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Thread: Auto Lockers?

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    I served...Now I Protect vwJarhead's Avatar
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    Default Auto Lockers?

    Any thoughts on adding an auto locker to a stock 08 sahara unlimited? Pros, Cons, any change to MPG's? I don't know how much wheeling I will be doing but I absolutely need to be able to get to work no matter what. I am essential personnel and can't afford to get stuck in a ditch on a snowy back road.
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    Junior Member mremala's Avatar
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    It has been my opinion that auto lockers are NOT your best option on icy roads. Physics dictates that the axle that loses traction wants to lead. If you have to have an auto locker, then so be it, but a manual locker is far better on ice. Open difs can be better on ice, but a liability in deep snow... thats where manual lockers come in. Just my opinion.
    I have driven steep mountain roads at below zero temps now for 20 years. Your situation may be different for you.

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    Hi this is gino talking, and i'mn sorry but i've been in the jeeping bizness for a long time. there is nothing better than an lunchbox locker for a beginner wheeler. now the questinon is , .... is the locker gonna go to the front diff or the rear.for what ive heard is that it's gonna be for ice and snow, so. theres nothing better 4 me than in the front. nothing like direction with traction, but that's just me. $370 with common hand tools and off you go have fun.

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    Gino is a wheelin budddy of mine also in the Air Force

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    Senior Member ETSubchief's Avatar
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    I don't have any personal experience w/lockers yet, but there is alot of discussion on what to get. The Jeepforum has alot of threads about the good and the bad. My recommendation is to visit there before making any decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooter LJ View Post
    Hi this is gino talking, and i'mn sorry but i've been in the jeeping bizness for a long time. there is nothing better than an lunchbox locker for a beginner wheeler. now the questinon is , .... is the locker gonna go to the front diff or the rear.for what ive heard is that it's gonna be for ice and snow, so. theres nothing better 4 me than in the front. nothing like direction with traction, but that's just me. $370 with common hand tools and off you go have fun.
    To answer your question:
    Yes I am new to wheeling, and I would indeed put the locker on the front.

    Just to verify, if the locker is on the front and Im in normal 2 wheel everyday driving then the locker will not engage at all? But if I shift to 4 wheel then and ONLY then does it become active, is this correct?

    Thanks for the help and input.
    "You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered"
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    Well I am in this same debate right now, but my factory locker ate the torsion gears out of the locker and forced me to upgrade. I don't have the money for an ARB and don't want a factory locker (front or rear) and run into this problem again. I have decided on a Detroit SOF locker for the rear. If you get an auto one then get the SOF locker as it helps with the bangs and jerks of the normal Detroit. I have a Detroit in my wifes SWB TJ and I almost hate it sometimes. Plus having a longer wheel base lessens the shock loading of the differential.
    2006 Rubicon Unlimited, 6" Nth degree LA, RE remote reservoir shocks, 4.88's, Alloy USA axles, Yukon Super Joints, Warn Power Plant, Warn bumpers, custom winch plate, and more then I have room to list!

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    I served...Now I Protect vwJarhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vwJarhead View Post
    To answer your question:
    Yes I am new to wheeling, and I would indeed put the locker on the front.

    Just to verify, if the locker is on the front and Im in normal 2 wheel everyday driving then the locker will not engage at all? But if I shift to 4 wheel then and ONLY then does it become active, is this correct?

    Thanks for the help and input.

    see quote, really need a straight answer. Never used a locker, yet alone an auto.
    "You're making the wrong assumption that a Marine by himself is outnumbered"
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    -America is not at war, The Marine Corps is at war. America is at the mall and Congress is out to lunch....

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    Junior Member mremala's Avatar
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    To answer your question.....yes and no. If you have a newer jeep then your front axle is always turning, whether 4wd is engaged or not. A locker in the front will STILL engage even in 2wd. If your jeep has manual locking hubs installed on the front axle, then your front locker would not engage unless you locked your front hubs. Manual locking hubs are not standard equipment, and unless you or the PO installed them, you probably don't have them. So yes, your locker WOULD still engage.

    But installing a front auto locker is not a bad idea when used on ice, put a manual locker in the back when the money comes. As I stated earlier, physics dictates that the axle that loses traction wants to lead. If your front axle loses traction because of the locker, then it will want to lead and since it already is....that is a good thing.

    A change in acceleration is what causes trouble in icy conditions. Positive acceleration or negative acceleration (braking)is where it starts. The reason a locker CAN be bad on ice is because if both tires start to spin, then traction is lost and the trouble starts. An open diff only drives one wheel. so the theory is that only one tire will lose traction, as the other isn't "driven". That theory doesn't always hold water, but that is the reason, if you buy a new car with a limited slip differential, it comes with an orange sticker warning you about LSD's on ice.

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    Well I have never used an auto locker in the front. In your hub less front axle the diff will engage and disengage as it goes around corners, but given the fact that in two wheel drive and in the front it will lock and unlock at will being nearly transparent as you drive. As long as you get a Detroit SOF locker then you will most likely have no driveability issues in 2wd.

    If you are worried about it, then you can consider a true track in the front. there will be no driveability concerns with one in 2wd or 4wd. It is not a true locker but is more effective then a LSD or clutch type diff. I have one in the front of my wife's jeep and with a smaller lift and tires then mine to follow me almost every where I go. So it could be a good alternative and it is cheaper then a Detroit.
    2006 Rubicon Unlimited, 6" Nth degree LA, RE remote reservoir shocks, 4.88's, Alloy USA axles, Yukon Super Joints, Warn Power Plant, Warn bumpers, custom winch plate, and more then I have room to list!

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