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Front locker on 1st Gen

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Voss, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. Jan 14, 2022 at 10:09 AM

    sdub New Member

    First Name:
    2004 & 2005 Tundra 4x4
    I created an account just to reply to this thread.

    I come from years of rock crawling with a SFA 85 4runner. I had 37s with 5.29, stock single transfer case and a rear Aussie (lunchbox / ratchet locker) Also had a 3X electric locked FJ80, stock gears on 37s.
    With only a rear locker installed in the 4runner I was able to do 4+ (out of 5) trails back home. That means ~4' boulders and body damage expected.

    BUT the everyday drivability with the full locker suffered greatly. I'd take corners wider because you're basically scrubbing one wheel. In reverse out of parking spaces you could crank the full turning radius. But going forward even at low speeds and full turning lock, the rear would scrub, hop, push on dry pavement. So it was always to coast into a parking space in neutral so the locker has none / little load on it. You were always aware it was back there binding up constantly. I had probably 2 or 3 instances of the rear locker binding or unloading at full highway speeds and lurching the whole truck into the left lane. I have no idea why but it was terrifying on 37s.

    This would all be mitigated slightly I'd imagine with a heavier truck. (1st gen 4runners are only 3k lbs) But I wouldn't go Aussie / lockright or any lunchbox again.

    There is NO way I'd put a lunchbox on a front differential without selectable hubs. They do not always disengage properly or predictably. This is why: with selectable hubs you can engage only 1 wheel at a time. So theoretically you could have 1 front and both rear wheels (with a rear locker) and predictable on road manners. With both front wheels locked you are creating a ton of bind up. The reason this is suspicious is imagine driving on a road that has some dry patches, some snow patches, some gravel patches. And both front wheels turning at the same rate. The lunchboxes will not disengage like they try to convey. They will / can stick and push the truck wherever it wants to go. The front especially (also rear) wheels need to spin at drastically different rates. Australia doesn't get snow, so high speed 4x4 isn't really ever needed unless its 100% dirt.
    A single youtube video of a guy experimenting for 10 minutes is not nearly enough scenarios to show why front lunchbox is a bad idea. On a fully unplowed road where the front tires can slip around I'm sure its relatively mild. But add in dry spots and slick spots and front end binding around turns or high speed you're asking for some white knuckle moments.

    Front or rear LSD always seemed useless to me because the wheels speeds you need for it to lock up are quite high. You cannot get it to lock at low wheel speeds (from my experience with stock LSD) It is great for mudding or high speed drift situations but zero help crawling.

    I've never had an air locker but you're still relying on electrical connections to the actuator etc. Air makes sense to me only if you have another use for a compressor. Airing down / up tires etc. An air locker still has an electric solenoid (just like what's on an e-locker) to divert air to the locker and an electric air compressor. So you're just adding more complexity / possible failure points with air. Although its probably more "instantly" locked because it has more power at the actual locker in the diff.

    For my $ I'd go electric selectable locker in the rear only. No air lines, no extra bs. Electrical connections last 50 years without failure everywhere else.
    There is a reason that 30 year old Toyota factory electric lockers still work. Sure it takes 1 second to turn on, but you almost never turn it on 1/2 way up a hill. Its easy to estimate the situations you need it in and turn it on beforehand. Drive 5 feet and boom locker is engaged. If there is almost any wheel movement a (factory) Toyota e-locker will engage. Most times it will engage if there is no load on the diff without movement.

    Rear locker only will get you 95% of the places you want to go even with aggressive rock crawling.
    You could do Rubicon, Moab most things with only a rear. Your truck will have plenty of other weak points before you max out the capabilities of a single rear locker. (shit tires, low clearance problems, not low enough gearing, turning radius!!! etc)

    Sorry but my relatively bad experiences with auto lockers I wanted to share. Only for a trail rig really and have no business in a DD / street truck. F-them and spend 2X more for any electric locker. Its so much nicer in every way for a few hundred dollars.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2022 at 12:43 PM
  2. Jan 14, 2022 at 11:06 AM

    KNABORES Not so new-ish Member

    Jan 1, 2020
    2000 Limited TRD AC 4X4 Thunder Grey. 2019 Limited TRD CM 4x4 Cement Grey
    2000: Bilstein 5100's 16x8 589's with 265/75/16 and 1.25" spacers Flowmaster 50 series over the axle dump Westin bull bar with 20" LED Pioneer touchscreen with backup camera Full interior and dash LED conversion Trailer brake controller with 7 pin Bedliner coat bumpers trim and tool box 2019: ARE topper with full Bedrug kit TRD shifter
    Now that folks, is a first post. Welcome aboard sir! Bravo
    2002tii, FrenchToasty and FirstGenVol like this.
  3. Jan 14, 2022 at 1:13 PM
    rock climber

    rock climber New Member

    Oct 7, 2019
    2001 Sequoia 4X4, 2006 Tundra Double Cab 4X4
    Agree, thanks for sharing!
  4. Jan 15, 2022 at 5:02 PM

    2002tii New Member

    Apr 8, 2021
    02 Tundra AC SR5 4x4
    I like your awareness regarding lockers. Though it seems the OP has already figured out his rig, it helps me plan on mine. Im more in the 5 difficulty trail camp, and like one of the other members, the truck will be driven by kids. Electric rear may be my path.
    I have only dealt with OEM electric lockers, never had any issues, I imagine you either chase a wire or use a mallet if not really broken. If it was a dedicated machine, then I would consider f/r air lockers, or a different rig.

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