then the compressor bracket that mounted to the strut mount:




The original plan was for me to acquire a CMKA12 just for mocking up Rockit's setup, but the distributor for the shop I bought from sent me an open box unit, so I had to deal with some BS there.  The shop cut me a discount and I just kept the unit and made myself a bracket for my truck:






While at it, I added a small fuse box and some relays for future items.  I also needed to rewire the digital pressure gauge a bit to handle another solenoid for deflation air dump, but also rearranged the plumbing to make it a little more compact for storing in the glovebox. 






Everything is still controlled through the all-mode switch:




Didn't mention it earlier, but these panel bezels are interchangeable on the radio bezels.  My truck originally had a panel with a pocket and 2 switch blanks, so I bought one for an LE.  It just snaps into the bezel.  The all-mode switch functions as such:

  • 2WD: Inflation/deflation mode.  I attach all the whips to the tires, and can either auto-inflate to my preset PSI on the digital pressure switch, or I can turn off the compressor and open the dump solenoid and/or petcock to deflate.
  • AUTO: Compressor on; charges the system to 100 PSI for locker usage while driving, or for quick-connect usage (rear bumper and under hood) while stationary.
  • 4H: Rear locker engaged.
  • 4LO: Front and rear locker engaged.

If I haven't mentioned it here previously, I hate dealing with pneumatics.  These projects take so much effort to do.  I have a slow leak somewhere and have no interest in finding it, let alone ever touching this system again.

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