Locked In 4L & Useless On Dirt...Just Spins - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-17-2017, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Locked In 4L & Useless On Dirt...Just Spins

This question has to do with my brother’s CJ7, but I feel the technical bits are the same in this situation. His 1980 has a lock-in that you have to switch from 2 to 4 on the hubs (says Warn) to engage. It has been in the family since new, has had lots of restoration and is obviously sentimental. We have taken it off road over the years with no issues, but this past weekend it just about blew my mind. Parts of the trail that were just uphill, I’d say a 3 out of 10 rating, his CJ would just sit there and fry one tire and my XJ went right up without thinking twice. While locked, whatever tire had the least amount of weight on it would just let go and start spinning, including the fronts. This was bad, we had to leave the CJ at the bottom of the trail. He has taken that thing up Red Cone and similar trails without problems. With all this being said, any clues what would make this Jeep so useless off road? It would have done better in just 2WD (and there are new 32” TKOs on it, so the rubber is good). Thanks for the help. We are heading to Moab soon and don’t want to have to leave it behind.

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post #2 of 6 Old 04-17-2017, 07:03 PM
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That is how an open differential 4x4 behaves. The difference in wheel base and/or the difference in tires may account for most of the observed differences in abilities between CJ and XJ. When I 4-wheel on the same trails with my XJ or with my 84 CJ-7 I have to drive differently to accommodate each vehicles strengths and weaknesses.

Does the CJ have sway bar disconnects ? Were the tires aired down ?

A locker for the CJ would be an excellent idea.


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post #3 of 6 Old 04-17-2017, 08:40 PM Thread Starter
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The tires were not aired down (but they should have been, bad mistake) and the sway bar was still connected. It was just very odd since I have seen it off road plenty of times in worse conditions without a hiccup and this trail was rather easy. My XJ has open diffs and I didn't have a tire slip once, it was a pretty simple trail. It wouldn't be so odd if I hadn't seen that same jeep crawl over trails in the past. It was sad to see, like a wounded animal!
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post #4 of 6 Old 04-18-2017, 07:35 AM
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Fry 1 out of 4 tires? Should spin at least one front and one rear. It may have a D300 twin stick transfer case, maybe the rear wasn't a engaged?

Should have posted this in the CJ forum where there's a lot more people with knowledge of that running gear. It's not the same as an XJ.
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post #5 of 6 Old 04-18-2017, 07:41 AM
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The CJ's didn't come from the factory twin sticked. That's something you have to modify to the transfer case for. My guess is your XJ just took a better line or flexed a little more, keeping tires on the ground the therefore keeping traction. Tires up in the air with open diff's means you aren't moving forward any more. Take the front sway bar off and air the tires down, with a good line it should have no trouble going anywhere your XJ does.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-18-2017, 08:58 PM
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Sounds like that poor ole CJ won't flex worth a darn. Gotta keep those tires in firm contact with the ground. This is where the longer wheelbase of an XJ is an asset.


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