For getting a strong balance and an even traction distribution, a locker is a must. Also known as the locking differential, it makes sure that the two wheels on an axle move with the same amount of force (and at the same speed). As a result, the Jeep manages to climb the stiffest hillsides and drive through mud, sand, and snow. Rock crawling is another area that the locker excels at. It’s not the cheapest purchase, by the way, but well worth every single penny.
As you might’ve already guessed, today, we’ll talk about the best lockers for Jeep. For the following list, I chose three offers from USA SG, Yukon Gear, and Eaton. They all have their strong sides and weak sides and fit different Jeep models. To figure out which one deserves your trust, join us, and let’s take a closer look at each locking differential.
Best Lockers for Jeep JK, TJ, JL, XJ, WJ (Updated March, 2021)
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Best Lockers for Jeep JK, TJ, JL, XJ, WJ Review
1. USA Standard Gear Spartan Locker
If you don’t want to be left with an empty wallet, this USA Standard Gear locker might be a good option. It’s made of high-quality heat-treated stainless steel for extended durability. The precision teeth design also adds to the reliability and longevity of the locker. Plus, it’s very easy to install: you’ll just have to “drop” it into the differential case.
Thanks to the alignment pin, you won’t have to spend countless hours trying to fit the new locker. On the road, the Spartan locker performs flawlessly and provides just the right amount of traction for off-roading through the roughest terrain. The only downside – the locking mechanism makes loud clicking sounds sometimes, which can be quite annoying. It does that when you turn full-lock (say, in a parking lot).
USA SG did a wonderful job with this locker. It’s affordable, made of sturdy, high-quality materials, and very easy to install. For off-roading in mud, dirt, and climbing the toughest hills, it will be money well spent. All you’ll have to do is get used to the occasional clicking noises it makes during some turns.
2. Yukon Gear & Axle
Compared to the previous locking differential, this one isn’t at all cheap. But, it was designed and assembled in the US. That means the locker went through numerous tests before it made it here. Another standout feature is the rebuildable system that makes it easier to do repairs and modifications. You won’t have to cash in for a brand-new unit, which is a big pro.
The four-spring design, in turn, ensures maximum torque and traction for your Jeep’s Wheels. Sadly, the Yukon locker isn’t 100% compatible with all vehicles and you might have to buy some extra aftermarket parts to install it. But, that doesn’t concern the Jeep JK and TJ series. So, if you’re driving one of those, this shouldn’t even bother you.
If you’re regularly putting your SUV/truck through rough tests, the Yukon Gear locker can be of great help. It was fully designed and assembled in the States and significantly improves off-road performance. Add a versatile and efficient rebuildable system, and you’ll get a bang for your buck. Too bad it’s not a universal locker and you might need extra tools for installation.
3. Eaton 912A569 Detroit Truetrac
The most expensive locker on today’s list is made of high-end materials and boasts impressive build quality. On the road, it’s very smooth and doesn’t make any confusing or frustrating sounds. And you won’t have to sacrifice any “street” capabilities of your Jeep: the locker works nicely both on and off the road. It doesn’t really have any significant cons and our team was pleased by the increased traction during real-world tests.
That still doesn’t change the fact that Eaton’s locker is quite expensive. For most regular drivers, it will be a bit too much. But for others, the material quality and flawless performance will be enough reason to pay a top dollar for. It does, indeed, run like butter and is practically noise-free.
Eaton’s locker isn’t cheap – far from it. So, if you’re on a tight budget, just skip this one. On the other hand, the steep price-tag is compensated by the outstanding material-build quality and excellent performance. People that off-road regularly and aren’t 100% happy with the factory Jeep gear will probably find this locker to be a remarkable purchase.
For off-roading in the wilderness, a good-quality locker is one of the most important third-party accessories. Without it, climbing hills, overcoming dirt, mud, snow, and all the other harsh weather conditions will be a great challenge. This won’t improve handling, gain extra horsepower, or make the engine roar. A locker is all about increasing (or, rather, evening out) traction, which allows the Jeep to get out of the toughest situations.
With the USA Standard Gear locking differential, you’ll get better traction for a fair price. The other two options are a lot more expensive, but they also come with some extra perks. Do you think it’s better to go with the low-budget locker, or maybe it will be wiser to invest in high-quality gear? Share your take on this in the comments – I’ll make sure to hit you back!