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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to get a automatic locker, like a Aussie locker. However, I have seen a few posts saying they are bad if you drive in snow occasionally. I live in northern Michigan and our roads are regularly snowy, icy, and slushy. The jeep is not my daily driver most days as I have a hour commute. However I drive her around town and if the weather is bad. (Read, cant get out of my driveway with the cavalier.) Most of my wheeling is in mud, with some hills and light rocks for now.
I am thinking I will put it in the rear axle, but would appreciate hearing both pros and cons on both axles with this setup. Would I be better advised to save up for a selectable locker? I also am potentially moving to colorado in 2 years... Is a regear in my future?

Recap:
1. Selectable vs auto locker in snowy driving conditions.
2. Front or rear if I can only afford one?
3. Am I going to NEED to regear if I move to colorado?

Thanks for your help guys!
Anybody going to Jeep blessing?


I have a 2004 TJ sport: 33s, D30/D44, I6, 3.73, 2.5 inch lift.
 

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Well, here is my take on lockers and snow. Now, I will qualify my answer as you don’t define “snow”

Generally, you want/need a locker IF you plan or think you will have one wheel of the axel of the ground or are in a situation where torque will be transferred to the wheel with less traction and it will stop you from moving.

Deep snow - you may get one of those wheels off the ground if not both by getting high centered. With a locker, you will be able to push more snow with the front of your bumper or ride up easier on top of packed snow (if you break through and it is deeper than your ground clearance, you are SOL with or without a locker).

Compact snow (& ice) – a locker may help you get moving a little better if all the wheels are on the same surface or if one wheel has traction where another doesn’t. However, off-cambered roads (most roads where you experience rain or snow will be off-camber) and corners will be killers if you are locked in the front or both and hills will cause fish tailing if only locked in the rear. As I stated in another thread, I went around a Rubicon sitting against a guardrail in my wife Outback because they decided they needed to be locked in both axes and the camber in the road sent them sideways rather than forward. I did the same on a muddy road back when I had a CJ (locked rear, posi front) because of the camber in the road made me travel sideways rather than forward). A non-spinning wheel will hold you while a spinning wheel will let you go downhill.

So, if you have all the wheels locked, you will not have a non-spinning wheel to hold your line. With a selectable, at least you will have a choice.

Ok, flame suit has been deployed – flame away!!!
 

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I would not want to have to drive on icy roads on a daily basis in a Jeep with automatic lockers, especially in the front if you have to use 4x4 to get around on those icy roads.

On ice, automatic lockers are known as "low-side finders" because they like to slide towards the low-side. I'm a huge fan of automatic lockers and ran them front and rear in my previous TJ but I would choose selectable lockers if I had to drive or wheel on ice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is probably a stupid question, but could I remove an aussie when winter hits and then re-install for other seasons?
 

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In theory yes... but eventually you'd hate repeatedly removing/reinstalling the locker, especially since you'd also have to reinstall the spider & side gears when removing the locker.
 

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I live 8,000ft in Colorado and most of us big jeepers don't use 4wd. I know crazy but colorado is awesome about removing snow. Most guys are running selectable front and rear and other run lsd front and rear. In theory selectable front and lsd rear is the prime choice for colorado wheeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I live 8,000ft in Colorado and most of us big jeepers don't use 4wd. I know crazy but colorado is awesome about removing snow. Most guys are running selectable front and rear and other run lsd front and rear. In theory selectable front and lsd rear is the prime choice for colorado wheeling.
Am I going to want to re gear if I move to Colorado? It sounds like a lsd in the rear axle is my best option. How much help are lsd's?
 

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Depends on which one you get but really everyone here will say the Detroit trutrack and I agree. Regearing depends on what transmission and tires you want to run. When I do my axles I'm putting in 4.88 with my 5 speed and 35" tires. It's my DD
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ill try to find a lsd. Another easy question for you guys: I put on my winch a couple weeks ago and I dont like the way the front dips down now. I think im going to put a .75 inch coil spacer in the front on top of the existing 2.5 inch suspension lift. Is this ok to do only in the front? Is there anything else I should take into account when doing this?
 

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I have 2 1/2" springs front and rear along with a 1" spring spacer. It's been fine for a year however I am pulling them for the metalcloak 3.5" springs.
 

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Ill try to find a lsd. Another easy question for you guys: I put on my winch a couple weeks ago and I dont like the way the front dips down now. I think im going to put a .75 inch coil spacer in the front on top of the existing 2.5 inch suspension lift. Is this ok to do only in the front? Is there anything else I should take into account when doing this?
Adding a pair of 3/4" or 1" spring spacers up front works well to help compensate for the weight of a winch. I don't recommend they be placed on top of budget boost spacers but they are fine on top of springs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does my rear spring look stock with coil spring spacers already? With this set up should I be considering a new driveshaft? Here are pictures of my front and rear springs.
Are those stock shocks?

Thanks to everyone who has been helpful - this is my first jeep!
Jerry, when you visit Jeep or off road events, are you treated like a rockstar?
 

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Does my rear spring look stock with coil spring spacers already? With this set up should I be considering a new driveshaft? Here are pictures of my front and rear springs. Are those stock shocks? Thanks to everyone who has been helpful - this is my first jeep! Jerry, when you visit Jeep or off road events, are you treated like a rockstar?
Youve got other issues goin on there also... Rust and corrosion
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
As soon as the weather is regularly over 55-60 degrees I am undercoating/painting everything I can, those springs included. I am hoping to get another year out of them though.
 
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