Lockers vs Traction Control turned off.

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John
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Newbie to Jeep’s but hoping someone can explain what lockers are and their benefit is versus turning traction control off. I have a 2020 Jeep Wrangler Sport JL. Someone warned me about a certain trail by me not to go on unless I had lockers and mud tires. I understand the mud tires but not the lockers. Thanks in advance.





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jessedacri

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Lockers force all wheels on the locked axle to spin at the same time. So for example in your sport without lockers, if one side of your jeep is in mud and the other side is touching stable ground where you'd normally get traction, the power will be sent to the muddy side where the wheel slips freely and not allow the side that'd otherwise have traction to spin. A rear locker would force both rear wheels to receive equal power rather than it just unloading on the side that has the least resistance. Same thing on trails where you'll have a wheel in the air - with a regular open differential, all the power will unload on the airborne wheel and you'll have a hard time moving forwards even though you have other wheels on the ground that'd otherwise have traction. Add a locker in that scenario and the power goes equally to all wheels regardless of one or more are airborne or have no grip.

https://www.eaton.com/us/en-us/products/differentials-traction-control/locking-differentials.html The quick animation video here shows that, although there are better more lengthy explanations on YouTube if you're looking to dive in a little more.

All of this is unrelated to traction control - you don't gain anything in relation to what a locker does by turning off traction control. In fact, in the JLs there's something called Brake Lock Differential that's automatically used in open/unlocked differential scenarios where the Jeep will detect wheelspin and attempt to brake the spinning wheel in order to get more power going to the other side that may have more traction. This is part of the traction control system in the JLs that wasn't present in the previous generation of Jeeps, but for difficult trails and rock crawling nothing replaces the usefulness of a locker.

Of course in some scenarios you may be thinking you can just turn TC off and send it hard / give it lots of throttle. This works in some cases, but generally with this stuff precision is key to making it through complex obstacles and not breaking things.
 

Uhdinator

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https://blog.fcanorthamerica.com/2008/02/11/jeep-brake-traction-control-explained/

Traction control: best used for driving on snow/ice covered highways. Cuts engine power to reduce spinning out into a ditch.

4H - In deep snow/sand/ mud........Turn Trac Contr off. You don't want the engine to bog down.

4L = Traction control is turned off when shifting to 4L.

Brake Lock Diff is on all the time. Just keep a little throttle on when spinning and the brakes will gradually slow the spinning tire(s) until the other one starts moving. Just don't mash the gas.............as when the tire(s) with traction start moving it could launch you into the trees or into something worse.......like a bigger rock or jeep in front of you!

Rear Locker- When locked (usually just when you need to get over something then unlock it.) makes it harder to turn because one rear wheel cannot spin faster than the other as needed to turn.

Front Locker - When locked is hard on steering knuckles/ball joints/front axle u joints if turning and should be used just when needed and keep wheels straight and unlock once you get over an obstacle.
 
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Aonar

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A bit of video learning...vs dirt time learning:
 

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