1. Welcome to Jeeps.net!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Jeep discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other Jeep owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Differential Lockers

Discussion in 'Wrangler TJ (1996-2006)' started by Machinehead49, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Sep 6, 2016 at 4:54 PM
    #1
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    I am a relatively new Jeep owner and have been off roading only a handful of times. I have a rancho short arm suspension with a 2.5" lift and some Cooper 33's. The more i talk to Jeepers, the more I hear about Lockers. I have zero knowledge about Lockers. In my limited search i have found a few different brands. I have a 2003 Wrangler TJ Sahara. I was wondering what you guys have in your rig and what you have found works best. I would like to be able to open the differential from open to 100% lock-up as easy as possible but I understand that will cost more. I am obviously trying to find a product that is the most cost effective as well as proven on the trail. If you could let me know brands and how they have worked for you that would be great. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Sep 6, 2016 at 6:12 PM
    #2
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Member:
    #2
    Messages:
    3,336
    Gender:
    Male
    Being a new Jeep owner, I'd do some trails, and wait until you get your skill level up, and are familiar with how the jeep behaves off road. Many times, folks who are new, lock too soon, or when not needed, and end up on their roof.
     
  3. Sep 6, 2016 at 6:29 PM
    #3
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    I am more of a try it first without the locker and if i can't make it then try it again with the locker type of guy. I am mainly in arizona in areas where the terrain has been very loose as opposed to rocky.
     
  4. Sep 6, 2016 at 6:48 PM
    #4
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Member:
    #2
    Messages:
    3,336
    Gender:
    Male
    What part of AZ?
     
  5. Sep 6, 2016 at 6:50 PM
    #5
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Member:
    #42
    Messages:
    759
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Richard
    Helena, Montana
    Vehicle:
    Jeep
    2.5" AEV Dual Sport lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Black Rock Wheels, AEV Front & Rear Bumpers with Tire Carrier, Fuel Caddy 10 gal. Aux. fuel tank, Warn 9.5ti, 125' synthetic winch line, front axle skid, 20" LED light bar , Bilstein Shocks, steel steering skidplate,
    Hello...welcome to the site.

    I drive a '12 Rubicon so my rig came with E-lockers from the factory. SO...I will share the experience I have with OTHER PEOPLE's lockers. Not really what you asked for but, by way of reference, I have wheeled with A LOT (read: hundreds) of people and have guided and trained many wheelers along the way. This does not make me an expert...just a tad experienced.

    This is one of many questions which can become overwhelming with opinions. Yes, the full-time lockers are stronger, yes Detroit's TruTracs (which I like for some uses) are cheaper, yes there are dozens of other choices...but most do not meet your requirements.

    One of the most common lockers (which meet your requirements) would be ARB's Air Lockers. These are very common on the trails. I have seen very few failures of the locker itself but I have seen issues from airline damage (it happens) or from moisture freezing the air-lines. (remember, I commonly wheel in temps WELL below zero---I'm in Montana). They are easy to find and most 4x4 shops will have a good deal of experience with them. The company's support is generally well thought of. Proper installation of the airlines and the routing of them is important. This locker requires the installation of an air compressor to activate the lockers. Strength is good for up to 37" tires under normal trail use.

    Eaton's E-lockers are pricey but simple to operate. Just push a switch. They are easy to install as they only require a switched 12V connection. These, in my experience, are not as common on the trail but have a great reputation among those who actually use them. Strength is good for up to 37" tires under normal trail use.

    OX Lockers are well known for their strength and reliability. These are commonly used in custom buggies which still need streetablility. They actuate via a shifter and hard cable to the locker which means they lock up RIGHT NOW when actuated. As long as you have the cable adjusted properly, these are probably some of the most reliable you can buy. No air to leaks, no electrical wires to short out...it just works. This one will stand up to driving over bushes and such better than the others because it uses a steel cable. Harder to install than the others and requires the installation of a shifter unit for each locker in the cab within reach.

    These are actually in the order I would consider them for one of my own rigs. My trail rig is also my daily driver and that plays heavy on my choices here. I am assuming you are asking for your DD as well.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck making your choice. I would not feel unprepared with any of these in my rig.

    Wheel Safe!
     
    VOZ likes this.
  6. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:09 PM
    #6
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    Phoenix area but all my Jeepin has been up north near Flagstaff. I have been to the cinders OHV area twice and to Mormon Lake area.
     
    Oogie likes this.
  7. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:13 PM
    #7
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Member:
    #2
    Messages:
    3,336
    Gender:
    Male
    Nice! I'm in Tempe, and do most of mine around Butcher, 4 Peaks, and up near the Mogollon Rim.
     
  8. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:15 PM
    #8
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Member:
    #42
    Messages:
    759
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Richard
    Helena, Montana
    Vehicle:
    Jeep
    2.5" AEV Dual Sport lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Black Rock Wheels, AEV Front & Rear Bumpers with Tire Carrier, Fuel Caddy 10 gal. Aux. fuel tank, Warn 9.5ti, 125' synthetic winch line, front axle skid, 20" LED light bar , Bilstein Shocks, steel steering skidplate,
    Well, I am feeling left out so....I did plenty of driving around the desert around Fort Huachuca (Sierra Vista) in a military M151 (jeep). Does that count? hahaha
     
  9. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:31 PM
    #9
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    Cool. Where is the butcher area?
     
  10. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:32 PM
    #10
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    Haha. Counts to me.
     
    C2T likes this.
  11. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:38 PM
    #11
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    This was very informative. Thank you for the information and for taking the time to share.
     
    C2T likes this.
  12. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:39 PM
    #12
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Member:
    #2
    Messages:
    3,336
    Gender:
    Male
    In the East valley, buy Saguaro Lake
     
  13. Sep 6, 2016 at 7:42 PM
    #13
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    Ahhh okay. I'm probably going to be doing something with my buddy in the Wickenburg area which should be cool
     
    Bob and chris4x4 like this.
  14. Sep 8, 2016 at 7:32 PM
    #14
    Rc Jeep

    Rc Jeep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Member:
    #190
    Messages:
    437
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Ryan
    Vehicle:
    '16 Rubicon
    Evo mfg front coil overs Evo mfg rear coil overs Jks drag link flip Je reel 1310 front & rear driveshafts 37" Nitto trail grapplers 17x9 atx slabs Evo mfg quarter pounder w/stinger Evo mfg rear fascia w/ d ring mounts
    I am also in Tempe and do most of my 4 wheeling at 4 peaks sycamore creek and butcher jones.

    I have the front and rear e lockers and have only used the rear I think 1 time so far.
     
    Bob and chris4x4 like this.
  15. Sep 8, 2016 at 8:07 PM
    #15
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    Nice. My I just talked to my buddy who has front and rear ARB air lockers and he said he has only ever used the rear lockers because he can't steer at all with the front lockers locked. Anyone have such a problem? I had only read that turning was a big issue with the front locked...
     
  16. Sep 8, 2016 at 8:11 PM
    #16
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Member:
    #2
    Messages:
    3,336
    Gender:
    Male
    If your on loose stuff, turning the front isn't a big deal, but then again, its also easy to hit the switch to unlock if turning.
     
    Rc Jeep likes this.
  17. Sep 8, 2016 at 8:19 PM
    #17
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    I figured it shouldn't be. I will have to give him shit next time I talk to him.
     
  18. Sep 8, 2016 at 8:27 PM
    #18
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Member:
    #42
    Messages:
    759
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Richard
    Helena, Montana
    Vehicle:
    Jeep
    2.5" AEV Dual Sport lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Black Rock Wheels, AEV Front & Rear Bumpers with Tire Carrier, Fuel Caddy 10 gal. Aux. fuel tank, Warn 9.5ti, 125' synthetic winch line, front axle skid, 20" LED light bar , Bilstein Shocks, steel steering skidplate,
    Lockers should only be used when there is REALLY poor traction. Using them, be it front or rear, on surfaces with good traction is not just not needed but can and will damage your rig. Front lockers should be used less often than the rear and they can cause issues turning. I use both A LOT but that is due to the amount of deep snow wheeling I do. There is simply no need to use them both all the time. Some may find they simply are not doing wheeling which require both lockers...other can't live without them. Hell, many never get them at all. You just have to decide what YOU want to be able to do.
     
  19. Sep 8, 2016 at 8:35 PM
    #19
    Machinehead49

    Machinehead49 [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2016
    Member:
    #181
    Messages:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Vehicle:
    2003 Grey Wrangler Sahara
    Rancho short arm suspension 2.5" Lift kit with Rs5000 Shocks, Cooper 33" tires, Mickey Thompson classic baja locks.
    I feel like tiny cinders would be a perfect application for using lockers then.
     
  20. Sep 8, 2016 at 8:46 PM
    #20
    C2T

    C2T Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Member:
    #42
    Messages:
    759
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Richard
    Helena, Montana
    Vehicle:
    Jeep
    2.5" AEV Dual Sport lift, 35" Treadwright Guard Dogs, Black Rock Wheels, AEV Front & Rear Bumpers with Tire Carrier, Fuel Caddy 10 gal. Aux. fuel tank, Warn 9.5ti, 125' synthetic winch line, front axle skid, 20" LED light bar , Bilstein Shocks, steel steering skidplate,
    haha...if you are not spinning your wheels or are about to be, you likely don't need to turn the lockers on. If you have ever seen that spot where a Jeep is all twisted and one wheel on each axle is spinning but the rig is not going....that is a great place for lockers. Or climbing steep shale or loose gravel. You will have to play and learn. Something of note though...lockers and a lead foot usually don't go well together. There is always a time and place for giving it the onion but more often than not slow and steady works best with lockers.
     
    VOZ, chris4x4 and Rc Jeep like this.
To Top