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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay heres the deal. I just purchased an Aussie locker for my front axle. My understanding (pre purchase) was as follows....

The auto locker only engages when it is getting torque, so the front axle is a good place to put an auto locker, which leaves the rear axle, which is used to drive all the time, with an open diff for everyday driving.

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Now that Im reading more :)banghead:), Ive read some not-so-good things about having an auto locker in the front in the snow. I live in central IL, so we dont get a ton of snow, maybe 2-3x/year over 4" and probably 6-8 dustings of less than 2", but it is a factor.

Im set on installing the thing and trying it out. I will wait until it snows, then very carefully go play with it to get a feel. If I determine that it isnt tolerable and/or is extremely unsafe, I'll remove it and go back to considering a selectable locker.

Anyone here have any firsthand experience with this or similar setup? Other thoughts on this setup, or portions of my (pre purchase) understanding that are incorrect?
 

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Can't comment on the auto-locker. But being locked front and not rear I can. My pickup (Chevy Z-71 extended cab - replaced by the Jeep) had a locker up front and an open diff in the rear and did great in the snow (both from a highway stability factor and not getting stuck factor...still stopped like a 2.5 ton vehicle on snow though). Granted, that thing had a long wheelbase...which may result in significantly different behavior than your short wheelbase Jeep.
 

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Reason why I wouldn't touch a auto locker in the front if your Jeep is your only form of transportation.. I put the aussie I had in my previous jeep in the rear.. Of course if you don't use 4wd on the road then no need to wory about the aussie in your front as it will not affect your driving on the road.. When I lived in WNY I had a buddy who ran a aussie locker in his d30 front and never used it on the road no matter what the road condions were.. But for the most part if you go auto locker in a snowy climate your better of locking your rear up if it's not a D35 and just using 4wd on snowy roads more often then not, rather than locking the front and never using 4wd on the road..


So baiscally, Keep your aussie locker in the front unless you plan on wanting to use 4wd on the road.. For your safty and the safty of other drivers around you, Do not go into 4wd on the road with the aussie up front..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Reason why I wouldn't touch a auto locker in the front if your Jeep is your only form of transportation.
Its not my only ride, tho my Corolla is hardly a champ in the snow :).

I dont believe Ive ever NEEDED 4x4 on the road, so Im not too worried. Interesting discussion though, keep the comments coming.
 

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I do like the locker conversations.. Took me a long time to understand why people would want to go selectable rear and auto front.. Then I eventually realized that they all those people lived where there was never snow.. I've done a few extensive write ups in response to similar threads in regards to auto rear and selectable front if you can't or don't want to go selectable selectable..
 

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The deal on front automatic lockers like an Aussie is that even on snow or ice, they are fine so long as you can stay in 2wd. Only when you shift into 4x4 will a front automatic locker create steering issues when you are on snow or ice covered roads.

And don't forget, most vehicles on the road around you are 2wd so it's not like you always need 4x4 to get around in such conditions. :)
 

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Interesting thread. I'm considering an aussie locker for my TJ. I can see where it can be a problem when going at a higher speed on a highway. I rarely use 4WD on the road other then getting off of the side roads after a snow storm. Once I'm on a cleared road (cleared as in under 1-2" packed), I go 2WD. IMO, if you think you need 4WD to go on the interstate, you're probably going way too fast for the conditions.
 

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My father in law runs an auto locker up front and a limited slip in the rear and we live in Idaho with slick snow covered roads all winter. It does create a little steering issues when he is in 4WD but typically he stays in 2WD. So with that being said he is fine with his and has gotten used to it and you will never have the slick roads we have out here. So I think you will be fine.
 

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Like said above, the auto-locker can cause under steer in 4wd on snowy roads, but also keep in mind that the locker unlocks when torque is removed from the axle. So, if you are using an auto-locker in snow and find the jeep under steering, back off the throttle completely, let the front end regain traction as it unlocks, and go around the turn. A friend of mine has an auto-locked front end in a TJ and it works fine in the snow as long as you drive carefully. Also, like said above, if you need 4wd in the snow it is probably bad enough that you aren't going fast, as opposed to flying down the highway in 4wd... good luck. I think you will be fine but just be careful.
 

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I ran a lock right in the front, along with super swampers. In the snow was not a good event. I also ran a detroit in the rear of a CJ.. was fantastic in the snow.. with the open front.
 

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It's still weird to me that people lock the front before the rear, but I guess if it works for you then rock it.
 

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I think in manny cases it has to do with the common sense to not lock your D35.. So if you want more traction and dont want to do the whole rear axle swap deal right away then you can pretty easily and cheaply go D30 front auto locker..
 

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That's probably the most logical answer I've heard. My last two Jeeps came with a D44, so that didn't really occur to me. Thanks.
 

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I think in manny cases it has to do with the common sense to not lock your D35.. So if you want more traction and dont want to do the whole rear axle swap deal right away then you can pretty easily and cheaply go D30 front auto locker..
X2, the only reason I can come up with to ever lock the front axle first is if the rear axle is a stock Dana 35c. That's a very good reason to lock the front first, and is the only one I can come up with. :)
 

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the only reason I can come up with to ever lock the front axle first is if the rear axle is a stock Dana 35c. That's a very good reason to lock the front first, and is the only one I can come up with. :)
Here is another good reason.

My '98 Sport has the rear Dana44 and 3.73 gears. My eventual plan it to lift it, install 35" tires, and re-gear to compensate (either 4.56 or 4.88, haven't decided yet). For my front axle, the gear swap will not require me to change carriers... but for the Dana44, a new carrier will be required.

I'd love to install a locker now even though I'm not yet ready to re-gear. If I install it up front, I'll be able to keep using it even after I re-gear. If I were to install it out back, I'd need to toss it and buy a new locker to match my new carrier after the re-gear.

Buying the same locker twice is most definitely not in my budget, especially because I'm going to buy a selectable one. Thus I will likely install a front locker before I install a rear one.
 

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Buy a "thick" ring gear when you regear to the lower ratio and you can then reuse the same locker purchased for the earlier higher gear ratio. The thicker ring gear accomplishes the same thing the new low ratio locker or carrier would for the lower ratio... move the ring gear teeth closer to the new lower ratio's smaller diameter pinion gear. :)
 
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