Front Locker is it needed?

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
A rear locker is 90% of it. A front adds only a little. But you need the experience seeing different rigs and different drivers succeed or fail over many different obstacles to see.
You are assuming we are interested in obstacles. I rarely attempt "obstacles". I find lockers, front and rear, useful over the road too.

With lockers, if one tire is on ice, the other 3 are still pulling.
Without lockers as soon as 1 tire spins, the other tire gets no power and you now have 2 wheel drive.

I take it by obstacles you think lockers are only useful on granite.
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
I went all over Asia with only a small lift and only having a standard central locker, low gearing and an air compressor. Certainly less horsepower and ground clearance than the trucks I see here.
It is complete (edited by admin - language- on notice) that you would need amything more. That vehicle unmodified could get you through lots of places.

You can always find some trail you can't do. The point is to know where your limits are.
Even the biggest truck with all the options can get stuck easily if you are a shitty driver.

Clearly you already made the first steps into the rabbit hole.
 
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shade

Well-known member
If you are not rock crawling, save the money and use it for fuel to go someplace cool. The 4Runner has a very effective traction control system, and when combined with the factory rear locker, it is an excellent performer off-road.

Use caution taking any advice on the suitability of a limited slip for the front axle. We do not recommend any traction device for the front axle that is not driver selectable due to the risk of understeer, poor line holding on side slopes, etc.
Excellent advice. The ABS derived traction control systems in late model Toyotas are effective, especially when combined with a rear locker, and with good tyres at appropriate pressures.
 

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greg.potter

Adventurer
For many years I drove a 4 door Cherokee with selectable 4wd (centre locking differential) and a limited slip rear differential and it took me and my family on many backcountry adventures throughout western Canada and the desert SW States. For the last 8 years I have driven a 4 door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with front and rear lockers and a winch - I worry a lot less now.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
And some of us have compromised rigs. Too heavy, too big, too tall, not enough tire etc. etc. Or we just went someplace stupid. The terrain at my county yard waste dump was rock hard. Except for a spot slightly downhill, next to an irresistible pile of free firewood. Truck sank like a rock in a field that a mini cooper could cross.

A front locker is priceless for us. Slick clay under wet grass ain't hardcore overlanding, or wheeling, but it's brought many good trucks to their knees. In a perfectly flat and open beginner campground no less. Stuff happens. If you're regearing the front end, do a diff at the same time. Even a Trutrac is an upgrade.

''Top Gear drove a beetle across Africa with no issues.'' [If you say that to me while I'm shoveling mud from under my xfer case, while I'm covered in mud and grease, I'll shoot you in the face.]

Tesla sent a crappy car into space. That fact isn't going to get my rig unstuck.
 
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Joe917

Explorer
I have slid off the road in two cases of slick nasty clay. Both slow and into a soft shoulder. Once in Utah once in the Amazon, both remote. I don't think I would have got out of either situation without the front locker.
 

Lovetheworld

Active member
@Bul : well, if you got stuck on your transfercase, it kind of proves a point :D

Some say it is complete bullshit to need 4WD, but we don't all go the same routes, and lockers let you do it with more control.
I don't know. I drove that thing with a whopping 75 horsepower through mud and over sand dunes and high mountain ridges.

Lockers are just one thing. A lift, better shocks. Anybody mentioned a whinch? One on the back too?
It is part of the earlier mentioned rabbit hole. Which is just a choice.
However, it doesn't change much to the fact that there will always be a trail you can't take, so you gotta know where to stop. That is my point.
Even in a Unimog or so.
 

pugslyyy

Expedition Vehicle Engineer Guy
@Bul : well, if you got stuck on your transfercase, it kind of proves a point :D



I don't know. I drove that thing with a whopping 75 horsepower through mud and over sand dunes and high mountain ridges.

Lockers are just one thing. A lift, better shocks. Anybody mentioned a whinch? One on the back too?
It is part of the earlier mentioned rabbit hole. Which is just a choice.
However, it doesn't change much to the fact that there will always be a trail you can't take, so you gotta know where to stop. That is my point.
Even in a Unimog or so.
There's also a value in simple, very lightweight vehicles. I'm continually amazed by what I can do with my mostly-stock 33 year old, 60hp, Suzuki Samurai.
 

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
I don't know. I drove that thing with a whopping 75 horsepower through mud and over sand dunes and high mountain ridges.
No one is arguing with you, but once you try front and rear selectable lockers you will be a convert. Mostly because you can do it all and tread lighter. 2WD needs momentum. 4WD needs wheel speed. All locked up lets you crawl and tread lightly. If you are basing your opinion on mud bogs and rock crawling, you won't understand. If you wheel in an ultralight you do understand and when you have selectable lockers, front and rear, you'll be WOW.
 

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shade

Well-known member
No one is arguing with you, but once you try front and rear selectable lockers you will be a convert. Mostly because you can do it all and tread lighter. 2WD needs momentum. 4WD needs wheel speed. All locked up lets you crawl and tread lightly. If you are basing your opinion on mud bogs and rock crawling, you won't understand. If you wheel in an ultralight you do understand and when you have selectable lockers, front and rear, you'll be WOW.
A locked axle can tear up the terrain more than A-TRAC, especially if it's the steering axle.

Manually selectable lockers are fine, but bringing this back to the OP, there's little reason to install a front locker on that vehicle given its current capabilities, and the expected use.
 

billiebob

My Uncle drove a government issued Jeep in Europe
A locked axle can tear up the terrain more than A-TRAC, especially if it's the steering axle.
Admittedly one needs a brain to drive.
Selectable being the key here, you can turn it on or off with a switch. Unlike any auto locker, traction control device which relies on a computer programmed where ? Yes, lacking a brain, go with the automatic systems.
 
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