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4x4 question

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Messy Jesse, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. Dec 2, 2009 at 6:10 AM
    #1
    Messy Jesse

    Messy Jesse [OP] Member

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    Hey guys, I've got a 99 regular cab 4x4 manual trans Tacoma. I suppose this is the right forum to ask because it isn't an off-road question but I need some 4wd advice.

    This is my first 4x4 vehichle. My buddy explained to me that it is bad to put it in 4wd unless it is really slick out (snow, ice) or in the soft stuff because there is no center diff. Turning in 4wd doesn't allow the front to turn faster than the rear, but that is ok when the tires can slip. My problem is that in the rain I sometimes have a hard time starting from a stop on a hill. In 2wd I'll spin the tires. What I've been doing is putting it in 4wd only if I'm going straight. Sometimes I'll be stopped on a hill where I'll have to turn at the top (a lot of hills here). So my question is: are wet roads slick enough to use 4wd all the time without damaging anything?

    What do you guys do? Leave it in 4 all the time? What about weight in the rear (I never liked that idea, but I could try it).

    Thanks
     
  2. Dec 2, 2009 at 6:22 AM
    #2
    Kuneff

    Kuneff Carpe Diem

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    If your just throwing it in 4wd to get up a steep hill, I think you would be fine...
     
  3. Dec 2, 2009 at 6:25 AM
    #3
    Ry1984

    Ry1984 Well-Known Member

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    i would try weight in the rear, before leaving it in 4 hi all the time. are your tires good and appropriate for the conditions?
     
  4. Dec 2, 2009 at 6:46 AM
    #4
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Leave it in 2WD for regular on-road driving. If for some reason you need to put it in 4WD while on pavement, AVOID making tight turns or else the driveline & CV joints can bind up. You'll know when they bind up, as it'll start bucking & won't move when you step on the gas. When it does that - DO NOT FORCE IT. Get it out of 4WD and try again.

    In the winter when there's snow covering everything, I'm always in 4WD. But if there's no snow or no ice - I'm in 2WD.

    In summer, if its raining pretty hard...I'll engage 4WD on the highway while driving straight. But - that's not because I need 4WD, it's only to keep the system lubricated and I feel a bit safer while in terrential downpours using it.

    If you're having trouble in the rain on hills - I'd recommend lowering your air pressure in your rear tires a few lbs (but don't go below the recommended). Also - check your tires. It might be time for some fresh tires. The stock tires on mine are beginning to really suck on the roads in the rain and depending on how this winter goes...I might be ditching them for new ones.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2009 at 7:57 AM
    #5
    STLharry

    STLharry Lube: It's the key to penetration.

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    Do you have manual locking hubs?
     
  6. Dec 2, 2009 at 11:00 AM
    #6
    Messy Jesse

    Messy Jesse [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I have automatic locking hubs. My tires are in good shape. They are all-terrains with plenty of tread left. I'll try some weight in the rear. What do you recommend (sand, water bags, etc)? I know, weight is weight, but what do you find most convenient?

    I brought this up because the other day I had to stop at the top of a pretty steep hill with a turn tighter than 90 degrees, and I just couldn't make it up. Even using the e-brake to avoid rolling back, I had to throw it in 4 to get up it.
     
  7. Dec 2, 2009 at 11:05 AM
    #7
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    Are you talking about offroading? Or on the wet pavement?

    What's your air pressure are you running?
     
  8. Dec 2, 2009 at 11:14 AM
    #8
    Werloc

    Werloc Large Member

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    Yeah, there is NO weight in the back of these trucks. I have trouble pulling out on a highway in the rain. Just no traction at all. Your gunna have to learn to feather the peddle some. Or you could put some weight in the back. IF you do put it in 4x4, like said above, do NOT turn. Keep mthat in mind when trying to stop too. You'll slide easy, so allow yourself extra room....;)
     
  9. Dec 2, 2009 at 11:24 AM
    #9
    sachou

    sachou Well-Known Member

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    Because you have the auto hubs, can't you just switch between 2wd and 4wd seamlessly? Like, under 50mph and I think you're okay, plus you have a manual, so the clutch should make that no problem.

    I would just go back into 2wd while turning, and just use 4wd to get momentum.

    I have manual hubs, but I sometimes do this in the rain if I want to accelerate faster. (locking the hubs first, of course)
     
  10. Dec 3, 2009 at 5:20 AM
    #10
    Messy Jesse

    Messy Jesse [OP] Member

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    I'm only talking about wet pavement. I'm not sure if 4wd will disengage as soon as I switch it. The light stays on for another 100 feet or so.

    I'm pretty sure I just need some weight in the back now that I've read some other threads.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  11. Dec 3, 2009 at 7:46 AM
    #11
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    If you're going uphill or otherwise throttling to keep momentum and try to switch back into 2WD, the truck will remain in 4WD until the torque is released or you've stopped accelerating (so to speak) and have come to flat ground.

    Just seems odd that you have to add weight just for normal daily driving. Depending on how much weight you add - can suck up some extra MPG.
     
  12. Dec 3, 2009 at 8:08 AM
    #12
    Messy Jesse

    Messy Jesse [OP] Member

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    If I didn't need to stop I could drive around in the wet all day long. My problem is starting from a stop on a steep hill. When I give it the extra throttle to get up the hill, the torque is too much and the tires spin.

    "Just seems odd that you have to add weight just for normal daily driving. Depending on how much weight you add - can suck up some extra MPG."

    That is why I was trying to avoid adding the weight, but it looks like it'll be necessary. Thats the price you pay for having such a light truck. I'm thinking about making a little wooden frame to hold cinder blocks over the rear axle and prevent them from decapitating me in a collision.
     
  13. Dec 3, 2009 at 8:40 AM
    #13
    sachou

    sachou Well-Known Member

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    ...Seems like way too much effort just for daily driving...

    Try getting your tires siped. That will probably help.
     
  14. Dec 3, 2009 at 9:51 AM
    #14
    Madjik_Man

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    I find it strange that if your tires are in good shape that you're having a hard time making it up a wet, paved incline. Unless there's a mini flash flood running down the street I just don't see how you couldn't make it up in 2-wheel drive.

    As for weight, I live in Colorado and make a lot of trips up into the mountains for snowboarding. I throw a 40 lbs bag of cat litter in between the wheel wells in the bed. Granted it's convenient because I have two indoor cats, but I find it to be great as the plastic is a heavy duty mil that doesn't tear when gear is thrown on it etc. Sand bags get messy in a hurry.
     
  15. Dec 3, 2009 at 10:41 AM
    #15
    pittim

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    If your tires are slipping on hills in 2wd, try giving it less gas when you're starting from a dead stop, or do a rolling stop. Thats what I've found to work the best for me.
     
  16. Dec 3, 2009 at 10:57 AM
    #16
    Mark C.

    Mark C. If you want it bad, you usually get it bad!

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    Just had my 2000 4X4 Reg cab taken away from me by Toyota about 2 months ago........I had manually locking hubs. I live in CT and only had problems when there was snow. I had Toyo Open Country ATs on it and even in torrential rains had no problems....and when I shifted from 4Wd to 2WD, it was a matter of only a few feet to disengage the front shaft.

    If you need weight, maybe a couple of sand tubes would work...or you could load you own sand bags....cat litter is a pretty good choice too...just place the bags inside plastic garbage bags (if you plan to use the litter later) and to keep the paper from deteriorating.

    Were it me, I would stay away from a box with cinder blocks. ....should the blocks bounce out or the box moves, you've got shifting and potentially dangerous cargo in your bed.

    Just my 2 cents..........
     
  17. Dec 3, 2009 at 11:05 AM
    #17
    Outlaw

    Outlaw Well-Known Member

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    The stock tires on mine are beginning to really suck on the roads in the rain and depending on how this winter goes...I might be ditching them for new ones.[/quote]

    X2 My Rugged Fails have about 20,000 miles on them now and are really slick in the rain.
    Add some weight back there and you should be fine in 2wd.
     
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