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Old 04-05-2011, 11:03 PM   #1
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Could use some help choosing a locker

Whats up Jeepers?! I was dead set on buying a long arm kit and have saved up some cash. This weekend, I went out on some trails and was trying to do some of the trails and noticed some problems getting traction. I then started to think that maybe I should go after lockers and taller gears before I do the long arm. I currently have 33's and am wanting to go to 35's in the future. The jeep would fit them. I have a ford 8.8 w/ the ford factory posi in there. I'm gonna gear up from 3.73's to 4.56's. I was thinking of keeping the ford posi for now and going with either a Spartan Locker for the dana 30 open diff or the Lock-right. Is there a difference between the spicer vs non-spicer? I could use some help choosing on that. Also, I am not sure what a locking hub does. Sorry, kinda new to the off roading scene. Loving it though. Do I need to get strengthened axles in order to run this setup? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 04-05-2011, 11:15 PM   #2
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Niether use locking hubs.

I've heard good things about the Spartan lockers. However lock-right seems to be popular as well. Have you looked at any other brands? Like Aussie or Detroit Truetrac?

The popular combo is Aussie in the front and Trutrac in the rear.

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Old 04-05-2011, 11:19 PM   #3
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Detroit trutrac is a limited slip diff, leads me to feel like it allows slip, just less than open, is that wrong? Never heard of aussie. Do you have experience with either? I'd love to hear someone's review on a few different lockers. Thatd be very helpful.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99TJCrawler View Post
Detroit trutrac is a limited slip diff, leads me to feel like it allows slip, just less than open, is that wrong? Never heard of aussie. Do you have experience with either? I'd love to hear someone's review on a few different lockers. Thatd be very helpful.
I don't have any first hand experience with lockers, I'm just throwin' ideas out for you from what I've read. Plus it helps to bump your post and get other people to respond.

For true lunchbox lockers aussie and powertrax lock right seem to be the popular lockers. Spartans are fairly new to the scene and people seem to be happy with them.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:28 PM   #5
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Well thanks for the help man. The lunchbox lockers seem like the way to go as far as my price range is concerned. The Spartans are about 40 bucks cheaper online which I like, but I have learned that sometimes quality is a mirror image of the price on some of these things. They seem to be the cheapest on the market. Just dont want to buy something then break in and be sol LOL!
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:29 PM   #6
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I have 3.73's and I run 35's no problem with an Aussie locker in the front. That Aussie is great and it's only $260 and an easy install. Did it myself.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:35 PM   #7
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I'm not really scared of using the old wrench so I'll definitely be doing this myself. I just figured since I'd be tearing into there, I might as well change out the gears. My bro has a stang and is buying the 3.73 gears from the rear of my jeep if I change them so I'll be able to recover some of the money that way. I'm sure that sure that the 3.73's would be fine but everybody likes a little extra torque and the way I calculated it, it wont hurt mileage too badly once I go to 35's
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99TJCrawler View Post
I'm not really scared of using the old wrench so I'll definitely be doing this myself. I just figured since I'd be tearing into there, I might as well change out the gears. My bro has a stang and is buying the 3.73 gears from the rear of my jeep if I change them so I'll be able to recover some of the money that way. I'm sure that sure that the 3.73's would be fine but everybody likes a little extra torque and the way I calculated it, it wont hurt mileage too badly once I go to 35's
Lunchbox lockers don't require anything special to install, however gears do. If you don't have the special tools or knowledge how to it's not something you should do.

In other words it's not as simple as pulling the carrier and bolting a new ring gear on and new pinion gear.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:38 PM   #9
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Seems to me ARB has a good quality product as well.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:48 PM   #10
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I know for sure that ARB has a good locker...I just cant afford it lol. As far as gear installs, I dont have the tools but I know a hand full of bored mechanics lol. They'll loan me tools and help out some times. I have tackled much more difficult jobs. Anyone know if there are any dealers on here that would be interested in making a sale?
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99TJCrawler View Post
I know for sure that ARB has a good locker...I just cant afford it lol. As far as gear installs, I dont have the tools but I know a hand full of bored mechanics lol. They'll loan me tools and help out some times. I have tackled much more difficult jobs. Anyone know if there are any dealers on here that would be interested in making a sale?
It's not so much difficult as it is precise. Gears have extremely small tolerances and mistakes will lead to costly repairs. However if you have a mechanic friend willing to help then it would be a good learning experience and something I would probably tackle as well.

This thread has a ton of information whether your new to gears or not.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ex...thread-965764/
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:52 AM   #12
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My son has his jeep at an Offroad shop right now changing gears (we do almost all work on our jeeps except gears) and the mechanic was also installing a Spartan up front. This was his first install of that brand and he said he was going to start recommending them over the other lunch box lockers because of the quality and the tightness. He guessed it was much more expensive than a lock right and was very surprised at the $250 price. Looking forward to trying it out.
I have a powertrax no slip up front and it's been great too.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:07 AM   #13
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Lock out hubs were put on all jeeps up to the YJ. They allow you to turn each front wheel to be completely disengaged from the axle turning which effectively turns it into a two wheel drive and stops the front axle from turning. It stops all wear on the front and gets a bit better performance since the engine is not wasting energy turning the front end. It's expensive to do it on a TJ and requires a change from a front bearing hub to wheel bearings. I put the Warn kit on mine in 2003 and love it but it has gone up in price a bunch. I paid less than $600 installed. I repack the bearings every year or so.
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:08 AM   #14
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Most of the lunch box auto lockers are pretty much the same. They aren't to bad but not as nice as the lockers you can turn on and off like the arb air lockers, E lockers and ox lockers. If you are going to spend the money on putting new gears in I would spend the extra money and get one of the lockers you can turn on and off. In the long run if you daily drive it you will like it much better. If you just want to run a lunch box auto locker until you want to switch the gears then go ahead. Most of the main name brand auto lockers work just fine. The down side of the auto locker is if you use 4wd on the street when there's slick spots it will pull and push you kind of funny since you can't turn it off. Also since the wranglers only have part time 4wd that ads to the pushing and pulling effects.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:28 PM   #15
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Has anyone ever rebuilt the stock trac lock in a Ford 8.8? I'm thinking I may just go with the spartan for now for the D30 in front and rebuild the ford 8.8 limited slip and save the gears for another time. My buddy is a mechanic, says all you need to install the gears is a feeler gauge...from what I have seen in write ups, it looks a little more involved...
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:07 PM   #16
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You'll get far greater benefit by replacing your rear 8.8's limited slip differential with some form of locker than keeping the rear LSD and installing a front locker. MUCH greater benefit.

If you have to drive your TJ on icy roads a lot during the road, you're better off going with a selectable locker that can be turned on and off as needed. Kept off for icy or slick roads, engaged for offroading. ARB's Air Locker would be my #1 choice for a selectable (manually turned on and off by the driver as required) locker. ARB's Air Locker is as strong as a locker gets but it requires a pro who is experienced at installing ARB Air Lockers to get it installed properly. A novice cannot install this particular locker.

Other 'selectable' lockers that would be a good choice for the rear axle include the Ox Locker and perhaps the Eaton E-Locker. The ARB is my resounding first-choice however.

If you don't have to drive your rig on icy roads, you can go with a Detroit Locker in the rear which is very well behaved on non-slick roads. This is also a "bulletproof" locker that is as strong as the ARB Air Locker. This locker also normally needs pro-level installation though it is a bit simpler to install than the ARB Air Locker is.

A less costly automatic (no ability to turn it on or off) locker for the rear axle would be the Powertrax No-Slip locker which is a lunchbox locker that nearly anyone can install. The No-Slip is fairly well behaved when installed in the rear axle. None of the other lunchbox (easily installed) lockers including the Aussie, Lockright, or EZ-Locker are well behaved when installed into the rear axle.

You could of course just add a lunchbox locker up front but for the first locker to be installed, you'll get more benefit if it's installed into the rear first.

And I wouldn't install the clutch-based Tracloc into any axle, period. The Tracloc is clutch-based and its clutch-pack wears out within 40-50K miles. Plus it is not a very good LSD when compared to other LSDs like the Detroit Truetrac.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #17
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Thanks for the response Jerry. I think that If I was going to do the gears, I would probably go with the truetrac. I'm moving to TX after summer in Cinci so no more ice! Right now, money is kindof an issue and since I do not have a ton of it, I'm trying to keep cost down while getting a little better traction. I figured that rebuilding that Tracloc would be cheaper than buying a locker. Jerry do you know if all you need is a 'feeler gauge' for a gear install? I feel like its a little more difficult. My mechanic buddy would be helping me out with the install.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:57 PM   #18
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Installing new ring & pinion gears is a complex operation that needs more than simply a feeler gauge. As much as I work on my own Jeep and have a garage full of tools, welder, etc., I won't install my own gears. Not done perfectly, a new set of gears will be toast in weeks, if not days. In my local 4x4 shops, there are only 1-2 guys in each shop that are trusted and experienced enough to do R&P gear installations.

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