So you decided to upgrade the rear axle to one of the new 'hybrid' models that are getting popular like our Spidertrax Sidewinder... The only problem is, you spent part of last seasons budget on a new ARB Air Locker for the rear, and now you can't use it in the new (larger) carrier!
With a little elbow grease and the right component parts you can convert that rear Air Locker into a front Air Locker.The rear axle shafts in a Samurai have 26 splines and the front shafts have 22 splines. The components that make the real difference in swapping the carrier are the side gears. The folks at Air Locker Inc. (ARB - here in the USA) supplied us with a set of 22 spline side gears to make the conversion. Here is how... To do this we have to pull the carrier from the differential housing. We started by disconnecting the air line from the bulkhead body (differential housing fitting). Be very careful not to kink the copper air line tubing as it is the 'life line' for the Air Locker. Next we cleaned off the seal housing so that we could locate and remove the three cap screws that hold the seal housing in place. You will need to pull out your allen wrenches for this step. Be careful not to drop these cap screws into the housing, as you can really do some damage if they get caught up in the pinion bearings down below. We gently pulled the seal housing off of the bearing journal. Check the rubber o-rings in the seal housing for wear and tear. Any cracks, tears or flat spots can cause an air leak and this will render you air locker inoperable. *NOTE* Before going any further, mark the bearing caps so you can tell which side you took them off of. On some housings this can be critical to getting them to go back together correctly. Removing the bearing adjuster stopper and bearing cap bolts can be tricky if you have everything mounted to the table using the pinion flange as we do, so we use a spare (grenaded) birfield to hold everything still. They are also 26 spline, so they slide right into a rear side gear.