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4x4 Binding - Likelihood of Damage :/

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Shortbus47XYY, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:39 AM
    #1
    Shortbus47XYY

    Shortbus47XYY [OP] Member

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    I did something really stupid and learned a hard lesson. I'm hoping to draw on everyone's experience to determine what the chances are that I have severe damage lurking, and/or to find out what signs I should be looking for that may indicate substantial damage.

    Here's the rundown. I was driving the truck in 4x4 on slick Colorado high mountain roads and failed to take the truck out of 4wd after I got off the highway, where the roads were only wet (definitely not slick). As you can expect around 2-3 sharp turns and when I went to park I experienced bucking and skipping as the truck tried to throw the front wheels around to compensate for the difference in speed.

    So yeah, I blew it. Unfortunately every vehicle I have owned before this has been a permanent 4 wheel drive (cruddy unreliable Landovers haha). As dumb as it sounds it really didn't occur to me what was actually happening until I rolled down the window and watched the wheels as I parked and thought oh s#&%, it's shoving the front wheels sideways. The physics that causes this is not foreign to me, but I stupidly did not realize they made 4x4s without center diffs (*serious facepalm*). I feel much shame...

    So what I'm wondering is how much damage I can expect or if this is something I should be stuffing all my spare cash in a piggy bank over. Obviously I realize this is not something to be doing again. Unless I'm in my buddy's truck of course!

    Overall there was noticeable bucking on about 4 occasions. I pushed through each of them "tenderly", at around 5-10mph and the lowest possible revs that got the truck to move. The only noise this made was the tire squeal. I did not hear anything under the truck. Also, it did go back into 2wd with just a mild clunk. And later back on the ice slick it went back into 4wd no noises, then back into 2wd when the road got dry again. Thanks everyone!
     
  2. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:47 AM
    #2
    bzzr2

    bzzr2 Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry, your truck will be fine!!!
     
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  3. Oct 11, 2018 at 12:49 AM
    #3
    Comatose

    Comatose You whack it, we pack it.

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    You're probably ok, but you can damage your CV, front diff, or xfer case.
     
    Shortbus47XYY [OP] and tonered like this.
  4. Oct 11, 2018 at 5:25 AM
    #4
    kgilly

    kgilly Well-Known Member

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    is it still under warranty? the dealer would have to prove you did something wrong if they didn't cover it..but I would push it if its under warranty.
     
    Shortbus47XYY [OP] likes this.
  5. Oct 11, 2018 at 5:34 AM
    #5
    Beer:30

    Beer:30 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I wouldn't worry about it. I'd be shocked if there was any damage at all.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2018 at 5:50 AM
    #6
    Enfield1

    Enfield1 Well-Known Member

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    This. It's more robust than you might think. You will most likely be replacing a CV before a transfer case.
     
    Shortbus47XYY [OP] likes this.
  7. Oct 11, 2018 at 6:04 AM
    #7
    WorKinJoB

    WorKinJoB Well-Known Member

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    Were you in 4 Hi? I’m assuming you were if you were doing interestate/highway speeds. As stated above, the CVs are what take the beating on hard pack. I know it’s not the most ethical thing to do but If you are worried, take it to the dealer and tell them the 4x4 is popping or making noises. If they find something let them fix it. If they don’t have them make a report on it so when warranty runs out you have a case if it shows back up.
     
    Shortbus47XYY [OP] likes this.
  8. Oct 11, 2018 at 6:10 AM
    #8
    gulzeb

    gulzeb G

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    I did this once when truck was new. Took a couple of sharp turns when it wasn’t quite slippery enough. I’m now at 45k with no issues.
     
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  9. Oct 11, 2018 at 1:19 PM
    #9
    Shortbus47XYY

    Shortbus47XYY [OP] Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the insight. A lot of great information here, from everyone! It's nice to know the systems are, or at least are supposed to be, more robust than I figured. Thanks Enfield1, Beer:30, bzzr2, gulzeb, and comatose for that perspective.

    To answer some questions from above I did have it in 4 hi, fortunately I did know better than to take a high speed jot ride in low range. Also, I do think the truck is still under warranty. It's only at 30k miles...

    Sounds like my best course of action is just to keep an eye out for anything unusual and avoid a repeat. If I hear anything I'll be sure to bring it in as kgilly and WorKinJob advised. Otherwise I'll bring it in for a look next chance I get before I wait out the warranty. Thanks again.
     
  10. Oct 11, 2018 at 1:27 PM
    #10
    Shortbus47XYY

    Shortbus47XYY [OP] Member

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    On this same topic I was talking to a buddy of mine who actually has a bit of experience with his part time 4x4, and he mentioned that in our weather conditions he usually leaves his truck in 4x4 even on wet pavement if the conditions are below freezing, and will just remember to switch back on the off ramp and does not take tight turns or go flying. He says he tries to keep it no faster than 65.

    This sounds appealing to me because up here the high rockies it's pretty common to be on wet surface and go around a shaded corner where a few inches of snow and ice will pop up unexpectedly. But as stated I'm experienced with cars that tend to break anytime that you use them outside of how they were designed, so I don't know how rough this would be on the taco.

    What do you all advise?
     
  11. Oct 11, 2018 at 1:35 PM
    #11
    SR-71A

    SR-71A Define "Well-Known Member"

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    My 2 cents, and what I do in Maine, add a couple hundred pounds of tube sand over the rear axel. 4x4 hi only if shit gets real squirrely
     
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  12. Oct 11, 2018 at 2:06 PM
    #12
    Enfield1

    Enfield1 Well-Known Member

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    I can't comment on ice or snow, lol.
     
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  13. Oct 11, 2018 at 2:38 PM
    #13
    Mark_H

    Mark_H Well-Known Member

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    Umm...what am I missing here? Is everyone saying you shouldn't put a vehicle into 4Hi on anything other than sheets of ice? Here in CO you could drive to work in a blizzard and drive home on dry roads...I've left many 4x4 (w/ manual transfer cases) vehicles in 4Hi on dry roads for days on end.
     
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  14. Oct 11, 2018 at 2:44 PM
    #14
    phsycle

    phsycle Well-Known Member

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    Why? Binding or not, that's completely unnecessary.
     
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  15. Oct 11, 2018 at 2:51 PM
    #15
    Beer:30

    Beer:30 Well-Known Member

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    No, I don't think any of us are saying that. If the roads are clearly dry, I'm going to be running in 2H. If roads are wet with ice patches, I will run in 4H until I get to where I'm going or until the roads become dry. Back in the day of manual locking hubs and a manual shift transfer case, I'd generally lock in the hubs and leave 'em locked all winter and just shift the TC in and out of 4H on the fly as needed.
     
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  16. Oct 11, 2018 at 3:01 PM
    #16
    Shortbus47XYY

    Shortbus47XYY [OP] Member

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    That makes sense. So what I'm gathering is probably not a big deal if the roads are wet and cold and the risk is there, just take it off before going into tight turns or when the road dries up. That seems pretty doable...
     
  17. Oct 11, 2018 at 3:12 PM
    #17
    jmauvais

    jmauvais My momma sez Im speshul

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    You didn’t damage anything... this is a common test to perform actually. You engage the 4Hi, and turn the wheel slightly on the pavement. The popping is the truck trying to bend from the power being at an angle and the grip of the tires. The frame bends ever so slightly and snaps back in to place once the tires break free. I used to do this on used trucks when shopping for them. It’s a good indicator that the four wheel drive works. The trucks I bought for that company went on for years and years of hard use on back country and mountain roads.

    Literally nothing on your truck is broken. They are designed to take much more abuse than a slight flex on pavement.
     
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  18. Oct 11, 2018 at 3:15 PM
    #18
    Beer:30

    Beer:30 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, that's pretty much it. What's going to vary between drivers is their 2WD vs 4WD comfort level. For some, they'll have to be clearly losing traction before shifting into 4H, while others will get in as soon as there's the slightest hint that the roads might be slick. There's no right answer. Just do what makes sense for you and try not to do anything that causes binding. A little binding now and again like what you experienced likely won't cause any damage, but I wouldn't go making a habit of doing it. Driving down a dry freeway in 4H isn't going to hurt anything, but as the poster above me stated, there's no reason to do that.
     
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