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New to the forum. My son and I are new to the off-road world and really having a great time. We just made a trip to Uwharrie National Forest. Our XJ needs more mods to make it even more enjoyable.

Future projects include: Lockers (front then rear), Front bumper and winch, and possibly more lift and bigger tires.

Can anyone give us advice on the lockers and bumper projects...my son is doing most of the buying so we are trying to keep costs to a minimum.
 

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How soon are you considering adding more lift and bigger tires? Are you going to regear the axles to lower gears to compensate for the larger tires?

You should probably decide on those factors before spending money on a locker. If you know you're going to stay with the current gears for a while then go with a locker, but if you're going to regear then do a locker at the same time you regear so you don't have to pull the carrier twice.

For a front locker, I'd personally go with a selectable, like an ARB. For the rear you could with the same selectable or with an auto locker like a Detroit. If you want to save some coin, you could go with a lunchbox locker like a Powertrax, Lockrite, or Aussie. The options are endless.

Another thing to consider is that if you have a Dana 35 rear, then you may want to actually consider swapping that axle out for either a 29 spline 8.25, Dana 44, or 8.8. The Dana 35 is not worth modifying as it is a notoriously weak axle, and it's a crapshoot on how long it'll last you.

If you guys are into fabbing your own parts, then you'll be able to find many write-ups on bumper builds on the internet. If fabbing isn't your cup of tea, then you still have many options. You'll want to find a bumper that ties into the "frame" so that you can use it for recovery situations. I have a JCR Offroad Stage 4 front bumper, and it's really great. It's compact, yet very strong, and it ties into the "frame".
 

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Here's a start:

Dana 30 locker:

http://www.aussielocker.com/item.php/TMb5580b/f3c2/10/310001/.html

8.25 rear locker:

http://www.aussielocker.com/item.php/TMb5580b/f3c2/10/310060/.html

Dana 35 rear locker:

http://www.aussielocker.com/item.php/TMb5580b/f3c2/10/310003/.html
http://www.aussielocker.com/item.php/TMb5580b/f3c2/10/310051/.html


There is also a powertrax lockright locker for about $300 or so. These are "lunchbox" lockers that are easy to install/remove and are full time lockers.

Bumpers...what kind do you and your son like? Do you like hoops or grill guards on your bumpers? need d-rings? What are your preferences and budget?

You could try pm-ing jason from jeepinoutfitters.com for lockers/bumpers/parts. He's good to deal with and has great prices.
 

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A wise decision is to purchase the winch and bumper first. The only thing a locker is going to do is get you more stuck, and a lift will get you stuck DEEPER!! As for lockers, the powertrax lunch box locker treated rather nice even when i ran 36'' TSL's on the 8 1/4. (the axle shaft did blow apart, hence the 44) The only thing worse than getting stuck and not being able to get out is having to spend the night digging your rig out like there was gold under it.
 
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