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Plowing with a locker in the front axle?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by 70mc, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. 70mc

    70mc Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 7

    Hello everyone.
    I have a 92 Jeep Wrangler that I use to plow my parking lot and drive. I now has a Detroit locker type of locker in the rear and the Jeep plows great. I have the chance to buy the same type of used locker for the front axle, but wonder if that would cause a problem while plowing? The reason I want to have both front and rear locked is I use the Jeep for off roading in the summer, but I have a fear of the front axle locking and not being able to turn while plowing. Anyone have any experiance with this?
    Thanks, Jim
  2. trqjnky

    trqjnky Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    get a selectable air locker, best of both worlds. i wouldnt run a front locker on the street.

    PLOWTIME Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 20

    The only locker i would is an arb or something like that something that you can turn on or off.Driving with a detriot locker in the front on dry pavement isnt fun. I have detriot lockers in my jeep but it is a trail rig.
  4. 70mc

    70mc Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 7

    Buying a selectable for the front would be ideal, but at $700.00 is cost prohibative now and in my near future. I can purchase the unit I am thinking about for $75.00 used from a friend. It is the same that is now in the rear axle(Aussie) and I am very happy with it. I purchased the rear new, with the idea of buying a selectable for the front, since I plow, when money would allow. But at $75.00, I am thinking about trying it, unless everyone says it will lock while plowing and not be able to steer.
    Has anyone tried to plow with a Detroit style locker in the front?
  5. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

  6. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    Running a mechanical locker in the front on a street driven vehicle during in-climate weather equals quirky and rather unsafe handling. Steering in 4X4 with the plow raised greatly taxes the system as well. Wouldn't recommend it even if it were free.
  7. dave_dj1

    dave_dj1 Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 358

    Having quite a bit of experience in the offroad world, I will tell you what I think. If the locker you want to put in the front is an aussie, lockrite or similar (google them) you should be "ok" for plowing and minimal street driving WHILE IN 4 WHEEL DRIVE. A selectable is by far the best choice but I understand the cost of the locker and someone to install it and set up the gears get's expensive real quick. The lockers I pointed out above will lock up under applied torque, (only in 4 wheel drive of course). This will make the Jeep want to pull one way or the other while your driving and you are on the gas. Your 92 jeep has a CAD (center axle disconnect) that engages by vacume when you put it in 4 wheel drive. Having one of these installed (without free wheeling/locking hubs) will make your front driveshaft turn all the time, you will most likely have to have it balanced as they don't come balance from the factory in those years (87-95).
    I ran a CJ7 for a few years with lockrites front and rear, I had locking hubs, I offroaded the living daylights out of that poor Jeep (knicknamed GRENADE). I ran up to 35" tires on the stock axles and never broke anything in the pumpkin, I did however break several axle shafts :mechanic:

    If you install it you won't be dissapointed in it's performance offroad and given some common sense, you shouldn't have any problems on the highway. I wouldn't drive it 65mph in 4x4 on snow covered roads but that's just me. The GRENADE wasn't my daily driver so for me they were not an issue.
    My last Jeep (91 with an I6 and 5spd) I ran a spring over lift, a Ford Explorer 8.8 rear axle with 36" IROK radial super swampers. I broke the stock front axleshafts all the time...LOL The front axle had an ARB selectable air locker and the rear had an Auburn ECTED electric locker. I had a 6.5' Meyer plow on it and when locked up the thing was a tank.
    good luck
  8. JeepTJ

    JeepTJ Senior Member
    Messages: 225

    I have an Aussie in the D-30 front axle of my Jeep XJ. I installed it specifically for plowing (I don't off-road). I have no issues with it during plowing (always in 4WD, mostly in low). In fact I feel the Aussie is putting less stress on the front end. I was always getting stuck before the Aussie and spinning the tires. Because of driveway constraints, I need to plow down embankments and it was hard to back up away from them without the locker. The only time I know the locker is there is when I leave it in 4WD and I drive on dry pavement. I can quickly shift it into 2WD and all is OK.

    BTW, the rear Chrysler 8.25 is open.

  9. 70mc

    70mc Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 7

    Theplowmeister, is this common sense thinking, or first hand experiance?
  10. 70mc

    70mc Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 7

    These are the things I was thinking and worring about, but have no experiance. Have you experianced this or theriorizing as I?
  11. 70mc

    70mc Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 7

    Good, someone who has come out and said they have tried it. Yes, it will be a Lock-Rite for the front, I have an Aussie in the rear and love it. I did away with the center axle disconect and installed TJ axles. I do need the front drive shaft balanced now, I have a vibration that starts at 55mph and gets worse fast at higher speeds.
    Thanks for taking the time to write.
  12. vegaman04

    vegaman04 Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    Isnt this thing going to be trying to steer a brick with a locker front and rear?
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  13. 70mc

    70mc Junior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 7

    Good, another with experiance. Knowing how these type of lockers work is what made me wonder if plowing would be enough force to lock them, or is it possable for the front lockers to be locked, and you are able to steer?
    Thanks for taking the time to answer.
  14. B&B

    B&B PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,777

    About 20 years worth of experience in all kinds of vehicles and applications, and a mechanical locker in the front of a plow vehicle isn't a good one. :waving:

    NICHOLS LANDSCA PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,362

    Not a good idea, if it's such a good deal buy it and resell it. A big problem is that poor little Dana 30 will be really mad at you.
  16. vegaman04

    vegaman04 Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    always top notch info from B&B, no matter what it is.
  17. cold_and_tired

    cold_and_tired PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,247

    Back in high school, I had a 78 Bronco (corvette yellow, straight pipes, soft top, chick magnet) with Detroits front and rear. That truck wouldn't move worth a darn in the snow. If I was in 4WD, I couldn't get over 10 mph and it wanted to swap ends. You could totally forget about turning as well, the front end just wanted to bind up.

    I once snapped an axle turning into a 7-11. There was about 2" of snow on the ground and I was running 35" BFG"s instead of the usual 44" Swampers.

    I would suggest saving your money and getting a selectable for the front.