Detroit lockers front and rear. Do have to be a little more careful in ice and snow. If I ever break one of these lockers, which is unlikely, I will just replace it with a spool because I've only had either unit ratchet/unlock a half dozen times in the twenty years I've been running them.
Thats what Id like to try also. And youd never have to anticipate when it would slip!
well it's about personal preference and experience ... just like everything else in regards to Jeeps where you ask for other people's OPINION. And that's exactly what is an OPINION. There's no real right or wrong, it's just what works for you.
Now to answer the OP's question:
after experiences with lunch box lockers (Powertrax Noslips, Lockrights) and then full case lockers (Detroits and ARBs), I've found the combo for our Jeeps (both the CJ7 and TJ) that works for us: Detroit full case in the rear and ARBs in the front. (according to a lot of off roaders I've got that totally back asswards this way ...)
In my opinion trying to make the front locker (lunch box or full case non-selectable type) act as a selectable by using the hub locks defeats the point completely.
Like some others have commented already though -> just running a relatively cheap lunch box type (these days there are more and more companies offering those) in either the front or the back or both, will let you experience a whole new way of offroading.
Just for that reason it would be fun to have selectables front and rear, because after a while you might forget how capable a Jeep is, even without lockers (and yes I've been there: from running fire roads bone stock to 'locked and loaded' running hard trails in the rocks in the Southwest - CA, AZ, NM, TX).
Regardless of which locker(s) you will choose: don't forget to have fun on the trails
My concern with the OX would be cable longevity. How does it do against the Rust Belt? I would hate to spend almost $100 per cable just to have them corrode solid.
Another thought is for the ARB, would a air ride compressor from a GM or Chrysler car work as a compressor? Might it be a cheap option for OBA?
I would think it will last at least as long as say an e-brake cable, even in the rust belt.
I spoke with a tech at Ox, yesterday. He said their new cable will wrap around a standard coffee can and still operate just fine. That should make routing the cable relatively easy.
Another interesting sales pitch he threw at me was about their pneumatic engagement system. Something about the fact that it doesn't rely on any electronics? I wasn't really interested in the air version, so I kinda checked out of that pitch.
The cable is fully enclosed. if you think you will have an issue. put a few drops of oil in it like a speedo cable.
I have an OX in the rear and an e-locker in the front. both 44's... the front is HP axle. My take?
OX is tough as nails, never a wheeling issue. I know when it's locked, I know when it's open. never have ANY issue with the cable catching snaring anything. If I do break it, I can screw a bolt in to engage it, or just plug the hole and drive home. I like having the big, heavy cover included. I do, however have a few beefs with the OX.
1) if you have a tight cabin space, the cable routing is going to be a PITA. My cj is open, so not big deal.
2) the fill hole it completely useless at the tiny size it is. Plus, you cannot go buy a cover with a higher fill hole if you have a DC driveshaft and the pinion point up (like me!)
3) you may have to readjust the cable if you take the cover off. I like to actually look the my gear set every season, not just look for filings each year in the drain pan.
4) OX has been bought and sold so many times, it's hard to remember who's running the joint and what's been changed. what parts will there be if I break something? look at OX joint, they've been on and off the market a few times now, how can you trust that when you need an OX joint rebuild kit, they will be available?
E-locker is well made with nice machining. the wires and cabling is well thought out and high quality. I was a little concerned with the wires pulling out, but I keep the electrical connections easy to access, if something snags the cable, it just pulls the connector apart. easy fix. you can choose what cover you want/need for your type of wheeling. When I engage it, it locks. win. again, I have beefs...
1) install went smoothly EXCEPT to having to file down the anti rotation ring. this was NOT in the instructions and took a few extra hours of head scratching. maybe because of the HP axle. I don't know.
2) disengaging takes some time. this is normally not a problem, but it can be annoying.
3) lots of smaller parts and 2 pinions, hasn't been a problem, just an observation.
I have NO experience with other selectables. I didn't pick an ARB simply because OX was made in north america, and I wanted to snivel about something other then air lines! I'd try an ARB or a ZIP in a heartbeat just so see the difference (if any). I have OBA. if it breaks, pack a bike pump if you're that worried.
So, what does this boil down to? in my rough and tumble, pin it 'till the tires melt off on a rock wheeling rig? gimme the OX. if I had a plusher vehicle I drove every day and wheeled on the weekend. E-Locker fits the bill. Confused yet? there's no perfect choice, sorry!
Last edited by BSInc; 03-02-2013 at 03:51 PM..
Reason: I is smart.
I dont know much about the ox except that the cable comes out of the diff cover, and thats what worries me. Right now my tie rod is bent towards the diff cover. If I had an ox in the front already would the cable have been damaged when I hit whatever it was that bent my tie rod? Thats my biggest concern.
Im running an Aussie locker up front and love it. When I do the one piece axles and gears I plan to install a spool in tbe rear. I don't like the idea of a hole in the rear for cables or an airline to get torn out or allow water in. The auto lockers would be too unpredictable in the rear and very dangerous during foul weather. A spool is very predictable. Yes it may wear tires faster but I don't drive it much and I plan to rotate often...
__________________ In a world full of copy cats, be an original...
A Fine Example of Needless Government Spending
Originally Posted by berserker
Sometimes it a good idea to pull a vacuum hose before the wife rides in it--you can tell her you need a new ____ and once you get your new ____ you can reconnect the hose. :)
84 Cj 7 w/ 4-Banger, 4.5" BDS lift, 1/2 Trans Drop, Twin Stick, 32" Tire, Front Aussie Locker, No Sound System Yet, No Armor, Warn 8274 Not Installed, Webber Carb Upgrade, Luckycheese Ing. Upgrade...
Trail Jeep - Full Spool in the rear, lock rite up front. It sees a little street driving, haven't had an issue. Don't drive on the ice. Love the combination in the Snow and on the trail, have no desire to change. Highly modified M20 rear, Dana 44 front.
Sunday Jeep - Had a lock rite in the rear for about 18 years now, daily driven for several years, several multi hour trips to the beach, to trail ride, ect. No issues in any weather. No desire to change. Dana 44 rear. Detroit up front for a couple years now, works fine but I have had bad luck with detroits (broken 5) If I change will be to a tru trac or ARB. Dana 44 front.
James Belcher, Jr
Carolina Trailblazers PR
86 CJ7 401 TF999
81 CJ7 360 T177
05 Rubicon Unlimited
and others ;)