really nailed it right on the head when they released the Wrangler
Rubicon. With dual lockers, Dana 44 axles at both ends, 31"
tires and more, there is little more that a Jeeper could want
from an out-of-the-box rig.
One area where the Rubicon does fall just a bit
short, however, is the way the lockers are set up to work. Most-likely
designed the way they are for safety and liability reasons, the
lockers only function when the transfer case is low range.
Who cares, right? If you are sitting there asking
that, then perhaps you've never been mired in a mud bog, been
on a snow run, or hit the sands of Glamis. In these, and certainly
other situations, low range just isn't going to cut it. You need
4WD high or you're stuck. Therein lies the rub.
So there you are, stuck on a sand dune, nailing
it with all you've got and you're doing nothing but watching your
front tire sit still and maybe once in a while catch a little
traction. Meanwhile, the rear is catching a bit now and then,
thanks to the limited slip in the Rubicon, but it's still not
grabbing on like the real locker would. Oh, if only you could
turn on those blasted lockers!
tell your service writer this, but a few Jeepers got their thinking
caps on and put their eyes on the Jeep service manual schematics
long enough to figure out how to trick the computer into letting
him use his lockers in high range. There are several ways of doing
it, and Bill Snowden (Willie G) chose the method shown here. Follow
the easy steps below and you'll be well on your way to locking
'em up, too.
- a little disclaimer. Obviously, if you don't know what you're
doing, don't do the modification. Also, we can show it to you,
but we haven't tried it ourselves here at RC HQ and we certainly
won't be held responsible for showing you kids how or telling
you to do it. Using lockers in high range, especially on the road,
can be very dangerous, which is why the good folks at Jeep wired
them the way they did. So do the modification at your own descretion,
be careful, and if you goof something up, don't blame us. If you
choose to try this yourself, you assume all risk associated with
the use of any information contained within this article. And
don't be surprised if your service writer figures out what you've
done and says no to your next warranty claim. That said, read
As with most
electrical installations, the first thing you'll need to do is
disconnect your battery. Then disassemble part of your dash. Begin
by prying up the defroster vent panel by the windshield. You can
use a flathead screwdrive or, like Bill, you can pick up a real
trim tool from your Jeep dealer for about $3. Pry the trim in
several places along until it pops out.
Once the vent
is out of the way, you will see two Phillips head screws. Remove
these, and this will allow the center dash bezel to be carefully
pulled off by pulling straight out and upward.
HVAC controls and the switch panel will be exposed. There are
four screws that hold the switch panel in place,. Remove them
and pull the panel out of the dash. In the photos here, you'll
see the toggle switch for the lockers already installed. Bill
chose to use an aircraft-style switch with a safety cover to activate
the locker bypass. The switch used in this install is an inexpensive
$10 switch. If you go topless and/or doorless often, we'd recommend
using a military-spec switch. They are dust and moisture-proof
and they do cost more, but they are worth it in the long run.
You can get these from Kilby
the back of the toggle switch, there is a red wire with a white
stripe. If this wire is connected to the vehicle ground, it tells
the computer that the transfer case is in low range. The computer
will then allow the lockers to engage, as long as the vehicle
is going less than 10 mph. The object of the modification is to
trick the computer into thinking the transfer case is in low range,
in order to allow the lockers to be turned on.
Take a piece
of wire and tap into the red/white striped wire, and run this
to your switch. Then tap into the black wire and run that to other
pole on the switch. When the switch is turned ON you will be able
to use the lockers in any transfer case range. With the switch
in the OFF position, the lockers operate in low range only.
toggle switch was used in order to prevent accidental use of the
modification. Although any switch will work, or no switch at all,
we do recommend this type of switch for the safest installation.
See the chart
above for other wiring options. The photos below should help you
with the wiring. Click each one for a larger view.
Here you can see the red/white and black wires.
Wires clipped on to stock harness.
Close-up of wires on harness.
Switch mounted on center dash bezel.
back together and go test your Jeep out in a safe location. That's
all there is to it!