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Old 08-28-2019, 04:49 PM
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lockers on Sahara factory axles/

i have 2012 JKu Sahara with I think 3-21 gears (???) and factory axles

is it worth putting lockers on this jeep? i dont do any rock crowing. i mostly go on beaches, snow covered roads and muddy fields for hunting.

right now I have factory suspension and tires. latter on I want to put a 2,5 inch lift kit and next size up tires.

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Old 08-28-2019, 04:58 PM   #2
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A rear Truetrac will help in sand, mud and snow. You won't need to do anything with the front for what you are describing your uses will be.

You planning on larger tires? If you go larger than stock, you need to consider a regrear. 3.21's suck on anything larger than the 29" tire found on a stock sport.

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Old 08-28-2019, 09:24 PM   #3
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TruTrac front and rear would be my choice.


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Old 08-29-2019, 07:44 AM   #4
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If you are running larger than stock tires you may want to re-gear to get the lost performance back. Or even re-gear to improve performance whether or not you are running larger tires. If you are re-gearing it makes sense to upgrade to either lockers or a limited slip like a TrueTrac at that time. For your described usage I would agree that either a TrueTrac in the rear or TrueTracs front and rear would be what I would do. A third option would be a TrueTrac in the rear and a cheap locker up front like an Aussie locker. I can't really speak to that option as I have not tried that style locker. But we run a TrueTrac in the rear and an E-Locker up front and it works great. We had a stock clutch based limited slip in the rear from the factory and it was worthless. But the TrueTrac in the rear does a great job of keeping our Jeep moving forward. It is amazing what it can do now without even shifting to 4 wheel drive.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:56 AM   #5
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TrueTrac is great but they are sloppy slope.

They replace the carrier which means the ring gear needs to be reset....well letís just replace the pinion then and dump the 3.21ís...now your re-gearing and required to do the front gears....now you may as well put in another TrueTrac in front too!

So you see a simple $750 rear TrueTrac only can easily turn into a $2k+ project.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rickypoole View Post
i have 2012 JKu Sahara with I think 3-21 gears (???) and factory axles

is it worth putting lockers on this jeep? i dont do any rock crowing. i mostly go on beaches, snow covered roads and muddy fields for hunting.

right now I have factory suspension and tires. latter on I want to put a 2,5 inch lift kit and next size up tires.
Why would you ask about lockers? Have you had any issues getting stuck. Your Jeep is very capable with out IMO unless you are doing things that it is not getting you though. I would wait, once you upgrade tire size see how your performance is. If need be regear to gain back power loss. When I bought my Jeep she had 35's and 3.73s. I took it to Sand Hollow and Moab that year. That is where I found out I did need to regear and add lockers. I completed every obstacle but chewed my clutch up in the process. Next year back in Moab I had 4.56's, 4:1 TC, TT rear, front locker and a new clutch. Being I do not have cash to just add things, I wanted to see how she did before spending on upgrades. I have friends who have 37's, lockers and rarely drive on gravel roads. Nothing wrong with that as it is their jeep and their money.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:57 AM   #7
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People love to bash 3.21s on here but donít let that scare you away, itís all about personal preference and most people saying it will suck have never run an oversized tire with them. I run 34s on 3.21s and it upshifts more but in no way does it make the Jeep undrivable or ridiculously slow.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:13 AM   #8
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People love to bash 3.21s on here but donít let that scare you away, itís all about personal preference and most people saying it will suck have never run an oversized tire with them. I run 34s on 3.21s and it upshifts more but in no way does it make the Jeep undrivable or ridiculously slow.
You better put on your flamesuit buddy.

Que the regular regearing crowd in 3, 2, 1,.......................................
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:38 AM   #9
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So you say you want a short lift and bigger tires. That helps some.

First off, read this and it will tell you why you will want to change your axle gears when you change your tire size: Regearing Basics

The stock 3.21 gears are really not a good base option, especially as you go up in tire size. Any tire size change should at least start the discussion on new axle gears.

When it's time for the new gears to go with the bigger tires, you really want to look at adding "traction aiding devices". The reason is to save labor cost. Installing lockers takes some labor to get it right. The exact same labor is done when you install your new gears. So if you do gears and lockers together, you only pay for labor once.

For a Jeep that drives in snow (and ice) I would avoid automatic lockers like the "lunchbox" locker and the full case Detroit locker. They aren't as well behaved on slippery roads as the others. You can get used to them but you probably won't like them.

I have three Jeeps. In my Wrangler and my pickup, I have selectable lockers in both axles. My personal choice is Eaton E-Lockers. ARB air lockers and Ox lockers are good too. And I think there are other good options as well. The only selectable locker I would advise against is the Auburn ECTED. I had one and got rid of it because it's junk.

These two Jeeps are great to drive around town with the lockers switched off. And when I get into a situation where I need more traction, I just flip a switch and I get that extra traction.

My third Jeep has TrueTrac limited slip differentials front and rear. I get the benefit of having the limited slips all the time. It drives great around town which is it's main purpose. When I'm in mixed driving conditions, the limited slip really shines. And on pure snow it drives great. It does really well on moderate off road trails as well. Not on really extreme trails but that's what I have the JK for.

For beaches, snow, and trails out to hunting spots, you would probably be happy with the limited slip differentials. They're a lot cheaper than the selectable lockers but still really help out. But if you want to spend the money, there's nothing wrong with having selectable lockers. And they do give you more traction than a limited slip when you start lifting tires off the ground.

For the driving you do, the front axle (Dana 30) is probably adequate. It is small and doesn't survive big tires or extreme rock crawling well. But I have one in the front of my JK, reinforced with several upgrades, and I don't abuse it. It's held up fine for 6 years and many serious trails, even with 35" tall tires. As long as you don't use more throttle than brains, the Dana 30 is fine for what you plan on doing.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Rickypoole View Post
i have 2012 JKu Sahara with I think 3-21 gears (???) and factory axles

is it worth putting lockers on this jeep? i dont do any rock crowing. i mostly go on beaches, snow covered roads and muddy fields for hunting.

right now I have factory suspension and tires. latter on I want to put a 2,5 inch lift kit and next size up tires.
I thought all Sahara`s came equipped with 3:73`s.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:22 PM   #11
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I thought all Sahara`s came equipped with 3:73`s.
No. 3.21 gears are standard. Many Sahara's either have 3.73 gears as part of an option package or they could be added as a stand alone option.
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:49 PM   #12
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People love to bash 3.21s on here but donít let that scare you away, itís all about personal preference and most people saying it will suck have never run an oversized tire with them. I run 34s on 3.21s and it upshifts more but in no way does it make the Jeep undrivable or ridiculously slow.
Love your generalization about those of us who correctly recommend regearing. Sure, you can stay with 3.21's. Sure it will drive. However, drivability will suffer. Upshifting more is a sign that the Jeep knows something isn't right.

I have a Sport that came with 29" tires and 3.21 gears. When I went to 33's there was a remarkable difference in highway performance of the Jeep. It almost couldn't get out of it's own way. I regeared to 4.56 and the difference was immediately noticeable. Now 4.56 is a bit too much for 33's but not overly so, I knew I eventually would go to 35's so that was the perfect place to be. I ran 35's for about 6 months and my though process was correct. Now, I ended up on 37's thru good fortune and I should have gone with 4.88's. however, hind sight is 20-20. The 4.56's work decent except when in the mountains with a trailer.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:41 PM   #13
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Love your generalization about those of us who correctly recommend regearing.
Generalizations...
Sport S comes standard with 32" tires and 3.21 gears, so does the Sahara. Not quite 33's but a fair bit over 29's. That's a lot of Jeeps that should be re-geared to be correct, yes?
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:14 PM   #14
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I saw a huge difference between 3.21s in a JKU Sahara rental and the 3.73s in our JKUs. I notice throttle response between mine with 33s and my wife’s with 32s. (Her solution is to add 33s to her Jeep... hehe).

Only reason I’d keep those 3.21 gears while spending the $$ on lockers or LSDs front and rear is to save a few dollars. Same labour cost if done at the same time. If only adding locker or LSD to one axle, keep them if you’re happy with it.

Plus 3.73 or higher gear ratio = more towing capacity.
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:16 PM   #15
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Generalizations...
Sport S comes standard with 32" tires and 3.21 gears, so does the Sahara. Not quite 33's but a fair bit over 29's. That's a lot of Jeeps that should be re-geared to be correct, yes?
There's a very good reason why Jeep went to 3.54 as the base gears in the JL. Add even taller overdrive and 3.21s are even worse than they are in the JK.
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:42 PM   #16
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Love your generalization about those of us who correctly recommend regearing. Sure, you can stay with 3.21's. Sure it will drive. However, drivability will suffer. Upshifting more is a sign that the Jeep knows something isn't right.

I have a Sport that came with 29" tires and 3.21 gears. When I went to 33's there was a remarkable difference in highway performance of the Jeep. It almost couldn't get out of it's own way. I regeared to 4.56 and the difference was immediately noticeable. Now 4.56 is a bit too much for 33's but not overly so, I knew I eventually would go to 35's so that was the perfect place to be. I ran 35's for about 6 months and my though process was correct. Now, I ended up on 37's thru good fortune and I should have gone with 4.88's. however, hind sight is 20-20. The 4.56's work decent except when in the mountains with a trailer.
As I said itís about personal preference, regearing is definitely a worthwhile option but too many people demand that it NEEDS to be done or your Jeep will be undrivable. Iím simply showing the OP he should see for himself and that some people including myself have no issues.
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:48 PM   #17
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There's a very good reason why Jeep went to 3.54 as the base gears in the JL. Add even taller overdrive and 3.21s are even worse than they are in the JK.


They went to 3.54 gears in the JL likely because the 8spd is geared differently then the 5spd in the later JK and as they did when they switched from the older JK 4spd to the 5spd.


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Old 08-29-2019, 11:24 PM   #18
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Put a TrueTrac in the rear and enjoy.
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:00 AM   #19
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I’ve heard LSD are no good in the snow...
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:56 AM   #20
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Iíve heard LSD are no good in the snow...
Depends on driving style, tires, environment. I deal with snow & ice and Iíve driven other vehicles with rear LSDs. I liked the feel better than with an open diff. Others will say the opposite. Selectable locker better for some.
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:50 AM   #21
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I’ve heard LSD are no good in the snow...
If your driving style = mash the gas and you don't have the necessary skills to know what steering input to give, yes you can end up pointing the wrong direction very quickly. If you understand the different dynamics of driving an open rear differential vs. one that is posi or limited slip, you can get better traction and go more places with a rear LSD.

Driver mod is most important, as is always the case. I'll take an LSD rear differential over an open any day in the snow.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:05 AM   #22
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People love to bash 3.21s on here but donít let that scare you away, itís all about personal preference and most people saying it will suck have never run an oversized tire with them. I run 34s on 3.21s and it upshifts more but in no way does it make the Jeep undrivable or ridiculously slow.
The only people who say this are those who do not understand gearing, or who have never driven a properly geared Jeep to appreciate the difference. Sure a Jeep will move on 3.21. But it is about wayyyyy more than just moving.

To the OP, have you been stuck anywhere that you "need" lockers, or planning on more challenging offroad endeavors? And of course even with lockers it is still possible to get very stuck. I would strongly recommend addressing gearing when doing lockers - the diffs will already be open.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:06 AM   #23
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Iíve heard LSD are no good in the snow...
Yeah. I've heard they're downright dangerous and that an open diff will keep you from sliding sideways when you drive on black ice.
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:40 AM   #24
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Yeah. I've heard they're downright dangerous and that an open diff will keep you from sliding sideways when you drive on black ice.
Especially if you run your jeep in FWD...
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:08 AM   #25
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lockers on Sahara factory axles/

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Yeah. I've heard they're downright dangerous and that an open diff will keep you from sliding sideways when you drive on black ice.


I canít possibly understand where you heard this!


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Old 08-30-2019, 11:15 AM   #26
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Yeah. I've heard they're downright dangerous and that an open diff will keep you from sliding sideways when you drive on black ice.
Only if you're doing 60 mph.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:26 AM   #27
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Directly answering your question:

Lockers on the rear Dana 44 will absolutely be fine. Lockers on the front Dana 30 will probably be fine, depending on what you do with them. The lower gearing you go, the smaller the teeth will be and the higher the possibility of breakage when locked.

Unsolicited information:

I ran a 2.5" lift and 33s on my Sahara with 3.21 gears for a couple of years. I was not happy at all, especially off road. Knowing I would never go above 33s, I wound up putting 4.10 gears in and life is very, very good now. Off road, I found that I could crawl over obstacles more instead of having to bump over them, and that has resulted in a better ride and less damage. On road, everything is just easier. So I do recommend re-gearing for whatever size tires you ultimately want to end up with.

If you don't do much wheeling, a limited slip will give you more benefit than a selectable locker because it has benefits on the road where the locker doesn't. You're also a bit less likely to break something up front.

With the Dana 30, conventional forum and mechanic wisdom I have seen is if you go 35 or higher you'll want to, at a minimum, put C gussets onto your axle to help with the added weight.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:32 AM   #28
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Generalizations...
Sport S comes standard with 32" tires and 3.21 gears, so does the Sahara. Not quite 33's but a fair bit over 29's. That's a lot of Jeeps that should be re-geared to be correct, yes?
The generalization part was that poster saying all of us who recommend regearing have never ran larger tires on 3.21's. That part is simply false for almost any of us who recommend regearing.

Sports came with 29" tires. Lot of straight sports out there. People buy them because either it's not worth buying stuff you are going to throw out or because it's the cheapest Wrangler you can buy.

Up to 33" tires fall into the minimally acceptable range for the Pentastar where 29's are in the Acceptable range.

Minimally acceptable means just that. Limited overdrive use, mild trails (meaning fire roads) and sluggish performance.

So to answer your question, yes, there are a lot of Sport S and Sahara models that should be regeared. 3.73's are the acceptable gear set for up to 33's and 3.73 gears were an option on both of those.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:53 AM   #29
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My opinion based on my own experience and intentions:

I have a JKU Sahara with the Max Tow package (hitch and 3.73 upgrade), AEV 2.5" lift, and until Memorial weekend this year I had 315/70/17 Duratracs. Now 285/75/17 KO2s (0.25" diameter difference between them, negligible, bigger difference is in width).

Open diff at both ends.

In the 3 years I've had it offroad, I've only needed winching once, and it was on the same hill that everyone in our group needed winching to keep from sliding down the snowy hill sideways. Even the turn-key AEV Rubicons with 4.56 gears and lockers. Some long-time off-roaders were surprised to learn that I'm open-diff, and was breaking trail during some winter snowy trail riding.

I've yet to feel I really needed to spend the money on a locker or LSD, as the Jeep has not asked for either for what I do. 98% is of course onroad, the rest is trail riding with some play areas in the very sandy bits of lower Michigan's DNR trails.

My 3.73s have never felt sluggish. Would I be happy with 3.21s? Eh, probably not. I ordered it with the max tow package knowing I would tow the occasional small trailer, possibly a lightweight camper trailer in the future, and knowing I would want a lower ratio for future bigger tires.

Am I running to have lockers or LSD installed or to regear? Nope, not at all.

Now, in the future, I do plan to eventually have a TrueTrac installed in the rear D44, a front e-locker in the D30, and since everything has to come apart for these upgrades, step it up to 4.56. This is to have breathing room and some added capability *IF I NEED IT*, not because I'm in any dire straights now. It's peace of mind more than anything else. When will I do that? We're saving to buy our first house now, so not in the next few years. I doubt even in the time that I own my JKU. We'll see.
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:15 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranbiz View Post
The generalization part was that poster saying all of us who recommend regearing have never ran larger tires on 3.21's. That part is simply false for almost any of us who recommend regearing.

Sports came with 29" tires. Lot of straight sports out there. People buy them because either it's not worth buying stuff you are going to throw out or because it's the cheapest Wrangler you can buy.

Up to 33" tires fall into the minimally acceptable range for the Pentastar where 29's are in the Acceptable range.

Minimally acceptable means just that. Limited overdrive use, mild trails (meaning fire roads) and sluggish performance.

So to answer your question, yes, there are a lot of Sport S and Sahara models that should be regeared. 3.73's are the acceptable gear set for up to 33's and 3.73 gears were an option on both of those.
So I never should have climbed this trail, and many others like it? Good to know.




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