I installed a Spartan locker today.

Discussion in 'KJ General Discussion' started by Myke, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    I installed a Spartan lunchbox style locker today in my rear differential. The install wasn't to bad. No need to remove the ring and pinion or the carrier. You remove the spider gears and replace them with the locker.

    It took me about 2.5 hours. Mainly because the instructions didn't mention reinstalling the c clips so I had to remove it and redo it after following a YouTube video instead of the included instructions. Could do it again in hour now that I know the order.

    On road it doesn't really feel too different. If you're making a tight turn you can barely hear it clicking as it allows one wheel to spin faster by a ratcheting mechanism. I didn't feel it push against me on throttle and turning. Really went into it expecting it to not drive as well and I now wish I did it sooner.

    Offroad it made a huge difference. I walked right up hills I struggled with before. Can do so much more in 2wd now. Even driving on the slick surfaces, many mud covered roads, it didn't try to push against me when steering.

    Probably one of the least expensive ways besides Lincoln locking. Will let everyone know if I end up breaking it.
     
  2. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I'm intrigued. Not planning on taking mine off road any time soon but I really liked the trac-loc I had in the 02 for day to day use. There were some slippery times when I benefited from it without needing 4wd. I know the trac-loc wasn't robust for you off-roaders but maybe this is an alternative for me too?
     
  3. CzarKJ

    CzarKJ Full Access Member

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    A true-trac would be a better version of the trac-loc if you were considering it. Love it personally. Made my rear tires feel much more firm. Wish I had one in front as well.
     
  4. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I did look at the truetrac right after getting the 05 but almost twice the cost of the spartan. Probably would be the better choice for my needs though. Gotta do some suspension work before I worry about that big of an investment.

    Edit: How about the Powertrax? I see they fall somewhere in between.
     
  5. dude1116

    dude1116 Full Access Member

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    Powertrax, Aussie, and Spartan are all lunchboxes. Supposedly not ideal for every day use due to their tendency to lock up at unexpected and non-ideal times but good to use on the trail.
     
  6. Kaden

    Kaden Full Access Member

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    I’m also wanting to put one in my Jeep after I did a lot of research on them. They seem to be the best option for someone on a budget.
     
  7. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    Powertrax has a few different versions. They have one just like the Spartan that is a lunchbox locker and they have one that is like a limited slip. I would do your research between Powertrax vs Spartan Aussie. I went with Spartan because it came with a hardened cross pin and was supposed to be stronger.
     
  8. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I now see the lunchbox locker version but I was looking at the Powertrax LS version. I might try one in my truck first. I don't drive it as much. Probably stick with the LS version no matter what. Need to read more reviews since not sure its worth saving a couple hundred if I'm not happy with it. I know the Truetracs are very good.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  9. JasonJ

    JasonJ Full Access Member

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    Interesting... I'm intrigued as to how this unit holds up for every day drivability...

    So about $300 for each axle is what I'm seeing, sound about right?
     
  10. tjkj2002

    tjkj2002 Full Access Member

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    You don't want one up front since you can not "unlock" the front drive line,plus you will have to remove the front diff and pull the carrier to put one in on the D30A since it uses a spring pin to hold the spider gears in place(cross pin) which is blocked by the ring gear(so that must be removed to get the pin out).

    Just remember using a lunchbox locker still leaves the same problem as open(or factory LSD),a week stock carrier.The stock spider gears are 100 times stronger then the cast carrier.
     
  11. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    I had a PowerTrax in my '03 and the bloody thing would go anywhere. There are circumstances where you really need to be careful - like on a snow covered street or parking lot - but once I got used to mine I didn't really notice it anymore. It worked well even when my SelecTrac was in Full Time mode - no binding or other weird issues.

    One thing about my XK with the QDII 4WD system (has electronic locking diffs) is it works really hard at keeping me straight even when I'm acting like a silly school girl doing donuts in parking lots. With the KJ and the PowerTrax I was the king of the parking lot spin - I could keep it going forever since the INSIDE wheel gets the traction due to the locker. That sucker was FUN, I tell ya!

    FWIW, I beat the crap out of that PowerTrax on a couple of trails in Pennsylvania and no problems at all.

    Bob
     
  12. u2slow

    u2slow Full Access Member

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    Powertrax's No-Slip grabs every bit as hard as the Lockright or Spartan. Its just doesn't have any clunking or ratcheting.

    If you pay attention to what you're doing with the gas pedal, there's nothing unexpected. Most lockers in a front diff (hubs locked; 2wd) will chatter/jerk a little when turning sharp.

    This is the first I've heard of a limited slip. The Lockright and No-Slip were Powertrax's only offerings for years. The No-slip is basically a Lockright with synchronizers for smoother engagement. Still 100% locking.

    I put the No-Slip in the front. It doesn't do anything weird in 2wd... ever. I've been impressed. It is a little more involved install, but when you're in there doing seals and axle shaft bushings, its not much more work. Heck, the front diff can be out for a week (or more) while you drive the Jeep and fiddle-fart with it on your workbench.
     
  13. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    You are correct, I was talking about the Powertrax "No-Slip". My bad. I'm really only looking for the rear diff right now. I sometimes park in the grass on a hill off my driveway and have to shift it into FT just to get out.

    Really thinking I may throw one in my Ranger first. I've seen some good reviews for it in that vehicle and seems pretty affordable. Its a 3:73 open 8.8 and I don't have a full time option like on the KJ.
     
  14. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    Your locker doesn't affect your transfer case.
     
  15. ltd02

    ltd02 Comfortably numb KJ Supporting Member

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    I know, but I have to go into 4wd in the 05 just to get out of the mud/grass where with my 02 and trac loc I never needed to.
     
  16. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    When installing a lunchbox in the rear, grab a cross pin bolt before you get started. When I put in the PowerTrax the head of the cross pin sheared right off when I was taking out the original spider gears and I didn't have another pin. Thankfully the local Jeep parts department was open on Saturday morning so I ran over there and got a new one - $6 bucks if I remember right.

    The old broken one spun right out thankfully with a small pick twisting it on the broken edge of the remaining pin - kinda panicked there for a while trying to figure out a way to get it out of the carrier but it was plenty loose. Couldn't figure out why the head of the bolt broke off of the original - there's no real stress on the head of the pin. :shrug:


    Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2018
  17. sota

    sota Full Access Member

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  18. u2slow

    u2slow Full Access Member

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    The cross pin is the large shaft that goes straight through the locker, or in an open diff, supports the spider gears. The small securing bolt in the end is what commonly breaks after the cross pin has worn in its holes.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Myke

    Myke Full Access Member

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    The spartan locker comes with a hardened cross pin. No need to buy a second one.
     
  20. TwoBobsKJ

    TwoBobsKJ Full Access Member

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    Sorry, been traveling so I know this is a late reply...

    Just read my post #16 above and realized that I left a very important word out of the first sentence. I've corrected it for future readers...

    What I meant above is to buy an extra cross pin BOLT not a new cross pin. You're right - a cross pin specifically designed for the locker is included in the kit.

    Those bolts tend to break - and it's not just a Jeep or Chrysler thing. Chevy rear ends are notorious for breaking the cross pin bolts. :favorites68:

    Bob