We've heard too many stories of Jeep JK owners getting stuck in a bad situation with one tire hanging freely. If you have a Jeep, you were probably going for maneuverability and agility. Not having a locker can seriously cut down the main attractions of your vehicle. Having the best lockers for Jeep JK will let your wheels spin in separate directions for you to enjoy more maneuverability and agility.
With that said, we know it can be very difficult to select the perfect locker. There are hundreds of options in the market for the Jeep JK alone. It doesn't help that the differences from one model to another are minor and even hard to see without inspection.
This could be a problem for some people but not you because you have this all-inclusive guide to help you make the right pick. We have lined up some excellent lockers for you to select from for your Jeep JK. Not only are these models compatible, but they also come with different features to improve your off-road and on-road driving experience.
After reviewing our critically researched list of best lockers for Jeep JK, make sure to keep reading for some more tips on how to select the right one for you. We’re confident you will find a suitable Jeep locker from the list and make the right choice for your JK.
Top 8 Best Lockers For Jeep JK
1. USA Standard Gear SL D30-27 Spartan Locker
If you have a Jeep JK, this should be a go-to model for you if you're looking for a locker. This model is properly manufactured with high-quality, heat-treated steel. It is solid and sturdy and yet the price will not bore a hole in your pocket.
The metal is strong on a chemical level from the heat treatment, ensuring durability. because of this, covalent bonding is in effect for a proper hold. This is what you want in a good locker for Jeep JK because of the vehicle's constant exposure to heat during drives.
This is a great model that has high compatibility yet comfortably low in price. It will fit your Jeep JK seamlessly. The instructions available for installation are very precise and accurate. You only need to follow them to the letter and you will have an easy install in just a couple of hours.
The D30-27 Spartan Locker functions nicely and quietly as you will barely hear any sound when you make sharp turns. You will need some time to get used to this locker after installation. Make sure to set time aside for test drives.
However, you are sure to enjoy this machine working in your Jeep JK. Even beginner off-roaders love to use this easy to install, easy to maneuver locker.
2. Yukon YDGGM8.5-3-30-1 Dura Grip Spline Axle
When it comes to Jeep lockers, there is no denying that Yukon is an excellent go-to brand. If you have ever used a Yukon product, you already know how sturdy and durable their materials are.
In the same way, they have used state of the art design and extensively tested this locker before releasing it on the open market. The 4320 steel material used to construct the interior provides the ultimate grip. You will enjoy the strongest teeth possible with this construction and are also assured of durability.
Since this Jeep JK locker can be rebuilt, it is a great advantage for heavy drivers who always need parts in circulation. The rebuilding process can no doubt be tedious, but you’re assured of compatibility and long term use when you're finished.
The clutch-free, four spring system makes for high traction and incredible grip so you enjoy every sharp turn with precision. No matter how rough and frequent your high-tasking off-road driving needs are, this Jeep JK locker will surely take every blow and remain in place.
Many customers report there is a little noise when you initially start driving with this locker installed, but this wears off after some practice and the locker simply settles in to serve in the long run.
- Fully rebuildable.
- The interior is made with 4320 steel.
- Clutch style positraction.
- Four spring system.
- Can withstand high pressure.
3. Detroit Locker 913A481 Tutrac Differential Locker
Are you looking for an automatic Jeep JK locker that will not stress you when you engage and disengage? Then look no further than this locker from Detroit.
This Trutrac Differential Locker is made with very high-quality steel that ensures long-lasting use. Because the locking system is fully automatic, you don’t have to engage or disengage by yourself and this increases the precision of utility.
Thousands of Jeep enthusiasts have been satisfied with this product so it is no surprise it is still a preferred model even after being in the market for so long. Users don’t have to be afraid of lockers getting stiff or clunking up anymore with this impressive model. Operation is firm and unbelievably quiet. You will barely hear any noise as you make sharp turns.
Although you will have to dedicate a long time to install this locker, you will love the feeling after you have finished your labors. More precise instructions should have been provided so that newbies will also have easy installation experience.
Instead, the directions provided are quite technical and only suitable for old-timers and mechanics. Nonetheless, it is not impossible to handle it all on your own, just a tad more difficult than other models.
That being said, this model serves as a great replacement part for many off-road vehicle models, especially Jeep JK. You will get to enjoy no noise, no slack, and incredible traction as you drive.
- Manufactured with high-quality steel.
- Long-lasting build.
- Provides smooth transition.
- Fully automatic.
4. Aussie Locker XD-13027 Axle Spline Locker
Any driver who needs maximum traction performance cannot bypass this model from Aussie. With some LSD or posi locker, all you get is 40% to 60% traction. However, you get to enjoy full 100% traction with this model and it just keeps on giving.
There are no air lines on this model so it won’t leak, there are no cables so there will be no fraying and you won’t be breaking any electric wires either. You also don’t have to worry about compressors or breaks failing on this model.
This model is uniquely manufactured and carefully constructed to provide this high level of traction. It is no easy feat if not every manufacturer would have achieved it but Aussie always gets the job done on every machine they release.
You might want to contact a mechanic if you’re not handy with the technical stuff but this Jeep JK locker only needs minimal effort for proper installation. You will begin to enjoy dry thrust to your off-road vehicle immediately this piece is installed.
Even in extremely slippery conditions, you will find that this model will significantly reduce friction so your maneuverability increases. Locking features are usually added to vehicles as an upgrade, but you should make sure to consult with the manual to know just how to apply this locker to your open differential system.
- Automatic precision locker.
- Advanced traction.
- Provides 100% traction performance.
- Open differential installation.
5. Eaton 912A585 Detroit Trutrac Spline Differential
Who said you have to sacrifice trail readiness for street performance? With Eaton's locker, you can enjoy an excellent performance in both worlds. This best locker for Jeep JK utilizes a helix design system added to the LSD system.
You won't get such a combination elsewhere for the same low price. This unit is easy to install, simple to use and so it is a great choice for beginners.
As long as you have a simple garage setup, you can handle this locker. Because of its simple and straightforward design, this locker helps the rest of your car parts to last longer and resists fast wear and tear. Because of this, it is a prime option for heavy users. This is the reason why people who love to street drive and still go on off-road trips favor this model.
Apart from the normal oil changes, there is little or no maintenance to be done on this locker. This is more than you can say for regular LSD traction models that require heavy work.
This is an excellent upgrade part for your Jeep JK that comes with a very attractive price. Quality doesn't always mean the biggest price tag and that is surely the case with this Eaton LSD locker.
This is the greatest multipurpose locker option you will find for your Jeep JK. The minimal maintenance required along with the minimal price is a great combination. When you add versatility, it only sweetens the pot further.
- Helix design.
- The mechanism is limited-slip.
- Great for street and trail.
- Very affordable.
- Low maintenance is required.
6. Detroit Locker 912A585 Trutrac Differential Locker
Some drivers need a soft locker that won’t obstruct normal every day driving but can easily be activated when needed. That is what you get with this model from Detroit.
You will never notice it is attached under normal driving conditions but it kicks in nicely whenever you need to go off-road then it is back to being quiet.
You can even feel the power surge slightly for some seconds as it switches up. The teeth are made from strong steel making it durable and effective. The tensile strength of each spline is remarkable. It allows the locker to perform multipurpose functions.
Adding this exceptional Jeep JK locker to your differential can significantly increase its shelf life. The sturdy design of this locker model has been tested under several high-stress conditions and still works out very fine.
This can be attributed to the top quality steel used in manufacture. The Detroit band is trusted in the manufacture of lockers and surely does not skimp in quality on this product too.
Although this locker is on the expensive side, it delivers matching quality so you'll never be unhappy you spent your hard-earned bucks on good quality, long-lasting machine.
- Has high torque.
- Made with strong steel.
- Simple to install.
- No noise.
- Quick lock up.
- Invisible in daily driving.
7. PowerTrax 9203822905 Non-Slip Traction System
It will be impossible to finish a list of best lockers for Jeep JK without mentioning this astonishing product from PowerTrax. Smooth operation meets high traction performance with this revolutionary Jeep JK locker. This is the perfect combination of frequent off-road driving. You know you need extra durability you can rely on if you are a frequent off-road driver.
That is why most enthusiasts trust PowerTrax to deliver. Talking of durability, the powerful zytanium material used in its construction is about 67% stronger than regular titanium. This is the type of ultra-strength you need and can wholly rely on.
There is no pinion or ring setup required while installing. This makes for quick and simple installation, doable for even beginner riders. You also don't need any special tools or unique oils to get this Jeep JK locker going. everything you need is provided inside the complete kit with step by step instructions to guide you accurately.
Driveline windup is drastically reduced because of the special design. This unique design achieves this by reducing backlash with the special gear. Because the machine synchronizes precisely, there is little or no noise while your Jeep is in operation.
In the toughest of conditions, you want to have this locker installed on your Jeep JK. With traction levels almost at 100%, it is one of the most reliable lockers you can find on the market for heavy off-road use.
- Made with strong zytanium material.
- No ratcheting sounds.
- Special spring and gear design.
- Easy installation.
8. Yukon YGLD44-3-30 Grizzly Locker
If you are always performing in the toughest conditions, you need a locker to match your heavy use. Not every locker can take the amount of abuse needed to perform extreme off-road tricks under harsh weather conditions but this one from Yukon is up to the task. Built with extreme strength for extreme use in extreme conditions, Yukon's Grizzly Locker is as tough as they come.
This locker is quite heavy but you will appreciate the strong build when you need it the most. The inside is made with 8620 steel fortified in chromium and molybdenum for extra longevity. This combination not only makes this machine strong, but it also adds corrosion resistance to increase its life span.
If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions such as excessive heat, you need some extra protection that this top Jeep JK locker can provide.
You are more likely to break your axles before this durable Jeep JK locker gives way it has been extremely tested under increased stress and competition off-road activities to ring you the guarantee you need to drive freely. It is designed with a special patented method that removes regular failures you might have experienced in similar locker models.
Even with 100% power delivered to both tires, you can still disengage while making turns. This awesome locker doesn’t come cheap but the value will receive is well worth the price and even more.
- The interior is made with 8620 steel.
- Patented design.
- Fortified for harsh weather.
- High-end precision.
- Fully automatic.
- Gives 100% power to each wheel.
What To Look For While Buying Lockers For Jeep JK
There are varied options for the best lockers for Jeep JK but your choice has to fit your unique needs. Do you mostly use your jeep in off-road conditions or are you a heavy normal driver? No matter what your frequent needs are, consider the following things to look out for before purchasing a suitable locker.
Utility: functionality should be your foremost consideration when purchasing any car part. Any machine that focuses on delivering the highest durability with premium performance is worth your money. High functionality means strong parts that work well, even under harsh conditions. Also, consider lockers that work well in harsh weather conditions if you live in such areas.
Manufacturing concerns: manufacturing and assembly of car parts around the world are handled differently these days.
In most cases, parts are sourced from abroad and coupled in the USA. However, the best lockers are made in the USA. The location isn't the problem, the quality checks that USA manufacturers are obligated to go through can be trusted.
Mechanism: different Jeep JK lockers come with different operating mechanisms. You have to determine if you need a mechanical clutch, limited-slip, positraction, locked differentials, open differentials, or another type of operation.
Ever method serves a different purpose and you must select your machine of choice directly according to your need. Don’t go for open differential if what you truly need is and LSD.
Installation and maintenance: the time and cost of installation and maintenance are serious considerations you should not overlook. Don’t just scan the buying price of your Jeep JK locker. The real cost will include how much it takes to maintain and run the machine in the long-run.
If the machine is difficult to install, it will cost you tons of time and you might end up hiring a mechanic to do a better job. If the machine also requires a lot of oil changes and care, you will be spending some more extra money to make that happen. Choose easy to install, easy to use, and easy to maintain models for peace of mind.
Reliability: Jeeps are tough vehicles because they were originally manufactured for the military. In the same way, the locker you select to work with your Keep JK has to be strong and reliable.
If it's not made with durable material, cannot be easily maneuvered, and will not hold under pressure, you will have to change the locker very often and this can quickly grow expensive.
Compatibility: Just like with other car parts, you have to ensure the locker you choose is compatible with your Jeep JK. You don't want to spend over $500 on a great locker only to find it doesn't fit on your vehicle and is useless to you.
Not all models manufactured in the shop are made to fit your JK so take a close look. Your Jeep and the locker will come with manuals you can refer to for proper compatibility comparison.
Do I Need Lockers On My JK?
Anyone who has driven a two-wheel drive and compares with a four-wheel drive can testify that lockers make a big difference.
If you get stuck in snow or mud, being able to independently control each tire will make for an easier escape. Jeeps are made to be agile, but a good locker system will add traction for more ease.
If you’re involved in a lot of off-road activity, we highly recommend you get a good Jeep locker. Lockers are most useful in
- Rock crawling
- Recovering others
During rock crawling, you may meet different types of rocks from different angles as you climb. In such a situation, you need to be in control so the wrong wheel doesn't start spinning.
Also, if your Jeep has inadequate articulation, one of the wheels can easily lift off the ground. Having a good locker installed will help provide added traction when you need it the most.
Whether you're pulling your buddy out from a ditch or just enjoying a nice off-road experience, it will be a better one with a locker.
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO LOCK A JEEP JK?
Ultimately, you will have to decide what the best way to lock your Jeep JK is.
However, with that said, here are some viable methods. You can compare the pros and cons to determine which one you eventually select.
Automatic locker: as the name implies, it is automatic. They do not require operation from the driver. They work quickly and automatically.
- Affordable and easy to install.
- Always ready to engage and disengage when needed.
- The operation can affect on-road handling.
- Turning can become laborious.
- Noises will be heard when making turns.
Limited-slip locker: offers very smooth operation.
- Acts as an emergency braking system.
- Has the benefits of the open and locked system.
- Mostly operates as an open differential.
- Not very common for Jeeps but better than running with nothing.
- Not very helpful with automatic gears.
· Selectable locker: this high-end method relies on the driver to determine when to engage and disengage.
- Gives precision control.
- Seamless quiet operation on and off-road.
- It is a normal open differential when disengaged and doesn’t disturb on-road drivability.
- Could damage your Jeep if not disengaged in on-road mode.
- Expensive and requires much work.
- Must be manually activated and deactivated and is more prone to failure.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY JEEP HAS A LOCKER?
There is no simple way to check if your Jeep already has a locker on any wheel. You have to check manually. This means you must remove the whole axle.
A locker can be installed on either front or back wheels and each axle is separate. You will have to remove every one to carry out a physical examination.
Another way to check is to try a slippery test. Prepare a very muddy surface or prepare some super slippery ice.
Drive the tire of your Jeep right onto the slippery surface and then floor the Jeep. If your vehicle gets out of the trap, you probably have lockers, and the opposite also applies.
A simpler test is to spin your tires in both directions. If they freely move in either direction, it means you don’t have traction. If there is some resistance, you probably do.
Out of these three methods, the most reliable and definite is to check manually by exposing the axle for inspection.
FAQS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you still have lots of questions about Jeep JK lockers, you're not alone. Here are some common questions customers frequently ask when in the market for a good locker.
1. HOW EASY IS IT TO INSTALL A JEEP JK LOCKER?
You need a medium to low skills to install a full Jeep JK locker. Many models are made to be easily usable by beginners.
However, if all you can do is an oil change, you might want to call someone who has more technical knowledge so you don't mess up the process. Note that proper safety measures are required for proper installation.
2. WHAT DO THE DIFFERENT LOCK MECHANISMS MEAN?
First of all, you should know that all lockers improve traction. The different mechanisms available just utilize different methods to grip and control wheel slip.
Different mechanism types use gears instead of protrusions. They differ according to the method of power transfer to the wheel, the angle at which the wheel is powered, and the control of power employed.
3. SHOULD I TURN MY TRACTION CONTROL ON OR OFF?
As a good practice, your traction control should always be on. However, if you’re stuck in very muddy areas or places with thick snow, you can turn it off until you get out.
4. WHEN SHOULD I INSTALL A LOCKER ON MY JEEP?
If you love off-roading, then the time to install a locker is now. Your vehicle can operate for longer when there is relief on transmission from a locker.
You will also have more control of your Jeep and increased maneuverability. If you are going to unchartered terrain, you must install a Jeep locker for added strength and reliability.
5. CAN A DAMAGED JEEP JK LOCKER BE REPAIRED?
Yes of course. Just like you can fix other spare parts, you can also repair a damaged Jeep locker.
6. ARE JEEP LOCKERS EXPENSIVE?
There is no definite answer to this because the cost price varies from one manufacturer to the next.
Also, the cost of installation and maintenance in the long-run greatly influences the cost of a locker. However, Jeep lockers usually cost a few hundred dollars.
7. HOW LONG WILL A LOCKER LAST AFTER INSTALLATION?
The duration of any vehicle part always varies. Many Jeep locker systems are low maintenance.
However, as the Jeep gets older, the locker will also experience natural wear and tear.
Usually, locker systems remain functional as long as the axle is in place. Just make sure to use your locker within realistic circumstances and keep away from harsh weather and other elements that might shorten its lifespan.
8. WILL A LOCKER HELP ME IN THE SNOW?
Of course, it does! One of the main reasons why drivers get lockers for their Jeep's is to get out of slippery snow when they get stuck.
With a great variety of Jeep JK lockers available, selecting the right one doesn't have to be a chore for you.
You can comfortably skip the hard research and wondering because we've brought all the necessary information together in one fulfilling post for you.
After reviewing each product to see its capabilities, you can continue to get answers to frequently asked questions and checkpoints to consider before making a purchase.
We are certain your final buy will be the perfect one for your unique needs. Make sure to share this valuable information with a friend of yours to help them enjoy their Jeep JK even more like you’re about to.
If you have run out of Christmas gift ideas for your friend who owns a Jeep JK, this will make an excellent present that they won’t forget in a hurry.
Just make sure to find out what they need for an off-road trip and they will be sure to call you with a hearty thank you when the locker you bought gets them out of thick snow in the cold months.
What better way to say happy holidays than to get a friend unstuck when they need it the most?