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Old 12-28-2013, 03:56 PM   #1
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Opinions on auto lockers?

Hey Everyone,

I have been building up my 1998 Jeep Wrangler over the last several years (2 in spacer lift, JKS sway bar disconnects, winch, front and rear bumpers, Borla cat back exhaust and some other add-ons). It is nowhere near where I would like it to be in the future but I am making progress! The next step I would like to take is getting some lockers. Until I finish graduate school there is no way I can afford air lockers or E lockers so I was considering getting some auto lockers as a temporary solution so I can keep up with some of my wheeling buddies.

So what do you guys think? I have been doing some research on Lockrite and Aussie lockers, does anyone have some experience with either of these or prefer one over the other? I would most likely just lock one differential for now, any suggestions on whether I should lock the front or the back (I have heard contrasting opinions)? Does locking one diff rather than the other have more benefits off-road? Any input would be much appreciated!

Thanks guys!
~Mitch

P.S. This is no longer my daily driver, but it does get somewhat regular use. Just something to keep in mind...

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Old 12-28-2013, 04:00 PM   #2
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Is your rear axle a Dana 35 or Dana 44? And since it's not your daily driver, would you have to drive it in 4x4 on ice or snow-covered roads much during the winter? Does anyone else drive it beside you?

Generally speaking you'll get more benefit by locking the rear axle first, so long as the rear axle is strong enough to have a locker. A Dana 35 isn't strong enough for a locker.

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Old 12-28-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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I have to be honest I am not sure what it is... they are the stock 4.0L Wrangler sport axles with 3.07 gear ratio. I am from Colorado so it does get use on snowy and icy roads during the winter. I am going to school in ND and it stays home in CO while I am up there. My dad and brother drive it once every couple of weeks to keep it happy!

EDIT: Just looked it up, looks like they are the Dana 35's... so what are my options?
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:38 PM   #4
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Ok the 3.07 guarantees your rear axle is the Dana 35. That means I'd only install a locker into the front Dana 30 which is strong enough.

In 2wd, a front automatic locker is very well behaved but in 4x4 on an icy or snow-covered road or trail, it'd be pretty dicey.
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Old 12-28-2013, 05:19 PM   #5
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Yep go for the auto locker in the dana 30. I just put in an aussie into my dana 30 a week ago and it has made such an amazing difference. Hills that I would have to gun the throttle to get up before I can just crawl up now.
Also, it is very well behaved on the street. So far I haven't even been able to tell it's there except for the clicking when making sharp turns.
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #6
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Yea I have heard that a front auto locker can be a bit sketchy in the snow... Assuming that I am able to avoid snowy roads for the most part, is an auto locker in the front a good addition when it comes to 4-wheeling specifically? (it sounds like elite56 thinks so) I am very interested in making this happen but obviously I would like to make sure this is the right choice for me. Any other input/suggestions you guys have?
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msigler View Post
Yea I have heard that a front auto locker can be a bit sketchy in the snow... Assuming that I am able to avoid snowy roads for the most part, is an auto locker in the front a good addition when it comes to 4-wheeling specifically? (it sounds like elite56 thinks so) I am very interested in making this happen but obviously I would like to make sure this is the right choice for me. Any other input/suggestions you guys have?
I don't know how much snow you get but if you really get enough to where it concerns you then just save up for a selectable locker like an ARB.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #8
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Just don't do it if u are driving in the snow. And who doesn't drive in the snow man. They suck! Look for a used one if need be selectable or e locker. U will regret having that ,u have to change your driving style for sure.
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Old 12-28-2013, 11:35 PM   #9
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What about a Detroit Truetrac limited slip instead? Anyone had any experience with those or any of the other reasonably priced items in the Detroit line?
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:44 AM   #10
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Quote:
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What about a Detroit Truetrac limited slip instead? Anyone had any experience with those or any of the other reasonably priced items in the Detroit line?
Well then its a limited slip and not a locker. It may help you a little but if you get one wheel with little to no traction, a limited slip differential won't help much. The Detroit lockers are great, but again, I wouldn't get one if you are on snow often.
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Old 12-29-2013, 12:50 AM   #11
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I've been running an aussie on the front for 2 years now and like it. In 2hi I can't tell it's there. I have driven in snow in 4hi but only around the neighborhood after a fresh snow and I slowed way down on turns. In a perfect world we'd all have selectables, but for only $250 it is the best mod I've done for offroad performance.
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Old 12-29-2013, 02:00 AM   #12
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Put a lunchbox locker in the front and forget about it. Everyone told me that it would be horrible in the snow, but I get around just fine. You just can't go as fast as you could with two open differentials without sliding.

Jeeps aren't made for speed. Just slow down when you take turns and you will be good.

For $260 for a powertrax, then I'll change my driving habits.... It's totally worth it on the trails.

Hell in all the snowstorms we have had I've used 2wd and only shifted into 4hi to go up hills and such. I'm not sure what kind of snow you get but you will notice that the jeep will do much better driving straight. Just slow down for turns.

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