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post #1 of 15 Old 05-20-2019, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
Burly1989
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Lockers? Best to get and why

Hi all, I drive a 2011 Jeep JK Sport that is my daily driver right now. When it isn’t my daily driver anymore (hopefully sooner rather than later) I would like to upgrade the stock Dana 30 front axle to a Dana 44 on the front and potentially an aftermarket Dana 44 on the back (potentially go to Dana 60s somewhere in the far off future haha) both axles would have lockers. Just trying to get a feel of what people think are the best kind (auto, electronic, air, etc.), best brands (ARB, Aussie, Detroit, etc.), preferred gear ratios, and anything that has to do with purchasing lockers and setting up the axles. Any help is appreciated.

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post #2 of 15 Old 05-20-2019, 11:51 AM
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I would not do much to that DD. Until 1# you know where you are and going with it. what gears does it have. since if its 3.21 wont be much tire that can go on it with out the loss of power off road would be worse.

If you can not do all the work its going to be a seriously expensive long journey. Where you wheeling at one day in this future to need 60s and then what 40s? just a dream? wont gtha i done wont be street friendly no more

Many people build jeeps to go places they never will, when they could have spent less money and went somewhere in the jeep they will never forget. see it a lot. I know people that are like this.

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-20-2019, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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The 60s are most likely not happening ever, more of just a pipe dream if I wanna go for the mini-monster in the future.Yes, I am fully aware of the expenses of new axles and instillation costs. This not a project that’s going to happen tomorrow, just one that I would like to do down the road with the front axle upgrade. Maybe not completely upgrade the rear axle, but upgrade to chromaly axle shafts. I’ve heard mixed reviews on lockers of different styles and brands and just trying to figure out what’ll be best for me in the future. I do moderate off-roading, when the vehicle isn’t my daily driver it’ll transition to a toy almost.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-20-2019, 04:05 PM
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well hard to say what the future brings. Im waiting for the snow to melt so i can get on the Rubicon like every spring.

gears, lockers , lifts tires and the rest its gets into the 10k real fast. especially if you are not the wrench in this build.....

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post #5 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 09:21 AM
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There are so many variables here. How big of a tire are you going to run? What is your budget? Are you setting them yourself or paying a shop to do all the work?

People tend to bash on the D30, but if you're running a 35-37" tire and 4.88 or 5.13 gears, as long as you truss it, gusset the inner C's and have a selectable locker you're not going to kill it unless you don't know what you're doing on the trails. Just my 2 cents.

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post #6 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 10:40 AM
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you may think a d30 on 37s works but i think you are not wheeling where 37s and lockers are needed or dont go all the time steering will not work as well. Seen enough d44s break. Seen more d30s break then i can count on trails on 35s. But then again we wheel with a lot of people in a season. We dont wheel easy trails so we see what breaks and dont. All i lead/follow in our club is AZ4-4.5s trails 35s MIN locked or you wont make it and even with 35/37 there will be body damage unless you have very good body armor.

I have seen the truss on a d30.d44 break in the same place a stock one would. So thats a waist of $$$. Since 99% of the people here cant weld its even more expensive. I have see Two axles tubes break in our club on Jks. Both Jks one had a ARTIC truss< good name makes good stuff, the other BONE stock. Both broke the tube in same exact place. Right under the spring pad. Those trusses END on inside of that perch. So it does ZIP or may even move the break point to JUST that zone as well.

My 2c today on this now what 2k. Sleeve it, easier to do cost less. it wont break there.

Cs . Have to say not one has bent in hundreds of jeeps i have seen from NORMAL wheeling of even the Hardest trails. All that did bend were from people hitting a rock or other solid object at speed enough to bend it OR they think a jeep can JUMP/Fly.

my two c on this, Cs are cheep to buy so are sleeves. If you can weld they are simple to do as well. so for the 150$ of steel sure. To pay? depends on how much since the front axle to do well MUST come out to weld in the rose welds. its all labor really. would that money be better spent on say a g2 d44?/ d60 yes since we are talking a locker at 1k gears, axles bla bla< dreaming ?. labor again.

not bashing a d30 but facts are what they are. come here and run a 4.5 see how the d30 on 37s does.........

what does break on a d30 or a d44 MOST<<<Most the time?front its a u joint for sure seen MORE break again then i can recall on the TRAIL, not from a web page and two ring gears. How often do they break? Just behind a tire cut and steering breaks. so like at least every 3rd run. SOME one will break steering or a tire or a axle. best solution have parts on or near these type trails. better KNOW how to do this work too since no shops out there.

Matter of fact i lead trails in AZ and Cali and on a AZ 4-5 i would say most leaders would try to talk you out of this idea since THEY will be the one have to drag your happy as out if possible since if its 37s locked to get in there. wont be easy getting out anyway in a 2 x4.......

my JKR 2 door is on 37s d44s, i built. have ran Fordyce, Rubicon 3x and going in a month and 1/2. Dusy 3x and many other trails in Cali. Az is one of the best winter places there is for rock crawling. thousands of trails. even new ones happen still in the area come up. all are stupid hard stuff but none the less.

on 35s my heep was about bullet proof. On 37s yea you better watch those in lock need pedal at full lock times. Compare rings and you will see its not even close really. its like comparing a d60 to a d44.........

D30 max on a pig of a 4 door heep 35s and anyplace it really need locks 35s to get through better have axles at the ready or close by.


But this thread is about a build that wont happen. To much to do on DD if a shop even took it today. he would need a second vehicle, he still will a truck to TOW this beast on 14b and d60 maybe a flat belly too. on 40s. ..... I would never dump that into a JK.. at that point you should just get a REAL buggy. Jk will never be a Buggy no matter how much money you have.

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post #7 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
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Right now I have 33s for my street tires, I have 35s right now that I use for some light-moderate mudding. 4.88 for my gears is what I was thinking and I’ve been told about the gusset and truss option, but I didn’t look too far in to it because I had been thinking about making a switch to a Dana 44 in the front down the road. Mostly I’m just trying to get good ideas for that day when my JK isn’t my daily driver and I’ve got time to get the axles and lockers done. I know Spicer does their “Dana Ultimate Axles” where you can just order the entire axle how you want it; size, gear ratio, and lockers so I want to know what set up people like the most and what has worked best for them so I can get a better idea of what I want.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 10:48 AM
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You fellas have any advice for me on what to do with my drive axles on my stock 1980 CJ7? Also, I’m curious as to what weight oil and type of gaskets to install for the mean time? My (I believe C 300 T case) and T5 trans need to be given some attention as well. What would you do? Thanks for any advice you may have!
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 01:58 PM
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You fellas have any advice for me on what to do with my drive axles on my stock 1980 CJ7? Also, Iím curious as to what weight oil and type of gaskets to install for the mean time? My (I believe C 300 T case) and T5 trans need to be given some attention as well. What would you do? Thanks for any advice you may have!
May want to ask in the CJ forum.

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post #10 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 03:03 PM
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The best lockers are selectable. For a 30, I wouldnt lock a 30. If you are going 44/60, I just did this and I'll give you my experience so you can make some decisions.

I have a 2007 sahara that I trussed front rear, Cs, moly axles, 35 spline ox mechanical, 27 spine truetrac front, 4.88 with 37s, and beat on that pretty hard. I broke two front axle shafts in 2 years on my 30. I came across a set of used Dynatrac ProRocks and the front was hub to hub bolt up with 5.13 and ARB 35 spline. The rear 60 was housing only. Did 35 spline Yukon zip, yukon 5.13 to match, moly. Didnt truss these. Not required.

Ox - If you are going OX, the mechanical I had in the rear was flawless. Never had an issue. You can make an OX air E or mech just by changing the fitting on the diff cover. Comes with diff covers for the same price of ARB. That said, the mechanical in the front is hard to run, and its common to have the cable yank out. Better to do Air or E in the front.

ARB - These have a lot of notoriety but they have their issues as well. The O rings are known to leak. Only way to fix is to take the whole carrier out. Its a $10 part requiring a half days work, and if you dont do your own axle work, a couple hundred in labor. If a shop does it, they will likely replace the whole acuator assembly... $70 part. Same labor. It is really annoying. They are otherwise, quite stout and the important parts will not break under lots of abuse.

Yukon Zip - These have a better warranty than ARB. 6 year with a $2000 collateral damage if installed by professional shop and YES essentials plan. They got a little flack when they first came out 10 years ago because they had case issues. I assure you the Yukon Zip case is better built than the ARB today. The case in my 60 is so big, I had to machine the hat to fit in the PR housing. It is incredibly heavy and have lots of material for strength. They are also cheaper by about $100 over ARB. Yukon just spends less on marketing... try to get a Yukon t shirt. They are dealer focused moreso than customer, and I also promise that the warranty is no questions asked. My two axles I snapped in my 30 were replaced free and fast since I bought them through my shop.

Ratchet lockers - I was wanting to go this route with my front axle if I was building one, but the PR had one already, and I have a couple friends with them and seen some examples recently. As long as the tires are pointed straight ahead they definitely lock. They are designed to open when the tires turn. So if you need to turn into a ledge.... One tire fire. IN the rear on the street, they can disengage and engage in unpredictable ways. Great for tight trail turns , but can make your rear end snap out on you in snow or rain. These are the Detroit, grizzly etc...

If you go Air - This not only is the most expensive locker, but you need to have an air source. Now there are othr benefits to this. Airing up tires. Putting in a tank for air tools. But this is definitely additional money. I did the twin with manifold and hooked it into my 4 tire air system... If you get the ARB, ARB harness make install abreeze, but requires the rear to lock before you can lock the front. If you ran OX front rear, you could pick.... E you can pick. Make up your own solenoid wiring... you can pick. Maybe this matters maybe it doesnt to you.

If you go E - The factory rubi lockers are really pretty good. Have lots of wheeling buddies that have rubis and have never had an issue. These do break though. Most of the time its after a regear... not all shops are the best at regears. That why? I dont know, but pick the right shop for your axle work. The Eaton E is a very cost effective option and only requires running some switches. You cant lock a rubi in 4hi. You can lock a sport with after market e lockers in 4 hi.

If you lock front and rear, get yourself some 1350 driveshafts as well. When you are 4lo with big tires, the driveshafts take a lot of abuse, and Ive seen lots of 1310s break. I have not seen a 1350 break but once, and it was behind a 400hp LS attached to a locked 60 and 40" tires.


If Im going tons on a rig I plan on beating on and am building from scratch in all I have seen and bought myself? Yukon Zips with the warranty every time. If I am building a trail rig? 40 spline spool in a 14b rear. 14b waggy with 47 big bell rcvs and spool as well. Dont put a spool in your road driven JK.

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post #11 of 15 Old 05-21-2019, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by propped1 View Post
The best lockers are selectable. For a 30, I wouldnt lock a 30. If you are going 44/60, I just did this and I'll give you my experience so you can make some decisions.

I have a 2007 sahara that I trussed front rear, Cs, moly axles, 35 spline ox mechanical, 27 spine truetrac front, 4.88 with 37s, and beat on that pretty hard. I broke two front axle shafts in 2 years on my 30. I came across a set of used Dynatrac ProRocks and the front was hub to hub bolt up with 5.13 and ARB 35 spline. The rear 60 was housing only. Did 35 spline Yukon zip, yukon 5.13 to match, moly. Didnt truss these. Not required.

Ox - If you are going OX, the mechanical I had in the rear was flawless. Never had an issue. You can make an OX air E or mech just by changing the fitting on the diff cover. Comes with diff covers for the same price of ARB. That said, the mechanical in the front is hard to run, and its common to have the cable yank out. Better to do Air or E in the front.

ARB - These have a lot of notoriety but they have their issues as well. The O rings are known to leak. Only way to fix is to take the whole carrier out. Its a $10 part requiring a half days work, and if you dont do your own axle work, a couple hundred in labor. If a shop does it, they will likely replace the whole acuator assembly... $70 part. Same labor. It is really annoying. They are otherwise, quite stout and the important parts will not break under lots of abuse.

Yukon Zip - These have a better warranty than ARB. 6 year with a $2000 collateral damage if installed by professional shop and YES essentials plan. They got a little flack when they first came out 10 years ago because they had case issues. I assure you the Yukon Zip case is better built than the ARB today. The case in my 60 is so big, I had to machine the hat to fit in the PR housing. It is incredibly heavy and have lots of material for strength. They are also cheaper by about $100 over ARB. Yukon just spends less on marketing... try to get a Yukon t shirt. They are dealer focused moreso than customer, and I also promise that the warranty is no questions asked. My two axles I snapped in my 30 were replaced free and fast since I bought them through my shop.

Ratchet lockers - I was wanting to go this route with my front axle if I was building one, but the PR had one already, and I have a couple friends with them and seen some examples recently. As long as the tires are pointed straight ahead they definitely lock. They are designed to open when the tires turn. So if you need to turn into a ledge.... One tire fire. IN the rear on the street, they can disengage and engage in unpredictable ways. Great for tight trail turns , but can make your rear end snap out on you in snow or rain. These are the Detroit, grizzly etc...

If you go Air - This not only is the most expensive locker, but you need to have an air source. Now there are othr benefits to this. Airing up tires. Putting in a tank for air tools. But this is definitely additional money. I did the twin with manifold and hooked it into my 4 tire air system... If you get the ARB, ARB harness make install abreeze, but requires the rear to lock before you can lock the front. If you ran OX front rear, you could pick.... E you can pick. Make up your own solenoid wiring... you can pick. Maybe this matters maybe it doesnt to you.

If you go E - The factory rubi lockers are really pretty good. Have lots of wheeling buddies that have rubis and have never had an issue. These do break though. Most of the time its after a regear... not all shops are the best at regears. That why? I dont know, but pick the right shop for your axle work. The Eaton E is a very cost effective option and only requires running some switches. You cant lock a rubi in 4hi. You can lock a sport with after market e lockers in 4 hi.

If you lock front and rear, get yourself some 1350 driveshafts as well. When you are 4lo with big tires, the driveshafts take a lot of abuse, and Ive seen lots of 1310s break. I have not seen a 1350 break but once, and it was behind a 400hp LS attached to a locked 60 and 40" tires.


If Im going tons on a rig I plan on beating on and am building from scratch in all I have seen and bought myself? Yukon Zips with the warranty every time. If I am building a trail rig? 40 spline spool in a 14b rear. 14b waggy with 47 big bell rcvs and spool as well. Dont put a spool in your road driven JK.
Yes, planned on keeping it road drivable so definitely wasn’t going to go with a spool, thank you for the information on all the other lockers and setups.
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by 222Doc View Post
you may think a d30 on 37s works but i think you are not wheeling where 37s and lockers are needed or dont go all the time steering will not work as well. Seen enough d44s break. Seen more d30s break then i can count on trails on 35s. But then again we wheel with a lot of people in a season. We dont wheel easy trails so we see what breaks and dont. All i lead/follow in our club is AZ4-4.5s trails 35s MIN locked or you wont make it and even with 35/37 there will be body damage unless you have very good body armor.

I have seen the truss on a d30.d44 break in the same place a stock one would. So thats a waist of $$$. Since 99% of the people here cant weld its even more expensive. I have see Two axles tubes break in our club on Jks. Both Jks one had a ARTIC truss< good name makes good stuff, the other BONE stock. Both broke the tube in same exact place. Right under the spring pad. Those trusses END on inside of that perch. So it does ZIP or may even move the break point to JUST that zone as well.

My 2c today on this now what 2k. Sleeve it, easier to do cost less. it wont break there.

Cs . Have to say not one has bent in hundreds of jeeps i have seen from NORMAL wheeling of even the Hardest trails. All that did bend were from people hitting a rock or other solid object at speed enough to bend it OR they think a jeep can JUMP/Fly.

my two c on this, Cs are cheep to buy so are sleeves. If you can weld they are simple to do as well. so for the 150$ of steel sure. To pay? depends on how much since the front axle to do well MUST come out to weld in the rose welds. its all labor really. would that money be better spent on say a g2 d44?/ d60 yes since we are talking a locker at 1k gears, axles bla bla< dreaming ?. labor again.

not bashing a d30 but facts are what they are. come here and run a 4.5 see how the d30 on 37s does.........

what does break on a d30 or a d44 MOST<<<Most the time?front its a u joint for sure seen MORE break again then i can recall on the TRAIL, not from a web page and two ring gears. How often do they break? Just behind a tire cut and steering breaks. so like at least every 3rd run. SOME one will break steering or a tire or a axle. best solution have parts on or near these type trails. better KNOW how to do this work too since no shops out there.

Matter of fact i lead trails in AZ and Cali and on a AZ 4-5 i would say most leaders would try to talk you out of this idea since THEY will be the one have to drag your happy as out if possible since if its 37s locked to get in there. wont be easy getting out anyway in a 2 x4.......

my JKR 2 door is on 37s d44s, i built. have ran Fordyce, Rubicon 3x and going in a month and 1/2. Dusy 3x and many other trails in Cali. Az is one of the best winter places there is for rock crawling. thousands of trails. even new ones happen still in the area come up. all are stupid hard stuff but none the less.

on 35s my heep was about bullet proof. On 37s yea you better watch those in lock need pedal at full lock times. Compare rings and you will see its not even close really. its like comparing a d60 to a d44.........

D30 max on a pig of a 4 door heep 35s and anyplace it really need locks 35s to get through better have axles at the ready or close by.


But this thread is about a build that wont happen. To much to do on DD if a shop even took it today. he would need a second vehicle, he still will a truck to TOW this beast on 14b and d60 maybe a flat belly too. on 40s. ..... I would never dump that into a JK.. at that point you should just get a REAL buggy. Jk will never be a Buggy no matter how much money you have.

You make a lot of good points, Doc - and you and I may wheel separate parts of the country (Although I'd love to come out and wheel in your neck of the woods). I run 35" tires on a D30 with an air locker. Daily drove it for 120k miles, and wheeled it pretty hard in between and didn't break it. It can be done. I would have no qualms about taking it on any trail out there - with that being said, it's more about what lines you choose, and what obstacles you steer clear of. It's all in how you wheel.

Back to the OP, I think that there were too many variables posed in his original question to determine an answer. I think we need to know what his plans are outside of the axles in order to help him make an informed decision

2008 JK Sahara - 3.5" lift, 35" Nitto Trail Grapplers, 4.88 gears f/r with Yukon Zip Lockers, EVO Protek skid system, Rock hard sport cage, Pypes exhaust, Bestop Half Doors, 2 tops, no money.
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post #13 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 222Doc View Post
you may think a d30 on 37s works but i think you are not wheeling where 37s and lockers are needed or dont go all the time steering will not work as well. Seen enough d44s break. Seen more d30s break then i can count on trails on 35s. But then again we wheel with a lot of people in a season. We dont wheel easy trails so we see what breaks and dont. All i lead/follow in our club is AZ4-4.5s trails 35s MIN locked or you wont make it and even with 35/37 there will be body damage unless you have very good body armor.

I have seen the truss on a d30.d44 break in the same place a stock one would. So thats a waist of $$$. Since 99% of the people here cant weld its even more expensive. I have see Two axles tubes break in our club on Jks. Both Jks one had a ARTIC truss< good name makes good stuff, the other BONE stock. Both broke the tube in same exact place. Right under the spring pad. Those trusses END on inside of that perch. So it does ZIP or may even move the break point to JUST that zone as well.

My 2c today on this now what 2k. Sleeve it, easier to do cost less. it wont break there.

Cs . Have to say not one has bent in hundreds of jeeps i have seen from NORMAL wheeling of even the Hardest trails. All that did bend were from people hitting a rock or other solid object at speed enough to bend it OR they think a jeep can JUMP/Fly.

my two c on this, Cs are cheep to buy so are sleeves. If you can weld they are simple to do as well. so for the 150$ of steel sure. To pay? depends on how much since the front axle to do well MUST come out to weld in the rose welds. its all labor really. would that money be better spent on say a g2 d44?/ d60 yes since we are talking a locker at 1k gears, axles bla bla< dreaming ?. labor again.

not bashing a d30 but facts are what they are. come here and run a 4.5 see how the d30 on 37s does.........

what does break on a d30 or a d44 MOST<<<Most the time?front its a u joint for sure seen MORE break again then i can recall on the TRAIL, not from a web page and two ring gears. How often do they break? Just behind a tire cut and steering breaks. so like at least every 3rd run. SOME one will break steering or a tire or a axle. best solution have parts on or near these type trails. better KNOW how to do this work too since no shops out there.

Matter of fact i lead trails in AZ and Cali and on a AZ 4-5 i would say most leaders would try to talk you out of this idea since THEY will be the one have to drag your happy as out if possible since if its 37s locked to get in there. wont be easy getting out anyway in a 2 x4.......

my JKR 2 door is on 37s d44s, i built. have ran Fordyce, Rubicon 3x and going in a month and 1/2. Dusy 3x and many other trails in Cali. Az is one of the best winter places there is for rock crawling. thousands of trails. even new ones happen still in the area come up. all are stupid hard stuff but none the less.

on 35s my heep was about bullet proof. On 37s yea you better watch those in lock need pedal at full lock times. Compare rings and you will see its not even close really. its like comparing a d60 to a d44.........

D30 max on a pig of a 4 door heep 35s and anyplace it really need locks 35s to get through better have axles at the ready or close by.


But this thread is about a build that wont happen. To much to do on DD if a shop even took it today. he would need a second vehicle, he still will a truck to TOW this beast on 14b and d60 maybe a flat belly too. on 40s. ..... I would never dump that into a JK.. at that point you should just get a REAL buggy. Jk will never be a Buggy no matter how much money you have.

You make a lot of good points, Doc - and you and I may wheel separate parts of the country (Although I'd love to come out and wheel in your neck of the woods). I run 35" tires on a D30 with an air locker. Daily drove it for 120k miles, and wheeled it pretty hard in between and didn't break it. It can be done. I would have no qualms about taking it on any trail out there - with that being said, it's more about what lines you choose, and what obstacles you steer clear of. It's all in how you wheel.

Back to the OP, I think that there were too many variables posed in his original question to determine an answer. I think we need to know what his plans are outside of the axles in order to help him make an informed decision <img src="https://www.jeepforum.com/ubb/cheers2.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Cheers" class="inlineimg" /><img src="https://www.jeepforum.com/ubb/cheers2.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Cheers" class="inlineimg" />
Agreed, I should have clarified more in my original post. I have a 3in skyjacker lift on it already so I have clearance for the bigger tires. Other than that mechanically as far as driveline and those components are concerned it’s stock. Like somebody else said I will upgrade the driveshafts as well to 1350s (Tom Woods are $699 a piece new). I would be using 35s for the time being and maybe go up to 37s at some point. I know with the 37s I’ll probably have to get the extended brake lines and parts like that, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I would like to be able to do moderate difficulty trails for the time being until I can go more trail-riding experience under my belt and then move up from there. I know money is a driving factor for all Jeep stuff, nothing is cheap; right now I don’t have a set budget so if I get a better idea of what’s out there and what people like most I can base my best course of action from there. Definitely not a spool because I would still like to be able to drive it on the road. I had considered Aussie lockers in the past, but heard mixed reviews on them so I have been looking more in to air lockers and E-lockers.
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post #14 of 15 Old 05-22-2019, 06:24 PM
JTPhoto
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E-locker upfront in a D30 and a TruTrac in the rear is a nice combination for 35s and average wheeling.
If you want to go more aggressive later consider at least a D44 up front..


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2008 Black and Khaki Sahara Unlimited Trax-Lok rear diff. 3.5" Rock Krawler fr springs, rear TeraFlex 2.5 BB, D44HD/J8 w/ OX locker and RCVs, 37x12.50x17 Pitbull Rockers on ProComp 2635 Predator Alloys, AEV Prem Bumper, Smitty X2O 12K ETC..
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-23-2019, 06:25 AM
motoguy1251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTPhoto View Post
E-locker upfront in a D30 and a TruTrac in the rear is a nice combination for 35s and average wheeling.
If you want to go more aggressive later consider at least a D44 up front..


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I can attest to the locker upfront and a true trac in the rear setup. I went with the Tera44 front housing with an ARB locker.
The system works really well in Michigan. We dont have rocks, mostly sand/mud trails. The occasional trip to an offroad park where rock gardens have been built up, can be done with good line choice and a lot of flex.
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