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Old 07-10-2008, 03:48 AM   #1
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Locking Rear Differential

What is the deal with a locking rear differential? If I have a 2X2 with a locking rear differential, how close (in performance) does that make it to a 4X4?
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Old 07-10-2008, 04:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SearchingTacoma View Post
What is the deal with a locking rear differential? If I have a 2X2 with a locking rear differential, how close (in performance) does that make it to a 4X4?
...I'll try to explain the basics to ya...

There's a few different 'rear differentials' on the tacomas.
1) OPEN differential
2) LSD differential
3) Auto LSD
4) Locking differential

An Open differential (or open CARRIER) is what most cars/trucks have. Hard to explain - but when you make a turn, the rear wheels aren't going at the same speed or distance. Having this variance - the carrier needs to adjust for it allowing one wheel to stop turning (or slip). For example: If one wheel is in the air - all the power will go to the wheel with least resistance (tire in the air). Thus, the tire on the ground is sitting there motionless. That means, you're not moving at all.

An LSD differential has a different carrier that allows for some traction in certain situations. It uses clutches in the differential, that force both wheels to be driven together up to a certain torque load when the clutches release and you have an OPEN diff. An LSD differential is better than an OPEN diff for traction offroad. The LSD is automatic and works at all times without you knowing it.

3) An AUTO LSD (on trucks with VSC stuff) has an OPEN diff/carrier but uses the brakes to prevent any rear wheel to stop spinning. This is supposed to aid in tractin also...but I personally don't have any experience in how that all works.

4) The Tacoma locking differential is selectable. That means, you can turn it on or off at anytime (Prerunners only). When the locker is OFF - you have an OPEN differential. When the locker is ON - the two rear wheels are LOCKED in. Both wheels will spin at the same rate all the time. If you have one wheel off the ground - the power will continue to drive both wheels.
On the 4X4 models - you have to be in 4Lo range to turn the locker on.


There's a heated debate on the capabilities of the locked 4x2 versus a 4x4.
For ultimate offroading capabilities - you'll wanna get a 4x4 with the TRD Offroad package (rear locker).
If you drive in any snow - I'd highly recommend the 4x4 with the LSD.
In a 4x2 and have the locker - you should avoid using the locker for daily driving (unless you're in snow and need it).
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:12 AM   #4
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so wouldnt a 4x4 w/ auto lsd and a 4x4 w/ locker be fairly matched when offroad and in 4x4?
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:18 AM   #5
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Somewhat.

But the LSD is gonna differentiate your power. The locker keeps your power locked equal between both wheels at all times.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:18 AM   #6
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but if ur in 4wd...shouldnt all 4 tires be moving anyways?
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:20 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhodge83 View Post
so wouldnt a 4x4 w/ auto lsd and a 4x4 w/ locker be fairly matched when offroad and in 4x4?
If buy fairly you mean slightly less than,I would say yes.Equal?? is a no.Refer to the "it's alive" again thread on 2x4 vrs.4x4.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhodge83 View Post
so wouldnt a 4x4 w/ auto lsd and a 4x4 w/ locker be fairly matched when offroad and in 4x4?
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.........

From what I understand, the Auto LSD uses the brakes simply to apply braking (pulsations I think) to the wheel that is slipping. Certainly it allows the wheel a 'chance' to gain traction again, but it has nothing to do with direct drive at the wheels.

I would think even the mechanical LSD (LSD carrier) is better for traction than the Auto LSD - and I only say that because it's directly connected to the driveline via clutches.

The locker - when engaged - is directly connected to the driveline. 100% power going to both wheels at all times.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05TacoTRD View Post
Somewhat.

But the LSD is gonna differentiate your power. The locker keeps your power locked equal between both wheels at all times.
What he said.In the dirt locked is where it's at.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:24 AM   #10
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That's what most people believe. Keep in mind, our trucks only come with LSD/Locker/Whatever in the rear. The front is an open differential. In a situation where your losing traction up front, only one front wheel will spin. If you lose traction in the rear, your differential is gonna differentiate power to whichever wheel has no traction to regain traction. Thus your wheels that do have traction get no power and the wheels that don't have traction do, making you get stuck.

This is why lockers are good. You have guaranteed power to both rear wheels (and front if you have a front diff locker).

I hope that made sense. I didn't sleep last night and am basically kept awake by large amounts of caffeine.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:25 AM   #11
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but what about my second question?........if ur in 4wd...shouldnt all 4 tires be moving anyways?
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhodge83 View Post
but what about my second question?........if ur in 4wd...shouldnt all 4 tires be moving anyways?
While on flat ground,yes.( Not meant as a wise crack.)
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhodge83 View Post
but what about my second question?........if ur in 4wd...shouldnt all 4 tires be moving anyways?
Depends on the terrain and the situation....

The front & rear axles work seperately from eachother (so to speak). Power is not tranferred front to back.

OPEN DIFF (non locked) - If you're stuck in a ditch with both passenger side tires (front & rear) in the air....they'll both spin and you won't have any forward momentum at all - you're stuck. That's because the open carrier forces all the power to the path of least resistance (tires in the air).

Take the same scenario....you're stuck in that same ditch with passenger side tires in the air (front & rear) - but you engage that rear locker..... then you will be able to drive yourself out because ONE wheel (rear driver side) will have ALL the torque on it to drive out of the ditch (atleast until the other tires reach ground/traction.

On a side note: ONE wheel drive (so to speak - as listed above) can be very bad because you're putting all that much torque on that one wheel which can cause breakage much easier and quicker.
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Old 07-10-2008, 06:59 AM   #14
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damn...i wanted to get a 4x4 sport, but u guys might be making me change my mind...lol
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhodge83 View Post
damn...i wanted to get a 4x4 sport, but u guys might be making me change my mind...lol
I guess you don't get much snow down in S.C.?

If not...than yeah, the TRD locker is the best choice for offroading.

The LSD is better for us wintery driving people who want a little extra insurance (traction) in the snow.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
I guess you don't get much snow down in S.C.?
SC/NC....uh no....lol the LSD works well on the trails and beach. it definately worked like it should, but now the 09's went to the auto lsd as a standard feature....so that kinda blows
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:54 AM   #17
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So in 4x4 mode with a TRD sport which has a LSD. The front wheels are still locked right?
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klown View Post
So in 4x4 mode with a TRD sport which has a LSD. The front wheels are still locked right?
Front differential is OPEN in every Tacoma. The only way to have the front diff locked is with an aftermarket locker.

Atleast We get ATRAC in the '09s.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:57 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klown View Post
So in 4x4 mode with a TRD sport which has a LSD. The front wheels are still locked right?
the front wheels dont lock in a stock sport or OR. only the back. the front wheels should still move, however.
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Old 07-10-2008, 07:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 05TacoTRD View Post
Front differential is OPEN in every Tacoma. The only way to have the front diff locked is with an aftermarket locker.

Atleast We get ATRAC in the '09s.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhodge83 View Post
the front wheels dont lock in a stock sport or OR. only the back. the front wheels should still move, however.
So then why is it so hard to make a turn on dry pavement in my TRD sport in 4HI?
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