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Locker recomendations

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Locker recomendations Empty Locker recomendations

Post  NHBill 10/8/2013, 8:04 am

Hi everyone,

Looking for advice on what type/brand or lockers to get for my 2000 TJ.  It has stock Dana 30 front, stock Dana 44 rear.  33" tires and a 4" lift, SLE, custom drive shaft.

I like the idea of an automatic locker like an Aussie without having to get out and manually engage it and without requiring air lines/cables or other apparatus to manually engage it.

What's the general opinion wrt to locking just the front or back?  Is it better to be pulled over an obstacle or pushed over it?  If price isn't an issue should I just do both?  Can the stock Dana 30 up front handle a locker?  I can't afford new axles right now so I can't afford to break one either, especially the front 30.

This is also my son's daily driver (he's 16, my jeep though) back and forth to high school so I would be concerned about drivability especially in the snow around the hills in his neighborhood.

All opinions welcome.  Thx.
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Post  Mark 10/8/2013, 9:09 am

If you DO NOT install Selectable rear locker you may have issues driving in the snow on the street.
Install a locker that has locked or open option.
Lock rear first, if you do lock the front,, in tight turning  slippery/muddy/sandy loose gravel trails it can make steering a bit of a challenge at times to maintain steering control (it won't want to turn/wants to go straight ahead instead)
You can lock the front but a high pinion Dana 30 would be a better Dana 30 to lock up.
It is stronger(not the axles they are same for both) but the carrier is stronger and the pinion bearings will last  because they do not use a crush collar to set pinion depth/ preload instead  it uses shims,,better/stronger.
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Post  Rob Cote 10/8/2013, 9:45 am

This topic is always interesting to me.
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Post  Mark 10/8/2013, 9:49 am

MEE TOO. Stir it up,, lets hear it!
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Post  Rob Cote 10/8/2013, 9:52 am

Mark wrote:MEE TOO. Stir it up,, lets hear it!
My plan, if/when I get a locker is an Aussie up front.
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Post  janesy 10/8/2013, 10:34 am

Mark wrote:If you DO NOT install Selectable rear locker you may have issues driving in the snow on the street.

Lock rear first, if you do lock the front,, in tight turning  slippery/muddy/sandy loose gravel trails it can make steering a bit of a challenge at times to maintain steering control (it won't want to turn/wants to go straight ahead instead)
I can agree with you on the auto locker in the rear, since it'll always be locked it can be different driving on the road in the snow. So I'd suggest for your son, do not put an auto locker there. I had one in my last vehicle, and it wasn't bad at all, just slightly different and drove not like an idiot.

But I will have to disagree with the second statement. I find it easier to turn with just the front locked. At least you can turn the front wheels to turn. With just the rear locked it wants to push you straight as both rear tires are pushing you forward...

So with that said, I'd put a auto locker in the front all day first over the rear. Plus in 2wd on the road it will be invisible. And I'd bet you will find a locker in either axle a big improvement over none, so I wouldn't worry bought not having the rear locked right away as well.
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Post  onlytopher 10/8/2013, 10:37 am

I would recommend a selectable up front. In snow even my truetrac limited slip was a bit scary.
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Post  Mark 10/8/2013, 10:43 am

Is it agreed that we all disagree,, LOL,, we all have had different experiences/situations with our rigs.
A dana 300 twin stick t case would afford you the ability to run in 4 low with front end only, that would be great.
It is a give and take with a front locker, but I would much rather have one than not have one.
For someone with minimal experience with a front locker  be careful if you install one especially a non selectable one .
My limited slip factory rear diff is kinda scarey at times, especially when taking off it goes sideways from a dead stop when roads are wet.

C'MON WE NEED MORE INPUT HERE.
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Post  Tonellin 10/8/2013, 12:03 pm

I don't think you'll ever get a definitive answer especially since you have a 44 rear.  For guys with the 30/35 combo its obvious that you would get a front locker because who would willingly put $$ into a 35?

I've always believed lock the front first, but I've read a lot of smart people say lock the rear first.  With weight transfer when climbing obstacles you usually won't have an issue with traction in the rear.  The front locker helps on obstacles where you need to get up an obstacle and have it pull you over.  Having the front locked makes it a pain to turn on tight trails however

Each has its own pros and cons. Bottom line is either/or is a great improvement and money well spent
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Post  Mark 10/8/2013, 12:09 pm

locking a 35 is a waste of time and money, better off even locking a low pinion 30 if that's all you have.
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Post  NHBill 10/8/2013, 12:48 pm

Tonellin wrote:I don't think you'll ever get a definitive answer
I wasn't expecting a definitive answer, but more of a discussion on the various aspects of lockers. And a discussion is definitely what we have so keep it going folks.

So far my takeaway is that at least one locker is better than no locker and probably better to lock the front if you can only do one considering a rear locker's propensity to want to keep the vehicle moving in a straight line.
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Post  CrawlingForward 10/8/2013, 1:36 pm

I have aussie lockers front and rear and would *not* recommend it for a 16yo, ha ha.

Seriously, a sudden shift can make you do half a lane-change if you aren't paying attention.  I daily drove it for a year or so with no issues, but it's *definitely* not something I'd recommend a responsible parent give to a kid.

An automatic just up front wouldn't be so bad and would be a good cheap solution.  In terms of wheeling front vs. rear is really 6-one-way-half-dozen-the-other.

If you're ever planning on re-gearing, save pennies and get a full selectable at that point.  That way you're not paying for labor (the expensive part) just the locker(s) itself.

Oh, and I'm running 32s' on 8.8 and Dana 30 locked/locked with *no* problems.

A HP Dana 30 should hold up to a locked 33" without much issue. Ryan has a limited slip, I think, in his HP 30 and 35s with no breakage.

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Post  dongalonga 10/8/2013, 7:05 pm

Like it has been said previously:

1)Determine the ultimate tire size desired
2)Determine necessary gearing
3)add lockers of your choice front and rear

It is too costly to rip apart diffs multiple times. Just wheel it the way it is, save up, and do it right the first time.
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