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Old 05-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,

Iím looking at getting my first Jeep and Iím stoked. Iím planning to buy a 2012. Iíve spent so much time pouring over these forums (4 hours last night) to try to figure out what will suite my needs best and Iíve found many answers (you guys are better than a library) but I still have a few more. Before that I want to fill in what I plan to use the Jeep for so I can get the best advice.

Iím planning to use the Jeep primarily as my daily driver. However I want it also because I want to do plenty of camping (I was in Boy Scouts so this is a must). It will also be handy if I need to trailer my motorcycle behind it. And then I thought, well if Iím going to get one of the most capable 4x4s I might as well use it for its true purpose. I want to start doing a little bit of weekend wheeling (probably while Iím out camping). Like I said, Iíve done lots of camping but no off-roading.

From all my research I think Iíve found that a Sport S will best suite my wants. Most of my questions pertain to differentials! My main question: {1} what are some of the best options for my wants?
I live in Knoxville, TN so not a lot of snow but plenty of rain and mud. I think this Jeep will quickly end up modified and Iím comparing open, LSD, and lockers to start. Iíve heard that the TracLoc LSD from the factory isnít exactly the best available. And when I hear the word lockers my eyes get huge and I think to myself: ďThose are so BA!Ē
But letís look beyond first impressions and get more realistic. Iím under the impression that an open diff with selectable lockers would be best, and on top of that since Iím only planning to do light trail raiding/possibly getting stuck in a muddy camp ground Iíd probably only need a locker in the front or back. Iíve also heard that an LSD can be more squirrely than an open diff in the rain. {2} From a reliability standpoint, what has been yaílls experience with the stock LSD?

Wow I already sound bias against the factory LSD and towards lockers. And this is where I hope you guys can either straighten me out or reinforce what Iím thinking. Itís probably helpful to know that Iím mechanically inclined, but by no means an expert. I learned from my dad who rebuilt his 1964 XKE jaguar himself. I'll post a picture when I get home. Not trying to brag just wanted to post something for your enjoyment (I'm referring to the picture that is soon to come). He has since had to sell. L {3} If I decide to get an LSD and then add aftermarket lockers, does the whole diff get replaced (aka does the LS part get taken out and it is converted back to an open with select lockers)? {4} If thatís the case then wouldnít I be better off to just get the open diff and add lockers when I save up the cash? Also, a new winch/bumper combo may be in my future.

I havenít even acknowledged aftermarket LS yet! Please keep in mind that this will be my daily driver and I want it to have paved road manners so Iím leaning away from the always on devices. {5} Who can weigh in on this option?

Part of the reason why I strayed away from the Rubi was Iíve heard I can outfit a Sport to be more Ďspecializedí to my needs. Plus I also heard some reliability issues with the e-disco (wonít always reconnect if it gets dirty). {6} Again, what have you guys heard about the stock e-disco reliability. If I decide later I want to disconnect the sway bar then Iím totally cool with getting muddy with a couple wrenches or investing in some quick discos.

I would say itís apparent that one thing I want is reliability. I think after my research Iím looking for a rig outfitted with selectable lockers in the rear. ButÖ Iím leaning towards an e-locker in the front due to reliability. I heard the back e-locker was weaker (4 pin front vs 2 pin rear) and I donít want to have to worry about all the air components of the ARB. Although I heard you could rig up part of the ARB (or the compressor, rather) to help air up/down on the trail. {7} True? Now I talk about the ARB and e-lockers like I actually know something about them. Donít mistake my confidence for knowledge; Iím fairly clueless right now so donít hesitate to straighten me out. {8} But in general, what do you think is the best set up for my rig?

Sorry for the long post; I like to talk.
***Questions numbered for convenience.

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Old 05-03-2012, 12:59 PM   #2
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Ok.

Don't buy a two door if you plan on camping a lot. Trust me.

Don't buy a Rubicon. Get the Sport with the LSD in the rear. Make sure its a four door.

Install an ARB air locker in the front axle, obv install the on board air.

Done.

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Old 05-03-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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And yes the lsd comes out when you add the locker.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pluke the 2 View Post
And yes the lsd comes out when you add the locker.
Lockers are the only thing I haven't really looked into yet.
I have LSD in my sport.
And I bought discos too.

So, when you say the LSD comes out when you add the locker, that's because you are changing out the differential, probably regearing, etc.?
The quote above is talking about front lockers, but you are talking about for the rear as well? Interesting.

For the Rubicon, are lockers OEM both front and rear?

And do some people only add front lockers to their non-Rubicons?

Again, obviously, don't really know anything about lockers. So what exactly are they?
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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Not quite the same boat, but my dads 05 TJ has the limited slip rear end, and My 98 TJ doesn't. He's never had any problems with it, and we've both gone places that other vehicles had problems. He used finese, and that extra wheel with traction helped. I just used my right foot a little more and powered over the obsticals...
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GonzoBobH View Post
So, when you say the LSD comes out when you add the locker, that's because you are changing out the differential, probably regearing, etc.?
Are lockers usually only for the rear, or is this something for the front too? Again, don't really know anything about lockers.
Yes, you replace the innerds of the differential.

There are lockers availible for front and rear axels, as well as other axels not stock to our jeeps, that sometime wind up under them.

4 main types I beleive are automatic, manual, electric, and pnuematic. The last three being selectable, so you are only locked when you want to be locked.

There are countless threads and opinions out there about them, so I'm not going to go into that.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:32 PM   #8
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If you decide you don't want the factory LSD I have heard nothing but good about the Detroit Truetrac. It is a gear driven LSD that drives well on streets, is almost as good as a locker and is super reliable.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:34 PM   #9
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typically, if you change out the factory lsd to install an air locker or any locker, you'll leave the ring and pinion inside if youre not changing the gear ratios...
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Peepers View Post
Not quite the same boat, but my dads 05 TJ has the limited slip rear end, and My 98 TJ doesn't. He's never had any problems with it, and we've both gone places that other vehicles had problems. He used finese, and that extra wheel with traction helped. I just used my right foot a little more and powered over the obsticals...
And that is where I'd like to get skill wise. Although its good to hear that people like the stock LSD. But it'd still be cool to have a set of lockers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoBobH View Post
For the Rubicon, are lockers OEM both front and rear?

Again, obviously, don't really know anything about lockers. So what exactly are they?
The rubi has stock lockers. I believe both front and rear.
Lockers or locking differentials lock the right and left wheels together so they turn at the same rate. Do a quick google search on what a differential does. Lockers essentially stop a differential from doing what it was built to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peepers View Post
There are countless threads and opinions out there about them, so I'm not going to go into that.
I found out quickly how varied the opinions are on which kind to get. But different setups seem to work better for different purposes (kind of a duh statement).
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:36 PM   #11
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Ok.

Don't buy a two door if you plan on camping a lot. Trust me.

Don't buy a Rubicon. Get the Sport with the LSD in the rear. Make sure its a four door.

Install an ARB air locker in the front axle, obv install the on board air.

Done.

Welcome to WF
I second on getting the Unlimited. Though don't try sleeping in the back without some sort of matress or pad
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GonzoBobH View Post
Lockers are the only thing I haven't really looked into yet.
I have LSD in my sport.
And I bought discos too.

So, when you say the LSD comes out when you add the locker, that's because you are changing out the differential, probably regearing, etc.?
The quote above is talking about front lockers, but you are talking about for the rear as well? Interesting. Whatever is currently installed will be removed and replaced with the new LSD, Locker or whatever. You don't have to regear when installing a locker but it is smart to do it at the same time if you are lifted with 35's or bigger so you don't pay labor twice.

For the Rubicon, are lockers OEM both front and rear? Yes, Rubicons are front anr rear locked.

And do some people only add front lockers to their non-Rubicons? Yes, you can do just one axle or both. There is debate over which is best if you are only doing one but IMO it is opinion based. Especially with the JK and the BLD system or a trutrac LSD. Using creative breaking techniques will improve traction, even with tires hanging in the air.

Again, obviously, don't really know anything about lockers. So what exactly are they? Lockers distrubute power evenly to both wheels on the locked axle. Front and rear lockers locked will result in all 4 wheels turning, increasing traction and making it easier to crawl up and over and obstacle. The ultimate offroad traction system and are for rock crawling and mudding. A Limited Slip will never lock up but instead sense tractions slip and distribute more power to the wheel with traction. Great for mud also and icy/snowy conditions.
See my answers above. There are many options to consider when going with aftermarket traction devices. Such as auto lockers, lunchbox, or selectable.

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Old 05-03-2012, 05:25 PM   #13
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I have a s[rot with rear factory LSD and added Eaton E-Lockers in the front and left the LSD in rear. For the Mountains here in Tn, it is a great combo IMO. I have had no problems that couldn't be overcome by this combo and there has been trails I needed the front locker and it got be out of trouble. The Eaton E-Locker for the front D30 is a very strong 4 pin electric locker and is a lot cheaper then air.

I hope to be down near Knoxville soon to run Windrock. Wish I was as close as you
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Old 05-03-2012, 05:31 PM   #14
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If your getting an unlimited and towing bikes, make sure to get the 3.73 gears over the 3.21.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:05 PM   #15
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^^ditto, it's only $50 to have the factory put in those 3.73 gears over 3.21, and it'll cost more than that if you decide to change gears later
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:46 PM   #16
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I hope to be down near Knoxville soon to run Windrock. Wish I was as close as you
I think I read about your setup in one of the other threads and that's what got me thinking about whether to throw a locker in the front and leave an LSD in the rear or just throw a locker in the rear. One of my concerns is with turning with lockers, what's your experience? And I realize to never use lockers on paved roads.

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If your getting an unlimited and towing bikes, make sure to get the 3.73 gears over the 3.21.
I'm probably still gonna stick to the 2 dr but I already picked up that the 3.73s are a must.

I also haven't looked too hard yet into winches. Seems like some want em others just don't. I figure if you have the money why not get one? It could probably help you out of a tight spot. So please inform me: for those of you that don't have em/don't want em... why?
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:16 PM   #17
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If it's a selectable locker and creates a solid axle (and doesn't differentiate like a Detroit Softlocker), it's hard to turn (especially if its in the front). It's a bit like trying to turn on snow while on the brakes - you push through. So it's good to put the switch where you can flip it off and still look out the front windshield. I've installed Auburn Ected (in other off road rigs), they switch on and off just about instantly and work well in the front.

Yeah, you're right near Windrock, it's about 400 miles for me to get there - but it's been worth the trip - witnessed a lot of carnage there.

Your Sport will do fine, you can add a front locker and a winch later. You will want better tires than the stock SR-A's for that area, so find a set of Rubi takeoffs. Easy to switch out. Recovery straps usually work fine as long as you wheel with a buddy. You know all about being prepared.
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:58 AM   #18
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If it's a selectable locker and creates a solid axle (and doesn't differentiate like a Detroit Softlocker), it's hard to turn (especially if its in the front). It's a bit like trying to turn on snow while on the brakes - you push through. So it's good to put the switch where you can flip it off and still look out the front windshield. I've installed Auburn Ected (in other off road rigs), they switch on and off just about instantly and work well in the front.

Yeah, you're right near Windrock, it's about 400 miles for me to get there - but it's been worth the trip - witnessed a lot of carnage there.

Your Sport will do fine, you can add a front locker and a winch later. You will want better tires than the stock SR-A's for that area, so find a set of Rubi takeoffs. Easy to switch out. Recovery straps usually work fine as long as you wheel with a buddy. You know all about being prepared.
Hmm.. good to know that yours come on almost instantly. I was also concerned that you might have to rock back n forth a bit to get the lockers to engage. I've heard quite a bit about Windrock/bull mountain/coal creek. Seems I'll have to make my way out there pretty quick. I can def see wanting to up the tires quickly. Tow straps are already on the Christmas list; I just have to convince one of my buddies to get a 4x4 now or make new friends. Or both. that I do.

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