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A jeep is an automobile designed for the adventurers, those who like going off-road, whether for fun or as a career.
It doesn’t mean it does not do well on-road it is one of the best. But have you ever tried going off-road or taking a sharp corner in your jeep without lockers?
I am pretty sure the experience was horrible. To have a better experience next time, you will need to install your jeep wheels with lockers.
A locker is an after manufacture spare tool that is aimed to lock your wheels on the same plane so that they move at similar speed and force.
This protects your vehicle from skidding when off-road and helps negotiate a bend smoothly.
There are hundreds of lockers for the Jeep Jk available in the market. Given that there are minor differences between the models, it becomes a headache when choosing the model that meets your needs, especially for those without prior experience.
Therefore, a single locker might not be favorable for two different people.
Below we have compiled a few factors you choose to put into consideration when choosing a locker for your Jeep Jk.
How to Choose The Best Locker for Jeep Jk
Automatic/ manual lockers
Automatic lockers as the name suggests, are the type of lockers that engage themselves automatically whenever the need arises.
They do not require the manual interference of the driver. They stay engaged since the turning on of the vehicle and only disengage when navigating a sharp corner or rough road.
On the other hand, manual lockers are dependent on the driver. They are mostly used by professional off-road drivers.
They put all the pressure on the driver as it is entirely up to him whether he needs them engaged or not.
Mechanism of action
There are new technologies that are emerging every day that are being used in the manufacture of lockers.
Generally, the lockers in the market are either open differential, limited-slip, mechanical clutch, locked differential or helical.
The difference is in how the power is allocated, the amount of energy projected and where it is projected to.
Open differentials are designed to allow one wheel to rotate faster or slower than the other when rotating.
This prevents your wheels from losing traction and spinning around in turns.
Limited slip differentials combine the benefits of an open and locked differential.
In case when the wheels share similar traction, the limited differential change and will turn the wheels at the same time with an equal amount of torque.
When off-road, the limited differential imposes more torque to the tire set that has much traction. Limited differentials provide more traction as compared to the open ones.
A locker is not an item that comes cheap. Therefore, it is not an item you plan on buying now and then.
It should be able to serve you for the longest time possible before it requires to be replaced. You, therefore, want a locker made from a durable material, one that will last long.
Besides, the material should be resistant to the constant tear and wear caused by friction.
Ideally, it should be coated to protect it from rust, which not only interferes with the appealing appearance of the device but also renders the device worthless.
Several factors play a role in how long the locker lasts. The weather is one of the determining factors.
Harsh weather conditions subject the locker to unfavorable conditions that promote it’s wearing off.
Another factor is how frequently you are off-road. For the professionals who are always off-road, they should go for the strongest material in the market.
It is usual to assume that since the model of your jeep is similar to that of your neighbor, you will require the same model of the locker that fits in his car.
You will be surprised that the model that fit in his vehicle will not fit in yours. During manufacture, lockers are designed to fit specific specs.
The specs are very precise for each model and it is are to find a locker that accommodates more than one spec.
For example, there are locker models of the Dana 30 differential that fit the Dana 30a differential, yet there are those that do not.
Car manufacturers are also different. The same car model from different manufacturers may have different specs for the locker.
The previous owner of your car may have changed the wheels and this would bring about a discrepancy. To avoid disappointment, always ensure you countercheck the specs of your wheels.
If you are unsure, consult your mechanic or your car manual. Just do not make the mistake of assuming.
Ease of installation
There is a difference in the expertise required to install different locker models.
There are those lockers that can be installed in the comfort of your garage while there are those that require you to visit your mechanic for them to install the locker for you.
For beginners, it can be quite a challenge to install either one. Whether you will be doing the installation yourself or visiting your mechanic, you will need to purchase a locker that is easy to install.
One that does not require extra expertise and work during installation. This not only saves you money but also saves you time.
It is universally agreed that automatic lockers are easier to install as compared to the manual ones.
Maintenance always plays an important part in owning anything in the long run.
A locker is not an item you plan to be buying now and then. You plan that it should provide you with services for as long as possible.
Even so, it should not require your constant attention. In the current times, everyone is busy trying to make ends meet, leaving little time for themselves and their families, let alone time to check on how their locker is doing.
Therefore, when choosing a locker, go for one that is low maintenance, one that does not require your constant attention.
For most lockers, all they require is regular cleaning and oil change for them to be in tip-top condition. Such lockers not only save you time but also the hustle and cost of constantly checking up on your locker.
Choosing the most appropriate locker for your Jeep Jk is not an easy task. Despite this, always ensure you do market surveillance to ensure you get the best product that will suit all your needs.
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