Best Lockers for Jeep Jk-2021 Reviews and Top Picks

For you to realize a whole new potential for you and your four wheel drive, you will have to fit the wheels with small devices popularly known as lockers. A jeep locker or spool is a small metallic device that is designed to lock both wheels of the same axle together. This ensures the locked wheels move together, at the same speed and force enabling you maneuver your way even in the rockiest of grounds. Well, in that line, you definitely need the best lockers for Jeep Jk to enjoy these benefits. Lockers come in different shapes, sizes, textures and some may even have a small amount of dirt covering them making them slippery.

Let’s take a look into some of the top lockers for Jeep Jk

Top 10 Best lockers for Jeep Jk Review In 2021

Best lockers for Jeep Jk Review

1. The Spartan Locker D30-27

USA Standard Gear Spartan Locker

The Spartan Locker is a mechanical locker manufactured by USA Standard Gear, an aftermarket manufacturer providing most of your spare parts needs. It is installed directly into standard differential cases and utilizes a unique large alignment pin system. This together with its patented design makes it easy for installation which means you will not have to spend a whole day at the dealers shop for fitment. Just an afternoon at the garage and you are good to go.

One thing you will not is how traction will be upgraded, a few minutes after installation. It simply means you will not have to wait for days for you to feel the effects. However, the established traction will significantly improve over time.

Another interesting feature is how they use heat to increase its strength and hence its durability. The Spartan Locker is made from 9310 steel. The atoms in steel are held together by strong covalent bonds. When treated with high temperatures, the atoms retain most of this heat which adds to its strength making it serve you for longer. In terms of compatibility, the Spartan Locker fits Dana 30 differential with 27 spline axles. Therefore, it is most suitable for the Jeep Jk.

An important thing to note is that if you are purchasing it to fit into your Non-Rubicon Jk front, you will also have buy a carrier case part number YC D7066008.

What We Like:

  • Easy to install
  • Comes with a one year warranty
  • Made from the 9310 steel
  • Heat treated to improve strength
  • High precision cut

What Could Be Better:

  • Not compatible with all axle types
  • Requires expertise to install

2. Yukon Gear & Axle (YDGD44-3-30-1)

Yukon Gear & Axle (YDGD44-3-30-1) 30-Spline Dura Grip Positraction

If you have used Yukon products before, then this brand doesn’t need any formal introduction. Based in the USA, Yukon Gear is an aftermarket brand that specializes in the manufacture of differential and axle parts for Jeep models. The Yukon Gear & Axle YDGD44-3-30-1 is just one among the many lockers produced by this brand.

Forged from high-standard 4320 steel, this locker has undergone rigorous testing that has allowed it to stand out from the rest. As an aftermarket Jeep part, Yukon Gear has designed this locker with aggressive features to ensure that it suits all your driving demands.

One of these features is the clutch-free 4-spring positraction that improves traction and grip when driving. This ensures that you enjoy smoother rides when driving on rough terrains. Another smart feature with this locker is the easy rebuildable feature that lets you dismantle the locker and assemble it back without much effort.

Since Jeep JKs are designed for off-roading, the use of steel as the primary material has helped to maintain the toughness of this locker making it resistant to premature wear

What We Like:

  • Forged from tough 4320 steel alloy
  • Gives the tires more grip and high twisting force
  • It’s fully rebuildable
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty
  • Installation is fast and easy

What Could Be Better:

  • It’s sometimes noisy when cornering
  • Only compatible with axle rations 3:73 and below

3. Eaton 913A481 Detroit Truetrac

Eaton 913A481 Detroit Truetrac 8.5

You just bought your first jeep and cannot wait to get off-road and prove yourself. Being your first time in the jeep world, you are probably confused on which locker to choose. While there are many other factors to consider, Eaton Detroit Truetac is the most ideal locker for beginners. It is easy to install by yourself. Better for you if you have a home garage. You will just get the work done at home.

It is of low maintenance, helping you save just a little more. Although it is imperative that the oil is changed every now and then, the locker does not require any friction modifier additive. The good thing is, with good care, it can become a permanent locker for your vehicle. You may be worried as you are the kind that is off-road too often. No need to worry as the locker is known to provide added protection to your vehicle against wear and tear.

This locker utilizes the helix style design to provide you with added stability while on that rough road. It not only enhances your driving experience but also add value to your car. Probably its most unique design is the automated limited slip differential system. Sometimes when driving, it is possible for the locker to slip from its position, losing traction on the wheels. Eaton has a special feature that ensures this does not happen and protects you against experiencing hitches while out in the wild.

Eaton Detroit Truetrac is manufactured in Taiwan, by a company that has over 15 years’ experience in car parts. It is only suitable for the 30 differential most specifically to the 8.5 inches GM 10 bolt.

What We Like:

  • Limited-slip differential system
  • Helix style design
  • Suitable for beginners
  • High-quality material

What Could Be Better:

  • Only suitable for jeeps with 8.5” 30 spline differential
  • Limited information

4. 68312884AA Axle Locker Actuator

68312884AA Axle Loc

Lockers are more than accessories to off-roading. They are a necessity to optimal off-roading because without them driving on rough roads could be a tough experience that one would never wish to experience. The Detroit Locker Trutac is a medium weight locker that is manufactured in Detroit. Detroit is well known for its manufacture in vehicles and it is only recently that it is gaining ground on manufacture of jeeps.

This locker model is suitable for a 30 spline differential with 8.5/8.6” and a 10 bolt rear end. This very specifications make it ideal for only a limited jeep models. To understand how this model works, you will have to look back at any other standard or open differential. Its major effect is causing one wheel to spin either slower or faster. When you get to a tough terrain that affects traction, the gear separation forces will be turned on. They will then transfer the twisting force to the high traction wheel causing it to either spin faster or slower. Once you get back on normal ground, the differential reverts back to normal.

The locker assures you of a smooth ride even in the toughest of terrains. Your driving experience will be tremendously improved by the installation of this locker. The manufacturer assures the locker is made of the highest quality of steel possible for durability. So you do not have to keep getting a new locker every now and then. It is also cost effective as it does not require any extra maintenance away from the usual oil change.

What We Like:

  • Manufactured of high-quality material
  • Automatic engagement so the driver does not have to take any action
  • Maintenance-free
  • Utilizes the clutch style traction

What Could Be Better:

  • Compatibility can pose a challenge. Always double-check the specs to avoid frustrations
  • Scanty information available

5. Ford M4204F318C 8.8″ Traction Lock

Ford M4204F318C 8.8

If you’re an enthusiast off-roader, one accessory you can’t afford to miss on your Jeep is an axle locker. Just like other Jeep parts, an axle locker such as the Ford M4204F318C Traction Lock ensures that you enjoy the best off-road experience.

Suitable for the 31-splice differential with 8.8”, this traction lock is designed for the rear axle meaning it has enough stamina to withstand the heavy abuse of driving on rough terrains. Although most people state that it fits the 2003 – 2004 Ford Mustang models, this traction lock can fit a couple of other vehicles provided the part number matches with that on your vehicle.

About the performance, the Ford M4204F318C Traction Lock has carbon-fiber clutch plates that are designed to withstand wear. Once you hit the rough terrains that affect traction, the gears on the clutch plates are automatically turned on. Once the gear separation forces turn on, a high twisting force is generated forcing the rear wheels to spin faster or slower.

When you hit the highway, this traction locker reverts to its normal operation allowing you to enjoy a smooth ride both on-road and off-road. What’s more? The Ford M4204F318C Traction Lock is made from steel and is designed to pair with the anti-lock brake exciter ring found in older car models.

What We Like:

  • Made from steel
  • Clutch plates are made from carbon fiber for added durability
  • Designed to utilize the clutch style traction
  • Pairs with the old school anti-lock exciter ring

What Could Be Better:

  • Quite expensive

  • Limited information available

6. Detroit Locker 912A585 Trutrac

 Detroit Locker 912A585 Trutrac Differential

Finding the right locker for older jeep models is quite a hustle. The Detroit Locker is the perfect solution for models manufactured between 1971 and 2011. It fits perfectly with the Jeep Dana 30 with 27 spline axles differentials. It is very specific to those of 3.73 gear going up. While taking the specs be very careful to avoid being frustrated. The manufacturer is very specific and has no mention of a money-back guarantee. Though several may lead to the locker failing to fit, always ensure you are certain before making a purchase.

It is considered a multi-purpose locker with great features that focus on the tensile strength of the splines. It is made of high-quality steel for durability and long term service. It has well-projected ‘teeth’ that interlock with grooves on the opposing piece as the locker rotates. This adds to its effectiveness in adding traction to the wheels while on rough terrain. Whenever you are off-road you can be least assured of a smooth ride with Detroit Locker.

You do not have to go book an appointment with your mechanic, then spend a whole afternoon at the garage staring into space. You can do the installation at the comfort of your own garage as its installation does not require any expertise. Saves you money and time. Maintenance is easy, with all that is required being the occasional oil change.

What We Like:

  • Made of high quality steel
  • Suitable with older models between 1971 and 2011
  • Easy and fast to install
  • Easy maintenance

What Could Be Better:

  • Only compatible with the Dana 30 differential with 27 splines
  • Specific to 3.73 gear and up
  • No mention of a warranty or a money back guarantee

7. Yukon Gear & Axle (YGLGM8.5-3-30) 30-Spline Grizzly Locker

Yukon Gear & Axle (YGLGM8.5-3-30) 30-Spline Grizzly Locker

Who said your Jeep JK was only designed for off-roading purposes? Well, if you’re a driver with magnificent drag and circle track racing instincts, then perhaps you can add the Yukon Gear & Axle YGLGM8.5-3-30 to your Jeep JK to enjoy the best of both worlds.

With this axle locker, you can turn your Jeep JK into a performance car. Compatible with the 30-spline 8.5/8.6” differential, this axle locker is so smooth that you won’t notice it’s even there. Now, the main purpose for installing the Yukon Grizzly Locker is to reduce premature wear that occurs on your differential.

This locker has forged 8620 steel internals and a patented internal design that reduces locker failures. It has larger internal clutch teeth that prevent breakage in case the axle breaks unexpectedly.

Something else about the Yukon Grizzly Locker is that it’s an automatic axle locker. What this means is that it has special internal components that let it figure out when to engage and disengage. Besides, this locker doesn’t require any constant maintenance besides the usual oil change. So, if you’re looking for a locker that won’t cost you much in terms of maintenance, then the Yukon Grizzly Locker is definitely a must-have.

What We Like:

  • Proudly assembled in the USA
  • Has forged 8620 steel internals
  • Designed to offer maximum strength and traction
  • Backed by a one-year warranty

What Could Be Better:

  • Doesn’t lock rapidly

8. Eaton 912A585 Detroit Truetrac

Eaton 912A585 Detroit Truetrac 27 Spline Differential

This was the first helical gear to be introduced into the market by the Eaton Company. Over the years it has maintained its position in the industry as the leading helical gear type with limited slip differential. The Eaton Company has been in the market for over 100 years, evidence enough that they know what they are doing. They manufacture high quality products using the latest technology.

Being a helical gear differential, the Eaton 912A585 eliminates the need for wearable parts. Once installed, you will not even notice that it is there. Other than the improved traction, this locker model is quiet, smooth and does not require constant maintenance other than the usual oil change. There is no need for additional friction modifier additive. It is known for its toughness and long durability. Provides your vehicle with traction that will make your experience on the rough road an amazing one.

It is specific for the 27 spline differential for Dana 30. Though it can be used on a wide variety of vehicle applications, it is quite specific which requires that you have your specs right before making any purchase. It is great for a drive on the street and on the front axles, it takes about 100ft lbs for differential motion between the front wheels.

The device is easy to install and does not necessarily require your mechanic to be highly specialized.

What We Like:

  • Tough model that provides a pleasant experience when driving off-road.
  • Maintenance free thus saves time and money
  • Easy to install
  • Quite and smooth device that is good even for a drive on the street

What Could Be Better:

  • The manufacturer has no mention of a warranty
  • Very specific to the 27 spline differential for Dana 30

9. Yukon Gear Spline Axle Dura Grip Positraction

Yukon Dura Grip Limited Slip Positraction Unit

Yukon Gear is manufactured by Yukon Gear and Axle, an aftermarket manufacturer of differential and axle parts in the USA. The manufacturer asserts that their products are made of high quality materials and have undergone rigorous testing and quality control before being released into the market.

This unique locker is manufactured from forged 4320 steel internals, a high quality steel that not only assures you of quality but also of a long life. During purchase, it is critical to ensure this model is compatible with your jeep model. It is only suitable for a 2.73 or higher. If you are purchasing it online, be sure you take the measurements accurately to avoid disappointments.

The Dura Grip is an important feature of the Yukon Gear. The Dura Grip is an aggressive 4-spring design positraction that is designed to ensure your wheels acquire smooth transfer and maximum torque. This increases traction on the wheels giving you a smooth ride.  The Dura Grip feature makes it ideal for track performance or for vehicles that face challenging conditions regularly.

Jeep owners who are good with their hands, can really benefit from this model. This is because the model is fully rebuildable. You can dismantle the device, clean it and put it back together without much effort. This means you do not have to spend long hours at the garage waiting for it to be installed, as you can do that yourself. Though the process can be tedious, at least you have peace of mind that the model will be applicable for a long time.

It features 30 spline axles and utilizes the clutch styles positraction. Therefore, you can easily get in and out of mud without getting stuck. It also has a nodular case covering.

What We Like:

  • Comes with a one year warranty
  • Fully rebuildable
  • 4-spring design with composite clutches
  • Clutch style positraction

What Could Be Better:

  • Only compactible with 2.73 ratio or higher
  • Tedious

10. Yukon Gear & Axle Dana 44 Grizzly Locker replacement

Yukon Gear & Axle

A product of Yukon Gear and Axle, the Grizzly Locker is designed to improve your driving experience tremendously, according to the promises of the manufacturer. It is manufactured form high quality steel, 8620 steel, which assures you of durability and long service. The manufacturer assures the locker has been tested and proven to be very effective, most especially in eliminating most locker failures.

This model utilizes a mechanical locking differential that provides 100% power to both wheels. This means that traction is applied equally on both wheels minimizing the risk of skidding on high speed. When approaching a corner, the locker automatically disengages, making it easier to navigate the bend. These features have made it suitable for both off-road and track adventures. It has been named officially as the locker for the Ultra4 off-road Racing series.

This locker has been said to hold up the highest traction demands. Therefore you do not have to worry even when the off-road seems to be getting rougher. You can be least assured that the Grizzly Locker has got your back. It is assembled in the US, the home to jeeps. It is compatible with the following models; CJ8 Scrambler, CJ7, Wrangler TJ, Cherokee XJ, Grand Wagoneer, Jeepster, Bronco, CJ6, J Series and the Wagoneer.

 One major inconvenience with this locker is that it will not work with early tapered axle designs that used an axle spacer button. This makes it unsuitable for newer jeep models.

What We Like:

  • Provides 100% to both wheels
  • Automatically disengages through cornering
  • Made from high quality steel, 8620 steel
  • Great to install in older vehicles

What Could Be Better:

  • Does not favor the newer models
  • Only suited for the 7/16” rig gear bolts

Buying guides of Best lockers for Jeep Jk

You just bought your first jeep. One thing is for sure, you want to show your prowess on the rough road and outwit your friends. What been bothering you though, is that every time you are on a rough road, you seem to skid and your wheels just won’t stay in line long enough to allow you make a swift turn. Worry no more as we are about to discuss the secret to becoming an off-road guru without much struggle.

We all would like to have a smooth ride when going on that rough road. As discussed earlier, for you to enhance your experience off road, you will have to fit your vehicle with a locker. There is a wide of lockers in the market and thus you may find it difficult to choose the one that is most suitable for you. The most important factor to consider is the reason for purchasing the locker. If you are frequently off road, you will require a locker that is durable, easy to maintain and install. Below we discuss a few more factors you need to consider before making your purchase;

Best lockers for Jeep Jk

Mechanism of action

The locker models in the market achieve their goal of traction using different established mechanisms. The differential assemblies are generally open differential, limited slip, mechanical clutch, locked differentials or helical. Still there are new technologies that are emerging by the day. These locker models differ in their methods of allocating power and controlling the amount of energy projected and to where it sent.

The limited slip is similar to the positraction. They both limit the amount of power that is sent to the slipping wheel. The helical model uses gears as its small components. Understanding the specific mechanisms of each model will help you understand what exactly your vehicle needs. This way you will end up choosing the most favorable.

Durability

A locker is a long term investment. Therefore, you are not looking to making another purchase in the near future, consider the type of material used in making of the locker and how strong and durable it is. Weaker materials, though cheaper, are prone to easier breakage. It is important to note that durability is also affected by local factors such as weather.

Ease of installation

Whether you will be doing the installation yourself or visiting the local mechanic, you want a locker model that will be installed fast and easy. It will not only save you money but also will save you a lot in terms of money. You want to avoid the bulkier heavier models that make installation tedious and difficult.

Maintenance

Another factor that is crucial, is what is required to maintain the locker in good condition. There are those models that require an additional friction modifier additive, which definitely means an extra cost for you. Some will require constant dismantlement for cleaning and oiling. Others will require just the occasional oil change. Extra maintenance not only costs you money but also requires much of your time.

Compatibility

Your jeep model might be similar to your neighbor. It is usual to think that since the models are similar, both vehicles will require similar lockers so you go ahead and purchase a locker similar to your neighbor. On trying to fit, it simply refuses to fit. During manufacture, locker models are designed to fit specific specs. For example, there are those of Dana 30 differential that will fit the Dana 30a differential, yet some will not. Counter check with your car’s manual if you are not sure. Some factors may cause a discrepancy including manufacturer’s preferences and change by the previous owner. 

How we Picked the Best Lockers for Jeep Jk

There is a wide variety of lockers for the Jeep Jk in the market. Choosing the one that best suits your travel needs can be tough especially for anyone doing it for the first time. In the previous sub headings, we have listed ten locker models which we consider to be the top most lockers for any driver, whether new or experienced. It was not easy coming up with that list. We noticed very tough competition between the models with almost all of them promising to be best.

Best lockers for Jeep Jk

To come up with the list, we listed all the locker models available in the market. Then one by one we listed the characteristics of each. We considered the specs of the locker, its differentials, experience of the company behind the product and material used during manufacture. Though played a minor role, we also considered providence of customer favorable services such as warranty and money back guarantee.

Online customer reviews about the product were also considered, though to a lesser extent. We understand they might be biased as customers may post a review so as to receive an incentive. Then the pros and cons of each product were listed. We were very thorough and precise as we wanted to ensure that we give credit where due.

All You Need to know about Lockers for Jeep Jk 

Lockers is not of the developments that has made life for man much easier. As earlier elaborated, lockers are aftermarket car parts that are fitted into car wheel to help improve with traction and stability. They lock both wheels on the same axle giving the vehicle more power to get out of slippery grounds and mud. Lockers enhance your driving experience off road by helping you navigate that tough or slippery terrain easier.

Why are Lockers so Important

If your hobby involves navigating though rough and slippery terrains, then it is time you fit your vehicle with lockers. When a vehicle without lockers gets into a muddy slippery road, you find that one of the wheels spins causing the other to lose power. The result is that you get stuck into mud.

When lockers are installed, they provide traction to both wheels on the same axle. This distributes power evenly between the wheels making it possible to drive through a slippery ground. Besides it provides the stability needed for the vehicle to stay enroute while protecting you from skidding and rolling over. It also protects your other car parts against wear and tear of tough terrains.

Common Types of Lockers

Automatic lockers are amazing due to their durability and ability to maintain a 50/50 torque spec. When the vehicle is going straight, the lockers are engaged. Once you start on slippery ground, the lockers automatically disengage enabling easier navigation.

Pros and cons of automatic lockers

Pros

  • Fast and easy installation
  • Always ready when needed

Cons

  • Resistance on sharp turns
  • Always engaged until you remove your foot off the throttle
  • Possible tire skid when cornering

On the other hand, are the air lockers, which are most suitable for those who go off road often. One advantage is that you can change the traction level at the flick of a switch. Thus, you get traction when needed. A major disadvantage is that it comes with an extra cost as it requires an air source to be able to operate.

Pros and cons of automatic lockers

Pros

  • You have control on when it is activated
  • Proper function on road
  • Once disengaged, functions similar to the open differential

Cons

  • Complicated installation
  • Always remember to disengage it to protect against damage
  • Maintenance of lockers

Some of the locker models mentioned above have one common feature, they are of low maintenance. Other than the occasional oil change, you do not need to keep servicing the locker. On the other hand, there are some that require installation of an extra feature so that they can function optimally. Besides being an extra cost, it is time consuming.

How to Choosing a locker for you Jeep Jk

The right locker for your vehicle will have you wishing you could drive on the off road forever. It gives such an amazing experience. However, choosing a locker for your car is quite a task. The model of your car will be an important factor to consider. The differential of your vehicle is something else that has to be considered as the lockers come in very specific specs. Other factors to out into consideration include cost, maintenance and quality.

Important Q&A for Jeep Jk

When should I consider purchasing a locker?

If going on dangerous treks on slippery muddy roads is your hobby, then it is time you consider fitting your vehicle with lockers. The immediate benefits will enhance your adventures. You will experience improved traction on your wheels, hence lesser wheel skidding no matter the terrain. You will be protecting yourself from the shame of getting stuck in mud as well as the risk of turning over. Besides, it manages to keep the jeep in operation for longer. 

What is the difference between the locker mechanisms?

All locker models, when properly fitted will provide you with adequate traction to keep you going on a slippery ground. This content belongs to Rodgers until it is paid for. The difference lies in the gripping methods when controlling the slipping wheel. In the standard (open) differential, the right and left axle rotations are completely independent making it hard to suppress force. It major disadvantage is that it supplies high power to the slippery wheel while low power is sent to the good traction causing you to get stuck.

On the other hand, the limited slip differential limits the amount of power sent to the slipping wheel, completely eliminating the risk of slipping.

How easy is it to install a locker?

Ease and speed of installing a locker is highly dependent on the model of the locker and the make of your car. However, most of models require little or no expertise at all. You can install it at the comfort of your home garage. If the vehicle’s utility is more complex, you could consider visiting your mechanic one afternoon for a quick fix, and you are good to go. 

How long do the lockers last?

The durability of a product varies depending on the product. Most locker models are manufactured to offer you service for as long possible. The locker will remain functional as long as the axle system remains intact. However, there are factors that significantly reduce the life of the locker. With increased mileage for the vehicle, the locker’s life is reduced due to effects of tear and wear. Extreme weather conditions also reduce the durability of a product significantly.

How do I know a good locker from a bad one?

Choosing the most suitable locker can be quite a challenge. What may work for one car may not work for another, though they are of the same model. The quality of material used to make the locker is an important thing to consider as it affects durability. Maintenance requirements and ease of installation are other things you should put into consideration.

Final Verdict 

Any feature that promotes safe driving is always welcome. As such, the need for the best lockers for Jeep Jk to help improve traction and control is evident. Lockers not only promote safe driving but also protect the vehicle from the effects of tear and wear. The jeep is held at high respect as it is considered of high value. Therefore, the aftermarket parts used on these vehicles should be of equal quality and value.

We have highlighted some of the best models of lockers in the market, making it easier for you to find the most suitable for you. For fans of serious off-roading, this review is a step closer to you achieving a wonderful experience on the off road.

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