Locker question for XJ

Vehicle: 1997 XJ with 3.5 RE and soon to be 33’s. it will not be a DD.

Trying to decide to go front or rear with a locker. looking at a LOKKA.

What do you guys think?


Honestly I would do the front locker first.

Lock the front first

Read Stu Olson’s article on lockers, not just on what type but which axle he recommends. Made sense to me.

I installed one in the front of my 98 and it makes a huge difference .

I say front cause if you cant get on the rock your not going over it

I disagree, at least around here. There is so much mud and slime around here, that, while in theory, he has a solid point, but in reality, we rarely get the rears on solid, dry ground while climbing. Dis aint Moab! :smiley:

I would start with the front. Lockright aussie lokka are all about the same.

Just make sure you go find spare shafts if you plan to do any rock crawling.

What rear axle do you have and where do you see your jeep in the next few years?

Yes spare shafts! Broke one at G2 last time.

Yup I need a new spare now hehe lol

Ya Ya Ya, it’s sitting in the back of my Jeep been there since we got home from G2.

flip a coin, it really doesnt matter.

Any locker is better than no locker. Having said that, all else being equal a rear locker is far superior to a front locker over a broad range of terrain. Of course a locked front and rear is ideal.

The reason is weight transfer. Traction available at a tire depends on the force of the tire pressing on the ground. Less force = less traction. Sitting still most vehicles have weight distribution of about 55-45 front to rear but once you start accelerating or climbing a hill then there is a massive weight transfer to the rear. Under these conditions the rear can be responsible for 80% or more of the traction. This is why rear axles are generally larger than front axles.

When you boil it all down there is only one reason why people would lock the front and not the rear: The Dana 35 rear axle which is prone to shaft breakage. If you want some cheap traction and swapping in a stronger rear axle with locker is not within the immediate budget then $300 gets you a lunchbox locker for the front axle.

Most Cherokees run the Chrysler 8.25 rear axle which is a fair bit stronger than the Dana 35. If you have the Chrysler 8.25 rear axle then you will be better off locking the rear. Another benefit of a locked rear is that it will behave a lot better in the snow. A locked front plus 4wd in the snow can be a downright scary experience; not so bad at low speed in deep snow but the faster you go the more likely that the front axle will send you spinning like a top.

Thanks for all the input guys, I now have a decision to make.

Yes I do have a 8.25 in the rear and this vehicle will only be driven for 4wheeling purposes, so I’m not worried about driving characteristics in the snow.


You could get two full spools and be locked front and rear makes turns a bit harder but wheels will always turn.