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Unread 03-04-2014, 10:00 AM   #1
DQR
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Noob question: Getting Limited Slip Diffs.

Hey Jeepers,

I've got a 1999 4.0 Cherokee Sport 4x4. The only modifications I've made have been to put on a SmittyBilt XRC front bumper with the XRC-8 Winch. In the recent snow, I noticed that my tires weren't locking in a situation that I really could have used them. It seemed the case that in all 4wd settings along with 2wd there was no locking. I plan on doing mild offroading along with some regular daily-driving (note, it isn't really a daily driver as I most frequently take a bus).

Here is where my noobishness comes in:
Should I try to buy a new limited slip differential? Should I get it for the front and back? Should I just pull axles out of a junkyard to do it? (Money is tight).

Sorry for any incorrect vernacular, feel free to correct me, and perhaps redirect me to a thread that already has this answered (though I couldn't find one)

Thanks!

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Unread 03-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #2
dodgethejeep
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Sounds like the best thing you could is get better tires for situations your driving in. or look into chains. I have driven heavy vehicles in snow and a tj with open diffs for years. An LSD will change how traction is applied to the ground but it will not make any difference if your driving habits are already breaking the tires free. An LSD or locker may actually make things worse. Get better tires and lay off the skinny pedal. Winter driving is about getting there, not speed.
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Unread 03-04-2014, 10:46 AM   #3
cory4um
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodgethejeep View Post
Sounds like the best thing you could is get better tires for situations your driving in. or look into chains. I have driven heavy vehicles in snow and a tj with open diffs for years. An LSD will change how traction is applied to the ground but it will not make any difference if your driving habits are already breaking the tires free. An LSD or locker may actually make things worse. Get better tires and lay off the skinny pedal. Winter driving is about getting there, not speed.
Couldn't have said it better!


Many "noobs' have a false understanding of how 4x4 really works. They tend to think that ALL 4 wheels are moving the vehicle. In reallity 4x4's with open diffs are just 2wd..

As said,
Many would prefer not to have an LSD during winter driving as it can be unpredictable.
Yes if you are stuck an LSD would be nice to get power to other wheels. This is when one starts thinking about a selectable locker (locker when you want it to be) but $$$$
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Unread 03-04-2014, 11:24 AM   #4
CJ7-Tim
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I have lived in Minnesota and driven 4x4's and RWD V-8's for many winters. I prefer a Locker or a Limited Slip for snowy/icy roads. Both are predictable on snow/ice and actually behave in a similar manner.

DQR, do some research on the differences between, and pros/cons of, Lockers and Limited Slips.

Most Lockers and all Limited Slips will need to installed by a technician with some technical skills and specialized tools. Include the added costs in your calculations. The exceptions will be a Lock Right type locker than can be installed by anybody in their driveway or garage, and a junkyard axle swap to a Factory installed Limited Slip.

Determine a budget, and take note of the skills/tools needed for each option.
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Unread 03-04-2014, 02:14 PM   #5
DQR
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Thanks for the replies, guys.

My situation in the snow and ice wasn't one of traveling, but of experimentation. I was testing what it took to get me stuck in ice/snow, and found that if I had traction to the non-slipping tires I would have been free. I also noted that as I was pulling out others who were stuck, it would have been a big help. I promise that I keep my foot off the gas

Thanks for the tips though. Newer tires probably would be great to have (tread is getting kinda low). I've seen a lot of guys doing axle swaps, is that just for adding strength or are they getting a LSD with the swap?

I forgot to mention: I thought that this jeep had a LSD in it, so I was surprised when it didn't turn both rear wheels.
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Unread 03-04-2014, 02:39 PM   #6
multmigs
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check your build sheet here...


http://www.jeep.com/webselfservice/j...527R%2527%2529


put vin into
build info on left side
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Unread 03-04-2014, 03:06 PM   #7
Renix
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Just because you have a limited doesn't mean it operational anymore. The clutches inside a lsd wear out leaving you with a open diff. You can get it rebuilt or buy a clutchless design like the detroit tru trac. As far as axle swaps do you really need it? From what you described in your jeep usage it's probably a waste of money. If you swap axles the ford 8.8 is the easiest and affordable but you would have to hunt for one with a lsd hope the lsd is still good hope you get the same gear as your front axle if not re gear the front. Did you hear the cash register cha-ching there.
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Unread 03-04-2014, 04:33 PM   #8
Charley3
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IME on steep curvy mountain roads in Winter...

LSD and especially locker is helpful in deep snow. I mean rear only. I like front open diff for better steering.

LSD and locker are treacherous on packed wet snow or ice. The LSD or locked axle tires can suddenly and quickly slide sideways. On a curvy mountain road that is scary and can put you in ditch or off a cliff. Steep slick roads and curves accentuates the problem/concern.

For that reason, I like an open diff front at all times for Winter, and a selectable open/locker in rear, such as ARB or other.

Then I can choose whether to have the rear open or locked. Open on ice or packed snow. Locked in deep snow.

The other advantage of a locker is when off roading, a locker is fully locked. An LSD usually slips some and can't fully lock. LSD can also be unpredictable as they are often transioning between open and varying amounts of partial locking.

A selectable open/locker is predictable on and off road.
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Unread 03-04-2014, 04:54 PM   #9
CJ7-Tim
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The build sheet is interesting, but you can simply look inside your differential, and determine if it is Limited Slip equipped.

All XJ Cherokee rear axles were available with optional Limited Slip, and as explained they do wear out over time. A simple junkyard swap would be to find and refurbish an XJ Limited Slip axle for about $80 in parts, and bolt it under your XJ.

A Lock Right type lunch-box locker will give better traction than a Limited Slip, and is very easy to install.
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