The factory Ram Power Wagon features selectable front and rear differential lockers, which come in handy for precarious or difficult offroad situations. However, they only operate under specific circumstances.
First, you must be in 4Lo
Second, you must rolling veeery slow. And stop occasionally (they won’t engage above 3 mph).
Third, you must ensure the position of the Moon is correctly aligned with the Sun.
Fourth, do you have a first-born? You’ll need to offer them up to the locker Gods.
In all seriousness, the operation should be simple. But it’s not. The idea behind the SmartBar (which controls the front/rear differentials and the swaybar disconnect) is to protect your truck, but it’s way too safe. 99 percent of us can’t just rotate the locker switch and go, we have to rotate it, drive slow, stop, do figure 8’s, and pray. This sucks.
All you wanna do is lock up the differentials real quick? Good luck. A fantastic example of the frustration caused by this happened to me while up in the mountains in the snow. With just 4wd/4Hi engaged, the truck really struggled to make it up a snow and ice-covered hill.
Once I locked the front and rear, it crawled up with almost no hesitation. The issue was I was towing the kids behind the truck on a sled, and I had to turn around on the forest road we were on every 1/4 mile or so. In order to turn around easily, I needed to disengage the lockers, but once I did that it would take forever to lock back up again. I did the typical left and right steering movements, stopping, reversing, moving slow, and cursing. What should have been a simple process turned into frustration. Also, trying to explain to your kids why they aren’t being towed is not good for moral.
Why won’t it just work?!
Some users have been bypassing the SmartBar altogether, but that means no more use of the nice factory switch, and dealer visits may be tough if you need to “hide” your modifications. I want to keep the factory switch, but what can I do?
Luckily another user on the Power Wagon Registry was able to reverse-engineer the wiring and create a kit that’s plug and play, and most importantly enables your lockers to just plain work whenever you want. Once it’s installed, you’d be hard pressed to tell anything has been modified other than the near instant engagement of the lockers.
Best of all, you can now use your lockers in any transfer case position (2HI/4HI/4LO) and engagement is almost instant. If your lockers are physically working (locker knob and magnets in the diff are fine), this kit will do wonders.
Installation is pretty straight forward, but if you want a more detailed look then check out the video!