What would you do first? Lift or Lockers? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 07:49 AM Thread Starter
IGoFast1589
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What would you do first? Lift or Lockers?

2013 Jeep JK Wrangler Sport 2 door. Coming from a sports car racing and motorcycling background, this is my first off road ride. What would you do first?

Personally, I am pretty satisfied with the stock ride height of the Jeep, but would appreciate additional control over what the wheels are doing with lockers. Knobby tires are a necessity so the stock tires will go as soon as they're toast. Is it necessary to do upgrade axle shafts if you're swapping out the differentials? I noticed you can weld in reinforcements for the axle housing, tube, and the inner C's - pretty cool, but curious to know if it's common to snap axles and how necessary that reinforcement is.

Bear in mind this is mostly a street Jeep, but with occasional light off road trail use by comparison with what most of you guys do.

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post #2 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 08:04 AM
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First of all I would join a local 4x4 / Jeep club.
Ride the trails with them and find out what they recommend.
Your experiences will tell you what your Jeep needs for the kind of wheeling that you will be doing.

i.e. I rode with a local club and discovered rock crawling. Before I tried it, I thought the idea was nuts. Afterwards, I was hooked! Therefore I built my Jeep for rock crawling (large tires, minimal lift- Low Center of Gravity theory, skid plates under everything).

Lockers are great when rock crawling or mudding (most common thing you'll find in FL).
If you plan to add lockers, do it at the same time that you get the differential gears swapped out. And hire a professional to do those gears for you. It is worth the $$ to have it done right the first time. Expect to pay about $1500-2000 for a gear swap (both axles, parts & labor). Guess I would do the lift first. Because then you'll add larger tires, and then probably need a gear swap (at which time you can add lockers).

It is not necessary to swap out the axle shafts when doing a gear swap. Axle shafts are easy to swap. I can do it in about 20 minutes. Personally, I would rather my axle shafts be the weak link rather than snap a ring & pinion (gears).

If you are going to run 35" tires or larger, definitely add C-gussets, and sleeve the front axle.

A stock Jeep is extremely capable off-road. Like nothing you've ever seen before. "You may be be fast, but I can go ANYWHERE" <- Jeep T-shirt.

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post #3 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
IGoFast1589
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyTrails View Post
First of all I would join a local 4x4 / Jeep club.
Ride the trails with them and find out what they recommend.
Your experiences will tell you what your Jeep needs for the kind of wheeling that you will be doing.

i.e. I rode with a local club and discovered rock crawling. Before I tried it, I thought the idea was nuts. Afterwards, I was hooked! Therefore I built my Jeep for rock crawling (large tires, minimal lift- Low Center of Gravity theory, skid plates under everything).

Yes, you can snap an axle very easily with lockers. I know from experience. D'oh! Have to be careful and learn when and how to use them.

If you are going to run 35" tires or larger, definitely add C-gussets, and sleeve the front axle.
Probably not going to be rock crawling. When I say light off road I really mean light off road. Not looking to build a crazy machine here and not looking to break parts either. Been there, done that. I don't want a compromised street ride.

Living down here in Florida the terrain will mostly be sand, dirt, and mud. Don't plan on running anything bigger than what will fit on the stock wheels with the stock fenders. I don't particularly want to lift it, if so less than 3", for impracticality/the added drag on the highway.

I think some light driveline protection, whatever is necessary to support Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear lockers for additional control over the wheels, and a good set of tires tires and I will be happy.

Does that logic make sense to you guys? It's crazy how quickly the price can up when you look at front and rear lockers, installation costs, gussets, axles, tires, etc.
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post #4 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 08:18 AM
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Id say no need on lockers as from the factory they do alright. If you want a small lift. Maybe some coil spring spacers or a small coil lift.

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post #5 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IGoFast1589 View Post
Probably not going to be rock crawling. When I say light off road I really mean light off road. Not looking to build a crazy machine here and not looking to break parts either. Been there, done that. I don't want a compromised street ride.

Living down here in Florida the terrain will mostly be sand, dirt, and mud. Don't plan on running anything bigger than what will fit on the stock wheels with the stock fenders. I don't particularly want to lift it, if so less than 3", for impracticality/the added drag on the highway.

I think some light driveline protection, whatever is necessary to support Dana 30 front and Dana 44 rear lockers for additional control over the wheels, and a good set of tires tires and I will be happy.

Does that logic make sense to you guys? It's crazy how quickly the price can up when you look at front and rear lockers, installation costs, gussets, axles, tires, etc.
Yes, that all makes sense.
Please re-read my first post. I edited it in the meantime.

Like Maertz said, a simple coil spacer lift (~1") will be just fine for what you plan to do. Slap on some 33"x12.50 tires, no need to regear a 2013 with tires that size.

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RK 2.5" Max Travel, Rancho 9000XL shocks, 37" Nittos, 5.38's, RR skids, Warn VR8000-S.
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post #6 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
IGoFast1589
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I don't know if I "need" a gear swap. Although the gears are really damn tall... 6th is useless, you need to be holding 90mph on the highway to keep it at cruising RPM it feels like. But the 2013 V6 Pentastar seems to have enough grunt to move the JK around just fine regardless of tall gearing. Definitely makes sense to do all at once though, you're absolutely right.

I hate the feeling that one wheel is frantically spinning with no traction, RPM raising, and going nowhere... So weak. I appreciate the added level of control over the wheels, but don't necessarily feel like I need additional height.

With stock wheels, stock ride height, and just a tire swap I feel like a lift, gears, driveline armor, gussets, lockers it may just bit a bit overkill for my needs. I'm thinking lockers, gussets, tires, and light armor - that may be the trick.
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post #7 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 09:20 AM
Maertz
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Seems like you have a plan already and dont want input but more so confirmation of your thoughts...

In that case go for gold jeffy.

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post #8 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 10:12 AM
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I would start with the entertainment system, upgraded speakers, tv's for every seat and so on. You may also want to look at getting undercarriage lighting and some chrome trim pieces. After all that you will be ready for lockers and gears.
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post #9 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 11:10 AM
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Lock it and or shut up and learn

5.2 ZJ Pushing a dana 30 as far as it will go.
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post #10 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maertz View Post
Seems like you have a plan already and dont want input but more so confirmation of your thoughts...

In that case go for gold jeffy.
Nah not necessarily! I hope you guys will challenge my thinking. I guess perhaps I do have a strong feeling towards what I want, but I don't claim to be a Jeep expert just yet.
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post #11 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Lock it and or shut up and learn
What?
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post #12 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 12:04 PM
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I think the JK have some type of limited slip feature. I rode with a 2014 Sahara and all his wheels where spinning in the mud and rocks. His drivetrain was stock.
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post #13 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 04:11 PM
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Lockers first but plan on doing a re-gear at the same time..... so your gona need tires large enough for the re-gear..... so youll need to increase your tire clearance before the tires will fit...... so youll need to decide on what method to increase tire clearance.... flat flares, trimming, body lift (no more than 1.25"), or extended bump stops (Suspension Lift).

So take the steps needed to get the lockers.

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post #14 of 30 Old 02-13-2015, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakescharles View Post
I think the JK have some type of limited slip feature. I rode with a 2014 Sahara and all his wheels where spinning in the mud and rocks. His drivetrain was stock.
The JK has a "Traction Control System". The Jeep's computers sense if a tire is spinning and add a little braking to that particular tire. In essence, a computerized "limited slip" differential. Not as effective as a true Limited Slip or a Locker, but it helps.

You can always tap the brakes while applying gas to get the same effect.

2008 2-dr Rubicon, auto,
RK 2.5" Max Travel, Rancho 9000XL shocks, 37" Nittos, 5.38's, RR skids, Warn VR8000-S.
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post #15 of 30 Old 02-14-2015, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
IGoFast1589
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLADE View Post
Lockers first but plan on doing a re-gear at the same time..... so your gona need tires large enough for the re-gear..... so youll need to increase your tire clearance before the tires will fit...... so youll need to decide on what method to increase tire clearance.... flat flares, trimming, body lift (no more than 1.25"), or extended bump stops (Suspension Lift).

So take the steps needed to get the lockers.
It's all a system, yup.
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