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Unread 04-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #1
jediwebdude
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Default Rookie off-roader questions

1) What is the advantage of a solid axle conversion?

2) On the 4th gen 4Runner, what are the most common things that break when off-roading?

3) I assume the differential lock button on my 4Runner is for situations when I'm in mud or on ice and not getting the traction I need. Any other situation it is good for?

Gone off-roading twice now. It's addictive. Each time has cost me a lot of money...as in I come back from the outing and start ordering gear, tires, etc...based on what I just experienced. I am quickly realizing that my desired accessory list exceeds the price value of my 4Runner.

Thanks,
-PJ
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Last edited by jediwebdude; 04-13-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Unread 04-13-2012, 11:41 AM   #2
T4RJon_SR5
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Heheheheh....

....Welcome to the club. I'm sure someone will start a "4Runner-ers Anonymous" support group on this forum in the near future.

I started a few minor mods a couple years ago, and after doing those I've noticed that for every mod I complete, two or three get added to the list.
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Unread 04-17-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
shabaka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jediwebdude View Post
1) What is the advantage of a solid axle conversion?
suspension travel and articulation vs a stock IFS set up
some would say solid is stronger but that is not a blanket policy
as been proven time after time not all IFS is weak, not all solid axles are strong

Quote:
Originally Posted by jediwebdude View Post
2) On the 4th gen 4Runner, what are the most common things that break when off-roading?
rear pinion/diff carrier issues common
also broken front diff bracket seems like two common thing when wheeling
bent rear lower arms
may be the top three


Quote:
Originally Posted by jediwebdude View Post
3) I assume the differential lock button on my 4Runner is for situations when I'm in mud or on ice and not getting the traction I need. Any other situation it is good for?
that button is for the CENTER diff ...in the transfer case (NOT the axles)
takes you from AWD to "Part-Time" (or 50/50) 4WD
it sends equal power to both axles instead of shifting the torque split back and forth
so no good on dry pavement ...good practice to use it for off-roading
i dont use it on ice unless i'm goofing off

have fun!!!
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Unread 04-17-2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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1) Provides more articulation and usually more travel than IFS, also when people put an axle on the front it tends to be much more beefy and stronger than the IFS. Additionally an axle does "leverage" to push down the end that doesn't have the weight to improve traction on the tire that is only touching the ground.

2)
Common Items with some offroad use:
Skid plates take a beating
rear lower axle links bend on rocks
Expect flat tires from rock, branches, etc (very common pending terrain and tires used)

With more extreme use:
rear ring gear can pop with some extreme use
passenger side front axle mount can break on older well used 4Runners (causing major damage)
CV joints and tie rods can break, but these have been far and few between even with some serious use.

3) lock the center diff when doing steep climbs or drops, especially with low traction or uneven surfaces, makes life much easier on the drivetrain. Also use 4Lo. Locking the center diff also turns of skid control so no power limiting, it also makes the ATRAC works much better.

As said above don't use on flat surfaces with good traction as it can damage the drivetrain.

A general tip is to go out with experienced offroaders first. It really helps to go out with experienced 4Runner owners that know and understand the 4Runner offroad, they can show and explain a lot of stuff to you. Don't go out alone till you are experienced.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 06:42 AM   #5
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Thanks guys. In looking through the combined list of what-could-go-wrong items, I will explore what beefier/stronger aftermarket items are available for replacing the components that are at risk:

a) rear pinion/diff carrier issues common
b) broken front diff bracket
c) bent rear lower arms
d) Skid plates take a beating <-- already picked out full set of skids
e) rear lower axle links bend on rocks
f) Expect flat tires from rock, branches, etc <-- recently upgraded to BFG A/T E series tires
g) rear ring gear can pop with some extreme use
h) passenger side front axle mount can break
i) CV joints and tie rods can break

Quote:
A general tip is to go out with experienced offroaders first.
Went both times with a group of more experienced 4Runner off-roaders. Learned lots of techniques from them. There is a large off-road park an hour away, making it convenient.
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Unread 04-18-2012, 10:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jediwebdude View Post
Thanks guys. In looking through the combined list of what-could-go-wrong items, I will explore what beefier/stronger aftermarket items are available for replacing the components that are at risk:

a) rear pinion/diff carrier issues common
b) broken front diff bracket
c) bent rear lower arms
d) Skid plates take a beating <-- already picked out full set of skids
e) rear lower axle links bend on rocks
f) Expect flat tires from rock, branches, etc <-- recently upgraded to BFG A/T E series tires
g) rear ring gear can pop with some extreme use
h) passenger side front axle mount can break
i) CV joints and tie rods can break


Went both times with a group of more experienced 4Runner off-roaders. Learned lots of techniques from them. There is a large off-road park an hour away, making it convenient.
On your list:
a) & g) are the same thing.
b) & h) are the same
c) & e) are the same

Order of what to do (IMHO):
1) Tire repair kit
2) Stronger front diff bracket & skid plates
3) Stronger axle links
4) Improve suspension
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Unread 04-28-2015, 09:40 PM   #7
4x4KindaGuy
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Interesting thread. I am planning to run a light trail by next month. Im still a starter when it comes to off-roading so knowing these things is a must. Good read.
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Unread 04-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4KindaGuy View Post
Interesting thread. I am planning to run a light trail by next month. Im still a starter when it comes to off-roading so knowing these things is a must. Good read.
You might want to read up on this thread,

http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25

Get a good feel fro how ATRAC works. Keeping a steady pressure on the gas at a low rpm and allowing it to work and kick in is key. You will be surprised what the 4Runner can handle with open diffs and ATRAC. As long as you are in 4low with the center diff locked.


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Unread 04-29-2015, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jediwebdude View Post
1) What is the advantage of a solid axle conversion?
If you have to ask, it's not the mod for you.
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Unread 04-30-2015, 01:24 AM   #10
4x4KindaGuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darklight View Post
You might want to read up on this thread,

http://www.toyota120.com/forum/showthread.php?t=25

Get a good feel fro how ATRAC works. Keeping a steady pressure on the gas at a low rpm and allowing it to work and kick in is key. You will be surprised what the 4Runner can handle with open diffs and ATRAC. As long as you are in 4low with the center diff locked.


Hey! Thanks for the tip. I'll read on that too.
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