Locker and Jeep axle swap articles
I have copied 2 very good articles from the May 2007 JP magazine and posted them in the tech section. For you Jeep guys, this is one of the best mags out there and I usually buy it for the real world articles they have. This isn't one of those 'I just dropped $35k on a new rig, dropped it off at the custom 4x shop and spent another $40k on upgrades. Now that I have built my rig (Yeah, right) look at what I have' magazines.
One of these deals with descriptions of almost all of the available lockers, posi-tracs and limited slips out there and the other deals with a Dana 44 swap into a Jeep from an Izusu. Both of these are good articles.
The Locker article is especially good as we seem to be getting a lot of questions posted as to lockers. This articles is non manufacturer supplied and so is lacking the hype that accompanies this type of article. This article is based on real world usage and shows all the pros and cons, streetability and trailability of all the traction aiding devices, as well as how they hold up.
A word to the wise: if you are going to be purchasing a traction aiding device, take a lot of time and figure out just what you are expecting it to do, what kind of wheeling you are planning on doing, and how much you want the road manners of a cute little SUV grocery getter vs a rig you wheel with and what you want to wheel. You will be paying roughly the same price for most of the lockers and posis, plus the install costs, unless you plan on doing the install yourself. You don't want to find out that you have just dropped between $500 and $1000, only to find out that it either doesn't do what you want, or that it blows up and shells your gears the first time it gets loaded up.
I have had spools and lockers in the front and/or rears of most of 12 or 13 4x4s that I have owned and/or built. Detroits, spools, Lincolns, Auburn Posi, Tru Trac, EZ lockers, ARBs, etc-almost all the crap out there. The Lincolns and spools work well
for rear applications and didn't have bad street manners except in the shorter wheel base rigs. I had a Lincoln in the front of a 69 Bronco and it only wanted to go straight in 4 wheel drive...didn't like it. I had a Tru Trac in the front of my current rig when it was still IFS and it worked..., but only adequately... I currently have ARBs in the front and rear and when they are working happily, I love them. The Detroits that I have had, besides making a noise when they load and unload, are absolutely bombproof, which is one of the reasons you see them behind race cars with thousands of HP. I haven't liked any of the posis or limited slips that i have ever used and consider them a waste of time and money. They have way too many small parts that break and do not really engage/disengage like (or when, more likely) you want them to.
Bottom line really is: If you want a rig to wheel in and do some of the harder trails, sacrifice some street manners and spend the money on a traction device that will get the job done. If you want to keep a 'grocery getter', wonderful street mannered ride, plan on not doing some of the harder trails, and get a cute little limited slip that will help you get to the store or ski area when there is snow on the ground.
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