Gear and Locker Question


Ok so I've own 6 jeeps ranging from 51cj3a to a 2004 Rubicon and I'm about to buy my 7th Jeep it is a 2006 wrangler X 65th anniversary edition, it has a Dana 30 front and a Dana 44 rear, I will eventually be running 35s on it and am wondering what gear ration I need, it is a 6cyl and will be my daily driver. If I go ahead and get gears can I get a locker that will work with those gears or will I have to get new gears? I'm not looking super expensive lockers just something reliable? Also I am very interested in automatic lockers and lunch box lockers that would replace my gears, can somebody shed some light on this please! Thanks for your help

Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
I personally like ARB air lockers; you can cheap out and get something weaker and less reliable but why do the job multiple times?
While not a beginner project; self install of lockers and gearing is very do-able for the more penurious and mechanically inclined amongst us.
Some non AWD applications can get away using a lunch box locker in front though since the demise of manual lockouts these do wear out in normal driving.

You should run the numbers along with considering your driving habits/desires; but for me and manual transmissions 4.56 gearing and is near perfect for 35 inch tires.
For automatics 4.27 (forward cut /low pinion fronts on Dana 30s, last time I looked reverse cut D30, 4.27 gears were not available) or even 4.10s work. with 35s and light to moderate off roading.
If the engine is power challenged (4 cylinder) 4.88s might be an option.

Personally I would try to avoid the less than optimum old school practice of over gearing the axles for limited off road use.

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I want to go ahead and regear it but when I buy new gears will they work with whatever selectable locker I buy or will I have to get specific gears that bolt up to that locker? And what E locker is at a good value that won't destroy my bank account and obviously if I get air lockers I will go with ARB and is there any automatic or lunchbox lockers that don't ear out that easily? I'm may have to do the job twice if I go ahead and get gears and add locker later, but I'm really just trying to find the best option and make sure I don't have to buy another set of gears to go with my new locker. Thanks

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If you are in the triangle area you should swing by East Coast Gear Supply and talk with them. They are also a great place to get the work done if you are not going to tackle it yourself. Personally I would pay to have the gears done and have them install a Detroit in the rear at the same time.


I have 4.56 gears, 33" tires and Eaton Trutracs front and rear.

I point it up the mountain and I get there. No air compressors to turn on. No wiring to break. No switches to turn on. No air lines to melt. No "I'll try it unlocked first and see how far I get."

I just get there. No drama.

And on the street it's invisible unless I want to smoke the tires.


If you are running an automatic, disregard all advice on gearing. Your year has a .69:1 overdrive. With 35s, you want either 4.88 or 5.13. 4.56 or 4.88 will be fine with the 6 speed. No one has ever complained about too low of gearing in a late TJ.

Overland History

Look, gear ratios are largely opinion and highly debated.

With a simple Google search, find out and punch in all of the specs to make sure you don't make an expensive decision that you'll end up regretting.

This website may help....

The main problem that everyone seems to worry about is engine RPM on the highway, which is largely one of the more irrelevant factors when it comes to choosing gears.

If you have an automatic transmission, the main and HIDDEN factor is heat! When you add larger tires and more weight to a vehicle, you put more torque on the transmission! Auto trannies hate heat and don't survive long under those conditions.

If you have a manual trans, you wear out the clutch faster due to more torque being necessary to get the jeep moving.

Think of it like this: Your Jeep is a 12 speed bicycle. Your stock gears and bigger tires are similar to kicking the bike up to the 12th gear and trying to go from 0-60mph. Now also add a heavy backpack on your back(which are your heavier tires, bumpers, rack, winch, RTT, gear, etc.). Your body is the transmission. How much are you gonna sweat trying to pedal all of that torque and weight up to speed?

The point of gearing is to OVER compensate for all of the torque and weight that you've added to your vehicle! ;)