TJ Rubicon Front Factory Air Locker - Metal in Diff - Pirate4x4.Com : 4x4 and Off-Road Forum
 
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Old 01-28-2014, 05:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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TJ Rubicon Front Factory Air Locker - Metal in Diff

He guys, I posted this up over at the Rubicon owners forum, but wanted to post here for any further advice...

Factory Front Locker - Metal in Diff - Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ & JK Forum – Tips, how-to, parts & accessory discussion and information

Background - I bought my 97 wrangler second hand, previous owner had swapped in a TJ Dana 44 out of a Rubicon.

I pulled my front axle (equipped with the factory air locker) this weekend to replace axle seals and install sleeves, gussets and truss. When I pulled the cover on the diff, I was surprised to find some small metal pieces in the bottom of the case, stuck to the drain plug magnet.

Upon further investigation, I realized that these hunks of metal came from the diaphragm ring that pushes against the side of the carrier, which engages the locker. There are 4 of these tabs, one of which is completely missing, the other 3 are mangled. Be aware, my locker has not exhibited any operational issues.

Has anyone else seen this? What could have caused this? Should I replace the diaphragm ring?

Thanks!






Last edited by PitStop; 01-28-2014 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I remember hearing alot a guys having issues with these lockers but I forget the details. All i remember is guys complaining about them gernading and taking alot of the diff with it. Anyone else have issues with these?
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Old 01-29-2014, 06:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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From what I've been reading it sounds like the factory Rubicon rear locker grenade pretty regularly, because they are equipped with a combination limited slip.

I haven't been able to find much info on the factory front lockers.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Did you ever figure out what happened?
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i've just found the same problem on two of the four in my front as well, now how in the world does that bearing come off w/o mangling the diaphram assembly? it looks like the two problem tabs can be hammered into cooperation if i can get the bearing off. any ideas?
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by newbycon View Post
i've just found the same problem on two of the four in my front as well, now how in the world does that bearing come off w/o mangling the diaphram assembly? it looks like the two problem tabs can be hammered into cooperation if i can get the bearing off. any ideas?
It's easy, but you have to destroy the carrier bearing on that side.

Remove the bearing cage and roller bearings, then the backing plate and actuator will slip right off. Once the plate and actuator are off this will give you enough room to either pull the bearing race off or cut it off (I cut mine off).
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Here's an update with some more photos:

I ended up ordering a new backing plate from Davey's Jeeps. They charged me $125 for just the backing plate, which I think is a little steep, but I was in a hurry and didn't feel like combing craigslist/ebay for a grenaded locker that I could salvage the part off of.

Once I receive the new plate, it made more sense to me what happened...
Once I removed the carrier bearing and actuator this is what the plate looked like:



This is a comparison of the new plate vs my old mangled one:




The 4 tabs snap down into the 4 "feet" on the locker, this keeps the backing plate fixed so that is spins with the carrier / locker housing.





I think what probably has happened is that the locker was not fully engaged, but under some load, caused additional stress on the backing plate ring tabs. I imagine the fix for this is just to be vigilant in engaging the locker only when fully stopped, so there is no load on the diff.
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Last edited by PitStop; 02-21-2014 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 02-24-2014, 07:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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same thing happened to mine replaced with detroits never looked back
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Old 02-25-2014, 10:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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same thing happened to mine replaced with detroits never looked back
meh... If it grenades I'll go ARB. But for now $125 to repair a perfectly good selectable locker is fine by me.
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