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Thread: Why do I need a locker? I thought I had 4WD! Reply to Thread

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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-05-2017 07:41 PM
Curahee Great video, easy to understand. Thanks for posting.
03-01-2015 07:32 AM
Originally Posted by RobbiHodson1
Great article! Told me exactly what I needed to know! My next question is...what is Dana? I see it all the time! But don't know what they are talking about.
Dana is the manufacturer of axles for many auto manufacturers. Dana 30 (front), Dana 35 (rear), Dana 44 (front or rear) are all different axle series offered in the wranglers. You may see reference to Dana 60, 70, or 80 as well which are all larger and stronger axle/differential options that are commonly swapped into Jeeps for extreme off-roading.

For more information on the Dana axles in TJs take a look at the TJ specifications sticky at the top of this technical forum.
03-01-2015 04:58 AM

Great article! Told me exactly what I needed to know! My next question is...what is Dana? I see it all the time! But don't know what they are talking about.
10-25-2012 03:15 PM
largedave33 And now I know...and knowing is .... ... ......
10-24-2012 11:14 PM
Jeeper69 How a differential works
10-22-2012 05:01 PM
Renegade9040 Attachment 494715

^^ what happens when you get swirly with a stock TJ and find out just how nice it woulda been to know the brake touch trick lol.
10-14-2012 01:51 AM
ElColo Wow. That was probably the best thing I've read on any of these forums, and there is some good stuff out there. I'm surprised I never learned that break trick back in the day. That would have save us a lot of effort in a couple of situations. And being as I live in Idaho, where we drive on very icy river roads 4 months out of the year, I think I'll pass on all the LSD and lockers and stick to the stock setup for now. If I get stuck, I know where the brake is.
10-11-2012 11:18 PM
Originally Posted by FarmerinVA View Post
If it's a 4WD and you have a front selectable locker (the term "manual" is confusing, I think), put it in 4WD and just don't lock it, and you won't have these problems. You'll have the locker there when you want it -- if you get stuck -- and not there when it would make you nervous. If you have a front auto-locker, just don't put it in 4WD on snow. Or, do use 4WD but drive cautiously until you understand the autolocker's habits -- that's what most people do, and some folks report decent results.

I personally have not found side-slip from a selectable-locked front axle to be a major problem when cautiously driven at low speeds. I have not tried speeds above 15mph on slick mud or snow.

If you are looking for a way to travel fast over snow without side slip concerns, forget the locker, get this instead.
this thread rocks, thanks for your post. it shed all the light i needed on the situation.

seems like a front locker is in my future, excited !

10-11-2012 11:15 PM
Originally Posted by MeltdWhiskey View Post
here's a good video that may help explain what's going on..

you may want to skip ahead to the 2.5 min mark ..thats' where the good stuff starts
after building a few high hp fwd cars, this vid made me feel like a noob all over agian haha.

great vid ! really shed some light on how a diff works wich i already new basics, but really shed light on how a locker wiether it be manual or automatic would work.

10-11-2012 11:00 PM
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post

But in many Jeeps like the TJ, an automatic locker is fine when installed in the front axle. Since the front axle doesn't receive torque in 2wd, a front automatic locker unlocks easily enough for turns that you may not even notice its presence. Only in 4x4 is the front axle receiving torque which makes it harder for the locker to unlock for turns. About the only conditions where an automatic front locker would not be good in the type of 4x4 system a Wrangler TJ has would be on icy or snow-covered roads where you need 4x4. In 4x4, a front automatic locker would cause understeer (make the Jeep want to drive straight in a turn) which would not be good if the road was slick from snow or ice.

A manual locker is "open" (unlocked) until you actuate it. The ARB Air Locker and the cable-actuated Ox-Locker are examples of manual lockers. These are good because they remain unlocked until you choose to lock them. This eliminates the handling problems automatic lockers have on the streets.

By the way, a locker is installed inside the differential and it replaces the "spider" gears that make a differential work they way it does.

So some Jeepers add lockers in the rear, others add them to the front. I happen to think locking the rear axle first does the most good, but I have installed automatic lockers into both of my axles... which works pretty darned well. But if your rear axle is the notoriously weak Dana 35c that comes stock on all Wranglers except the Rubicon and Unlimited, avoid installing a locker in the rear axle and install it in the front axle instead. Since the front axle rarely receives more than 50% of the torque that the rear axle does, it can usually handle a locker without problem with reasonably sized tires. But if your rear axle is the optional and far stronger Dana 44, by all means install a locker into it if your trails are tough enough to make a locker desirable.

Hope this helps a little.
it sure did, makes me really want a front auto locker. im reading up on the aussue front lockers, seems low a low budget option that would improve my wheeling capabilities.

even though it snows here in ny alot in the winter, it gets plowed very quickly. so what your saying is that it will turn very much slower in 4wd if say on ice paventment ? is it unberiable/totally unsafe or just requires more safer/attentive driving ?


09-02-2012 11:35 AM
agrasso5567 So a manual locker would be more ideal for a daily driver right? I think an LSD would be better to start until I hit more challenging trails but a locker in the front axle because I have the dana 35 in the rear? IDK I'm new to the jeep scene so I need to learn my stuff.

very helpful thread by the way, thanks a lot
08-15-2012 10:24 PM
Jack Straw Great post! I knew the end effect of a 2wd vehicle being effectively 1wd in poor road conditions, however I never knew the full explanation why. Thanks.
08-15-2012 01:17 PM
go w jerry...

Originally Posted by Bojon View Post
You seem to be pretty knowledgeable Jerry, is one or the the other better?
not knowledgeable ,, jerry is a friggen jeep god... lol
01-17-2012 12:29 PM
shotcake Jerry my next add-on is a suspension you have another listing that describes the complete suspension system with shocks and what the parts and terminalogy are like you did with lockers? Like why do I want a sway bar(just throwing out buzz words I see in the ads) I am think about either 2.5 lift Rancho complete suspension system with shocks RANR1039R9
or Skyjacker 2.5 inch Value Flex Lift Kit with Shocks by Skyjacker - TJ253K-SVX-N

It is about 3 hundred difference and is the bang worth the buck?
01-04-2012 05:39 PM
Jerry Bransford That rear-end waggle is a non-issue, it's so minor that I pretty much stopped noticing it... only my wife noticed it but then she complains about imaginary problems that I can't hear, feel, or detect... so let's just say she's sensitive to such things. Definitely not a safety issue, just a minor occasional trait of having an automatic locker in the rear of a Jeep. And the more you drive with it, the more you learn how to drive to minimize, if not completely eliminate, the minor quirks of a rear locker. The only time I would not want a rear automatic locker is if I had to drive on icy roads or icy trails very much.
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