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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the 35s and 37s on a D30 has always been frowned upon, depending on who you are. Well, I've been running 37s on my stock D30. no reinforcement what so ever, and havent had any problems from the tires.

I will be finally upgrading to 5.13s, which leads me to my next question.


I know 5.13s and locking a D30 has always been a pre cautious situation.

Has anyone had any experience with locking a D30, and have you had problems? would you do it differently?

I had planned to do a 44 up front. but cannot find one for a reasonable price anywhere local.

I will be sticking with 37s as well.

any and all tips are appreciated.
 

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You must be rocking a JK D30 if you can go down to 5.13s. Still, I've been running my 35s on a locked 4.88 D30 for over 3 years and haven't had a problem. Keep in mind that I'm on top of a HPD30 which can handle a heavier load than the LPD30, but overall 35s on a locked D30 are acceptable.
 

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If you haven't already, adjust your steering stops by adding a couple lock washers to each. I did that myself and I'm rocking 35"s with a v8.
 

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If I was going to sink money into a locker for a D30, I would only put a selectable locker in. That way you can run it as an open differential until you absolutely need the extra traction. This goes a long way towards reducing stress on the shafts and gears, greatly improving their survivability in the long run.
 

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If I was going to sink money into a locker for a D30, I would only put a selectable locker in. That way you can run it as an open differential until you absolutely need the extra traction. This goes a long way towards reducing stress on the shafts and gears, greatly improving their survivability in the long run.
Can you explain this further? When you say "selectable" are you referring to an "e-locker"/ "air locker"/ etc?
 

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Can you explain this further? When you say "selectable" are you referring to an "e-locker"/ "air locker"/ etc?
both an e locker and an air locker are a form of selectable lockers.
basically a selectable locker is one that you can turn on and off.
 

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Can you explain this further? When you say "selectable" are you referring to an "e-locker"/ "air locker"/ etc?
Yep. It's one that you can turn on or off by flicking a switch (or shifting a cable selector) in the cabin. This includes:

ARB Locker
Auburn ECTED (acts as a limited slip when not locked)
Eaton E-Locker
Yukon Zip Locker

The ARB and Yukon lockers are air actuated. You need a compressor, some wiring and air lines to control them. The Auburn and Eaton lockers are electrical. Just a switch, a relay and some wiring is all that is needed to get those going.

I didn't see the OX locker available for a JK Dana 30. I know you can get them for TJ Dana 30s. That's another selectable locker. Originally you needed a cable like a bicycle shifter to operate it but they now have options to make it operate with air or electricity.

An automatic locker is one that is "always engaged". It's built so that when you're not hitting the gas and you go around a corner the springs inside will let it ratchet. This lets you get around corners but it's really hard on axle shafts because it's always there popping open every time you go around a corner. That's not so bad if you have locking hubs up front for when you're driving on road. But with the unit bearings in the modern Jeeps you don't have that option so you have to deal with the stress of the constant locking/unlocking all the time. These are automatic lockers:

Detroit Locker
Spartan locker
Yukon Grizzly

There's probably more but those are the ones that showed up for a JK Dana 30 at Randy's Ring and Pinion. The Spartan just replaces the spider gears inside the existing differential, which makes it really cheap and easy to install if you're not changing gears. The other two are full carrier lockers which means they have to be installed and set up like you were replacing the gear set. Fortunately, if you're already doing new gears you don't have to do anything extra to swap in the full carrier locker at the same time.


Of course, you could just go with a dedicated limited slip differential up front. It doesn't give you nearly the same traction assistance as a real locker but it does better than an open differential. But it also puts a lot less stress on an axle than a full locker.

The biggest drawback to selectable lockers is cost. They can easily cost half again or even twice as much as an automatic locker. $4-600 will get you a full case automatic locker. You'll need $600-900 to get a selectable locker. And if you get an air locker, you'll need some kind of on board air setup. Even if you just get a small compressor that's over $100 to get it all in and set up. But then you'll have on board air to reinflate your tires so that's a worthwhile thing to have on your Jeep anyway.

The limited slip option does replace the carrier but it is cheaper than any full carrier locker. You're looking at somewhere between $3-400 for that. But again, it doesn't give you anywhere close to the extra traction you get with a real locker.
 
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