Yep. The Grenade 80. They have a nasty habit of turning into scrap metal
without warning. Usually they will make a couple of bangs and then one
BIG one. It is an Eaton unit but not a real solid piece. The strange
thing is it doesn't seem to matter if you abuse it or treat it with kid
gloves. They fail under either use.
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I had a '75 Blazer with full time FWD and a locking rear end. It ran
over 175,000 miles highway and heavy off road both dry and mud/snow
type conditions. Locking still worked fine when I sold it. Replaced
truck with a '89 Suburban FWD with a locking rear end. it did just
what yours did when it had 5,000 miles on it!! (the bang crunch
noises- which is it actually trying to lock) on dry pavement in
parking lots. I drained the rear end grease and re-filled it with new
GM oil and a 4 oz. bottle of "fish oil" additive for locking rear ends
from the dealer's parts counter. that suburban now has 123,000 miles
and has never made the awful sounds again since it got the new oil and
additive and to this day it will lock just fine when off road in mud
and snow..... I just change all drivetrain lubricants every 45 to 50
thousand miles or so.... the latest addition to the fleet is an '04
Blazer.... quite the mountain goat!! just with greatly reduced cargo
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