M180 /C200 ARB Lockers? - Second Generation Nissan Xterra Forums (2005+)
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-02-2018, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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M180 /C200 ARB Lockers?

From reading TNX my '07S Auto X should be equipped with a C200 rear and a M180 front geared at 3.13. Right? So I'm thinking into the future and contemplating front and rear air lockers. What is my best path forward now that I understand that the M180 is not the greatest diff to start with and how would it hold up with a locker, or would it or can it? How does the C200 hold up as well equipped with a locker. I will be running 33's with the 3.13 gearing to start with. No Titan swap for now...
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeX View Post
From reading TNX my '07S Auto X should be equipped with a C200 rear and a M180 front geared at 3.13. Right? So I'm thinking into the future and contemplating front and rear air lockers. What is my best path forward now that I understand that the M180 is not the greatest diff to start with and how would it hold up with a locker, or would it or can it? How does the C200 hold up as well equipped with a locker. I will be running 33's with the 3.13 gearing to start with. No Titan swap for now...
Yes, you're rocking a C200k (corporate) rear and R180 with 3.13 gears

The front diff isn't as weak as some would infer. The thing that kills the front diffs is wheelspin with a sudden stop/shock-load... as what happens when an aggressive driver tries to throttle up a slick hill, gets a bit of air in the front (1 wheel) and as the front tire is spinning at full tilt the front makes contact with the ground and SNAP!... A locker (or 2) will greatly limit that. Lockers will mean that you have to use the throttle less.
The greatest benefit to the m205 Titan diff is the mounting flange for the front shafts. Easier to replace a snapped half shaft. Also, if you plan to run big tires and deep gearsets, the larger ring & pinion gear is a benefit. Under 4.10 and you don't 'need' a 205. 4.56 and up and it becomes a need. But with an auto on 33s (i'd argue 35s even) you don't need to go over 4.10 especially if you do mileage. And yes, gears will affect MPG. IMHO 3.54-3.69 is the sweet spot for an auto on 33s. Deeper than that, you get more capability/slower crawl with a cost to MPG and top speed. Your new comfortable highway speed would be 65. If you want to get an idea what it would be like, regularly drive the highway with OD off.

Will a r180 stand up to a locker? Absolutely. Many Frontiers lock the front. Most run ARB F&R, some run an autolocker front, TruTrack rear.
Whether you do auto or selectable front, there's alot to be said for a TT rear. Its always there and gives very little wheelspin. You don't always need 4wd with TT in the rear. If you find yourself hanging out with your rear leg in the air alot, selectable rear may be better, but the TT with traction control is like having a locker... soon as you get it in the air, ABLS stops it and hte TT locks up. Then its all climbing...

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BlueRidgeX View Post
From reading TNX my '07S Auto X should be equipped with a C200 rear and a M180 front geared at 3.13. Right? So I'm thinking into the future and contemplating front and rear air lockers. What is my best path forward now that I understand that the M180 is not the greatest diff to start with and how would it hold up with a locker, or would it or can it? How does the C200 hold up as well equipped with a locker. I will be running 33's with the 3.13 gearing to start with. No Titan swap for now...
I said this all the time until I went to my first Xterra meet. If you are considering getting into lockers, save your money and get an M226 for the rear ( it has an e-locker already in it), and an M205 for the front with an air locker. This will save you money in the long run!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 10:23 PM
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Been running a c200 locker for 5 years, works great. I have known people that break the spiders in the M226 and end up with an air locker anyway. If you don't plan on re-gearing the airlocker in the c200 is fine.

I ran an air locker in a R180 too, but when I got wheel spin and slid into a rock wall it broke the axle, not the diff, but, those axle stubs are still in that diff sitting in my closet. I got a M205, air locked it and use pathy half shafts as I don't want my wheels sticking out and it runs great, but unless you find some 3.36 gears to put in the c200, which I had done when I did the original lockers you will not be able to use the M205 as there are no 3.13 gears for it as far as I know. What you can do if you want to do 4.10 gears, you can get a locker for the c200 that will do that and you can get the same for the M205.

All are expensive, but worth the money. You just really need to decide what you want in the end as each time you change gearing the labor charge will be rather high never mind the cost of the parts.
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Last edited by NYTKSHR; 12-17-2018 at 11:40 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 11:29 PM
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Corrected that for clarity...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYTKSHR View Post
Been running a c200 locker for 5 years, works great. I have known people that break the spiders in the M226 and end up with an air locker anyway. If you don't plan on re-gearing the airlocker in the c200 is fine.

I ran an air locker in a R180 too, but when I got wheel spin and slid into a rock wall it broke the axle, not the diff, but, those axle stubs are still in that diff sitting in my closet. I got a M205, air locked it and use pathy half shafts as I don't want my wheels sticking out and it runs great, but unless you find some 3.36 gears to put in the c200, which I had done when I did the original lockers you will not be able to use the M205 as there are no 3.13 gears for it as far as I know. What you can do if you want to do 4.10 gears, you can get a locker for the c200 that will do that and you can get the same for the M205.

All are expensive, but worth the money. You just really need to decide what you want in the end as each time you change gearing the labor charge will be rather high never mind the cost of the parts.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 05:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mtyler11 View Post
Yes, you're rocking a C200k (corporate) rear and R180 with 3.13 gears

The front diff isn't as weak as some would infer. The thing that kills the front diffs is wheelspin with a sudden stop/shock-load... as what happens when an aggressive driver tries to throttle up a slick hill, gets a bit of air in the front (1 wheel) and as the front tire is spinning at full tilt the front makes contact with the ground and SNAP!... A locker (or 2) will greatly limit that. Lockers will mean that you have to use the throttle less.

Will a r180 stand up to a locker? Absolutely. Many Frontiers lock the front. Most run ARB F&R, some run an autolocker front, TruTrack rear.
That pleases me to here that. My sometimes feeble understanding had me believing that... in particular... that a locker on the front R180 would create more stress on an already weak front diff, and the same thing for the rear diff when it comes down to it. It makes since to me that excessive wheel spin on a free wheel once planted creates massive amounts of stress on every component of your drive whether front or rear.

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Originally Posted by electronrider View Post
I said this all the time until I went to my first Xterra meet. If you are considering getting into lockers, save your money and get an M226 for the rear ( it has an e-locker already in it), and an M205 for the front with an air locker. This will save you money in the long run!
I hear you and I hope I don't regret the decisions I have already made. I already have new LCA's, UCA's and Radflo coilovers etc... for my current factory suspension. From what I gather I will have to decide that if I lock it now with the current setup I will have to do it again if I decide to do the M205 Titan swap. I think that I now understand that I could still swap the R180 for a M205 with pathfinder axles without the full-on suspension swap. If I choose to do that then I have the option to go with "NEW" Titan LCA's, UCA's, Axels and coilovers....or dig my hole deeper with my current setup by adding the lockers now. Please correct me if I'm wrong in my assumptions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NYTKSHR View Post
Been running a c200 locker for 5 years, works great. I have known people that break the spiders in the M226 and end up with an air locker anyway. If you don't plan on re-gearing the airlocker in the c200 is fine.

I ran an air locker in a R180 too, but when I got wheel spin and slid into a rock wall it broke the axle, not the diff, but, those axle stubs are still in that diff sitting in my closet. I got a M205, air locked it and use pathy half shafts as I don't want my wheels sticking out and it runs great, but unless you find some 3.36 gears to put in the c200, which I had done when I did the original lockers you will not be able to use the M205 as there are no 3.13 gears for it as far as I know. What you can do if you want to do 4.10 gears, you can get a locker for the c200 that will do that and you can get the same for the M205.

All are expensive, but worth the money. You just really need to decide what you want in the end as each time you change gearing the labor charge will be rather high never mind the cost of the parts.
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Originally Posted by BCBrian View Post
Corrected that for clarity...
If I Start looking for an m226 is there a particular year(s) that I should look for? Didn't some of the early ones have two spiders vs. four?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 10:00 AM
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I know @Kirzzy is running ARB front and rear air lockers with a 4.10 gearing. Been waiting for updates.

I've been thinking at going this route myself.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 08:39 PM
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I hear you and I hope I don't regret the decisions I have already made. I already have new LCA's, UCA's and Radflo coilovers etc... for my current factory suspension. From what I gather I will have to decide that if I lock it now with the current setup I will have to do it again if I decide to do the M205 Titan swap. I think that I now understand that I could still swap the R180 for a M205 with pathfinder axles without the full-on suspension swap. If I choose to do that then I have the option to go with "NEW" Titan LCA's, UCA's, Axels and coilovers....or dig my hole deeper with my current setup by adding the lockers now. Please correct me if I'm wrong in my assumptions.

Well I am doing the same thing you are. Right now I am gathering parts to swap in an M205 and an M226 so I can be locked both front and back, without the added expense of doing a full on titan swap. The nice thing about going this route is once to start to exceed the limitations of this setup, you are already to move on to a titan swap with the rest of the front suspension. Aftermarket UCA's and coilovers are a decent payback when you get done upgrading and sell off the old parts. I don't know that I well ever titan swap the suspension, but to me, the best bang for the buck is to go to the M226 and the M205 with an air locker.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-20-2018, 10:48 PM
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There are lots of parameters to consider; how much can you spend? how heavy is your car when loaded for the trip? what type and level of offroading you intend to do? Can you do all the technical labor (regearing, locker install, differential swap, ...) by yourself or some friend who charge you very little or you rely on random mechanics doing it for you? and the list goes on and on...


But my experience with a similar setup: a front automatic locker alone takes the car to full new level. I drove my car on 285 KM2s with the Lokka on some very hard trails and had no issue. You won't believe those rock gardens that I tackled with that setup. If you add some kind of rear locker to your C200k (either an auto-locker or ARB) you will be even huge step upper without spending too much.


The cost goes ridiculously up like a domino effect if you think of a differential swap. 3.13 is not available for neither m205 nor m226. So, either front or rear differential you pick to swap with a beefier option, will affect your other diff and adds up. New CV joints, new drive shaft yoke, bigger U-bolts are some of the "Tiny" parts that you may not think of at first, but will cost you a lot when adds up. No need to mention that 3.36 is not a BIG Difference to 3.13; it's only 7% and barely noticeable. You shall go at least 3.54 or 3.69 to start to feel the difference.


My suggestion: IF you want to keep your upgraded suspension setup and have no plan for Titan swap, and IF you don't want to go up for 35", and IF you are not prepared to spend 4K-5K for this UPGRADE project, add a front automatic locker and some sort of rear locker and your rig will be unstoppable. Keep in mind that air locker needs an onboard air compressor, too.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilo Sierra View Post
I know @Kirzzy is running ARB front and rear air lockers with a 4.10 gearing. Been waiting for updates.

I've been thinking at going this route myself.
I'm happy as can be with the lockers and gearing. I did 1000km then opened the rear to check wear and particles. Nothing untoward. Done over 20000km now with regular use of the rear in the sand and rock with a few activations of the front in really sticky situations.
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