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The 5.29 Mega Thread!!

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by JoeCOVA, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. Jul 6, 2018 at 1:13 PM
    #1
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    I should probably lead off that this will likely not be a mega thread since 5.29s will be the minority but none the less, I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread about information, resources, pictures, and Q&A regarding 5.29 gears now that they are available. I’m no expert but hopefully this can be of benefit to some.

    As far as I know @BigMike is the only member that is currently running them and I will be the second once they get done with REM and Cryo. More on that later. There is not a lot of information on 5.29s and Mike is likely already overloaded with TacoBox questions

    Many of you may be asking yourself, do I need 5.29s? Others may be thinking, holy smokes you guys are crazy that is way too low, talk about granny gears!!

    Ultimately, my conclusion came from the current use of my Tacoma, experience with my YJ and extensive forum trolling for various vehicles and gear selections of usage and tires.

    When I first heard people were regearing for 31s and 33s to 4.88 I thought wow that is way too low. 4.88 were the sweet spot for 35s on Jeeps no way they would work for our Tacomas. Surely they want 4.56 for the Tacomas on 33s.

    The beauty of our trucks is the double overdrive gears. In hindsight this is pretty genius if I do say so myself, we get 4 normal gears and 2 overdrive gears. Really this allows us to run much lower gears than normal while maintaining relatively regular daily use of our trucks without becoming dedicated trail rigs.

    My 88 YJ is a 5 speed manual with a 5th gear ratio of 0.79, which is terrible compared to our A/T Tacomas with a 5th of 0.69 and a 6th gear of 0.58 which is awesome for the highways. If I recall the final drive ratio of the 2nd Gen A/Ts was 0.71 with 3.73 gear ratio and only went to 5th.

    At 65mph my truck runs about 2700rpms in 4th with the stock 3.91 gear ratio but moving to 5.29s will push that rpm to 3700rpm. Talk about screaming at that point, however, I wont need to drive around in 4th which is where our OD gears will begin to shine which should drop those rpms down significantly but will require some testing to confirm.

    Personally, my truck is used as a DD but my commute is 6 miles round trip if I even bother driving at all, otherwise its used for offroading and camping so I figured I can stretch it’s legs a bit more than the average person. Since moving to Colorado I average about 7k-8k miles a year.

    The truck is on stock tires and are pretty much bald after 25k miles. Disappointing tire life but moot since I was only running them down before swapping them. The truck will be running 35’s and most of my offroading will be rock crawling with some overlanding and forest roads in between.

    I currently live at around 7500 feet and drive the truck up to about 12000, and 13,000 at times. I don’t count Pikes Peak (14,000+) because it’s not a regular road. I have not experienced any gear hunting in anyway but should not see those issues with the gears and tires.

    Tire to Gear Ratio: Pretty much the consensus on the interwebs is mildly split between 4.88 and 5.29s for 35” tires. 35s seem to be the line between them in that 4.88 are great for 35 and below, and 5.29 for anything 35 and larger, but what about just 35. On a Jeep, 4.88s seems to be the sweet spot. However with our double overdrive gears we can benefit more from the 5.29s in the same conditions.

    Strength: There is a tremendous amount of anecdotal evidence about the strength of 4.88s vs 5.29s. Many point out that 5.29s are weaker than 4.88s because you have more teeth thus smaller and more prone to breakage. While this is scientifically true, in practical application 4.88s and 5.29s both seem to break regularly depending on a laundry list of variables and ultimately the failure rate seems to be the same. Everyone knows somebody who broke their 4.88s or broke their 5.29s. Either way they all need new gears. In my own anecdotal experience, axle shafts break before R&P and require a little abuse before they do. So I expect other stuff to break before my gears do.

    Cryo: I decided to Cryo my gears and will be sending them to Charles at Cryogenics International. There seems to be a misconception on what cryo actually does. Even SDHQ (Where I ordered gears) did not understand the intent of this process. Many think its just a surface treatment used to help with the break-in process of gears. Not entirely true, Cryo treatment changes the crystal structure in metals and improves durability by 100% and an increase in strength by 30-50%. Reduces friction and wear properties, relieves stress fracturing, and increases thermal efficiency. The process is not a surface treatment but freezes the parts to -300 degrees F. Something to consider is that often, the stronger the steel, the more brittle it is however the strength needed to cause a break is significantly higher. At the end of the day, if you grenade a diff it doesn’t really matter if its broken or bent.

    REM: SDHQ offered REM polishing which I went ahead and did because I don’t want to wait for a break-in process, my current driving habits would make it a month before my gears were broken in. REM is mainly for the break-in, offers better wear resistance and reduced friction.

    Together between Cryo and REM, it will be quite difficult to break the R&P and was my solution to combat the anecdotal experience of weak 5.29 gears.

    I will reserve a post to I can address the operation aspects of the 5.29s and interject my opinion on their performance but wanted to get a thread out there as I am sure others may be considering the 5.29s. The floor is open for discussions.
     
    VLTHNTR77, dre5491, Tachord and 14 others like this.
  2. Jul 6, 2018 at 1:14 PM
    #2
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    Reserved for: Analysis and opinion

    Crunched the ratio numbers and as you can see the final drive ratios for an AT on 5.29s is almost the same final drive ratio as the MT with stock 4.30s. We can see that the overdrive gears do their job in that you can run really low gears and maintain decent mileage while having exceptionally lower gearing through the first 4 gears.

    Untitled.jpg

    07/28/18

    Finally arrived! Thanks @SDHQ OFFROAD Gears arrived packaged very well and nice and shiney from REM polishing. These will be shipped monday to Cryogenics International for final treatment then returned for install

    IMG_2857.jpg

    08/15/18

    Gears returned form Cryo, shout-out again to Charles with Cryogenics International. For anyone interested it cost roughly $250 for the cryo and is a cost per pound. Charles does all is cryo work on Fridays and return ships them the following Monday so I recommend shipping your gears to him so that he can get them in the earliest Friday batch.


    08/18/18
    Gears were dropped off for install. Should be a couple weeks before Brian finishes is work with them.



    09/16/18 Update
    Just getting in a quick post for people but will provide more updates later.

    Gears are in and truck is home. Big thanks to @thefatkid for doing the gears for me. Super great guy and an absolute genius with Toyotas and off-roading. Thanks again Brian.

    Brian completed the initial heat cycle and I completed two more on the way home over a 55 mile trip home. The heat cycle is a common practice and a part of the break-in for the gears. With REM polishing, most if not all of the break-in is essentially already completed as most of the friction points have been polished out but as a best practice it's good to complete the heat cycles and the traditional break-in. With such a large investment, it would be a waste to have a mechanical issue so early before I get to really use them. Temps were around 140 if I recall correctly which were really good. Gears now have 70ish miles on them.

    So my initial thoughts!

    I drove the truck pretty conservatively as it was the first time and had a bit of a hike to get home. That being said the truck was surprisingly not over-geared. In fact the truck compensated for it rather easily, shifting early and quickly to get to the higher gears before cruising. The truck responds significantly better especially in the lower gears but I tried to take it easy on the way home and my experience with that is, the truck drove rather normal. Normal may not seem amazing but agin, I just went from 3.90 to 5.29 with a 31" tire. Most expectations are the truck would be screaming in rpms and top out at 65mph. Really the truck kept rpms low under 2500 for most of the drive.

    That being said here are some data points and observations.

    The truck was in 4th by 30mph and anything higher cruised in 5th and 6th. I took Hwy 105 home which is curvy and hilly and the truck stayed in 6th at 55 pretty much the whole way home. Only occasionally dropping into 5th on a steep hill, the same hills the truck would previously run 3rd or 4th in. From a basic feeling of its driving it feels like the entire transmission gears were shifted down, meaning 6th gears feels like what 5th used to be, and 5th gear feels like what 4th used to be.

    Quick Notes on RPMs and MPGs, they are as close as I could get without getting too crazy on the accuracy but should be a solid enough data point to give people some information and perspective. I'll clean it up in an excel later. Note the huge RPM drop from 4th to 5th. Those overdrives gears going to work.

    EDIT: Cleaned up some of my data

    Gearing.jpg

    5.29 Geas, stock tires, MPG:
    18.6 mpgs first fill up

    I'll continue to collect data on mpgs and rpms at speeds. From the initial drive the truck drives awesome, you will notice that it shifts quickly to 5th and spends most of the drive in 5th and 6th but again I drove conservatively so not sure how it will respond yet when I drive aggressively.

    I did notice my cruise control could not handle itself, on the hilly section of 105 the cruise control wanted to downshift to 4th on the climb then shift to 5th at the crest then 6th on the flat or downhill and repeat over and over on each hill. So I turned cruise control off and just drove normally and the truck kept speed and gear the whole time in 6th so not sure why the cruise control was shift happy. I dont know on that one but will test more.

    10/14/18 Update:

    So my wife and I just returned from a 2500ish mile camping trip of the Grand Circle which is probably one of the most amazing trips I have ever taken. I ended up running stock tires because the 35s were not completely balanced and due to a broken ARB compressor, I didn't get the new one until a day before we were leaving and had no time to wire it in. Without the compressor it would have been a challenging trip as beadlocks tend to leak a bit. Not to mention it I still have rubbing issues on the front bumper fender liner that I need to trim and the lack of wheel balance.

    Anyways the gears now have over 3000 miles on them and below is my fuel report which I will incorporate in the earlier posts but the total trip I averaged 18.8 which included some offroad trails in the National Parks to include Colorado River Overlook in Canyonlands (Moderate) and Tower Arch Offroad Trail in Arches (Difficult). Trailsoffroad lists these as 2-4 Easy but very few stock vehicles could make the Overlook and I was banging skids in Arches. The ratings I provided are my opinion and align with the "Guide to Moab, UT Backroads and 4-Wheel-Drive Trails."

    Fuel Efficiency:
    18.6, 16.5, 18.5, 21.3, 16.7, 20.5, 19, 18.9, 19.4 = 18.8 average and if you remove the offroading trips, I averaged about 19.4

    After having the gears with stock tires for so long and getting used to them as well as the transmission relearning everything I have to say that I am overly impressed with the gears wouldn't consider any other gear ratio. After having so much success with the stock tires I am almost wish I could go even lower for the 35s (assuming someone were to make them.)

    Honestly, I wouldn't even consider 4.88s after my experience with these, I find them so successful with stock that I know they will easily work with a 33 and 35. If anyone is on the fence about the gears I would honestly just go 5.29.

    My experience with the 35s is minimal because I'm still sorting out the tires and unfortunately winter is starting to settle in and we just had our first 20 degree day and I will be putting on snow tires in a couple of weeks. My wife and I frequently ski and run the high colorado passes and I know my Trepadors will be miserable on ice and snow so they will be getting stored for the winter and will probably come back out around March/April for the spring. I wish I had more data for the 35s but I hope I have provided enough on the stock tires for people to make an informed decision.

    I think @K_Sandhu has a great review with 35s which should help everyone as well.
    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads/the-5-29-mega-thread.557305/page-7 post #132

    07/07/2019 Update:

    Below is some fuel data. I will update the second post at the beginning of the thread but I do want to caveat what I learned about the tires and gear combo and fuel economy. As @In4aride mentioned above the truck just does not like certain speeds.

    I found anything over 65mph really began to tank the fuel economy. My numbers appear mildly misleading because I ran mostly 75-80 on the way up to Montana and you notice that I average about 16 mpgs during that time. I was learning how the truck performed during this time. Additionally I-25 north into Wyoming and MT is surprisingly very hilly with long steep grades which I think contributed to the mpg loss. Even at those speeds the truck was usually sitting in 5th and occasionally saw 4th and 6th. However on the return trip we set cruise control around 65-70 and took 191 most of the way to I-80 then I-25 and you can see that we averaged about 18.6 mpg.

    Conclusion:
    Gears alone will result in about 1-mpg loss. Moving to a 33" will result in an additional 1-2 mpg loss. I have no data for stock gears and 33" or 35" tire.

    I would expect someone to get anywhere between 15 - 18.5 mpgs with 5.29s and 33" tires depending on driving habits, load etc. Could be more or less.

    I'll also note that I did not fuel up at a specific point each time, I filled up depending on where we were an availability of service stations so some fillups were half a tank, 3/4 tank, etc. However all calculations were based on miles driven and gallons filled.

    The Corrected MPGs take into consideration a 7.27% change in tire diameter.

    Fuel economy.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  3. Jul 6, 2018 at 1:47 PM
    #3
    svdude

    svdude Well-Known Member

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  4. Jul 6, 2018 at 1:57 PM
    #4
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    I think they released them last month or the month prior. They might as well sell them since they made all the tooling for the prototype.
     
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  5. Jul 7, 2018 at 10:58 PM
    #5
    brentw59

    brentw59 Well-Known Member

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    I thought mike was running 4.88's.
     
  6. Jul 7, 2018 at 11:02 PM
    #6
    brentw59

    brentw59 Well-Known Member

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  7. Jul 7, 2018 at 11:06 PM
    #7
    Mxpatriot

    Mxpatriot Well-Known Member

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    Money pit.
    Different motor and transmission, but going with 4.88s instead of 4.56 in my Tacoma was one of my better moves. I still get 13 MPG at 70 MPH on the highway with 35's and up to 17 MPG at 55 MPH on 35's. RPMs are really reasonable too, I want to say like 2200 RPMs at 70 MPH. And when you punch it, it has some get up and go.

    Dropping the transfer case into low is great. It's not a crawl box but it sure is controllable.
     
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  8. Jul 8, 2018 at 12:13 AM
    #8
    N2DesignsInc

    N2DesignsInc N2 Designs, Inc. Vendor

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    Holy Fudge, I just failed math...again.

    Can someone Haiku summarize OPs novel?
     
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  9. Jul 8, 2018 at 1:53 AM
    #9
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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  10. Jul 8, 2018 at 2:28 AM
    #10
    mauidogg

    mauidogg Well-Known Member

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    OP is doing 5.29 because running 35” or larger tires it will work much better than 4.88. Math wise because the 6speed at trans has 2 over drive gears, so if you are running 33-35” tires you may actually be able to make decent use of said OVerdrive gears aka 5th and 6th.

    As far as rem polish that helps as far as break in for new gears after install. Cryo is for increase in strength and durability.
     
  11. Jul 8, 2018 at 2:32 AM
    #11
    mauidogg

    mauidogg Well-Known Member

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    OP thanks for posting this up as I have been looking forward to this release. My previous DD was a 85 4Runner in 35’s with 5.29’s and dual cases. I completely agree with you on the use and applaud you decision to Cryo. I think the 5.29 will perfectly suit the 34-35” tire for DD purposes and make for great on and off-road drivability. Of course for anyone over 35 this will be thier best friend. I think most of the guys who break stuff often will see the value in heat and/or Cryo treat.
     
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  12. Jul 8, 2018 at 8:02 AM
    #12
    Mojlnir

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    I'm becoming more convinced that if the V6 guys benefit from 4.88s when running 33s, then my 2TR will benefit from 5.29s when running 33s since I started from 4.30s.

    Figured to source a 1st Gen Tundra front diff and another 8" rear center section to make the process easier and reduce down time.
     
  13. Jul 8, 2018 at 11:40 AM
    #13
    N2DesignsInc

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    Now that makes sense...I understood why we re-gear on a case by case mod basis but never understood the mathematical science or calculations that lead up to it! Thsnks! I learned something new today!
     
  14. Jul 12, 2018 at 12:50 PM
    #14
    JoeCOVA

    JoeCOVA [OP] IG @MightyJoeFlannel

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    I added some more numbers for you to compare final drive ratios.

    As you can see the final drive ratio of a 5.29 geared AT has almost the same as stock ratios on the the MT but is signficiantly lower geared in the first 4 gears. This gives you exceptionally more control and crawl ability in low gears but maintains the same drive characteristics in 5th and 6th gear on highways.
     
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  15. Jul 12, 2018 at 1:57 PM
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    mauidogg

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    That’s one of the reasons I am so glad that they finally made the 5.29 gear set. I was planning to run a 34-35” tire and I knew that running the 4.88 though an improvement would not be as good as the 5.29.

    I have changed to 265/70-17. It’s a temporary upgrade to get more aggressive tires and a slight bit more ground clearance while I save for the small lift, gears and tires. I intend to keep it low and trim more. I like how big mike got 37’s but I don’t want to DD anything bigger than a 35.
     
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  16. Jul 18, 2018 at 11:05 AM
    #16
    Predator Strikeforce

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    Some good info here for sure. Thanks, OP!
    I'm on the fence about what tire size I want to run ultimately. Running 33's now but love the look of 35's.
    Oh, and my 33's are bald so I have to buy tires soon anyway...
     
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  17. Jul 27, 2018 at 1:04 PM
    #17
    Dr TMAC

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    This is great information, but it can't help but make me think the following since I have 33" K02's right now and wouldn't mind 35's:
    1. Toyota messed up with the gears or the Atkinson Cycle idea. If it can't make enough torque to drive on the freeway without downshifting to maintain 75, 70, even 65 or 60 mph in 6th gear, maybe it wasn't the best idea.
    2. Should have bought a Tundra?
    3. Tacoma should have a V8. We are all adults, the 23 mpg highway is a CAFE EPA dream.
    4. It shouldn't have to come to all this re-gearing to have decent size tires and be able to drive on the freeway in 6th or 5th gear!
     
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  18. Jul 27, 2018 at 2:29 PM
    #18
    mauidogg

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    1. I think Toyota messed up the gears. The gear ratio and the trans don’t seem to suit the motor. I think the motor makes decent power but not enough down low.
    2. If you need a full size buy a full size IMO. I personally didn’t want a full size because I don’t need one, and I it doesn’t suit where I want to go or how I use my truck.
    3. I wouldn’t want a v8. I know some people just want more power. I would like more torque down low. I really miss having an in-line motor. At the same time gas ain’t cheap and I appreciate better fuel economy. Wish there was a better compromise between the two.
    4. These trucks need a regear to run bigger tires. When switched to 5.29s in my old 4Runner running 35’s it was perfect match. It drove great for how heavy it was and the size of tire even with the 22re.

    What I really think is something like the pro should come with 4.88s and 33s stock.
     
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  19. Jul 27, 2018 at 4:54 PM
    #19
    Natpag

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    and I just got my 4.88s put in... :anonymous:
     
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  20. Jul 27, 2018 at 7:35 PM
    #20
    mauidogg

    mauidogg Well-Known Member

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    Well unless you are going 35 or bigger you might as well stay with what you got
     

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