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Unread 10-25-2010, 03:47 PM   #1
FarmerinVA
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Locker solution for flat-land mud (and only mud!) on a farm?

I know lockers has been done to death here but I have a question that I can't find discussed.

What's the best locker and placement for this situation:
  • All wheeling all the time -- never sees pavement of any kind (miles from nearest pavement). Does drive firm-surface dirt or gravel roads a lot, though.
  • My challenge is mud. Only mud. But bad mud, the kind of loamy clay that traps tractors and my previous Cherokees (no lockers). This is flat Virginia land (Chesapeake bay area) with no rocks and no hills. Most of the land would be marsh if it ever stop being farmed.
  • I do occasionally go on logging roads. Still flat land, but involves some stump jumping and rolling over downed trees.
  • Tows some 2000-3000lb trailers and boats.
  • Almost all the driving is slow-speed.
  • I run 31x10.5r15 BFG MTs on an otherwise stock vehicle.
  • I'd prefer a lunchbox locker for reasons of cost and DIY but if not, I want something that's ultra reliable. The ARB air system makes me nervous.

Is an Aussie or PowerTrax No-Slip the ticket? Front or rear better? Yes, I have a D35 rear, but am I right that it won't break because of the small tires, I won't be hard on the gas or hopping rocks, and I will be unlikely to put a wheel in the air (except maybe on the logging roads)?

I know most of you are mountain- and rock-killing bad boys, and I've read the solutions for that. But I recently bought this TJ (my first!) to run as a working vehicle on a farm. I'm hoping you can tell me what's best for a mud-only flat-land machine.

EDIT on 2011/07/18:

The first two posts here, by Jerry and Flatlander757, are exactly right. Thanks! I ended up installing a lunchbox locker in the front and a TrueTrac in the rear, and I couldn't be happier. Check out my install thread for how-to's, why's, performance reviews, and about 80 photos.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ex...hafts-1234745/

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Unread 10-25-2010, 03:50 PM   #2
Jerry Bransford
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Rather than go with a locker, I'd go for a Detroit Truetrac limited slip differential in the rear instead. Your Dana 35c will survive nicely on it and limited slip differentials work extremely well on flat slippery terrain. Lockers are more for when the terrain is so uneven that tires are up in the air.

And a big welcome to JF FarmerinVA!
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Unread 10-25-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
flatlander757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerinVA View Post
I know lockers has been done to death here but I have a question that I can't find discussed.

What's the best locker and placement for this situation:
  • All wheeling all the time -- never sees pavement of any kind (miles from nearest pavement). Does drive firm-surface dirt or gravel roads a lot, though.
  • My challenge is mud. Only mud. But bad mud, the kind of loamy clay that traps tractors and my previous Cherokees (no lockers). This is flat Virginia land (Chesapeake bay area) with no rocks and no hills. Most of the land would be marsh if it ever stop being farmed.
  • I do occasionally go on logging roads. Still flat land, but involves some stump jumping and rolling over downed trees.
  • Tows some 2000-3000lb trailers and boats.
  • Almost all the driving is slow-speed.
  • I run 31x10.5r15 BFG MTs on an otherwise stock vehicle.
  • I'd prefer a lunchbox locker for reasons of cost and DIY but if not, I want something that's ultra reliable. The ARB air system makes me nervous.

Is an Aussie or PowerTrax No-Slip the ticket? Front or rear better? Yes, I have a D35 rear, but am I right that it won't break because of the small tires, I won't be hard on the gas or hopping rocks, and I will be unlikely to put a wheel in the air (except maybe on the logging roads)?

I know most of you are mountain- and rock-killing bad boys, and I've read the solutions for that. But I recently bought this TJ (my first!) to run as a working vehicle on a farm. I'm hoping you can tell me what's best for a mud-only flat-land machine.

By the way, a TJ with a trailer beats the heck out of a pickup for EVERYTHING!
I'd honestly do a locker up front first... mainly because you can steer your wheels in hopes to gain traction as you slow down or close to getting stuck. Also because you have the D35 rear.

A limited slip in the rear wouldn't be a bad idea, though I wouldn't put one in a D35. As Jerry said, it would at least be easier on the D35 than a full on locker would though... and a limited slip should have no problem spinning both tires in mud in most cases.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 05:42 PM   #4
underpowered
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for what you describe, i would say a lincoln locker. if the hardest surface it will see is dirt and gravel, no pavement ever, weld it IMO. some say the D35 will not last, but the stock D35 in my ZJ has been welded for 4 years now and no issues, but have broken Two shafts on an Open 30 up front.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 05:51 PM   #5
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Just weld it up. If it never sees road, there's no reason not to run welded spiders and some Swampers.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 05:52 PM   #6
g4x4xgeoff
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lincoln locker
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Unread 10-25-2010, 05:53 PM   #7
wushaw
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If your only using it on the farm then the cheapest thing to do is weld the spiders together and you would have full time locker for the price of wire/rod, rtv, & diff fluid.

You beat me to it Imped....
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Unread 10-25-2010, 05:56 PM   #8
EugeneTheTJ
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weld it ftmfw
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Unread 10-25-2010, 06:06 PM   #9
rjbruzan
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I also like the Truetrac But have no problem with a welded locker in the rear. A lunch box locker in the back is very very annoying. The ONLY place its good is offroad and thats debateable. The truetrac is 99.9 percent invisable. Great traction and long lasting.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 07:27 PM   #10
FarmerinVA
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Wow, welding it never occurred to me. I have to admit that destroying part of the machine alarms me but then again, I like simple, and that is as simple as it gets.

Sounds like it's between a welded or limited slip rear and an auto-locked front. Also sounds like a good plan is lock the front first, then if that doesn't entirely beat the mud, decide between Truetrac or welding the rear later. Excellent.

But please keep the comments coming if anyone else wants to give me advice. Like the man said, I'm a newbie and not afraid to admit it.

To respond to why not swampers, guys down here are unanimous that one should avoid softer tires like the swampers because they keep puncturing their swampers on the small, sharp logging stumps and agricultural stubble. All the farm guys swear by the BFG MTs or the MTR Kevlar, and the MTR is more expensive. I can say already that the MT-KM2 has no problem with punctures in those conditions.

Last edited by FarmerinVA; 10-25-2010 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: forgot the limited slip part
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Unread 10-25-2010, 07:34 PM   #11
flatlander757
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerinVA View Post
Wow, welding it never occurred to me. I have to admit that destroying part of the machine alarms me but then again, I like simple, and that is as simple as it gets.

Sounds like it's between a welded rear and an auto-locked front. Also sounds like a good plan is lock the front first, then if that doesn't entirely beat the mud, weld the rear later for essentially zero additional cost. Excellent.

But please keep the comments coming if anyone else wants to give me advice. Like the man said, I'm a newbie and not afraid to admit it.

To respond to why not swampers, guys down here said to avoid softer tires like the swampers because they keep puncturing their swampers on the small, sharp logging stumps and agricultural stubble. All the farm guys swear by the BFG MTs or the MTR Kevlar, and the MTR is more expensive. I can say already that the MT-KM2 has no problem with punctures in those conditions.
Get some BIAS PLY swampers and they will be much much tougher than any MTR or BFG MT.

TSL SX tires have some of the thickest sidewalls... not too many of them have been ripped open.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 Sport
Being able to make vroom vroom noises in Tonys Jeep was the highlight of my life.
Currently Jeepless.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 07:34 PM   #12
wushaw
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Well your not really destroying anything that can't be replaced at the cost of spider gears and maybe a carrier. But for what the jeeps intended purpose is going to be then it is a simple/cheap working solution.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 07:44 PM   #13
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If your going to weld the rear carry an extra set of rear shafts, it would suck to get stranded with a busted shaft in the middle of no where. I agree a set of bias ply mudders are your best beat for mud, it's pretty tough to rip the side wall open on a good set of bias ply tires.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 07:47 PM   #14
Jerry Bransford
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You guys recommending welding the spiders to produce a Lincoln locker must have forgotten his rear axle is a Dana 35c. His Dana 35c wouldn't last long at all welded up like that.
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Unread 10-25-2010, 07:50 PM   #15
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I'll suggest a Aussie locker up front, it'll pull you threw things and it's cheap and cost effective.
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