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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have experience with the Hess Motorsports I-4x4 Override/ Lock- Honda Talon?



How do these compare to a Torq Locker?
 

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Does anyone have experience with the Hess Motorsports I-4x4 Override/ Lock- Honda Talon?



How do these compare to a Torq Locker?
I have tried them both.

The Hess override simply engages the front diff clutch and completely bypasses the i4WD computer. It is good for when 3 wheel drive is desired and emergencies when the i4WD system won't engage. Bypassing i4WD will not engage the anti-lock brakes and unless you make your own harness, you lose 4WD power steering boost. Probably not a big deal in 3WD but if you have the Torq Locker installed, it is problematic.

The TL is an automatic mechanical locker. It is supposed to engage when the front diff clutch is engaged and freewheel by means of ratcheting when the front clutch is disengaged. You can use the stock i4WD switch and that will boost the steering assist and engage anti lock brakes. The i4WD is still "active" but will never engage because the front wheels are locked and the system will never detect slippage because there is none. You can also use the Hess bypass with the TL but you will lose steering boost and anti-lock brakes and you no longer have the 3WD option.

Be aware that the TL does cause additional steering stiffness (even in 2WD) and when locked on hard surfaces, it completely locks the steering up (just like any locker does) but you cannot disengage it and have 3WD. With the TL, you either have 2WD or locked 4WD and nothing in-between.
 

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I have the override and as long as the front wheels both have some resistance then both pull. You can always lightly tap brake to make both pull. It’s far better than i4wd to me.

I had Torq Locker in OG Maverick. It’s great traction but sometimes doesn’t unlock quickly and makes turning difficult. It also takes many hours to install.


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So if I understand this correctly with the I-4WD Override, the front will essentially lock or engage and put power to both front tires, but it just won’t engage and disengage via the ECU when it detects slippage.

Is the traction better using the override over the stock system? Can you still run at high speed in 4wd?

I like the idea of the torq locker being a true locker especially for the Cascade Mountain riding I do, but what about high speed riding with the Torq locker?
 

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So if I understand this correctly with the I-4WD Override, the front will essentially lock or engage and put power to both front tires, but it just won’t engage and disengage via the ECU when it detects slippage.

Is the traction better using the override over the stock system? Can you still run at high speed in 4wd?

I like the idea of the torq locker being a true locker especially for the Cascade Mountain riding I do, but what about high speed riding with the Torq locker?
You are using the word "lock" and "engage" together and that may cause confusion. To me, "engage" means to apply power to the front diff clutch and "lock" means to lock or tie the front tires together. Here is some more info, let me know if this helps...
  • There is an electric clutch on the front differential and when power is applied (either via the i4WD switch or the override) it connects/engages the (always turning) front driveline to the (basically open) diff and you now have 3WD.
  • If you use the i4WD switch, the computer will detects slippage and applies brakes to the slipping wheel and transfers power to the traction wheel.
  • If you use the i4WD switch, you also have anti-lock brakes (but only in i4WD).
  • If you have a TL, both switches do basically the same thing because the computer will never detect slipping and engage the traction control.
  • All scenarios work at any speed.
  • i4WD will not engage if the rear is spinning substantially faster than the front to avoid damage.
  • The Hess override will engage the front clutch at any speed under any condition so you need to be careful is high slip situations and not engage the front diff when the rear is spinning too fast or you will damage the clutch and/or diff.
Hope that helps.
 

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The key is Honda does not have a locking front differential. The i4Wd just uses brakes to send power to the wheel with traction. The issue is brakes make weird noises and kill power. The override stops that.

Note that the Honda front gears are cut such that they both will spin as long as they both have some resistance. I’ve watched both of my fronts spin sending mud flying with the override on.

I didn’t buy the Hess override. I purchased one from hondasxs store and used my own switch ($10 or less on Amazon).




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The ultimate setup would be someone making an entire front diff that integrated a selectable locker design with the basic design of the i-4wd front diff. The I-4wd diff isn't like an open diff on a car/truck. It's pretty awesome up until the extreme circumstance where you REALLY need the wheels locked together. There's a video of one of the aftermarket UTV Parts companies taking apart an i4wd diff and describing how it works. It would surprise a lot of people. It really kinda works like a ratcheting auto-locker but it's engaged by applying the brakes instead of when power is applied.

I don't want the Torq locker because I like driving fast in the desert/sand/dirt roads in 4wd. Maybe the locker wouldn't be as bad as I imagine but I sure don't like driving a Jeep locked in 4wd when I don't need it.



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The ultimate setup would be someone making an entire front diff that integrated a selectable locker design with the basic design of the i-4wd front diff. The I-4wd diff isn't like an open diff on a car/truck. It's pretty awesome up until the extreme circumstance where you REALLY need the wheels locked together. There's a video of one of the aftermarket UTV Parts companies taking apart an i4wd diff and describing how it works. It would surprise a lot of people. It really kinda works like a ratcheting auto-locker but it's engaged by applying the brakes instead of when power is applied.

I don't want the Torq locker because I like driving fast in the desert/sand/dirt roads in 4wd. Maybe the locker wouldn't be as bad as I imagine but I sure don't like driving a Jeep locked in 4wd when I don't need it.
i4WD with a selectable front locker would be the most ideal setup in the UTV industry, it would be the best of both worlds. Honda should have done it years ago in the Pioneer and used that technology in the Talon (at least as an option).

I have a front diff on the bench right now all torn apart and it is an interesting beast. It has side gears just like any other diff but no spider gears, It uses "cam followers" (I call them chicklets) that work in place of the spider gears, quite a unique setup. It is under spring pressure and does work a little like limited slip when the carrier is loaded up. The carrier drives the followers and they drive the side gears but then do this weird action that allow left and right to turn at different speed for easy cornering. Once the slipping is excessive, i4WD takes over from there.

You are wise to question the TL for high speed desert in 4WD. I tried and it degrades handling a little, makes cornering less responsive and stiffens the steering a bit. The TL has it's place in deep mud, snow (of which neither I like to partake in) and maybe even sand (the main reason I installed). It does add some traction for rock crawling but the trade off is not worth it to me and the Talon's power steering is marginal at best so out it comes.
 

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PaulF I love your explanation with chicklets. Most people don’t understand that the Honda front diff is not just a std open diff.

Just use the override and apply a little brake pedal if needed. It will pull with both front wheels. As long as both front wheels face some resistance both will pull. I’ve watched mine churn both fronts in thick mud. The design is also why on a steep downhill my steering feels somewhat locked. High traction and high load does not slip like an open diff - the front diff is sending power back through tranny.

Honda has a great design but the i4wd brake activation along with auto mode can make a mess on slippery hills where I just need the wheels to spin.


As for TorqLocker - they work but the steering can feel locked at times when you wish it wouldn’t. I used it to replace Viscolok and it was better but not perfect.


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PaulF I love your explanation with chicklets. Most people don’t understand that the Honda front diff is not just a std open diff.

Just use the override and apply a little brake pedal if needed. It will pull with both front wheels. As long as both front wheels face some resistance both will pull. I’ve watched mine churn both fronts in thick mud. The design is also why on a steep downhill my steering feels somewhat locked. High traction and high load does not slip like an open diff - the front diff is sending power back through tranny.

Honda has a great design but the i4wd brake activation along with auto mode can make a mess on slippery hills where I just need the wheels to spin.


As for TorqLocker - they work but the steering can feel locked at times when you wish it wouldn’t. I used it to replace Viscolok and it was better but not perfect.


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Definitely NOT an open diff. It is somewhere in between an open diff and the TL. I believe i4WD it is well intentioned and serves its purpose 95% of the time, it DOES work very well for all but the very few situations. An override is useful for other situations like you pointed out. The TL is really only useful when you need a total locked front end and for me, that is rare and i4WD works just fine and is a lot easier on the front diff. And the problem with the TL is it is locked whenever you are in 4WD (and even sometimes in 2WD) and makes the steering almost impossible to turn on hard surfaces.

Went to Moab for over a week. I had the TL installed and my BIL was stock in an identical 2019 R. He is a bit more daring and was able to do things I didn't even try with my TL. He tried some harder obstacles with my machine and said he felt no difference except my steering SUCKED!

This cemented the fact that the TL didn't help me one bit and just messed up my steering worse than stock. For me (and probably 95% of Talon and Pioneer owners), i4WD is plenty adequate.
 
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