Tru Tracker vs Dana 60 Rear Upgrade for 78 series

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 10:38
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Enquiring as to whether anybody has upgraded their 70 series and overcome the narrower rear axle issue standard with these models using either of these products and if so, what impressions you have with respect to the change in driveability?
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Reply By: garrycol - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:07

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:07
There have been a number of threads on the narrow track issue. The vast majority of people who have actually owned one say it is not an issue though there are some who disagree. The majority of complainants have not owned one and are basing comments on supposition or are armchair warriors.

Certainly there was one in my family for a couple of years and there were no apparent complaints or issues.

So with your vehicle have you had issues that are enough to warrant spending considerable funds to modify the vehicle or have you assumed there are issues and looking at options.

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Follow Up By: Lupe the Troopie - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:45

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:45
Thanks for the insight - nothing specific from my vehicle just testing the water to find out if anybody has experience.

Vendors naturally will flog you the most expensive piece of kit available saying it is an absolute must have and without which the sky will fall and as was commented on, it is a seriously large number of fuel fills that we are talking about.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 16:07

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 16:07

At the risk of being incorrect I suspect that if you canvassed the “vast majority” you would find varying degrees of the problem, depending on vehicle use and the individual’s requirements rather than no problem.

The difficulty for those who "don’t have a problem" is they have no means of making a valid comparison without trying it with the offset corrected (you don't know what you don't know, I guess)

Those who have gone through an exercise of making a comparison are potentially more likely to retain the change once the difference is measured for them...

Ps: When you say there was one in your family, are you referring to the vehicle or an arm chair warrior...

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 17:56

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 17:56
Hi Lupe

I might just add, without doubt it is true there are many 4WD modifications and accessories on the market, some useful, perhaps some less so...

And the sales pitch can vary from "info-mercials and "reward based reviews" in 4WD magazines to companies who have a proven track record of delivering on the requirements of their clients...endorsement for the latter group is often word-of-mouth via their satisfied clients.

There is no better endorsement than customer advocacy...

So it is worth noting there are people and companies out there who have a genuine interest in finding solutions to known problems and issues with various vehicles, and who are not simply out to “make a buck” by getting into your wallet. In many cases, some of these modifications are far superior to the OEM and enhance the basic product that comes off the showroom floor.

The key is to assess your requirements and if you find a need for change, find someone who is reputable and who gives you confidence they can provide a solution that works best for you.

Companies that work to an ethic of putting client satisfaction as the number one priority are usually the best to work with...

Without seeking to promote MDT Engineering specifically (the makers of Tru-Tracker), I will call out that my experience with them and the solutions they provide on a number of levels is first class and I would not hesitate in recommending them and staking my own reputation on them…

You might find quite a few other people from the EO community share a similar view to me on MDT.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Steve in Kakadu - Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 18:17

Monday, Oct 17, 2016 at 18:17
You could do THIS
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Reply By: wooly0005 - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:28

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 12:28
Hi Lupe,

We have a 79 series as a touring vehicle for the last 6 years. Sometimes towing our camper and sometimes on its own. We have covered almost every type of terrain imaginable over that time from deep soft sand to rocky jump ups and so on.

In all that time I can honestly say that the narrower rear end has never been an issue. For me, the only thing about it is the appearance but you need a keen eye to even notice the difference.

A few companies are making all sorts of fixes now from changeover diffs and coil spring conversions to the old 50mm spacers (illegal and unsafe)

All are quite expensive, running into thousands for no gain.

Personally I would never consider changing things and I would put the savings in the fuel tank instead.

The best place to read or ask about this is on the LCOOL forum where several members have different mods for this.

Toyota is not the only manufacturer to do this. I have heard that the nissan utes are different widths as well as some race cars although I am happy to be corrected if thats not the case.

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:19

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:19
Nothing beats first hand experience over the arm chair warriors.
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Reply By: Chris_B - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:06

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:06
I have owned both 78 and 79 series and I think it's great that manufactures have provided solutions. Now I just have to find a problem to fit the solution.
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:53

Wednesday, Oct 12, 2016 at 14:53
I have completed the Tru-Tracker modification and found it has made a considerable difference to the handling characteristics of the vehicle for the type of touring I do and found the cost expense worthwhile.

I have noted this modification has made a significant difference to the way the vehicle handles and performs, especially when it comes to dune driving in the desert on soft sand. The modification has also made a considerable difference when towing my TVAN, both on, and off-road.

Noting, my vehicle weighs in at around 3,500kg...

But like many things in life, it all comes down to your requirements and the competing priorities for the funds in your wallet. For me the cost versus outcome debate was in favour of the desired outcome so I had it done.

You can read more about my viewpoint in the following blog and whilst many just use "spacers" I would urge caution if you ever contemplate that course...

Feel free to drop me a note if you would like to discuss further, email on my member profile.

Tru-Tracker Modification
GVM Upgrade (Impact on Tru-Tracker)

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - 8111COLIN - Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 20:54

Thursday, Oct 13, 2016 at 20:54
I have owned 3 / 75 series Troop carriers and now own a 78 series , and the difference is so minimal that i can't tell the difference , weather it be in deep sand snow or mud .
I have changed the suspension only .

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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 09:59

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 09:59
Without doubt there will be varying views on the Toyota 70 Series rear track issue and how it might affect vehicle handling.

Whilst there is a suggestion that “most people” don’t find it to be a problem, you only need to Google “Toyota 70 Series Rear Track Issue” or something similar and you might equally conclude that “most people” do have a problem and in many cases using spacers to resolve it.

Now without getting into a debate on the validity of spacers, they are not approved for use on these vehicles and recognising a need, companies like MDT Engineering and Dana have provided a fully engineered and approved solution for those wanting one.

Both of these companies are leaders in design engineering and manufacturing.

Can I place an emphasis on “for those wanting one” – many correctly look at the issue through their own lens and make an assessment on outcome achieved, versus cost to achieve. I get it that it won't stack up for some, especially if they don't recognise it as being a significant issue, if a problem at all…

Personally, I will call it out as a problem, especially with specific regard to my vehicle and the touring I do in it...

It will be interesting to see if the new five-star ANCAP rated 70 Series, due for release sometime over the next 2-3 months, has the wheel track corrected. No mention has been made of it in any of the detail I have seen on the vehicle.

But on the problem itself, there has been some solid research on the topic.

One was a report commissioned by the WA Police in 2014 following a number of roll-over of its Troop Carriers on outback roads and that was pointing to the front and rear track difference as being more than a casual factor in some of these accidents.

This report was undertaken by Keith Simmons of KND Consulting and I did post a link to this quite some time ago in a forum thread running in response to my Blog on the topic. The report has since been removed from the internet and I am endeavouring to obtain a copy for the benefit of those that would like to review it, and if successful, I will post it here.

Keith is a well credentialed expert on vehicle rollover safety and you can view his profile on Linked-in.

Having said that, the reality is that some will see the differing wheel track as an issue and others won’t.

Highlighting that a meaningful assessment and review of the difference might be difficult to make unless you are able to compare the handling characteristics of an affected vehicle both pre and post modification…

So back to the original poster...

"Lupe the Troopy" asked for input from those who had either the Tru-Tracker or the Dana 60 Rear upgrade modification on their vehicle and an assessment of the effectiveness of either of the modifications – I have offered a first-hand assessment from the driver’s seat and certainly not from the comfort of an arm-chair…

Mind you, I'm sure "Lupe" will appreciate viewpoints on the whole issue, not just the solutions...

My parting comment on the topic is best summed up in a Tibetan Proverb

"Accept as truth only that you can prove for yourself, as no truth is truth to one until you can prove it by your own experiments..."

Good weekend to all...!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 10:13

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 10:13
Your flogging a dead horse Baz - even in this thread experiences seem to indicate it is not such an issue - it is only you who has the problem.

Now thats Ok - that is your experience and as I said experiences are better than comments from arm chair warriors.

Now it is up to the OP to decide whether your personal experience is more or less relevant than the personal experiences of others.

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 12:33

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 12:33
Hi Gary

I’m not sure what your agenda is on this. I don’t invite anyone, including yourself, to rely on the information I’ve provided, flogging a dead-horse as you’ve described it.

I’ve simply offered up my experience, in a well-considered, and hopefully articulated response to the OPs specific question. And for sure, I’ll leave it to Lupe and others to decide what they do with the information; to arbitrate on whether it represents more than an arm-chair view…

Besides, there are people out there who are far better credentialed than me to express a viewpoint on the inherent danger of this offset. A good starting point is the Principals of both of these engineering firms who have seen a need, responded to Consumer and Corporate demand, and made a monetary commitment to tooling up workshops to manufacture a solution…

Adding, if they can flog a solution at three-grand a pop for a problem that doesn’t exist to hundreds of happy customers, they’re in the wrong business – they’d do well to turn their hand at selling ice to the Eskimos’ such is their sales acumen…

As always, when entering the forum I am respectful that others may have a differing opinion to mine, crikey, Mrs Landy disagrees with me on something every other day, so I’m more than happy to rest at that…and wish you a good weekend!

Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 16:33

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 16:33

Beautifully put together again , you nailed the whole wheel base problem with the V8 cruisers perfectly .


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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 22:31

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 22:31
This is just my limited experience with this issue.

Years ago we had a dealership that sold and serviced ATVs (quad bikes) and other associated vehicles. One of our customers was a geo survey mob that owned quite a few of our brand and brought them in to us to have services and repair the destruction handed out to these machines by their field crews.
This company originally owned their own Landcruiser utes but switched to lease arrangements because they felt that they wanted to concentrate on their core business rather than also running a workshop.
When the new V8 Cruisers replaced the old sixes their crew chief came to us with one with an ATV on the back. Being into this sort of thing I crawled all over it. He chucked me the keys and invited me to take it for a hack.
Boy did I come back with an ear to ear grin. Of course I asked him how they went in the bush.
He said that while they went like the proverbial cut cat on bitumen or flat gravel they did seem to be unable to make up their minds which rear wheel wanted to follow which front wheel in the made track. He wasn't sure whether it was the front or the rear but it seemed to get up a bit of a sway from side to side, not noticable on hard ground and not dangerous, just discomforting.

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Reply By: Dean K3 - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 19:18

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 19:18
Not a expert on cruiser but did drive them fair bit in days of SES vollie - day drive prado. Fromwhat I have heard nobdoy likes the extra width of the V8 wheel setup as most tracks are older and thus fitting on some tracks is a rough ride.

whilst at Gascoyne junction I came across couple of SES guys out of a radio comms and get to know the patch field trip. one vehicle was from sharkbay a v8 station wagon other a older 6 cyl ute single cab (karratha or port hedland ?) - now I am sure i knew one of blokes (maybe cos resemblance to george clooney) but he was saying this was a big issue to search and rescue groups due to terrain they had to traverse over. now this might be older 6 cyl vs the wider v8 axle width or just body width .

I have however seen a modified rail maintence cruiser ute fitted with dual wheels at back end to allow for transportation of axle boxes from rolling stock. who did it engineers certificate etc unknown
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Reply By: 9900Eagle - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 22:01

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 22:01
I have driven both the old series and the V8's in the same virgin terrain. If travelling on normal tracks you won't notice much if any difference.

It is when you travel in virgin soft ground or tracks that have not had the different vehicle wheel track that you notice it.

AnswerID: 605117

Follow Up By: Member - 8111COLIN - Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 23:02

Friday, Oct 14, 2016 at 23:02
You can't all be serious about this minimal difference in the track , if it were a race car then i would agree , these cars have enough grunt to drag you through any terrain without noticing if the wheels don't follow in the front wheels track .

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 00:28

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 00:28
Following is a table of vehicles highlighting difference between front and rear track, and keep in mind the 70 series difference is 95mm.

It looks a tad more than minimal when compared to others. The problem is one of physics, as you load the rear of your Troopy and the CoG moves rearwards, the problem becomes worse and the risk of instability increases.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 05:42

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 05:42
Colin, never mention lack of grunt, just you notice it with certain ground or track conditions.

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Follow Up By: Member - 8111COLIN - Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 07:47

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 07:47
I have never noticed it in over 100,000 kms over many different surfaces , towing and not towing .
I compared it to my 75 series when i had both at the same time and the only thing that took a bit of getting used to was touching gutters when parking due to the front being wider, nothing else .

I have 305/7016 mud tyres on my car and maybe it shields the offset .
Vehicles tip over due to the driver not the car .
You can send any slice of technical info to me however , i'm not one bit interested in that at all , i know the vehicle works really well the way it is , loaded , unloaded ,on any surface .
Good luck with your technicalities and worries .
We obviously like our Toyota's , so we do have one thing we agree on .

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 08:05

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 08:05
Hi Colin

We probably agree on more than one thing I suspect.

As I have said consistently, people will have a different view on this issue and I've no problem with that.

The table is for the benefit of all with an interest, and the question goes to why the big difference, if it was a great design outcome everyone would do it. Noting, it is not minimal when viewed in context of other like vehicles.

But I get it that you might not be interested in the facts or research, especially if it works well for you in its current format, the question still goes to why Toyota built it this way, especially as it creates problems with the back-end handling...

The answer is simple, it let the "bean counters" rule over the design engineers in this case, given they probably had a factory full of these rear axles and diff housings. Just make it work (comply with ADRs) and they will still buy the vehicle...

Mind you, the vehicle has many superb qualities and the reason I have one...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - 8111COLIN - Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 15:30

Saturday, Oct 15, 2016 at 15:30
Hi Baz
Yes i totally agree with what you say in the last post .

So you are right we do agree on a couple of things .

Another cheap way of rectifying YOUR problem is to put skinny wheels on the front and huge ones on the rear .

Joking of course
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Reply By: Chorba - Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 18:01

Wednesday, Oct 19, 2016 at 18:01
I've owned/driven a VDJ79 for the last 4 years. Last time I looked the cost was in the range of $10-14K. Personally I can think of a motsa of more important things I'd spend that sort of dosh on ... if I had it i.e.

And BTW, wasn't there a similar issue with one of the Nissan utes?

It is noticeable, but far from significant enough to go down that road methinks.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Oct 20, 2016 at 06:40

Thursday, Oct 20, 2016 at 06:40
Hi Chorba

For a price of $2,500/$3,000 you can get a fully engineered solution these days...

Mind you there are alternatives in the price range you describe.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy

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