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My 05 TJ is the first 4 wheel drive vehicle I have ever owned, so please forgive my ignorance. :confused: What does a "locker" do that is different than 4 wheel drive? I thought that when I put my Jeep into 4 wheel drive, all 4 wheels were under power. If so, what does a locker do that is different? Thanking you in advance for educating a newbie. This site is a wealth of info!
 

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Holy Sh*$ that is a long explanation. Very simply put, your 4 wheel drive is actually a 2 wheel drive. One wheel spins in the front, and one spins in the rear, usually the one with least resistance. When you add in a locker, you get true, four wheel drive. All 4 wheels will simultaneously spin, at the same time.
 

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Thank you all for the replies. The article in the link was very informative and explained a locker in terms even I could understand.;) Bluvkng: Thanks for clearing up my 4 wheel drive thinking. It seems that 4 wheel drive is just two 2 wheel drive differentials and that a front and rear locker gives you true 4 wheel drive. All interesting stuff. Thanks again.
 

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Okay, now I'm confused. I always thought that by engaging 4wd on a Wrangler, that it "locked" all four wheels together. Isn't this why it is called a part-time 4wd system, as opposed to full time? If the wheels weren't locked when engaged in 4wd, then why are owners urged to only engage 4wd on slippery surfaces where the faster wheel can slip (loose traction) to stay in sync with the slower wheel such as in a turn, and warned that if driven on dry pavement the wheels will hop and chirp because they can't turn at different speeds, thereby "binding" the differentials?? Because of this, I always though it ws a true 4x4. What am I missing?? Also, I always thought a LD was best on dry pavement in a 2wd situation, since off-road, it won't work if one wheel is in the air. Finally, since part-time lockers are obviously best (I know I'm wrong, I just don't know why), why won't the manual Warn locking hubs fit on the axles of the Wrangler (TJ & JK) when they fit on the older CJ? Thanks for any and all clarification of my confusion.
 

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what happens is that instead of sending power just to the rear it sends power to the front and rear but only to the wheel that needs it most (slipping and needs traction) i guess they call it
4wd because all 4 wheels can spin (although not at the same time unless locked) ...the difference between full time and part time is just that full time has 4wd engaged all the time and is safe for dry pavement and part time doesn't have it engaged all the time and you have to engage it yourself (and not safe for dry pavement) when you put it in 4wd you will get traction the the wheels that need it most so it could be switching between the wheels depending on which one needs it

manual hubs were on older vehicles (like the older CJ) our wranglers are now equipped with automatic locking hubs that automatically lock when we put it in 4wd instead of having to get out of the car and turn them and lock them
 

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FinallyJO said:
Okay, now I'm confused. I always thought that by engaging 4wd on a Wrangler, that it "locked" all four wheels together. Isn't this why it is called a part-time 4wd system, as opposed to full time? If the wheels weren't locked when engaged in 4wd, then why are owners urged to only engage 4wd on slippery surfaces where the faster wheel can slip (loose traction) to stay in sync with the slower wheel such as in a turn, and warned that if driven on dry pavement the wheels will hop and chirp because they can't turn at different speeds, thereby "binding" the differentials?? Because of this, I always though it ws a true 4x4. What am I missing?? Also, I always thought a LD was best on dry pavement in a 2wd situation, since off-road, it won't work if one wheel is in the air. Finally, since part-time lockers are obviously best (I know I'm wrong, I just don't know why), why won't the manual Warn locking hubs fit on the axles of the Wrangler (TJ & JK) when they fit on the older CJ? Thanks for any and all clarification of my confusion.
Four wheel drive "locks" the transfer case and sends 50% of the engine's torque to the rear driveshaft and 50% to the front driveshaft. From there, it is transfered through the differentials in the axles to the wheels. The way that differentials work is they send the same amount of torque to each wheel, but they send the amount of least resistance. So when you have a wheel in the air, it doesn't take much torque to turn it, so that is how much the other wheel gets as well, that is why you will just spin the one in the air, while the other stays stuck in the mud (or behind the rock, or in the snobank, etc.;) ). The reason for this is when you turn, your wheels follow a different path, and therefore, different distances.

The reason that you hear "chirping" when driving in part time 4wd on pavement is that the drivetrain binds as all the wheels are turning at different speeds during a turn and the transfer case is trying to turn the front and rear at the same speed. This causes binding in the drivetrain, and if severe enough, will unload on pavement, spinning or stopping tires and causing the "chirping" that you hear. That is why it is called a "part time" system, as opposed to a full time system which has a differential type transfer case allowing the front and rear axles to spin at different speeds to avoid driveline binding. The full time systems are often very similar to "all wheel drive" that you find in cars.

The hubs won't fit on the YJ's or TJ's because the bolt pattern on the wheels is smaller and won't allow enough room for the regular or premium hubs that Warn makes. They do (or did) make a kit specifically for the 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern that the TJ's and YJ's have. The TJ's use a solid "hub" system that has the front axle shafts (and driveshaft) spinning all the time, and the YJ's use a vacuum disconnect system to disconnect the front "hubs".

I think that covers everything, but it may confuse you more than help. Feel free to ask any clarifying questions without fear of flaming. I haven't even read the whole thing at once yet, and it may get a major edit in the future, but should be a start.
 

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Your 4 wheel drive is 4 wheel drive. With all four tires on the ground - there is power going to all four tires. The problem comes into play when you lift one or more tires off the ground (or spin them due to loss of traction) - This is when the locker saves the day.

Just don't get talked into thinking you have a two wheel drive - 4 wheel drive jeep.
 

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Okay, thanks to all of you for your very clear and helpful explanations; I have a much better understanding of it now. Unfortunately, now I wish that I had found this forum first and knew enough to order a 2007 Unlimited Rubicon with the 4.10 gear ratio and the Tru-Lok® Electronic Locking Frt/Rr Differentials instead of the X with the 3.21 and no lockers which I ordered in late September. Darn! So, in you opinions, what would I be looking at cost-wise if I wanted to add lockers to the JK, either aftermarket or Chrysler's Tru-Lock, through the dealer to preserve the warranty, or otherwise? Or, would I be better off just enjoying the X for a few years and then trade up for a Rubicon? Thanks much.
 

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FinallyJO said:
Or, would I be better off just enjoying the X for a few years and then trade up for a Rubicon? Thanks much.
i would keep what you have ordered and wheel it like it is. even without lockers, wranglers are VERY capable vehicles and will take you many places you probably didn't think it would go. and if it turns out you need lockers down the road, you can always get them put it.
 

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you can always trade down the road if you want to. but like he said you can always add a locker and gears. what kind of offroading do you do? i thought i read that you did snow and sand...i don't think you'll need a locker for that kind of offroading. and i don't think you'll WANT a locker if your gonna be in snow. and your gears should be fine. i run 3.07's with 32's and its perfectly fine...you can always regear and add a locker though if you want. if those are the only two things that you want then it would be cheaper to add just those 2 things than to get a rubicon.
 

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Yes, I will be primarily in sand and snow. But I thought, escpecially in snow (and ice), that a locker would be a big help due to how easily the wheels can spin in it. Why would a locker be bad in snow? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself though and should see how the X does and as you all have ssaid, then decide if I need to add on. Thanks for all you help, and reassurance, again.
 

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FinallyJO said:
Okay, thanks to all of you for your very clear and helpful explanations; I have a much better understanding of it now. Unfortunately, now I wish that I had found this forum first and knew enough to order a 2007 Unlimited Rubicon with the 4.10 gear ratio and the Tru-Lok® Electronic Locking Frt/Rr Differentials instead of the X with the 3.21 and no lockers which I ordered in late September. Darn! So, in you opinions, what would I be looking at cost-wise if I wanted to add lockers to the JK, either aftermarket or Chrysler's Tru-Lock, through the dealer to preserve the warranty, or otherwise? Or, would I be better off just enjoying the X for a few years and then trade up for a Rubicon? Thanks much.
If last week you were unsure what lockers were, you should learn to wheel your Jeep the way it is now, and then build according to your need/want in the future when you have a better understanding (through seat time) of how everything works together. I have seen too many people jump into lockers and lifts just because they can, only to find themselves in a dangerous situation on the trail. Every person is different, but this is what I would reccomend. Have fun!
 

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good point...take it through the winter the way it is and then see if you need it. maybe you won't need it. no need to waste money on it if you don't. i've always heard that locker is a bad idea for snow because the rear can lock up and slide out from under ya
 

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is there any way I can tell if the owner be4 me put lockers on the jeep... i wasnet able to talk to the preveious owner when I bought it so im finding things out every day about it.... I recently found out the other day that the last owner liked pot :rolleyes:
 

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dwdrums801 said:
is there any way I can tell if the owner be4 me put lockers on the jeep... i wasnet able to talk to the preveious owner when I bought it so im finding things out every day about it.... I recently found out the other day that the last owner liked pot :rolleyes:
If you take the covers off the axle housings and look in you would be able to tell. But if there isn't a button or cable in the cab, and you don't notice any "funny" handling characteristics, you probably don't have lockers.
 

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jeeperman said:
If you take the covers off the axle housings and look in you would be able to tell. But if there isn't a button or cable in the cab, and you don't notice any "funny" handling characteristics, you probably don't have lockers.

thanks
 
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