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Old 08-23-2010, 08:17 AM   #1
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Lockers!

I want some lockers so bad. Got stuck in a mud hole this weekend for the first time, however fun it is quite annoying to have to be pulled out. My wrangler is a beast on solid ground with the 33x12.50s and the 4 inch lift. The question is how well will they help me in the trenches and what would be the best setup, electronic, air, soft lockers or what. Lookin for some input from some people with personal experience. Cause I can't bear to see my tj gettin pulled out by a stock jk anymore.

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:40 AM   #2
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Depends on what axles you have now. If you have the dana 35 in the rear it is not recommended to run any locker as the set up is weak and with your 33 inch tires you are asking for a break. I myself run a Detroit in the rear of the dana 44. After much research and talking I was convinced this was a good locker with no quirks on road. I also run the Lock Right in my front dana 30 and that is also supposed to be an okay set up. So far, everything is great. You get used to the little personality traits of the Detroit and soon don't even know it is there. Off road when all locked up, I have not found a spot yet where it does not just walk up or through. I run 33 inchers too.

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Old 08-23-2010, 08:56 AM   #3
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Thanx for the info. I do have stock axles but I'm thinking about upgrading the the 35 axle shafts to high strength 30 spline. Would this mean I need to upgrade the Dana 30 shafts as well. Wish I was rich so I could regear, reshaft, and throw some ox lockers in. I'm trying to make a tough setup without goin broker than I already am.
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:52 AM   #4
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research before investing anything in the D35.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:26 AM   #5
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slap in a D44, i see some on Craigslist for a couple hundo. im rockin D44 with detroit (limited slip) rear, ARB air locker front on my 33 splines. i love the ability to be able to turn on the locker when need be
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:52 AM   #6
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We've run detroits and 33's for years on a D35 rear without issues. I know they are prone to break but we have yet to have one fail. There's not alot of difference between a D44 and a 35. The only thing that is substantial is the ring gear is 8.5 versus the 7.5 in a D35. Other than that the axle shafts are only .09 larger. I would go straight to a Ford 8.8. 8.8 inch ring gear, and 31 spline 1.31 shafts which are .22 inches larger than the 35.
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:57 AM   #7
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Thanx for the info. I do have stock axles but I'm thinking about upgrading the the 35 axle shafts to high strength 30 spline. Would this mean I need to upgrade the Dana 30 shafts as well. Wish I was rich so I could regear, reshaft, and throw some ox lockers in. I'm trying to make a tough setup without goin broker than I already am.
It is my understanding that the dana 30 in front is a strong enough axle to hold up to a locker and run 33 inch tires. Most weight and stress is on the back axle which is why the 35 is known to break quite often especially with the larger tires and locked. I have run mine with only the front 30 locked for some time and the back was open at the time I had my 35 back there. For the most part it went anywhere I wanted to go with only the front 30 locked. I wanted larger tires than the 31 inch I had so I invested in the 44 and the locker at the same time to be on the safe side. I do not like breaking and doing repairs out on some trail in the desert or mountains. I now run 33 inch tires and have a sense of security.
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Old 08-23-2010, 12:41 PM   #8
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There's not alot of difference between a D44 and a 35. The only thing that is substantial is the ring gear is 8.5 versus the 7.5 in a D35. Other than that the axle shafts are only .09 larger. .
The 30 spline Dana 44 axle has a 1.3" diameter axle shaft, the 27 spline Dana 35c axle shaft is 1.18, a difference of .12. Not only are the Dana 44's shafts substantially stronger in reality, the D44 housing is substantially stronger and so of course is the R&P.

There's a lot more beef to a Dana 44 overall than a Dana 35c, I'm surprised you are claiming otherwise. If there wasn't such a substantial difference, everyone would be complaining about the D44 like they do the D35c.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:21 PM   #9
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I believe your incorrect on your shaft size...it has a 1.31 spline size, but a 1.18 shaft size. But the bottom line is its alot easier to find a 8.8 than a 44, and its stronger, has disc brakes already, and is already the correct bolt pattern.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:31 PM   #10
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I'll just reitterate, search....on this forum, jeepforum, pirate 4x4, etc. you'll see why most get rid of the 35 in favor of a D44 (unless they are going balls to the wall, then they use something bigger/beefier.)
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:44 PM   #11
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The quality info is much appreciated. If it helps the debate any basically I just want to stay with the 35 and the 30. These should serve me fine for the majority of wheeling I want to do. However when I finally decide to upgrade what type of axle shafts should I switch to, heavy duty of course but how many spline. Does each axle have to have the same number of splines to function properly. Say 27 in front and 30 in rear. Is that kosher? Next question is regearing, do I need to purchase the differential cases to match the number of splines on the shafts. I understand regearing and what you need but I am unfamiliar with how it all matches up. I'll probably slowly buy a piece here and there. Just want to make sure I get items that work together not to mention the whole reason I started this thread.the locker.
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Old 08-23-2010, 01:54 PM   #12
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Front and rear splines have nothing to do with each other. For instance, A Dana 60 rear is 28 spline, but a Dana 60 front is 35 spline. Just in how they are made. When you purchase a differential, your gonna buy it for whichever axle you are doing at the time and it will work with what you have already....unless you plan on upgrading the shafts to a larger size.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:01 PM   #13
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We've run detroits and 33's for years on a D35 rear without issues. I know they are prone to break but we have yet to have one fail. There's not alot of difference between a D44 and a 35. The only thing that is substantial is the ring gear is 8.5 versus the 7.5 in a D35. Other than that the axle shafts are only .09 larger. I would go straight to a Ford 8.8. 8.8 inch ring gear, and 31 spline 1.31 shafts which are .22 inches larger than the 35.
Same here. I've ran lockers in a D35 for years on 33's without issue running the pink trails at Attica Indiana. Never broke anything. I sold that Jeep and now have another one with PowerTrax no-slip lockers in the 35 rear.

Avoid hammering the gas pedal and make every effort to avoid hopping your rear end. Crawl around in 4 low with a level head (and light foot) and you should be fine.

The D44 can, and does break too. If you snap a D35 rear, upgrade to a Super 35 which is at least as strong as a stock D44 and you'll once again be fine. That's my plan, but I've never had to act on it as I've never broken a D35 axle.

I would say put a PowerTrax no-slip locker in your Jeep. They are a little over $400 each (one in the rear and one in the front). You can also go with the slightly noisier PowerTrax Lockrite for $250 each or so. The no-slip is the newer model that doesn't click and clank like the lockrites do. If you can live with a little noise and want to save $400 or so, consider them too.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:08 PM   #14
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Avoid hammering the gas pedal and make every effort to avoid hopping your rear end. Crawl around in 4 low with a level head (and light foot) and you should be fine.
I wish my personal experience with my previous Dana 35c axle backed that up but it doesn't. Before I learned to trust other opinions on the Dana 35c and to avoid installing a locker, I went ahead and installed one. That was with 4.10 gearing and 33" tires.

It lasted all of six weeks with me driving like the 50 year-old guy I was at the time. It had one VERY gentle (I was paranoid) offroad trip on it and then 3-4 weeks later, it grenaded while I was doing a very gentle u-turn at a light-controlled intersection. That might have happened faster than it has happened to others but I can assure you, I never (!) once treated that rear axle with anything but gentleness and absolute paranoia after the locker was installed. I never hammered the throttle, got it hopping, or anything else that some claim avoiding will prevent it from breaking.

Not to mention the many who have broken their unlocked Dana 35c axles with even 31-32" tires. I've helped several of them off the trail personally. I'm not saying they are as weak as what I'm saying may imply, but to say they will hold up to being locked is misleading at the best and incorrect at the worst.
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Old 08-23-2010, 02:59 PM   #15
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Not to mention the many who have broken their unlocked Dana 35c axles with even 31-32" tires. I've helped several of them off the trail personally. I'm not saying they are as weak as what I'm saying may imply, but to say they will hold up to being locked is misleading at the best and incorrect at the worst.
Perhaps a fair assessment. What I should say is that I'll continue to run mine locked until I break something. My first Jeep made it 5 years of pretty heavy use out on the trails of Attica without any issues. I'll see how far this one takes me. At worst i'll put a $1,000 Super 35 back there.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:12 PM   #16
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Not to hijack your thread or anything, but I am thinking about getting a lock right locker in the front D30 and I have 31" tires.. Is this ok? I only would use it during the winter in the snow really because I don't off-road to much.... Once in a while at nauset beach in the cape.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:16 PM   #17
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Not to hijack your thread or anything, but I am thinking about getting a lock right locker in the front D30 and I have 31" tires.. Is this ok? I only would use it during the winter in the snow really because I don't off-road to much.... Once in a while at nauset beach in the cape.
Full time locker in the front for snow use..is bad. It will pull the jeep right and left as it gets traction. Rear full time locker in snow is easier to control.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:30 PM   #18
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Full time locker in the front for snow use..is bad. It will pull the jeep right and left as it gets traction. Rear full time locker in snow is easier to control.
True, though a front locker would only cause that problem if he shifted into 4x4. For occasional use like if he got stuck and needed 4x4 just to move, it'd be ok so long as he stayed in 2wd the rest of the time when the streets are slick from ice or snow. 4x4 should be rarely needed since most cars that are also out on icy or snow-covered roads usually only have 2wd.
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:54 PM   #19
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Old 08-23-2010, 08:56 PM   #20
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If I were to put one locker in for street use it would be a rear locker. If you have to use 4x4 in the snow you won't be able to steer very well with a front locker. You certainly don't want to drive around town with your 4x4 engaged in the snow as you would go from ditch to ditch... You won't get stuck but you might get some strange looks.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:13 PM   #21
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The front locker is only for occasional use, i wont be driving around town in 4 wheel drive.
i would only use it if i were stuck or wanting to go down a road with 12" of snow on it, and some other times here and there when i need it. That sort of thing.
I am heading to my local junkyard to look at a some rear D44 axles that they said they had.
I have a couple of questions to ask:
1) Does it make a difference what type of vehicle it came off of?
2) And is it easy to install? Meaning, can i just take to D35 off and put that right in, or do i need to buy any other parts or replacement parts before hand?
3) Whats the difference between no-slip and other lockers?
Sorry for all the question, just thought that the old forum is the place to ask them.
Thanks everyone.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:51 PM   #22
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The only D44 axle that is ready to be bolted into your '97 Wrangler is a D44 that came out of a '97 to '06 Wrangler. The rest of them are set up for leaf springs, have the wrong brackets installed, etc. which would turn it into a pretty major project that would require some good shop skills including welding.

The No-Slip locker from Powertrax is a lunchbox locker that is installed into the carrier. It differs from other lunchbox lockers like the Aussie, Lockright, etc. by being mostly well behaved in the rear and click-free front or rear.

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