How To Install a Rear Nissan Off-Road Differential Locker

A rear differential locker is one of the more basic upgrades for your truck. A differential locker is very useful for any off-road and challenging terrain. It helps us fulfill our challenges by giving us better traction on tracks. In the market, there are wide ranges of lockers to select for your Off-road Beast. Always determine your differential specification before working on this procedure.

You will need:

  • High quality differential oil
  • High temperature sealant
  • Differential locker (mechanical or air)
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Jack stand
  • Tire wrench
  • Socket wrench


    1. Before raising the rear of your vehicle, loosen the wheel nuts on the back wheels.
    2. Then place the hydraulic jack in a secure place, and raise it until the back wheels get off the ground.
    3. After raising the back wheels of the truck, support the hydraulic jack by a jack stand positioned under the differential. Position both ends underneath the axle tubes, about halfway between the diff housing and the brake drums.
    4. Locate the differential oil drain plug. Drain the oil from the rear differential; you can make use of a standard ratchet to open the drain plugs.
    5. Clip the rubber brake lines by using a vise grip. We need to seal off the brakes, because later we need to remove the brake drums from the differential housing. We will not lose any brake fluid and there will be no need to bleed the brake system later on. Do this both sides
    6. Remove the nuts, attaching the wheel drum to the axle tubes.
    7. Disconnect the brake line from the brake drum.
    8. Pull out the whole brake drum, axle assembly. Do this both sides.
    9. Remove the bolts and nuts, attaching the prop-shaft to the third member.
    10. Remove the nuts, holding the third member to the axles.
    11. Remove the third member -- now this is a small piece of metal with a lot of weight; make sure not to drop it.
    12. Take a look at the ring gear back-lash. Grasp the ring gear so that it can't move, with the other hand, faintly rock the piece previously attached to the propeller shaft left and right.
    13. Put a mark at the adjusting rings on both sides. The one side with one punch mark and on the other side with two marks.
    14. Remove the adjuster locks.
    15. Remove the bearing caps.
    16. Removed the inner ring of bolts -- this holds the two parts of the carrier together.
    17. Remove the pinion shaft assembly, with the spider gears, washers and side gears. Mark the side gears; when assembling everything again, you will need to swap the side gears around.
    18. After swapping the side gears, place the first half of the locker on the side gear. Make sure to put the spacer in.
    19. Use a bit of grease on the springs and pins when inserting them into the one half of the locker. It will keep them in place during the assembly. Use mild grease on this.
    20. Put the pinion shaft back in the carrier on top of the half-a-locker.
    21. Put the other half of the locker on top of the pinion shaft, inserting the second spacer.
    22. Put the remaining side shaft gear into the other half of the carrier.
    23. Put the two carriers together again; make sure to match up the two marks on each half.
    24. Replace the inner ring of bolts on the carrier and torque it.
    25. Reinstall the carrier back into the third member.
    26. Replace the bearing caps; make sure everything is placed back the same way it was removed.
    27. Install the adjustment rings.
    28. After the adjusting rings were installed, torque the bearing cap bolts.
    29. Install the adjuster ring locks.
    30. Check the ring gear backlash again, making sure it is the same as before.
    31. Check inside the differential housing for foreign objects, shavings etc. Make sure no foreign objects are inside the differential housing.
    32. The old gasket should still be there. If the gasket is all ripped out, you can make a new gasket by using bellumoid gasket paper.
    33. If you’re done with the gasket, it is time to use the high-temperature sealant. Apply it on the whole of the gasket, and make sure not to use too much sealant.
    34. Re-install the nuts on the differential housing. Tighten the nuts.
    35. Reposition the brake drum and axle assembly on both sides. A slight shock might be needed on the piece that previously attached to the prop shaft on both sides to make it fit perfectly.
    36. Replace the nuts connecting the brake drum/axle to the axle tubes.
    37. Re-install the brake line to the brake drum.
    38. Put back the bolts and nuts connecting the prop-shaft to the third member.
    39. Re-install the drain plug.
    40. Re-install the 2 rear wheels and tighten.
    41. Remove the jack stands.
    42. Refill the differential housing with high-quality differential oil.

      Note: Use only differential oil. For best results, use high-performance differential gear oil.

    43. Fill the housing with about 2.8 liters to 3 liters of oil.

Test drive your car around the block. Your installed locker will result in some noise while doing some turns. For my advice, use an air locker instead of a fix mechanical locker. The air locker has two modes: open mode and lock mode. And you can take control of it at the cockpit.


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