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Light Off-Roading: Manual vs Automatic? & Rear Locer vs Limited Slip Differential

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Old 09-22-2009, 03:08 PM   #1
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Light Off-Roading: Manual vs Automatic? & Rear Locer vs Limited Slip Differential

which would you prefer when you are doing some light offroading?

here are my options: 2006 off road package manual with the locker, 2007 off road package automatic with the locker, or 2007 sport package automatic with the limited slip differential.

i know it is possible to have both the rear locker and limited slip if i buy a newer truck but i cant afford that at the moment so i have to decide which is better between the three. i dont plan on doing any rock crawling or anything TOTALLY extreme so im wondering if limited slip is adequate for light to medium offroading. i heard stick shifts becomes a pain in the ass for offroad but i cant remember the reasoning for that & ive also heard limited slip can be a pain during offroad use too.

if i got the truck with the rear locker would i be able to install the limited slip later without having to sacrifice the locker?

these are the driving conditions im looking at - trails, snow, climbing hills, sand, mudding, etc. and of course, traffic.

im more concerned about maybe needing a locker for mudding and possibly losing control driving through snow or ice with a limited slip. also im assuming that having the locker will make remote areas way more accessible than having the limited slip. ive searched forums for the answers to these questions and have not found any resolving answers =/ by the way, if you couldnt tell already, i have absolutely no off road driving experience what so ever, lol .. besides being a passenger in off roading experiences.

and lastly, if a truck is not equipped with a limited slip differential or traction control then what the ef does it use for those purposes????? magic????????
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:14 PM   #2
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well first of all.. you have to choose a rear locker OR limited slip. you cannot have both. from what you described i would think that the limited slip would serve you better. the give a decent boost in traction offroad but are definitely the ticket for snowy and wet roads. i chose to ditch the factory limited slip in favor of an arb locker but that was due to me running more and more extreme trails.

as far as auto versus manual.. both have their advantages and drawbacks.. i would say thats just more of a personal opinion of what you prefer to drive.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:22 PM   #3
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if i got an 09 i could get them both just cant afford that =\

even off roading, its still a matter of preference?? yeesh. i thought there would be a huge lean towards one side ...

thanks for your input!
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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i think what your taking to mean having both the locker and limited slip is a bit of a confusion. you can get the offroad model with the electric locker and have what is basically electronic traction control which toyota seems to reference as a limited slip type deal.

if you plan on keeping this truck nice and not tearing it up offroad i would say just go with the limited slip.. the lockers are great and do work wonders but if your in something rough enough to really need a locker your probably banging the truck up a little in the process.

and on the tranny subject.. some will say one is better than the other but as i said they both have their benefits and downfalls offroad so i wouldnt let that sway your decision there... just choose what you are most comfortable with and what you will be happiest with on the road since most likely that is where it will be driven most..
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oakleyTRD View Post
i think the 09s have an auto-LSD even in the TRD OR packages
yea thats what i was referring to... i was informed that the "auto LSD" isnt actually and LSD at all.. its some electronic traction control contraption that toyota came up with that mimics an LSD's function.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:37 PM   #6
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just more electronic crap to malfunction.... the rear axle should be exactly the same as a tradition elocker rear...
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire931 View Post
i think what your taking to mean having both the locker and limited slip is a bit of a confusion. you can get the offroad model with the electric locker and have what is basically electronic traction control which toyota seems to reference as a limited slip type deal.

if you plan on keeping this truck nice and not tearing it up offroad i would say just go with the limited slip.. the lockers are great and do work wonders but if your in something rough enough to really need a locker your probably banging the truck up a little in the process.

and on the tranny subject.. some will say one is better than the other but as i said they both have their benefits and downfalls offroad so i wouldnt let that sway your decision there... just choose what you are most comfortable with and what you will be happiest with on the road since most likely that is where it will be driven most..
gothcha.

well i plan on banging it up pretty good. i like the battle scar look on a truck

never driven a manual enough to learn to appreciate it and compare to an auto. i think im guna have to go with the 07 auto sport. hopefully im not missing out on anything with a manual tho.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:05 PM   #8
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yea like i said its all preference i think.. i chose a manual just because i think its more fun having control over the truck.... plus it always puts a smile on everyones face dropping the clutch and taking off
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:22 PM   #9
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I would stick with the LSD for the moderate stuff. Until you start constantly lifting tires or playing in deep mud the LSD will do the trick. I would stick with a real LSD and don't rely on the new traction control stuff. Just my opinion but i also think that it is good to learn how to wheel with limited tools. A lack of lockers and smaller tires will teach you how to drive and read your lines better then starting out in a fully locked rig on 38s that is pretty much point and shoot (at least on the moderate stuff).

The manual/auto argumant is preference. I prefer my manual tranny for more control and compression braking. I also think that rowing gears is just more fun. The downside is that in wheeling the lifespan of the clutch will be much less, due to constantly riding it in low speed maneuvering, and some people are to lazy to want to have to be constantly 'driving'. Another downside is that an auto can shift faster which can make a difference in the mud. If you don't shift fast enough you can lose momentum and bog down. When you start getting into the more difficult wheeling the clutch starts to be a hinderance which is why many rigs run an auto w/ manual valve body.

Chances are if you prefer an auto on the DD then you will probably want one wheeling too. If you prefer the control of the manual on the street you probably will wheeling to.
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:41 PM   #10
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manual FTW!!!


even though it sucks when i get stuck in houston traffic...ugh
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Old 09-22-2009, 04:58 PM   #11
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the auto sport would be a good choice. if you get stuck with the lsd, chances are you will be still be stuck with the locker
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:19 PM   #12
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Get the locker but the trans is up to you. Yes limited slip is no good for off road use
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Old 09-22-2009, 05:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 09 tacoma trd View Post
the auto sport would be a good choice. if you get stuck with the lsd, chances are you will be still be stuck with the locker


....

Not at all.

A mechanical Limited Slip Differential only gives a small fraction of the available torque to the wheel that isn't slipping.

Doesn't even take much of a hill before a locker is going to have a clear advantage.



Also a mechanical LSD gets the less effective the more it's used until it eventually becomes an open differential and needs the clutch plates replaced, much more to go wrong than with the electronic system and more service work to do (for those saying something else to break :P).


A mechanical LSD is probably going to be better for driving around in the rain on paved roads than the electronic LSD, but according to tests I've read on other forums the Auto LSD is actually superior in situations where an LSD is really needed in shorter bursts because it can transfer far more torque to the wheel with traction than a mechanical LSD can.


Locker is gonna be better offroading, especially if you live where it's hilly or damp, but the LSD will be just fine for casual trail riding and such.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:02 PM   #14
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You're correct; the 09 does have an LSD that I don't find very useful when off road. If you press the traction control button once, the traction control turns off and the lsd is activated. however, the traction control engages after 30mph whether you like it or not and if one attempts to slide the truck it wont happen, so basically it dumbs down the traction control a little bit and delivers power to both wheels during a loss of traction. Because the LSD on the new tacoma's never truly disengages the traction control I deem it useless offroad. Is that how it works w/ pre 09 tacoma sports? I would definitely say that the LSD option is superior in wet and snow conditions.

Another nice point about the e locker is that it disengages the ABS allowing the truck to dig into the ground when braking. ABS off road really sucks...
manual vs auto is a personal choice. I have a 6speed and love it to death, it's faster and more fun to drive in my opinion, and if you don't plan on buying a 4x4 i'd opt for a 6sp since you wont be navigating extremely technical trails only possible in a 4x4.
yes an auto is easier when rock crawling and getting through touch trails. Why you ask? B/c if the truck is sitting on a steep grade surrounded by rocks you don't want the truck rolling back while you catch the clutch... sure you could pull on the e brake while letting the clutch out so the truck wont roll back but it's more of pain then anything.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:25 AM   #15
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First sounds like Auto is probably your best choice ie. traffic and little exp w/ a manual... OUr 6spd are fun, but geared short and not the easiest stick to drive.

Second keep in mind the Sport LSD is 'on' 2wd, 4hi and and 4l0. So it helps on dirt and snow, but think rocking down forest roads, your typical light off-roading. Mine has worked great in the fields, dirt roads, and steep lumber tracks. Can usually get up the driveway in winter in 2wd fine.

But if your really crawling in mud and big rocks where wheels start coming off the ground. Then the Off-road's Locker is the ticket. Note it can only be used when your in 4l0 (in stock form) and you've pushed the button. In 2wd and 4hi your open diff rear. A/T tires and skid plates also make it better for true off-roading than the Sport.

Other than the few cosmetic bits (chrome vs color, hoodscoops), Drive em both see what you like better.
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Old 09-23-2009, 08:58 AM   #16
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Good point

Quote:
Originally Posted by oakleyTRD View Post
false, it doesnt happen often but there are places where the LSD has stopped me from completing a obstacle. the second you lift a wheel with the LSD your fucked



i wouldnt go so far as to say its "no good" but it is far from the best option. get the locker, you will be happy you did or else a year down the road your will have to fork over $1500 to get one installed.

OP: No matter how little you say your going to be wheeling the truck that will change, wheeling in these late model tacomas is very addictive, theres something about wheeling in comfort that people appreciate. Get the locker, you will be much happier IMHO
Very true. Wheelin in style is addictive when U see that trail and say "hey let's check this out". The next thing ya know is your head will be buried on this site looking for shit to mod your ride and explain to your significant other exactly why you need every bit of it. She will understand with the repeated therapy of looking at very nicely modified Taco's. The truck can be means of escape from the grind and provide weekends of fun together for more "You and Me time". Score! Now I agree get the locker! If the Sport is your choice you Can get a locker for the front and keep the LSD intact in the rear if it suites your needs better as a daily driver. Just a thought. Either way you can't go wrong with a Taco Sport or Off Road. Best looking truck on the road.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demoncleaner View Post
First sounds like Auto is probably your best choice ie. traffic and little exp w/ a manual... OUr 6spd are fun, but geared short and not the easiest stick to drive.

Second keep in mind the Sport LSD is 'on' 2wd, 4hi and and 4l0. So it helps on dirt and snow, but think rocking down forest roads, your typical light off-roading. Mine has worked great in the fields, dirt roads, and steep lumber tracks. Can usually get up the driveway in winter in 2wd fine.

But if your really crawling in mud and big rocks where wheels start coming off the ground. Then the Off-road's Locker is the ticket. Note it can only be used when your in 4l0 (in stock form) and you've pushed the button. In 2wd and 4hi your open diff rear. A/T tires and skid plates also make it better for true off-roading than the Sport.

Other than the few cosmetic bits (chrome vs color, hoodscoops), Drive em both see what you like better.
Does the Sport traction control stay on to a point when the LSD is activated?
The skid plates on the off road model are jokes. How do I know? Because like countless others i've smashed mine with very little effort. The O.R. does not come w/ all terrain tires, they come equiped with 'rugged trail' tires from BFG, not their a/t model which is superior. All though I will say the bfg rugged failures are better off road then the sports dunflops
Did I mention the 6speed is faster?
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenJammn5 View Post
If you press the traction control button once, the traction control turns off and the lsd is activated. however, the traction control engages after 30mph whether you like it or not and if one attempts to slide the truck it wont happen, so basically it dumbs down the traction control a little bit and delivers power to both wheels during a loss of traction.
You know you can turn off the ALSD and the traction control so it doesn't come on at all, regardless of speed, right? Open diff+no TRAC=lots of sliding and donuts.
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:17 PM   #19
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manual vs auto won't make a bigg difference for light OR, but manual you can slide the rear, and you get short box.. if that's what you prefer.

I prefer auto a I find the manual to be not smooth enough for everyday use.

and LSD would be better than locker as it's well enough for light offroading and locker doesn't give you LSD when not engaged (only fully open) AFAIK. LSD is safer on the street
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Old 09-23-2009, 04:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishshooter View Post
You know you can turn off the ALSD and the traction control so it doesn't come on at all, regardless of speed, right? Open diff+no TRAC=lots of sliding and donuts.
not on a '09, you can't turn everything fully off.
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