Originally Posted by 97wrangler-242
Looking into finally doing an 8.8 swap but I'm torn when it comes to deciding on a differential. I like the idea of a selectable but what's best between the arb air, eaton or auburn electric, or the cable ox locker? Are they all compleatly open when unlocked or do they act as limited slips when disengaged? Also considering the detroit soft locker or true trac or a rebuilt factory LS. I'd really like the pros and cons on all of them as well as personal experiences if you got them but any input will help. Thanks guys
Oh man, where to start with this?
A lot of this differs considering personal preference, combined with what you want this Jeep doing.
For example, I tell folks this...if you got a DD, mild off-roader, or light trail rider, get a selectable. If it's a hardcore Pirate Ship, trail only Jeep, or buggy get automatics.
Now first, selectables. ARB air lockers are my favorite, and many will agree. Method of selection is preference. Now, I like cable, mechanical lockers the best due to cost, durability, and easy repair (they're primitive so easy to work on...similar to the e-brake system) but air lockers are cool. I dislike electric a lot. It's complicated, and just seems...too fancy and prone to messing up and expensive to fix.
Automatics I like the plain old lunchbox locker. Pros are they're cheap and drop right in the carrier. Very easy and anyone can install one. Cons they are pretty hard on stuff. Can't use them on-road bc they make your handling weird and will wear out your gears. They pop and make a racket. But you can't beat them on buggies and Pirate Ships. Off-road they are almost always engaged providing maximum traction and torque in ALL situations.
Now, what's right for you? I'm not sure. MOST folks will want a selectable so they can be street driven. They act like an open differential when not engaged. But you need to keep engaging and disengaging on rocks and stuff...it gets old. Especially if you watching a spotter, working a clutch, and trying to drive.
I'm not locked but if I were I'd lock my rear with the ARB air. It's a street Jeep with LS for the street. I have a trick I use though using my JK's ESP system and the LS that basically locks my rear end without a locker so I won't get one.