I am looking to purchase a Lock Right for my daily driver. It is a 2003 TJ with stock axles and it's driven 90% of time on streets. I understand with a rear locker, there will be a big change in how my Jeep handles on the road all of the time. I am wondering if I install a locker in the front, will it only be activated while in 4WD ??
If you have the standard Dana 35c axle in the rear, you have no choice but to lock only the front axle as the Dana 35c is too weak for a locker. But if you have the stronger upgraded Dana 44 rear axle, lock the rear first as in most wheeling situations a rear locker will help more. I have f/r lockers but my rear locker alone is enough for 90% of the trails I do.
Yes, a front locker is only noticeable when you're in 4Hi or 4Lo. A Powertrax Lockrite or Aussie locker up front would, at most, produce mild clicking when you're in 2wd. The slightly more expensive Powertrax No-Slip locker is as invisible in 2wd as the other two lockers are but it won't even make that clicking noise. I have a No-Slip in the front of my TJ and in 2wd, I can't even tell it's there.
Just don't lock your rear axle if it's a Dana 35c but if you are fortunate and have the stronger/beefier rear Dana 44 axle, that's the one to lock first.
If you do have the Dana 44 axle and decide to lock that, don't install a Lockright or Aussie as neither of those are well behaved in the rear of a Wrangler. For the rear, if you want a lunchbox style locker, go for the Powertrax No-Slip which is the only lunchbox locker well behaved enough for the rear axle which is far more fussy about the locker it gets than the front axle is.
Just DO NOT order from Rocky road I orderd a no slip from then because they have the best price on the net I learned my lesson ( Real slow ) I would say real fast but that was not the case 4 weeks went by and nothing showed up I called and got the run around told it will ship with in the week, another week nothing, called it will ship next week no matter what. Next week Nothing a total of 7 weeks before I cancled the order. In this whole time I never recived a call to let me know what was going on or why it takes 2 months to get a part. I went out of my way to call Richmond Gear they told me that they did not have any back orders and did not have any order from rockey road under my name for shipping. I cancled my order and replaced my order thru Dave at Northridge and my noslip showed up in 4 days
Rocky road is the worst company that I have ever delt with.
I have never experienced it, but if Jerry says an auto locker in snow is bad, then its bad. Even in the front in snow, it isnt good. For handling, in parking lots when you take sharp corners you will get wheel hop. Its manageable.
I have the aussie in the front and it has been the best mod i have done. on the trail it is like night and day being locked and in 2wd it is practically invisible. I think the front is better if you have to choose because it'll pull you up and over most obstacles.
the cool thing about the lunch box locker is that it only locks when torque is applied. otherwise it works as if it were open.
i would recommend the Aussie locker though because it is much cheaper and almost exactly the same.
Driving in 4x4 on a snow-covered highway with a front automatic locker would cause understeer... the Jeep would want to plow straight ahead when you want to turn left or right. In 2wd, it wouldn't really be an issue.