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Dana 44 - lunchbox okay?

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Old 05-13-2018, 09:20 PM
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Default Dana 44 - lunchbox okay?

I'm about to swap out my XJ's Dana 35 for a factory XJ Dana 44. It's coming with 4.10s and an open diff, so I'm inclined to pick up a lunchbox locker (thinking Powertrax) due to cost and not having to set anything up (just slip in the Powertrax and go play). Is this a bad idea? I'm only running 32s and most I'd ever go up to would be 35s. Everywhere I've gone, the flexy suspension of the jeep makes it through with open/open, but want some added security of at least one axle locked up. My thought being if I add a locker to the 44, it's the strongest (stronger than the HP30) and gets most of the weight going uphill. By keeping the front (HP30) open, I don't stress the (760 full c-clip) u-joints or stock axles.

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Old 05-13-2018, 09:34 PM
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That will be fine the Powertrax no slip is expensive. I have and recommend Spartan lockers, I also installed one in my friend's Dodge 1500 Dana 44 front axle and it has been working great. Aussie also makes good lunchbox lockers. This is probably going to start an argument but in my opinion if you are only going to lock one axle then the rear is the way to go, that way you have the extra traction all the time not just in 4x4. My rear locker is hardly noticeable on the street other than you don't spin out as much as you do an open diff.

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Old 05-13-2018, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by 00t444e View Post
That will be fine the Powertrax no slip is expensive. I have and recommend Spartan lockers, I also installed one in my friend's Dodge 1500 Dana 44 front axle and it has been working great. Aussie also makes good lunchbox lockers.
PowerTrax = $380
Spartan = $270

So about $110 difference. The reason I was looking at the Powertrax is everyone raves about how "nice" it is on the street (quite/easy to drive/etc.). How's the Spartan on the street? I'm all for saving $110 if it's not a major difference.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:51 PM
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The Spartan is hardly noticeable at all, if I turn the radio off and coast around a corner I can hear a faint clicking noise, but you can only hear it if you listen for it. I let other people drive my Jeep and they don't even notice it has lockers.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 00t444e View Post
The Spartan is hardly noticeable at all, if I turn the radio off and coast around a corner I can hear a faint clicking noise, but you can only hear it if you listen for it. I let other people drive my Jeep and they don't even notice it has lockers.
That's good info. Like I said, I'm glad to save $110 if it doesn't make a difference. I can live with noise, what I care about is how it performs.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:49 PM
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I don't think there is any functional difference between any of the current generation lunchbox lockers, save the Spartan coming with a better crosspin.

I have Aussie, Lokka, and Spartan on hand, you would never know you were driving one vs another... Too bad I quit my last job, because I wanted to send an Aussie and Lokka in for XRF and Brinell testing.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:31 AM
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The noise isn't the issue from the diff. It's the way they act that can be disconcerting.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by cruiser54 View Post
The noise isn't the issue from the diff. It's the way they act that can be disconcerting.
That's the most frustrating part of all this research. Some people say locking diffs never act up (even in snow and rain) while others say they are near undrivable (in snow and rain). TO ME, I'm inclined to think they are drivable (but just need a level of caution).
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by CLSegraves1 View Post
That's the most frustrating part of all this research. Some people say locking diffs never act up (even in snow and rain) while others say they are near undrivable (in snow and rain). TO ME, I'm inclined to think they are drivable (but just need a level of caution).
Its mostly all about how you drive. Mine turns into a drift machine in the rain. For the most part its the drivers fault. Sometimes its not though. Where I get on the highway, its uphill and turns at the same time and the on ramp is a bit chopped up. If I get on the gas hard at all, the rear will start to slide out unintentionally. I am talking even in 3rd gear at 2000 rpms (manual trans here). Only in the rain though. I have only been in the snow with it once and it seemed to do the same. Long story short, its mostly how you decide to drive but at the same time, IMO, they do have a downside in the rain and snow.
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:54 PM
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Both my Jeep and F250 have rear lockers, and I daily drive them both without issue.
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Old 05-15-2018, 01:18 PM
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I don't have lunch box lockers in a D44 yet, but I have the axles and lockers and they will be going in. Currently have LOKKAs front and rear with no problems now for 5 years. And I wheel hard. See Avatar for proof
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by 4.3L XJ View Post
I don't have lunch box lockers in a D44 yet, but I have the axles and lockers and they will be going in. Currently have LOKKAs front and rear with no problems now for 5 years. And I wheel hard. See Avatar for proof
LOKKA? That's a new one I haven't heard of before. Is it a full locker or just a lunchbox? How does it compare to the other lockers?
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CLSegraves1 View Post
LOKKA? That's a new one I haven't heard of before. Is it a full locker or just a lunchbox? How does it compare to the other lockers?
Lokka has been around for awhile, they are identical to an Aussie locker.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by CLSegraves1 View Post
That's the most frustrating part of all this research. Some people say locking diffs never act up (even in snow and rain) while others say they are near undrivable (in snow and rain). TO ME, I'm inclined to think they are drivable (but just need a level of caution).

I've been DD'ing one for what's pushing 25 yrs now......in a few different vehicles with different power levels/tire sizes...never had any issues with them being quirky or giving me fits like some say they do.


Couple of things to consider......

1) Your driving habits will dictate some of the 'issues' others complain of

2) Quality of installation will dictate some of the issues others complain of

If you don't follow the directions and check & recheck all the clearances, or use overly worn parts (thrust washers/spacers on some axles), or don't use a hardened center pin, you can & will have issues.

The thing needs a certain amount of clearance to work, and too little to or much will let it do stuff it ain't supposed to do.

I've used lockright & spartan....both work equally well, but the spartan is easier to install I think due to the way it is made.
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Old 05-15-2018, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by CLSegraves1 View Post
LOKKA? That's a new one I haven't heard of before. Is it a full locker or just a lunchbox? How does it compare to the other lockers?
It is a lunchbox, and was at the time the cheapest. American outlet for Ausie Locker. In this vid you can hear a slight tink sound as the locker changes from one side to the other


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