Nitro's Lunch Box Lockers are fully automatic. When the wheels need to differentiate in a turn (the outside wheel needs to rotate faster to complete the turn) the internal gears on the Lunch Box Locker will remain locked under acceleration. For the gears to overrun each other and allow this differentiation the vehicle must be turning and decelerating naturally. Any load created by acceleration will automatically lock the Lunch box Locker again.
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Mechanical lockers engage automatically when force is applied to the differential via the pinion and ring gear. While force is not actively being applied, springs in the locker allow the mechanism to disengage. That is to say that when you press on the gas it locks up, when you let off the gas and turn it unlocks.
Mechanical lockers are well known for the popping and clanking noises they make when engaging and disengaging.
Mechanical lockers can be installed in front differentials but you must have lock out hubs and they MUST be unlocked for on-road driving because of steering issues.