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Front Locker indecision


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I will start this out by saying I am not all that experienced in the graduated style of purpose built offroading. I grew up in the country so I have offroad driving knowledge but not the skills learned from rockcrawling etc. Anyway my truck is open diff front and rear, and with air lockers being out of my price range right now I had decided on an aussie locker. After searching on here I thought I had came to the conclusion that if you were going to lock the front or rear to lock the front first? and that the aussie locker was a decent setup. Having said that, I have a friend who runs the local o'reillys and has been wheeling for several years tell me when I asked if he could get me a locker in short order, tell me to lock the rear first and leave the front open. So this is my first question. Finding a D44 rear axle in my area is next to impossible, and this jeep will see some pavement and highway time. Do I ......Lock the front leave the rear open?.......Lock the front and weld the rear?......Leave the front open and lock the rear (It is repeated on here not to spend money on a D35, but...?).....Leave the front open and weld the rear. The truck runs on 35's on the road and I plan to run my 33's M/Ts offroad. With an aussie locker up front will driving on the snow in town in 4wd be impossible. If I have a locker in the rear and I am turning and give it gas will it cause the tires to chirp and jump? I know its alot of questions and for that I apologize

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The loc-rite pins are "designed" to break when too much force is applied. The Aussie is a better and newer design from the original people who designed the loc-rite. the loc-rite also limits your tire size for warranty claims. Aussie has no listed tire size limit.

 

I believe 95 YJs came with a CAD and larger joints, but they may be hard to find in the junk yard. Someone on JeepSkool.com is selling a 2 piece passenger side shaft with the larger joint for $40, though.

 

You could change to a single piece shaft, as I have done. Cut a metal plate and drilled 4 holes in to use as a block off plate for the vacuum disconnect housing. I used the old housing as a template, and a jig saw and drill press. Hand drill would also work. The only problem area is the oil seal. The vac disconnect axle has a seal on the outboard side of the disco housing. A single piece shaft needs a seal right at the diff, but a standard size seal will not fit the disconnect axle housing as the tube is thicker and inside diameter is smaller. After a bunch of research I found one that worked at NAPA, but can't remember the part number. The info is in my build thread, though, which is linked in my sig.

 

There are two schoold of thought:

1 - Keep the disco, and pull the vacuum lines in winter to prevent the axle from locking. This will give you one front drive wheel, and one free wheeling wheel to allow you to steer with. On ice, there supposedly is not enough traction to put enough force on the locker to unlock. Two front drive wheels spinning the same speed on ice will keep you going straight no matter which way you turn the wheels. Not good when you want to make a turn. This is what I originally panned to do.

 

2 - Go to a single piece shaft because the vacuum lines get snagged off road and pulled off the axle at the least opportune moment. Happened to me three times! A single piece shaft with the larger u-joints is also easier to find. Just use 2wd or drive a different vehicle when there is ice. This is what I ended up doing.

 

And the advise on upgrading to the larger u joints is good. I blew up one of my original small u-joints the first time off road with the Aussie. Upgraded to the axles with larger joints and bought two new Spicer 5-760X joints. Still good after larger tires and 6 off road trips.

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I've got aussie lockers front and rear and am very happy with the setup. I use my truck for street only, including ice and snow. I'd say that normally locking the rear first is the way to go, but if you're going to swap out axles sometime in the near future I'd start with the front. That way you can keep the same handling manners for street while in 2wd, but switch it into 4wd and have three driving wheels for being stuck in the snow or offroading. That being said, I don't notice any handling issues with having both axles locked, except that if you have any slop in your driveline it'll be much exaggerated when locked. For this reason I wish I had a working CAD for the front (or CAD axle anyway), but I am running a solid axle and 297x joints up front. Any slack in the driveline will need to be taken up before the lockers will disengage, and when they do, the driveline will spring back in the opposite direction and the slack needs to be taken up again: so you can get some clunking going on if you have sloppy joints and bushings and such when turning at full lock.

 

I've driven many excellent handling snow vehicles, and I have to say I really like the feel of the MJ with all four wheels locked. It doesn't give you free reign to drive like an idiot, but it's very predictable. If you've never driven anything it before and just go tearing around the first time it snows, then yeah you'll probably crash and blame it on spooky handling from the lockers, since it's unexpected handling to you. If you're familiar and comfortable with the handing though, you'll learn to feel what it's doing and how to handle it. Personally I'm excited for snow to go driving around again :banana:. Anyway, I don't know why lockers have such a bad rep when it comes to street handling. I'd have to guess most people are just unfamiliar with the handling of a rear-wheel drive vehicle that doesn't have an open rear end, and have never experienced the rear end sliding out, what it feels like before and during, and what to do when it happens. If the only thing you've ever driven is FWD in the snow, just realize that you're going to have a learning curve, and get out there in an empty parking lot and do some donuts and have fun learning about the handling.

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I went ahead and installed an aussie locker in the rear 35 against my and others better judgment. I want a dana 44 but can't find one in my area. Anyway, the aussie is by no means a drop in installation at least not on mine. Aussie claims with it's larger size that some 35s will accept the locker as is and some need clearancing.......mine needed clearancing, go figure :doh: . Anyway after some careful metal shaving, got it too fit within tolerances. Spent most of my time cleaning up the shavings that made it past my oiled up rags. Anyway got it installed and took it out for a test drive and was impressed. I will enjoy it while it lasts, something about being able to smoke both tires and leave a set of black marks down the road brings a smile to my face jamminz.gif . Not to mention hitting the gas and swinging the rear end around in the grass.

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I will enjoy it while it lasts, something about being able to smoke both tires and leave a set of black marks down the road brings a smile to my face jamminz.gif . Not to mention hitting the gas and swinging the rear end around in the grass.

 

 

The irony of which is that enjoying it a bit too much may hasten its demise. :D

 

There's always the 8.8 if you get desperate. :brows:

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