Jeep Wrangler Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a long time lurker on this forum, but this is the first time I've ever actually posted a question. Primarily because this is the first time a thorough searching hasn't yielded an answer!

I recently upgraded from a TJ to a 2007 JK rubicon with 103k. One of the issues I'm working through is that the front locker won't engage. I have verified that the actuator is functional, but it does not move the plate far enough to engage the teeth. I can use a screwdriver to wedge it over an extra 1/8" which locks the axle and makes the blinking indicator solid. A little googling shows this to be a very common problem.

I am aware of the custom shim method. However, that was the only option in the past when proper repair parts were unavailable. It seems you can now buy actual locker parts, including the actuator.

Mopar part 68312884AA $253
https://www.moparpartsoverstock.com...DSE--DSE-Or-DSH--DMF/11307660/68312884AA.html

Comparing my front actuator with the rear one (which works fine), the front is very loose and wobbles significantly. I have not disassembled the axle to figure out why as I wanted to ask here first and if possible, have parts on hand to repair when I do.

So here is my actual question:
Has anyone bought just the actuator part listed above to fix this problem?

Does it fix the "looseness/wobble" and/or move the plate farther when new?

Is the wobble from wear on the actuator inside diameter or is it on whatever axle part the actuator sits on?


I could do the shim trick, but I think the actuator itself is badly worn and this is causing the excessive movement. Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't answer your question, but here is a bunch of good info on the factory e-locker:
OEM Rubicon Locker Study - JeepForum.com
Thanks, but yeah I already have that page bookmarked! I've searched everywhere and can not find any example of someone who has actually replaced that actuator with a new part.

I'm guessing FCA must have only recently made the individual locker parts available.

If can't find anyone knowledgeable about this, I might just take a gamble and do my own write up for the forum on how it turns out. I just hate taking a $250 gamble!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
667 Posts
I cant believe what they're selling that actuator for. What an absolute slap to the nutsack
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,102 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,107 Posts
I went in for the whole thing. You can get the full carrier with the locker with bearings for $780 delivered with no tax from Drivetrain America. Had the inner seals, U joints and ball joints done at the same time. I probably could have gone with just the actuator but I was having the work done by my local shop did not want to have to pay twice for labor to find out that I needed both. The actuator had just been released as a separate part just recently but IMO if you are going to open it up, it would be easier just to replace the whole smash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I went in for the whole thing. You can get the full carrier with the locker with bearings for $780 delivered with no tax from Drivetrain America. Had the inner seals, U joints and ball joints done at the same time. I probably could have gone with just the actuator but I was having the work done by my local shop did not want to have to pay twice for labor to find out that I needed both. The actuator had just been released as a separate part just recently but IMO if you are going to open it up, it would be easier just to replace the whole smash.
I'll keep that in mind. Did you ever get to inspect it yourself? I'm curious if yours had the big wobble side to side and if so, which part(s) had the wear?

If it's the carrier/case piece that wears, then I'm out of luck and will either have to buy the whole assembly or do the shim trick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,107 Posts
I'll keep that in mind. Did you ever get to inspect it yourself? I'm curious if yours had the big wobble side to side and if so, which part(s) had the wear?

If it's the carrier/case piece that wears, then I'm out of luck and will either have to buy the whole assembly or do the shim trick.
I still have it sitting in a box. I am going to have the bearings removed (I do not have a press) and see how much the actuator has worn.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
I have this EXACT same issue in my 07. For a few weeks now the front locker light will never stay solid always flashing. I pulled the diff cover last night, and the whole actuator/sliding collar assembly is pretty loose. I can gently slide over the collar and it locks, and the light stays on, but it's at least 1/8" shy of doing it on its on. It slides perfectly to engage and disengage with the switch, but it isn't moving far enough to engage. I'm curious too if replacing the actuator fixes it, or if I should look at the shim repair? Any update from above?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
878 Posts
I had a similar problem with my rear locker. Slow to engage and then wouldn't disengage. Actuator was determined to be fine. In my case it was a weak electro-magnet in the locker. Check yours to make sure it is not the magnet. If you find the magnet is failing you can replace just the magnet. Evidently the magnet failing on the stock e-locker is not uncommon.

Part found here: https://eastcoastgearsupply.com/i-23993143-dana-44jk-e-locker-magnet.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,107 Posts
I finally examined mine and the actuator plate was worn. As a footnote, I was checking to see if all was well and the front locker stuck closed. A bit difficult to drive with the front end locked up. It seems that the actuator plate moves the switch that indicates whether the locker is engaged and there was not enough clearance and it was catching against the plate and not letting it release. Two options: pull the whole thing out to get to the switch or pop the head off the switch which released the tension and the locker disengaged. I had them pop the pin. I figured that I would live with the flashing light when playing off road and not worry about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
It's so much work to take the diff out and get the bearing pulled, I almost want to have my fix in hand before I start to do it. I hate to shell out $250 just to regain the stock locker, but on the other hand, I hate to try and shim it if that won't work and then have to redo it all again and buy the new magnet. My has 160k street miles on it, i suspect the original owner rarely used the lockers. Does street driving wear the magnet? Anyone know at what usage these are typically failing?
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport S
Joined
·
607 Posts
I've been a long time lurker on this forum, but this is the first time I've ever actually posted a question. Primarily because this is the first time a thorough searching hasn't yielded an answer!

I recently upgraded from a TJ to a 2007 JK rubicon with 103k. One of the issues I'm working through is that the front locker won't engage. I have verified that the actuator is functional, but it does not move the plate far enough to engage the teeth. I can use a screwdriver to wedge it over an extra 1/8" which locks the axle and makes the blinking indicator solid. A little googling shows this to be a very common problem.

I am aware of the custom shim method. However, that was the only option in the past when proper repair parts were unavailable. It seems you can now buy actual locker parts, including the actuator.

Mopar part 68312884AA $253
https://www.moparpartsoverstock.com/p/Jeep_2007_Wrangler4x4--38L-V6-SMPI--6-Speed-Manual-NSG370RUBICON/ACTUATOR-Axle-Locker-DME--DME--DSE--DME--DSH--DMF--DMF--DSE--DSE-Or-DSH--DMF/11307660/68312884AA.html

Comparing my front actuator with the rear one (which works fine), the front is very loose and wobbles significantly. I have not disassembled the axle to figure out why as I wanted to ask here first and if possible, have parts on hand to repair when I do.

So here is my actual question:
Has anyone bought just the actuator part listed above to fix this problem?

Does it fix the "looseness/wobble" and/or move the plate farther when new?

Is the wobble from wear on the actuator inside diameter or is it on whatever axle part the actuator sits on?

I could do the shim trick, but I think the actuator itself is badly worn and this is causing the excessive movement. Thanks in advance!
Im pretty new to this but from what I've read, isn't there a lot of issues with the factory Rubicon setup? I'm very curious bc I have a 2016 Rubicon. Wouldn't it be cheaper and less headache in the long run to replace this with an aftermarket setup?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,216 Posts
Im pretty new to this but from what I've read, isn't there a lot of issues with the factory Rubicon setup? I'm very curious bc I have a 2016 Rubicon. Wouldn't it be cheaper and less headache in the long run to replace this with an aftermarket setup?
Nothing wrong with the factory lockers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
ARB's are expensive, and they are only as good as the pump and plumbing to the diff. In my opinion, the JK e Locker is a great design as 12V is reliable and easy to repair compared to airlines. The lockers in my rig have been there for 10+ years and 162K miles. If they need a couple shims to remove slack that often I'm ok with it. I ordered shims today not sure when I'll get them installed but I plan to replicate the Prope Dana 60 shim e locker fix trick. My magnet in the front at least responds promptly I just think there's some wear that needs to be accounted for. This weekend I hear some clicking that makes me think my rear locker is slipping which means it probably needs shims too. I have to wonder if the "failures" reported with these lockers weren't in some cases the results of lack of engagement that allowed the teeth to slip on each other. I don't know, but I have a clamshell puller I'm hoping will pull the carrier bearing and let me install the Dana 60 shims. It's a cheap fix if it works, I'll keep everyone posted. Replacing the stock magnet is a good option as well, but at $250 per axle it adds up compared to the $18 it cost to order new shims. I'm gonna try the cheap way first.
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Jeep Gladiator Sport S
Joined
·
607 Posts
ARB's are expensive, and they are only as good as the pump and plumbing to the diff. In my opinion, the JK e Locker is a great design as 12V is reliable and easy to repair compared to airlines. The lockers in my rig have been there for 10+ years and 162K miles. If they need a couple shims to remove slack that often I'm ok with it. I ordered shims today not sure when I'll get them installed but I plan to replicate the Prope Dana 60 shim e locker fix trick. My magnet in the front at least responds promptly I just think there's some wear that needs to be accounted for. This weekend I hear some clicking that makes me think my rear locker is slipping which means it probably needs shims too. I have to wonder if the "failures" reported with these lockers weren't in some cases the results of lack of engagement that allowed the teeth to slip on each other. I don't know, but I have a clamshell puller I'm hoping will pull the carrier bearing and let me install the Dana 60 shims. It's a cheap fix if it works, I'll keep everyone posted. Replacing the stock magnet is a good option as well, but at $250 per axle it adds up compared to the $18 it cost to order new shims. I'm gonna try the cheap way first.
Thanks for the heads up. Yeah, I'm not so much into the air lockers..too much to go wrong. I had an air lift/leveling system on a truck. Something was always messn up. Didn't know if the Eaton lockers were maybe a better design or something but if my factories hold up like yours, I won't complain. 🤗
 

·
Registered
2015 JKUR & 2004 LJ
Joined
·
80 Posts
Apologize for bringing up an old post but wondering what ever became of this. My '15 w/50k is now showing the same "play" problem as noted above.

did you ever shim? did it work? or did you replace the whole actuator?

Thx

anybody else can chime in as well. or other options.
 

·
Retired Moderator
Joined
·
102,641 Posts
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top