To understand what diff lockers do, it helps to understand how differentials work.
In a nutshell,
- Differentials enable the wheels to be driven at different speeds for cornering.
- Differentials work on road wheel resistance.
- The outside wheel has less road resistance than the inside one when cornering, therefore, the differential allows the outside wheel to be driven faster.
Unfortunately, when one wheel comes off the ground and has no resistance, all the drive to that axle gets sent out through the path of least resistance.
Diff lockers overcome this effect.
- When operated, they enable the drive delivered to the axle to be split 50/50 all of the time.
- Therefore, if one wheels does come off the ground or goes into an area of very low traction/resistance the other wheel keeps on receiving drive.
More Info on Differentials?
If you would like more information regarding how differentials work, here is a good video from the 1960’s.