Originally Posted by HomeGrown
Great overview David, thank you for compiling that information into one easy-to-understand post!
Is the TRAC or ALSD as effective as an old-school limited-slip or posi differential?
Glad it was helpful! You're welcome!
Good question, the guys with the '05-'08 Sport TRDs or who have changed their differentials to posi-traction/ limited slip differentials will tell you no (but how do they know until they have a truck with TRAC to compare?).
I had an '01 and an '05 OR Tacoma before my '10... and all I can tell you that TRAC in H4 knocks the socks off open differential 4WDs.
Part of four wheeling is getting stuck or discovering your limitations... lowering air pressure is typically how we improve traction or floatation over difficult terrain. I do a lot of four wheeling in Baja in deep sand (beaches on the Sea of Cortez near San Felipe).
With 4WD open differentials, and fully inflated tires, you get only so far before a stuck... one tire in front and one tire in the rear spin (and the other two do nothing). Lowering the pressure to 10-15 psi allows you to continue on... this is very soft, deep sand mixed with crushed shells so it doesn't compact like a lot of other beach sand does.
The first time I drove my 2010 Tacoma onto that beach (with TRAC in H4), it didn't come to a stop and spin tires! I was amazed...
To test that it was indeed the new TRAC system that mad the difference, I turned off the VSC & TRAC in H4... and after a few feet my truck got stuck !!!
This gave me a chance to test the A-TRAC... and so I put it in L4 and turned on A-TRAC... gave it the gas... the truck made some noise, and shaked a bit... and then drove itself out of the stuck. All without me getting out to clear away sand or to let any air out of the tires! I went back into H4 with TRAC back on, and drove about the rest of the weekend on the beach and in arroyos (dry washes) with tires at 32 psi.
Naturally, I was enthusiastic about TRAC and A-TRAC from then on... and in the 16 months since then, the A-TRAC and TRAC have never disappointed me!