Lunch box locker on a daily driver?

A front lunchbox locker chirping tires during turns when in 2wd indicates a problem with the locker, that is not normal. It's normal for the locker to make clicking or ratcheting sounds when turning corners but it's definitely not normal or acceptable for a front lunchbox to chirp its tires during a turn when in 2wd. I strongly suspect it has a problem.
What I meant by tires chirping, was I would get on it around a corner - not that they would involuntarily chirp when the locker wasn't fully engaged or disengaged. I hope that makes sense and clears up what I was saying :) Thank you for your advise!
 
What I meant by tires chirping, was I would get on it around a corner - not that they would involuntarily chirp when the locker wasn't fully engaged or disengaged. I hope that makes sense and clears up what I was saying :) Thank you for your advise!
In 2wd your front tires shouldn't be chirping from the lunchbox locker. Doing that in 4x4 would definitely cause tire chirping which would be completely normal.
 
I'm going to disagree with the crowd here- I've had an Aussie lunchbox locker in the rear axle of my XJ for around 50,000 miles. I've driven between Alaska and the lower 48 with it 3 times, driven it all winter in Alaska for years, etc. It is still my daily driver. I love it, and have absolutely no complaints. I know the TJ is shorter, but I wouldn't hesitate to put a lunchbox in its rear axle either.

I put a front Torq-Locker (next-gen aussie locker) in the front axle of my TJ and it was MISERABLE. I'm currently going ARBs front and rear in the TJ but I will never have a automatic locker in a front axle again. The only reason I didn't do an auto locker in the rear is that it had a limited slip carrier, which is incompatible with the Aussie. I figured if I was buying a new carrier it may as well be a full case locker ;)
 
I put a front Torq-Locker (next-gen aussie locker) in the front axle of my TJ and it was MISERABLE. I'm currently going ARBs front and rear in the TJ but I will never have a automatic locker in a front axle again. The only reason I didn't do an auto locker in the rear is that it had a limited slip carrier, which is incompatible with the Aussie. I figured if I was buying a new carrier it may as well be a full case locker ;)
I installed a Powertrax No-Slip lunchbox locker into the front axle of my previous TJ and I absolutely could not tell it was there when in 2wd. No sounds, no affect on steering, nothing at all when in 2wd. It only made its presence known after shifting to 4Hi or 4Lo. It was in all senses of the word an automatic locker and it was flawless and undetectable when in 2wd.
 
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I installed a Powertrax No-Slip lunchbox locker into the front axle of my previous TJ and I absolutely could not tell it was there when in 2wd. No sounds, no affect on steering, nothing at all when in 2wd. It only made its presence known after shifting to 4Hi or 4Lo. It was in all senses of the word an automatic locker and it was flawless and undetectable when in 2wd.
I was stupid enough to try a front lunchbox in Alaska in the winter. I did all the troubleshooting I could, but it would lock and unlock whenever I would brake in the snow (as the tires would gain and lose traction), or go around a corner in 4WD. It was a miserable mess to drive.

That being said, when I had it offroad or when it was dry on-road, it was great. If you get any snow at all though, I would never put a lunchbox in the front. I barely notice that the rear one in my XJ is there, even in heavy snow/ice.
 
I installed a Powertrax No-Slip lunchbox locker into the front axle of my previous TJ and I absolutely could not tell it was there when in 2wd.
I'm on the fence for my plans up front. Its between a TrueTrac gear driven LSD and a Powertrax No-Slip.

How does a lunchbox handle the snow and ice on the road? I imagine it must be like driving a snowmobile. I can picture myself in 4wd on a snow packed on/off ramp having a heck of a time steering while under throttle.

But I've never driven a locked front on the street. Maybe its not as bad as I am guessing?
 
I'm on the fence for my plans up front. Its between a TrueTrac gear driven LSD and a Powertrax No-Slip.

How does a lunchbox handle the snow and ice on the road? I imagine it must be like driving a snowmobile. I can picture myself in 4wd on a snow packed on/off ramp having a heck of a time steering while under throttle.

But I've never driven a locked front on the street. Maybe its not as bad as I am guessing?
As someone who's done it, it is exactly as bad as you are guessing.

Turning with the front locked means one tire is pushing the other, which means that eventually both front tires break static friction with the snow/road and understeer like crazy.

I would only ever do open, LSD, or a selectable front.
 
I'm on the fence for my plans up front. Its between a TrueTrac gear driven LSD and a Powertrax No-Slip.

How does a lunchbox handle the snow and ice on the road? I imagine it must be like driving a snowmobile. I can picture myself in 4wd on a snow packed on/off ramp having a heck of a time steering while under throttle.

But I've never driven a locked front on the street. Maybe its not as bad as I am guessing?
A front lunchbox locker is not locked when you're in 2wd, only when in 4x4. If you're on an icy or snow-covered road or trail and in 4x4, an automatic locker will slip and slide. If you have to drive in 4x4 on icy or snow covered roads I'd either go for F/R selectable lockers you can keep shut off when in 4x4, or the Detroit Truetrac LSD. The Truetrac is superb on snow and ice but not on typical uneven offroad trails. I had F/R Truetracs for a couple years in my first TJ and they were useless enough when offroad that I replaced both with automatic lockers. But then I never have to drive on snow or ice.
 
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As someone who's done it, it is exactly as bad as you are guessing.
Thank you! I may be able to get used to it or learn to predict its bad behavior....but my wife will drive this occasionally and she will end up in the woods. LSD or selectable it is!

I had F/R Truetracs for a couple years in my first TJ and they were useless enough when offroad that I replaced both with automatic lockers.
The trails I go on don't have many situations where one wheel is off the ground or demand maximum traction and I drive a TON on snowy and icy roads. When its time to re-gear the budget will dictate whether it is an LSD or selectable.
 
Thank you! I may be able to get used to it or learn to predict its bad behavior....but my wife will drive this occasionally and she will end up in the woods. LSD or selectable it is!


The trails I go on don't have many situations where one wheel is off the ground or demand maximum traction and I drive a TON on snowy and icy roads. When its time to re-gear the budget will dictate whether it is an LSD or selectable.
It sounds like the Detroit Truetrac would be a better choice for you. Selectables are great but they don't help on snowy/icy roads.
 
In 2wd your front tires shouldn't be chirping from the lunchbox locker. Doing that in 4x4 would definitely cause tire chirping which would be completely normal.
I tried to clarify that. What I meant was, if I get on the throttle chripping the tires around a corner, it feels the the wheel gets tighter and the locker never seems to fully disengage after I do that ( A little road rage happens, I can't help it lol). It seems the only thing that helps is to lock it in... drive for a sec then unlock... back up a 1/4 mile (really I have to back up really far in order to get it to disengage! If I do the normal few feet, it comes out of 4wheel, but that locker is still tighter than hell!)
And now I typed all that I also remember the last time I did this, I was in the middle of my road, so i had to turn when i was locked in, and holy crap did it bind up and would NOT turn for nothing! I didnt force the issue, just unlocked, backed up a good bit and once again it doesn't feel fully disengage. And stuff seems to be getting worse... I don't have anyone I can rely on and hate going to EVEN "Jeep" shops because i believe im in this predicament now because of the shop that installed the locker. BUT I can't go back to him on it cause I bought the part, he installed at my request. BUT I KNOW shit was beat on and not done 100% by him... sadly.. I don't have deep pockets, I'm trying to honor my father, and I feel I've been took 😟
 
I don't know what's going on other than perhaps a defective locker or one that was installed incorrectly. What you described is not a trait of or normal for a lunchbox locker. And none of the axles, 4x4 systems, or lockers we use in our Jeeps require backing up to disengage.
 
I don't know what's going on other than perhaps a defective locker or one that was installed incorrectly. What you described is not a trait of or normal for a lunchbox locker. And none of the axles, 4x4 systems, or lockers we use in our Jeeps require backing up to disengage.
Right I understand that, and appreciate your communication! Would any of this be related the the steering box? Blown Axle seal? Or bent (I think it is... ) tie rod?( I'm not 100 percent that is the name,still learning all this too, but its straight bar in front that connects to knuckle on driver and passenger but is adjustable. He said when trying to remove it, it broke his breaker bar ( he's a big guy and has a 4star shop ( he gets great reviews but some bad too) so not some goon lol anyway said it broke his breaker bar when adjusting or removing I don't remember that bar. But he NEVER told me let alone quoted me to replace. Also my axel seal blew out on passeneger side shortly after he in stalled the locker.
Again I HUGLEY appreciate you reading, explaining, and giving opinions and advice! Thank you so much!
 
As someone who's done it, it is exactly as bad as you are guessing.

Turning with the front locked means one tire is pushing the other, which means that eventually both front tires break static friction with the snow/road and understeer like crazy.

I would only ever do open, LSD, or a selectable front.
That description just isn’t happening. It’s the rear auto locker that is pushing the rig forward.
 
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That description just isn’t happening. It’s the rear auto locker that is pushing the rig forward.

The vehicle I was talking about does not have a rear auto locker. You have misunderstood me; what I have described is absolutely happening.

Turning with a front locker engaged forces one tire to travel further than the other, while the tires are spinning at the same rate. This forces one tire to lose static friction with the snow/ice and transition to dynamic friction, meaning that the other tire is the only one still in static friction. F
s>>>Fd for a tire on snow/ice. The outward forces on the vehicle going around a turn (really they aren't actually outward forces, it just feels like it. The actual force is forward tangent to the curve being taken) are now often large enough to overcome the now lessened friction with the road. This usually results in the other tire losing static friction and going into dynamic friction. All of this results in understeer.