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Unread 04-01-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
MrXJ_98
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1998 XJ Front Hubs

Hello.
I am new to this site. I figure this is where this question belongs, but I am not quite sure.

So, I have my XJ, and I want to put a Powertrax Lock-right locker in the front.
The problem I am coming up with is that a 100% locker is, well, always locked. If I get a manual lock-out for the front, that would mean getting an entire conversion kit.

So, I talked to my buddy, and he said it this way:
The Cherokee has an "automatic hub" meaning that when I select 4WD, it automatically locks the front hubs and when I go back into 2WD, it unlocks the hubs.
According to him, if I get a 100% locker, my front hubs will be 'unlocked from the axle' so long as I am in 2WD, so I wouldn't get the effects of the locker limiting my turns and my pavement driving.

Is this true? I hope it is, because to buy a conversion kit for a manual lock-out is kind of breaking my budget.

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Unread 04-01-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
EdgarS
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Your buddy is like 95% wrong, the "automatic hubs" in the xj are always engaged and it doesn't matter if you are in 4 or 2 wheel drive. BUT (there is always one) you can use a 100% locker in the front because if your not in 4wd the front isn't getting any power that could induce de locker to work so you can make turn and stuff without noticing it is there
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Unread 04-01-2010, 11:38 AM   #3
Mighty Thor
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Nope, Your friend is all wrong. There are no hubs on your jeep from the factory. The front wheels are hooked to the axles all the time and while you are driving the wheels turn, the axles turn and the front driveshaft probably turns too. but they are not hooked to the transmission or the engine until you engage 4 wheel drive. When you are in two wheel drive all the power is put to the back axle and you have no power going to the front. When you engage 4 wheel drive it puts power to the front and the back.

The other issue that you are concerned with is the need for the front wheels to turn at different speeds while going around corners. The outside wheel has to travel farther in the same amount of time in order for you to turn and so it has to go faster than the inside wheel. If they are locked together this cannot happen and what usually happens is the outside wheel slides or "Scrubs" along the ground and you have excessive tire wear and miserable handling on pavement. On dirt or gravel this is accepted in order to get the extra traction that a locker provides for climbing obstacles.

To restore road driveability you can add hubs that will disconnect the wheels from the axles so that the tires can turn at different rates again. These kits can be expensive as you are already aware, and to my knowledge there are none currently available for late model Cherokees with anti lock brakes. This is because the tone ring for the brake system is attached to the axle stub and not the wheel hub. The axle has to turn for the ABS to work properly. If you want to add hubs to an ABS jeep, you have to disable the ABS system.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 11:55 AM   #4
MrXJ_98
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@Mighty Thor
So, would I be better off buying electronic/air lockers?
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
Mighty Thor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXJ_98 View Post
@Mighty Thor
So, would I be better off buying electronic/air lockers?
I think the general consensus is that a quality air or electric locker or OX Loc is preferred over a hub conversion but they can also be expensive and usually require that the ring and pinion gears be reset for proper lash and that is a technical process best left to the experienced gear guy with proper tools.

I did the lock rite and a hub conversion on my 95 YJ with bigger axles and u joints and such and I have been very satisfied but I still drool over the thought of having an ox lock. I like the cable because where I live, extreme cold can make the sliding parts hard to move and I like to have the ability to manually move things so I can feel them hook in.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:08 PM   #6
MrXJ_98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mighty Thor View Post
I think the general consensus is that a quality air or electric locker or OX Loc is preferred over a hub conversion but they can also be expensive and usually require that the ring and pinion gears be reset for proper lash and that is a technical process best left to the experienced gear guy with proper tools.

I did the lock rite and a hub conversion on my 95 YJ with bigger axles and u joints and such and I have been very satisfied but I still drool over the thought of having an ox lock. I like the cable because where I live, extreme cold can make the sliding parts hard to move and I like to have the ability to manually move things so I can feel them hook in.

Well, MileMarker makes a conversion kit for the hub. Not quite sure if it is exactly what I need, but it states:
Wrangler/Cherokee with 297X, U-joint 27-spline, 1995+hub conversion kit

And that is my axle. Thing is, it is about 800 bucks.
But that would solve my issue.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:24 PM   #7
Mighty Thor
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Yep, the mile marker kit and the warn kit were pretty much the same. do you have anti lock brakes? If not this kit might work fine for you. On my YJ I had broken the short side axle, wanted to do away with the center disconnect and add the lock right so I got a whole package that included new axles etc.

I did just confirm that the Mile Marker kit is not recommended for vehicles with anti lock brakes. this is because the tone ring is attached to the axle stub and the kit comes with new stubs that have no tone ring.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:40 PM   #8
MrXJ_98
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Well, I believe I have ABS, but if I just use the stubs with no tone ring, would I just lose the ABS, or would I not be able to use it at all?
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #9
Mighty Thor
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I don't know exactly what happens when the ABS does not get the proper signal from the tone rings on both fronts. At the very least you will get the abs light on the dash lit up. I don't know on a 98 if it will also throw a code to the ECM and cause an error code and check engine light or not. You might have to research that separately. Certainly it should be possible to disable or remove the entire ABS system and just have good old fashioned Stomp on em brakes.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:53 PM   #10
MrXJ_98
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My check engine light is already on. My Neutral Safety switch is f*ed, so it throws that to my ECM. I am not worried about that. I will research it. Worse comes to worse, I could just buy a full time Powertrax No-slip locker in the rear end and an ARB air locker, an Eaton eLocker, or an Auburn ECTED locker in the front and control it myself. Probably would be cheaper than the locking hubs.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:58 PM   #11
ar4130
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The ABS system will identify a problem, kick on your ABS light, and disable the system leaving you with standard braking.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 12:59 PM   #12
MrXJ_98
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ar4130 View Post
The ABS system will identify a problem, kick on your ABS light, and disable the system leaving you with standard braking.
If that is all that would happen, it may be worth it.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 01:26 PM   #13
Timo_90xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrXJ_98 View Post
Hello.
I am new to this site. I figure this is where this question belongs, but I am not quite sure.

So, I have my XJ, and I want to put a Powertrax Lock-right locker in the front

With a lunchbox locker, you need to realise that when it is not getting power, it is not locked. There is absolutely NO need at all to invest 800$ on manual locking hubs for your XJ!!!

When you're in RWD, the front will always be open with a lunchbox locker. It is an auto locker, so it only engages when the locker senses torque from the driveshaft.

When in 4wd, it will engage every time you press the skinny pedal. However, even with manual hubs, you'd need to engage the hubs to be in 4wd, and in that case you'd have the same thing - a locked front when power is applied.


..and think about it the other way: 200-300$ for the lunchbox locker + 800$ for the manual hubs = 1000+ $ Selectable lockers start from ~700$ + installation (which is around 200-400$ depending on the shop that is doing it).


So no, don't get the manual hubs for your D30 front axle. It's just waste of money IMO.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 01:31 PM   #14
MrXJ_98
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Would you recommend a Lunchbox locker or a selectable?

edit:
I have read lots of good things about ARB lockers. I may just run that way, see how it is.
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Unread 04-01-2010, 01:55 PM   #15
CJ7-Tim
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ARB and some of the other selectable lockers are nice and have some extra benefits, but those benefits come at a price. You will need the ARB, the air pump, and the installation. Expect all that to cost $1200 or more per axle.

I have a PowerTrax No-Slip lunch box locker in my D30 front axle. It works well in 4x4 and in 2wd it does nothing. It also cost a lot less than a selectable locker or a hub conversion. You can install a lunch box locker in your driveway in a few hours.

Most serious 4x4 users prefer to not have or not use ABS anti lock brakes. I disabled my ABS when I performed an axle swap.

You budget may be the main factor in your final locker choice.
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