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Old 08-14-2010, 11:01 AM   #1
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Lockers

Are lockers such as Detroit arb ox just for rocks and crawling? Or do they make a big difference in mud and sand too? In other words Would they be a wise investment for some one who off roads a good bit, but never climbs? Are they worth the money

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Old 08-14-2010, 11:10 AM   #2
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The best way to answer that question is to go out with someone in a similarly equipped rig with lockers and see how he does compared to your Jeep.

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Old 08-14-2010, 12:20 PM   #3
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I have detroit in rear (limited slip) and arb air in front. I haven't had to use the arb yet, but trust me, when you need it, you'll be greatful you have it
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:28 PM   #4
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Lockers make a HUGE difference in the traction you can get with your Jeep in just about any condition you can think of (mud, sand, rocks, etc.). You're able to put power to all 4 wheels which obviously increases your ability to gain critical traction.

I won't even take my Jeep to the off road park until I get it locked next week.

Oh, and this isn't my first Jeep. I just bought this one, but I've built Jeeps in the past and I learned the hard way when I was first getting started that never to hit serious trails without two things 1) lockers and 2) winch.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:55 PM   #5
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Lockers make a HUGE difference in the traction you can get with your Jeep in just about any condition you can think of (mud, sand, rocks, etc.). You're able to put power to all 4 wheels which obviously increases your ability to gain critical traction.

I won't even take my Jeep to the off road park until I get it locked next week.

Oh, and this isn't my first Jeep. I just bought this one, but I've built Jeeps in the past and I learned the hard way when I was first getting started that never to hit serious trails without two things 1) lockers and 2) winch.
I second that motion.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:00 PM   #6
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Be aware, though, that your rig will handle much differently when you have lockers and they are locked (if using selectable ones). If you do get lockers make sure you warm up to them.
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Old 08-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #7
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I didnt really think i needed lockers until i went out one day with some one that had lockers and i couldnt follow them. after that i sold my yj and bought a rubicon. the only bad part about lockers is the cost. especially if you have the 30/35 set up and you want to run aggressive big tires.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:41 PM   #8
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Be aware, though, that your rig will handle much differently when you have lockers and they are locked (if using selectable ones). If you do get lockers make sure you warm up to them.
Handling isn't an issue when lockers are locked offroad. And onroad, selectable lockers are a total non-issue, they don't affect handling at all because they won't be locked onroad.

About the only time lockers are noticeable onroad is when a lunchbox locker is installed in the back. In the front, a lunchbox locker doesn't affect handling onroad at all when you're in 2wd, they are virtually unnoticeable in 2wd. Even a Detroit Locker in the rear is barely noticeable when onroad, they are very well behaved 99% of the time.
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:09 PM   #9
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I just put in a Aussie locker up front on mine and I am sooo much happier now with the offroad performance. Doesn't seem to "push" anymore in mud, and instead goes almost exactly where I want! Great for off camber situations also where one tire was near to coming off the ground and so causes an open axle to be useless! Oh and it is COMPLETELY unnoticeable on road. No noise, doesn't lock in 2wd, etc...
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Old 08-14-2010, 05:59 PM   #10
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So if you aren't looking to spend the 1200+ a selectable locker would cost you. Just install a front one and pretty much making it a selectable one by when your switching in two to four
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:08 PM   #11
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So if you aren't looking to spend the 1200+ a selectable locker would cost you. Just install a front one and pretty much making it a selectable one by when your switching in two to four
That's my thinking of it... Only downside is I hear it can get hairy if you run on snowy/icy roads in 4hi a lot... I'm hoping it's not as bad as people are saying, we seem to get at least one 1" ice coating a year now.
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:20 PM   #12
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Lol I'm in lower Alabama about 15 miles from the beach, if that's the only down side. I might have to invest
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Old 08-14-2010, 06:21 PM   #13
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As for having a full time locker upfront in the snow and ice.. all I can say is I was neck and neck with the prosche boxster next to me who was side ways... I switched into 2wd at that point and had a much better go of it.
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Old 08-14-2010, 07:56 PM   #14
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I'm confused now, so are lockers a good solution for snow? and is there an advantage of a Detroit truetrac limited slip differential?
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:00 PM   #15
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If you are driving on snow/ice lockers front or rear are not a great idea. Offroad however, they can help.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:01 PM   #16
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I'm confused now, so are lockers a good solution for snow? and is there an advantage of a Detroit truetrac limited slip differential?
In deep offroad snow, lockers are good. On icy or snow covered streets or trails, automatic lockers are not a good choice but selectable lockers are fine because you can keep them off (unlocked) while in those conditions.

For icy/snow-covered streets or trails, the Detroit Truetrac limited slip differential is superb.
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Old 08-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #17
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I've driven lockers in NW Indiana for many winters and I live in the lake effects snow belt. I rarely (I can't remember ever having to use 4x4) have to put my Jeep in 4x4 to get traction regardless how deep the snow is. The locked rear end doesn't make for a scary ride at all. It will take you all of 10 minutes to get used to it.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:02 AM   #18
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Hey everyone I have more of a questions I am sure they have been asked before but here goes. I have a 97 TJ 4.0 disc brakes in front and drums in rear. I am on a bit of a budget and I am considering upgrading the rear differential to 44's I currently have 30 in front and 35 in rear. I would like to know if I can get 44's in drum brakes without lockers as I plan to install Aussie lockers in rear later on. I don't do much off roading but when I do it's not rock climbing just basic. Again on budget not trying to spend to much uprading whole rear brake system to disc? Also will I have a problem running the 44's in rear with 30's in front without any problem? I am currently in Virginia and travel often to Upstate NY and sometimes Canada. Help if any one can answer these questions?
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:31 AM   #19
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Well to start out dana 44 is a good axle without a doubt. But a ford 8.8 is actually a little stronger and you can get one for 200 bucks from a v8 explorer. The ford 8.8 has a limited slip differential which isnt a locker and a lot better road manners then a locker and you can get it to have 4.11 gears too. It also has disk brakes on it which arent hard to adapt onto your jeep at all. Over all the ford 8.8 would be a better axle in my opinion. the only reason i wouldnt swap to one is if i already had a 44
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:39 AM   #20
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And if im wrong im sure someone here will give me and you a good lesson
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:33 AM   #21
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Thank You

I will keep that in mind just a bit skeptical because it's a Ford not sure how well it will preform on Jeep.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:38 AM   #22
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can anyone else elaborate?
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:40 AM   #23
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619, I am swapping my 35 for a ford 8.8 as we speak. My grand total cost for the axle right now is: axle/proportioning valve from junk yard=317.93, brake pads, e-brake shoes and outer seals=69.79, bracket kit and lube locker=447.95, rotors turned=16.00, LSD rebuild kit=79.90, for a total of= 931.57. I still have some small parts to gather ( hard brake lines, fluids etc...) but that should give you an idea of cost. Beware, you will probably fall into the same pit I did and say to yourself ...while I'm here I might as well do SYE and ADJ. arms, new driveshaft cause it needs to be reworked for the new axle anyway.... Those items add up pretty quick. Hope that helps you out some. Mikey
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:17 AM   #24
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619, I am swapping my 35 for a ford 8.8 as we speak. My grand total cost for the axle right now is: axle/proportioning valve from junk yard=317.93, brake pads, e-brake shoes and outer seals=69.79, bracket kit and lube locker=447.95, rotors turned=16.00, LSD rebuild kit=79.90, for a total of= 931.57. I still have some small parts to gather ( hard brake lines, fluids etc...) but that should give you an idea of cost. Beware, you will probably fall into the same pit I did and say to yourself ...while I'm here I might as well do SYE and ADJ. arms, new driveshaft cause it needs to be reworked for the new axle anyway.... Those items add up pretty quick. Hope that helps you out some. Mikey
And the 44 bolts right in with out all of this other stuff. I believe there is some fabrication involved with welding brackets, etc.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:41 AM   #25
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1st. rear full time locker only in snow is not problem and you can drive just fine.. its the front full time locker in snow or ice that can cause isssues.

2nd. ford 8.8 Pre 1995 had drum brakes, 1995 and newer had disc. All explorers had the 8.8 not just the v8. I have one from a 6cly with 4.11 sitting in my garage. For the TJ guys the swap cost more as you have to weld on bracktets. Us Yj guys just weld on new spring perches an all is well. Also you need to weld the axle tubes in as they are press fit from the factory. As for the 44 vs 8.8 debate.. it depens on which 44 you are talking about. the tj 44 has weaker tubes, the 8.8 is a c-clip like the dana 35, but has 31 spline shafts. So In the end I would go with which ever one on paper works out to be cheaper for you.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:55 AM   #26
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can anyone else elaborate?
Many Wrangler TJ owners have installed Ford 8.8 axles into the rear of their Jeeps, as well as Ford 9" etc. axles. The brand of axle doesn't matter if it is configured correctly and is suitable for the application as the 8.8 or 9" is in addition to the usual Dana axles Jeep uses.

That said, it's not cheap for a non-fabricator who can't do the modifications himself to pay someone else to get an 8.8 configured so it can be bolted into a TJ. By the time you buy the axle, buy the brackets to make it work in a TJ, and pay a fabricator to remove the 8.8's OE brackets and weld the new brackets into the correct positions, you are talking pretty close to $1000 if not over that, especially if you have to regear the axle.

I see recommendations to install 8.8 axles every day and plenty are installed into Wrangler TJs, but they're not as easy or as cheap to get installed for someone who can't do all the work himself as some want you to believe.

The 8.8 is a very good axle however and once it is ready to bolt into a TJ, it's a very reliable axle. That said, I personally would rather buy a used Dana 44 out of a TJ which can usually be found used for less than an 8.8 would cost by the time it is made ready for a TJ by someone else.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #27
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I'm confused now, so are lockers a good solution for snow? and is there an advantage of a Detroit truetrac limited slip differential?
IMO the Detroit TrueTrac is the BEST limited slip on the market today. It is perfect for a daily driven Jeep that off roads on mild to moderate trails. It is not a locker and will demonstrate accordingly when a tire is lifted or when rocks are involved. Like JB mentioned, it handles well during the winter season, on roads covered with snow or ice; unlike a clutch based LSD, the gear driven TrueTrac is well behaved on such conditions.

For harder or difficult trails, a locker is a better traction option.

I run dual TrueTracs here in the Pacific Northwest and I am very satisfied with their performance. If I ran the same trails as JB i.e. JV - I would definitely lock up .

However for moderate trails here in Oregon, the TrueTrac performs decently:



I did not have to winch or tug out of this particular trail with my TrueTracs, they got me all the way through .
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:20 PM   #28
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I have another ? About detriot lockers on a Dana 30. Is it true that it never will activate besides when in four wheel drive?
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Old 08-22-2010, 01:43 PM   #29
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I have another ? About detriot lockers on a Dana 30. Is it true that it never will activate besides when in four wheel drive?
That is true. Well, to be more precise, an automatic locker is always engaged but how hard it is engaged depends on how much torque is passing through it. With a front locker, zero torque is passing through it in 2wd so the locker disengages so easily that you won't even know it's there. Only in 4x4 will it lock up hard enough to be noticeable.

With a Detroit Locker or Powertrax No-Slip locker up front, I doubt you could even tell it is there in 2wd. No clicking, no steering feedback.

Other automatic lockers like the Aussie, Lockright, and Ez-Lockers are more noticeable but even they don't affect steering when in 2wd, they only click some during turns when in 2wd.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:29 PM   #30
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Handling isn't an issue when lockers are locked offroad.
They can be a pain when in lighter mud off road. I forgot I had my rear locked when I went into a mud hole and had to fight the rear the entire time.

Your foolish if you don't think your truck won't handle differently or that they won't ever be an issue off road.

Granted, in deep snow off road, they may be a good help. But you'll still have to counter steer quite a bit.

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