So, Who makes the most dependable locker, one that I can use both on and off road??[/
My daily driver, more street time than trail time, but sees plenty of that as well. With winter coming up, I want to lock up my chryco 8.25 ASAP, but still be able to live with it on the street. I will upgrade to lower gears later, right now I need to get locked or LSD'd at a minimum.
YES, I am locking the back FIRST on my 4x4. I like to drift it around a bit so please dont try to talk me into locking the front first.
So, Who makes the most dependable locker, one that I can use both on and off road??
"the best" is ALWAYS subjective and if there was "the best" of anything everybody would buy that one and all the others would go out of business. That said, I've installed 4 PowerTrax No-Slip auto lockers in 4 different vehicles, including the XJ, all with excellent results, no issues.
I have an Eaton E-locker and would not trade it for anything. A fellow jeeper also has an Eaton E-locker in a Dana 30 on 35" tires. He and I have used these for years on very difficult rock crawling trails with zero problems. I bought another Eaton E-locker to put in my Dana 60 I am building. I would recommend an Eaton to anybody wanting a selectable locker. I can wire an Eaton in about 4 hrs. I don't think I could ever setup an ARB.
My Eaton is in the front axle of the Jeep in my Avatar. You can see it in action there locked with one wheel in the air and not breaking .
Any of the lockers will lock. The real question is purpose. On a daily driver, if you want it to drive nicely in the snow or ice, or even just wet roads, use a selectable. The issue above was raised about the perfect locker would be the one everyone would buy, but in all honesty, price enters into it. Selectables are the perfect locker, but people don't want to pony up for them and settle for less.
Of course I would have liked to get an ARB in the rear of my XJ, but I couldn't swing that price at the time, so I have a no-slip. Feels great in any condition including heavy snow. I'd say this is your best bet if you can't afford a selectable.
If you can get a selectable, ARB or Eaton E-locker. If you don't want the hassle of the air setup, go Eaton.
After re-reading the op, it sounds like cheap and easy is main consideration. A "lunchbox" auto locker fits the bill.....easy 2 hour install in the driveway and no ring/pinion set-up required and they lock with the best of them, even with one wheel in the air. They automatically "select" between locked and unlocked.
Go with ARB or Detroit in the rear. I run the Detroit and love it.
Edit: Do the gears at the same time. Installing anything other than a lunchbox locker will cost you a new gear setup cost ($300) because you are replacing the carrier. Then if you regear later you have to pay the gear setup cost again. Just buy the gears at the same time and save that extra $300.
I have lunchbox lockers front and rear in my DD'ed XJ and if I had to do it again I would go with ARB's front and rear.
The front isn't a big deal because it doesn't lock unless your in 4WD its the rear that's the problem. Not only does it eat my rear tires but its embarrassing making turns out of parking lots and such with the tires chirping non stop.
95 XJ. Longarm'd, Geared and Locked on 35's
I see you have the AX-15. The auto lockers like the Powertrax and the Aussie are much more harsh-feeling when you're not running a slushbox. Unless you drive like an old man and me, you may be happier with a selectable locker.
My build thread has pics again. http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f177/kevin108s-2000-xj-build-867428/
I run a Detroit in the back of my XJ with a D44 and 35's. It isw almost unnoticable other than a little pushing when getting off and on the accelerator. I just did around 2000KM (1200Miles) towing my camper all the way with no problems at all on road. In saying that snow and ice are not really a concern for me.