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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: 67
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: 67
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: 1,762
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: 646
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: 3,502
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: 22,383
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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Old 07-08-2020, 05:54 AM
bagusjeep bagusjeep is offline
232 I6
Join Date: Aug 04, 2018
Location: Bali
Posts: 43
I have seen taxis on trails that a donkey would bray about, first thing is to avoid getting stuck or scraping the ground. Power, speed and positioning are all things to be learnt and taken sensibly. i know some like the challenge of winching up pointless rocks but I am really not into making work for myself.

Tyres first. A mud terrain (or whatever you think is the right tyre) will get you there 95% of the time by itself, no lockers, no winch, no 4x4. A highway tyre on a Porsche Cayenne will make it impossible to cope with green grass on a mild incline, not a great 4x4 anyway but you get my drift.

A jack and wheel brace and spare wheel and tyre pump. Yep, forget those and you are walking.

A snatch strap and shackles etc. I love mine, it is the piece of recovery gear I use the most.

4 Wheel Drive with Low. Yep, this will get you much further on the trail. However my 2WD Ford Everest will be a long way down that trail before it gets stuck.

Lockers next, rear and then front. A rear LSD is fine to start, both ends is better. My J20 came with factory Dana 44/Dana 60 and LSD front and back, it does not get stuck on its 33" mud terrains.

I say "back" first because a LSD does not need to be engaged and many times you can be in 2HI when you get some mud etc.

Locking diffs are the gold standard, no doubt about it.

Winch last. Yes, they can get you out of a whole lot of but you have to get to the first and to do that you have to install it properly and MAINTAIN IT, a rarely used winch is quite likely to break down when needed, a broken cable is a whip snake of danger. The OP has a come along tirfor, it is going to be slow sweaty work by hand but that is fine and no battery to go flat. A farm jack can also be turned into a manual winch.

I have been watching Monster Truck Challenge on Discovery, i think they call it Truck Night in USA. OK, so racing at speed off road is unusual but the rigs often struggle to get as far as a deep mud bog because they do not have the right tyres or lockers or even 4x4 sometimes. only one truck made it through the bog without winching, several had winches that just pulled off their frames, more just broke down when called upon. I couldn't help feeling the mud bog was there solely to demonstrate that you should have a winch and maintain it. The last episode after the famous race driver had winched himself out, he could not see anything because his wipers were not clearing the mud and he drove off the course into a tree!!!! Perhaps wipers should be higher on the list !!

Last edited by bagusjeep : 07-08-2020 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 07-09-2020, 12:53 AM
SJTD SJTD is offline
350 Buick
Join Date: Apr 26, 2012
Location: Lompoc and Sunland, CA
Posts: 1,458
Your order of equipment makes sense if your objective is ability.

But it doesn't matter what you're driving. 2WD with an open diff and street tires or a 4x4 with lockers and jumbo gumbo mud tires. When you finally get stuck you need the winch.

Your order of mods just means a longer walk out when you finally do get stuck but haven't gotten to installing the winch yet.
Sic friatur crustulum

'84 GW with Nissan SD33T, early Chev NV4500, 300, narrowed Ford reverse 44, narrowed Ford 60, SOA/reversed shackle in fornt, lowered mount/flipped shackle in rear.
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