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2004 Tacoma 4wd differential locked in 2wd mode

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by pittsburghtacoman, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. Dec 9, 2016 at 8:40 AM
    #1
    pittsburghtacoman

    pittsburghtacoman [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Member:
    #204406
    Messages:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gary
    Vehicle:
    2004 Tacoma TRD 4wd
    K&N Filterchager, Magnaflow stainless cat-back exhaust, 2 inch lift/leveling kit, 265/75R17 tires on 8 inch wheels
    Hey out there. I have a 2004 Tacoma TRD s-runner 4wd V6. It's been a great truck, meticulously maintained, 162,000 miles. I just replaced the rear wheel axle bearings and seals and removed the differential carrier so I could inspect the ring and pinion and the axle gears and spider gears and bearings, and clean out the axle housing. Everything went really well, but now the rear differential feels like it's locked while I'm in 2wd mode (the rear tires skitter when I make slow, tight turns like pulling into a parking space. During the maintenance I filled the rear diff with Red-Line gear oil, 2qrts 75W-90 and 1qrt 80W-140. Anyone have an idea how to get this diff to unlock? I do use the 4wd mode in bad weather, usually in 4high.
     
  2. Dec 9, 2016 at 11:01 AM
    #2
    TacomaJunkie8691

    TacomaJunkie8691 1999WineTacoma

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Member:
    #153969
    Messages:
    596
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    FrstGenTacomaLover
    WA State
    Vehicle:
    1999 Wine Tacoma SR5 Exta-Cab 4wd V6
    Completely Stock except for Ranch 5000 Shocks and Struts.
    Hey Pittsburg,
    How are you? I can see this is a very frustrating dilemma for you after you did all of this work on your rear differential, and you certainly did a lot of good work. The thing you might of done inadvertently while you were doing all of the mechanical maintenance on your rear differential is damage your electronic rear differential's intelligence. You could have accidentally severed a wire or damaged the connection housing.
    The first thing I would look at is check what happens when you switch your e-locker to the on position, and then check to see what happens when you turn it off. You want to be looking at your dashboard to see if the indicator goes on and off based on what you are doing to the switch. The next thing you need to do is see if the rear wheels are locked when the switch is off. The best way to do this is to jack up the back end and check it manually with the vehicle off. If they are in fact locked, you need to need to start tracing the e-locker's wire from the dashboard to the connection on the rear differential. It most likely is the connection on the rear differential that is not functioning properly or is broken.
    Good Luck,
    Paul
     
  3. Dec 9, 2016 at 11:28 AM
    #3
    pittsburghtacoman

    pittsburghtacoman [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Member:
    #204406
    Messages:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gary
    Vehicle:
    2004 Tacoma TRD 4wd
    K&N Filterchager, Magnaflow stainless cat-back exhaust, 2 inch lift/leveling kit, 265/75R17 tires on 8 inch wheels
    Hey Paul thanks for your response. I'm pulling the truck into the garage in a few minutes. Last night when I noticed the problem, I shifted the transfer case to 4low and pressed the e-locker switch on the dash. The "diff lock" light switched on and off, but the diff would unlock. I'm going to try all this again, then I'll jack it up and spin the rear wheels to verify if it's locked. Then I'll get under and check the connections (I did disconnect the locker and removed it from the diff carrier when I had it apart. There was no bad corrosion as I had stripped and painted the axle housing two years ago. The only thing that stayed connected to the locker housing looks like a vacuum line. Is this true? Anyway I just set the locker on top of the axle housing so it couldn,t fall. I also cleaned it thoroughly with everything else, but I forgot to check the movement of the rack gear. I'm going back in. I'll let you know what I find. Thank you.
    Gary
     
  4. Dec 9, 2016 at 8:22 PM
    #4
    pittsburghtacoman

    pittsburghtacoman [OP] Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Member:
    #204406
    Messages:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Gary
    Vehicle:
    2004 Tacoma TRD 4wd
    K&N Filterchager, Magnaflow stainless cat-back exhaust, 2 inch lift/leveling kit, 265/75R17 tires on 8 inch wheels
    Success! It turned out to be mechanical problem - I removed the e-locker and found that the rack gear lever was kicked to the right side of the truck, and the worm gear was not engaging to unlock the axles. I must have bumped the rack when I was cleaning the differential carrier, so I essentially put the differential into lock manually. I was able to click it back in position with a screwdriver. Then I tested the e-locker while my brother held it under the truck. The worm gear rotated to engage and disengage positions. We bolted it back on and tested it again, and it worked. Axles are unlocked and the diff light on the dash is illuminated steady when the diff is locked, and the electrical connections are solid (I disconnected and cleaned them). Problem solved. Thanks
     
  5. Dec 10, 2016 at 8:19 AM
    #5
    TacomaJunkie8691

    TacomaJunkie8691 1999WineTacoma

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Member:
    #153969
    Messages:
    596
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    FrstGenTacomaLover
    WA State
    Vehicle:
    1999 Wine Tacoma SR5 Exta-Cab 4wd V6
    Completely Stock except for Ranch 5000 Shocks and Struts.
    Congratulations Gary
     

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