1. Registration trouble? Please use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom right corner of the page and your issue will be resolved.
    Dismiss Notice

What Locker Should I Put In My Front Diff?

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Big_Rob2020, Mar 14, 2022.

  1. Mar 14, 2022
    Big_Rob2020

    Big_Rob2020 Member

    New Braunfels, TX
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    80
    Hi everyone, As many of you know I have been building my 71' for a couple of years now.

    http://www.earlycj5.com/xf_cj5/index.php?threads/144032/page-3#post-1708598

    I swapped out the old Dana 27 for a Dana 30 Narrow track out of a 1978 CJ5. It had 3.05 gears in it so I had it completely rebuilt and put 3.73 gears in it.

    My question is what would be the best option for a locker on the front diff, What should I get, why should I get it and what is involved in the installation?

    Thanks! -Rob
     
  2. Mar 14, 2022
    duffer

    duffer Rodent Power

    Bozeman, MT
    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    Messages:
    3,808
    If you do a search for front lockers here or on the 2A Page, be prepared for a few hours of reading. Like just about everything else Jeep wise, when it comes to modifications, it all comes back to the intended use-perhaps colored a bit by personal preferences. I like selectables, but if your Jeep never sees ice and snow, having the ability to run open may be less important.
     
    dnb5853 and Big_Rob2020 like this.
  3. Mar 14, 2022
    Big_Rob2020

    Big_Rob2020 Member

    New Braunfels, TX
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    80
    I would like a selectable locker myself, just for the ease of use and flexibility
     
  4. Mar 14, 2022
    givemethewillys

    givemethewillys Been here since sparky ran it. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    New Kent, VA
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,851
    The Detroit TruTrac seems highly regarded as a front locker. It's a helical gear driven limited slip, so you don't notice it's there until you need it, and no clutches to wear out. If you need 100% power to both wheels, however, there are minor limitations to a limited slip locker, and something like an ARB or Ox would fit the bill
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  5. Mar 14, 2022
    peter

    peter Member

    Roseville, CA.
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2008
    Messages:
    161
    I bought a Dana 30 with disc brakes, Detroit True Trac and 4;10 gears and did the swap. It was also out of a 1978 CJ. It has been very good in all respects from braking to traction to gearing. I am sure the selectable is the best option but this True Trac has been very good. It works better on the rocks than my Power Loc in the rear... I think its a cost savings over any true locker as well. I don't think you can go wrong with a Tru Trac in the front.
    Peter
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  6. Mar 14, 2022
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash More or Less in Line. 2022 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Gulf Breeze FL...
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    Messages:
    3,019
    I have a Cheaper "lunchbox locker" on my NT Dana 30, Aussie Locker I believe. It works great and it doesn't have any function when your not in 4WD. Unlike the rear Lunchbox I have binds a bit and clicks when turning slow sharp turns. I'd definitely use again/recommend the Lunchbox for a front if budget is any consideration.
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  7. Mar 14, 2022
    Bob

    Bob Member 2021 Sponsor

    Northern California
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    398
    I have a TrueTrac in my front Dana 30 as well. I ran the Rubicon a couple times with it and have no complaints.
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  8. Mar 14, 2022
    Keys5a

    Keys5a Sponsor

    Florida Keys
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2014
    Messages:
    3,714
    I have a PowrLok in the front D27 and really like it. Not too aggressive and very effective, but steers and drives without drama. I don’t have ice conditions which is where these behave badly.
    I have a D30 narrow track that will be going in my CJ5, and plan on installing a PowrLok in that diff because I like the other one so much. The D30 PowrLoks are more difficult to find though.
    The PowrLoks can be set up more or less aggressive prior to the install, so you have some choice. So far, I have chosen the less aggressive stacking and have liked the result.
    -Donny
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  9. Mar 14, 2022
    supertrooper

    supertrooper Member

    moreno valley, ca
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Messages:
    624
    I have had a spartan lunchbox locker in my dana 30 for a few years and i have been impressed with it. Plus the install is quick and easy compared to changing the carrier.
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  10. Mar 14, 2022
    Jw60

    Jw60 Airbender and interrupter of the light guard. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    3,083
    Really depends on terrain.
    Selectable would be nice.
    Auto lockers will limp home with a dead leg.
    The way the power locks and torsen axles work needs a preload so they amplify a difference in traction but cannot work with a broken axle shaft or when a wheel is off the ground but allow for a variation in wheelspeed.
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  11. Mar 14, 2022
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Morgan Hill, Ca
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2003
    Messages:
    3,209
    I put an ARB in my 30 and absolutely loved it. It was an older version and I picked it up cheap on craigslist.
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  12. Mar 14, 2022
    scott milliner

    scott milliner Master Fabricator

    Seattle Wa.
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    2,315
    I really like my ARB. Only a push of the button and you have a spool.
     
    Big_Rob2020 likes this.
  13. Mar 14, 2022
    Sierra Bum

    Sierra Bum Member

    The High Sierra
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    Messages:
    240
    These threads always elicit lots of opinions. Lots of ways to do it and everyone has their tastes.

    Like Keys2a, I am a big fan of the PowerLok. They can be set up tighter if you want that, they're robust, easy to rebuild and they perform really well in all but the most serious, flexed-out, rocky, rough conditions. The classic set up around here was a PowerLok in the front and a Detroit in the rear.

    But.... I've gone to ARB's front and rear. I like being able to run open-open. And of course fully locked front and rear is awesome. Having options is great. The ARB set-up adds a layer of complexity with the air system and all though, so it's not for everyone.

    Eaton makes a selectable E-locker for both a Dana 30, and a 30 spline Dana 44. Those have intrigued me as an option. And of course there's the OX selectable...I don't think anyone would argue against those either.

    Something to think about: What are you planning for the rear? For some reason, to me the ARB set-up makes more sense if both axles have it because of the installation of a the pneumatic infrastructure necessary to run them...compressor, air lines switches etc...
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2022
    Big_Rob2020 and Norcal69 like this.
  14. Mar 15, 2022
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Northern California
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    2,938
    The Trutrac is better than an open diff, but doesn't provide the traction that a tight clutched PowerLok does; or the better option of selectable locker.
    Full Locker or selectable in the front, limited slip in the back and you can go pretty much anywhere.
    Selectable front, selectable rear and you can go anywhere your ground clearance allows!
    Trutrac belongs in the back, locker goes in the front, whatever flavor you choose ARB, OX, lunch box.
    99% of the time you are crossing obstacles that put the front end up in the air. This nose up angle unloads the front axle weight and often renders the Trutrac to the usefulness of an open diff.
    The old stomp the brake trick is easier said than done when you are looking at a near roll over situation..... frankly very few guys have the seat time/calmness in that situation to run throttle, clutch, brake and steering wheel while taking direction from a spotter. Hang a tire off a cliff with your kid in the front seat and let me know how much you love that Trutrac up front.
    The trutrac needs consistent tire load to work well and is meant to be in solid axles that stay planted on the ground or independent suspension systems where tire to ground contact is maintained. In a dirt rd/sand jeep there would be nothing wrong with Trutrac in the front. If you want to do Rubicon type trails you will be disappointed with the Trutrac up front.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
    supertrooper and Big_Rob2020 like this.
  15. Mar 15, 2022
    homersdog

    homersdog Tulsa, Ok 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Tulsa, OK
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    Messages:
    2,094
    I have an OX locker in the rear, it works flawlessly! I want a locker up front too but I think I will convert to NT d30 first before investing more in the dana 27, then put another OX up front. I like being able to activate my rear OX mechanically without having to depend on another system, ie electrical or pneumatic. But I am a mechanical engineer so I just go with what I trust. ARB's & E-lockers are great too.
     
    dnb5853 and Big_Rob2020 like this.
  16. Mar 15, 2022
    Big_Rob2020

    Big_Rob2020 Member

    New Braunfels, TX
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2020
    Messages:
    80
    So when I rebuilt the rear I put in Yukons version of positraction. It wasn't cheap but I have a few friends that have a set up like this and swear by it. Apparently this is the way to go for sand/mud/snow any loose terrain... We will see how this turns out for me I don't see myself doing a whole heck of a lot of rock crawling. Mild rock outcroppings at best.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2022
    givemethewillys and Jw60 like this.
New Posts