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Author Topic: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?  (Read 258 times)

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Offline trijjicon

Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« on: July 13, 2020, 05:59:42 PM »
I'm thinking of using a "lunchbox" style in the rear first. Then perhaps later on doing  an E-locker style up-front.  My Jeep is for off-roading mostly. I tow it on a  trailer if I have far to go. But I do need to travel a good bit of pavement around here to get to the dirt roads out in the country. Any feedback would certainly be much appreciated. Thnx

Offline BillT

Re: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2020, 08:53:55 AM »
Back in the eighty's I installed a LOCK-RIGHT in my '52 M38A1. I think they have the same rear end, but wouldn't swear to it. Easy install and have had no issues with it since then. I don't think there are many choices available.
'52 CJ3A, early M38A1, '70 Commando
25' travel trailer, Lance 855S truck camper
Love to camp


Offline trijjicon

Re: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 07:07:54 PM »
Thank you guys for responding. There are certainly differing opinions on lockers. I'm concerned more about that (lunchbox rear) "chirping" in turns & the steering difficulties on a front locker. But it seems that is just the way it is. Seems an e-locker (up front) gives the opportunity to disengage quick enough to avoid most steering problems. & I am assuming air-lockers and electric-lockers "don't" have this chirping noise?? Or have I misunderstood the locker concepts?

Offline OnlyOneDR

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Re: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2020, 02:54:56 PM »
E-lockers and Air lockers are "selectable" so you just turn them on when needed, when not you switch them off and the differential acts as a normal one does.

I have a lock-right in my Blazer and have had Detroit automatic lockers in both axles that lived under my Nissan.  You get used to the quirks, every once in a while they pop going around gradual curves and they are not so fun is slow parking lot maneuvers.  You will not notice a rear locker on dirt roads.

Not sure what your axles are but the stock D25 has no options for a locker, if you have a D41 rear then you can sneak a 10-spline lock-right in it.  For anything else you will need to switch to the D44 if you do not have it then switch to 19-spline axles where you will then have more options for traction aids.
Searching for time to put it all together...
1950 CJ-3A #37751 In Pieces
1969 Chevy Blazer Resto-Mod Waiting for its day...
2001 Nissan Frontier Crawler Adventure Rig

Offline trijjicon

Re: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2020, 05:27:26 PM »
That's good to know about the front diff. The 3A is suppose to have a D25 up front & a D44 in back. I believe mine is mostly still stock, so I am assuming those r the diffs I have. A D44 can accept a locker? Can a D44 b put up front? I've seen a flat-fender with manual locking hubs up front & on the rear. Is that a custom-build?

Offline tow hook

Re: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2020, 11:30:21 AM »
Thank you guys for responding. There are certainly differing opinions on lockers. I'm concerned more about that (lunchbox rear) "chirping" in turns & the steering difficulties on a front locker. But it seems that is just the way it is. Seems an e-locker (up front) gives the opportunity to disengage quick enough to avoid most steering problems. & I am assuming air-lockers and electric-lockers "don't" have this chirping noise?? Or have I misunderstood the locker concepts?

air lockers, or e lockers are on off with a switch. how ever they cost a good bit more, and you will be in for a weekend job :)  you are replacing the carrier that the ring gear is bolted to. so you will be pulling the ends of the axle to get the shafts out, then pull the carrier, so it's best to have new carrier bearings and shims. ypu will have to re set up the ring gear pattern, so it wears correctly. it's very poss that a off road shop maybe best to hand this. a lunch box locker can be done by hand in your garage, you will have to pull the axle shafts. so lockers have 2 sets of springs to control engagement. to help with the tires chriping. the lunch box locker fully engages under throttle. so if you put one on in the front, you won't always have to unlock the hubs..

 hope this helps

Offline tow hook

Re: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2020, 11:36:50 AM »
That's good to know about the front diff. The 3A is suppose to have a D25 up front & a D44 in back. I believe mine is mostly still stock, so I am assuming those r the diffs I have. A D44 can accept a locker? Can a D44 b put up front? I've seen a flat-fender with manual locking hubs up front & on the rear. Is that a custom-build?

yes the dana 44 can take a locker, some of the older ones are ten spline i believe, so you have one choice if you do that. detroit is the only brand that i know of. you could go with a full floater conversion.  that would be 31 spline, and open a whole new world as far as choices. but it would be costly. herm makes a kit to do that.

can you put a dana 44 in the front, yes you can. takes time and money. lol if you found a old pass side drop 44 out of a chevy or dodge that could work, it will need to be cut down to fit, and need custom made axle shafts..  i did a narrow track cj dana 30 i once i get new shafts i'll do a arb air locker, like my other off roaders  ;D

Offline trijjicon

Re: Rear Diff Locker on a CJ3A...what's my best choice?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 05:24:35 PM »
More good info is always good for all of us. I'm still trying to decide what to do. Thnx for the input.