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  #1  
Old 01-18-2014, 05:33 PM
Ray 2014 Ray 2014 is offline
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Default TRD Off Road Electrical Locker issues

Ok..took the ( 09 ) 6-speed manual Toyota TRD Offroad for a drive Dirt road, goes into 4x4 High no problem.
4x4 Low , finicky..but goes in..

ok, now for the rear locker...
4x4 Low ...IN neutral, back up..drive forword..sitting still and clutch mashed to the floor, 90 % of the time it will NOT lock in. I keep the Locker button pressed in, little red 4x4 light blinking.. I drive forward about 100 yards, it will sometimes kick in, then to get the locker to unlock..not easy..

SO.. I took locker motor out, took it %100.00 apart, motor, brushes, springs, gears, lubricant, all clean and dry., EVERYTHING looks great
Connected the motor wires up the the wire on the Diff ( motor not bolted in yet, just hanging ) started the truck, little spur gear on the motor goes back and forth great when pushing in the locker button, great the motor seems to be in great shape...

Bolted the locker motor back onto the housing, started the Taco, sitting still, rolling back and forth about 10 feet...the rear will not lock..

Is there such a thing as a weak motor ? Do I need to pull the axles and center member to check inside ? I'm not sure what I'm looking for, but I have no problem removing stuff to learn and inspect.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:31 AM
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DaveInDenver DaveInDenver is offline
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There's probably nothing wrong parts wise, I wouldn't pull anything else apart necessarily. The locker motor itself is prone to corrosion and being sluggish but I wouldn't expect so on a 2009. Just all the mag chloride and mud and grime causes problems eventually.

Toyota uses a computer to engage the locker, so it's not like an Air Locker or something else with which you're probably familiar. You go into 4 low, push the locker button and move slowly forward. It'll lock eventually and won't lock if you're stopped. Yours sounds like it's probably working fine to me. You engage the locker and leave it engaged, they are not instant on traction devices. Yours also might have been used very little and just needs to be worked a few times. It also helps to be turning when you engage it so that the rear wheels are spinning as slightly different speeds. If you're traveling straight the diff can take a pretty long time to lock. Yes, they do sometimes take a while to disengage after 'wheeling.

There is a modification you can do, called the gray wire mod (not sure if it's actually a gray wire on your era of truck, so do some research), that bypasses some of the logic. It disconnects the communication between the 4WD computer and the locker computer. This sometimes makes the locker operate more predictably and also gives you the ability to engage the locker in 2WD or 4WD high as well.

You can wire the locker directly but I don't think you should have to do this. The locker computer does have feedback of positive engagement by the mechanism, which can theoretically be a problem. But that would flash the locker dash indicator because it thinks the locker has not engaged when it actually did. Again, on a 2009 I very much doubt this is an issue. There are 10 and 15 year old Tacos, 4Runners and Cruisers with lockers that work just fine still.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:39 AM
Ray 2014 Ray 2014 is offline
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Thanks Dave
After doing some on-line research, you are correct, these lockers do not engage instantly. But mine taking several feet to engage does not seem correct.

After wheeling 15 years with ARB's front and rear and being use to hitting the rocker switch and having instant lock up I'm spoiled.

I can foresee that I will need to remove the Taco Locker and put in ARB's.

It will drive me insane having it not lock in instantly.
Not knowing the trail maybe and I need the locker with in a few feet, and it won't engage. Most all the time I will be with Rubicons, and my Taco having issues...NOT going to happen.

My goal is my Taco will keep up with a Rubicon. I know Rubicons well, it's a BIG goal. I need Toyota to back me up..HELP me build a Rubi-Taco...

I can see with the Taco locker just keeping it on all the time, I will need to experiment in 2014 to see what to-do.
It's a learning curve.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:54 AM
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A few feet is about right. I'd be worried if they take hundreds of feet. Air Lockers do the same thing but you just don't know it. The locking mechanism has force on it waiting for the two side gears to align. The difference is with the TRD locker there is positive feedback to the computer that verifies it actually happened. With Air Lockers you hit the switch and assume it's locked but it still takes a few feet before it actually happens.

Personally I think the e-lockers are orders better than Air Lockers. No leaking, ability to manually operate (take off the motor and use vise grips) and the engagement verification.

When I turn on the lockers I leave them on all the time with the exception of slickrock. Even on mild trails unless I know I /don't/ need them I will lock the diffs. I did that with Air Lockers, too, though. Well, just the rear. The front I would only lock when I needed it. I prefer not to slip the wheels at all and with a true locker each side only see 1/2 the torque all the time, so it tends to break less stuff. Plus you don't have to drive as hard when the tires are always biting. You also spin tires less, doing less damage to the trails.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray 2014 View Post
Thanks Dave

After doing some on-line research, you are correct, these lockers do not engage instantly. But mine taking several feet to engage does not seem correct.

That's my experience as well. However they lock VERY quick when one tire spins freely, which in my experience is exactly when you need it to if it hasn't been engaged already. The e-lockers are very reliable you'll enjoy it, but ARB is the way to in front with rapid engagement.
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:55 PM
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Huh. Mine engages very quickly. Not air locker quick, but pretty quick. I've never had to drive more than a foot. Course, I've always locked it when standing still. Haven't tried it while rolling yet.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:11 PM
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farnhamstj farnhamstj is offline
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That seems like normal Toyota factory locking dif behavior. Turning slightly right of left while traveling forward or backward so rear axles turn at a slightly different rates helps align the assembly. When wheeling, push the button 20-30 yards before you need it is usually plenty. The light blinks, turns solid when locked, blinks while waiting to unlock. My experience is with '02 tacoma and 98' Land Cruiser. If you want to spend some money put an ARB in the front for instant traction, and tolerate the slowness of the factory e-locker.

More often than not, I push the rear diff lock button, drive up the obstacle, Diff finally locks, turn it off and try to get around the corner while waiting for it to disengage.

You are way over thinking it. Just Drive it till you get stuck, then figure out how much it's gonna cost to get yourself unstuck next time. Then spend money to get yourself stuck further away from home.
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  #8  
Old 01-19-2014, 07:05 PM
Ray 2014 Ray 2014 is offline
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Bronco Game got over, so I went to the " dirt " road again

1. Went into 4x4 High..very fast..
2. Would not go into 4x4 Low for 3 minutes, sitting still, moving forward at 1 to 2 MPH, tried backing up, tried swarming back and forth on the road like a drunk man.
3. 4x4 Low Finally it kicked in after 3 minutes
4. Rear locker seemed to be going in and out as i pushed the button...
5. Then..it took 2 minutes for 4x4 Low to disengage.

NOT the plan I wanted as a new taco owner..

I want to build it...not work on it

Last edited by Ray 2014; 01-19-2014 at 07:05 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:54 AM
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Sounds like the front diff actuator can be balky on the newer Tacomas. I dunno, my old junk has a lever on the floor, dials on the front hubs and a knob behind the steering wheel.

http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/2nd...-actuator.html
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2014, 11:37 AM
Ray 2014 Ray 2014 is offline
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Update...
I own a 6 speed Manual ( 09 Taco )
My son owns a Automatic ( 05 Taco )
His friend owns a Manual ( 05 Taco ) His friend showed me how it should work.

Auto for some reason works better then the Manual does, or at least easier.

I have been able to switch from 4 H to 4 L better by sitting still, clutch pedal pressed, turn the dial, wait a moment, turn the steering wheel, move forward and the 4 L engages, same getting it out of 4 L

I THINK I was moving to much, or to fast before, even at 1- 2 MPH was to fast.

I'm going to run up to Left Hand Canyon sometime to test the system out.
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