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Old 03-01-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
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Lockers - Front or Rear?

I am interested in installing some lockers but wondering a couple of things. If you were to get them would you get them for the front or the rear or both? What are the advantages of getting them in one place over the other? And could you recommend what you think is a good set?

Thanks for the help.

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:40 PM   #2
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I would get the front if getting just one.

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:45 PM   #3
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I have them front & rear. You could just get the rear first if you want to keep the cost down untill later then get the front as well. The ARB's are a selective locker & they can fit a compressor for the air which can double for pumping up your tyres. Very nice set up, but get someone who knows what they are doing to fit it or you can run into problems with the line placement
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:11 AM   #4
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If I could only have one, I'd get a rear.

What's your budget and timeline? You could put a good lsd or instant-on in the front (would only work in 4wd anyhow) first with plans for a selectable later. Save money and pace yourself...
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:14 AM   #5
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The rear is where you want to go if you do just one.
That way, you have a locker available on your main drive wheels. That's where you need the most traction. Also, unless you do a selectable locker, you'll alter your Jeep's steering with a lunchbox or automatic locker up front.
With the larger number of selectable lockers out there these days, they're not that much more expensive.
You can pick up the Auburn ECTED for about $650 for the Dana 44 (3.73 and down carrier break ONLY for the JK, regardless of gearing!!!!), which is only about $150 more than a Detroit Locker.
Doing front and rear is obviously a huge improvement, but a lot more $$. Installation will usually run $300+ per axle, so keep that in mind.

Also, if you are swapping in lockers, consider your ultimate tire size goal, and re-gear for that now. You shouldn't be charged any more to re-gear now, as the installer has to remove the ring gear anyway to install the locker.

I see you're out west. Due to you being in rocks, I'm not AS big on air lockers as I would if you were in mud-only environments. The air lockers are GREAT, but they are rather vulnerable to snags. They can also be finicky. The ECTED is my choice due to the fact that you can make trailside repairs to an electrical wire- an air line, not so much. Also, with air lockers, you MUST have a compressor to run it.

Just some food for thought... post up any further questions Mark W.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:31 PM   #6
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I'm still learning here. So can someone explain why a rear would be better? Seems to me like the front having more weight, it is going to pull you through the low traction. In my mind it seems better. I'm still a newb though, so can someone tell me why the rear is better?
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Honcho View Post
I'm still learning here. So can someone explain why a rear would be better? Seems to me like the front having more weight, it is going to pull you through the low traction. In my mind it seems better. I'm still a newb though, so can someone tell me why the rear is better?
This is my friend Stumpy; he's lived in the Alps and has more offroad experience than I have. Lots more. He's locked up front and open rear:



This is me, 10 minutes later. Open diffs and aired-down a bit. The BLDs combined with throttle-by-wire were a total failure until I aired-down:


And this is me trying to get up a very steep/rocky/moist hill, aired-down. The video angle doesn't do it justice; it's steep enough to roll a Jeep easily:



There are so many ingredients in Traction Pie: angle of attack, composition of the ground, temperature, tires, weight bias of the vehicle, speed, humidity, etc.
Speaking from a life-saving perspective (for the most part) you're going to need a traction-modifying device when you're pointed uphill and you're in a precarious position that makes going back downhill ill advised. So your weight bias will be to the rear of the vehicle.
A front-only locker might help in mud but that's not quite as much a life-on-the-line situation.
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Old 03-03-2010, 06:37 AM   #8
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OK going up hills rear would be much better. That makes sense, thank you. Guess it's rear or both then.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:30 AM   #9
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the most common answer is rear first. that being said, i've been locked just front, and just rear on my jeep at different times. i got further with just front, hands down.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:31 AM   #10
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OK going up hills rear would be much better. That makes sense, thank you. Guess it's rear or both then.
Here's an excellent illustration of the dynamics involved; click the pic if you want it larger:

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Old 03-03-2010, 08:58 AM   #11
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If you just get the rear first, then the front later you will still notice a great improvement.
If the front & rear are locked at the same time, your steering is affected but I have never found it to be a problem in the rocks. I think driver skill plays a big part & I am still learning. One of the most important things is to use your Jeep as much as you can to get practice & familiarise yourself with the feel of lockers, also slow is good & try to keep things smooth. (easyer said than done sometimes)
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Old 03-03-2010, 09:22 AM   #12
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As I agree to REAR FIRST, if you can do both--DO IT

I have found having the rear locked helps mostly on hills, unless REAL STEEP, then you need front locked for steering stability and direction control

I couldn't have made it up this, very steep, shale without locking the front, too steep and too loose

Quote:
My wife took the pic and I didn't want her with me, course I didn't have to do it RIGHT ???

Seems to me, she said that to !


Rear lockers 95% of the time, but !!!!

JIMBO

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