Halo 30 with RCV Axle Install

Upgrade to Halo 30 Locker

For the past few trips out, I kept hearing/feeling something on the front end of my 2019 Can-Am Maverick X3 XMR Turbo R that just felt loose. I’d check things on the trail and found nothing. I put it up on jack stands for routine service, new EBC brake pads all the way around and checked everything and still, nothing.

If any of you know me, you know that if I can’t quickly find a problem, I let ‘er eat til it shows me what it is. And that I did…

Melissa and I went to Royal Blue RV Park in Pioneer, TN to meet up with some friends for a birthday trail ride. On the first trail of the day, David O’Nan found a nice rock climb. As we started our climb, the driver side front tire stopped pulling, things were clicking, then a pop. FOUND IT.

I winched up the rock, disabled 4WD and things were fine. Re-engaged 4WD and everything was fine again. All four tires pulling, but there was still a bad click from time to time.

When I got home, I took the front differential out and saw what the problem was. Jammed the pinion into the differential, spider gears blown apart, etc.

I didn’t find a whole lot on the internet on how to swap differentials out, so I wanted to provide some guidance. It’s not a hard job, so don’t let that intimidate you. The worst part about it is the cost of the upgrade.

Step 1: Disassembly

Getting the old differential out is pretty easy:

  1. Chock your rear tires, jack up your X3 so the suspension is fully extended, then remove your wheels.
  2. Jack stands, people. Use them.
  3. Remove brake calipers.
  4. Remove spindle nuts and remove rotor/hub assembly.
  5. Remove shock bolts from the upper A-arms and use zip ties, a bungee, or something to strap it out of the way.
  6. Remove bolt holding knuckle to lower A-arm. Tap knuckle loose and remove from lower A-arm.
  7. Drill out the rivets that hold the brake line to the upper A-arm on the driver’s side.
  8. Lift the upper A-arm high enough for the axle to drop out (both sides).
  9. Give the axles a tug so they pop out of the differential (both sides).
  10. Remove tie rods from knuckles.
  11. Remove upper A-arm bolts and using a dead blow hammer, tap the driver’s side A-arm so it slides out. If you have an upgraded gusset kit or other add-ons, you might have to remove them as well. I got lucky and was able to wiggle the upper A-arm loose without full front-end disassembly.
  12. Remove driveshaft from the output shaft.
  13. Unplug electrical plugs and vent tube from the differential.
  14. Remove four bolts on the bottom that secure the front diff to the frame.
  15. I was able to easily slide the front differential out by turning it sideways and tilting it just a bit.

Step 2: Reassembly

The Halo 30 is noticeably larger than the stock front differential I removed. I did have the Torq Lock diff and while it held up pretty well, I’m glad I did this upgrade.

  1. Wiggle the Halo 30 into its new home. Don’t try to attach the plastic actuator yet, it will be in your way. This was a little more challenging than removal of the stock unit because it’s larger and heavier, but with a little patience, it’ll fall right in place.
  2. Once it’s sitting in the diff tray, I turned it sideways a bit so I could get my RCV carbon fiber driveshaft slipped onto the output shaft.
  3. Once that was done, I hand-threaded the four bolts through the bottom into the Halo 30 to keep it in place while I hooked everything else up.
  4. I removed the factory wiring harness for the old differential. It clips into a plug just above the differential so I simply unplugged it from there.
  5. I then ran the new wiring harness through the firewall. I pushed as much as I could through, leaving just enough to plug up to the Halo 30 but with no additional slack.
  6. Install the actuator using the two bolts provided.
  7. Plug in the wiring harness.
  8. I popped my Trail/Mud rocker switch out and replaced it with the switch that Halo provided.
  9. I tapped into the aux wiring that’s to the left of the center console.
  10. I then tightened up all bolts, using Lock-Tite where applicable.
  11. I then re-installed the upper A-arm.

Axles arrive this week so that’s about all I could do for now. While things are disassembled, I greased everything up and checked all wear and tear parts to ensure that it’s in great shape once everything gets back together.

Hopefully, this helps some of you. I should have filmed the install since there was nothing readily available on YouTube, but all in all, it’s a pretty easy job.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]