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A-TRAC: WHY is it difficult for some people to accept it?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by David K, Oct 13, 2010.

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  1. Oct 13, 2010 at 3:38 PM
    #1
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, with so much data now posted and videos of it working, plus some of us TW members using it, etc., why do people still think the 'rear locker' is the only reason to get an Off Road 4WD? :confused:

    A-TRAC is like front and rear lockers. I had rear lockers on my last two Tacomas... I loved them, wouldn't have it any other way... got my third Taco off road (for the rear locker)... THEN learned it had an even better system, now... Active Traction Control (A-TRAC) :D

    Then there are those die hard locker fans who don't get it that A-TRAC is really a 'smart locker' that does give front and rear locker traction, yet does not hinder steering as lockers do. You can get the truck stuck in 4WD with open differentials, then turn on the A-TRAC and the truck will climb out. I ran my A-TRAC for several miles on the Santa Maria mission road with no issues... It only brakes a wheel if it looses traction... otherwise all four wheels get torque. :cool:

    The rear locker gives equal torque to both back tires regardless if they have traction or not... the front differential is open so all torque goes to just one tire if there is any slipping... and the slipping tire gets the torque, not the traction tire. A-TRAC puts torque to all 4 tires if all 4 have traction... or to just the tires with traction if the others on the same axle have less... that is smart! :rolleyes:

    Now, this video isn't the most professional and doesn't explain some of the terms correctly, but it does show that with only one front tire (and it is blocked as well) on solid ground, and the other three on rollers (no traction), the A-TRAC pulls the full size Tundra over the block, and off the rollers. How is an after market front locker any better or different? The A-TRAC comes with the Tacoma, no extra charge. :p

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1MOEZYAv5Q&feature=player_embedded

    The next video shows how the A-TRAC allows tires to spin in loose conditions to 'swim' through sand, mud, snow... note that all four tires on the FJ Cruiser are spinning at the same speed, just like lockers would do... and at full tire pressure... he does manage to not bury it and drives out when he wants to. The Jeep in the end, had to get into the video to feed his ego, perhaps? :eek:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VHxslTiQug&feature=player_embedded

    Here I am climbing Doug's (4WD) super steep, powdery hill, in my 2010 with A-TRAC on. Near the top, the truck nearly stops, but I am pressing down on the gas and trusting the A-TRAC to pull me to the top... and it was working hard to get my heavy truck up there! :cool:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG3KhKR0NJk&feature=player_embedded

    A-TRAC works, and it is standard equipment on the OFF ROAD 4WD TRD TACOMA!

    Edit to add this excellent video of A-TRAC on a stock 4Runner at Moab:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMvtTKzVy2M&feature=player_embedded



    This post is just to educate... as information is not readily available on A-TRAC, and Toyota does not promote it as much as I think it deserves having been off roading all my life!

    Please read the above post and look at the video BEFORE posting replies... I want a discussion based on facts not pre-determined emotional beliefs... I also recognize there may be special conditions where you have found the rear locker to be enough and using the A-TRAC is not needed... which is fine, of course. It is interesting that Toyota warns about and limits the use of the locker (emergencies only, 5 mph max.) and there is no warning about using the A-TRAC. This is of course because a locker affects steering ability, and at speed, while trying to steer with a locker, could be dangerous. A-TRAC does not affect steering.

    Thank you! :)
     
  2. Oct 13, 2010 at 3:44 PM
    #2
    HuntnTruk

    HuntnTruk Tacohead

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    So is there an additional atrac button? I thought it was automatic.
     
  3. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:19 PM
    #3
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I asked anyone who replies to watch the video! The Tundra just spins the tires on rollers in normal 4WD or even with the rear locked... Then the driver pushes the A-TRAC button... Please watch the video. But, the answer is:

    Yes, you can select to be in any one of NINE drive or traction modes with the 4WD OFF ROAD ('09 +). Normal L4 is open differentials. Press the A-TRAC button and it will now come on any time you go into L4, automatically. Or you can press the button again to go back to open differentials.

    The 'normal' mode listed below is the one you will be in without trouching any buttons in H2, H4 and L4.

    In 2WD (3 modes):
    *Normal Mode (TRAC & VSC) There IS engine output regulation in H2 TRAC.
    *TRAC OFF Mode (AUTO LSD) There is NO engine output regulation.
    *VSC OFF Mode (TRAC & VSC are both off) Open Differential.

    In 4WD High Range (2 modes):
    *Normal Mode (TRAC & VSC) There is NO engine output regulation in H4 TRAC.
    *VSC OFF Mode (TRAC & VSC are both off) Open Differentials.

    In 4WD Low Range (4 modes):
    *Normal Mode is VSC and TRAC both off (Open Differentials).
    *Rear Differential Locked (max. 5 mph recommended)
    *Active Traction Control (A-TRAC)
    *Rear Differential Locked + A-TRAC (up to 3 mph).
     
  4. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM
    #4
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yes please!!
    I need to do something besides post on Tacoma World and Baja Nomad all day!!! LOL:rolleyes:
     
  5. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM
    #5
    Jason'sLawnCare

    Jason'sLawnCare Prepared for Bambi

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    I think it's difficult for people to accept because it's a newer technology and electronic. People seem to want manual and proven. I personally wish my truck had a-trac as I'm stuck with an open diff in the front. Also don't forget to mention that a-trac is less stress on components compared to a locker.
     
  6. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:32 PM
    #6
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    BGrutter made this, on my other thread explaining the traction modes, to help show them:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:35 PM
    #7
    David K

    David K [OP] Well-Known Member

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    What is your opinion after watching the above three videos I asked all responders to watch in order to comment on them?:confused:
     
  8. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:37 PM
    #8
    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    This should be fun to watch.

    FWIW, I'm right now in the middle of getting my truck on stilts so I can go test it and form my own opinion.

    From everything presented so far, it's obviously far superior to open diffs, offering true four wheel drive instead of the 2 wheel drive we've been suffering with for decades.

    I'm reserving judgment on it vs. lockers until I have a chance to flog it myself.
     
  9. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:42 PM
    #9
    bakerla

    bakerla Man, Myth, Legend

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    If A-Trac was a religion, David K would be the prophet.
     
  10. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:43 PM
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    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Yeah. I plan to take a few runs running 4Lo open, and then going to A-TRAC when it spins, and the rear locker if needed. Should be interesting to see what happens.
     
  11. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:45 PM
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    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    That's pretty fucking gnarly. You can clearly see a point in there where 1 wheel on each axle is completely off the ground and the 'runner crawls right through like it's nothing. That is encouraging.
     
  12. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:52 PM
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    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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  13. Oct 13, 2010 at 4:52 PM
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    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    Or two-footing and that little bit of brake application was enough (unlikely, but possible)?

    I would love to hear opinions in this thread from people who have used BOTH systems. I know David falls into that category. I've driven locked trucks before, but I haven't used ATRAC yet because I haven't had my truck in a situation yet where 4Lo wasn't enough. I see a lot of people in here arguing one way or the other that don't have experience with both items.

    Personally, I was very impressed with 4Hi + TRAC + VSC during all the snow we had on the roads last year. The increase in control over previous open diff 4WDs I've driven in snow was noticeable and much appreciated, especially given that Salisbury NC can't drive for shit.
     
  14. Oct 13, 2010 at 5:00 PM
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    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    We should do that, and then post our results up here to settle the issue once and for all and shut up all the bitching.
     
  15. Oct 13, 2010 at 5:03 PM
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    supralight

    supralight Well-Known Member

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    My experience of Atrac comes from my location: canada, quebec, where we get LOT of snow. Atrac gives me the advantage of 4 locked wheels without the understeer. Also, on my 2009, the atrac system was not as agressive as on the OR version, since it had a vacuum booster (AFAIK) instead of hydraulic. I don't need to go off road to use the feature, I tested it, it works.

    Couldn't have had said better about it. I just hope that my locker won't just be an unnecessary tool sitting there in the future :).

    Edit: can't add a reputation with my Iphone... But I think that post worth it.
     
  16. Oct 13, 2010 at 5:06 PM
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    island808

    island808 Me l've got brains.

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    I'm old and ignorant new things scare me, and I'm not willing to try them out!... I converted my truck to steam.

    That's why.
     
  17. Oct 13, 2010 at 5:15 PM
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    jandrews

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    Seems to me that lockers offer the advantage of being a simpler, more proven, more predictable system while A-TRAC seems to have some advantages in terms of maneuverability and a decreased chance of breaking shit (let's face it - lockers are hard on the driveline).

    I think the money question here, the one David K is trying to get at, is "Does A-TRAC allow you to get everywhere front/rear lockers does?"

    If the answer is yes, then the rest of the debate is academic. If the answer is no, I still don't see how having A-TRAC as an option is a bad thing.

    In any event, I think people are chasing this the wrong way, comparing the two. A-TRAC is not lockers, and doesn't need to be, and lockers aren't A-TRAC, and don't need to be.


    If you manage to fry the brakes using these newfangled traction control systems, the truck disables them to allow the brakes to cool.

    As much starting and stopping as occurs in trails, I think you'd have to pull some really impressive sustained flogging to get it to happen.
     
  18. Oct 13, 2010 at 5:23 PM
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    jandrews

    jandrews Carolina Alliance Southwest Region Ambassador

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    I suspect you're right.

    However, I'm betting it would also leave an open-diff'd truck WAY behind as well.

    I think Toyota may have created a new segment here that's more capable than your standard 4WD's but still isn't as brute-force effective as lockers.

    We'll get you some data on that before too long. Larry is going to be locking his truck fore and aft. I have an 09+ TRD Offroad with all the associated goodies that is currently in the process of getting Icon'd and KM2'd.

    Before too long, the two of them will be on the same trails dueling with the same shit. We'll get as much comparison info as we can so people can make up their own minds.
     
  19. Oct 13, 2010 at 5:25 PM
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    Plannerman99

    Plannerman99 Well-Known Member

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    First, David K is my A-TRAC hero and it is through his posts that I learned how A-TRAC works. One day, while in Calico, we brought up one of David's posts and started experimenting. It was like magic that turned my wheels into velcro. And, ultimately, it was one of the reasons why I bought another Tacoma after Lemon Lawing my '09. Having the option of either locker and/or A-TRAC really bolsters the trucks capabilities.
     
  20. Oct 13, 2010 at 5:41 PM
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    fishshooter

    fishshooter Well-Known Member

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    To the OP: Neo-Luddism perhaps?


    I high centered mine on a small mound of clay this past Friday. I thought A-Trac was on when I put it in 4-lo because I just leave the switch pushed in. I couldn't back up at all, so I locked the rear. Still wouldn't. Then I noticed the little green A-Trac light wasn't on. I guess it got pushed being down there by the cup holder. Anyways, with it still locked, I turned the A-Trac on and backed off the hill with just a little effort. I may be able to duplicate it, if I can find someone to go with me. Just in case it doesn't work again. :D
     
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