Lockers v. Limited Slip Differential in DEEP snow

Young04

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Hey all,

First post. I tried looking this up, but could not find anything definitive.

When it comes to deep snow - like driving up 1.5 feet of fresh snow on your driveway - are lockers (a la Rubicon) better or would 4WD with limited slip differential (a la Sahara) be better?

I understand that when traversing the "usual" snow conditions like roads that have been plowed but that are not completely clear of snow, the LSD would be more beneficial, but what about when you are trying to get your car up a driveway (i.e. driving straight) after a major storm that has not been cleared at all? I suspect the lockers may be better here...if that is the case, how much better?

Also, not looking to hear about winter tires, etc. I get the benefit of winter tires as I run them on at least two of our vehicles during the winter.

I'll be ordering a JL Unlimited in the coming months (waiting to see if the prices come down a little)...leaning towards the Sahara but wanted to see if the Rubi would be of any benefit to me (who will do very little off-roading).
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nota4re

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Marginally better in the Rubicon in your scenario....but probably not enough of a difference to justify the price diff. With the locking rear diff option in the Sahara, you can get 3 tires to turn at the same time. (Both rears and the least loaded front.) With the Rubi, you can lock both diffs and get all 4 to turn.
 

Kajmcbride

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I seldom use my lockers in the snow. In deep snow the tires seem to pack it down to ice and the wheels just spin. The best thing in deep snow are old fashioned ladder type chains.

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$uicide$hift

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I cannot answer your questions in engineering terms. I personally would not buy a Rubicon for lockers just for this scenario. No lockers or LSD should even be an issue in this situation I would not think. Either would work.

I say this as I used to live on a private dirt road that was a steep hill and when big storms hit you would not see a front end loader to clear it for 2 days. At that time I bought a 1999 Dodge Dakota. over 18" of snow and in 4 wheel I could chug up that hill with no slip at all. Even if I had lockers or LSD they would not have been used and this was back in 1999. With traction control and BLD alone you should have no issues.
 
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Young04

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Thanks for the replies. I have typically gravitated towards sporty cars in the past but looking forward to enjoying my first "go anywhere" (as opposed to "go fast") vehicle.
 

The_Phew

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Unless you are filming some kind of snow drifting video or something, I really can't think of any scenario where locking either diff would be beneficial in snow.

LSD definitely helps, but its influence is more in making the experience smoother than improving traction. Traction control (i.e BLD) works, it's just jarring.
 
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