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Old 10-15-2013, 08:04 AM   #1
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Locker or LSD?

I know there are thousands of threads like this but none of them answer my questions. My 2007 JKU is my DD and I live in Louisiana so I don't see snow but whenever I do go trail riding I run into some deep sloppy mud/water. I'm thinking a locker would be better but I'm not sure how it would be on the road. Opinions?

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Old 10-15-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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What kind of budget are you working with? How extreme is the mud you run in? How often do you go out?

A "lunch box" locker (i.e. one that replaces the spider gears) is cheap and easy to install. You can do it in your driveway in an afternoon. It's not great for a daily driver though. You can get used to how it drives though and if you're on a really tight budget, it may be the way to go.

Any full case LSD or locker is going to cost the same to install so that's a wash.

A spool is dirt cheap and it gives you great traction but it sucks for a daily driver. I don't recommend it at all.

A limited slip is OK in the mud. The computer controlled traction control will certainly help it. It's reasonably expensive and it has great manners on the pavement. If you're on a slim budget, this is probably the way to go.

An automatic locker like a Detroit gives you great traction but the road manners are terrible. It's not so bad down south where you rarely see snow if at all. But still, it's clunky and noisy. I don't like them for a daily driver.

A selectable locker is by far the most expensive, especially if you have an air locker because you have to supply compressed air to it and that's extra money (but you do have an on board air compressor that you can use to inflate tires). They give you the best of both worlds. Fantastic street manners but it's locked solid at the flip of a switch and you have all the traction you can get. If you can fit them in the budget, I highly recommend them.

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Old 10-15-2013, 12:20 PM   #3
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What kind of budget are you working with? How extreme is the mud you run in? How often do you go out? A "lunch box" locker (i.e. one that replaces the spider gears) is cheap and easy to install. You can do it in your driveway in an afternoon. It's not great for a daily driver though. You can get used to how it drives though and if you're on a really tight budget, it may be the way to go. Any full case LSD or locker is going to cost the same to install so that's a wash. A spool is dirt cheap and it gives you great traction but it sucks for a daily driver. I don't recommend it at all. A limited slip is OK in the mud. The computer controlled traction control will certainly help it. It's reasonably expensive and it has great manners on the pavement. If you're on a slim budget, this is probably the way to go. An automatic locker like a Detroit gives you great traction but the road manners are terrible. It's not so bad down south where you rarely see snow if at all. But still, it's clunky and noisy. I don't like them for a daily driver. A selectable locker is by far the most expensive, especially if you have an air locker because you have to supply compressed air to it and that's extra money (but you do have an on board air compressor that you can use to inflate tires). They give you the best of both worlds. Fantastic street manners but it's locked solid at the flip of a switch and you have all the traction you can get. If you can fit them in the budget, I highly recommend them.
Thanks for the breakdown derf. I have a Buffy that has a Detroit locker in his f150 and he loves it. My budget is anywhere from 500-1000 including install. I've heard good things about Detroit but they can get pricey. The trails and road I go ride on is not terrible but it can get sloppy fast. I just want something that I feel comfortable going in and knowing my tires won't just start spinning
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:52 PM   #4
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LSD rear all the way
Locker on the front if you are doing "difficult" level off-road, otherwise open.

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I just want something that I feel comfortable going in and knowing my tires won't just start spinning
That shouldn't ever happen. You just put pressure on the brake to stop the tire from spinning. You actually brake and accelerate at the same time. This will give power to your other wheel that has traction.

If you're in deep mud where everything is spinning, then lockers and LSD wouldn't help you anyway. You need a winch and a shovel.
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Old 10-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the breakdown derf. I have a Buffy that has a Detroit locker in his f150 and he loves it. My budget is anywhere from 500-1000 including install. I've heard good things about Detroit but they can get pricey. The trails and road I go ride on is not terrible but it can get sloppy fast. I just want something that I feel comfortable going in and knowing my tires won't just start spinning
That's not a huge budget. It's enough for just one axle given the install costs. You might be able to get a Detroit in under that number. A limited slip may be for you. No chance a selectable locker fits in that budget.

Having wheeled in the mud in east Texas as well as mud up here, I can tell you that a good set of mud tires makes a big difference. It's even worth having a full set of tires you swap on when you go wheeling, swapping back to street tires for daily driving. Given the computer controlled BLD using the brakes to slow down the spinning wheel on a JK, it might be a better use of your money to buy some cheap steel wheels and find a deal on mud tires than to crack open your differential. That is, if you don't have good mud tires already.

My first experience in southern mud was in a stock XJ with street tires and I couldn't get anywhere. I threw on some 30x9.50 Pro Comp mud terrains and I surprised everyone where I could take that thing on the second trip out. But mud tires on a daily driver suck. They're loud and they wear out fast.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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Jeepguy94, I just noticed in your sig you have 2WD.
You shouldn't really be off-road with that at all. Do what you feel comfortable with, but 2WD isn't for anything more than regular dirt roads on the easy level. You can use that brake trick if you ever get in trouble, but an LSD would help a bit more. LSD is especially good for snow.

Lockers drive more rough on the rear axle on pavement. LSD all the way for rear. In your 2WD case, I'd recommend not investing though if you don't drive snow. Stick to roads or go get a 4X4. Lockers on rear axle on a 2WD would not be an appropriate investment. Not intending to sound mean at all, that's just the way it is. LSD is useful for slick conditions, but if you're not in the snow belt, you can pass on that too.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:12 PM   #7
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He can have fun in a 2WD. The ground clearance alone allows for fun off-roading in a 2WD. While a 2WD will never be what the OP clearly wants his wrangler to be, locking the axle might hold his enjoyment over for a few years.
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Old 10-15-2013, 02:18 PM   #8
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He can have fun in a 2WD. The ground clearance alone allows for fun off-roading in a 2WD. While a 2WD will never be what the OP clearly wants his wrangler to be, locking the axle might hold his enjoyment over for a few years.
That is all true, but the level of offroading fun he can have doesn't need lockers at all for that.

To answer his question on LSD or locker for the rear? LSD

To answer this question of LSD, Locker or None for 2WD not in the snow-belt? None.
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Old 10-15-2013, 03:12 PM   #9
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Yea forgot to throw that in that my rig is a 2wd. I still have fun with it regardless no matter how many people say "Its not a real jeep." Oh well. I'll look into an LSD for the rear axle and maybe some good mud tires. I do ride a lot of highway miles so any recommendations for some good mud tires? KM2s are popular but way to expensive. So are duratracs. I have Cooper ATPs right now and they're getting me threw everything I've been through so far. Again there's no snow where I live so recommendations of mud tires and LSDs
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Old 10-15-2013, 06:18 PM   #10
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Yea forgot to throw that in that my rig is a 2wd. I still have fun with it regardless no matter how many people say "Its not a real jeep." Oh well. I'll look into an LSD for the rear axle and maybe some good mud tires. I do ride a lot of highway miles so any recommendations for some good mud tires? KM2s are popular but way to expensive. So are duratracs. I have Cooper ATPs right now and they're getting me threw everything I've been through so far. Again there's no snow where I live so recommendations of mud tires and LSDs
Truetrac LSD would help a lot in the back in mud.

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