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Planning to re-gear and need locker advice

Old 09-16-2018, 09:19 AM
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Default Planning to re-gear and need locker advice

I have a 2009 JK 2 door with a 4" lift and 35" MTs and a 6-speed transmission (stock). I'm planning to drop 4.88s in and would like to add lockers at the same time. I know traditionally air lockers have always been the first choice, and I do like the idea of an onboard air compressor for airing tires up and down. But, with all the new technology out there, is that still the best way to go? I've heard that e-lockers have come a very long way.

I should mention that most of my driving is on the road as this is also my daily driver. But as you can imagine with stock gears, 5th and 6th gear are pretty much useless. And off-road I'm pretty much useless for anything but fire trails.

Also, if anyone has a recommendation for a good place to go in Northern Virginia to get the work done, I'd appreciate it. In the past, I've gone to High Tech Auto in Chantilly and they've always been good, but they're a little on the pricey side. If there's somewhere else that does good work for less, I'd be very interested to know.

Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2018, 12:36 PM
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You didn't really talk about your intended use. Do you actually need selectable lockers, or just want them because they're cool?

If you are just looking for better all-around traction, a pair a Detroit Truetracs can be a great setup. No worries about turning on and off, they work seamlessly with the BLD, no driveability issues on slick roads, etc

If you decide you do want selectables, Eaton E-Lockers were redesigned a few years back to a 4-pin design that is supposed to be comparable in strength to ARB's. If you want air, and want to save a little coin, Yukon Zip lockers are an option. There is some debate that they use an older arb design, but they offer a nice lifetime warranty with an addition that will cover breakage on the gears as well. (so at least they stand behind the design...)

If you want to go cheaper, many people are happy with lunchbox lockers or non-selectables like the Detroit Locker. Just depends on your wants/needs, and willingness to pay top dollar or put up with some possible driveability issues.

Last edited by nthinuf; 09-16-2018 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:42 PM
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I was thinking selectables because I've heard that auto-lockers can cause problems on the road when cornering and limited slips are great for the rear, but can cause the vehicle to pull when placed in the front axle. If any of this is incorrect or outdated, I'd love new information.

My planned off-road use case is trails and mid-range rock crawling. I'm not planning on high-end rock crawling, mainly because I don't want to attempt it with a manual. I got my mudding days out with my old jeep. I'm over the cleanup effort now. As I mentioned before, it's also my daily driver so I don't want to sacrifice too much capability on the highway.
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:49 PM
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Don't think I buy any of the Eaton 4 pin hype anymore. My rear no longer locks up, and I took very good care of it; diff fluid changes after every few wheeling trips, only locked when I had to, and would unlock as soon as I was able. Dunno what went, as I haven't had time to open the diff just yet (slammed with work).

Crawling with a manual is fun, you just need to lower your crawl ratio. Gears will help, but a Rubi t-case goes a long way. It's almost impossible to stall. I can't stall it in 1st gear 4lo, even with the brakes moderately pressed. I'm sure if I slammed the brakes to the floor it would, but not gonna try.

Last edited by BoraBora; 09-17-2018 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 09-18-2018, 07:22 AM
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Selectable lockers are nice, but for your intended use, put some consideration in to the options nthinuf highlighted above. If you go selectable, ARB is pretty much the gold standard, and you may as well get the dual compressor and get the benefits of OBA wherever/whenever you need it.....just don't expect to do much with the compressor besides airing up your tires. It's not enough to run any tools on or anything.

**pay attention to spline count in the rear. For your intended use, doesn't sound like you'd benefit a ton from upgrading to 35-spline which would then require you to replace axle shafts to match.

Originally Posted by BoraBora View Post
Don't think I buy any of the Eaton 4 pin hype anymore. My rear no longer locks up, and I took very good care of it; diff fluid changes after every few wheeling trips, only locked when I had to, and would unlock as soon as I was able.
Think I recall you mentioning rear locker issues previously, but for some reason was thinking you had the rubi e-locker back there. You have the 4-pin eaton design? Interesting that failed so quickly.
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Old 09-21-2018, 04:03 PM
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I have the Eaton in rear only 2008 JK, 35 Cooper, 6 speed with 4.88, 2 1/2 lift with some heavy armor, highway I cruise in 6th 70 MPH 2800 RPM. I was in Uwarrie recently and have no trouble climbing obstacles. Wish I would have put a locker in the front but at time of gear install I had just bought my new coops. That being said have not had any problems with the Eaton locker, I went with 4 Wheel Parts in VA beach just because I wanted to have a warrantee in case something went wrong.
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