I agree with old mate p plate man, if it is your first 4wd, i am assuming it is? Then maybe save for a 2 inch lift then some 33's. Wheel it for abit break heaps of parts then learn how to drive abit better but still damage parts, then you can lock it. Thats how most of us have done it anyway, seems to work
I have an ARB front locker. Seeing that the rear LSD is still good I will wait before locking the rear as well. The front locker has given me as bit more confidence in tackling stuff that I would not normally have done without it. Not that I'm into hardcore rockclimbing or anything but it allows you to take things a bit slower knowing that you will have better tracktion than open diffs. I also use it sparingly cause things will break if you are not applying common sense. I have not found that stearing is overly compromised when using it. Most people I have come across with locked Patrols have done the front first (due to good rear LSD).
If you have the cash, air or electric operated lockers would probably be the way to go seeing that you choose when to engage and disengage. Nothing wrong with the auto lockers from what I have read, just you don't control their operation.
I personally think lockers are a good thing, they make things safer off road if used sensibly.
ill run it, till i dunno.. i want an air locker in the rear,
so i have F + R arb airlockers! haha
and i dont like the position the switch is in.
my shorty had electric windows, but no longer in there..
so im gonna re wire the factory one, so i can have (i think 6) rocker switches..
compressor, 2 x air lockers.. and the rest for lights i guess.. dunno..
If you search you will see a lot of folk have trouble with air activated lockers, + you need to fit a decent compressor somewhere.
I know you only wanted response from people who have experience with their lockers, but thought you should be aware that the Eaton E-locker is electrically activated and has an excellent history.
I am going to get one.
Maybe Eaton users will chime in.
Got an ARB air locker in the front. made a heap of difference to the ability of the rig. Had it in for just under 2 years & never had a problem with it. Going Detroit soft locker for the rear when funds allow. Don't like the idea of having air in the back as you lose your lsd & it becomes a open diff then you have to have you rear locker in all the time pretty much when off road.
A locker would be one of the best mods you could make to your 4wd, out do flex every time. You can drive that narly track a lot slower than your mate without lockers so less likely of doing any damage.
There was some probs with the o rings leaking in earlier ARB lockers but that has been rectified & in most cases it was from poor installation techniques. So usual story my mate had one that leaked so they all no good.
The compressor is pretty small & will mount under the passenger seat or in the engine bay without any hassles & if you get the upgraded version (still small physically) then you can inflate your tyres with it. So no the compressors not a problem to mount.
I'd be looking at ARB or the TJM lockers for the front & Detroit auto locker for the rear but that's my opinion based on my experiences.