AMC 20 Locker Advice Needed! - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 42 Old 08-21-2019, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
InjectedCJ7
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AMC 20 Locker Advice Needed!

During my recent adventure climbing hills at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Jeep Invasion, I realized that I could benefit from adding a locker to my 78 CJ7. I was able to climb all the hills, but sometimes it took a few attempts to make it. My problem isn't power - the 350 TPI engine has more than enough torque. I have 3.54 gears and 32 x 11.5" Mud King tires. I have a T-18a four speed trans with a 6.32 creeper gear.

My question is: what do you think the best choice would be for my particular situation. The Jeep is mostly used for cruising around town, but I do like the dunes, and trails. I'm not into rock climbing, and I wouldn't classify my wheeling as 'intense' by any means.

I have been strongly considering a Detroit Trutrac, as they supposedly have great road manners and decent traction capability. From what I've read, the rear axle is the best place for a locker if you're climbing hills, due to weight transfer. I'm also considering a cheaper alternative, like a lunchbox locker, but I don't want to create a problem with street use. Electric or Air lockers would be great, but do their benefits justify the steep cost?

I know this topic has been discussed in many posts over the years, but I'd like to hear some fresh opinions based on my needs. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

Regards,
John

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post #2 of 42 Old 08-21-2019, 09:09 AM
TIPPEDITOVER
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For $353 more than a trutrac just get an ARB selectable. There is nothing better than being able to leave that thing off the 95% of the time you don't need it.

I've run every type of locker in one vehicle or another over the years. The trutrac has pretty good road manners, but you'll still know it's there in the high speed corners. I prefer open diff for street driving and I'll never do anything but a selectable ever again. If I don't have the money for one, I'll wait till I do, or stay open.
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post #3 of 42 Old 08-21-2019, 09:26 AM
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Agree with the selectable. I drive my '78 around a ton and I love the OX selectable lockers I have front and rear. Definitely feel it's worth the extra money if you drive your Jeep around town frequently. Keeps the driveability and let's you lock up when you really need it.

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post #4 of 42 Old 08-21-2019, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by TIPPEDITOVER View Post
For $353 more than a trutrac just get an ARB selectable. There is nothing better than being able to turn that thing off the 95% of the time you don't need it.

I've run every type of locker in one vehicle or another over the years. The trutrac has pretty good road manners, but you'll still know it's there in the high speed corners. I prefer open diff for street driving and I'll never do anything but a selectable ever again. If I don't have the money for one, I'll wait till I do, or stay open.
I'm with Tipped on this!
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post #5 of 42 Old 08-21-2019, 11:39 AM
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I've also been looking into a selectable locker for my current project, but haven't purchased anything as of yet. Personally, I really like the idea of a cable over air just for simplicity's sake. But that's just my humble opinion that could sway as I get closer to pulling the trigger.

But, just wanted to throw this out there as FYI. I've never seen this mentioned on the forum anywhere, and perhaps it's common knowledge, but when I call in orders to Quadratech and mention that I'm a JF member, they give me a 5 or 10% discount- can't remember which. With a pricey item like a ARB or another selectable locker, that could easily save an additional 30 bucks or better, and would be worth the phone call at the very least. There's not an option to claim that discount with a web order.

Just something else to think about as you try and shave some cost - especially if you are considering buying a new unit.

Best,
Hoover

Edit: Did some looking (took a while), and found this posting from Quadratech.
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post #6 of 42 Old 08-21-2019, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoover7 View Post
I've also been looking into a selectable locker for my current project, but haven't purchased anything as of yet. Personally, I really like the idea of a cable over air just for simplicity's sake. But that's just my humble opinion that could sway as I get closer to pulling the trigger.

But, just wanted to throw this out there as FYI. I've never seen this mentioned on the forum anywhere, and perhaps it's common knowledge, but when I call in orders to Quadratech and mention that I'm a JF member, they give me a 5 or 10% discount- can't remember which. With a pricey item like a ARB or another selectable locker, that could easily save an additional 30 bucks or better, and would be worth the phone call at the very least. There's not an option to claim that discount with a web order.

Just something else to think about as you try and shave some cost - especially if you are considering buying a new unit.

Best,
Hoover

Edit: Did some looking (took a while), and found this posting from Quadratech.
Kinda getting off topic but to simplify my selectable air locker install I tied into my existing c02 tank and used a mechanical toggle switch to turn it on and of. No electricity or solenoid involved. So easy to use 5mm nylon air line and push lock fittings everywhere. I can change all my 5 mm air line in under 10 mins if I needed to. I keep a 20’ roll in my tool bag. Literally all I need is a razor blade.
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post #7 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 12:26 AM
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Personally, I prefer a tru trac. They are virtually invisible,and they lack the added hoses or cables that can go south. They are also less money to install. For the price of a selectable, you could just about get two tru trac's, one front and one for the rear.



If you decide on an selectable, I would recommend a set of one piece axles as well.

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post #8 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InjectedCJ7 View Post

My question is: what do you think the best choice would be for my particular situation. The Jeep is mostly used for cruising around town, but I do like the dunes, and trails. I'm not into rock climbing, and I wouldn't classify my wheeling as 'intense' by any means.
For your situation listed above, a selectable locker would be overkill in both cost and the locker type. For your non to light wheeling needs, why go through a carrier change and gear set up. That’s a lot of cost and labor for a locker that can be done much easier.

For260 bucks (unless they’ve gone up), get an Aussie locker and put it in your front axle. It replaces the spider gears only so no ring gear swap over and set up needed. Installs in an hour or so and is easily reversed back to open diff if you want to remove it later. In a CJ with front locking hubs, it is invisible when in 2wd. It locks solid when it has driveshaft tension and breaks free around corners when not under load.
I installed one in the front of my Scrambler because that is where I have the most weight (under the engine), I needed help climbing up onto ledges / rocks/ logs, etc. and I wanted to keep the rear open for non change in the street feel...I had a Detroit in another one and it was squirrelly at times.
I was very pleased with the results. It climbed and went places that it would not even think of before.

Don’t get me wrong, selectable units are the “best” and ARBs are going into my dedicated rock crawler front and rear, but for your described usage, I think a simple lunchbox unit will give you the results needed.
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post #9 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InjectedCJ7 View Post
During my recent adventure climbing hills at the Silver Lake Sand Dunes Jeep Invasion, I realized that I could benefit from adding a locker to my 78 CJ7. I was able to climb all the hills, but sometimes it took a few attempts to make it. My problem isn't power - the 350 TPI engine has more than enough torque. I have 3.54 gears and 32 x 11.5" Mud King tires. I have a T-18a four speed trans with a 6.32 creeper gear.

My question is: what do you think the best choice would be for my particular situation. The Jeep is mostly used for cruising around town, but I do like the dunes, and trails. I'm not into rock climbing, and I wouldn't classify my wheeling as 'intense' by any means.



I have a 78 Jeep CJ-5 with 304 3:54's t-176 and 31" tires and ARB lockers. I find that lockers are not much help in the sand at Silver Lake, I very rarely use them there. For trails the lockers are great. IMO Sand is HP and flotation (achieved by low air pressure and or wide tires) I run 31x10.5 at 5-7 psi. I added bead locks to keep the rims from spinning in the tires.

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post #10 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 08:59 AM
John Strenk
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I got a question for you guys.
if you have a Aussie locker in the front with the hubs engaged. Does it hurt the steering?
In the winter, I like to run with the front hubs locked ready to slip into 4WD as needed.

When plowing around here, you have to pile the snow up on the owners property, There are deep drainage ditches and sometimes you miscalculate a little and two wheels in the air, one on each axle, make it hard to pull back.


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post #11 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
I got a question for you guys.
if you have a Aussie locker in the front with the hubs engaged. Does it hurt the steering?
In the winter, I like to run with the front hubs locked ready to slip into 4WD as needed.

When plowing around here, you have to pile the snow up on the owners property, There are deep drainage ditches and sometimes you miscalculate a little and two wheels in the air, one on each axle, make it hard to pull back.
I can tell you on snow they are fine and it's not a problem. I can not speak to ice. I never tried it on ice.

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post #12 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
I got a question for you guys.
if you have a Aussie locker in the front with the hubs engaged. Does it hurt the steering?
In the winter, I like to run with the front hubs locked ready to slip into 4WD as needed.

When plowing around here, you have to pile the snow up on the owners property, There are deep drainage ditches and sometimes you miscalculate a little and two wheels in the air, one on each axle, make it hard to pull back.

With the plow on the front, I would expect that you will have enough weight over the front axle to keep traction and allow the locker to ratchet in snow and ice when turning. Without the plow, there may not be enough traction on ice for it to ratchet around a corner.

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post #13 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Just to let everyone know, I'm watching the posts closely, and appreciate everyone's thoughts! I didn't want to post responses too soon, as I want to get as many opinions and reasons as possible before I pull the trigger. Keep the thoughts coming, as they are very helpful in my decision-making process!

Regards,
John
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post #14 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoover7 View Post
I've also been looking into a selectable locker for my current project, but haven't purchased anything as of yet. Personally, I really like the idea of a cable over air just for simplicity's sake. But that's just my humble opinion that could sway as I get closer to pulling the trigger.

But, just wanted to throw this out there as FYI. I've never seen this mentioned on the forum anywhere, and perhaps it's common knowledge, but when I call in orders to Quadratech and mention that I'm a JF member, they give me a 5 or 10% discount- can't remember which. With a pricey item like a ARB or another selectable locker, that could easily save an additional 30 bucks or better, and would be worth the phone call at the very least. There's not an option to claim that discount with a web order.

Just something else to think about as you try and shave some cost - especially if you are considering buying a new unit.

Best,
Hoover

Edit: Did some looking (took a while), and found this posting from Quadratech.

The cable locker does take out the need for air, but... everyone I know with a cable locker is always dealing with it being in proper adjustment to fully engage, so it isn't completely fool proof and simple. I do like the fact that OX now has a screw in slug that will lock the diff if the cable has issues, also can add an air cylinder or electric solenoid to engage the locker, but to me they looks susceptible to rock damage being mounted at the axle tube center line.
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post #15 of 42 Old 08-22-2019, 12:33 PM
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Selectable rear axle. Aussie front axle. End thread/. Hahahaha.
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