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-   -   noob question on Lockers (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f282/noob-question-on-lockers-101130.html)

kshaws21 07-05-2011 07:20 AM

noob question on Lockers
 
Ok don't hammer me too much, but what are "Lockers" for? I am a Jeep lover and recently got a nice 98 TJ. Before now, I have never ventured into the 4x4 market. Reading these forums I see all over the place things like, "make sure you add lockers when regearing", or "does it have lockers?" and things of that sort. I am pretty sure it has to do with the axles, but what exactly are they and what benefits over non-lockers do they provide?

I have been doing a good bit of mild to moderate trail riding and already see the need to upgrade my stock gears, so I want to know if i should be looking into lockers as well....

jrussblues 07-05-2011 07:46 AM

Lockers allow both wheels to turn with equal force from the engine. Front and rear axles on a jeep are positive traction which means that the slipping wheel gets more power. This is good for on road handling. If you are stuck with one front and back wheel spinning off road then the engine wont send power to the wheels with traction and you remain stuck.
If you are going with a selectable locker or a full locker that rplaces your differential carrier then it is cost efficient to go ahead and replace your gears because whoever is doing the work will already be swapping your old gears over.
If you are doing a lunchbox locker like a lockrite then you only replace the spider gears inside the carrier and there is no cost benefit to regearing at that time, since the carrier stays intact and there is no gear swapping going on.

Why do you want to regear?

95YamJam 07-05-2011 07:46 AM

Lockers are exactly what they say. They lock the axel so both wheels have power. In a normal open diff when one wheel is spinning the other jsut sets there. Lokers help you get maximum traction.

There are all kinds of lockers so you need to decide what your budget is and what your needs are.

kshaws21 07-05-2011 07:58 AM

Does it lock them ALL the time like a welded gear would? THat would seem bad on the tires...

jrussblues 07-05-2011 08:03 AM

Nope. Lunchbox (cheaper) lockers lock up when power is applied. My front lockrite only locks when its in 4wd. Some are full time. The most popular are selectable (ectid, arb, ox) that allow the driver to select when to engage the locker. They are also the most expensive.

Cons_Table 07-05-2011 08:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kshaws21 (Post 1353263)
Does it lock them ALL the time like a welded gear would? THat would seem bad on the tires...

Yes, when the locker is actually activated. There are different lockers though. With a selectable locker such as an ARB air locker, OX locker, or ECTED locker, you control when the axles lock. Therefore, you turn them on when on only when offroad which will save your tires. There are full case lockers such as detroits that will only lock when power is applied to the wheels. These wont increase wear on tires because there is a little "play" in them so that you dont drag tires through corners and such. Lunchbox lockers work in a similar way, by only locking when power is applied to the wheels. If you were to do something such as run a spool, your tires would spin at the same speed no matter what which would result in faster wear on your tires. Most people do not run spools in DDs though for that reason.

Pock Heebs 07-05-2011 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrussblues
Nope. Lunchbox (cheaper) lockers lock up when power is applied. My front lockrite only locks when its in 4wd. Some are full time. The most popular are selectable (ectid, arb, ox) that allow the driver to select when to engage the locker. They are also the most expensive.

Do you have a link to one of these lunchbox lockers you have? How much did it cost you to have them installed?

jrussblues 07-05-2011 08:23 AM

There are two major brands. Powertrax lockrite and aussie. Google them you should find what your looking for. I installed my lockrite myself.

Cons_Table 07-05-2011 08:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pock Heebs (Post 1353280)
Do you have a link to one of these lunchbox lockers you have? How much did it cost you to have them installed?

If you are handy with tools, they are fairly easy to install yourself rather than paying someone to do it for you. The job should only take an hour or two on your own. There are lots of different companies, Aussie, lockright, powertrax, spartan, etc.

jrussblues 07-05-2011 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cons_Table

If you are handy with tools, they are fairly easy to install yourself rather than paying someone to do it for you. The job should only take an hour or two on your own. There are lots of different companies, Aussie, lockright, powertrax, spartan, etc.

Depends on your gear ratio. Anything 3.73 or numerically higher requires removing the carrier and ring gear. Anything numerically lower can be done on vehicle which is much easier.

Cons_Table 07-05-2011 08:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrussblues (Post 1353302)
Depends on your gear ratio. Anything 3.73 or numerically higher requires removing the carrier and ring gear. Anything numerically lower can be done on vehicle which is much easier.

I believe this is only the case if considering the D30 front, not every axle. I could be mistaken though.

jrussblues 07-05-2011 08:50 AM

You are correct sir. Doesn't apply to other axles. Sorry.

Pock Heebs 07-05-2011 11:49 AM

I have a stock 1998 2.5L, almost positive I have whatever axels were the cheapest at the time lol...no idea what my ratio is, what would you guys say?

jrussblues 07-05-2011 11:52 AM

I think you have 4.10's what size tires are you running?

Pock Heebs 07-05-2011 02:18 PM

31x10.5

jrussblues 07-05-2011 02:20 PM

You prob don't need to regear then, but up to you.

95YamJam 07-07-2011 07:58 AM

I've got a spartan locker in my d35 running 32" tires and love it. It was very easy to install and works great. It's noisey on the street but i don't care really. The noise is the ratcheting action when it's not locked. You do have to be kinda careful on the street with it because you can make it lock up. I had to adjust my driving style a bit but now I have no issues. On the trail it makes a world of difference. I am considering one for the d30 front too because I need to reseal the axel anyway.

Last wheeling trip I went up an off camber rock face. It took some line picking but I got up it and the guy that folllowed me in his tj with 35's had to lock his front and rear arbs to get up it. I am not directly comparing his jeep to mine(cause his is way awesomer than mine) just showing a bit of an example that a locker can help.

I know there are tons that say don't spend $ on the d35 but I have had good luck with mine so far and the spartan is pretty cheap. I am pretty gentle and know not to push it too hard. If I start breaking it I will upgrade it later but for now it's working great with 180k miles. :)

Just my opinion.


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