Why does the Spartan locker make noise?

Off-roading enthusiasts and 4×4 adventurers often turn to Spartan Lockers to enhance traction and maneuverability on challenging terrains.

These mechanical lockers provide enhanced traction by mechanically locking both wheels of an axle, effectively transforming a vehicle into a formidable force against obstacles.

While Spartan Lockers offer numerous benefits, they’re not without their unique quirks, including the occasional noise they produce.

Spartan Lockers produce noise due to their mechanical design. The ratcheting effect, backlash, and tire scrubbing during turns create distinct clicking and popping sounds.

These noises are a natural outcome of their functionality, enhancing traction and maneuverability during off-roading adventures.

In this comprehensive article, we delve into the reasons behind the noise generated by Spartan Lockers, explore the mechanics at play, and provide insights into managing and mitigating these sounds for a more enjoyable off-roading experience.

Reasons behind the noise generated by Spartan Lockers:

1. Ratcheting Effect:

One of the primary reasons Spartan Lockers produce noise is the ratcheting effect. When a vehicle equipped with Spartan Lockers negotiates a turn, the wheels on the outer side travel a greater distance than those on the inner side.

The spins can rotate at different speeds during a turn in a standard open differential. However, Spartan Lockers ensure both wheels rotate at the same rate by mechanically locking them together.

As a result, during a turn, the outer wheel must drag slightly to accommodate the difference in distance traveled. This engagement and disengagement of the locker mechanism create a characteristic clicking or popping noise.

2. Backlash:

Backlash, a common phenomenon in mechanical systems, contributes to the noise produced by Spartan Lockers. Backlash refers to small play or clearance between gears and components within the differential method.

When the locker mechanism experiences directional changes, such as during a turn, the gears shift slightly to accommodate the movement. This shifting can result in a clunking noise as the gears engage or disengage.

3. Axle Engagement and Disengagement:

The locker engaging or disengaging as the vehicle negotiates different terrains can also contribute to noise.

Axle Engagement And Disengagement

The mechanical forces involved in locking or unlocking the wheels, especially when transitioning from challenging off-road conditions to smoother surfaces, can produce audible sounds.

4. Tire Scrubbing:

Tire scrubbing is another factor responsible for the noise generated by Spartan Lockers. When the outer wheel drags during a turn due to the locked differential, the tire tread grips and releases the terrain. This scrubbing action produces noise as the tire’s contact with the ground varies.

5. Mechanical Nature of Lockers:

Spartan Lockers are designed to provide maximum traction and power distribution to both wheels on an axle.

While crucial for off-roading performance, this mechanical functionality can inherently lead to noise as the components interact and engage to deliver the desired outcome.

Managing and Mitigating Noise:

Off-roading with Spartan Lockers can be an exhilarating experience, but the noise they generate can sometimes catch drivers off guard.

While the distinctive clicks, pops, and clunks are inherent to their mechanical design, there are strategies to manage and mitigate the noise, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable off-roading adventure.

1.Break-In Period:

Newly installed Spartan Lockers may produce more noise initially due to tight components. Allowing for a break-in period lets the gears and parts settle, potentially reducing noise over time.

2. Regular Maintenance:

Proper lubrication and maintenance play a crucial role in noise reduction.

Regularly inspect and lubricate the locker’s components according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to ensure smooth engagement and minimize wear and tear that may contribute to noise.

3. Tire Selection:

Tire choice significantly affects noise levels. Aggressive tread patterns can exacerbate noise by causing more scrubbing during turns.

Managing And Mitigating Noise; Tire Selection
Source:Brake & Front End

Opting for tires with less aggressive treads or designs that reduce scrubbing can help minimize noise.

4. Proper Installation:

Ensuring correct installation by experienced professionals is essential. Misalignment or improper setup can contribute to increased noise.

A proper installation minimizes the risk of noise due to mechanical inconsistencies.

5. Noise Dampening Solutions:

Adding noise-dampening materials between locker components can help reduce noise caused by backlash and engagement.

Rubber washers, pads, or even applying a sound-absorbing material can help absorb vibrations and lessen noise transmission.

6. Gear Oil Selection:

Choosing the right gear oil can contribute to smoother engagement and quieter operation.

Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for the appropriate viscosity and type of gear oil to ensure optimal performance and minimal noise.

7. Driving Technique:

Becoming familiar with the noise pattern of your Spartan Lockers allows you to anticipate it during turns.

Adjusting your driving technique to account for the noise can lead to smoother and more controlled off-roading experiences.

8. Awareness and Adaptation:

Recognizing that the noise is a natural part of the Spartan Locker’s operation helps shift your perspective.

Awareness and Adaptation
Source:Randy’s Worldwide

Embracing the noise as a sign of enhanced traction and off-roading capability can improve your overall enjoyment of the adventure.

9. Positive Mindset:

Adopting a positive mindset towards noise can make a significant difference. Instead of perceiving it as a drawback, view it as a unique feature that adds character to your off-roading experience.

10. Community Engagement:

Engaging with fellow off-roaders who use Spartan Lockers can provide valuable insights and tips for managing and mitigating noise.

Learning from others’ experiences can help you navigate potential challenges more effectively.

Embracing the Experience:

Spartan Lockers’ noise is a testament to their mechanical functionality and the enhanced traction they provide. While the noise may initially be surprising, many off-roaders embrace it as a sign of their vehicle’s capabilities.

By understanding the mechanisms generating the noise and implementing proper maintenance and driving techniques, off-roaders can strike a balance between optimal performance and an enjoyable, noise-aware experience.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Is noise unique to Spartan Lockers?

Noise during turns is common among mechanical lockers, including Spartan Lockers. Other automatic locking differentials may also exhibit similar noise patterns.

2. Does noise affect the locker’s durability?

Properly maintained Spartan Lockers are designed for durability and longevity. The noise itself does not significantly impact the locker’s overall lifespan.

3. Can I drive without noise?

Noise is intrinsic to the operation of Spartan Lockers. While noise reduction is possible, complete silence during the process is only possible without affecting the locker’s performance.

4, Can noise be an advantage?

The noise from Spartan Lockers can serve as an audible confirmation of their engagement, alerting drivers to enhanced traction during critical maneuvers.

5. Does the noise change over time?

While the noise may become slightly quieter as components settle, it typically remains consistent in its nature and pattern over time.


The distinct noise generated by Spartan Lockers is a harmonious blend of mechanical engagement and off-roading prowess. Rooted in the ratcheting effect, backlash, and the automated nature of lockers, this noise is a testament to their exceptional traction-enhancing capabilities.

While it may initially surprise drivers, understanding its origins fosters an appreciation for the intricate mechanics.

As off-roaders conquer challenging terrains, the rhythmic clatter of Spartan Lockers becomes a symphony of capability, a sonic emblem of their unwavering commitment to mastering the great outdoors.

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