Videos of jeeps stuck in mud/sand and moaning to get out have always been popular among netizens. Little did many amateurs know that these lockers or differentials are the solutions to that. This always pulls the car through the softest of mud.
You see, the wheel with the lowest resistance takes up all the power. Hence the car’s stuck. But these lockers play a witty trick by locking the wheels so that both of them have to rotate at the same RPM. This way even if a wheel’s up on the air, the car will push forward.
There’s always some obvious differences that set an excellent differential from the subpar ones like traction and precision. Then there’s always the noise issue, loud lockers don’t necessarily mean that they’re bad. But they indeed annoy the hell out of drivers. So, let’s grab the best lockers for jeep jk, one with you can be at peace.
Some Of The Best Lockers For Jeep JK
Not all the lockers in the market will work effectively for you. To guide your search stream, we’ve selected some of the best jk jeep lockers in the market. These reviews will justify why they’re the best.
1. USA D30-27
Aspects of Interest
This Spartan locker from USA standard gear is definitely one of the best out there and enhances your off-road experiences in the best way. The locker is mainly designed for off-road usage so the traction control system of the locker is much upgraded.
In fact, the traction can be felt within minutes after applying it. Besides, it significantly improves the strength over stock differentials.
This compact size lunchbox locker is very easy to install. You won’t need any professional help for the drop-in installation process where you can easily just fit the locker into the existing differential case using the spring and pin design. It’s affordable as well.
The durable and robust construction of the locker is one of the key features of this model. It’s made out of high-grade steel and the body is heat-treated which ensures a sturdy manufacturing and extended lifetime. It also features precision cut teeth.
- The model doesn’t have any auto lock switch so it cannot be turned off.
- Also, it’s not compatible with all axle types.
- Besides, it takes a little bit of time to get used to the locker as it makes some loud noises while making turns.
Aspects of Interest
This high-quality locker is specially designed for off-road experiences and is capable of dealing with all kinds of adverse situations with expertise.
The advanced clutch style 4-spring positraction design provides a strong and sufficient grip on the road ensuring smooth and safe turns.
Even though the locker is delivered fully assembled in the USA by the workers, it’s completely rebuildable. You can separate the parts, clean it and put it back together by yourself.
Also, the installation process is pretty easy and doesn’t take more than a couple of hours. Even, you can use the locker in any other jk jeep with 30 spline axels.
The locker is manufactured from high quality forged 4320 steel that assures you of its durability and quality. So the locker can operate effectively even under extreme circumstances.
Moreover, the sturdy and durable construction ensures long term service. The model comes with a 1-year warranty.
- The locker is automatic so it can’t be switched on and off manually.
- Compatibility may be an issue as the locker is only suited for 2.73 and higher ratios.
3. Sylvan Climb Master2.0
Aspects of Interest
Never willing to compromise the quality, the Sylvan Climb Master 2.0 REINFORCED has become one of the most reliable models for your automotive experience.
The locker is mainly designed to be fitted with 30 Spline Front axles and for open differential, and it’s only compatible with XD-13027. The locker is manufactured with highest grade steel ensuring strong and sturdy construction.
On the other side, the manufacturers are very careful about making the parts so use high-tech components built to ensure their quality. So the locker is durable enough to withstand extreme uphill experiences and provides long term performance.
The most noticeable feature the model provides is the traction control system. The traction control system is built in such a way that it manipulates the strain or friction by maneuvering it. As a result, thus boost the fuel mileage and use it in favor of the operator. So the strain is reduced and with that, it faces less wear and tear.
Moreover, the locker comes with a 2 years warranty and a 30 days money-back guarantee which should give you the confidence to make your purchase.
- With the product, the cross pin is not supplied so you will need to purchase one separately.
- Besides, compatibility might also be an issue as it’s only compatible with the Dana 30 front axle.
4. Detroit 913A481
Aspects of Interest
Manufactured of high-quality material, Detroit 913A481 assures you of a smooth ride even in the toughest of terrains. It has kept the customers satisfied with its highly durable robust body construction that reduces wear and tear during operation.
Besides, the locker requires very low maintenance so you don’t need to stress over the maintenance, just occasional oil changing will do the work.
One of the main reasons for the locker’s constant popularity is its helical-gear technology. This technology ensures smoothness and safety of the ride over a tough terrain making your off-road experience more fun and exciting.
Moreover, it helps the locker to perform without making any loud noise so it’s much quieter than most other lockers.
- The installation process of the locker is a bit trickier than most other jeep lockers.
- Besides, the instructions in the manual are not easy to follow.
5. Aussie XD-13027
Aspects of Interest
Unlike the other models in this list, the Aussie Locker assures 100% traction control performance whereas a posi or LSD can deliver only up to 40 to 60 percent traction performance compared to it.
The manufacturers use advanced high tech to ensure 100 percent precision in automatic locking making it one of the best automatic jeep lockers in the market.
The locker is designed to be installed in an open differential so it’s not fitted with limited slip carriers. Otherwise, the installation process is quite easy.
Moreover, the locker has a durable and robust construction that ensures a long term experience as well. So in terms of automatic lockers, Aussie locker is one of the best options to make your ride more enjoyable and fun.
- The model is a little hard to get used to because of the slightly loud noise it makes while making turns.
- Also, it’s not compatible with the D30a differential so compatibility might pose an issue as well
6. Eaton 912A585
Aspects of Interest
Being the first-ever helical gear to be introduced into the market, Eaton 912A585 has gained customers’ satisfaction all over the world.
This differential type locker is specially designed for the limited-slip with a ring gear of size 7.2 inches and a gear ratio of 3.73 and more.
The helical gear design of the locker eliminates the need for wearable parts, so the locker can perform for a long time without any convenience. Though the locker needs an oil change every once in a while, it does not require a lot of maintenance other than that.
There’s no need for any friction modifier as well. Most importantly, the advanced traction control system ensures a smooth and safe ride.
- The locker needs oil change often so if you don’t have much spare time for the maintenance then it might be an issue.
- Also, it’s not exactly the right one for an older vehicle and the specification of 27spline for Dana 30 can be a drawback as well.
7. Aussie XD-14480
Aspects of Interest
Designed to be the most advanced “traction added ” Automatic Precision Locker in the market, Aussie XD-14480 is one of the best automatic jk jeep lockers among the many others out there.
With its innovative technology, this locker provides you with the best possible driving experiences. So it’s undoubtedly a great option.
The locker promises 100% efficient traction control performance whereas a posi or LSD gives you 40 to 60 percent traction control compared to it. The 100% precision makes every sharp terrain smooth and safe making your off-road experience more enjoyable.
The manufacturers use advanced manufacturing processes and high-grade material to deliver a strong and unique construction.
They put the quality of their product first and all the parts and components are carefully made to make sure there are no leaks or breakages. So you can be assured to make the choice of long term investment in this model.
- Compatibility is an issue in these lockers.
- It is designed to be installed in an open differential.
Importance of Traction
Without proper traction control, the vehicle cannot grip on slippery or muddy surfaces effectively. So the car can’t move forward even though the wheels keep spinning on the surface. But a locker with a good traction control system prevents that from happening. It helps the vehicle to utilize the grip sufficiently on the road ensuring a safe ride.
The amount of traction control varies from locker to locker. When you are riding off-road, the right amount of traction ensures the safety of the ride. Generally, when the roads are muddy or slippery where the friction is of very little amount, the traction control is necessary.
Route to find The Best Lockers For Jeep JK
Looking for a jeep locker that’s the most compatible with your vehicle is pretty difficult. So to help you get through it, here in this section of the article, we’ve talked about every single aspect of a jk jeep locker. So you know exactly what you are looking for.
Despite there being many categories of differential lockers for jeeps, the main two types are – automatic and selectable. Note that selectable lockers usually cost higher than automatic lockers as there is an additional mechanism for controlling it manually.
Automatic lockers relieve you from the stress regarding proper turns. They stay engaged from the moment the vehicle is powered and they engage and disengage the lock by themselves. These lockers automatically disengage themselves when the car comes to a sharp corner or need to make a complicated turn so the driver has more room to make the turn smoothly and safely.
Selective lockers depend on your involvement to engage and disengage it from the differential so you control the behavior of your vehicle regarding locking differential. This is a preferable option for those who like on-road experience as they don’t imply any negative effects on your experience even when disengaged.
A jeep locker is a long term investment so you need to know that it’s going to last. In that case, you will want a locker with sturdy construction and good durability as they give better service for a longer time. Generally, steel is the most commonly used and reliable material to build a jeep locker.
It provides good durability that prevents the locker from breaking down over the passing months. But among them, 9310 steel comprises the most alloy content proving to be more strenuous than the 4320 version.
Traction control refers to the amount of grip your car wheels can have on the road. Most of the lockers provide an estimated efficiency of the amount of traction control and it usually ranges from 40% to even 100%. If the roads you traverse the most include mud and water more than usual, clutch positraction would mean a vital feature to you.
Some of the differential lockers can only be used with a specific model of an axle with a specific number of splines. Generally, Dana axles with 27-37 can be used for such differential lockers. But in any case, bear in mind that the axle type and spline number of the locker must match that of your vehicle.
Precision includes the time they figure out when to engage and disengage. It basically refers to the amount of control your lockers have on your vehicle. A locker with poor precision can mess up your car by engaging or disengaging at the wrong moment which can lead to terrible accidents.
The manufacturers are using advanced innovative technologies to ensure the best possible precision these days. Most of the renowned brands give a lot of time and effort regarding this factor their products turn out really efficient than other low-quality brands.
Ease of Installation
If you are going to attempt to install the locker yourself, it’s better to know how long it should take to install it. As mentioned in the previous text, automatic lockers are much easier to install than the selective ones.
However, some models have a complicated mechanism so you need to make sure that the instructions are accurate in that case or you might need professional help regarding that.
Also, you need to have a clear mind about how much time you can spare for the installation process as even the lockers that are the easiest to install can require from an hour up to a couple of hours.
Besides, whereas the slightly difficult ones require up to almost 4 hours, the most complicated ones can even take a few days to be installed properly.
In terms of noise, the automatic lockers have a bit of a drawback. When the vehicle comes around a corner, the automatic lockers disengage themselves which is accompanied by a loud bang. Sometimes this loud noise can catch the driver off guard but as time passes getting used to the noise is proven to be pretty easy.
But if it seems to you that the noise can become a permanent issue then you can go for selectable lockers that are much quieter. Even some lockers almost don’t make any noise during operation.
Maintenance of lockers includes frequent cleaning and oiling, friction modifier additive which adds some extra expenses for you. But there are also some that don’t need much care. However, even the lowest maintenance locker will need an occasional oil change.
If you have a busy routine and don’t have much spare time to work on the maintenance then getting a low maintenance locker that doesn’t need much care will be the wiser decision.
Only because two cars are of the same model doesn’t mean they will need the locker as all factory models are not the same. Cross-checking with the manual of the car is a great and easy way to check compatibility. Low-quality lockers with poor structure have a greater chance of breaking down after some use and compromise your safety. So it’s very important to look into this matter carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can A Damaged Locker Be Repaired?
Ans: Yes, of course. Like every other part of an automobile, lockers can be repaired as well.
Q: Do Locks Help In Snow?
Ans: Yes, of course! That’s what they are actually there for. Locking the front or back lock can help a lot to get out of slippery snow.
Q: Should The Traction Control Be On or Off?
Ans: It is considered good practice to keep the traction on at all times unless you are stuck in a very serious situation like being stuck in a muddy or snowy area.
There’s nothing to say if you’re a road enthusiast, you’ll definitely have one of these for your car. But regardless of being a pro or a noob, you’ll definitely find the best lockers for jeep jk with the help of the buying guide.
Aussie XD-14480 and Aussie XD-13027 provide a 100% efficient traction control system for enhancing your off-road experiences in the best way. For off-road enthusiasts, these are great options. Apart from that, Detroit 913A481 is very low maintenance so it has the upper hand over the other models to fit your busy schedule.
However, I’ll suggest that getting a locker with advanced features will serve you the best to ensure the safety and fun of your ride.