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2002 TJ. 4.0 ltr. 5.5 RE long arm lift, 35" tires, 4.56 gears, Teraflex S/T disconnect,
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On average, when I drive to work 20 miles I may get a clang or bang from the locker every other day. Today, with my wife in the jeep, it must have banged 15 times. The first time it happened, jeep jerks to the left and she freaked out and thought the guy next to us had hit us. Sometimes just taking off from a stop sign, but more often right after shifting into second or third gear. Loud bangand jeep jerks.

Question is... How do you know when the Detroit locker needs to be rebuilt...

Did the thing where you jack up the rear end and spin one tire and the other starts the spinning the same way. That all checked out good.

And advice would be great
 

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On average, when I drive to work 20 miles I may get a clang or bang from the locker every other day. Today, with my wife in the jeep, it must have banged 15 times. The first time it happened, jeep jerks to the left and she freaked out and thought the guy next to us had hit us. Sometimes just taking off from a stop sign, but more often right after shifting into second or third gear. Loud bangand jeep jerks.

Question is... How do you know when the Detroit locker needs to be rebuilt...
I have no idea what the problem is but perhaps the next miles you put on oughta be a direct line to a qualified mechanic
 

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What lube oil are you using in the rear differential? Some of these types of lockers require an additive for the locker to perform correctly.
 

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Detroit's don't get rebuilt & that was the worst choice of locker for a DD'er. Drain the oil & verify the new stuff is correct.
 

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2002 TJ. 4.0 ltr. 5.5 RE long arm lift, 35" tires, 4.56 gears, Teraflex S/T disconnect,
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Detroit's don't get rebuilt & that was the worst choice of locker for a DD'er. Drain the oil & verify the new stuff is correct.
Lol..yea no joke on the worst choice part. Lol. Saw this jeep and "just had to have it" it's unstoppable on the trails, but for a DD, well.....
 

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2002 TJ. 4.0 ltr. 5.5 RE long arm lift, 35" tires, 4.56 gears, Teraflex S/T disconnect,
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513 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Fluid is castrol axle gl-5. 85-140
 

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Does the Detroit locker require the friction modifier, and is the reason you are using the 85w-140w gear lube because you are towing a trailer or other?
 

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put a 8.8 with Detroit locker (new) in 95 YJ. made so much racket, took the Detroit locker out and put an ARB air locker in. axle vendor (East Coast Gear Supply) was excellent. took Detroit locker back and exchanged for ARB. Much better. wanted the auto locker, but its not for getting to where I can use it.
 

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Does the Detroit locker require the friction modifier, and is the reason you are using the 85w-140w gear lube because you are towing a trailer or other?
No additive or friction modifier is needed for a Detroit Locker. The only locker that requires a friction modifier is the clutch-based ECTED. And lockers don't care what viscosity gear lube they live in.
 

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2002 TJ. 4.0 ltr. 5.5 RE long arm lift, 35" tires, 4.56 gears, Teraflex S/T disconnect,
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Checked the tire pressure and both are at 28 pounds. 35 12.50 15's
 

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Sounds like normal operation for a manual trans short wheel base vehicle and a Detroit Locker. Mine did the exact same thing on the street. Some days she behaved and some days she was angry. If it spun freely when jacked up and did not sound crunchy you are fine. They can be tempermental....especially with a manual. Loading and unloading during shifts were the worst spots for me.

My current TJ has Eaton E-Lockers front and rear.
 

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I had a Detroit locker in my old CJ7 with a T176 tranny. It used to clunk and pull to the left when letting off the gas to coast and pull to the right upon initial acceleration. It would also chirp the tires in a sharp turn when I got on it too much, caused a couple cops to pull me over for it. As long as you have the proper fluids in it you should be fine. I beat on mine pretty hard and it never failed me.
 

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Sounds like normal operation for a manual trans short wheel base vehicle and a Detroit Locker. Mine did the exact same thing on the street. Some days she behaved and some days she was angry. If it spun freely when jacked up and did not sound crunchy you are fine. They can be tempermental....especially with a manual. Loading and unloading during shifts were the worst spots for me.

My current TJ has Eaton E-Lockers front and rear.
I was looking at putting a Detroit in the rear of mine as well but I drive a manual and in all my research I found it is a bad idea to have a rear auto locker with a manual transmission. This is because every time you press the clutch it can unlock, and then every time you let off the clutch it re-locks. This leads to a "fun" ride... :p
 

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Totally different animal in an auto. I would drain and refill the diff just to check for metal. Mine has popped once or twice a month since i put it in a year ago. Its my DD. Automatic Transmissions keep more continuous torque on the driveline during gear changes which keeps the detroit quiet.
 

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I ran my previous TJ's Detroit Locker with both the OE 5-speed AX-15 transmission and 5 years later, with the 32RH automatic I converted it to. While the Detroit Locker was definitely a little less noticeable after I installed the automatic, that is not to say the Detroit was not also well behaved with the 5-speed manual transmission too.

The internet rumors had me concerned about how the Detroit Locker would behave in my SWB TJ with its 5-speed before installing it but to me, a week after it had been installed, I decided those rumors were BS. I was actually surprised how well behaved it was on the street on my daily driver TJ.

You just can't be a hotrodder after installing it and expect it to be well behaved. If you like to race around corners with your foot on the gas and are constantly downshifting under power like you're on a race track, a Detroit Locker is not for you. But if you can learn to keep the throttle application under control as a reasonably mature person can do, like keeping the throttle neutral through turns, it will be well behaved. 5-speed or automatic. I wouldn't recommend a Detroit Locker for an 18 year old kid but for a responsible adult who doesn't collect traffic tickets like candy, it's a great well behaved locker.

Of all the available automatic lockers available, the Detroit Locker is definitely the best behaved so long as it is driven appropriately. But if you're a hot rodder, a Detroit Locker is only going to be a nightmare for you on the street. :)
 

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That's pretty typical of a Detroit, and maybe just loosened up a bit to create all these sounds. Somewhere in the posts above, someone recommended draining the fluid and inspecting it for metal. I'd start with that one, if the fluid doesn't have chunks, you'll probably be ok. It is expected to have some metal flake in there. If this process frightens you, take it to a qualified mechanic. I'd find someone who's a differential specialist, and not the dealer ;)

I put one of these in my YJ back in the day, and it did the same thing. The loading and unloading thing drove me nuts! Jerry makes a good point that driven appropriately they work fine, but you can't just toss the keys to someone and expect them to return from the store. I learned to drive mine, but I couldn't let someone else just take it for a spin. I've since yarded it out and gone to an ARB. It was tough to justify the cost, but I'm glad I did it.
 

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2002 TJ. 4.0 ltr. 5.5 RE long arm lift, 35" tires, 4.56 gears, Teraflex S/T disconnect,
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Not really sure what happened, but it has been working fine since the day after my wife was with me. I changed the fluid today and it looked fine, nothing out of the ordinary.
It may lock or unlock once, maybe twice a day and that's it.
LoL. Thanks for all the info and advice...
 

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I was looking at putting a Detroit in the rear of mine as well but I drive a manual and in all my research I found it is a bad idea to have a rear auto locker with a manual transmission. This is because every time you press the clutch it can unlock, and then every time you let off the clutch it re-locks. This leads to a "fun" ride... :p
I run a Detroit in the rear with a manual trans. I have no problems driving it on the street some days it does a 50 mile round trip to work. You coast through sharp turns and drive it with respect to what you have and there's no problems. If you drive it like you stole it then that's when you may feel some odd behaviors, last I knew a Jeep wasn't a race car anyway

You probably find you'll get better mpg's if you learn how to drive with a full locker in the rear. Because you won't be sticking the skinny pedal to the floor during shifts.
 
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