Would it make sense to add lockers/LSD to both axles of a JL Sport?

entropy

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That IS impressive.

I have no experience with this BLD system; is it standard on all Wranglers? If it works so well, I'm thinking that a Sport model with the anti-spin rear axle and the sway bar disconnect will do just about anything I'm likely to encounter off road.
I think every modern car has some sort of BLD through traction control. But Jeeps seem to work exceptionally well, no clue if it is something to do with their software or a combination of good tires + articulation.





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Tech Tim

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A rear LSD works might work better than a locker a certain situations. Such as icy roads, higher speed driving on dirt roads, snow. I didn't mean it provides more traction. I just said it works better, and it is automatic too (always on). But on any crawling situation locker wins big time. I could be wrong though, I am still learning quite a bit.

LSD are worse on icy roads, snow or any other surface that has low traction.

Now there are different types of LSD (limited slip differentials) but this is the JLWF, so we'll concentrate on the factory Jeep style LSD. It uses clutch plates and springs to keep both tires spinning with equal load to the left and right tires as long as the surface friction from both tires is equal. As soon as any change in surface friction happens, the tire with the least amount of traction will receive more power from the LSD. So as you go around a corner in the ice/snow/mud/rain, that surface friction on the tires is uneven, especially as the tires are turning at different speeds. That LSD will be loading/unloading the tires unevenly causing a loss of handling. The old saying of "catching posi" around a corner and spinning out applies here.

The easiest way to explain this would be to park an LSD equipped vehicle on the side of the road, with one tire on dry pavement and the other tire on a patch of ice (or mud). As you start to drive, the LSD will send the majority of power to the tire with the least amount of traction (the one on the ice) while the tire on the dry pavement will receive very little to no power. In short you could get stuck on flat level ground quite easily. Don't even think about getting a tire in the air, with no surface load back to the LSD, it will send all power to the tire in the air.

Now there are ways to cheat a little, the easiest is to click the park brake a few notches to get the brakes to preload the axles a little so the LSD thinks the tires have the same surface friction feedback.

Are LSDs bad? Not at all. They are great for those that need/want a little extra traction here and there. Do they perform better than a true locker, In the off-road world, on uneven and loose terrain? NO.
 

BlackGenesis

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That IS impressive.

I have no experience with this BLD system; is it standard on all Wranglers? If it works so well, I'm thinking that a Sport model with the anti-spin rear axle and the sway bar disconnect will do just about anything I'm likely to encounter off road.
All JL have it - its torque vectoring using brakes....brakes aplied to the spinning wheel to transfer torque to the wheels with traction.
 

DadJokes

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Take it one step at a time. I personally am in the same boat as you (the OP). No lift plans. Likely won't go more than 33".

But like others have said, perhaps start off with a Sway Bar Disconnect solution and see how much that takes care of all your needs. The way I see it, need for lockers is directly proportional to the probability of a wheel going up in the air. And sway bar disconnects minimize this probability.

In addition to quick disconnects and the antirock bar mentioned above, there appears to be another interesting new solution in the market - Apex Performance Parts AutoLYNX.
https://www.apexdesignsusa.com/products/autolynx-sway-bar-disconnect

I have just ordered a set for myself. So I am yet to try these out. I am hoping they work for me. They look super easy to operate. You actually have a fully connected swaybar when needed and you can "disconnect" by turning a knob. Other should chime in if they have more experience with this product.
Please update here when you get a chance to review it.
 

DanW

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In most cases, Lsds are good. Lockers are better. Lsds wear out lockers don't. Solid axles articulate much better than ifs, so that advantage helps everything, including lsds and even open diffs. Traction control helps too but in some situations, like sand, it is counter productive and can get you stuck.

There will always be a particular and unique situation where a specific combination works best. Also an experienced skilled driver can make a huge difference. But in the end there is only 1 combination that gets you moving when only 1 wheel has traction, no matter which one it is. That's front and rear fully locked.

But, an open diff stock Jeep, even without traction control, even with less ground clearance, is still more capable than most IFS 4wd, such as an FJ or pick-up truck, even with a rear locker. I've seen this over and over. Why? It keeps wheels on the ground better, not only improving traction, but stability, too. With a swaybar disconnect, it is even better. Ride in an IFS sometime and see how it feels when one or two wheels gets waay off the ground. It is scary.

I've seen enough over many years to draw these conclusions. I'd take a Sport with open diffs even over a Bronco Sasquatch in most scenarios because of the solid front axle, alone. Think not? Watch the full video (not the ones edited by Ford or their fanboys) of the Broncos trying to get out of Mickey's Hot Tub. The only place I'd take the IFS as an advantage is high speed off road prerunning, which I don't do. But I digress..
 

Jamrock

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What's heartbreaking is thinking a sport can't go rock-crawling, just shows your lack of experience and/or skill.
Please read my post. I explained that modding would be necessary.

What? I've seen many a Sport out in Moab and other places. Modding is a part of Jeeping. Plenty of options to get it to do what you want it to do.
Please read my post. I explained that modding would be necessary.

But why go through that much trouble? Why not just buy a Rubicon if you want to do hard core trails?

I can see the benefit of spreading out the expenditure over a few years instead of spending all the money all at once. However, I can't think of any other reason if you know you want to do hard core trails.

BTW, there is no need to get personal. We are just having a conversation and expressing different views.
 
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DadJokes

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I agree that, financially, it would “likely” be more cost effective to get a stripped down Rubicon rather than modding the Sport /Sahara too much.

I have a Sahara and I’m new to off roading still. We’re planning some mild to moderate excursions for the family and being a car guy since I was a kid, it’s hard to leave things alone. I bought the Sahara because of financial limitations at the time but they quickly got better to where I wish it was a Rubicon. It doesn’t make sense to trade though. So...I thought $2500 into the M200 rear axle was worthwhile for now. I added the Ox locker with electric actuation. I’ve not really tested it out yet but it locks and between that, disconnects, and 33-34” tires, we should be good to go.

On the locker install, the axles are Yukon chromoly now and we upgraded to 32 spline as that was an option for the Ox locker differential. We are running stock dimension standard width M220 axle shafts. The bearings and axle tubes are the same as a Rubicon as well. The difference is the ring/pinion area but the M200 is stronger than the previous JK Dana 35, especially the new tapered and larger Pinion shaft.

I figured if a Toyota does ok with just a rear locker, we might be one better with that and a sway bar disconnect up front for what we plan to do. I mainly wanted a little extra insurance for sticky mud and deep snow.
 
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DanW

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Please read my post. I explained that modding would be necessary.



Please read my post. I explained that modding would be necessary.

But why go through that much trouble? Why not just buy a Rubicon if you want to do hard core trails?

I can see the benefit of spreading out the expenditure over a few years instead of spending all the money all at once. However, I can't think of any other reason if you know you want to do hard core trails.

BTW, there is no need to get personal. We are just having a conversation and expressing different views.
Sorry if it came across the wrong way. I didn't intend at all for that. I think more of us as a couple guys sharing a beer and just talking Jeeps.

I completely get what you are saying, and agree in some scenarios, but just think it overlooks some reasons someone might go with a Sport, even if the cost difference to a Rubi isn't as great as we sometimes think. And you do point that out in this last post.

But the biggest reason still involves $$$$, but not in the way it originally came across. In my humble opinion, which is worth about a dime, It is not a function of just spending a little more at the moment for many people. If I was cash limited, I'd have bought a Sport and modified it as I could afford it, one piece at a time. Sure, in the end I might spend as much, but not all at once. For many folks, cash flow ebbs and flows. I'd rather get in a Sport now than wait a year for a Rubi.

PLUS, there's this. Some folks LOVE to tinker and build their Jeeps. Heck, I do that even with the Rubi. There is great satisfaction in building your own and making it your own. You can customize it to the specific type of off-roading you might do. One might not need front and rear lockers, but rather just one. Someone more into sand dunes may not want or need the swaybar disconnect. While the Sport is a highly capable off-roader in stock form, it is like a blank sheet of canvas. There is great fun to be had with that approach.

I love my Rubi and have set it up to cover what I need, but I guarantee I would have as much fun starting with a $32k basic JLU and building it up over the years. I did that with my YJ and my memories of it are just as full of fun and adventure as either of my Rubicons, JK or JL.
 

DanW

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I forgot another couple of reasons someone may go with a Sport. If planning on Dana 60's or a major league build, why bother with the Rubi? Leapfrogging it would actually save money in the long run.

Then there's someone who just gets into Jeeping and really doesn't know what they want to do yet. Experience then helps them form their vision or identify needs.

Then, finally, there's the challenge of wheeling a stock basic Jeep. That Jeep's capability will increase dramatically as the driver's experience grows, even with no mods at all.

My wife eventually wants a Jeep but doesn't want to spend the $ on a Rubi because she doesn't want to go off-road. But trust me, that Jeep WILL sneak off road on occasion when I happen to borrow it! Lol! I'm really looking forward to exploring its capabilities. But please don't tell her!
 

Jamrock

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I forgot another couple of reasons someone may go with a Sport. If planning on Dana 60's or a major league build, why bother with the Rubi? Leapfrogging it would actually save money in the long run.

Then there's someone who just gets into Jeeping and really doesn't know what they want to do yet. Experience then helps them form their vision or identify needs.

Then, finally, there's the challenge of wheeling a stock basic Jeep. That Jeep's capability will increase dramatically as the driver's experience grows, even with no mods at all.

My wife eventually wants a Jeep but doesn't want to spend the $ on a Rubi because she doesn't want to go off-road. But trust me, that Jeep WILL sneak off road on occasion when I happen to borrow it! Lol! I'm really looking forward to exploring its capabilities. But please don't tell her!
Oh Please... The O.P. is not thinking about buying a Sport to upgrde to Dana 60's. Even so, there are pros and cons to this approach. The Rubicon comes with the electronic sway bar disconnect which is a useful feature to have.

The O.P. knows what he wants to do. He wants to hit the trails and he wants some lockers.

Not everyone needs a Rubicon. Some people prefer the Sahara with Select Trac for winter driving. Some people just want to drive on rough country roads or to go fishing with the family. The additional expenditure on a Rubicon would not be necessary.

If you are purchasing your first Jeep and you want to hard core trails, I will always argue that the Rubicon is the best option.
 

Jamrock

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Sorry if it came across the wrong way. I didn't intend at all for that. I think more of us as a couple guys sharing a beer and just talking Jeeps.

I completely get what you are saying, and agree in some scenarios, but just think it overlooks some reasons someone might go with a Sport, even if the cost difference to a Rubi isn't as great as we sometimes think. And you do point that out in this last post.

But the biggest reason still involves $$$$, but not in the way it originally came across. In my humble opinion, which is worth about a dime, It is not a function of just spending a little more at the moment for many people. If I was cash limited, I'd have bought a Sport and modified it as I could afford it, one piece at a time. Sure, in the end I might spend as much, but not all at once. For many folks, cash flow ebbs and flows. I'd rather get in a Sport now than wait a year for a Rubi.

PLUS, there's this. Some folks LOVE to tinker and build their Jeeps. Heck, I do that even with the Rubi. There is great satisfaction in building your own and making it your own. You can customize it to the specific type of off-roading you might do. One might not need front and rear lockers, but rather just one. Someone more into sand dunes may not want or need the swaybar disconnect. While the Sport is a highly capable off-roader in stock form, it is like a blank sheet of canvas. There is great fun to be had with that approach.

I love my Rubi and have set it up to cover what I need, but I guarantee I would have as much fun starting with a $32k basic JLU and building it up over the years. I did that with my YJ and my memories of it are just as full of fun and adventure as either of my Rubicons, JK or JL.
No offense taken.
 

Jamrock

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My suggestion is install some rubicon take off axles with the 4.10s and lockers. They can be had for around 3500-4k. This would give you the wider axles, stronger shaft tubes, bigger r&p and 4.10s along with the lockers. I’m personally not big on regearing the sport axles as I don’t see it as a good way to utilize our customers funds

brett
This is the best option I have read on the forum. Wouldn't you have to use some after market auxillary switches to manage the lockers?
 

WhitneyWillys

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So, is the following thinking flawed? When potential Jeep buyers wonder about needing lockers, should they be taking a more wholistic view? Something along these lines ...

Often, when you get into off-roading where you will need lockers, you will likely also need larger tires, spotters, traveling in groups and perhaps some appetite for body damage. In other words, the chances that you don't need any of the above, and only lockers, is perhaps quite rare, or perhaps even nonexistent.

So if you go off-road and if you do have some combination of the above, then at that time, not having lockers becomes far far less of a handicap. At that time, adding into the equation a winch perhaps has even more value.

And if you don't have some combination of the above, you are not going to be getting into situations counting exclusively on your lockers. So by deduction lockers become moot.

Thoughts?
 

ThirtyOne

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My suggestion is install some rubicon take off axles with the 4.10s and lockers. They can be had for around 3500-4k. This would give you the wider axles, stronger shaft tubes, bigger r&p and 4.10s along with the lockers. I’m personally not big on regearing the sport axles as I don’t see it as a good way to utilize our customers funds

brett
But here's the issue (And this is coming from a guy with a Sport S).

The difference between a Sport S and a Rubicon is 5-6K. So you have just spent 4k to get axles, gears, and lockers. You still don't have the larger brakes, 4:1 transfer case, or sway bar disconnect (although I don't really value that very much).

So if you are going to go that route you might as well just start with the Rubicon. And if price is an issue, you can now get a used Rubicon for the same price.

If someone is starting out saying "I want a Sport with front/rear lockers" I think they should just start with the Rubicon.
 

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