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Old 02-28-2012, 05:04 AM   #1
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Noob Locker Question

Hey guys,

Just trying to understand some things here, and am wondering about lockers. Now since I have a 2012 Sahara JKU, I didn't get any, nor do I think I need them. However, someone made a joke at me on another forum (in good fun) saying that even when my Jeep is in 4WD, it's 2WD. So, back to the question at hand...

The Rubi comes with lockers that turn on/off with a push of a button. What about if you install one aftermarket? Are they "solid" meaning permanent? Can you install one that is electronic as well? I know it's a totally noob question, just trying to get a little Jeep smarter.

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Old 02-28-2012, 05:22 AM   #2
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Lockers are just that....both wheels in the axle are "locked" together. There are very few vehicles that have all 4 wheels locked....basically because it is very hard to turn as all 4 wheels want to pull forward.......so what does this mean?

Yes you can "lock" both your front or your rear axle if willing to pay for the "upgrade"....my question is why would you? To me I am more impressed with the individual who can drive their stock rig through the tougher obstacles with skill, and experience and maybe tire upgrade, rather than dumping lots of money into a "tool" that they don't really need except to compensate for their lack of skills.

Not saying everyone who locks the axles doesn't have the skills to do anything in the mud/ rocks or whatever, it just doesn't seem needed for me for the average DD.

Understand that it is, "your Jeep do what you want" still applies.

Another Forum member mentioned or explained it this way, 90% of the Rubis with the lockers are not used to their full potential. Most people honestly don't need lockers.

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Old 02-28-2012, 05:27 AM   #3
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I haven't heard much good about aftermarket electronic lockers. The only experience I've had with lockers was having a manually locking hub set of Detroit Lockers. They were easy to use in that you just twist them to lock, put it in 4WD and you're done. Sure, it's not as easy as pressing a button.. but they were cheap and simple to use.
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:38 AM   #4
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:40 AM   #5
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Your Sahara DOES have the BLD system; which , when one wheel is spinning, wlii apply brake to the wheel that is spinning nand force power to the one with traction. Much better than plain open diff's. Works excellent in MOST situations and will get you through a lot of rough stuff.
Are lockers necessary?? Only in extreme situations. With your JK, you can disconnect sway bar and keep all four wheels on the ground and get through a lot!!
Pick the right line and no problem!!
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Old 02-28-2012, 05:56 AM   #6
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Best way to find out if you want or need lockers is to take it wheeling, if you find your going everywhere you want without them, you don't need em, if you find you want to follow some more challenging trails then find which mods will get you there, I love to be proactive but you just will never know what your needs are until you get out on the trail.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:22 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. I personally don't think I would ever need them. I just got back from Lake Placid, where I did some wheeling through snow, mild rocky mountain passes, grassy slick trails, steep up and down grades, and not only did I not need lockers, I didn't even put it into 4Hi. It handled everything just fine. The ONLY time I ALMOST put it in 4Hi is when I was going up a damp steep grade that was covered in loose sand/mud dust, and the Jeep started to slip. Wanting to have a little fun from my sports car days (haven't touched mine since last April) I just turned traction control off and gave it some beans, and flew right up.

As I told the member that cracked the joke, I could have easily afforded the Rubicon, but was quickly talked out of one. It was literally, a waste of money for me, and the driving I plan on doing with the rig. My requirements were simple....dirt roads, grassy trails, 24" of snow, and dry/wet pavement. The Sahara handles all of that just fine IMHO.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:26 AM   #8
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NFRs2000NYC - Sounds like you have a good idea what kind of Jeep you'd like yours to be and handle it accordingly. Good stuff.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC View Post
Thanks for the replies. I personally don't think I would ever need them. I just got back from Lake Placid, where I did some wheeling through snow, mild rocky mountain passes, grassy slick trails, steep up and down grades, and not only did I not need lockers, I didn't even put it into 4Hi. It handled everything just fine. The ONLY time I ALMOST put it in 4Hi is when I was going up a damp steep grade that was covered in loose sand/mud dust, and the Jeep started to slip. Wanting to have a little fun from my sports car days (haven't touched mine since last April) I just turned traction control off and gave it some beans, and flew right up.

As I told the member that cracked the joke, I could have easily afforded the Rubicon, but was quickly talked out of one. It was literally, a waste of money for me, and the driving I plan on doing with the rig. My requirements were simple....dirt roads, grassy trails, 24" of snow, and dry/wet pavement. The Sahara handles all of that just fine IMHO.
Correcto. Jeeps can handle a helluva lot and most don’t NEED lockers, but are a good “just in case”. My buddys I wheel with are Yota’s, FJ and Runner both locked rear, I can make it further than them with ease and they struggle locked. A locked Jeep would be that much more impressive. A good lift, tires and the right driver can tackle almost anything.

Also, 4lo is where you want to be. When you are off road in uneasy conditions you don’t want to be in 4hi. You want the transfer case to do the crawl work and don’t want the ESP to kick in. You don’t switch into 4hi when the going gets tough, you stay in lo or switch to lo if you aren’t already. 4 hi is mainly 4wd at speed, say for snowy roads.

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Old 02-28-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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If you're on a rocky ledge road, lockers will allow you to slowly walk up a lot of rock steps in a controlled fashion rather than sliding sideways (where it might be a sheer dropoff). If you're in a mixed group of four wheel drives, you wan't to be in a lockered vehicle, if you don't have them, follow one that does, he might help you strap through a difficult obstacle.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NFRs2000NYC
Hey guys,

The Rubi comes with lockers that turn on/off with a push of a button. What about if you install one aftermarket? Are they "solid" meaning permanent? Can you install one that is electronic as well?
Not sure your questions have been answered yet. I'll take a shot with my purely from reading knowledge (ie, I don't actually have lockers) . . .

You can install push button lockers aftermarket. They can be e-lockers similar to the Rubi or lockers that use an onboard air compressor to lock. Either would be considered a "selectable" locker (ie, you select on or off), there are also "automatic" lockers that remain locked at all times unless mechanical forces caused by an attempt to turn cause them to unlock.

Auto lockers have no "push button" and are much cheaper and easier to install, but they are not generally recommended for a daily driver as they can cause some odd handling characteristics.

In general, neither type of locker is truly "permanent." They lock and unlock. You'd only want them locked in a low traction scenario where there's no need to have the wheels on either side of each axle spin at slightly different speeds--like going around turns on pavement, where locked axles would cause the jeep to hop and bind.

The whole 4wd=2wd thing refers to the ability of unlocked axles to send nearly all torque to the wheel that has low traction, for example of you have one wheel in the air that wheel spins and the other gets very little power. Thus, even in 4wd it's possible that your jeep only spins one front wheel and one rear wheel, and they'd be the wheels with the least traction. Your BLD system helps prevent this, but lockers would do it best.

Limited slip differentials more or less "split the difference" with lockers and, in general, are more useful for the "average" Jeeper who wants a little extra offroad but also wants to have the best snowy weather mall crawler available.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:49 AM   #12
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I ran a detroit true-trac limited slip on my TJ and was very pleased. It drove just fine on pavement and the second you start spinning they both kick in. It can be akward on snow/ice since it will throw you to the side but only in 2wd.

I did hells revenge, fins & things and quite a few other moab trails in a TJ with a 3" body lift, 33" tires and the rear limited slip. It did quite well despite having stock suspension.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
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......However, someone made a joke at me on another forum (in good fun) saying that even when my Jeep is in 4WD, it's 2WD. So, back to the question at hand...
Not quite true. When in 4 wheel drive, as long as all 4 tires have equal traction, all 4 will be making the Jeep move (4WD). If the front tires have greatly unequal traction, then only one tire will spin. Same for the rear. In that case yes you would have 2WD (one in front and one in rear)
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:16 AM   #14
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While you're answering noob questions...

I am many mod $$ away from lockers, but was wondering:
Since I have the LSD in the rear, if I want to get one locker, would it make more sense to do the front first instead of the rear?
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Old 02-29-2012, 04:15 AM   #15
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NFRs2000NYC Another thing one CAN do is to find a Dana 44, complete, from a wrecked Rubi. Install that. Sell your Dana 30 on Ebay or Craigs list to cover part of the cost.
And you would have to regear your rear diff at the same time that you swapped the front so that front and rear diff's would have same gear ratio.
Right now, I am searching for a D44 for just that purpose!
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:33 AM   #16
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Not sure your questions have been answered yet. I'll take a shot with my purely from reading knowledge (ie, I don't actually have lockers) . . .

You can install push button lockers aftermarket. They can be e-lockers similar to the Rubi or lockers that use an onboard air compressor to lock. Either would be considered a "selectable" locker (ie, you select on or off), there are also "automatic" lockers that remain locked at all times unless mechanical forces caused by an attempt to turn cause them to unlock.

Auto lockers have no "push button" and are much cheaper and easier to install, but they are not generally recommended for a daily driver as they can cause some odd handling characteristics.

In general, neither type of locker is truly "permanent." They lock and unlock. You'd only want them locked in a low traction scenario where there's no need to have the wheels on either side of each axle spin at slightly different speeds--like going around turns on pavement, where locked axles would cause the jeep to hop and bind.

The whole 4wd=2wd thing refers to the ability of unlocked axles to send nearly all torque to the wheel that has low traction, for example of you have one wheel in the air that wheel spins and the other gets very little power. Thus, even in 4wd it's possible that your jeep only spins one front wheel and one rear wheel, and they'd be the wheels with the least traction. Your BLD system helps prevent this, but lockers would do it best.

Limited slip differentials more or less "split the difference" with lockers and, in general, are more useful for the "average" Jeeper who wants a little extra offroad but also wants to have the best snowy weather mall crawler available.
Good info. Can aftermarket lockers be installed on a LSD? The Rubi doesn't offer LSD as an option. But LSD and lockers would be an awesome combo if it's possible? I want the lockers, and the LSD for the snow. Thanks
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:44 AM   #17
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Good info. Can aftermarket lockers be installed on a LSD? The Rubi doesn't offer LSD as an option. But LSD and lockers would be an awesome combo if it's possible? I want the lockers, and the LSD for the snow. Thanks
They are mutually exclusive.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:53 AM   #18
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They are mutually exclusive.
Thanks! If I understand you correctly, it's one or the other, even in the aftermarket?
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:04 AM   #19
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Look at something like this:
Auburn Gear 545018 - ECTED Electrically Activated Lockers for Dana 44 with 30-Splines & 3.73 Gear Ratio and Numerically Lower - Quadratec

It's an Auburn Ected locker (carrier). It replaces your "carrier" inside the differential. You move over your existing ring and pinion gears.

It acts in a limited slip mode when not engaged. You run 12 volts to it with a switch on the dash. Hit the switch and it's got 100% lockup. I installed a pair in a Hummer, and if I didn't have a rubicon with lockers, I'd put them in my jeep.

Unlike a Rubicon, they are independant on the vehicle's speed or position of the transfer case, so they work in 2H, 4H or 4L at any speed.

They have nice road manners - unlocked, they don't want to fishtail like some Detroits do when installed in the rear. Looks like they have a 4 yr warranty. You can install them in the front or rear, however you should not engage the front locker unless you are on a trail or stuck in snow or mud (It creates a solid axle, so you can't steer when engaged)
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:17 AM   #20
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I had the Trac-Lok Anti Slip Rear LSD upgrade in mine. That is a nice upgrade for the Sport or Sahara from the factory IMO. Alone with the BLD, it makes for better snow driving then even lockers and a lot better then just open Diffs.

So, when I was getting regeared, I was contemplating locker too since it would be cheaper to do them with the regear. I looked it over and couldn't afford air lockers front and rear so it left me with the option of one locker. So which to put it in? Great debates on this and many will swear by rear lockers.

But after long search, I decided since I had a capable rear LSD with BLD assist and it was great for snow, I would go with the Eaton E-locker in the front. If has a 4 pin locking system for the D30 axle and a very good locker. So I went with the locker up front, matched with the rear LSD.

I have found this combo very capable. I have been on many trails were I have passed open diff 4X4 stuck and kept up with locked 4X4's with no problems. I planned on going to rear lockers later, but after trail experience with current setup, I see no need to do it now. I really like this option
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:25 AM   #21
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I really want the Rubi, and want LSD since I do a lot of driving in snow. IMO the brake lock system doesn't cut it, and I know LSD is superior to an open differential in the snow. I guess I can try it and if I'm not happy there are alternatives. Thanks!
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:32 AM   #22
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Since you don't have it, how can you say the BLD "doesn't cut it?"
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:49 AM   #23
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If you're on a rocky ledge road, lockers will allow you to slowly walk up a lot of rock steps in a controlled fashion rather than sliding sideways (where it might be a sheer dropoff). If you're in a mixed group of four wheel drives, you wan't to be in a lockered vehicle, if you don't have them, follow one that does, he might help you strap through a difficult obstacle.
Might want to retract that. I play in a lot of rocks and very rarely have to lock. Being locked makes it very easy to slide off rocks, hills, etc because when you loose traction its both tires on the same axle that spin. Unless your perfectly level, gravity will pull that axle to the lowest point. When open, normally only one tire will spin and the other will keep you from sliding.

At that point you can then asses the situation and decide if you should lock or not. That coupled with the fact that when in the rocks I am constantly turning the wheel back and forth... Lockers make that harder and can actually reduce your much needed turning radius. I wheel a lot in the wet, rainy, muddy rock and in most situations lockers can hurt more then help, but they are invaluable when needed.

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I really want the Rubi, and want LSD since I do a lot of driving in snow. IMO the brake lock system doesn't cut it, and I know LSD is superior to an open differential in the snow. I guess I can try it and if I'm not happy there are alternatives. Thanks!
You'd be surprised how well the rubi's can do in the snow with their open diffs in 4 hi. Get a good set of tires and run the rite pressure for your situation.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:20 AM   #24
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Since you don't have it, how can you say the BLD "doesn't cut it?"
I have it in a Liberty, and had LSD in Fords.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:25 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by 3JKs1H1
Look at something like this:
Auburn Gear 545018 - ECTED Electrically Activated Lockers for Dana 44 with 30-Splines & 3.73 Gear Ratio and Numerically Lower - Quadratec

It's an Auburn Ected locker (carrier). It replaces your "carrier" inside the differential. You move over your existing ring and pinion gears.

It acts in a limited slip mode when not engaged. You run 12 volts to it with a switch on the dash. Hit the switch and it's got 100% lockup. I installed a pair in a Hummer, and if I didn't have a rubicon with lockers, I'd put them in my jeep.

Unlike a Rubicon, they are independant on the vehicle's speed or position of the transfer case, so they work in 2H, 4H or 4L at any speed.

They have nice road manners - unlocked, they don't want to fishtail like some Detroits do when installed in the rear. Looks like they have a 4 yr warranty. You can install them in the front or rear, however you should not engage the front locker unless you are on a trail or stuck in snow or mud (It creates a solid axle, so you can't steer when engaged)
My recollection with these was that their little chart for how big of a tire you can run with a particular axle indicated that the D30 and D44 axles could only have a relatively small tire . . . I can't remember the exact size . . . but I do recall it looked like it would be an issue for the JK application of an otherwise great product concept. Do you know whether that's true or not? And I presume you obviously didn't run into any tire size issues with your hummer?
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:29 AM   #26
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I have it in a Liberty, and had LSD in Fords.
What year Liberty? Are you sure? I have a KK and don't think it has it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #27
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I'll agree with the Dr about lockers in VERY ROCKY terrain, but

They are not only "nice" in certain areas, but REQUIRED--ie-shale/gravel/burms/ruts-or-

Just go somewhere else-

This shale climb was impossible without lockers-



Lockers are also invaluable in DEEP snow/good tires/minimum off-camber-

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Old 02-29-2012, 09:36 AM   #28
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I ran them with 42" tires. H1's have a 2:1 gear reduction hub, so it's a little different in that regard. You seldom heard of them breaking from use. They lock and unlock instantly - you can hear them unlock if you're on a high traction surface (because you are releasing a bind). Unlocked, they allow tight turning - locked and low tire pressure - great traction. Ran them at Rousch creek, windrock, lots of trails in Colorado, and deep snow in Michigan. Work fine for a DD although 42" tires do not. I've had lots of Detroits, but prefer the Auburns as they have better on-road manners.

Here's a 10 second simple climb demonstrating the effectiveness of lockers on a steep dirt hill:


You engage them only when needed.
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:37 AM   #29
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what year liberty? Are you sure? I have a kk and don't think it has it.
2008
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Old 02-29-2012, 10:02 AM   #30
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My recollection with these was that their little chart for how big of a tire you can run with a particular axle indicated that the D30 and D44 axles could only have a relatively small tire . . . I can't remember the exact size . . . but I do recall it looked like it would be an issue for the JK application of an otherwise great product concept. Do you know whether that's true or not? And I presume you obviously didn't run into any tire size issues with your hummer?
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I ran them with 42" tires. H1's have a 2:1 gear reduction hub, so it's a little different in that regard. You seldom heard of them breaking from use.
I'm back on my computer now and can see the chart linked on Q-tec's website. It says that the maximum tire size for the D30 is 31" and for the D44 is 35". For the D44 that's not so bad as most never go about a 35" tire, but a 31" limit for the D30 pretty much makes these a "no-go" for front lockers on a non-Rubi. Perhaps I'm reading it wrong . . . . If not, that's just unfortunate because I remember finding these a while back and thinking they sounded like a great option.

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