Aussie Lockers Front and Rear – is it possible?

Yes, it is possible to use lunchbox lockers in the front and the rear. It is important to understand the problems you may encounter before making a buying decision. While lunchbox lockers are proven time and time again to be a great fit for the average or even hard-core off-roader, like everything in life you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

Most people will go as far as telling you not to run a lunchbox locker in the rear of the vehicle instead they say to stick to an Aussie locker for the front and use a selectable locker for the rear. This does have its merit, and it is important to see this side of the equation. With all vehicles that are meant to continue to be road-worthy, It is important that both axles are not in a fully locked state when on the road.

Aussie lockers front and rear will still accomplish a streetable driving vehicle, but the corkiness of the Aussie lockers will remain and will become much more noticeable over the latter.

Ford 8.8 with Aussie Locker

Why shouldn’t I have both axles locked at the same time on the road?

Lockers off-road are great because you will not have the traction the pavement offers. This means when making turns offroad, even though the axles are locked together without the ability to turn at different speeds. The tires will still have the ability to slip around or break traction to spin at the speeds required.

On-road your vehicle has tons of traction, so if you’re fully locked front and rear trying to make a turn. Both the axle and the tire will not submit. In extreme cases, axle shafts or other components can completely fail. In all other cases, you will just screech your way around In the most un-elegant fashion.

Lunchbox lockers in a way help get around this massive on-road hurdle… If the pavement had the same amount of traction as sand. There really would never be a need for open differentials and selectable lockers. Everything would have a spool theoretically.

Unfortunately, that is not the case, thus why lunchbox lockers offer a ratcheting mechanism that can open so turns can be made safely and quietly.

Ford 8.8

Are Aussie lockers Lunchbox lockers?

Aussie lockers are a brand of a certain type of locker, often referred to as a lunchbox locker. Lunchbox lockers go by many names sometimes. It is commonplace to refer to a lunchbox locker as an Aussie locker just like we use the name duct tape for just about any tape that looks similar, even though it is only the brand of the most popular kind. You may also hear lunchbox lockers referred to as “drop-in lockers”, “pocket locker” or even “ratcheting lockers”. These are less common but, maybe useful information

What is a lunchbox locker?

A lunchbox locker or Aussie locker is a type of mechanical automatic locking mechanism that will convert an open differential to one that is locked together at all times. well let me rephrase this a bit, the differential will be locked at all times except when turning.

Essentially a lunch box locker is a “ratcheting” mini spool. Both a mini spool and a lunch box locker will replace the factory spider gears within the carrier.

A mini spool will completely lock together axle shafts on each side.

In the case of a lunch box locker, the mechanism will open and allow the axles to spin at different speeds like how it was with an open differential. When a lunch box locker has adequate torque applied it will push the pin into the camshaft forcing each side to lock together. When no torque or not enough torque is applied, like in turning conditions, the pin will not impact the camshaft locking each side together. Instead, the locker will be in an open position.

Jeep TJ/LJ/YJ/WJ/XJ/ZJ Locker GuideOpens in a new tab.

Disadvantages of using Aussie lockers front and rear:

  • Loud ratcheting sounds when turning
  • Popping/clunlinking noise during acceleration
  • Screeching tires when the locker does not open
  • Learning curve
HP D30 with Aussie Locker

Why do lunchbox lockers make ratching noises?

When in the unlocked state while cornering or making a turn from a stop. A lunchbox locker will be in the open position rather than in the normally locked position. While in the open position the two mechanical gears within will ratchet around until the turn is complete. At that point, the two sides will join back together.

Why do lunchbox lockers make popping/clunking noises?

Popping and clunking noises for lunchbox lockers are completely normal. Sometimes they can be caused by adding the wrong weight of oil to the differential. As long as you follow the manufacture specs for the locker you installed. There should not be issues.

Why do my tires screech with a lunchbox locker?

If making a turn or taking a corner in a manner your new temperamental locker does not like. It will reward you with not opening the mechanism. Meaning the ratcheting that should be occurring is not. Simply, your axle is still 100% locked together and the tires cannot spin at different speeds.

Why is there a learning curve for using lunchbox lockers?

If you’re choosing to just go with an Aussie locker in the front axle, the rear axle, or both. All will require a new manner of driving while on the road. It really is not anything major to be concerned about. For example, before with an open differential you really did not have to care as to the speed you make corners or make turns from a stop.

With lunchbox lockers, you now must be mindful of this or you will face loud clunking popping, and screeching noises. You could also disregard this information, but I will warn you. Your neighbors will think you’re driving a hunk of crap around town when they hear it. The looks are priceless sometimes.

HP D30

What are other brands of lunchbox lockers?

  • Aussie Locker
  • Spartan Locker
  • PowerTrax
  • TORQ Lockers

Which locker brand is the best? That is up to you to decide. They are all pretty even in quality and price. My thoughts are no matter which brand you choose, you will probably be happy at the end of the day.

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