Hilux 4x4 independant front

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 09:27
ThreadID: 11859 Views:6974 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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G'day all, just thought I'd post this. last weekend I lost the front diff in my 99 hilux with independant front end. After talking to many mechanics, diff specialists, and the likes, it appears that the hilux front diff isn't "unbreakable", it actually is a weak point and "blows" on a regular bases. Just a warning for those who are thinking about buying one. I've also heard that the Prado is in the same boat.
"Oh what a feeling".
I'll repair mine like new and sell it and get a Patrol.
Cheers all.
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Reply By: Leroy - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 09:40

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 09:40
Hi Smithy,

I think this is now common knowledge and one of the reasons I went for the Patrol! The other weak link are the CV joints on both the Prado and Hilux, with a Prado I know only a couple of weeks ago breaking a CV with a front air locker installed.

AnswerID: 53359

Follow Up By: GO_OFFROAD - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 20:06

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 20:06
Im on a couple of prado lists, some world wide, and these are people using the vehicles for the intended purpose mainly.

I know of 4 broken rear diffs within those groups, but 2 were by the same person as well. I havent heard of any broken front diffs or cv's in that group, but know of 3 outside of the group.

There is a way to improve the design of the diff, and make it stronger, but dont forget your also moving the fusable link down the line at the same time.

Making a slid pinion spacer, and fitting an air locker carrier will make the diffs in any vehicle stronger, given the Air locker carrier is so much stronger and prevents the crownwheel flexing away from the pinion, without having the big opening for the side gears of the standard carrier, and fitting a solid pinion spacer, instead of a collapsible unit also helps make the diff a stronger unit.
FollowupID: 315149

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 10:01

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 10:01

Fair go mate.! Would you like to give us the actual numbers of breakages or were all these experts going on hearsay.
Sorry mate but I don't give much credibility to anecdotal generalisation from post like this.

Every vehicle under the right or should that be wrong conditions will suffer breakages or some form of problem and quitre often it is related to the driver and this includes the car you reckon you are now going to buy.

Maybe you bought the wrong vehicle in the first place for your needs.

I am sorry but I hate people posting things like this without a more detailed explanation.

I have heard of diff breakages where the owner swears he was doing nothing out of the ordinary and then the passenger tells me he was driving the hell out of the car over ledges getting massive wheel lifting and then shock loading the axle when it comes down.

They don't just break driving down the road and compared to the number of vehicles sold the breakages of any vehicle are quite minimal.

AnswerID: 53362

Follow Up By: Member - Raymond - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:22

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:22
Hi David
I agree that often it is abuse. One problem with Toyota front diffs is they do not appreciate is going hard in reverse especially if they are backing up a steep hill or river bank, they will do it fine with care. Its like the coil towers in Nissans bending, but they forget they overloaded the vehicle or abused it in the majority of cases
FollowupID: 315078

Follow Up By: Smithy - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:35

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:35
Dave, There was a group of 5 vechicles, 1 hilux, 2 GQ patrols, 2 landcrusiers, (all starndard) which followed the same tracks as I did. I had to be snatched through one spot (the only person to be snatched all day, and following the same line as the other vechiles ) and was the only driver to suffer any damage to thier vechile.
I wouldn't say I was a "rough or hard" driver, after all it is a $30K vechile I'm driving and it would be a litlle hard to explain to the misses that I had to leave it in the bush because I'd thrashed and broken it.
As far as the local diff repairs go, this is 2 in our area, they say it is the most common 4x4 diff to require repairing. Parts are not a problem, it's keeping hold of them because they go through them so often.
You also mentioned the CV's, well funny that so did the repairers.
This is the first breakage I've had with the vechile, but have been speaking to others and it's rumoured people are trying to Toyota to court for false advertising. One bloke has gone through 2 diff's with 40K kms on the clock, and still under warranty?
FollowupID: 315079

Follow Up By: Davoe - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:36

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 12:36
Raymond, Rubish! tojos used underground are are regulary (many times a day not once every couple of months) driven extremely hard up the decline in reverse how hard? as hard as they will go in 4l that is 4500 rpm and not just for 10-20m either often for 100+ meteres to get out of they way of trucks. Undergroung vehicles spend a significant amount of their time reversing often fast and while they do break it isnt any where near the level indicated in these posts espcially as that is about as much abuse as you can give a vehicle in reverse
FollowupID: 315080

Reply By: Leroy - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 13:13

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 13:13
There was an article in a recent 4wd monthly mag mentioning weak front toyota diffs and how to do a bush fix so you could limp home.

AnswerID: 53380

Reply By: Cruza - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 15:07

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 15:07
Firstly, your statement "it actually is a weak point and "blows" on a regular basis" is far from true. I am sure that some Hiluxs, even newish ones, have blown diffs. I also know that Patrols, Landcruisers etc etc can blow diffs too. Just because you broke your diff while off road, does not mean that Hilux diffs blow on a regular basis. I know of many Lux's that have done 300 000+ kms and not dropped a diff.

Secondly, in the November 2003 issue of 4WD Monthly, Roothie wrote a 7 page article on buying used Hiluxs. He mentions common problems, such as front shocky towers and gearboxes blowing fifth gera when well worn. The only time in the article he mentions blown diffs is after a V6 commodore engine transplant. I am sure that if blown diffs was such an out of control problem for Hiluxs, 4wd Monthly would have given it a mention.

Finally, it is unfair to compare a hilux to a Patrol. If you want to compare Nissan to Toyota, compare a Patrol to a Cruiser. If you wanted a Large 4wd family wagon or a heavy duty ute, how did you end up with a light commercial vehicle?

I'm not having a go, but I think you should be careful when slandering a vehicle like the Hilux with blanket statements.
AnswerID: 53404

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 15:27

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 15:27

Just because you were the only vehicle to break down or be snatched doesn't come into it. The damage may have been caused months ago but just finally let go on that trip. I thinlk that you mentioned a cruiser was on that trip. If so then you might be surprised if you look under the front and you would see a diff thge same size as the Hilux. If they were so weak then surely a cruiser weighing a lot more would have blown his diff!
AnswerID: 53411

Reply By: Slammin - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 22:27

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 22:27
I'm with Cruza on this one yep from what i have read/been told they aren't the strongest diff on the market but you' re talking about a light commercial vehicle not a flippin patrol talk about apples and oranges.

I think Outnabout is alluding to the Cruiser and Hilux front diffs being the same? Not sure but i think you can do straight swap. His point about the Cruiser getting thru is more than valid the, similar diff heavier vehicle.

I know I'd bebleepif it went on me but there aren't any cars in this class that would come close for my money.

If you're worried about reliability which Patrol would you get? Sorry low blow.
AnswerID: 53478

Follow Up By: Smithy - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2004 at 09:29

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2004 at 09:29
The landcrusier has a live front end so I'd expect it to run better, I'm talking about hilux's with the independant front end.
FollowupID: 315181

Follow Up By: Slammin - Thursday, Apr 08, 2004 at 01:17

Thursday, Apr 08, 2004 at 01:17
Yeah I know you mean the IFS that's what i'm talking about. Do you mean the landcruiser on the day was live axle? If so I see what your point, but it's still an unfair comparison - patrol/cruiser to hilux.

As an aside aren't the IFS Cruiser and Hilux the same diff?
FollowupID: 315320

Reply By: Mick - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 22:49

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2004 at 22:49
Then you'll really find out the meaning of trouble Smithy!!
AnswerID: 53485

Reply By: Alfred - Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 01:06

Saturday, Apr 17, 2004 at 01:06
Hi Smithy,
See PostID 10313
I am "now" told by Toyota my Hilux is the only vehicle to have broken a front diff, and since breaking a second diff "it must be due to driver abuse".
Would apreciate to talk further about this issue. Contact me by email or phone, or email me your contact number.
02 9711 9394
0418 976 679

Alfred (Smithfield NSW)
AnswerID: 54655

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