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Old 05-24-2020, 12:42 PM
Be from Be's Avatar
Be from Be Be from Be is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Jan 28, 2017
Location: Belgium
Posts: 53
Winch or lockers

I decided to go with lockers because
  • no extra weight hanging on the nose
  • no need for extra battery
  • no need for stronger alternator
  • cleaner look with original bumper
  • I have a tirfor hand winch that I can take with me when going offroad
I installed a truetrac in front and will install a e-locker in the rear.

Tell me what you guys think is the best option; first invest in lockers or first install a winch?
1978 Cherokee Chief
360 V8 Automatic
Quadra Trac w/ Mile Marker conversion
4" Skyjacker
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Old 05-24-2020, 06:34 PM
Dave Jeeper Dave Jeeper is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Sep 08, 2019
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 66
I've been 4 wheeling with small Cherokees (XJ) for about 30 years. First I had a winch. When I wasn't wheeling hard trails, I was still able to help other stuck vehicles. When my rear differential needed work I added an ARB air locker to the rear. I then needed to use the winch much less often. I now have front and rear ARB lockers. I don't need to use the front locker very often. Some people think that if they are going to have only one axle locked that it should be the front. I disagree with that and think that the rear is the one to lock if you only have one locker. When climbing a hill, all the weight is on the rear axle and that is where a wheel will slip. Therefor a rear locker is the one that is needed the most.

I still want to have a winch for tough trails. I have never had a second battery for a winch. I have winched long and hard without draining my battery, but i always kept my engine running while winching. A higher output alternator might be necessary. I think my Grand Wagoneer alternator only puts out 65 amps. My XJ alternator puts our 100 amps. The winch does not weigh down the front very much, maybe 1/2" (1.3cm). It is also possible to put a front hitch on the vehicle (you will have to fabricate one as I don't think that they are available any more). Then your winch goes in a hitch mount and can be kept in the cargo area until needed.

Having tires with good, deep tread and airing them down when 4 wheeling will add lots of traction. Don't air down too much though or the tire may come off the bead on the rim.
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Old 06-03-2020, 06:47 PM
Simo's Avatar
Simo Simo is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 66
I would have voted for a winch first personally but you should see immediate traction gains with the lockers and depending upon your purposes that might be just right for ya to enjoy some harder trails.

Last edited by Simo : 06-06-2020 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:10 AM
rocklaurence rocklaurence is offline
Join Date: Jan 14, 2009
Location: 33812, Lakeland, Fl
Posts: 1,742
I vote Winch First. Lockers will get you further into the trail but you will still get stuck. The winch's sole purpose is to recover your or partners vehicle when its stuck. So, the winch will likely get you unstuck but the lockers get you into more severe stucks. However, the Lockers are by far the best performance upgrade.
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Old 06-05-2020, 10:32 PM
Rod2's Avatar
Rod2 Rod2 is offline
327 Rambler
Join Date: Apr 11, 2004
Location: Claremont NC
Posts: 645
You can see by my signature line that I have both; I have never used the winch on the trail, but I have used the lockers in this sequence: rear locker first, then 4 wheel drive, then front locker. I haven't been stuck and needing the winch yet.
Rod Skaggs
'73 J4000 'WOOD GO' 360, 2100 MC, T-18, D-20, 60-2 rear, D-44 closed knuckle front, Eaton E-lockers both, Pertronix module, AC, PS, '77 Firebird tilt column, Hydro-boost, AirLift bags front and rear, 33x15 Goodyear MTR's, Pacer 15x8 aluminum Bullet Holes, Summit line lock, 3rd brake light, MileMarker 12,000 cradle mounted winch
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Old 06-18-2020, 03:51 PM
rang-a-stang's Avatar
rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,421
I say Winch. In addition to what the others have said, if your truck breaks/gets stuck mid hill, lockers won't do you any good but with a winch you can still at least get to a safe place for recovery. You can also pull a rig back onto it's wheels with a winch if you tip.

Put a front receiver on your truck, mount your winch on a hitch mount and you can put it on front or back, have one winch you can cycle between all your rigs, loan to a buddy, etc. Plus, you can take it off and store it in the garage when you are not using it (no threat of theft or leaving it out in the weather, humping around the extra weight, etc.).
79 Cherokee Chief
(Cherokee Build Thread)
11 Nissan Pathfinder Silver Edition 4x4
09 Mazdaspeed3 Grand Touring
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:58 AM
fulsizjeep's Avatar
fulsizjeep fulsizjeep is offline
Señor Jackhead
Join Date: Aug 21, 2002
Location: Jubilee Jeeps.SWCO
Posts: 22,377
Installed my first locker (Lockright) in 2003 and was amazed at the difference that made in my off road experience and it was a whole lot cheaper than a winch.
Ran when parked.
88 GW, 401/727/208, 5" lift, D44s/4.10s/locked up, 35s with a few Evil Twin & TT's Fabworks mods
76 401 Wag, 77 401 Wag, 77 401 J20
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