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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-19-2011 01:05 PM
shrubeck Back. Climbing steep hills off road weights the back tires, so that's where you want the extra traction. A locked front axle gets your front end started up a steep climb, a locked back axle gets your whole Jeep up. The only reason for locking the front first I've heard that makes any sense to me is if you have a D35 in the rear and don't want to break it. Since you already have a 44, lock it up.
01-19-2011 10:22 AM
dmiller369
Quote:
Originally Posted by shrubeck View Post
To clarify, installing a full case locker like a Detroit is a complicated job. Installing a lunchbox locker like the Aussie or Lockrite is an easy, at home job. Both Detroits and lunchbox lockers are automatic (not selectable). When I installed an Aussie locker in my CJ, I'd never done any axle work before. I was nervous going into it, but just followed the instructions and it turned out to be really easy. I did it in the winter, and the very first thing I did after installing it was spin out on the road pulling out of my neighborhood. So I drove around that night for a few hours until I felt totally comfortable with how it handled, and it wasn't a problem for the rest of the winter.

While I agree with what Jerry said about Detroits having better manners, I still recommend putting a lunchbox locker in your axle. They're much cheaper, you can do it yourself, and you still get all the off road performance of a more expensive Detroit. Just be aware you will have to practice driving on the winter roads.
so did you install it in the front or back? and what do you recommend?

i was thinking a lunchbox in the front and down the road an ox or arb in the back
01-19-2011 09:58 AM
TexasT I love my setup and have had it for 8 years. I have an OX locker in the rear on my D35,which I have super-ized, a Powertrax no slip in the front, and I have Warn lockout hubs so the front just sits and waits to go off road. We had a snow a few years ago but not a concern. I went with this setup after taking a Detroit locker out of the rear. It was great off road but living in the country with very windy and sharp curved roads made it feel like it was not going to turn before the guardrail. I live in hills and lock it up to go around our place. When fully locked it's awesome. But on road I want manners. Like the others, I would leave the rear open before I put a lunch box in it and I would never attempt putting a full housing locker in on my own.
01-19-2011 09:41 AM
shrubeck To clarify, installing a full case locker like a Detroit is a complicated job. Installing a lunchbox locker like the Aussie or Lockrite is an easy, at home job. Both Detroits and lunchbox lockers are automatic (not selectable). When I installed an Aussie locker in my CJ, I'd never done any axle work before. I was nervous going into it, but just followed the instructions and it turned out to be really easy. I did it in the winter, and the very first thing I did after installing it was spin out on the road pulling out of my neighborhood. So I drove around that night for a few hours until I felt totally comfortable with how it handled, and it wasn't a problem for the rest of the winter.

While I agree with what Jerry said about Detroits having better manners, I still recommend putting a lunchbox locker in your axle. They're much cheaper, you can do it yourself, and you still get all the off road performance of a more expensive Detroit. Just be aware you will have to practice driving on the winter roads.
01-19-2011 12:22 AM
Jerry Bransford Installing a full case locker requires a great deal of expertise like in how to shim the carrier left or right to achieve the right amount of backlash (slop) between the ring & carrier gears. It's not a simple bolt-in job. Like installing new ring & pinion gears, installing full-case lockers is really best left to an experienced axle guy.

Lockers are worse on icy or snow-covered roads because both tires are always turning which means there isn't one to serve as a non-spinning "anchor" to keep you from going sideways. Also, remember that the inside wheel does not turn as fast as the outside wheel does during a turn. With a locker, the inside wheel is forced to turn as fast as the outside wheel which means it is slipping/skidding which helps get you sliding sideways. It is manageable but not if you're not concentrating 100% on on managing the quirks of an automatic on an icy or snow-covered road.

Many years ago before I installed front and rear lockers, I had front and rear Detroit Truetrac limited slip differentials. I was in a large group on a very icy sloping set of offroad trails and all the locker equipped Jeeps were sliding sideways whenever the trail sloped to the side... which is how lockers also became affectionately known as "low-side finders"... tongue-in-cheek.

That said, I now run f/r lockers and just avoid driving on icy roads because the benefits to lockers offroad when the trail isn't icy or snow-covered are just huge. Going from f/r Detroit Truetrac limited slip differentials to f/r lockers (Detroit Locker in the rear and a Powertrax No-Slip locker in the front) completely transformed my TJ from being fairly good on the trail to being nearly unstoppable on even extremely difficult terrain. There are many popular trails where you won't even be allowed on them unless you have at least one true locker installed, limited slip differentials just won't hack it on the more difficult trails.
01-18-2011 11:44 PM
s3nt3nc3d If you don't have experience working on differentials...leave it to a professional. It's not cheap, but it requires VERY precise work and if not done correctly, can destroy the components inside your differential very quickly...making it much more expensive in the end.

Lockers give you TOO much traction in the snow kind of...they're not a bad choice due to poor traction, but if you install a locker in the front and are running in 4wd on the road, you will run into understeer problems. When turning, the inside wheel and outside wheel must turn at different speeds. With a locker, both wheels turn at the exact same speed...thus the inside wheel is going to start sliding and instead of taking the turn, your Jeep is now going to go straight with the wheels turned. This is not good when you're making a right turn in the snow and unexpectedly end up going straight...into oncoming traffic.

With a locker in the rear, a similar issue arises and the rear of the Jeep is going to have a tendency to break loose and start to come around on you, bringing your Jeep sideways or spinning you clear around....also anytime your tires spin, it's going to fishtail on you and get a bit squirrely. IMO, the TrueTracs are the way to go...and they still perform exceptionally well off-road.

Selectable lockers such as the ARB air lockers solve that problem because when they aren't engaged, they work like an open differential (what you most likely have now unless you have a clutch-based limited-slip in the rear)...so while disengaged, they behave like what you have now on the road.
01-18-2011 11:34 PM
dmiller369 i was planning on doing the install myself....but please explan further why a locking diff would make road conditions worse in the the snow or ice?

i guess its just ignorance but the way i see it is more tires turning equalls more traction.and whats the diffrence between slick mud and snowy roads?

also would i eliminate this problem by inslalling a front locker? and possibly down the road installing a selective locker like ox or such?
01-18-2011 10:42 PM
s3nt3nc3d If you don't plan on getting tires off the ground (ie rock crawling or extreme off-roading), check out Detroit TrueTracs. They're a gear-based (meaning the clutches won't wear out) limited slip differential which will give you MUCH better traction but will not get squirrely on snow-covered/icy roads. They work similar to lockers but if you get the tires off the ground, that's where you'll see the difference between a limited-slip unit and a true locker.

Pricing (not including installation costs) is in your ballpark as well...around $400-500 each.
01-18-2011 07:49 PM
530ktm ^^This is what I was trying to get across. Sometimes my brain does not want to cooperate.
01-18-2011 07:15 PM
Jerry Bransford
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmiller369 View Post
i live in northern indiana. its icy/snowy roads all winter long.

i just purchased the jeep and as far as i know the gears have not been messed with. 31 inch tires. in my old truck i liked hill climbing going threw ditches and holes. climbing stumps and what ever there is around. i guess the only thing i dont do is real deap mud.
Based on that, I would avoid installing any lunchbox locker like a Lockrite, Aussie, or EZ-Locker into your rear Dana 44. None of those are well behaved enough when installed in the rear axle for icy or snow-covered streets.

The best behaved automatic locker is the Detroit Locker, with the Powertrax No-Slip lunchbox locker a close second in terms of street manners. Both are manageable on icy or snow-covered roads but they should not be considered a first-choice locker for such conditions. Many, however, do fine with them on icy streets because they take it easy and are willing to drive extra cautiously. Between those two, the Detroit Locker is my favorite and I've owned both. The Detroit Locker is, by far, the strongest automatic locker available because it is a full-case locker that replaces the factory case which is what the ring gear bolts to. No lunchbox locker can be as strong as they are physically much smaller since they must be made small enough to fit inside of the carrier (case).

If you have the $$$, the selectable ARB Air Locker is by far the best possible locker choice, at least in my strongest possible personal opinion. Like the Detroit Locker, the ARB Air Locker is a full case locker. That simply means it is strong enough to take pretty much anything you can throw at it. Selectable simply means you control when it is locked and unlocked. Push a button and it locks, push the button again and it unlocks. Unlocked gives you normal handing on the streets. Locked means the rear tires are mechanically locked to each other so they both turn together. Great for offroading. Not so good for icy or other slick type conditions but that's fine since being selectable, you can unlock it so it becomes an open differential.

There are other selectable lockers like the Ox Locker (as strong as the ARB but not as desirable in my opinion) and the Auburn ECTED which is clutch-based and as such, I wouldn't even consider it.

So if you have the $$$, I'd go with an ARB Air Locker. If you don't have the $$$ and are willing to take it easy when the streets are icy or snow-covered, then I'd go with a Detroit Locker which is much less expensive than an ARB. If you don't have the $$$ for the Detroit Locker, I'd go for the Powertrax No-Slip which will be plenty strong for tires up to about the 33" tire size.

And yes, your Dana 44 uses 30 spline axle shafts so your locker simply has to be made for a Dana 44 with 30 spline shafts.

One last comment... if you are planning to go with bigger tires in the near-term future like perhaps 33", then it's worth the $$$ to regear to a lower ratio like 4.56 if you have a manual transmission. And you might as well do that at the same time as you have the locker installed since you'll save $$$ over the long term.

I definitely would not install a Lockrite, Aussie, or EZ-Locker into your rear Dana 44. You'd quickly learn to hate your Jeep after any of those were installed. They are well behaved when in the front axle but they are not when installed into the rear axle.
01-18-2011 07:05 PM
dmiller369
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ Knight View Post
IMO, Don't hurt yourself.. Go here Home page - Aussie Lockers - Welcome to Torq Masters Home of the Aussie Locker .. Purchase.. Install.. Enjoy


There are no selectable lockers in that cheap of a price range..

I went to that web site and they dont sell a dana 44 front lock and they are out of stock for the back 44 locker anyother suggestions.
01-18-2011 06:33 PM
dmiller369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
Where do you live? Do the roads get icy or snow covered there? What type of off roading do you enjoy? What size tires are you running and what is your axle ratio? Is it the factory 3.73?
i live in northern indiana. its icy/snowy roads all winter long.

i just purchessed the jeep and as far as i know ther gears have not been messed with. 31 inch tires. in my old truck i liked hill climbing going threw ditches and holes. climbing stumps and what ever there is around. i guess the only thing i dont do is real deap mud.
01-18-2011 06:29 PM
dmiller369 whats easier to install an automatic locker or a lunch box? or are they both the same...im confussed only on this issue.

everything else i understand and you guys have been AWSOME.
01-18-2011 06:26 PM
XJ Knight
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmiller369 View Post
i wanted to get into a lock diff for my jeep. i have a dana 44. i have been shoping online and noticed diffrent splines. do i have 30 spline?

also anything to watch out for?
this is what i have been looking at...Baseline 4x4 SL_D44-30, Spartan Locker, Dana 44 30 Spline, Lockers
IMO, Don't hurt yourself.. Go here Home page - Aussie Lockers - Welcome to Torq Masters Home of the Aussie Locker .. Purchase.. Install.. Enjoy


There are no selectable lockers in that cheap of a price range..
01-18-2011 06:26 PM
Jerry Bransford Where do you live? Do the roads get icy or snow covered there? What type of off roading do you enjoy? What size tires are you running and what is your axle ratio? Is it the factory 3.73?
01-18-2011 06:15 PM
530ktm I give up on trying to post on this thread. It gets messed up each time so I hope I got the message across to you.
01-18-2011 06:13 PM
530ktm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmiller369 View Post
Powertrax 2410-LR Lock-Right Locker | Dana 44 30-spline

this says its a lock-right locker. it also says its automatic.
what are your thoughts on this?

This is the same thing I have in my front.
are there any additional products i need to buy?

No.

i have brand new 31 inch tires so when these ware out i would like to buy 33's.

That would be a good reason to regear.

are there any disadvantages to installing it in the front vs. the rear?

Putting in the front you will not notice it when in 2 wheel drive but it is great when in 4 wheel drive.

now if i get one in the rear, if its automatic, shouldnt i never notice untill i need it?
Automatic means you can not turn it on and off. They do have some quirks on pavement but we all get used to it once you know how they behave. Detroits have new carriers and are much stronger than the lunch box lockers such as Powertrax and Aussie. ARB is a strong locker too which is why they recommend putting these in the rear.
01-18-2011 06:09 PM
4Jeepn I would put the locker in the rear of the Jeep. As in snow covered roads, a full time locked front will cause steering issues in 4wd. IN 2wd in the front you will not know its there 95% of the time. Rear you will know its there more but its not messing with the steering feedback. etc.
01-18-2011 06:05 PM
530ktm
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmiller369 View Post
Powertrax 2410-LR Lock-Right Locker | Dana 44 30-spline

this says its a lock-right locker. it also says its automatic.
what are your thoughts on this?
are there any additional products i need to buy?
This is basically the same thing I have in my front dana 30 and it works great. It gives no handling issues on the pavement when in 2 wheel drive.
i have brand new 31 inch tires so when these ware out i would like to buy 33's.
If you want to go bigger that is another good reason to re gear and put a stronger locker in the rear.
are there any disadvantages to installing it in the front vs. the rear?
The advantage to putting it in the front is the fact it is not noticeable when in 2 wheel drive but works great when needed in 4 wheel drive.
now if i get one in the rear, if its automatic, shouldnt i never notice untill i need it?
You will notice it when turning and accelerating but it is something many get used to. Automatic means you do not have to engage it because it does it on its own. A Detroit comes with new carriers and is much stronger than a lunch box locker like the powertrax or aussie which is why it is recommended to put this in the rear.
01-18-2011 05:51 PM
shrubeck Automatic lockers are fine on the street when you get used to them. My brother in law has a spartan locker in his XJ and it drives just fine around town. Based on your setup, I would absolutely go with a lunchbox locker like you're looking at. Take a little time to figure out how it handles on road, and you'll forget it's even there. And yes, 30 spline.
01-18-2011 05:50 PM
dmiller369 Powertrax 2410-LR Lock-Right Locker | Dana 44 30-spline

this says its a lock-right locker. it also says its automatic.
what are your thoughts on this?
are there any additional products i need to buy?

i have brand new 31 inch tires so when these ware out i would like to buy 33's.

are there any disadvantages to installing it in the front vs. the rear?

now if i get one in the rear, if its automatic, shouldnt i never notice untill i need it?
01-18-2011 05:46 PM
530ktm Gearing depends on what you are planning to do with your Jeep. Are you going to keep the 31 inch tires or go bigger? If you keep the 31 inch tires and if you have 3.73 gearing that is a decent set up. If you want to have a locker you may want to consider putting an automatic locker in the front that way you will never know it is there when in 2 wheel drive but it is very helpful if you need it in 4 wheel drive. An Aussie or Lock Right is fine for the front of the Jeep in the dana 30 because it does not take so much weight and abuse. You can do this set up for close to the price range you are looking for. Something to think about. I know a few people with lockers in the front and they love it. I had that set up for a while too until I put in the dana 44 with the Detroit.
01-18-2011 05:30 PM
dmiller369
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMYJ View Post
Dana 44s are 30 spline, versus 27 for the D35.

I would get a selectable locker, because lockers don't typically have good street manners.

Are you planning on regearing anytime soon? If so, I'd try to do it all at the same time.
i was not planing on regearing. i feel comfortbale with the current set up. now selectable lockers would probably be my best option considering its my daily driver, but are there any in the 300-400 price range?

i know u get what u pay for, but this is not a "just off road vehicle" and so i feel like i could get away with something thats not the strongest and made for huge 37 in swampers.
01-18-2011 05:03 PM
MikeMTJ Dana 44s are 30 spline, versus 27 for the D35.

I would get a selectable locker, because lockers don't typically have good street manners.

Are you planning on regearing anytime soon? If so, I'd try to do it all at the same time.
01-18-2011 04:58 PM
530ktm I have the Detroit in my 44. If you are putting a locker in the rear most recommend something a bit stronger like ARB, Detroit. ARB is selectable and the Detroit is automatic. I do believe that all the 44's are 30 spline shafts.
01-18-2011 04:36 PM
dmiller369
Buying a locker for dana 44

i wanted to get into a lock diff for my jeep. i have a dana 44. i have been shoping online and noticed diffrent splines. do i have 30 spline?

also anything to watch out for?
this is what i have been looking at...Baseline 4x4 SL_D44-30, Spartan Locker, Dana 44 30 Spline, Lockers

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