1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Newbie Question: Recent Off Road Experience

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by 1000_Yard_Stare, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Apr 8, 2019 at 11:35 AM
    #1
    1000_Yard_Stare

    1000_Yard_Stare [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    Member:
    #289484
    Messages:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Right off the bat: I own a 2014 Tacoma but I'm not a "truck guy" and know very little about auto mechanics, engineering, etc. Simply put, I'm an avid outdoorsman and run my truck hard to get from Point A to Point B. I keep my pickup well maintained and that's about it.

    With that being said, I was returning from a fly fishing trip yesterday and had to go up a very steep, rutted and gravelly hill. I didn't throw it into 4WD (although I did put it into third gear) because I never had trouble with this section in the past (they must have put down new dirt/gravel recently). I was laboring up the hill because my rear wheels couldn't gain traction. When I realized that I should have it in 4WD it was too late: I was on a very steep incline and the tires were spinning out; thought it best not to switch into 4WD under those circumstances. So I just plowed ahead, essentially inch by inch. My concern is that my truck was shaking violently for a good minute because of the lack of traction and ruts in the road. Like feel it in your bones type shaking. I didn't stop to reassess the situation because there were a line of cars riding my ass behind me.

    I eventually got to the top of the hill and carried on.

    My questions are:
    1. Did the violent, sustained shaking of the truck possibly damage or loosen components?
    2. Is it okay to put the truck in 4WD when it's in 3rd gear?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Apr 8, 2019 at 4:51 PM
    #2
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    15,617
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    Sacramento, CA
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    I doubt you did any damage to the vehicle, unless you hear some new rattles or it seems like it drives funny now. When in doubt, getting it aligned would be a good sign if any of the suspension is bent/damaged. I doubt it, though. If the $60 or so for alignment puts your mind at ease, I'd get it checked out and aligned.

    As for what gear to be in, there's a reference card on your sun visor and in your manual that gives you the low down on how to shift into 4wd, including 4-lo, and what speeds you should be doing. It's more about speed than what gear you're in.

    How fast were you going?

    Generally, you should be more or less stopped, or at least going slow when throwing it in to 4wd, so you shouldn't be in 3rd gear.

    If you have to slow down or stop to throw it in 4wd, then get going again at a normal pace, that would (at least if I were behind you) way less obtrusive than throwing rocks and bouncing around because you can't get traction... Next time just put it in 4wd before you get to the hill. You can drive highway speeds in high-range, so you won't be doing any damage to anything. I drive in 4wd when it rains.
     
  3. Apr 8, 2019 at 4:56 PM
    #3
    supmet

    supmet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2019
    Member:
    #284068
    Messages:
    305
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Paul
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Vehicle:
    2019 White TRD OR 4x4
    You can shift in to 4HI up to 60 mph. I wouldn't do it spinning tires going up a hill though. 4LO you should be stopped(manual says <2 mph)
     
    Taco_Craig and ETsemaj like this.
  4. Apr 8, 2019 at 4:59 PM
    #4
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    15,617
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    Sacramento, CA
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    Yeah, so they say... I know that's what the card/manual probably says (depends on the year, model, etc), but I am much more conservative. I try to stick under 20 maybe.
     
  5. Apr 8, 2019 at 5:41 PM
    #5
    Xr8ted

    Xr8ted Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2017
    Member:
    #219118
    Messages:
    19
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Blake
    Vehicle:
    2017 tacoma double cab 4x4 trd sport
    Rain guards, seat covers, tacoma bed cover,2'' lift,spc upper control arms ,tacoma bed mat,led interior lights,front seat spacers,headlight mod,debadged
    well from an old mans point of view, just keep in mind that everything changes , conditions of trails, traveled highways, weather, your driving skills, truck mods, your wisdom and more, I have found that being prepared and planning results in the best out come for success. You have found a forum where you can find a world of great information on almost any subject or situation related to Tacomas and more here. Most of the guys and ladies have "field tested" their shared wisdom good or bad. whether it be a decision on 4wd or just getting gas always play to the safe side , besides it helps the mind to know your prepared. No matter young or old we all gain knowledge from each other. Have fun and lets go places....mostly to work..but...
     
  6. Apr 9, 2019 at 8:28 AM
    #6
    1000_Yard_Stare

    1000_Yard_Stare [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2019
    Member:
    #289484
    Messages:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks for your replies fellas.

    I'll take it in for an alignment here in the near future to make sure everything's okay.

    At the top of the hill, when I did eventually put it into 4WD, I was stopped. But I was in 3rd gear, and if I'm hearing you right, I shouldn't put it into 4WD from 3rd gear again, correct?
     
  7. Apr 9, 2019 at 8:32 AM
    #7
    Cudgel

    Cudgel “Tonka”

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Member:
    #214640
    Messages:
    3,272
    Gender:
    Male
    Live in: An Ocean of Plastic Trash
    Vehicle:
    2017 OR DCLB
    ICON8 Lift -285s. upTOPoverland rack.
    Shake is fine if it went away after you got back on smooth road.

    You can put it In 4WHi on the fly.

    Most people who drive don’t bother to read so the truck is pretty tough.
     
  8. Apr 9, 2019 at 8:33 AM
    #8
    ETsemaj

    ETsemaj @Koditten Pirate Radio member #001

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2018
    Member:
    #264651
    Messages:
    663
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    James
    Cape Canveral, FL
    Vehicle:
    2018 Cement Tacoma Off Road
    speaker and tweater upgrade DMM phone mount and a large wishlist
    With the 3rd gens, you can shift into 4HI as long as your under 60 mph and going stright. so you can be in any gear (or stopped). To go 4Lo, put it in neutral shift then drive once its active.
     
    Taco_Craig likes this.
  9. Apr 9, 2019 at 8:36 AM
    #9
    Taco Dan

    Taco Dan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Member:
    #66435
    Messages:
    1,097
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Dan
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Vehicle:
    07 FJ Cruiser auto 4X4
    Snorkel, Cooper ST Maxx 255/80/17, diff breather relocate, Cobra ultra III cb radio set up Warrior Products front bumper
    as long as you were stopped and switched it into 4wd, it shouldn't matter what gear your tranny was in. I assume you have an auto. they do what they want. as far as shaking or rattling, you drive a Toyota, they are tougher than you think. I drove one for 4 years for my job at a surface mine where 90% was off road travel rain or shine, it never let me down.
     
  10. Apr 9, 2019 at 11:53 AM
    #10
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    15,617
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    Sacramento, CA
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    Do you have a 5 speed or an auto? I assume 5 speed manual, because if you have an auto, you wouldn't be in 3rd if you're stopped. Even with the "selectable auto/5 speed" transmissions like my 4Runner has (where you can flip it to a "manual" mode) even if you're in 3rd, and stop, it automatically downshifts, so you don't accidentally start in 3rd.

    Either way, it doesn't really matter what gear it was in. You could be in reverse, really... If you are stopped, nothing inside the trans (or t-case) is moving, so it's irrelevant what gear it's in.

    Like I said, I'm a bit more conservative than what the manual says, I tend to slow way down to shift into 4wd (even hi-range), and usually shift to neutral, too (although that's not really necessary for hi-range). The push buttons (vs. the manual J shifter) can be a little finicky sometimes, so I try to make it as easy as possible for it to shift. Plus, if you find yourself in a situation doing 60mph and you suddenly find yourself needing traction, IMO, you're doing it wrong and 4wd probably won't help. Best to just slow it down, shift, and carry on...
     
  11. Apr 9, 2019 at 12:01 PM
    #11
    Tigerian

    Tigerian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2017
    Member:
    #233607
    Messages:
    1,300
    Gender:
    Male
    Minnesota
    Vehicle:
    2013 Silver SR5 4x4 ACC MT 2.7L
    Also for future endeavors, it’s a good idea to put in 4WD before you may or may not need it.

    So many people that aren’t used to driving trails or anything other than pavement never turn on 4 until they are already slipping, sliding, or in a bad situation already.

    It’s better to preemptively turn it on so it’s already there if you get into some worse terrain. Doesn’t hurt you if you turn it on and never actually need it, plus the manual calls for you to use it a little bit every month anyways.
     
    SR-71A likes this.
  12. Apr 9, 2019 at 12:09 PM
    #12
    SR-71A

    SR-71A Define "Well-Known Member"

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Member:
    #255145
    Messages:
    4,729
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Zack
    Southern Maine
    Vehicle:
    2012 DCSB, TX Baja Edition. Barcelona Red
    Mobtown sliders, ARB bar, Icon RXT leafs, extended & adjustable Kings, JBA UCAs, Tepui Ayer 2, dual batteries, Gen2 xrc9.5 winch, CB, GMRS, S1 ditch lights...
    Remember the old saying: "4-Hi on the fly, 4-Lo stop and go." To break it down a little bit more: 4Hi can be engaged under ~60 mph as long as the front and rear wheels are spinning at roughly the same speed. To engage 4Lo, you should be in N and stopped, but dont need your foot on the brake. Just think about the physical thing here, the transfer case is a gear box. Got to get the gears inside to mesh properly before it will engage.

    So in this particular situation, you would have had to stop to switch into 4wd because the rear wheels were spinning out, and the front wheels were spinning at whatever speed the truck was going.

    As far as the bouncing, it was probably just the rear end / suspension bouncing up and down as the tires were quickly gaining and losing traction on the bumps. This isnt a bad thing, but good practice to avoid. (Would have been worse if it was the front end doing that bouncing.) In the future you can try letting off the gas if you cant get into 4WD. (Or just tell the cars behind you to frig off :D )
     
    Durango95 and jbrandt like this.
  13. Apr 15, 2019 at 8:45 AM
    #13
    dman100

    dman100 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Member:
    #180009
    Messages:
    1,705
    Central Coast, California
    Vehicle:
    2016 TRD OR DCSB
    I have had shift on the fly transfer cases with manual hubs, ADD and now electric shifting and they all work fine shifting to 4wd at speed. However I always lift off the throttle when shifting to 4wd. Also, while it not only makes sense to shift to 4wd before you “need” it, it’s also good to use 4wd when climbing loose grades even if you don’t think you “need” it. It reduces even slight wheelspin that can make the truck less stable, and it’s good for the road surface also. All that hopping and spinning will create ruts and washboard over time.
     
    SR-71A likes this.
  14. Apr 15, 2019 at 9:12 AM
    #14
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    15,617
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    Sacramento, CA
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    The thing about the manual hubs is that you have to stop and get out to lock the hubs, which is I guess why I'm used to at least slowing way down to shift into 4hi - I always had to stop to lock my hubs anyway. It's just a habit I can't completely break from the old days I guess.
     
  15. Apr 15, 2019 at 4:12 PM
    #15
    dman100

    dman100 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2016
    Member:
    #180009
    Messages:
    1,705
    Central Coast, California
    Vehicle:
    2016 TRD OR DCSB
    By the time I had my second truck with manual hubs, late ‘80’s, I realized that lots of vehicles were going to axle disconnect, one-side axle disconnect, or even no disconnect (I think Jeep was first with that); in other words, I could drive around with the hubs locked all the time with no real downside. So I started locking my hubs way early, long before I neeeded 4wd, to the point where sometimes in snowy conditions I’d leave them locked for weeks. The inconvenience of manual hubs is way exaggerated, and they are cheap and reliable compared to auto hubs or vacuum or electric axle disconnects.
     
  16. Apr 15, 2019 at 4:17 PM
    #16
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    15,617
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    Sacramento, CA
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    If you do a pre-runner to 4x4 conversion, manual hubs are by far the best and easier option.
     
  17. Apr 15, 2019 at 5:04 PM
    #17
    Taco_Craig

    Taco_Craig Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Member:
    #175043
    Messages:
    650
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Craig
    Vehicle:
    2016 MGM Tacoma, DCSB TRD-OR
    RCI Sliders/Plates, Icon [Stage 3] Suspension
    The truck is pretty smart about not letting you do bad things (I said pretty smart, not *perfect* so cut me a little slack). If it doesn't want to engage the 4HI, it'll just blink the dash light and tell you to take a hike. Like people said, better to engage it before you need it, but no harm in doing it at low speeds.

    Also, people can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's any harm in turning the dial to 4LO while not in neutral -- it just won't engage. I don't think your diff is gonna explode or anything.
     
  18. May 3, 2019 at 3:23 PM
    #18
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Made you look

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Member:
    #51038
    Messages:
    15,617
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Justin
    Sacramento, CA
    Vehicle:
    '04 TRD Tacoma 4x4 DC
    Kings, J59's Total Chaos UCAs Custom skids Sticker mod
    If you have the flashing light, that means it is actively trying to shift into 4lo, but hasn't been able to yet. The physical conditions don't match the intended switch conditions. I don't believe that's the computer telling you it's patiently waiting for the optimal conditions, it's telling you it is trying, but can't.

    If you intend to actually shift into 4lo, rather than just watch some blinking lights, I'd go ahead and just shift to neutral.
     
  19. May 3, 2019 at 5:52 PM
    #19
    Taco_Craig

    Taco_Craig Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2016
    Member:
    #175043
    Messages:
    650
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Craig
    Vehicle:
    2016 MGM Tacoma, DCSB TRD-OR
    RCI Sliders/Plates, Icon [Stage 3] Suspension
    Yeah... I guess my point was that when it comes to selecting the 4wd modes, you don't need to worry that your truck will explode if you bump the dial wrong. Yes... people should actually do things right, but they shouldn't always be so terrified of doing things wrong. It just won't *work*.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top