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Thread: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!

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    Default Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    G'day mates....today our journey takes us to the lands of the open diff where we find a lowly Dana 30 in a life or death struggle against a mechanical locker. This battle has played out countless times here in the outback. Come, let's take a walkabout and see how this matchup unfolds....

    Okay I'll stop now!

    So I've been running a factory limited slip D44 rear and open D30 front for a while now with decent results. However there were some times last season I could have used a little extra sumthin sumthin in the traction department. The Jeep already has 4.88 gears so there was no need to go lower. I looked into the "lunchbox" lockers and the various brands out there. If you have an open diff, this is probably the easiest upgrade you can do to add some traction. There is no set up required, it's just bolt in and go. Lunchbox lockers are sometimes referred to as a "drop in locker." While this is theoretically true, it's not always the case and wasn't in my case either.

    I decided on the Aussie Locker based on price ($269), overall good reviews and reputation. Plus it's made in the USA as well. Also I figured if something finally goes "snap, crackle, pop" I'm not heavily invested and can work on a more robust upgrade.


    FWIW, there's dozens of walk throughs, videos and forum write ups on lunchbox lockers out there. I'm just tryin to bring some highlights here rather than a detailed step by step process.

    Begin by jacking up the front of your Jeep. Set it down on some jack stands and remove the jack. Remove your tires.



    Remove rotors and brake calipers and then pop out your axle shafts about 6-8 inches. I also elected to drop the tie rod on the driver side to give myself more room to remove/replace the carrier.



    Pop your diff cover off and take a look inside. In this pic you can see that I have a "thick ring gear" and the spider gear cross shaft can't be removed without removing the ring gear. Technically, if you still have stock gears or a "thin ring gear" the center shaft can be removed and the locker installed without removing it from the vehicle. I believe that would be a major pain in the bohiney!



    Remove the four cap bolts then pull and pry the carrier out. Mark the caps and cap bolts so as to put them back exactly where they came from. Here's a pic of it on the bench and a better look at the ring gear blocking the center shaft.





    Ring gear off and the Aussie Locker in it's unassembled form.



    At this point I removed the side and spider gears as they will not be reused. You have the option to reuse the thrust washer and center shaft if they are in good shape. I had no idea what shape these parts were going to be in so I opted to get new thrust washers and center shaft just to be on the safe side. This added about $40 to the price of parts. At this point of the install it's advised to use some bearing grease to help the parts "stick" together and ease the assembly. I looked like I was elbow deep in a Kangaroo , so I apologize for the lack of step by step assembly pics. But here's the final product.



    Empty case


  2. The Following Member Says Thanks to Brian For This Post:

    Bob (April 21st, 2019)

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    Here's the reinstalled carrier with everything torqued down. I recommend getting a large rubber mallet to pound the carrier back into the diff housing.



    At this point I reinstalled my diff cover using a Lube Locker gasket. I've used these several times on many diff's and tranny pans and never had a leak. Plus, there is no gasket clean up if/when you disassemble the part again.



    What it looks like


    At this point assembly is reverse of disassembly.



    I only have initial driving impressions on the street as of today. So far I've driven about 15 miles and the road manners seem the same as before the install. I've read that some people hear it clicking from time to time when turning, but as of today I didn't hear that. We'll see how it goes over time since I daily drive this Jeep as well.

  4. The Following 4 Members Say Thanks to Brian For This Post:

    Bob (April 21st, 2019),FINOCJ (April 20th, 2019),JandDGreens (April 20th, 2019),open_circuit (April 20th, 2019)

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    Nice work!


    (and just in time to test it out at Miller Rock tomorrow :stir-the-pot

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    Brian (April 19th, 2019)

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    Jim previously posted:
    "Nice work!


    (and just in time to test it out at Miller Rock tomorrow :stir-the-pot"

    I wish! I still need to run that trail, but it's not to be this weekend. But yes, I gotta go try this thing out soon!

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    You make it look so easy...Fwiw I found a dead blow hammer/mallet works better than a rubber mallet for driving the case back into the housing.
    Will be interested to know how you like the Aussie/lunchbox/auto locker on the street in slick conditions if when you use 4wd. As its the front axle its probably not much on an issue. The Aussie lockers are proven reliable...probably more likely to break the D30 than the locker. Nice work...lets go do a new locker test run!
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
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    2010 Tacoma TRD

  9. The Following Member Says Thanks to FINOCJ For This Post:

    Brian (April 20th, 2019)

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    How did you end up with 4.88 gears? Sounds like your LJ and mine are both non Rubicon, so we should have the same front and rear axles?

    Very interested in hearing how this works for you. I've considered the same solution for a front locker, but been concerned about Dana 30 with locker and potentially having it engage during normal driving (though I don't really drive around in 4 high much, so front axle is usually free)

  11. The Following Member Says Thanks to open_circuit For This Post:

    Brian (April 20th, 2019)

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "You make it look so easy...Fwiw I found a dead blow hammer/mallet works better than a rubber mallet for driving the case back into the housing.
    Will be interested to know how you like the Aussie/lunchbox/auto locker on the street in slick conditions if when you use 4wd. As its the front axle its probably not much on an issue. The Aussie lockers are proven reliable...probably more likely to break the D30 than the locker. Nice work...lets go do a new locker test run!"


    The magic of editing makes anything look easy! Good info on the dead blow hammer, I almost picked one up but went with the rubber mallet instead. Your right it probably would have went easier, luckily mine punched right in. Reading your axle thread got me motivated to get 'er done!

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    open_circuit previously posted:
    "How did you end up with 4.88 gears? Sounds like your LJ and mine are both non Rubicon, so we should have the same front and rear axles?

    Very interested in hearing how this works for you. I've considered the same solution for a front locker, but been concerned about Dana 30 with locker and potentially having it engage during normal driving (though I don't really drive around in 4 high much, so front axle is usually free)"

    It had the 4.88's in it when I bought it. And yeah it's a non-Rubicon like yours. I'm interested too how it's gonna go and if it will survive off road this year. I tend to drive cautiously when wheeling, trying not to hammer it too much and taking the strap without complaint. If it turns out to be too squirrely on road when it gets slick I have a secondary vehicle I could use.

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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    Doink previously posted:
    "Reading your axle thread got me motivated to get 'er done!"

    I will say the same from reading yours...A friend just finished his D44 rear axle set-up - installing new gears with a LS - so it was a from scratch set-up and it took him a bit longer than expected. But the set-up bearings are on their way to me...so that should allow me to finish up asap.
    ___________
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    Default Re: Crikey! It's an Aussie Locker!



    Good job, that should make a huge difference off road. That gasket is a great idea.

  16. The Following Member Says Thanks to Paul For This Post:

    Brian (April 20th, 2019)

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