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A-TRAC/TRAC/AUTO LSD Explained (Easy to understand, I hope!)

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Old 09-18-2013, 09:34 AM   #1401
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:00 AM   #1402
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:13 AM   #1403
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If I came across to some of you as putting down front lockers, I am sorry... I have tried many times to make it clear that I am talking about what Toyota gives us with the Off Road, and how much more secure it is off road than anything else from the factory. If you can afford the aftermarket front locker and do that extreme type of off roading, great.

This A-TRAC Tacoma is a 'level' or even a 'world' above my previous Off Road 4WD Tacomas ('01, '05) in traction, and more... I don't fear getting stuck (not that getting stuck was a problem before, but it happened briefly a few times), and I easily pull others out of trouble with my 2010.

I just want folks to know they will really be hard pressed to find a more 'off road' able STOCK Tacoma... and should see if their off roading requirements are not met with the A-TRAC before sinking thousands more into after-market systems. The truck is amazing right from the showroom floor.

Lifts, bigger/ better tires, front lockers, better suspension are all great things, but not mandatory for a lot of Tacoma drivers... but there's nothing wrong with them!

The Mission Santa Maria run is a darn good test of traction and durability... you will get rock damage, and you must have a locker, traction control, or extra ground clearance to insure you get through and back out. My 3, pure stock Tacomas all have been to the mission and all three got some damage, but made it in and out on their own. The 2010 trip was the most difficult of the 4 times I been over that road and the one Toyota without a locker or traction aid, required being pulled through the bog. One other Tacoma blew its differential and had to be pulled back out. My 2010 with A-TRAC was amazing and other than the bumper being pulled almost off and some rocks making noise in my front wheels briefly (Paul checked that), I had no issues with the drive.

From the sound of it, A-TRAC has gone through some generation changes since it was first applied on Toyota and Lexus vehicles (2001?). My A-TRAC does not 'pulse' the brakes and you can see videos of the tires on each axle rotating the same (one in the air and one on the ground), when A-TRAC is working... It does not stay 'locked', so steering is not an issue (on solid ground), but it re-locks quickly if slippage is detected. It is this brief release and re-locking of the tires and the strange noises that makes A-TRAC seem less smooth than lockers and takes more effort or time to negotiate a low traction section of trail... BUT, it is already on the (Off Road 4WD) truck for no extra cost.... IMO, getting further off road is better served by bigger tires and added ground clearance as the first place to spend extra dollars.

Finally, it was Art, who custom built the 4WD van/ motorhome with front and rear ARB lockers, who told me (after seeing how my truck did), that A-TRAC was better than lockers... my reply was "really?" and I think it was because the Santa Maria trail requires low range and lockers (or A-TRAC) for so long, it was becoming a chore for him to constantly deactivate his lockers due to the many sharp turns on that all rock road. The A-TRAC is like an automatic locker on the front and rear. Just leave it on and it works only when you loose traction.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:13 AM   #1404
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Thank you David K. for the excellent post. Finally, I have a clear picture of what I have in my 2013 DC TRD OR in the way of gear and drive selections. Not sure why some are making a pissing contest about front lockers. I am pretty sure that less than .01% of Taco owners would spend the money for this and it should probably have a thread of it's own.

I'm just sayin'...,
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:10 AM   #1405
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I read through about 12 pages of this but didnt find an answer for a situation like this. There is a large dirt hill by me that few trucks make it up. Its a steep grade that goes on for about 200 yards. Most people start the hill at about 30 miles and hour and then lose all ther momentum half way up and have to back down in reverse. once you lose your momentum you are relying on the trucks systems. How should I approach a hill like this in my 4x4 trd offroad? 4hi, 4 lo, atrac on?
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:00 PM   #1406
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mademan925 View Post
I read through about 12 pages of this but didnt find an answer for a situation like this. There is a large dirt hill by me that few trucks make it up. Its a steep grade that goes on for about 200 yards. Most people start the hill at about 30 miles and hour and then lose all ther momentum half way up and have to back down in reverse. once you lose your momentum you are relying on the trucks systems. How should I approach a hill like this in my 4x4 trd offroad? 4hi, 4 lo, atrac on?
I would make two runs and compare...

1) L4, A-TRAC ON... No run, just climb... Having 4WD Low Range is to avoid the need for momentum and breaking parts because of speed (unless this is a smooth surface).

2) L4, A-TRAC ON + REAR LOCKER ON... if #1 didn't get you to the top, try this. With the rear locked, wheel spin (on the rear) is not limited... Let us know how it goes.

3) For fun, and to see how TRAC works in H4, do an H4 run (if a newer model with the TRAC OFF mode, use that, if 2011 or older, the standard H4 mode (TRAC).
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Old 09-23-2013, 03:19 PM   #1407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David K View Post
I would make two runs and compare...

1) L4, A-TRAC ON... No run, just climb... Having 4WD Low Range is to avoid the need for momentum and breaking parts because of speed (unless this is a smooth surface).

2) L4, A-TRAC ON + REAR LOCKER ON... if #1 didn't get you to the top, try this. With the rear locked, wheel spin (on the rear) is not limited... Let us know how it goes.

3) For fun, and to see how TRAC works in H4, do an H4 run (if a newer model with the TRAC OFF mode, use that, if 2011 or older, the standard H4 mode (TRAC).
Will do. How fast can I start the hill in L4 with Atrac on?
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:21 PM   #1408
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You can always take them all off and get some wheel spin to warm up the tires - then go for it.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:12 AM   #1409
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The whole idea of 4WD and specially Low Range is not speed... Speed damages things... Being able to crawl over rocks and up grades without speed or wheel spin (that damages roads and tires) is the benefit of 4WD and Low Range.

It is 2WDs that need momentum to get past a limiter. The gearing in Low Range will not allow much speed, maybe 30 mph? Use the traction systems, horsepower, good tire tread, and lower air pressure to climb and not speed!
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:43 AM   #1410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mademan925 View Post
I read through about 12 pages of this but didnt find an answer for a situation like this. There is a large dirt hill by me that few trucks make it up. Its a steep grade that goes on for about 200 yards. Most people start the hill at about 30 miles and hour and then lose all ther momentum half way up and have to back down in reverse. once you lose your momentum you are relying on the trucks systems. How should I approach a hill like this in my 4x4 trd offroad? 4hi, 4 lo, atrac on?
Take some video for us when you do it, including which mode you are in for each climb. That would be really cool. And maybe some footage of other trucks trying too.
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:07 PM   #1411
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David K View Post
The whole idea of 4WD and specially Low Range is not speed... Speed damages things... Being able to crawl over rocks and up grades without speed or wheel spin (that damages roads and tires) is the benefit of 4WD and Low Range.

It is 2WDs that need momentum to get past a limiter. The gearing in Low Range will not allow much speed, maybe 30 mph? Use the traction systems, horsepower, good tire tread, and lower air pressure to climb and not speed!

About 15 mph is about all that can be had out of 4lo. The gearing will be whining out by that point
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:38 AM   #1412
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Originally Posted by PBR Streetgang View Post
Take some video for us when you do it, including which mode you are in for each climb. That would be really cool. And maybe some footage of other trucks trying too.

Im busy this weeking but maybe next weekend. There are a lot of videos on youtube and a few almost crash. Type in trucks at hollister hill.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:52 AM   #1413
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBR Streetgang View Post
Take some video for us when you do it, including which mode you are in for each climb. That would be really cool. And maybe some footage of other trucks trying too.
When (if) this gets done, be sure to be aggressive when using A-TRAC. What I mean is if you come to a rock or log, do give it the gas to climb up. Some may be used to wheel spin on the one tire (open diff) when the traction tire stops moving. A-TRAC (and TRAC in H4 to a lesser degree) matches tire rotation, so that loose tire won't spin like it did before A-TRAC. Give it the gas, and make the truck climb up the rock... I call that 'waking-up' the A-TRAC.

A former TW member video recorded the front tire of his Tacoma at the base of a rock, gave it a couple of bumps, and then posted A-TRAC didn't work. My truck acts like an army tank with the A-TRAC, it climbs anything I put in front of it if there is any traction to be had.

It is simple: 4 tires that pull the truck beats just two (one in the front and one in the back). A-TRAC (like lockers) makes all the tires productive to move you. TRAC without engine regulation (AUTO LSD/ TRAC OFF MODE) is a limited slip that shares power to all tires, but not as equally as A-TRAC or lockers, so there is some spin on the loose tires, just not as much as with no traction control.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:44 PM   #1414
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Traction Options Quick Reference Card

I just wanted to post this quick reference card (as an attachment) that I made to keep track of all of my truck's traction options. If you print it on card stock, cut it out, and laminate it, it will fit perfectly in the little pouch on the driver's side sun visor. It begins by listing three options for L4 driving. The first one adds back some automation, while the other two deal with locking the differential and Downhill Assist Control. The remaining four options are the different modes for the VSC OFF switch. I used the info from the owners's manual to create this and keep it handy for when I am in a bind and need answers regarding the truck's capability. I hope that it may help others with the TRD Off Road package and automatic transmissions in experimenting with the options without holding a book in their hands.

I welcome any comments and/or editing suggestions.

See my full build here:
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/new...oma-owner.html
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File Type: pdf Tacoma QR Traction Options.pdf (211.2 KB, 106 views)
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:38 AM   #1415
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That is awesome. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:45 AM   #1416
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David K View Post
Maybe!??

In H4 we 2009-2011 have 'TRAC', but it is without engine regulation (same as AUTO LSD is in H2). We also can hold down the button in H4 for VSC OFF for no traction control or stability control.

The 2012+ mighty have two traction on choices, as well as VSC OFF, and that is TRAC (has engine regulation, like in 2WD) and now AUTO LSD in H4 (was called TRAC before)... only Toyota calls it 'TRAC OFF' (instead of AUTO LSD).

So, (maybe) there is an extra choice for the 2012+ Tacomas...

In H4:
TRAC (traction control with engine regulation)
TRAC OFF (traction control without regulation)*
VSC OFF (no traction control or stability control)

* this was called 'TRAC' until 2012, and the same function as AUTO LSD in H2, but on all 4.
I agree with this. One thing I noticed when in 4H and push the button for TRAC-OFF mode, its only good for <30mph. Once you go over 30mph TRAC-OFF light turns off. And it will stay this way until you push the button again. Even when slowing below 30mph it will not automatically re-enable. You must push the button again.
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Old 01-13-2014, 01:07 AM   #1417
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Here is a less wordy chart, that included the changes made in 2012:

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...ml#post8000440
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:51 AM   #1418
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Thanks for the informative thread, this is exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:12 AM   #1419
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Happy to help!
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:06 PM   #1420
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Just curious, what are your experiences with the YWM in snow? I did the YWM yesterday and took it out to try in the snow. Four different times I tried starting in VERY limited traction situations and it did NOT get me out. Two times in 8-10" all 4 just dug myself deeper, then had to shovel my way out. Then twice on hard snow packed/icy hills. I would stop in the middle of the hill try to start from a stop. I would either just sit and spin or wheels would spin while I would slide backwards.

I am pretty sure that I did the YWM correctly. When I was stuck in deep snow, the 4Lo light would blink, and I would watch the left rear tire spin, then stop and I could hear the right rear spin and it would go back and forth.

Now, I am assuming my BFG AT's with 4/32's tread left didn't help the situation. I am long overdue for new tires. But that is a subject for another thread. :-)

So, two questions:
1. What are your experiences in snow, either deep or hard packed?
2. I am assuming I did it correct (I have limited mechanical experience)? Since in 4lo I saw the tire spin alternating from side to side. In the past, while I was in 4lo the tires would just spin.

Just for the record. Disconnected battery. Pulled out first white clip of wires. I cut the second yellow wire (with the thin black line), and installed a switch that I attached to the inside of the glove box. My truck is 5+ years old and paid off so I am not worried about dealer and warranty. When I switch it off, the 4lo goes solid and tire just spins.

Just letting you know. I posted these questions in a few threads, not sure where I would get answers.
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