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Unread 06-18-2008, 03:30 AM   #1
hhdaddy
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Castro Valley CA
Posts: 34
Locker Sense

ARB? Aussie? OX? True Trac?..........I'm missing at least 5 or 6 other manufacturers. I know I need/want lockers. I like the idea of being able to engage them "on demand" (ARB or OX) as I do a lot of city and freeway driving where the open diff is important........but what the hell do I really know? Not much.

Can someone direct me to an article or give me some good insight that covers the pros and cons of all the various options? Does anyone have a "horror" story regarding a particular brand? Let me know what you think.

Background Info:
My rig is an '89 YJ, 4cyl, with Stock axles. It's dual purpose and I have no plans to go climb trees, waterfalls or Abe Lincoln's chin on Mt. Rushmore. I do however get in the mud and snow off road and do some desert trails and washes with moderate terrain. I'd like to know that I have as much traction as possible for the Jeep in it's current set up.

Thanks


Last edited by hhdaddy; 06-18-2008 at 07:16 PM..
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Unread 06-19-2008, 08:45 AM   #2
GeekInJeep
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 108
I'm no expert, but I've learned a bit. I have a Detroit Locker as part of a Super35 kit.

Be careful if you go the Eaton route (Detroit Locker, Detroit Truetrac) based on what you have written.

The Detroit Truetrac is a helical gear limited slip differential, not a full locker. The Detroit Locker is a full locker and is more comparable to the others you have listed. The Truetrac may serve your purposes just fine, but you need to know what you are getting. There is also the Detroit E-Z Locker which is a lunchbox locker like the Aussie, whereas the Detroit Locker is a full carrier.

That brings up the concept of lunchbox lockers... They are installed inside of the differential carrier. They replace your spider gears and can be pretty easily installed and removed.

The other kind of lockers are full carriers, which means they replace your differential carrier and mate up to your ring gear. It is going to be a serious job to install them, but they are also going to add some beef to your differential internals. Someone who knows how to set up gears should do this kind of install.

-T-
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Unread 06-19-2008, 09:01 AM   #3
LaJeepermln
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 184
Why are you sure you need them? If you spend the majority of your time on the freeway, a full time locker is definitely something to avoid. 4 lo will get you out of just about most situations.

If you've already made up your mind, go with ARB.
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Unread 06-19-2008, 09:57 AM   #4
GeekInJeep
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaJeepermln View Post
Why are you sure you need them? If you spend the majority of your time on the freeway, a full time locker is definitely something to avoid. 4 lo will get you out of just about most situations.

If you've already made up your mind, go with ARB.
He mentioned that he does go offroading, so like any of us, he wants more ability.

Quote:
I do however get in the mud and snow off road and do some desert trails and washes with moderate terrain. I'd like to know that I have as much traction as possible for the Jeep in it's current set up.
Well, the important distiction is that a Detroit Locker isn't a "full time locker". It just isn't selectable. You just don't get to exactly choose when it locks. The only full time locker is a spool, meaning you have no differential. I drive with a Detroit Locker every day through a city and it's not bad. The only times it acts up is when I take sharp turns. Sometimes it does not want to disengage and I have to drop the clutch in and out. Choosing just the right gear in turns is important also or you get some bucking. The key is learning how to get it to disengage. It's not a full time locker, however, so it will disengage. The key to an auto-locker is that if you are accelerating or decelerating so that there is some stress applied against the axle internals, the locker will lock. Otherwise, it will act as an open differential. You can learn to control this. It takes finesse.

I haven't yet driven it on snow, but I have been reassured that it will be fine in 4WD. That remains to be seen. Do *not* use an auto-locker in a front axle when things will be slick, however. Your Jeep will crab-walk.

-T-
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