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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a full new detroit locker for a dana 30 for the price of a lunch box locker. Jeep is a 90 2.5L with 4.88 gears and 33" tires. I am perfectly aware that a full locker on a dana 30, even with just 33" tires, is not exactly ideal. But it is what it is. So here is my thoughts and questions on how to make the best of what I've got.

Allot of people ditch the YJ's vacuum axle connect assembly and install a manual cable setup to engage the front passenger tire when in four wheel drive. I've never had a problem with the vacuum system so I've never considered the manual upgrade to a cable switch. BUT my idea is to consider installing one now. My purpose is to have the option to of making the front detroit auto locker selectable.

This is the kit I am talking about:
Amazon.com: Alloy USA 450900 Axle Lock Kit for Jeep XJ Cherokee/YJ Wrangler: Automotive


In other words if I install the kit to eliminate vacuum lines, when I put the jeep in 4x4, until I manually engage the passenger side axle, I will only be running with power to the driver side. Do I understand this correctly?

I am wondering if anyone else has done or considered this? I am looking for feedback on why this may be a bad idea.

Why didn't I go selectable in the first place? PRICE. Not willing to invest that much into a dana 30. This is my street friendly budget build while I slowly, on the side, build more of what I desire for 4x4ing.

I leave for a 2 week 4x4 trip through oregon / Washington on about the 24th. So I'm planning to do this "upgrade" next week if I do.

If anyone wonders, I'm just running auburn gear posi in the rear stock dana 35. This is on 2.5L and I rarely drive stupidly.

Also this is the exact locker I have:
Detroit Locker by Eaton Performance
For 27 Spline Dana 30 with 3.73 and Numerically Higher Gear Ratio
Manufacturer Part No: 162SL60B

So yeah, thoughts?
Thanks,
Dave
 

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I see what you're thinking of but as soon as you unlock the passenger axle you're now in 2wd. It does seem that you're still driving with the left axle but it doesn't work that way, at least ith an open diff. I'm not sure if you will still have 4wd with the locker and the right axle unlocked. I've hd the CAD fail on my jeep, and S Blazer I had and my dad's K1500 and instantly no 4wd. Maybe someone out there has tried it before. If not, give it a try and let us know how it works.
 

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With the cable CAD you will be building a selectable locker.

In 4wd on the lever and the cable out, you will only be powering the drivers side tire up front. Pull the cable, and the entire front end will be locked in.

Would end up being very versatile in my eyes.

The cable for the CAD is adjustable, I am saying this because I dealt with the vacuum CAD and then switched to the cable, and after getting tired of messing with that I finally went to the TJ axles up front and eliminated the CAD altogether. The cable needs fine tuned in order to work properly. It takes a few tries to get the housing of the cable properly adjusted before it slides the collar completely from 1 side to the other.

Good luck with your adventure of making a home-made selectable locker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
With the cable CAD you will be building a selectable locker.

In 4wd on the lever and the cable out, you will only be powering the drivers side tire up front. Pull the cable, and the entire front end will be locked in.

Would end up being very versatile in my eyes.
Thanks for the response. Your agreement that it should work enlightens me. BUT its weird that you are also just one of a few that agrees. So while I would love to believe WE are both right... I posted the same thread on another forum I'm on. People are back and forth but 70ish% say its a no go. Still I think its a go but acknowledge I have a lot to learn.

My last post on the other thread went into details of re-stating the exact locker and type of axle I have. If your interested in that thread you can find it at:
Making my front detroit full locker selectable? - JeepForum.com

Thanks for the heads up on the cable kit being a bit tricky to setup.

In all honesty I bought project jeep this week. It has front and rear ARB lockers. Its an 89 with a few pros to building it up versus taking the axles from it and adding them to my 2.5L but I'm still tossing my options. I don't get to keep both... :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
give it a try and let us know how it works.
If / when I do I shall sure come back and post. I might just test out the theory by unplugging the vacuum line that slides over the engager. Even if I do just this first, I'll let folks know.

I do understand better now that it would have the some downsides to a normal open diff, but also acknowledge that the benefits of the theory works.


"A poor mans KINDA SORTA selectable locker."? We'll see... I'd commit to getting back to it this week but I'm preping the jeep for a 2 week vacation playing the in Sierra mountains and leave this Sunday. So once I'm back, I'll get to wrenching on this idea again.
 

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I have the cable lock in place of the CAD and love it, I can use Lo-range two wheel drive, LOL. I think what you plan will work to a point, that's when you load that left front and the locker break lose the same as it would when making a tight turn on hard pack ground.
when it breaks lose then you would have only the rear pulling.


But I still plan to install a locker in the front of mine to match the locker now in the rear. Just my thinking!
 

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Since I'm in the other thread also, I'll try and answer here since this board is often less aggressive. As far as making turning easier I think your plan will work, but it will not act like a "true" open differential. An open differential transfers power to one or other of the wheels, this constant transfer of power in snow keeps the Jeep from going off to one side. With your plan, in 4x4 with the cable unlocked you will have one tire with power, this may be tricky in snow, especially when turning or climbing a steep road, not so much on a trail. It really comes down to how often you see snow in hilly terrain. If driving in snow is rare or never, by all means go with your plan, I think it will work great for trail running.
 
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