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post #1 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
DNS711
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Auto locker

I have an '07 JKU with 114,000 miles with the factory limited slip in the rear and an Eaton E-locker up front. My Jeep will not be my DD for long. I am thinking of having an Eaton E-Z Locker installed in the rear. It will be the newer "soft" style auto locker. Any thoughts or suggestions?


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post #2 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 03:31 PM
RockyClymer
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IMO, the one place you want a selectable locker, is the rear. Positive control when you need it and positive unlock when you don't need it. I would not install an auto in the rear...so, can't help you with a suggested one.

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post #3 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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I thought it would be more important to have a selectable locker up front so it wouldn't effect steering when it was off. Any other thoughts or opinions?

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post #4 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNS711 View Post
I have an '07 JKU with 114,000 miles with the factory limited slip in the rear and an Eaton E-locker up front. My Jeep will not be my DD for long. I am thinking of having an Eaton E-Z Locker installed in the rear. It will be the newer "soft" style auto locker. Any thoughts or suggestions?
The E-Z Locker won't install into a factory limited slip carrier. If you want a full-time locker back there, you'll have to go to the full-carrier Detroit Locker. If you're satisfied with the E-locker up front I'd suggest doing that in the back too rather than the full-time locker because it makes the road manners of the Jeep *much* nicer -- the auto-locker adds some strange jiggle to the back even on dirt roads getting to the trailhead from where you parked your trailer.
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post #5 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 04:25 PM
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BTW, in 2WD mode a Detroit up front is pretty much invisible. I have an Aussie Locker up front in my LJ (basically a clone of the EZ Locker) and in 2wd mode the only way to know it's there is that it does some clacking on tight turns as its ratchets spin past each other -- but I don't feel it in the steering wheel at all, and it doesn't affect handling at all.

So if I didn't already have a Rubicon with the equivalent of E-lockers front and rear, I'd have no trouble suggesting an Aussie/EZ up front and an E-locker in the back... in 2wd mode it would drive just like no lockers at all.
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post #6 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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The Eaton E-Z Locker comes with a heavy duty carrier to replace the stock carrier. If you don't notice an Aussie / EZ Locker up front, why would you notice it in the back?

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post #7 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 11:17 PM
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We must be talking different lockers, the Eaton E-Z Locker I'm familiar with is a "lunchbox" locker that replaces the spider gears. Hmm, just checked Eaton's site, yeppers, that's what the E-Z Locker still is. It's not a full-carrier locker. Lunchbox lockers aren't as strong as and tend to be noisier and have more slop than full-carrier Eaton Detroit Lockers, which are sort of the "gold standard" of full time lockers. That said, I'm quite happy with my Aussie Locker up front, which is a similar design to the E-Z Locker. You're usually not putting as much pressure on the front and the slop doesn't matter much when you're at 3mph.

As for why you feel a full-time locker in the back on pavement and not up front on pavement, the deal is that you only feel a full time locker when it's engaged, and it's only engaged when there's power going to the wheels. In the front, that means you only feel the locker when you're in 4wd mode, it's invisible in 2wd mode because there's no pressure on the ring gear forcing the ratchets on either side to lock (it's engine power that forces the ratchet on one side or the other to close and "lock", it's one wheel overrunning the engine power that forces the ratchet on one side or the other to open and "unlock", when you have zero engine power, *both* sides are unlocked because on both sides the road is applying more power to the ratchets than the ring gear is ).

In short, a full-time locker in the front of a daily driver is utterly invisible in 2wd mode. In the back, however, you *always* have engine power going to the back, so you *always* are locked in the back with a full-time locker except when one wheel overruns the other enough to disengage the ratchet on that side. Needless to say, that causes some interesting behavior... the Jeep is resisting turning like it does when locked, and then suddenly the back end just *steps out* because now it's *not* resisting turning because the outside wheel unlocked. At 1-3mph, this is not a big deal. At 15-20mph on a dirt road it is annoying but isn't too big a deal because the surface is loose and skittery to begin with. At 60-70mph on a curve on pavement, prepare to extract seat from between butt cheeks .
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post #8 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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That explanation made sense but the new Eaton E-Z locker is considered a "soft"style locker and is not supposed to have a lot of the bad side effects.

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post #9 of 18 Old 10-15-2011, 11:42 PM
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Don't fall for marketing hype, dude. The only thing "soft" about the E-Z Locker is the fact that it doesn't clank and bang like old school full time lockers (neither does my Aussie for that matter). But you still very much feel it in your steering wheel when it's engaging and disengaging, because of the fundamental nature of a full-time locker -- i.e., that the ratchet in each half of the locker engages when power is being applied to that wheel, and disengages when that wheel is applying power to the locker (because it's overrunning the inside wheel in a turn or because you've disconnected power to the front axle by going into 2wd mode so both wheels are applying power to the locker rather than the other way around).

The fact that it's not clanking and banging while doing this locking and unlocking is what makes the E-Z Locker "soft", but if you think it'll be as transparent as your current limited-slip in the back you're either being lied to or are deluding yourself.
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post #10 of 18 Old 10-16-2011, 02:12 PM
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When I get a rockjock d60 rear, it will have the detroit auto locker installed. Best locker you can get for a automatic locker, stronger then both ARB and OX and very few moving parts to break. I have already destroyed my rear stock E-locker so I would stay away from the electronic lockers. Have driven 2 JKs with the detroit locker and the rear locker never gave me any headaches on the road. It can be different on icy and wet surfaces but is great to never have to worry about turning on the locker. Both the JK's had no locker noise and very fixed up rigs, one has 40" tires w/coilovers and he does a lot of rock climbing and fast desert driving and other was more of a DD with 35s. Both still say they love the detroits.

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post #11 of 18 Old 10-16-2011, 02:51 PM
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Late answer to OP. Since you already have an E locker up front, no need to replace it and no, I did not say what kind of locker to use up front, only that IMO the selectable should be in the rear. Personally, I do not like an auto locker in the front as my only experience has been not so good....so, if you get one selectable, put it in the rear, if you get two, then the front also...full disclosure I guess.

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post #12 of 18 Old 10-16-2011, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DNS711 View Post
The Eaton E-Z Locker comes with a heavy duty carrier to replace the stock carrier. If you don't notice an Aussie / EZ Locker up front, why would you notice it in the back?
clank clank clank BANG! I have and auto locker in the rear of my JK, Its OK 90% of the time, but in a parking garage (tight turns on concrete) it sucks.
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post #13 of 18 Old 10-17-2011, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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I definitely don't expect an auto locker to be transparent in the rear, that's why I am waiting until my Jeep is no longer my daily driver.

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post #14 of 18 Old 10-17-2011, 08:31 AM
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Actually its not so bad, you learn to accelerate before a turn, then clutch and coast thru the turn. I've put about 35k miles with it in place in my DD.
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post #15 of 18 Old 10-17-2011, 10:32 AM
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Rear axle auto lockers are much better with an auto than a manual trans. With an auto they're almost invisible. A lunch box version is usually not as smooth as a full case Detroit.

Stay away from the Eaton ELocker for the 44 unless it's for light to moderate off road use. The 2 pinion design is much weaker than an ARB for the same application. The Dana 30 ELocker is a 4 pinion design and a great choice.
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