Table of Contents
- 1 5 Best Lockers for Jeep JK in 2021: Reviews and Guide
- 1.1 #1. Spartan Locker Review: USA Standard Gear SL D30-27 differential-27
- 1.2 #2. Yukon Grizzly Locker Review: Gear YDGGM8.5-3-30-1 Dura Grip Locker
- 1.3 #3. Detroit Locker Reviews: Eaton 912A585
- 1.4 #4. Aussie Locker Review: XD-13027 Axle Spline Locker
- 1.5 #5. Detroit Locker 913A481 Truetrac Differential Locker
- 1.6 Aussie Locker vs Spartan Locker
- 1.7 Yukon Grizzly Locker vs Detroit Locker
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- 2.1 Question #1. What are lockers on a jeep?
- 2.2 Question #2. How does a Spartan locker work?
- 2.3 Question #3. How do Detroit lockers work?
- 2.4 Question #4. What are locking differentials (or lockers)?
- 2.5 Question #5. Why are lockers so important?
- 2.6 Question #6. What type of locker to use? Most common choices?
- 2.7 Question #7. Does the locking differential help in snow and mud?
- 2.8 Question #8. Can a damaged locker be repaired?
- 2.9 Question #9. How to know when the locker has stopped working?
- 3 Final Words
DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE AFFILIATE LINKS IN THIS POST. THIS MEANS THAT AT NO COST TO YOU, I WILL RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION IF YOU PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINK. I WILL ONLY EVER PROMOTE THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THAT I TRUST AND 100% RECOMMEND.
Nature adventures are always wonderful. There’s nothing more fun and thrilling than satisfying the guts of your human nature.
However, for your own safety and experience, you need a good ride to navigate those rough and uneven terrains. For this purpose, you will find a jeep incredibly helpful.
Sadly, there are certain situations where even the most capable off-road vehicle will be helpless, even if it’s a JK Jeep. A common scenario is when you get stuck in a storm, and you discover your tires are ditched in the mud or snow.
In this kind of situation, what you desperately need is a locker for greater agility and maneuverability.
Therefore, in this article, we are going to look at the best lockers for Jeep JK currently available in the market.
5 Best Lockers for Jeep JK in 2021: Reviews and Guide
Buying a locker for a Jeep JK can be a big decision, especially if this is your first time in the market. There are numerous options available with different price ranges and models. But not to worry, we’ve done all the hard work for you.
Read the buying guide here.
After carrying out extensive research, we were finally able to uncover the top five products on the counter. Without wasting any more time, let’s delve right into it.
#1. Spartan Locker Review: USA Standard Gear SL D30-27 differential-27
- EASY DROP-IN INSTALLATION:Replaces your spider gears. No crazy diff work required. Average installation time is 4 hours
- HIGH STRENGTH STEEL: Made from 9310 steel for incredible durability and longetivity
- QUALITY: Heat treated and precision cut teeth ensure long life and performance
- WARRANTY: Backed by a one year warranty against manufacturing defects
- FITMENT: Fits the Dana 30 differential, 27 spline. If purchasing this unit for a Non-Rubicon JK front, you will also need to purchase carrier case part number YC D706008
When it comes to products that are designed for off-road vehicles, there are very few brands that can boast of the reputation created by USA Standard Gear.
Their Spartan locker is without doubts one of the most popular options in the market. It is specifically designed to provide great traction control to your Jeep JK but without the high price point of most premium models.
Why Choose This Spartan Locker?
- Compatible with 27 Splines of Dana 30
It will also interest you to know that this locker works with splines of size 30. Each one of the teeth is cut with high precision and heat-treated to provide you with excellent traction. Just fit this into your jeep to easily maneuver the most rugged terrain.
- Quality Steel Construction
This locker is made of drivers and couplers that are manufactured with the highest grade steel, which makes it highly durable. So if you’re looking for something that will last you for a very long time, then you will not be disappointed with this model.
- Easy Set-Up
Another thing that separates this product from competitors is that it has a very easy installation step. It basically adopts a unique drop-in process that uses a spring and pin design.
This eliminates the need for thrust washers, thus making the locker much easier and fast to set-up compared to many similar lockers.
A pictorial installation manual is provided with the product to ensure you don’t make any mistakes. It is possible that after installation, you may have more difficulty steering forward. You might also hear a popping sound whenever you make a sharp turn.
As earlier indicated, this product is not too expensive as most of its counterparts. So if you’re looking for a locker that is highly efficient yet more affordable, then this is the one to go for.
You will enjoy 100 percent traction every time you hit off-road for your adventures.
This Spartan locker is one of the most popular lockers for off-road vehicles (if not the most popular), and it’s not difficult to see why. It gives you superb traction control at a price that is hard to beat.
Despite the uncomfortable sound it produces, we still consider it to be one of the best lockers for Jeep Jk. It comes highly recommended.
#2. Yukon Grizzly Locker Review: Gear YDGGM8.5-3-30-1 Dura Grip Locker
Another incredible differential locker that works great for Jeep JK is the Dura Grip Locker from Yukon Gear. As the name suggests, the locker is specifically designed for vehicles that have 30 spine axles.
So if you fall into this category, you will greatly benefit from using the product as it doesn’t only provide great traction but also has a long lifespan.
- WARRANTY: 1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturing Defects
- METALLURGY: Forged 4320 Steel Internals for Long Life and Durability
- FULLY REBUILDABLE: Fully Rebuildable; 4-Spring, Clutch Style Positraction LSD
- POSI STYLE: Clutch Style Positraction | Limited Slip Differential
- USA PROUD: Assembled in the USA in our Everett, Washington facility
Why Choose the Yukon Gear YDGGM?
One of the things customers love about this product is that it has a long lifespan. And this is mainly because it is made of high-quality materials – chromium and steel – which are responsible for their added strength and toughness. Thus the locker is able to hold up well even in the harshest conditions.
The locker features a positraction which consists of four springs. This clutch style design enhances its durability and also makes it possible to rebuild the locker even though it comes already preassembled.
- Dura Grip
This is another notable feature of this locker, which you will not find in many similar models. With Dura grip, you get to enjoy smooth transfers and achieve greater twisting force, which makes it a whole lot easier to get out of sticky situations.
- Easy Installation
Many models take up to a week to set up, this one can be easily installed within two hours. More so, it can also be installed on other vehicles besides a Jeep JK provided they have 30 spline axles.
If you are looking for a locking differential you can use for various vehicles, then you won’t go wrong with the Yukon Gear YDGGM8. It comes with high strength components that make it highly reliable even for the toughest conditions. We cannot recommend it enough!
#3. Detroit Locker Reviews: Eaton 912A585
Eaton is a company that has been in operation for more than 100 years in the automotive industry, which is a clear indication that they’re a brand you can trust. Their differential locker, Detroit Truetrac is one of the top-performing options in the market when it comes to quality.
- Differential Type: Limited Slip (LSD); Gear Spline Tooth Count: 27 EA
- Ring Gear Size: 7.2 IN, Ring Gear Ratio: 3.73 & up
- Axle Description: Dana 30, Wrangler JK ; Axle Location: Front ; Axle Shaft Diameter: 1.16 inches
- Catalog Notes: Applies to non-disconnect only
Why Choose the Detroit Truetrac 912A585?
- Helical Gear Design
It will interest you to know that the Eaton 912A585 was the first differential locker in the market to feature a helical gear design. In other words, it doesn’t come with any wearable parts, which basically makes it maintenance free. However, you will need to replace the oil from time to time, depending upon mileage.
- Decent Traction
This product provides adequate traction for slippery situations, though not as much as what you get with the models reviewed above.
- Maintenance-Free Traction
It will interest you to know that this is a maintenance-free traction system. In other words, you don’t have to worry about using it with a friction modifier, as this is not required. However, you will need to change the oil from time to time.
- Suitable for 27 Spline Axle
This locker is built for vehicles with 27 spline axles and Dana 30. If this sounds like your wrangle JK, then the Detroit Truetrac is a good option.
With helical gear, this is obviously one of the best available locks for Jeep JK. Apart from doing well off-road, it is also good for street drive, which makes it a more versatile option.
#4. Aussie Locker Review: XD-13027 Axle Spline Locker
If you love to have fun off-road, then you deserve a locker that will not disappoint. For this purpose, you might want to consider the Aussie XD-13027. This is another automatic differential locker built for a long-lasting experience.
It is one of the few options built for quality and performance, which is why it has won the heart of many jeep lovers across the globe.
- The Aussie Locker XD-13027 is the most advanced traction added Automatic Precision Locker in the world today
- You get 100 percent traction performance rather than 40-60 percent with a posi or LSD
- All Aussie Lockers are designed for installation in an open differential
- The Aussie Locker will not work in posi or limited slip carriers
- The XD13027 is not designed to fit the D30a differential
Why Choose the Aussie Locker XD-13027?
- Excellent Traction
Many differential lockers in the market are only able to provide 40 to 50 percent traction. However, with the Aussie XD, you get up to 100 percent traction. This gives you the confidence to explore any terrain without fear of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere.
- Long-Lasting Construction
Another thing we like about this locker is its solid construction. It is built with high-quality materials, which makes it a great choice if you’re looking for something that will last you for a long time.
This locker operates automatically, which saves you the stress of turning it on or off by yourself. Thus, you can focus more on the road without any worries about the lock. Also, in terms of precision, you will hardly find a better model out there.
Installing this locker is not difficult. If you have decent experience installing auto parts, you shouldn’t have any issues. You will need to install them where you have the spider gears, which means the spider gears have to go first, but you can always reuse them later.
It is important to note that this doesn’t work with posi or limited slip carriers.
Overall, this is a high-quality locker that promises to deliver a precise transition for all your off-road adventures. However, it might take to the popping sound it produces when making turns.
#5. Detroit Locker 913A481 Truetrac Differential Locker
This is another brand that is known for producing high quality and reliable products. The Truetrac Differential Locker is arguably their top product for Jeep JK so far, and given how long it has been in the market, you can tell it’s a high-quality locker.
One of the major things we love about this product is that it is fully automatic, which makes it highly accurate.
- Product Type:Auto Part
- Item Package Weight:11.748 Kilograms
- Item Package Dimension:20.3 cm L X20.3 cm W X22.9 cm H
- Country Of Origin: United States
Why Choose Truetrac 913A481?
- 100% Automatic System
As earlier indicated, one of the major reasons the Truetrac is highly in demand is that it’s fully automatic. This means you don’t have to worry about engaging or disengaging the locker by yourself. As a result, the locker is able to perform accurately since it knows when to switch on and off.
- Helical Gear Technology
It will also interest you to know that this locker also utilizes helical gear technology, which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular. The gears ensure the transition is smooth and quick without much noise making it comfortable to use.
So regardless of the terrain in front of you, whether rocky or flat, you can rest assured you will have a smooth ride.
- Fairly Lightweight
This is not the lightest locker on the list, but even at 25.8 pounds, it still qualifies as a lightweight model. So it doesn’t add much to the overall weight of your vehicle.
We must confess that this product is quite difficult to install, especially if you decide to take the DIY route. It may take you up to a week to successfully set it up. We strongly advise hiring a professional to do the job for you. Even though this might come at an extra cost, it will save you time and stress, and give you peace of mind.
If your jeep JK has an axle of 30 splines and you need something that is light and effective, then you cannot go wrong with this locker. However, you might need to seek professional help when installing it.
Aussie Locker vs Spartan Locker
Both the Aussie lockers and Spartan lockers are lunchbox type lockers. The shape of the lockers is like a lunchbox. That’s probably the reason why we call those a lunchbox locker.
Both Aussie lockers and Spartan lockers are automatic lockers.
Aussie lockers perform pretty well both off-road and on-road driving. They are not noisy at all.
But the Spartan lockers are a tad louder around the tight corners when you are driving on-road.
The off-road characteristics of both these lockers are the same.
Both these lockers are installed into an open differential, and the installation process is comfortable in both cases.
The price of these two lockers is very close to each other.
The alignment pins of Spartan lockers are thicker than the Aussie lockers. This makes the Spartan ones stronger than it’s Aussie counterparts.
On the other hand, the Aussie lockers have bigger center section gears than the Spartan ones.
So, as you can see, both these lockers share the same characteristics except a few differences as both are automatic lunchbox-style mechanical lockers.
Yukon Grizzly Locker vs Detroit Locker
Yukon Grizzly lockers deliver 100% traction to both tires. It is disengaged when you turn your vehicle.
As Yukon Grizzly lockers are mechanical differential lockers, and also automatic lockers, they will engage and disengage automatically.
Detroit lockers are also automatic lockers and provide 100% torque during straight-line driving, and in case of a turn, it unlocks one wheel to turn faster.
It lets the outer wheel turn faster during the turn as the outer wheel needs to cover more distance than the inner wheel during a turn.
In reality, both these lockers work almost similarly as they belong to the same genre.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question #1. What are lockers on a jeep?
Answer: Lockers are kind of a layman’s term or a general term used by the automobile industry.
Lockers are specifically one type of traction device that is highly popular amongst off-roaders.
To become an off-road hero, you have to have some sort of traction device installed in the axle of the jeep.
Without a locker installed, the jeep gets traction with only one tire. So, when you hit the gas, only one wheel gets the traction.
But once you install a traction device or locker and hit the gas, the locker locks the axle and transfers the full torque to both wheels. This happens only for straight-line driving.
Question #2. How does a Spartan locker work?
Answer: Spartan lockers are lunchbox style mechanical lockers, and a lunchbox style locker is automatic lockers.
The advantage of a lunchbox style locker is, you don’t have to replace the carrier. You just have to replace the spider gears. The Spartan lockers also have the same characteristics.
Spartan lockers are installed into the open differential.
When you go straight, the locker gives 100% power to both wheels.
When you turn, the inside wheel end of the locker will unlock. When you back to move straight, it will give 100% to both the wheels again.
The alignment pins of Spartan lockers are thicker and provide enough strength.
On the downside, as the Spartan lockers are automatic lockers, sometimes they tend to show some unexpected road-handling behaviors.
Question #3. How do Detroit lockers work?
Answer: Detroit lockers are also automatic lockers, and they are full carrier lockers.
Unlike the lunchbox style lockers, Detroit lockers require replacing the full carrier. You have to re-setup the gears when you use this type of locker.
However, Detroit lockers are stronger than lunchbox lockers.
This type of lockers give 100% traction to the vehicles, and it keeps both the wheels in driving mode.
Detroit lockers lock when you do straight-line driving. That means it delivers full driveline torque to both wheels equally. As a result of this, both wheels can provide the highest traction.
Question #4. What are locking differentials (or lockers)?
Answer: Vehicles with open differentials get stuck whenever they encounter a slippery surface because it’s not possible for both wheels on the same axle to move at the same speed.
Locking differentials were designed to solve this problem by locking both wheels and providing enough traction, so the vehicle is able to get out of the slippery condition, whether it’s snow or mud.
Question #5. Why are lockers so important?
Answer: You need a differential locker to make it through all those rugged off-road terrains that are ordinarily difficult to maneuver. This is extremely important, or else you risk getting stuck.
Question #6. What type of locker to use? Most common choices?
Answer: There are many types of lockers in the market for jeeps; however, the most common choices can be categorized into automatic and selectable.
You may already know — automatic lockers are those that switch on and off by themselves without any interference.
As long as the jeep is powered, the locker stays engaged, but it quickly disengages during a sharp turn. The major advantage it has is that it is less costly and very easy and fast to install. However, they tend to be noisy and offer less control.
Unlike automatic lockers that lock and unlock themselves, selectable lockers put you in full control of your vehicle’s locking differential as they allow you to determine how and when they are to engage or disengage. This makes them more comfortable to use. However, you might find them somewhat difficult to install.
Question #7. Does the locking differential help in snow and mud?
Answer: Definitely! They are basically designed for this purpose.
By locking the front or rear differential, these lockers help you to make your way out of slippery conditions. To be more specific, the rear axle wheels are locked so that they spin at the same speed. This ensures that greater traction is produced, which then helps the vehicle to get out of the mud or snow.
Question #8. Can a damaged locker be repaired?
Answer: Yes, of course. Just like any other automobile part, lockers are completely repairable, which means you might not need to purchase a new one if the current one you have develops a fault.
Question #9. How to know when the locker has stopped working?
Answer: When you have a locker that cannot engage or disengage anymore, then it means it has stopped working.
There you have it – the top five best lockers for Jeep JK.
We took our time to prepare this guide so you will have an easier time finding the right locker for your vehicle.
Make sure you choose something compatible with your jeep. The product links above will lead you to their sales page, where you can find more information about each product and its suitability for your jeep.
Finally, we wish you a fun-filled experience off-road as you make your way through all the obstacles. With one of these lockers, we have no doubt you will have a smooth ride every time.