Lunchbox lockers in Dana 30 JK Daily Driver? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 05:44 AM Thread Starter
Achped
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Lunchbox lockers in Dana 30 JK Daily Driver?

I want lockers, but I don't want to deal with air or anything. I also don't know what I don't know, so maybe I'm wrong.

I like the ease of installing lunchbox lockers and putting them in the front since 4WD is only used offroad. I am not concerned with snow or ice as I have never seen either growing in the wild in my entire life.

Is this a reasonable solution to get more traction offroad? Most of my offroading, almost all of it actually, is in deeeeeep sugar sand or mud. Will there be any issues running this in a daily driver? I know it will click, but I mean parts longevity wise? i.e. axles, gears, etc.

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post #2 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 07:35 AM
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I'm running a Lockrite in my D30 on my JK. It's a DD and so far, I have had no issues on the road. We had an ice storm with a bit of snow just after I installed it and as long as you know you will have some understeer and are not stupid, you will be fine.

You will get some clicks and bangs in tight turns on pavement but it's not hurting anything.

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 07:47 AM
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It's not a bad choice for you. They are cheap, effective, and you don't have to worry about it in the front axle on the street in Florida. If you can only choose one, having the front locked is more effective than the rear.

It won't effect anything as far as DD with it. JKs have live front axles so the shafts are always spinning even with an open carrier.

Chances of breaking something off-road is increased. The Dana 30 is a hit and miss axle. The ring, pinion, and carrier is small and weak. Nothing you can do to change it. Some get by with running 37s on them and some break them with 33s. A lunch box locker is good in this aspect though because they are cheap so you won't be dumping a pile of money into an axle that may or may not last (You didn't mention tire size).

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cranbiz View Post
I'm running a Lockrite in my D30 on my JK. It's a DD and so far, I have had no issues on the road. We had an ice storm with a bit of snow just after I installed it and as long as you know you will have some understeer and are not stupid, you will be fine.

You will get some clicks and bangs in tight turns on pavement but it's not hurting anything.
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Originally Posted by SLADE View Post
It's not a bad choice for you. They are cheap, effective, and you don't have to worry about it in the front axle on the street in Florida. If you can only choose one, having the front locked is more effective than the rear.

It won't effect anything as far as DD with it. JKs have live front axles so the shafts are always spinning even with an open carrier.

Chances of breaking something off-road is increased. The Dana 30 is a hit and miss axle. The ring, pinion, and carrier is small and weak. Nothing you can do to change it. Some get by with running 37s on them and some break them with 33s. A lunch box locker is good in this aspect though because they are cheap so you won't be dumping a pile of money into an axle that may or may not last (You didn't mention tire size).
Hey thanks. That's the first time I think I've researched something and it actually made a little sense!

I am running 33s with 2" of lift. For now I don't see myself going bigger as I will definitely need a regear with 3.21s. I say for now because I've had a TJ in the past and know to never say never but honestly it will be 50,000 more miles before I even consider going to 35s and 4.88s.

Essentially I want as minimal impact on my daily life as possible because it is my DD but I do actually take it into some pretty nasty areas and a locker would really help. I could add an ARB under the hood and all that but then you're just adding complexity if a lunchbox style is fine.

Now I will ask the important question - Is there a specific brand that is better to get than others? Any tricks to installing these? I've seen videos and it looks fairly straightforward but they are all in D30s that are about 20 years old. Have they changed at all recently?
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by SLADE View Post
It's not a bad choice for you. They are cheap, effective, and you don't have to worry about it in the front axle on the street in Florida. If you can only choose one, having the front locked is more effective than the rear.

It won't effect anything as far as DD with it. JKs have live front axles so the shafts are always spinning even with an open carrier.

Chances of breaking something off-road is increased. The Dana 30 is a hit and miss axle. The ring, pinion, and carrier is small and weak. Nothing you can do to change it. Some get by with running 37s on them and some break them with 33s. A lunch box locker is good in this aspect though because they are cheap so you won't be dumping a pile of money into an axle that may or may not last (You didn't mention tire size).
A friend ran his TJ with a lunchbox d30 upfront for past four years. Loved it because you just drive - no worrying about whether you forget to lock (or worse UNLOCK). So upside is its easier to drive. This year it gave up the ghost 1/4 way into the rubicon trail. I pulled his driveshaft and he two wheeled (with a tug onto rocks he couldn't put it up on) - but the whole time it was running over its own pieces and debris - eventually it locked up (about 1\4 mile past end of trail - just shy of cell signal - we drug it on plywood the rest of the way for tow truck).

Here's the downside - for me (rubicon so I am either locked or open/BLD) on the trail I use rear lockers probably 30% of the time (so 70% of my throttle time has far less strain). Fronts I locked 5 times this year for a total of about 100 ft of rock/trail - less than 10% of the trail - less than 10% of throttle time - having fronts open takes a TON of stress off the front - axles, steering AND suspension loading. In his case the fronts locked EVERY TIME he was on the throttle - whether turning (HUGE amounts of stress across the axles) or not. Bottom line is after seeing stress 100% of 4wd throttle time (even when not necessary) - over 4 years and many miles - he finally hit a point where both tires had good enough traction (when both tires have good traction you dont need fronts locked) that as the engine hit torque - SOMETHING had to give. A loud bang and full lock at all times with two pinion teeth ripped off. Its the locking when not needed that I don't agree with in a plan for any vehicle that also is needed (or used) as a daily. Every unnecessary lock is cumulative wear and tear that's ALSO unnecessary! AND the more weight ya pack - the worse the stresses become.

I firmly believe with selectable (and thus control over and minimization of when the unit is highly stressed) - far less stress loads, wear and fracturing of the metal so far less chance of a messed up day (which trust me four hours of hopping in and out to strap and unstrap would have killed the fun if we were not such a close group of friends) sneaking in on ya. And since this is SUPPOSED to be fun...

If the rig is dedicated off road (and or MUCH lighter) we have a completely different plan ability - and auto locks become MUCH more viable\desireable. So YES its easier to drive an auto lock. but REALLY? its only a button. Of course its also easy to flip a turn signal switch and it seems every day more and more people just can't be bothered with that extraneous task (I understand though - that takes brain power, time and effort away from the text conversation which is WAY more important than driving, right? lol).

J Wm Bishop EA, ASADE
The wagon should, of course, be as light as possible, but strength should not be sacrificed to lightness, for on any but the regularly traveled roads, the wagon will get many a
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
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I read you loud and clear.

The bottom line is that I just want a reliable front locker for use once a month when I off-road that won't cause issues during the other 28 days I am driving to work. I also like that they are $300~ and a breeze to install.

Is there anything else that fits my criteria?

The problem with ARB is they don't even make an air locker for 3.21 gears and if they did it's still $1000 + $300 for the compressor. Now we are talking regearing and bigger tires and suddenly the $300 lunchbox locker and 6 hours of time is up against a $1250 set of tires, a $1400 regearing and a $1300 ARB setup. I mean, for those prices and 4 years of reliability (I don't rock crawl but let's say I did) it almost makes sense to just pay the tow truck bill and buy a Dana44 when the D30 explodes.

Not trying to justify lunchbox lockers or say you're wrong in any way, just trying to get an understanding about what makes the most sense in the long run.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 10:02 AM
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I get that, and bottom line is if you think it all the way through - no matter what you do you aren't WRONG. May miss a mark here or there but at least youre still on the target board if not a bullseye!

My buddy is pondering the very same - replace or repair. After all the discussion the biggest take away we have is simple - the weakest point breaks first. If you can't select a weaker point manually (by unlocking) - then making the tires the weak link (dont air down as far - controll slip that way) traction breaks before the gearset and the consequence is picking a more favorable line! Although he is leaning towards air locks - but then again why - as seldom as I have to lock whats the cost/benefit ratio?

J Wm Bishop EA, ASADE
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 10:19 AM
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If not doing a lot of rock, and most of your offroading will be slick surface, a truetrac is probably your best best. I have one in the front on my 30. I didnt want the constant stress as JW said. If you havent experienced trying to turn the wheel with 6psi 37s in 4wd without a locker, you dont want a locker... trust me. It is cheaper to do a lunch box, but lets ROI this.

More stress means you break an axle, a ring gear, u joint. If you can do you own labor and axles are warrantied, then great. If not, the first time you break something that shouldnt have broken because you locked it, you are in the red. Parts are warrantied (maybe they arent), but you still pay a shop labor to fix. Going through this with Yukon right now. Broke an axle backing up a steep incline to readjust. Dont do that btw.

If you do the truetrac, it replaces your whole carrier so you can go to the bigger gear set. More traction on the front bite (not as much as a locker obviously). If you actually wheel, the gear set is a higher priority than the carrier right now on 33s doing mud. Another option is the detroit locker, but same thing happens as the lunch box in that its locked all the time except when turning. To go 3.73 or higher, you need a new carrier. Might as well not buy **** twice... just save up and do the whole axle at the same time. Include chromoly axles and a truss in your budget... you'll want that too.

This sounds like a lot, but I have 270 in truss, 600 in axles, 700 in carrier (yukon 4.88 and detroit truetrac). 400 labor setiing it up. 250 in welding truss. This is a mear fraction of what an aftermarket 44 would be. Gonna beat these parts up and when I'm ready to take the next step, 44 is in the long term plan.

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post #9 of 14 Old 08-22-2017, 06:51 PM
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I would also suggest a TruTrac for the front in your case. But, in all honesty I would suggest you Just save your cash for a D44.
If you can do your own work you can scratch build a front D44 for $2,500 or so.

^^Jeff^^
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-23-2017, 09:17 AM
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I would also suggest a TruTrac for the front in your case. But, in all honesty I would suggest you Just save your cash for a D44.
If you can do your own work you can scratch build a front D44 for $2,500 or so.
There is no question you save money doing your own work, but the cheapest housing for a JK aftermarket is 1800 with the most expensive being 2300. Even if you are reusing knuckles out (30 and 44 are same), you still need axles, carrier, ring gear, build kit, and tiny price, but diff fluid. The cheapest you are doing your own 44 is easy $4000 with no labor. Just parts. A fully built Dynatrac is just over 5 after shipping, but comes with your choice of locker, and 1350 axles, and 1/2" wall tube. There is no way to do a front for 2500 in a JK unless the housing was free. I've tried to do the math 48 different ways.

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post #11 of 14 Old 08-23-2017, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by propped1 View Post
There is no question you save money doing your own work, but the cheapest housing for a JK aftermarket is 1800 with the most expensive being 2300. Even if you are reusing knuckles out (30 and 44 are same), you still need axles, carrier, ring gear, build kit, and tiny price, but diff fluid. The cheapest you are doing your own 44 is easy $4000 with no labor. Just parts. A fully built Dynatrac is just over 5 after shipping, but comes with your choice of locker, and 1350 axles, and 1/2" wall tube. There is no way to do a front for 2500 in a JK unless the housing was free. I've tried to do the math 48 different ways.
yep. full built is on my list at 6K (ummmm how about adding new brakes while its all apart, and my supplies parts is a bit higher than average as I tend to replace even some bolts etc after inspect). So that's the point I am targeting - when mileage wear (or "breakage" budget) actually justifies some of the cost - if I would have to spend 2-3K in outsourced PM/repair costs (85K miles on joints etc - my brakes are almost done at 46K and the rotors were a planned replacement when Jeep was new so I plan to push until rotor damage starts - so I got my money out of the OEM brakes!) and am only adding 3K from 5 years unused breakage allowances - if don't have 2K in the bank (or other liquid asset) to fix what may break the vehicle doesn't get operated (applies to all my vehicles but I can aggregate some and still be risk reduced), typically I hit the trail each year expecting to spend 1500-2000 on stupid broken stuff. I haven't HAD to (great run of luck?). And since I look at that budget line (76 per pay period) the same as my OTHER entertainment and hobby line (cards) - once allowed its GONE - I am on target if I toss a new front under in two more years... I worked HARD for seven years straight (five of which I did not even OWN a vehicle) to get to paying forward rather than credit. So I now budget the interest and other acquisition costs I WOULD be paying into the vehicle! (I have no car payments but still budget a low average 750 a month veh acquisition expense for two drivers - straight into Money Market (liquid), IRAs (semi liquid) and real estate (balance sheet only).

Yes I turn down the extended warranty. BUT I always ask how much are the premiums - and that amount gets set aside for repairs or I buy a prepaid maint plan.

This is why I tend to do as little as possible to my Jeep in a REACTIONARY manner preferring a RESPONSIVE and PLANNED manner! I would rather exercise more mechanical sympathy now while using up the oem parts I paid dearly for. So ask not how to repair your breakage - ask how the breakage fits into the PLAN. And folks - if its not written on paper (can be pencil does not have to be ink) - its not a plan - its a dream. Huge difference.

J Wm Bishop EA, ASADE
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-23-2017, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propped1
There is no question you save money doing your own work, but the cheapest housing for a JK aftermarket is 1800 with the most expensive being 2300. Even if you are reusing knuckles out (30 and 44 are same), you still need axles, carrier, ring gear, build kit, and tiny price, but diff fluid. The cheapest you are doing your own 44 is easy $4000 with no labor. Just parts. A fully built Dynatrac is just over 5 after shipping, but comes with your choice of locker, and 1350 axles, and 1/2" wall tube. There is no way to do a front for 2500 in a JK unless the housing was free. I've tried to do the math 48 different ways.
D44HD/J8 housing from Mopar overstock .com $865. This is the housing with the J8 tubes. We've built 2 so far. Very affordable.

^^Jeff^^
2008 Black and Khaki Sahara Unlimited Trax-Lok rear diff. 3.5" Rock Krawler fr springs, rear TeraFlex 2.5 BB, D44HD/J8 w/ OX locker and RCVs, 37x12.50x17 Pitbull Rockers on ProComp 2635 Predator Alloys, AEV Prem Bumper, Smitty X2O 12K ETC..
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-25-2017, 09:20 AM
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D44HD/J8 housing from Mopar overstock .com $865. This is the housing with the J8 tubes. We've built 2 so far. Very affordable.
So.... when they have them. Currently all thats on there is a couple 44 fronts for 2000-2200 and a few 30s for 1400 ish.... couple crate 60s for 7500..... I wouldnt think J8 housings are easy to come by. So you did it the savvy way... good for you, but thats not readily available. And MOST (99%) people are spending 4K. If you want to build the axle exactly the way you want with the exact gear set, exact axles, exact carrier... youre in the 5s. Thats not an opinion.

I dont want these elockercrate deals they have at all I dont care how cheap. I want to pick my parts and build it exactly the way I want if I'm replacing. I will also be having a shop do the gear set. Again 99% of people will be. If you can find the needle and thread it yourself, get after it. Im the 99% of people.

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post #14 of 14 Old 08-25-2017, 02:14 PM
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It's a HD Rubicon Housing with J8 axle tubes.. I chose my own parts and installed myself. OX Locker, 5.38 Yukon Gears and RCVs $3500 complete. With standard Rubi axles under $2500. https://www.moparpartsoverstock.com/.../P5160036.html

^^Jeff^^
2008 Black and Khaki Sahara Unlimited Trax-Lok rear diff. 3.5" Rock Krawler fr springs, rear TeraFlex 2.5 BB, D44HD/J8 w/ OX locker and RCVs, 37x12.50x17 Pitbull Rockers on ProComp 2635 Predator Alloys, AEV Prem Bumper, Smitty X2O 12K ETC..
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