When you go four-wheeling in a Jeep, you’re likely to want to put items in lockers for added security. Whether you’re navigating rough terrain, getting stuck, or rescuing someone, lockers can be helpful. Lockers are especially useful for people who need to keep their belongings secure while four-wheeling. In some cases, lockers can even protect your belongings while rock crawling or four-wheeling in sandy areas.
You may wonder whether automatic lockers on a Jeep are necessary. Basically, lockers are storage compartments that lock together the wheels on the same axle, equalizing traction. This is important when rock crawling, where traction changes frequently. It can also help you recover your stuck Jeep if it gets bogged down. You may also want to use lockers when rock crawling in sandy areas or trying to rescue someone.
Unlike their open differential counterpart, automatic lockers on a Jeep are not street friendly when installed in the rear axle. They lock the left and right wheels together, and when the driver tries to unlock them, they lock them again. The resulting instability causes strange handling characteristics, such as tire chirping and loud bangs. You may also experience sideways sliding if you drive the Jeep on a slope. Then there is the high pucker factor, which is another reason to avoid installing automatic lockers on your Jeep.
If you are not familiar with locker installation, you can watch a video online. Make sure to choose one that matches your Jeep trim and year. Many factors play a role in the installation process, so you should choose the video that matches your vehicle model and trim. This will help you understand the process more clearly and decide if you’re up to the task. While a video can’t replace the actual installation process, it will give you a good idea of the steps involved.
Another advantage of automatic lockers is their convenience. You don’t have to engage them until you turn your wheels. That can make a difference if you’re trying to corner in icy conditions, or if you need to take hard turns in slippery terrain. And, of course, they increase the turning radius, which means you need to replace tires more often. In addition to that, they can be dangerous for driving on icy or wet surfaces.
When you install automatic lockers on your Jeep, you will be able to drive the vehicle seamlessly on and off-road. These lockers are designed to transition from an open differential to a locked differential as needed. While they are great for off-road driving, they are not for daily use. Automatic lockers are meant to function like an open differential on the road, but should be locked when off-road conditions require it.
The price of automatic lockers on a Jeep varies greatly. The quality and installation difficulty of the lockers also vary. If you need to lock both axels, you will probably have to buy two units, one for each axel. Alternatively, you could buy a selectable lock system that costs $1,000 or more. It is worth noting that chooseable lockers are much more expensive than automatic ones, but the install process is also more complicated and costly.
A few things you should consider before installing selectable lockers on your Jeep. These lockers provide differential power to both wheels when needed, but they’re not a great choice for street driving. The reason they’re less popular is because they’re more expensive and not as convenient. If you have the funds and don’t mind installing them yourself, go for the automatic versions. However, keep in mind that they can damage your Jeep if you’re not careful.
While automatic lockers are fast and convenient, they have a few disadvantages. They tend to stay locked even when you accelerate, which can cause handling issues around corners or in snowy terrain. If you’re unsure whether automatic or selectable lockers are right for you, consult a Jeep mechanic before making the decision. Depending on the type of off-roading you do, you’ll have to decide whether or not to upgrade your lockers.
While they’re not necessary for most drivers, they’re helpful for certain terrains and hobbies. For example, overlanding is adventure travel in vehicles that are not meant for highway use. Those who take part in this sport choose Jeep Wranglers. They focus on the journey rather than the destination, which can sometimes get into some dicey situations. If your Jeep doesn’t have lockers, you’re likely to end up in trouble while overlanding.
If you want to go rock-crawling or recovery, a Jeep with lockers will be a valuable tool for your kit. Moreover, the lockers will increase traction when rock-climbing. The more traction you can achieve, the better. And the process of installation requires some skills and knowledge. In most cases, a mechanic should do the installation for you. If you don’t feel comfortable with this task, a Jeep mechanic can do it for you.
Besides being more efficient and safer, selectable lockers will make steering much easier for you. The reason why selectable lockers are so popular is because they place less strain on driveline components. On the other hand, when the lockers are engaged, they become spools. A spool prevents tire give and makes the vehicle more rigid. On the other hand, they can make steering difficult. The latter makes steering much easier, but you should check the manual first.
Another drawback of automatic lockers is that they cost more in the long run. They require more frequent tire replacements, and they can also wear out your tires more quickly than a manual locker does. Also, you should avoid purchasing cheap automatic lockers, as they can lock up mid-turn, which could cause an accident and loud chirping noise. If you’re not sure about the benefits of automatic lockers, you should test drive them before purchasing one.
Lunchbox lockers on a Jeep are the ideal solution for off-roading, since they can divide power evenly between both wheels. To work effectively, however, these lockers must remain open under normal driving conditions. In this way, they are able to improve on the standard open differential, which sends all power to the wheel with the least traction. Unlike open differentials, lunchbox lockers have an oval-shaped hole, which forces a center pin to move, which pushes cam gears into the axle’s gears. The result is a secure connection between the axles, which ensures a smooth ride.
The decision to install rear lockers isn’t difficult if your Jeep has a Dana 44 axle. Compared to the Dana 30 axle, a 44 axle is more reliable and will withstand more abuse than a 27. Having a locker installed on your Jeep makes driving in Moab easier, but the slickrock is brutal on U-joints and axleshafts.
Some users have experienced a clunking and ratcheting noise when installing lunchbox lockers on their Jeeps. The noise is a matter of personal preference and your mechanic will have to assess this. In general, however, lunchbox lockers are a simple, no-frills device. They replace the factory spider gears in the stock carrier. Additionally, they can be installed without disassembling the axle housing, which makes them easier to install.