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Subaru Torq Locker - A guide before you buy

Updated: Oct 13, 2019

The off road Subaru community has been asking for a rear diff locker for years, and the time has final come. Torq Master Industries out of the USA are an established brand that have made a name for themselves building automatic diff lockers, and now they have released the very first diff locker for a Subaru R160 rear differential.

This is literally the entire diff locker! It consists of 4 pieces and 2 springs that fit inside an open R160 diff.

So first lets take a look at this new locker. The R160 locker is a completely mechanical and automatic diff locker, which means there are no air lines or electronics to fail when your out on the tracks. Being automatic this means that the locker will mechanically lock the diff when the rear wheels lose traction, however on road, particularly when cornering the diff will not lock and instead ratchet which can be heard externally as clicking. So unless you put the power down mid corner the diff behaves like an open diff on road.

Now if you are thinking about purchasing a Torq locker for your Subaru, here are a few things to consider:

  • The Torq Locker will only fit into R160 differentials. The R160 diff is however very common and found in most Subaru's with exception to some STI models and Spec B Liberty that use the R180 rear differential.

  • The Torq Locker only fits into OPEN differentials. This means if your car came with a factory LSD then you need to source an open diff to put the locker into. When sourcing a new diff, make sure the final drive matches up to the transmission, otherwise you will damage the driveline.

  • Replacing your diff bushings is highly recommended when getting a Torq Locker. Worn bushings will allow for increased flex from the diff and cause a clunking sound as well as not allowing the locker to ratchet properly inside the diff. Your replacement options include OEM replacement bushings, Diff braces or Aftermarket bushings (Solid type). Using solid bushings or a diff brace will create excessive vibrations from the driveline which will be felt when driving, so OEM is recommended for those who can't stand the vibrations.

  • The Torq Locker is available in two options. 5 bolt or 1 bolt design. Make sure you know which one you have when ordering your diff locker. I'll leave a guide to identifying your diff below.

If you are currently running an LSD in your rear diff, then you will need to replace this with an open diff unit. Here is a guide to identify a diff if your looking for a replacement. These codes are stencilled in white on top of the differential.

The diff code should be on the top of the diff

Code --- Reduction gear ratio --- LSD

B2 --- 3.900 --- None

CD --- 4.444 --- Viscous

CF --- 4.444 --- Viscous

EW --- 3.900 --- Viscous

HY --- 3.545 --- Torsen

JE --- 4.111 --- Viscous

JP --- 4.111 --- Viscous

T1 --- 3.900 --- None

T2 --- 4.111 --- None

TP --- 4.444 --- None

XJ --- 4.111 --- None

XU --- 3.272 --- Viscous

XZ --- 3.083 --- Viscous

And here is a list of potential donor cars to source your open diff:

B2 --- 3.900 --- Open Diff

Subaru Forester 2012-2018 FB25 auto T/M

Subaru Outback 2009-2014 auto T/M

T2 --- 4.111 --- Open Diff

Subaru Forester 2008-2012 man T/M

Subaru Forester 1997-2002 man T/M

Subaru Impreza 1993-2003 man T/M

Subaru Impreza 2007-2011 man T/M

Subaru Liberty 1994-2009 man T/M

Subaru Liberty 2003-2009 auto T/M EJ25 non-turbo

Subaru Outback 1998-2009 man T/M

Subaru Outback 2003-2009 auto T/M EJ25 non-turbo

TP --- 4.444 --- Open Diff

Subaru Forester 2008-2012 auto T/M

Subaru XV 2012-2017 man T/M

Subaru Outback 1997-2003 auto T/M

*Please note this is a guide only and some of this information is unconfirmed. Please do additional research to confirm you have selected the correct differential. Ignition Offroad is not to be held responsible if you purchase the incorrect differential for your project.

So now that you know more about the Torq locker, lets talk distributers and costing.

For those out of the USA you can order your Torq Locker directly from Torq Master Industries or from Anderson Design Fabrication. You can expect to pay $429.99 USD from both of these distributers, with additional shipping and handling fees.

For those of you in Australia, we have two distributers here. The first is SubieLiftOz and the second is Paul Kinnear

SubieLiftOz are selling the Torq Locker for $695 AUD with free shipping Australia wide!

To order your locker from SubieLiftOz, email

To get your Locker from Paul, email

Keep in mind these prices are subject to change, especially for Australian distributors dealing with currency exchange rates.

So now you can purchase your own Torq Locker for your Subaru. These are going to be an absolute game changer for the off road Subaru community and really increase traction and off road performance.

One thing I did notice when testing a prototype locker with SubieLiftOz, was in a situation where the front wheels are in the air, the centre diff gave in very easily to the locker and the power was sent to the front wheels rather then being distributed equally. This only happened once during testing and the vehicle was fitted with a standard SF forester manual dual range transmission. See video below. To fix this you can do the centre diff lock mod on the 4EAT (Auto) transmission or get yourself a 20kg centre diff from AllDriveSubaroo to combat that problem. The 20Kg centre diff is obviously more expensive so this is only recommended if you want to take your driveline to the next level.

Below is a video example of the stock 4kg centre diff sending power to the front wheels with a Torq locker in the rear.

You can see in this video only the front left wheel is spinning.

If your interested in viewing some other testing videos, check out Power of your brains on YouTube for some fantastic testing videos.

Have fun on the trails,

Mitre A

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Although torq locker refers to a "one bolt r160" that is technically incorrect, it is actually a "va type" differential and the ring gear is smaller than 160mm


Deep Forest Iktomi
Deep Forest Iktomi
Feb 06, 2021

Thanks for sharing your allraod experience on Subaru. I use my SJ Forester too frequently on road to install a 20 kgs ADS central diff on my 6 speeds manual gearbox. What do you think about a 12 kgs ?

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