Front locker opinions - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
spikehorn
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Front locker opinions

I'm looking at re-gearing my 02 Wrangler. While doing so, I'm considering adding a tru-track to the rear and a Detroit locker to the front.

My Jeep is a 6 cylinder, 5 speed, running 33" tires, Dana 30 and Dana 35.

I'm planning on going with 4.88 for gearing choice.

The Jeep is not a daily driver, far from it. Its about 60% dirt roads to 40% pavement. It's primarily used to run forest roads, occasional mud rutted roads and snow covered dirt roads, as well as the occasional hill climb. Nothing to crazy.....

I live in Michigan, and would prefer a limited slip for the rear rather than a locker, due to the icy/snowy roads that I may travel at times.

I got a little push back from a differential shop today about putting a locker in the front. They said I had it backwards, I should put the locker in the rear and a limited slip in the front. Because I'd have trouble steering the vehicle with a locker in the front. I get that it may steer a little different when in 4 wheel drive and under power, but I feel that when in 2 wheel drive it shouldn't be noticeable at all other than the typical clicking when turning.

Am I crazy or is the shop correct?

I am working on getting a second opinion from a different shop.

Thanks for the advise,

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post #2 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 02:02 PM
LuthWJ77
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If an extra $1k were no object I'd do selectable in both but otherwise I'd probably do it like you're doing it too. I'd be worried the D35 would blow up with a locker and the front will only engage when in 4wd so should be find on the street or on mild terrain and engage when you really need 4wd.
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post #3 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 04:05 PM
tyvanwie
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Just get a lunchbox locker up front. I had an Aussie and loved it. Worked great offroad and on road it was completely unnoticeable.
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post #4 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 04:32 PM
Tech Tim
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Get an ARB, it's off when you don't need it. On and fully locked when you do.

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post #5 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 04:37 PM
Cutlass327
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I'd honestly switch your plans - TruTrac in front and locker in rear. The Trutrac will allow easier steering under power, and the locked rear will help push.

Rick

1978 CJ5 5.0HO/T177/D300, '86 D30/D44 WT axles, 'glass body, 31x10.5 BFG A/T, TDK galv'd frame - DD and weekend toy


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post #6 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 05:17 PM
CJ7-Tim
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The shop IMO is correct. My XJ handles and drives exactly the same with a PowerTrax No-Slip auto-locker in the rear axle as with the Limited Slip it originally had. I prefer a rear axle locker or limited slip over a open differential for Minneapolis winters.

A front axle locker has some really annoying handling quirks on in icy/snowy pavement. Several members of my local 4x4 club remove their front axle locker for winter Daily Driving and re-install the locker for 3 season 4x4 events. If you do install a front axle locker do not let anyone drive in slippery conditions who is unskilled or unfamiliar with driving it.

Since your short wheel base Wrangler is already a bit squirrely on winter slippery roads, I would follow the shops advice if I were you. I also owned several Bronco II's and they always wanted to swap ends on the highway when the snow/ice got really nasty.

.

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post #7 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 07:11 PM
Kiwi_TJ
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There is some really good advice in this little video. Pay attention to the bit where he is driving around the corner.





For my Jeep, which I use as a daily driver, and do only mild trails, I have had a Truetrac LSD in the rear for 10 years, and really liked it for my use, and have another one to drop in the front shortly.

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post #8 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
spikehorn
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I agree with what is said in that video. Locker in the front, LSD or true tracker in the rear.
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post #9 of 43 Old 04-01-2019, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
spikehorn
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Thanks for all the advice and opinions, guys!
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post #10 of 43 Old 04-02-2019, 05:11 AM
CJ7-Tim
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For the rear axle, a locker or a Limited Slip, your choice. For the front axle a Limited slip or a selectable Locker, especially for winter driving, and because there are no lockout hubs.

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post #11 of 43 Old 04-02-2019, 06:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
For the rear axle, a locker or a Limited Slip, your choice. For the front axle a Limited slip or a selectable Locker, especially for winter driving, and because there are no lockout hubs.
Doesn't a front auto locker only engage in 4WD?

To give another point of reference to make the point John Currie was making about cornering being perhaps more about the rear than the front, who's ever driven solid rear axle go-carts? What is cornering with them like?
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post #12 of 43 Old 04-02-2019, 08:40 AM
CJ7-Tim
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In 4x4 on icy snowy roads, front lockers tend to want to stay engaged and both tires will slip/spin, causing a great deal of oversteer and sometimes odd darty front axle braking. A selectable locker or a Limited Slip solves this issue nicely. Members of my local Jeep club describe similar behaviors with their front auto-lockers and winter driving, both XJ and TJ's.

It might just be my Jeep or my locker, but in 2wd and icy/snowy roads if one front tire has traction and one front tire is sliding, the locker makes a grinding noise as if it is only partially disengaged. Putting the auto trans in NEUTRAL solves this, so there must be enough driveline drag, or left to right axle shaft torque to confuse the locker. This is in addition to the oversteer and reluctance to unlock in 4x4 and with slippery conditions.

I can't watch the Video at work, but getting a rear auto-locker to unlock/stay unlocked for turns is easy, and soon becomes an unconscious part of your normal driving technique.

.

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post #13 of 43 Old 04-02-2019, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
I can't watch the Video at work, but getting a rear auto-locker to unlock/stay unlocked for turns is easy, and soon becomes an unconscious part of your normal driving technique.
This brings up a question to consider when evaluating locker options of who drives your jeep. If it's just you and you do get used to driving it a certain way then all is fine. But if others drive your jeep regularly (e.g. teenage children, significant other, etc.) who don't have experience driving with an auto locker (or even just overall driving experience) it really pushes things toward selectable IMO.
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post #14 of 43 Old 04-02-2019, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
spikehorn
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Thanks for all the info, everybody.

I'm starting to sway towards the Tru-track in the front as well as the rear.

I really can't say I "need" the locker in the front, It was more of a want.....

I don't do any real hard core wheeling with my TJ, its used more to run the back roads and two tracks, so it may be a little overkill - I think the LSD would be more than sufficient.
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post #15 of 43 Old 04-03-2019, 12:15 AM
Kolak
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I think a Truetrac in the front & rear would be great considering what you're saying about the type of offroading you'll be doing. But I want to mention that if you're at all considering the ARB Air Locker for the rear, ARB extended their special deal where you get a free compressor with the locker until the end of April!

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