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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read a few posts on this subject and I have a some questions.

My rig:
2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport
Inline 6 with a 3 speed auto trans
Factory front Dana 30 open carrier
Factory rear Dana 44 with limited slip
3" suspension lift with 33" tires

Question 1.
I tried to drive over a rock about 12" tall with a flat face with my driver side front tire. I was at a stop with my tire touching the rock. I was not able to climb over it. My front passenger tire just spun, driver tire not spinning, and I didn't make any forward movement. I'm not sure about the rear tires. This is what lead me to believe I need a front locker/limited slip of some kind so my driver side tire could "climb" up the rock. Is that true?

Question 2.
I need to be able to turn while driving onroad with ice/snow in 4x4 so I figure an auto locker is out of the question. A manual locker would work, but I wonder if a limited slip would be good enough for my Jeep to climb that rock. Or would my passenger tire still just spin?

Question 3.
Would my Jeep behave any different driving onroad with snow/ice with an auto locker in the rear opposed to my current rear limited slip?

Thanks in advance for any info.
 

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I dont under stand if you have a limited slip in the rear why it wouldnt push you over the rock. 12" isnt that big at all. The front locked would help pull but there should have be enough push from the rear
 

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1. Overal best locker type is manual front or rear, Gives you control.
2. For winter driving a front locker when in 4wd and either auto or manual on snow makes it hard to steer. Even some front limited slips like the tru-trac can cause steering issues.
3. Auto locker in the rear axle on snow is far better than one in the front.

4. I have had a full auto locker in the rear in snow and ice.. no major problems.
5. I have had a full auto locker in the front on snow and ice.. scary.
6. Last Jeep I had ARB's front and rear, best of both worlds.
 

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if you have the money, dont go for the auto lockers. they can break axles if they grab all of the sudden and are harder to drive on the road. Go with an ARB if you can. The front was spinning because its open. your rear should grab a little, but not lock like a true locker. A LSD will simply add resistance to the loose tire, but is not capable of completely locking them together. These come from the factory because they are helpful for most situations like mud and snow and you dont have to worry about flipping a switch to turn them on. Also, they run just fine on paved roads. Also, the LSD are easier on smaller axles. Like i have a dana 35 rear with 33" tires. If i locked my rear, it would snap. A LSD would be more gentle, but still pushing it. you would be just fine with a locked rear. Many people lock the rear first, because it takes most of the weight of the car and the rear axle is stronger than your front. a LSD in the front and a ARB air locker in the rear would be great. If not LSD front, just lock the rear. Best of luck!
 

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My guess is that if the sway bars were connected you had a rear tire off the ground and didn't realize it. Otherwise the rear tires would have moved you forward.
 

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ipleadda2nd said:
I have read a few posts on this subject and I have a some questions.

My rig:
2001 Jeep Wrangler Sport
Inline 6 with a 3 speed auto trans
Factory front Dana 30 open carrier
Factory rear Dana 44 with limited slip
3" suspension lift with 33" tires

Question 1.
I tried to drive over a rock about 12" tall with a flat face with my driver side front tire. I was at a stop with my tire touching the rock. I was not able to climb over it. My front passenger tire just spun, driver tire not spinning, and I didn't make any forward movement. I'm not sure about the rear tires. This is what lead me to believe I need a front locker/limited slip of some kind so my driver side tire could "climb" up the rock. Is that true?

Question 2.
I need to be able to turn while driving onroad with ice/snow in 4x4 so I figure an auto locker is out of the question. A manual locker would work, but I wonder if a limited slip would be good enough for my Jeep to climb that rock. Or would my passenger tire still just spin?

Question 3.
Would my Jeep behave any different driving onroad with snow/ice with an auto locker in the rear opposed to my current rear limited slip?

Thanks in advance for any info.
I read something on the forum that said the limited slips wear out and do not actually engage as they should. Your limited slip may not be working. If I were you I would lock up the rear first, see how much more capable your jeep is (which will be a lot) then if you feel that it is necessary lock the front or do as you were saying put a limited slip in the front.
 

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My guess is that if the sway bars were connected you had a rear tire off the ground and didn't realize it. Otherwise the rear tires would have moved you forward.
I was thinkin something along these lines...were you disco'd? If not, it could have made such a small obstacle much harder. 12 inches...thats like a large sidewalk curb...
 

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I read something on the forum that said the limited slips wear out and do not actually engage as they should. Your limited slip may not be working. If I were you I would lock up the rear first, see how much more capable your jeep is (which will be a lot) then if you feel that it is necessary lock the front or do as you were saying put a limited slip in the front.
yea the older ones that use a disk like a brake, those dont hold up well. the new ones with gears instead of the pads work better
 

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...Even some front limited slips like the tru-trac can cause steering issues.
I have not experienced this during Pacific Northwest winters ;). I run dual TrueTracs.
 

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Question 1.
I tried to drive over a rock about 12" tall with a flat face with my driver side front tire. I was at a stop with my tire touching the rock. I was not able to climb over it. My front passenger tire just spun, driver tire not spinning, and I didn't make any forward movement. I'm not sure about the rear tires. This is what lead me to believe I need a front locker/limited slip of some kind so my driver side tire could "climb" up the rock. Is that true?
You had too much PSI in your tires...

Try doing the same rock with 10psi and let me know what happens ;).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I was on level ground. I bet I was under torqued since I still have factory gears and was in 4hi. I didn't give it much gas. It was a quick test. I guess I was expecting the front tire to climb over it, opposed to the rear forcing the tire up and over. It's possible the rock was 16 inches.

If I'm in 2hi turning onroad with snow/ice with an open front, and I replace my rear limited slip with an auto locker, would the Jeep behave differently?
 

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I was on level ground. I bet I was under torqued since I still have factory gears and was in 4hi. I didn't give it much gas. It was a quick test. I guess I was expecting the front tire to climb over it, opposed to the rear forcing the tire up and over. It's possible the rock was 16 inches.
Try droppin the jeep into 4LO...youll be amazed at the difference. There arent many times where 4HI works out better in the rocks. For example here is a picture of my jeep...granted they are 35s and properly geared. This block is 24" tall or more. I am in 4LO, open front, and a tired posi in the rear...no issue. I have gone plenty of places where guys have recommended at least one hard locker without issue. Tire pressure, disco's, and good driving, work wonders. Im not tryin to discourage you from lockers, just giving you insight that lockers arent always the answer.

 

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in these situations there is a trick for LSD, apply the bake pedal just lightly while on the gas to make the LSD work, and you will definitely climb over that rock.
 

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I have not experienced this during Pacific Northwest winters ;). I run dual TrueTracs.
I am SO definitely in your camp :thumb: I live in the Colorado Rockies and the only months you probably won't see snow are July and August and I have seen both. I also have TrueTracs on front and rear, and I wouldn't change that for anything. Yes, lockers have their place, but as far as I am concerned it is on a serious rock crawler. I have very good articulation so for what I do I don't worry about lifting a wheel. And yes, you can use the brake to shift power to the opposite axle, at least on geared LSD's.

Now the Auburn selectable lockers might be an option if you like rocks and live in the land of ice and snow, but for me TrueTracs are the way to go.
 

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I've had numerous lockers in full size rigs, always the Lock-Rite or Detriot Locker variety. Any time you're applying power the axle is locked up, and when you coast they ratchet (sometimes loudly).


I don't consider that sort of locker realistic for daily driving. They put a fair amount of strain on the drivetrain. Whenever you turn, the outside tires make a larger radius than the inside tires. This means that the inside tires want to roll slower (with an open diff). With a locker, they have to spin in place. The inside tire usually chirps first, because the vehicles weight will normally shift to the outside while turning.


Here's what you'll notice on the paved road. Rear locker: Coasting downhill into a curve, everything going swell. You lean on the pedal a smidge, the rear locks, inside wheel spools up to match the outside, your rear end kicks out and your rig gives a big ol' sway... good for white knuckles the first few times. When turning in a gas station lot, you'll get a good squeal or rapid chirps from the inside rear, without trying.

Front locker: Driving in sand, you'll try to turn left or right. One tire will begin loading and then spinning. This will start the steering wheel jerking back and forth in your hands. I'm conservative with my rigs (old age), but feeling the driveline load and jerk feels as bad as child abuse to me. I can't comment on a front locker on pavement, because all my front locked rigs had manual hubs, so it was immaterial to handling.

Due to the increased drivetrain loads a locker generates, it's very easy to beak driveline components if you don't carefully choose a line and stay gentle with the throttle. With limited slip and open diffs, there is usually a good chance something will find a way to slip before an integral component frags.

Also, lockers make it possible to easily climb up things you may not be prepared to climb down.

For winter driving, lockers bless you with the ability to do a u-turn in your own footprint at the mere idea of getting frisky with the gas pedal. with an open diff, you can spin one tire and the other will keep you laterally planted. With a locker, they both spin, and you've got nothing to keep you tracking straight. A controlled powerslide on wet/ice pavement with a locker is about as manageble as petting butterfly wings.

On dirt or off-road the locker is amazing fun, and provides huge instant ability. I recall in high school, I was creeping downhill and lost the front pass tire over a sheer edge... Easily a 50' drop. The whole truck teetered, the rear driver tire came off the ground, it seemed like 4'. My old 1975 F-100 was Detroit locked Fr/Rr and had nasty bias ply tires. I simply put it in "R" and let the clutch out while heel-toeing the brake and throttle. The two tires remaining on the ground clawed her back onto the road. That was with half my tires hanging in space. FWIW, it was really easy to creep up that nasty trail. Coming down was far worse. Many factors are counter-intuitive when coming down hill, and normal instincts can land you on your lid (but that's a different topic).


IMO, a locker you can disengage (air/"E"/lever) is the way to go. Street handling with a Fr/Rr locked Jeep in winter weather would be dicey.

Adding a Detroit or Lock-Rite drastically changes handling. You will know it the instant you try to turn. You get really good as coasting through corners or gently accelerating (one or the other), because the whiplash effect of starting at a coast and then applying throttle mid-turn makes your neck sore. ;)
 

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Reminds me of the time I tried the trail up Mount Princeton (14,500 ft) in October. Now I already knew Cottontail Pass was closed (12,000 ft) but no, I just had to try this. Well, I hit ice at 10,000 ft, 7 ft shelf road. So I'm going "Oh, crap, is this where I'm going to die?" So I finally find a spot where I can do a 12 point turn (only because there were enough large rocks that I kept backing into them) and crawled back down. I made it, barely, but I did have to replace my steering wheel because I had cracked it in three places :rolleyes:
 

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Also, lockers make it possible to easily climb up things you may not be prepared to climb down.
:rofl: LOL, I've been there before...
 
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