Issues installing an e-locker on my front axle? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 21 Old 04-07-2020, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
TrevorThe88YJ
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Issues installing an e-locker on my front axle?

I have an 88 YJ - mostly stock. Limited slip in the back. A stock Dana 30 in the front. Front axle has the original hub locking mechanism. I'd like to install an e-locker in the front. I don't run the vehicle extremely hard, but have somewhat routinely taken it places where it's been really challenging because of that stock front axle. It's my daily driver. When I had the limited slip installed in the back, I asked to have a limited slip installed in the front. The techs said not to do it because they didn't feel it was necessary and because they didn't think the stock hubs would handle it. Have run in that configuration now for a few years and have had enough challenges with that stock differential that I need to do something. Seems like an e-locker is a good solution. The question I have is will the stock hubs handle the use of an e-locker or will I need to replace them with manual locking hubs? I'd prefer not to have to do that. Would appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks so much in advance!

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post #2 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 06:59 AM
Joe Dillard
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I'd fire that "mechanic". There's some serious lack of understanding there. LOTS of folks lock the front axle with excellent success which places far greater stresses on it vs installing a limited slip.

Since you run the "early" version YJ front axle, you'll have the Spicer series 5-260x ujoints, or if they were ever replaced, possibly some other brand that's the same fitment size.

This is generally known as your weak link/fuse on the front axle. Not the unit bearing style hubs.

Arguably, the front axle ears are stronger on the axles with the smaller ujoints like yours because the axle ears have slightly more material as compared to later years that use the larger 5-297x ujoints (or 760 series).

Lots of folks swap to the TJ style axle shafts & unit bearings (which the passenger side is a one piece design) since you'll have the larger ujoints. A different seal is required for the passenger side since the axle diameter is different.

Swapping to manual style hubs can get pricey & there's all sorts of pro/cons. I did it several years ago - but I had a distributors account so my costs were drastically lower than what's available to the general public. That axle is long gone though since I upgraded to a completely different axle.
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post #3 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
TrevorThe88YJ
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Thanks! So it sounds like I could install the e-locker and be just fine then...at least from a hub perspective? Iím not a heavy rock crawler and much of the problems Iíve experienced are due to loose gravel like rocks and uneven roads such that one side of my front axle will come off the ground.
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post #4 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 08:21 AM
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The cheaper option is to just install a lunchbox locker like the Spartan or Aussie locker. They're around $250 and you can look up youtube videos on how to install it yourself. If you drive in 4wd in the snow much, you won't want it but if you only engage 4wd on loose gravel or dirt, you'll be fine. You won't even notice those lockers in place when driving on the road in 2wd.
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post #5 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 03:08 PM
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Another vote for the Aussie.

BTW I am in Vermont (snow) and I have an Aussie in the Dana 30. It’s a good tool and it was amazing how awesome it was on the first trail run after I installed it. Very invisible on the trail.


(I am of the belief you /shouldn’t/ generally run 4WD on the road in snow because I believe that’s why we see so many 4x4 trucks, suv, and whatever’s off the road in snow: it helps you over-drive the conditions. I may use 4-by on hills or from a standing start but I almost never have driven regular with it. Other people think differently but the Aussie hasn’t effected me as a result. I figure 4-by is for maneuvering, snow-plowing, racing, but not driving.
If a rear wheel skids in four-by-four you likely induce traction loss on a front wheel, leaving only two tires with complete traction. If you’re in 2WD, all four wheels have independent braking and traction. My opinion.
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post #6 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorThe88YJ View Post
I don't run the vehicle extremely hard, but have somewhat routinely taken it places where it's been really challenging because of that stock front axle. It's my daily driver.
I would recommend getting a TrueTrac in the front axle. Much lower cost, zero maintenance issues and more DD friendly than an e-locker and especially an auto-locker. Works like an open diff most of the time and locks up smoothly and solidly when you need it.

I've had both and even though I have front/rear e-lockers now, the TrueTracs before were nearly as good for WAY less money.

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post #7 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 04:03 PM
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what can be more street friendly then any type of selective locker, be it ARB or the E- locker? I mean its open on the street and only locks when you turn it on. selective off road is friendly as well since in 4x4 its open so you get better turning and when you need just push the button. The only draw back is the cost really. LSD is ok but its not like a real locker as well.

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post #8 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 07:51 PM
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I helped a friend regear his YJ several years ago and while we were at it, installed Tru Tracs front and back. What really helped besides the Tru Tracs was removing the sway bar and track bar. That helped the four wheels stay planted on the ground and really let the Tru Tracs put the power to the ground.
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post #9 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 09:27 PM
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Not arguing for or against true trac's or selectable lockers. I've owned OX, ARB, Spartan lunchbox, and the 8.8 limited slip. They all have their place and they will all take one heck of a beating. However, I think it's worth pointing out that a lunchbox locker can be installed by your average guy with very basic tools. Anything that is a full carrier locker will now require resetting your backlash on your gears. It isn't hard...once you know how...but now your average guy will need to do more research to understand it, more tools to accomplish the job, and honestly more confidence in his mechanical skills. If you do a lunchbox locker, you can watch a youtube video and get the job done after work one day. If you want to change your carrier and don't know anything, you're going to spend longer than that just trying to figure out what you need to do and what tools you need to buy.
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post #10 of 21 Old 04-08-2020, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
TrevorThe88YJ
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Thanks for all your advice! I looked up some of those options, but Iíll look at them again. Sounds like I should have no issues with my stock hubs though and thatís great news! Again, thanks to everyone for your help!
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post #11 of 21 Old 04-09-2020, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Dillard View Post
I'd fire that "mechanic". There's some serious lack of understanding there. LOTS of folks lock the front axle with excellent success which places far greater stresses on it vs installing a limited slip.

Since you run the "early" version YJ front axle, you'll have the Spicer series 5-260x ujoints, or if they were ever replaced, possibly some other brand that's the same fitment size.

This is generally known as your weak link/fuse on the front axle. Not the unit bearing style hubs.

Arguably, the front axle ears are stronger on the axles with the smaller ujoints like yours because the axle ears have slightly more material as compared to later years that use the larger 5-297x ujoints (or 760 series).

Lots of folks swap to the TJ style axle shafts & unit bearings (which the passenger side is a one piece design) since you'll have the larger ujoints. A different seal is required for the passenger side since the axle diameter is different.

Swapping to manual style hubs can get pricey & there's all sorts of pro/cons. I did it several years ago - but I had a distributors account so my costs were drastically lower than what's available to the general public. That axle is long gone though since I upgraded to a completely different axle.
I think he's under the impression that YJ's have auto-locking hubs when they don't.
A lunchbox locker should work well with a CAD right? Won't the unlocked CAD keep the Jeep from driving funky on the street?

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post #12 of 21 Old 04-09-2020, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Chrisnvegas View Post
I think he's under the impression that YJ's have auto-locking hubs when they don't.
A lunchbox locker should work well with a CAD right? Won't the unlocked CAD keep the Jeep from driving funky on the street?
Unless you have severe front driveshaft misalignment, you won't notice it on the road even without the CAD. Now when I had a front driveshaft that was bent, I noticed it when running a 1 piece passenger axle shaft even without the locker. Ultimately, when not driving the pinion (aka in 2wd), the locker is free to spin. The only hiccup I had with a lunchbox locker and no CAD was when my tire pressures were off by more than 2 psi in the front. When that happened, the locker didn't like to turn after driving a while. Since I shouldn't have that anyway, I consider that my fault. Never heard any clicking over the sound of the engine so that wasn't an issue either.

I have two complaints with the lunchbox locker... First: When on the trail in 4wd, your turning radius will suffer a bit unless you push the clutch in because your front axle will be locked any time you're driving the wheels. Not the end of the world but occasionally, I'd have to back up to make the turn. Second: If you break something in the rear axle and have to drive home in 4wd (aka front wheel drive only), you will be in for a scary ride with an auto locker in the front.


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post #13 of 21 Old 04-09-2020, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waternut View Post
Unless you have severe front driveshaft misalignment, you won't notice it on the road even without the CAD. Now when I had a front driveshaft that was bent, I noticed it when running a 1 piece passenger axle shaft even without the locker. Ultimately, when not driving the pinion (aka in 2wd), the locker is free to spin. The only hiccup I had with a lunchbox locker and no CAD was when my tire pressures were off by more than 2 psi in the front. When that happened, the locker didn't like to turn after driving a while. Since I shouldn't have that anyway, I consider that my fault. Never heard any clicking over the sound of the engine so that wasn't an issue either.

I have two complaints with the lunchbox locker... First: When on the trail in 4wd, your turning radius will suffer a bit unless you push the clutch in because your front axle will be locked any time you're driving the wheels. Not the end of the world but occasionally, I'd have to back up to make the turn. Second: If you break something in the rear axle and have to drive home in 4wd (aka front wheel drive only), you will be in for a scary ride with an auto locker in the front.
Its not terrible, and won't be the case if he has a working CAD.

Another vote for Aussie. Ran many in my builds... inexpensive and very functional...

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post #14 of 21 Old 04-09-2020, 09:06 AM
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Its not terrible, and won't be the case if he has a working CAD.

Another vote for Aussie. Ran many in my builds... inexpensive and very functional...
How does a CAD make it better? It's fully engaged just like a solid axle shaft if you're having to limp home in FWD.

The point I was trying to make earlier was that having CAD or no CAD doesn't really matter in terms of on road driving if the rest of your system is up to par.

In case it's not clear, CAD is central axle disconnect in case the original guy doesn't understand that term.


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post #15 of 21 Old 04-09-2020, 09:09 AM
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How does a CAD make it better? It's fully engaged just like a solid axle shaft if you're having to limp home in FWD.

The point I was trying to make earlier was that having CAD or no CAD doesn't really matter in terms of on road driving if the rest of your system is up to par.

In case it's not clear, CAD is central axle disconnect in case the original guy doesn't understand that term.
Yes I know what a CAD is... but guess I should have reworded... If he has a CAD, he can easily disable to drive home in FWD and on one wheel

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