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post #1 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Locker thoughts

I have read so much about lockers and am looking to see if you experts can advise. I have a 2011, 2 dr, JK sport, 6 spd, and regeared to 4:56, running 33's on 2.5 spring lift and 1.25 body lift. I wheel 80% street and 20 off and am I need of lockers for off road and the many feet of snow we can get in one shot. I am looking at an Eaton Electric on the rear 44 and a true track limited slip for the front since I will be streeting it most of the time. I do not have an unlimited budget and can get these for around $1500 dollars Vs 4 grand for two ARB air lockers

Thoughts or advise on the plan

Thanks

Randy
Bethlehem Pa.
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 06:53 AM
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For street use it prefer a selectable locker front and rear. I am currently running ARB front and rear in my jeep. And like that I have the option to have locked or open. My experience with snow and lockers around town has not been good and that's why I went with selectable.
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikerat View Post
I am looking at an Eaton Electric on the rear 44 and a true track limited slip for the front...
I'm no expert but I'd do it the other way around. TruTrac rear, selectable locker front...or TruTrac front and rear.
My current set-up is only the OEM limited slip rear on 315/70s but I've had zero problem offroad or in snow. When it gets iffy, I put it in 4x.
In 4Lo, I'm very capable offroad, likely able to overcome any obstacle the chassis will accomodate.
When my build progresses, it's TruTracs front and rear...I want the control in the snow. Lockers and open diffs won't do that.
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 07:34 AM
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I was able to get ARB's and gears for $3000 installed. It might be time to shop your price. I like the selectable front and rear, and like the functionality of my ARB's. You might be able to work a better deal if you do the install yourself, but then, I consider anything with gears a bit of a black art.
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 07:42 AM
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I have an Aussie locker in the front. I only use 4x4 on the street when there is alot of snow and it works fine.

If the roads are clear enough for cars, use 2 wheel drive.

We have 5 months of winter here and I only engage 4x4 a few times.

If you're on a budget it's a good option and works fine in snow provided thst it is deep enough to require 4x4 which mesns you're not going fast enough to scare yourself.
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 10:43 AM
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So... here is my humble opinion... Trutrac LSD's are insanely awesome for street use. I put a Torsen LSD in every race car I had since they started making them. They are the closest thing I could find to PowerTrax, which are fully automatic lockers. Unfortunately. PowerTrax doesn't make any lockers for the newer Wranglers or I would have them installed.

However, I personally didn't like the way they performed in my 2010 Wrangler while off-road. Because the LSD is reliant on application of torque, I found that on occasion, I had to use too much pedal to get the LSD to "lock up".

My current Wrangler is a Rubi with electric lockers. For off-road, I really found these to be almost as good as the automatic lockers due to ease of use and no need for on-board air.

I will continue to use Torsen LSD's in my street cars, but I'll stick to the electric lockers for now.

I'm not sure why folks are having problems in the snow with lockers. My Rubicon did great in the little blizzard that rolled through here not too many weeks ago. I was the only guy able to leave the neighborhood before the roads were plowed.


3 minute version with dash cam footage if you are board...

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post #7 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 11:09 AM
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Perhaps I could've stated my opinion better...

"I want the control on snow-covered roads, plowed or not. Lockers won't do that as well, open diffs won't do it, period."

We can debate the definition(s) of control some other time.
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post #8 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funfred View Post
Perhaps I could've stated my opinion better...

"I want the control on snow-covered roads, plowed or not. Lockers won't do that as well, open diffs won't do it, period."

We can debate the definition(s) of control some other time.
Why not discuss the opinions now? It is 100% relevant to the OP's request for opinions, seeing as in how driving in snow is one of his concerns.

After all, opinions about control and drivability in snow is like trail difficulty. A novice may think an entry lever trail was near impossible with a mild modified rig verse a season driver can take a stock JK Sport with ease over a rock garden that can barely be walked. It makes sense to me to provide multiple opinions and prospective so the OP (or anyone else) can relate their skills and opinions to people along the same experience and mind set. But that is just my opinion.


EDIT: New thought. Isn't there lockers on the market that are LSD when not locked? That may be a better option than locked or open.

Last edited by marcspaz; 02-07-2016 at 11:45 AM.
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 02:55 PM
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Ah, good point!
I apologize for the delay...it took some time to pull this outta my ass.
I can only go by my experiences but I think "this opinion" will fall in line with other's.

For the most part, I'm not gonna address open diffs. We all know they provide near zero control, under power or engine braking, in slippery conditions and relative to limited-slip/locked diffs.
By "control", I mean being able to manipulate the vehicle's direction and rate of acceleration/deceleration with some certainty and semblance of confidence. Loss of traction isn't necessarily loss of control, it could also be another means of getting the desired result(s) if it's induced by the operator.
By "slippery conditions", I mean situations that warrant 4x4/AWD as I'm limiting my comments to other than 2wd.
As far as situations, I'm also limiting my comments to on-road snow conditions. Off road situations offer too many variables by way of the terrain's camber, pitch, varying traction and obstacles.
Limited-slip might also be broken down to clutch-pack vs gear-driven. I'm not recommending clutch-pack LSDs for snow, but it's better than open.

The following is presented with "acceleration situations in a straight line" in mind.

Clutch-packs in limited-slip diffs have set pressure thresholds that must be met before the pack functions as intended. These pressures are rated in hundreds of pounds, like 300, 500, 800, etc. Likely, snow can present too little traction to overcome the preload tension, particularly in a "strong" set-up. Thus, the clutch-pack acts like a locker. Both wheels spin until the nominal amount of traction is gained by one wheel or the other. At that point, the spring pressure will have been overcome and the wheel without traction will continue to spin while the clutch-pack delivers reduced torque(governed by the spring pressure) to the wheel with traction. Hopefully, enough traction is gained by the one wheel that the diff can return to a locked state as the traction-less wheel fights against nothing or, at least, less traction than the spring pressure can overcome. The biggest drawback to this system, as I see it anyway, is the wheels waiting, perhaps imperceptibly, for the clutch plates to gain and/or release their hold. Throw the vehicle in a turn and that 1/2 rotation of the wheel may be enough to lock it again. Goodbye traction.

Gear-driven limited-slip diffs don't suffer the slippage that occurs with clutch-packs. They are always engaged and the side-to-side leverage is managed by a set ratio that's built into the design. They, as far as I'm concerned, will never act like a locker and, so, will always deliver a balanced amount of torque based on the available traction, throttle input not withstanding, up to 100% torque to one wheel. Yes, you can overcome the available traction for both wheels but each wheel still acts seemingly independent of one another as the amount of torque the user demands is delivered. It strives to maintain a seamless amount of traction, side-to-side.

Going out on a limb here, gear-drive is a plus in our JK's favor as the BLD(Brake Locked Differential) that assists in maintaining the amount of torque delivered is working with a balanced system. I assume BLD in a clutch-pack applies too little brake as it has the clutch-pack kicking in and out under spring pressure, leading to uncertain application of the both the brakes and the resulting traction, or lack thereof as traction is lost again when the brakes disengage. The sensors pick up on the loss of traction, re-engage the brakes, ad nausem. It might be correct to say the engagement/disengagement of the clutch-pack by spring force is a larger variable for the BLD to deal with than the constant ratio of a gear-driven LSD.

Lockers. This seems okay as both will be pulling equally, 50/50 percentages - there is no other split. When the wheel you're relying on for momentum loses its traction, that's the issue lockers present. If both wheels lose traction, neither regains it without an input from the operator. There may not be any traction to be had anyway, or you have your foot in it for fun, or you really need to just dig your way through. And there's the problem...knowing when you have traction. The available traction on one wheel may only support 40% torque and the other wheel's traction may only support 20% torque. Effectively, the weak side is doing nothing but maintaining its loss of traction if you're pulling at 40%. When the strong side loses its traction, both wheels are now "out of control" until corrected by the operator.

Hopefully, my understanding of these systems as I've presented them is on base. If so, let's move on to turning, a much more important aspect of vehicle control. The previous content of diatribe should lessen the amount of Pepto-Bismol needed to get through this.

Since we're talking about snow, I'm just gonna say it now. Lockers are the debil. In a turn, the arc paths cut by each wheel are different radii. That means none of the wheels are turning at the same rate. Effectively, if you have traction at one wheel, the other three are either being over-driven or under-driven. In other words, three wheels do not have meaningful traction.
End story and any kudos I would otherwise bestow upon lockers, particularly in a front application where the arc paths are significantly different. The rear? Not such a big deal, we should all know how to throttle steer. Lose the front when you need it? That's a BIG fucking deal...you're going straight as the rears want to push equally.

LSDs. They allow for the varying turn rates of the wheels.
Again, clutch-packs require enough traction at one of the axle's wheels to overcome spring pressure. You could still steer straight off the road if it's slick enough.
Gear-driven LSDs don't have thresholds to overcome. They act like open diffs whether they are under power or not. The difference is they deliver power in a balanced fashion, unlike an open that will send all the torque to the wheel that's spinning.

Deceleration...engine braking. Instead of adding still more verbal excrement to my post, just extrapolate the previous mass of feces to reflect the inverse forces.

That oughta do for a start.

And then there's the whole "rally" style of driving to consider. Pitch it sideways, punch it...

At any rate, I'm goin' gear-driven, front and rear. My JK climbs/digs well enough offroad with the open front and clutch-pack rear, but it's doesn't track so well in the snow. My WJ has QuadraDrive...I'm looking to emulate that control.

Last edited by funfred; 02-07-2016 at 02:58 PM.
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 03:55 PM
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Here's a quick video to show how the torsen diff works.

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post #11 of 27 Old 02-07-2016, 04:56 PM
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Awesome. That's the best video representation I've ever seen. It shed a lot of light and I'll be watchin' again to fully appreciate a better understanding.
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post #12 of 27 Old 02-08-2016, 06:06 PM
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I agree with Funfred on the placement of the selectable locker in the front and the Truetrac in the rear. Have a look at this video by Currie.

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post #13 of 27 Old 02-08-2016, 06:19 PM
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That was pretty cool.
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post #14 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 10:10 AM
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<edited: upfront apology added here as I so did not intend to intercept nor derail by-way-of hijack this thread. I am kinda wrapped-up in locker-data-overload rite now, if the OP will forgive me...jj>This thread is/those videos are the best explanation of the differential functionality I have read. This is exactly what I have been trying to pick-out of tons of web searching & information hunting prior to buying a locker for my 4door JK. I run a truetrac LSD in my rear D44 & open front d30; this has helped me acquire much valuable offroading skills & learn how to handle varied terrain types but - as that occurs - the skillset increase allows for greater degrees of wheeling difficulty to be attempted up-to the point where the performance of the equipment can no longer meet the need of the driver to overcome the desired obstacles degree of difficulty; IOWs, I have outgrown the equipment & am now ready to upgrade to a selectable locker to help .
Now, I have decided to lock the rear via a selectable/electric & it seems my options consist of the Eaton E-Locker, an OX with the electric actuator option or ( my main preference + this coincides with my upgrade to Yukon 5.13 R&Ps) the Yukon Zip locker for non-rubicon D44 back there. Each of these - if I am not mistaken - have 4 pins & are available for my rear axle. I would agree with much of the LSD info in here & while I would like to keep a limited slip option back there w/ the option to lockit up, but the Ected that can do so is only 2 pin and I have heard it is not as stout as these other options.
Regardless, I learned a lot from this and just wanted to chime in with what I had learned /why I am interested just-in case I have misunderstood what was presented. This thread helped me greatly & I appreciate you guys posting it( as well as Mr. Currie's video).


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post #15 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 10:34 AM
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^^^ Good post! We need a "Like" button.

Lots of smart guys here with tons of experience and knowledge. I don't post a lot... but I'm reading a lot of good info all the time.
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post #16 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 02:10 PM
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Huge fan of this thread. I have been away a little while from JKowners and this is my welcome back. Great stuff. For what it is worth I love my OX lockers

Obama's EPA just shut down your favorite ORV trail.
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post #17 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StepsRide View Post
Huge fan of this thread. I have been away a little while from JKowners and this is my welcome back. Great stuff. For what it is worth I love my OX lockers
welcome back!
So, you have an OX in the rear ( heh; that sounds funny...) 44? Which of the three activation setups do you use? How do they handle on the street & any other nuances or details on them wouldn't be off topic I don't think.


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post #18 of 27 Old 02-15-2016, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j3ff3ry_j33p View Post
welcome back!
So, you have an OX in the rear ( heh; that sounds funny...) 44? Which of the three activation setups do you use? How do they handle on the street & any other nuances or details on them wouldn't be off topic I don't think.

I went with the manual actuated Locker. It was not fun to route the cable and install the fork. However the guys at OX were great to help out. It handles fine on the road just like any other open Diff. Probably would have gone with the Air version if I were to do it again.

Off road it has been reliable for 3 years now. No worries or any problems. Does the job well

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post #19 of 27 Old 03-03-2016, 05:09 PM
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When researching lockers for my 15 I decided against the Rubicon with electric lockers for the simple fact that they can only be engaged when in low and are only good to 15 mph. I checked out Detroit's but read so many people saying that they were not good on snowy or slippery roads. I was going to go with a TruTrac in the rear and a Detroit up front but I was told by the shop that they will not install a Detroit in the front. I ended up with TruTracs front and rear. Let me state that I don't off road other than fire trails in Nov. when hunting. We had 18 inches of snow here last year and I could drive through the sub in 2 wheel drive. Others had gone through already so it wasn't virgin snow. Nice thing about TruTrac's is they are always on, rain sleet snow or sand. You don't have to anticipate when to engage them. For mostly on road use you can't beat them.
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post #20 of 27 Old 03-03-2016, 08:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider View Post
When researching lockers for my 15 I decided against the Rubicon with electric lockers for the simple fact that they can only be engaged when in low and are only good to 15 mph.
while this is true from the factory, you can get that changed with a tune. An aftermarket handheld will let you program the computer to use the factory switches/wiring while in 4-high.

Also, if you wire in your own switches, you can wire the locker so you can turn on the front and rear lockers independent of each other, even in 2 wheel drive. This is great if you want to lock the front and leave the rear unlocked. If you were going to wire in your own lockers anyway... this shouldn't be an issue.

I have done 45 mph with the front and rear lockers on and I have done 80 mph with just the rear locked.

I have a 2015 JKUR. I have done 30 mph with the jeep in 4-low and the lockers didn't disengage. The speed limiter and forced use of lockers in low range is built into the JK because of liability concerns, not because of limits of the hardware.
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post #21 of 27 Old 03-04-2016, 07:20 PM
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Question- why would you want your lockers engaged at a speed above 15mph?

If you can get any faster than that it's because you have traction which negates the requirement for lockers.
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post #22 of 27 Old 03-05-2016, 07:29 AM
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You ever raced is sand, mud or snow?

I had full time front and rear lockers in my XJ. They were awesome to drive with on the street. I got extra peace of mind while driving at highway speeds in rain and light snow. They where great for racing in loose sand and mudd. I never had to worry if the were on.

Hole shots in my race carwere amazing and on the big end of the track I didn't have to worry about posi letting one tire slip, stuffing me in the wall at 130 either.

Last edited by marcspaz; 03-05-2016 at 07:37 AM.
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post #23 of 27 Old 03-05-2016, 08:37 AM
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Makes sense for a race car but in my humble opinion, does not apply to the OP's needs.

I've never tried driving at highway speeds in rain and snow with both axles locked. If it works for you great but I'm too chicken to try
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post #24 of 27 Old 03-05-2016, 01:54 PM
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I agree, it doesn't fall in line with the OP's question. I was just expanding on what Strider mentioned. It does apply mostly to track and off-road racing.

And, yes... 45 mph with the front locker on is scary AF, both in the XJ and the JK. Interstate highway speeds with the rear locked actually feels pretty good.
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post #25 of 27 Old 03-05-2016, 07:25 PM
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I'll have to bow out of this thread. What goes on in my locker is very personal to me and I will not share that on a public forum. What happens in my locker stays in my locker.

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