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Budget Master
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1,145 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Im looking for the best lockers for my 94 xj sport and since i dont have all this experence and what not ive came to ask the pros. The axels are stock on the xj.

Its not like im going to buy them soon though. There just on the long term list.

Mabie include some general info on lockers.
 

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Budget Master
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Discussion Starter #3
you mean swap the d35 out or is there something im missing?
 

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Web Wheeler
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Yes, swap the dana 35 axle. It is super weak to begin with and pouring money into it is pointless.
 

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x 3 on getting rid of your D35 before you invest in lockers!!!!! Aussie Lockers are $239 apiece for all XJ axles. These things are AWESOME!!! They are very quiet and they donnot ratcht on the road at all. All you hear on the road is a very quiet slight clicking while cornering. The best part is these things are Super Awesome off road. Again, no ratcheting, clunking or jerking common with most more expensive lockers. They lock up when going straight and they unlock when turning, automatically, no switches, nuf said. I would recommend these things to anybody.:thumbsup:
 

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Premium Member
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The best locker out there is a spool. It has no moving parts to wear out or break. It's one solid unit that locks the shafts together full time.

ARB's used to be considered the best locker out there, which i still think is, but they sometimes run into air issues and stuff like that. There's alot of parts on it that could fail but having the option to turn on and off the locker is just too cool. :thumbsup:

The "lunchbox" lockers are pretty strong and good. Too many of us use them with success. I've been running lockrights for years and wouldn't change to anything else simply because they work :)

(and they are cheap!)
 

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Budget Master
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Discussion Starter #8
LIke i said the lockers will come later but they are on the list i just want to know what i need before i want to get it. what should i switch it out for?
 

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The best locker out there is a spool. It has no moving parts to wear out or break. It's one solid unit that locks the shafts together full time.

ARB's used to be considered the best locker out there, which i still think is, but they sometimes run into air issues and stuff like that. There's alot of parts on it that could fail but having the option to turn on and off the locker is just too cool. :thumbsup:

The "lunchbox" lockers are pretty strong and good. Too many of us use them with success. I've been running lockrights for years and wouldn't change to anything else simply because they work :)

(and they are cheap!)

A spool has its place. But that place is only for about 5% of people. I ran a front spool for a while. The first run was in the snow, and I didn't have hydro-assist steering. Even in the snow it was very difficult to deal with. Once I went to hydro assist, it was fine for the most part. However, it still really limits turning radius - there is situations where it would spare a lot of time and effort to actually be able to unlock it. Reliability wise, they are awesome. I've seen few failures. One stripped the splines out, I suspect it might have been defective... Beyond that, you will reliably break everything else first. Street driving with a spool is stupid. Which is why MOST people should not consider one. In my front it was fine when I ran hubs (unlock them), but hubs were way more of a pain that I liked (junk) so I went back to drive flanges. It still drove okay, the tires would scream a bit and bind like mad in parking lots. And it did 'bad' front wheel skids on snow/ice. Otherwise, the main issue is it kills your tires. Cut your projected tire life span in half - that's what having a spool or welded axle will do. Oh, in a rear application they kill your turning radius too.

So, summary of a spool - good for trail only.

I have little personal experience with ARBs or other slectables. But I did a lot of research into them, as I plan to run ARBs in my next rig (plan, yeah, plans change). The newer ARBs have dual seals for the air collar (or w/e), which has darastically cut down on issues. Also, most of it comes down to the installer and user. You can't just throw it in there, everything has to be clean and you have to pre-lube the o-rings, etc. Which is what I consider 'standard practices' but doesn't always happen. The air line is a weak point for the ARB, and an aftermarket line is avaliable to fix it. Or a guy can rig up his own with very little trouble. Also, most of the issues resulted from incorrect installation anyways - the line can't get pinched, rub, or caught on anything. You have to think about it a bit. Lastly, on ARBs, the supplied air manifold setup is we-todd-ed, and a much more reliably setup can be made for a few dollars with some misc fittings and self dumping air switches. Oh, and you do need air to run them... Of the other selectables, things are a little hit and miss. The detroit electrac is no more, and good riddance. The auburn ECTED appears to be a decent unit, but some people have had the run-around with them. They work great when they do work, as all you need is a 12V power supply to trigger them. OX makes a cable actuated locker, personally I am not a fan. Most people cite the cables as being an issue as they need adjustment often and can break. And there's a couple more selectables. My point is the ARB is probably the most reliable unit, and there is a hell of a lot of them out there being beat on with few problems.

And I won't touch a lunchbox locker with a 10' pole. Other than the detroit for a GM 14B. To me a lunchbox locker is a bad idea. Stock carriers are garbage, it has been proven. A lunchbox relies on that crappy carrier... Hmm. That's gonna go well. But, the price does make them attractive and I will give a concession to the fact that 90% of people don't take things far enough to break such a part.

Other lockers I like... Detroit full case lockers (softlocker). They're reliable, often you'll find them in 5T and larger trucks along with military and equipment applications. They've been around since the beginning of time, so they have plenty of testing and miles on them... The result is a well behaved locker that is very robust.

The detroit truetrac is a great limited slip. I will mention it because it does work better than any useless clutch pack L/S. It is not a full locker, but it is entirely invisible in a front or rear install on the street, and it offers a huge gain in traction over an open diff or clutch pack L/S. They're also very strong. I broke a gearset without breaking mine... A bit expensive, but I'd rock one again in a DD that only saw mild trails, snow, and gravel roads.
 

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Budget Master
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
yea keep in mind it will also be a dd. thats why i like what i hear about the arbs.

But i need to suggestions to what i need to switch my dana 35 out to before i look in to this my self.
 

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yea keep in mind it will also be a dd. thats why i like what i hear about the arbs.

I'd say the only real downfall to them (in the end) is the price. You need a source of air, their manifold (or build your own), lines, and the lockers themselves.

OBA, using a converted A/C compressor, will be my source of air. I figure I need air anyways (tires, tools, etc), so that is not an added cost specific to the lockers themselves. However, the lines I plan to use are pricey (unless I get more freebies from work), and an extra regulator, fittings, and air switches adds up.

Oh, and you could probably buy two detroits for one ARB.
 

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Budget Master
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Discussion Starter #12
but are the arbs higher quality then the detroits?
 

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Web Wheeler
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As far as lockers go, I would go with detroit. I have a couple buddies who run ARBs in their yotas and they are a PITA. They blow seals like a mofo. It seems like everytime we go out someone blows a seal.
 

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As far as lockers go, I would go with detroit. I have a couple buddies who run ARBs in their yotas and they are a PITA. They blow seals like a mofo. It seems like everytime we go out someone blows a seal.

What I was told OVER and OVER was to make damn sure the air was regulated to the correct pressure and that you installed the seals correctly. Also, the gear oil HAS to be clean. Any fine particulates in it can damage the seals.

Expedition guys seem more likely to run ARBs over anything else (save the guys with factory lockers, toyota, Mog, rubicons, pinz), which I think states something about them.

But I will agree that the detroit is a great product. But they are different... A detroit is an auto-locker, an ARB is selectable... Quality wise, I think they're about the same. But the ARB is much more usable for a rig that sees a lot of mixed driving.
 

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Budget Master
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Discussion Starter #15
right makes sence if maintained correctly you should have no problems out of it.

Also i need some suggestions for the axel change from the dana 35.
 

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Web Wheeler
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What I was told OVER and OVER was to make damn sure the air was regulated to the correct pressure and that you installed the seals correctly. Also, the gear oil HAS to be clean. Any fine particulates in it can damage the seals.

Expedition guys seem more likely to run ARBs over anything else (save the guys with factory lockers, toyota, Mog, rubicons, pinz), which I think states something about them.

But I will agree that the detroit is a great product. But they are different... A detroit is an auto-locker, an ARB is selectable... Quality wise, I think they're about the same. But the ARB is much more usable for a rig that sees a lot of mixed driving.
When I said detroits, I was referring to their selectable locker. I am sure ARBs work great for most people, it just seems like they are unreliable.
 

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When I said detroits, I was referring to their selectable locker. I am sure ARBs work great for most people, it just seems like they are unreliable.

The detroit electrac? Do you have ANY personal experience with them? Their failure rate was high enough that they stopped making them.


Edit, I guess you could mean the auburn ECTED. Detroit bought them out...
 

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Budget Master
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Which would be better cord or air?

anyways i have to go to bed now long day tomorrow a good bit of exams.... ive done most of them though they were easy lol.
 
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