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I am hoping someone can help me out here.

I have never tried to engage the locking diff before last night. When I flipped the switch to lock the differential, the differential light just kept blinking. I have an auto. I was in 4lo and neutral. I read the manual and did what it said but no luck. I have only had my Xterra since June of 06 and it has seen only mild dirt road use, no trails or anything that would cause damage. The manual says you can engage the locking diff up to 4 mph. I looked in the engine and tranmission forum but didn't read anything that might explain what I am doing wrong.

Thanks
 

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While in 4lo

Move shifter to neutral

Switch on the locker

The locker light will begin to blink

Now, move the shifter to the gear 1 position. Note - You know that you can lock the transmission into gear 1 by pushing the shifter to the right while in the lowest gear selection. I recommend you stay in gear 1 while locked.

Slowly move forward. The locker will sync. It helps to turn he wheel to the right or left as you're slowly moving forward to help it sync. up.

To disengage the locker, use the same technique. Sometimes turning off the locker is a bit of a fiddle job too.
 

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The light will blink until you move forward. Wow putting on the locker seems a lot simpler in a MT.
 

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kokopop said:
The light will blink until you move forward. Wow putting on the locker seems a lot simpler in a MT.
Yep! Sometimes an automatic ain't so automatic :geek:
 

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kokopop said:
The light will blink until you move forward. Wow putting on the locker seems a lot simpler in a MT.
Yeah, you've got to plan ahead when engaging the locker with auto. If you're stuck, and you want to engage the locker, sometimes you can't move forward to get the thing to sync up. Kinda sucks but...

I've got the "system" down now. It's really no longer much of an issue.
 

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Ok. Am I understanding that you need to be in 1st gear only and that it won't engage in "D"? I will give this a try this morning and let you know. Move forward and turn the wheels a bit. Sounds simple enough.

Thanks. I knew someone here would have the answer.
 

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The locker will engage if you simply leave the transmission in drive (D), however, you really don't want to the automatic transmission to change gears in the middle of a difficult obstacle while locked. That's why you should move the shifter to the gear 1 position and leave it there while you're locked. Make sure you move the shifter to the right thereby keeping you into gear 1.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I tried the same procedure that I tried the day before and it worked. The diff light came on right away this time and went off as soon as I turned it off. I tried it a second time but it took a few moments for the diff light to stay on. It would stay on for a second and then blink off for a second then on again. It did this 3 times and then it stayed on. When I turned it off, it took a few moments for it to turn off. I had to drive forward and turn the steering wheel a bit and then it disengaged.

I just need to get out on the trails more and get used to it. Almost seems as if maybe it too needs to be broken in to operate smoothly, but I could be way off on this point.

Thanks to all for the info.
 

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Electronical shifters act this way. I hate em! If you ever get to a rebuild shop, ask someone to show you one in action on the bench, you will see what I am talking about. An Air locker has the balls to move the gears a bit and line it all up and slide in. An electronic locker kinda puts the pressure on and allows it to move in when it gets a good chance, Thus the reason the steering wheel wiggle works so well. The MT goes in easy because in reality, the pressure is always changing on it where a Auto has steady pressure forward.

I know you think you understand what you thought I said but what you heard may not be what I meant! (Disclaimer)

Anyways. check one out in action if you ever get a chance. MC
 

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USMC XTERRA said:
An Air locker has the balls to move the gears a bit and line it all up and slide in.
Tango Yankee, MC - You answered my next question.
 

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I have found that I have to be in N in my auto. I tried many times to be in drive and no luck. I never have to turn the wheel, but it does take a few wheel turns to turn on.

As for turning on when stuck, if you are stuck to the point that your rear wheels are spinning, you can engage it. You don't have to move forward, the wheels just have to turn to sync the gears. I usually don't turn it on until I do need it (except for places that I know I'll need it).

My Rubi has air lockers. It's nice that I can engage them just about any time, but the down side is the need for compressor(s).
 

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Ahhh, search and Ye shall find. I'm having the same issue here. I guess I'm gunna have to practice a little learning to use the locker.
 

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Follow the manual and it will lock in. The more you use it/exersise it the easier it will engage.
 

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Gerdo said:
Follow the manual and it will lock in. The more you use it/exersise it the easier it will engage.
Good to know. Thanks!
 
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