Ford, Toyota, Ford, Toyota?

Submitted: Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 16:59
ThreadID: 135759 Views:5804 Replies:17 FollowUps:41
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I'm looking at either a Ranger or Hilux (I know, I'm asking for trouble). Thing is, in the configuration I am looking at the Hilux does not have descent control and , when the rear diff is locked, the traction control does not operate on the front wheels.

The first issue does not bother me as much, I am planning on a Wholesale Automatics Lock up and Valving kit with either vehicle (though they do not do the valve kit for the Ranger, bit of a blow).

My question regards the second issue: the traction control turning off when the locker is on. Does anyone have a view on how much this will be to the detriment of performance?

(I am a great believer in making it as easy as possible for the vehicle off road, rather than stressing things with speed and/or aggression).

Interesting point, almost every media comparison gives the tick to the Ranger as the better vehicle, yet when I started asking around regarding upgrades (engine, transmission, suspension etc.) to a person the trades recommended the Hilux as the better option!

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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 17:51

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 17:51
Mark .

Funny you say that about mechanics pointing you towards the Toyota .
My best mate a mechanic of 40 years only considered one car , that was the Hilux .

AnswerID: 614370

Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 18:41

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 18:41
Have heard of an aftermarket locker snapping axles when the traction control kicked in.
AnswerID: 614374

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:27

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:27
Interesting. Ford Ranger used to disable the traction control on the front when the locker was engaged, but they have reversed that now (not engaging it in reverse, I mean they've changed it to work on the front when the locker is engaged!).

I imagine Ford have selectively removed the traction control from the rear when in locked situation. I'm interested to know if anyone has experience is advising me if this is going to make any significant difference to off road performance. I don't want to be fitting aftermarket front locker if not required.

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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:44

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:44
Reply 2 of 2
AnswerID: 614374 Submitted: Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 09:33
IvanTheTerrible replied:
Have heard of an aftermarket locker snapping axles when the traction control kicked in.
How and why did that happen , sounds like one of those , someone told someone stories .
I have a Dmax with 2 eLockers , I know you are not interested in a Dmax just saying .
I have driven both the latest Hilux SR5 and Ford Ranger on 4WD tracks in the Vic Highcountry, both went ok but it's only when things get really interesting , rugged, wet ect that you need all the traction aids , that's when 2 Lockers come in real handy , where do you intend to use the vehicle
If it was me I would probably go the Ranger but either one would do the job .
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:53

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:53
Hi Jackolux, why the Ranger, Because of the traction advantage only?
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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:40

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:40
Not the TC , just preferred the Ranger to drive , like the bigger motor , that's just my opinion , either would do the job I'm sure .
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Follow Up By: Hoyks - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 18:20

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 18:20
Traction control works by braking the spinning wheel.

Diff locked = no spinning wheel, so no need to disable it on the rear axle when the locker is engaged as the traction control doesn't activate on that axle anyway.

I have no idea why they thought it was a good idea to switch TC off when the diff lock was engaged in the first place.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:58

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 19:58
the first question is .... who in their right mind would fit a main engine oil pump that can not self prime ...... the implications of this a far far beyond the oil change issue in a 4wd.
The ask yourself what other ill advised engineering choices where made on the vehicle.

It simply does not need to go any further.

AnswerID: 614377

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:11

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:11
I would make a wild guess and say a manufacturer that wanted to boast about how his creation gets 0.01% better economy than his competitor while producing 0.01% less pollution.

But that's just a wild guess (;-))

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Follow Up By: Jackolux - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:44

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:44
That's true Bantam didn't give that much thought but I do have a few mates with Rangers and BT50's it hasn't been a issue for them so far .
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 21:18

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 21:18
Bantam, I'm not following. I presume you are referencing an issue on Rangers?
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 22:07

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 22:07
yes rangers

Think on this ...... you are out the back of where ever and you are driving your $WD off road .... yeh sort of the purpose ....... so ya push it just a little too far and it falls over.
Not uncommon for such things to happen and the damage to be insignificant.

it takes a while to get it back on it's feet ....... yeh ya lost a little oil and you are a good bloke and you clean that up properly.

Normal practice would be to let it sit for a while and let the oil to drain back into the sump ....... crank it carfully till the oil light goes oit and ya probably golden.

IF you have a self priming oil pump ..... if not you either have a buggered engine or a 4 figure recovery bill.

Lots of Mechanics simply will not touch Rangers and BT50s because of the oil pump issue alone.

Ford and oil pump problem are nothing new ...... the Falcon oil pump had a manufacturing flaw in the oil pump pressure relief valve for the entire life of marque.
The aftermarket pump manufacturers fixed the problem very early on, but not in the OEM product.

Then there are the door handles and the seat mechanisims and on and on ...... Na mate ...... Fords and built to break something that costs you money.

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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 22:15

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 22:15
Okay, I've just read up on the oil pump issue. It does appaer to be a fairly egregious error. Not sure on the general comment of "built to break" though, thousands of happy customers.

You are correct on their being a few questionable issues. It amazes me that the driveline is such that a mild lift causes such problems.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 23:24

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 23:24
Every single manufacturer of substandard product has "hundreds/ thousands of happy customers .... that simply does not change the facts.
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 06:58

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 06:58
I agree, except making a statement such as "made to break" is not presenting any facts.
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:52

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:52
Hey Bantam

So when do you reckon the 200,000 PX Rangers sold since 2011 will explode due to that oil pump issue ?


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Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 23:22

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 23:22
you're getting your knickers in a twist about something that has existed for five years, and its such a common, scandalous problem that ... you are just hearing about it?! Boy, Ford has really kept that one under wraps.??
Can't drain and fill your oil in ten? What's the problem?
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Reply By: pop2jocem - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:06

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 20:06
I'd love to hear the theory behind how ADC could contribute to a snapped drive axle if a locker was engaged?

Anyone ever watched a video of a locked vehicle crawling up a rocky slope with locker(s) engaged and noted how total loss of traction on one wheel leaves all the work to the opposite wheel on the same axle? This usually when if not full throttle, a fair percentage of same is being employed.
I don't know about anyone else but personally the only time my foot goes anywhere near the loud pedal during downhill travel is when descending a steep sand dune and the back is trying to overtake the front..

AnswerID: 614378

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 21:20

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 21:20
Pops, I think you've missed the point @not disagreeing about the locked axle snapping, I have no idea on that front). I believe the point was axles snapping when TRACTION CONTROL was engaged, not Descent control.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 22:15

Monday, Oct 16, 2017 at 22:15

It would appear that you have done your homework and know that ADC and Traction Control all work through the ABS system using selective brake applications and in certain situations intermittent pressures. Which system you select to suit the terrain and descent or ascent decides which wheels have lost traction and which to supply braking to.

In the instance of a vehicle attempting to climb a gradient or descend a gradient that is causing one or more wheels to loose grip and therefor spin or slide, the same selective application of braking is used. The difference is in which wheel the braking is applied to or released from.

When a diff lock is engaged obviously both wheels on that axle can never spin or slide independently. Unfortunately if both wheels are forced to spin even though one may have some traction braking will be applied to both as long as at least one wheel on the other axle has not lost traction and therefor not spinning..
Hardly an ideal situation if you are pushing your vehicle to the limits of it's tractive ability.
FollowupID: 884962

Reply By: Member - Cyberess - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 01:56

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 01:56
No idea where you are getting your information from,

1/ The latest Toyota Hilux does come with decent descent control, and what I have heard about it apparently works quite well.

2/ I am not sure about Toyota traction control versus using it's diff lock, but I am rather sure it really does not matter, the whole idea of using traction control devices such as diff locks and/or traction control is to drive through the obstacles at a lower speed, resulting in lower damage and stress on your components -- If you find yourself belting through obstacles at high speed with your traction devices engaged, and stressing things, well you are doing it all wrong. certainly there is very little in that space to consider either Toyota or Ford

3/ I had to Google what a "Wholesale torque converter lockup, and valving kit" was -- found it Why the heck would you consider mucking with transmission on a new vehicle, I mean in both the Ranger and the Hilux, they both have excellent auto transmissions -- I mean don't muck with something that ain't broken, and doing an after market "unneeded" mod will just break your warranty, and give issues -- and auto transmission are worth a fortune to repair. The same thing goes for throttle controls, and other snakeoil devices.

4/ Now I live in Darwin, and I dropped into all of the businesses that do upgrades or 4WD suspension and other mods -- they all said the same thing to me, and that is for suspension mods both Ford and Mazdas are the easiest for these type of mods.

If you trying to choose which vehicle is right for yourself, just a few pointers which could be worth consideration.

1/ Fords and Madzas come with diff locks on their base models, the models with vinyl flooring etc.. as with Toyota Workmate series they don't with diff locks, which is sort of crazy -- as it's the bottom range of vehicle that need extra traction devices as those are the vehicles better suited for muddy tracks and jumping in and out or with muddy boots etc.

2/ Purchased a vehicle that you yourself prefer and the one that you get a better deal with I mean in reality both or either the Ford or Ranger I just about the same vehicle so just choose what you like.

AnswerID: 614383

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 07:13

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 07:13
1. Hilux does not come with descent control on all 4wd models (including the very latest changes to the range coming into effect this month). The model I am after doesn't, had this confirmed by Toyota yesterday. Hence the question.

2. I have already pointed out that avoiding stress is the reason I am asking the question regarding the traction control (my main concern). Not sure why you would need to give me advice on something I am clearly aware of.

3. Why improve on something on a new vehicle? You're kidding, right?

4. The suspension modifiers I have spoken to aren't concerned about the ease of modification, it is the fact that raising either the Ford or the Mazda is problematic for the drivetrain, most modified vehicles experience some degree of drivetrain shudder. Some have overcome this by modification of the UJ to a cardan joint.

1(2). Toyota appear to agree with you (to an extent). From this month they are offering some of the lower end models with features that were unavailable earlier.

2(2). I will purchase a vehicle I end up happiest with (the deal is less important, a thousand dollars here or there on a brand new vehicle is far less of an issue for me than making the best choice). Both vehicles are similar, but the differences are where my decision lies. Hence my question.

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Follow Up By: Member - Cyberess - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:33

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:33
I must admit my research was about 18 months ago when I purchased my MK2 Ford Ranger. Do you have any web references about the latest changes to the HiLux range, where they are no longer doing "DAC" (Downhill Assist Control) on the Hilux range?

Which is the actual Hilux model are you planning to purchase that does not have what they call DAC (Downhill Assist Control)? Could you just purchase the next one up in the range to obtain DAC?

What sort of lift are you planning on? On my Ranger I had a TJM 50mm lift, and the only thing that they added for the drive shaft was a centre bearing spacer kit, no issues at all with vibration -- still using the same Uni Joint.

About the Automatic transmission modifications that you have been talking about, what is the actual improvements that it will give to the HiLux auto over the standard setup, and why do you think that is a must have modification?

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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:57

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:57
Hi Jackolux, I'm after a 4x4 extra-cab, cab chassis (only comes in Workmate or SR and neither has Descent Control). Up until this month the extra-cab, cab chassis (got to be a shorter way to write that!) didn't come with the larger (2.8) engine and didn't have automatic available. They are producing them now (first one in SA- an SR- is due in two weeks, I am awaiting a test drive).
I could go for an SRX and remove the ute-back, replace with a tray, but I'm not seeing that as a value proposition (many of the extra features you get I'll be replacing/tinkering with anyway). Besides, it is the lack of traction control when locked which annoyed me. As I mentioned, Ford have rectified this on the Ranger.
The lock-up switching and valving kit is something I've had in mind for a few vehicles and have now decided to do with my next (hence the reason Descent control doesn't bother me as much).
I want the advantage of being able to lock the trans during steep descents (I have had a vehicle with Descent control- which relies on the brakes - have the brakes fade a little on the Billy Goat Track) as well as some of the advantages of towing. There are a number of solutions around, the Wholesale Automatics fix appears to get the best reviews by long term users.
These are not without their problems- (for example) changing gears with the unit locked can be problematic. However the valving system overcomes some of this and the feedback I've had regarding the improvement in transmission operation is good. With the Hilux I can also fit a transmission cooler.

The problem with the lift is, it doesn't appear to be consistent.Some get vibration, some don't. It has got to the point some installers refuse to guarantee they can eleiminate it. I have been told (by those who know far more than I) that it is a design fault.

PS: I agree with you regarding the stupidity of leaving traction aids off the base models. They seem to see it as a luxury, rather than a performance item. I've passed on this feedback to Toyota.
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Follow Up By: Member - Cyberess - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:13

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:13
Hi Silkwood,

You are in exactly the same position that I was 18 months ago -- although my choice was a bit different, as I wanted dual cab, as I am always carting too many people, and that is I wanted to purchase a bare cab chassis, and yes I was checking out Toyotas, Nissans, Isuzus, VWs, Mazdas and Fords.

Pricing was important to me, and it was pricing of the whole build that was important (more money for my canopy setup, and the dealer had to willing to help (ie drive the vehicle to allow canopy installation before new vehicle delivery etc).

Must haves for me was it had to be white in colour (hide all my scratches), have a diff lock, good standard clearance, wading depth and to get the vehicle in the exact configuration that I wanted, without paying for the tub tax when I didn't need it. Anyway this ended up being a Ford Ranger for me -- I have documented my setup at which you might find a good read.

Anyway for yourself Ford does appear to have something that fits your asked for configuration and I reckon that is important, Toyota seems to have missed on this occasion by stripping like descent and traction control on the models that you need to consider, and really modifying a vehicle to get it up to the same spec as another vehicle is an expensive option, and that alone should help to form a clear choice.

Anyway things that I have learnt from the my Ford which is the manual version is I love the electric power steering and the electronic throttle control is excellent. Things that I don't like, is the Auto Start-Stop Engine control, although it's easy to disable, by a push of a button, but it re-enables everytime time you restart the vehicle.

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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:45

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:45
Thanks for that. Yes, drove the Ranger and it was quite impressive (though I found the engine a little harsh at take-off, that surprised me).

I'm going to go with a grey (dark or light)... because I've been told I can't have white!!!

Know what you mean about the stop-start, my partner's Audi does it all the time, too. At least the indicator stalk is on the correct side in the Ranger.


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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:47

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:47
Ah, you're the guy with the Mahindra build! Great job.Good write ups.

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Follow Up By: Member - Cyberess - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 21:18

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 21:18
Man I hate being told by a dealer what I can and can not have, and that would defiantly includes colour, I mean if you want white, a dealer should be able to supply colour you like, of course if grey is the colour that you like that’s O.K. , the only problem with grey it’s probably a metallic paint with a white under coat, and the pin stripping just stands out, and difficult to respray.

You certainly have been looking into your build, and you sound rather concerned with the auto, have you considered the manual version of the Ranger? I know it's not everyones cup of tea. I guess manuals are not that common these days, as sometimes I get a passenger that goes "wow a stick shift", I just didn't think is was just that much different :)
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 23:08

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 23:08
Ah, Cyberess, a little misunderstanding, my fault! When I said I couldn't have white, it was a directive from the senior partner! She hates white vehicles.

Not too concerned about auto, just want to make the most of the performance. I thing autos are the better choice for most 4wding (perhaps not rockcrawling, though their are some good auto competitors coming up). I am just wanting t maximise downhill performance. Haven't had a manual 4wd for decades!
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Follow Up By: Member - Cyberess - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 09:27

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 09:27
Oh it was that dealer :P

Say no more :D
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Reply By: Jackolux - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 09:48

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 09:48
I tried the Hill Descent on both the Ranger and Hilux it works well for both vehicles
I gave it a fair workout because my Dmax has no HD and wanted to see what I was missing out on ,
For the most part it's not needed it probably wouldnt be used very often , these modern autos hold pretty good when descending very steep tracks , still not as good as a manual trans but certainly a lot better than the older autos .
I wouldn't be in a hurry to fit a Whole Sale Autos lockup kit , give it a good tryout first and see what you think .
Where Hill Descent would be handy at least with my Dmax is when you might have to reverse down a steep track the Auto will just runaway in reverse, the HD worked in reverse with both Lux and Ranger . I guess the SR HiLux not having HD would be like my Dmax
I'm not sure what is being said about Lockers and TC , with the Ranger when the Locker is engaged the rear TC is disabled and the front still active , can't see a problem with that and I suppose it's a advantage over the HiLux ,
I'm not getting the TC / Locker thing and axles breaking , use Lockers right and it's a lot easier on the drive train , much less chance of breaking things .
I have been driving around the Vic Highcountry for years in 4wds with Lockers believe me Lockers compared to TC , Lockers win hands down even just one
My Dmax TC is next to useless when you lift a wheel , I believe other makes do have better TC .

Silk wood , Mark do you plan on driving really steep 4WD tracks .
AnswerID: 614386

Reply By: gbc - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:24

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 11:24
We have both.
1. the driveline shudder is an issue on rangers/mazdas lifted to the very limit and driven around empty - then you need to space down the centre bearing - this is endemic to most brands. If you go a sensible lift and carry any weight at all you will never experience this as an issue.
2. The ford engine oil pump is a complete non issue, it is a chicken little syndrome - unless you roll your car over onto it's roof and plan to still drive it home.
3. Toyota's "vehicle computer patch" for the driveline clunk in all our hilux's was to drill and tap a couple of extra grease nipples into the driveshaft and pump them full of grease.......
The ranger is much bigger than the lux with a longer wheelbase for a more stable platform all round - especially towing.
The hilux has better standard suspension for carrying weight but if you are upgrading then this is a non issue.
The hilux has a better turning circle
The hilux has a (very good) reverse camera on the base models
The ranger is much bigger inside if you are a larger human
The auto lux uses less fuel than the auto ranger - until you start towing bigger things.
I agree the Ranger is the better drive, it just lopes along. Tow in sport mode per the book and you won't need a converter lockup - it'll lock 5th gear and cruise all day. Mine is 4y.o. and 115 kms with plenty of towing and going strong. Haven't rolled it over yet and every mechanic in the world is aware that you need to take less than half an hour to do the oil change. I'd have another in a heartbeat or maybe the v6 amarok if it tows ok.
AnswerID: 614387

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:16

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:16
Brilliant (and realistic) feed back, thanks for that.

You are correct, the rollover point is not common, though I saw two on the Tele Track (!).

No reverse camera on the tray models, but that's okay. I'll be upgrading the touch screen regardless of model.

Much appreciated.

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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:05

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:05
I have a 2014 BT50, mechanically almost identical to a PX1 Ranger.

We tow a heavy hybrid camper (2200kg) on firetrails and stuff and I agree, the HD is excellent.

I think the auto does better than "hold pretty good" as an engine brake. In first and second in high or low range as appropriate it's excellent, even with camper behind pushing us along. With HD selected as well, steep downhills are a doddle.

If you're going to be towing on the tracks you might find ATF temps getting too high on long steep climbs, especially in hot weather. As a result many BT50/Ranger owners who like to play on the tracks fit transmission coolers. This may swap the ATF temp problem from the uphill scenario to the downhill.

A bit of tech background here...

The Ranger/BT50 has an unusual auto transmission cooling arrangement. Instead of bringing ATF forward to a coil in the radiator for cooling, they take coolant back to a heat exchanger at the transmission. Because of the design and location of the heat exchanger, when you put a conventional ATF cooler on you cannot add it to the ATF cooling circuit so you have both water and air cooling as you do with a conventional setup. Instead the water-based heat exchanger is discarded and the ATF is brought forward to the cooler so that you have air cooling only.

I did this to my BT50. It solved the hot ATF in the uphill on a hot day scenario, but now on long descents using first and second for engine braking in either Hi or Lo range the ATF heats up. On one downhill track (Billygoats near Talbotville, Vic) I had to stop twice and let the tranny cool down because it went into limp mode at an ATF temp of 140.

I have an engineer mate who I travel with. His rig is almost identical to mine, with the same cooler and he has the same issue, so it's not just my vehicle. We both have coolers from Wholesale Automatics and have given them the feedback. They're investigating.

A fan on an ATF cooler is pretty much standard, but Wholesale Automatics don't believe in them and their kit is supplied and fitted without one. I fitted a high powered thermo fan and have solved the problem, I think.

My engineer mate and I think the issue is that the torque converter doesn't lock up under engine braking and therefore generates a lot of heat. Low speed means little airflow through the cooler. Also, going downhill the engine is not working hard so is cool, so the engine fan controlled by its thermo clutch is not pulling much air through anything up front. Hence the improvement by adding the thermo fan to the cooler.

If the you're thinking about a TC lockup kit this could be a consideration but looking at the previously mentioned Wholesale Automatics website, there doesn't appear to be one available for the Ranger. Perhaps someone else does one.


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AnswerID: 614388

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:30

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:30
Good feedback, Frank. Thanks. I don't do a hell of a lot of steep off road (never tow off road) but when I do I like things to work. My 4wding is to get me places (to fish & camp), not to go 4wding.

It was Wholesale Automatics who told me they were not keen on the trans cooling system options for the Ranger. They also said they do not do the valving or lock-up kit for them.

After having had cooling problems in previous vehicles I'm keen to avoid them. Most feedback has suggested the Hilux (with trans cooler) is better in this regard. Still thinking...

FollowupID: 884971

Follow Up By: gbc - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:31

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:31
I have fitted tranny coolers to a few cars before but interestingly my mech warned me off fitting one to the auto ranger.
One big plus I forgot to mention is that it will engage all 6 gears in low range and will cruise at 50-60 Koh in low. When towing in slow off-road (crossing Fraser with the camper) I use low range the whole way. The temps don’t seem to change.
I don’t know if the new lux does this now but previous hilux and Colorado I had certainly didn’t.
FollowupID: 884972

Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:56

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 12:56
I cannot see the sense in even wanting to fit a valve body kit and a TC clutch lockup kit to a modern auto, seeing you have stated you don't tow and don't do much down hill work anyway. Just because it is a popular "must have" in some circles doesn't mean it is essential. If you use a TC lockup kit and it stuffs the clutch then the whole torque conveter requires replacement. Trans out too of course. Those clutches are only designed to take certain torque loading. How do you propose to monitor it so it isn't damaged. No one ever seems to mention this factor or life of TC clutch.

Modern auto's have far more features and functionality and range of selectable ratios yet people still want to modify them because of what somone else said.

It seems with your type of use you won't be stressing the vehicle to need a trans cooler either. I would fit one if doing slow climbs etc.
If the fluid in and outs on a BT50/Ranger can be fed to the front for a cooler, I can't see why a cooler can't be fitted and retain the current water to fluid exchanger as well. Then you have both down and uphill covered for temp control.
AnswerID: 614390

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:39

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 13:39
Hi RMD. I DO tow, just not off-road (as I stated). I will be getting a trans cooler if I select a Hilux. It has been recommended by both owners and mechanics and is said to make a significant difference. Saying you can't see the sense of something doesn't necessarily mean there isn't any.

I realise everyone has an opinion (why they are like a$$#oles I believe). This is why I like to ask for opinions and balance them out with my own considerations (apart from the fact there are those with far more knowledge than myself -in many areas- on this site, I genuinely believe all of us are smarter than any of us). Having said that, I take some of the advice here with a large grain of salt.

I don't purchase things because they are "popular in some circles". With the transmission changes, the great majority of feedback I have had regards these as a brilliant upgrade. I do not want to upgrade anything because "someone said".

Whilst I said I don't go 4wding for the sake of it, I do get off-road regularly (you need to take some of the "rougher" tracks to get isolation in the High Country nowadays, and much of the good fishing and bushwalking is definitely isolated).



FollowupID: 884975

Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 17:29

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 17:29
There is no doubt you can alter the valve body to make it perform differently for some situations, but that Toyota auto (AISIN) is in many vehicles and DMax too and isn't a problem. People love the way they operate and behave and the 6 speeds suits the task very very well. How much more better can they be? A "brilliant upgrade" is hard to quantify.

I too, think the TC clutch is quite small on autos and although a lockup does suit some, from the reports here it isn't required.

I believe the feedback you are taking notice of is what someone said. It is who is saying it that matters.

There are many situations where an additional cooling or having a higher capacity trans cooler is an advantage. I like the fan idea as it can be selected when heat becomes an issue.
I have rebuilt quite a few electronic auto trans, ie, totally disassembled, and have a reasonable understanding of how they operate and their needs.
FollowupID: 884981

Reply By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 15:30

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 15:30
I have a 2012 XLT Ranger and have too agree with everything gbc and Frank P have posted. Mine is lifted 50mm with 300kg ome suspension. The suspension came with a spacer kit for the rear drive shaft and I have no vibration that I can feel.

The vehicle has towed 2.5T from new and now has over 80,000K of towing behind it and has done well over 100000K. This vehicle has been faultless from new and I would buy another one depending on what was available at the time.
I have had a good few oil changes on he road as I change at 7500K due to the towing, no mechanical workshop has been reluctant to device the vehicle ever.

I fitted a front mounted cooler and it has dropped the temps considerably when towing and I rarely see much more than 92C on the scangage unless I am pulling up or down very steep mountains. If you are doing slow speed work in mountainous country or on sand, I would fit an electric fan with a manual switch in the cab as the trans temp will rise but the engine temp may not. In this instance I have seen much higher temps.

I would think about fitting a lockup kit as I don't believe it is necessary and if you saw how small the size of a modern auto clutch is you may also seek further advise from a couple of auto tranny specialists.

All the best with making your decision.

Things I like about it are. It is very comfortable, the ride is excellent, it just lopes along, the auto just does everything right and I find it very, very good off road.
Things I don't like. My steering wheel can't be adjusted in or out and the large turning circle annoys me.

Have driven a couple of new model hi luxes but can't really comment as they were manuals and had no weight in them or behind them.
AnswerID: 614392

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 16:06

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 16:06
Excellent information, thanks. Funny about the turning circle, for me it wasn't too bad.

I have had a few comments made about servicing and service from Ford dealers, with many not happy. Any view on this? Maybe just dealer dependent ?

Toyota generally gets goods reviews on service issues. Just one more point to consider (i'm making myself dizzy here!).
FollowupID: 884978

Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 17:39

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 17:39
It seems to be individual dealers that are the problem. Some very good, some average and some woeful. It also depends on their tech staff as times have changed for mechanics or technicians as they are called now.
Our dealer here and the one a little further north are good, but that only happened when the local one was bought out. They put a boom through the staff and I think some even had a chain saw put through them.
Local Toyota dealer here is good but the same applied to them. They were woeful and many were going elsewhere. That changed when a very large Brisbane dealer took over.
I have only taken mine in for any recalls and that was for a coolant hose that needed replacing due to their routing and consequent rubbing through. There was one other about an output speed sensor, mine was in the date range of nov 2011 to nov 2012 but they said it was not one of them.
Just one other thing. The auto aft is supposed to be sealed for life which is 250,000K but when towing it has to be changed earlier.Because of how much I tow I had mine changed and flushed at 50,000K, the fluid was fine so I will probably stretch it out to 120000K for the next flush and change.
I believe Toyota also state sealed for life on their new vehicles.

I don't know about parts pricing as I have only had to buy a genuine taillight assembly as I gave it a rub on a tree. I thought the price wasn't to bad at $145 delivered
FollowupID: 884982

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 18:30

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 18:30

In terms of drive quality, etc, I can only agree with Eagle and GBC in his reply elsewhere.

The XTR BT50 (second top in the model range) is an excellent vehicle. Comfy, roomy, great seats with good lumbar support.

Mine is set up for outback touring. I took the tub off and fitted a tradie canopy then filled it up :-) It has a Lovells GVM upgrade and a lift and is generally around 3 tonnes with, as I said in my other follow-up, a 2200kg hybrid camper behind. Combination is always around 5.2 to 5.3 tonne.

I haven't chipped it, but I did put an accelerator pedal chip (Torquit) to help reduce the fly-by-wire throttle lag (NOT turbo lag) present in the earlier models. With all that weight it just motors along My vehicle is no longer aerodynamic, with a tradie canopy and roofracks on both turret and canopy. With those and the combination weight I have I'm getting about 15 l/100k. 19-20 on the mountain highways and hilly dirt roads.

ATF temps aside, which I think I have solved, the transmission is excellent. I drive the vehicle by itself in normal auto, tow and off-road in Sports mode with a bit of manual. The auto always finds a correct ratio in a timely manner, except for maybe one little quirk - if you're slow and under load in second the change-down from second to first is overly delayed in both high and low range and you can lose momentum. I usually anticipate that and do an early manual shift. I can forgive it that little behaviour as it is relatively infrequent.

With the lift, I got a little more than I asked for, a bit over 50mm. To eliminate the driveline shudder the rear driveshaft centre bearing needed a spacer kit to lower it and I had 2 degree wedges put under the rear springs. A Ranger guy on one of the Ranger forums re-jigged his rear drive shaft with a double cardan joint at the transfer case and properly phased uni joints further back. He eliminated all vibration issues with no spacers or wedges.

Hill Descent Control operates the electric over hydraulic brakes on the camper so steep descents under engine braking and HDC are a non event; ABS is well calibrated for what I do, which is a lot of dirt roads with the camper behind.Hill Start Assist works even with the heavy combo. The rear locker works as you'd expect, but my model does not retain TC on the front :-( I haven't explored stability control or trailer sway assist, except to give it a bootful on a large wet roundabout - no trailer behind - it worked ok.

On low range track work it is impressive, even at the high constant weight. It probably lacks a bit of articulation with my big rear springs, but the rear locker helps with that. Rated wading depth is 800mm.

Servicing is a brand/dealer thing, I think. Both Ford and Mazda cop a bit of flak on the relevant user forums for poor dealer knowledge of product and unwillingness to think outside the square in relation to modified vehicles whether in or out of warranty. My dealer's service department was pretty hopeless, but a new dealer recently sprung up closer to home and they are great. I've found Mazda's customer service line tech advice to be ok for anything standard, but if it's modified they don't want to know. The forums suggest Ford is similar. When I had my Prado (2007-2014), Toyota seemed to be better in that regard.

If I had to replace my vehicle I'd have no hesitation in buying another ute from the BT50/Ranger stable. Ford and Mazda are parting company, so with a long term outlook I would have no difficulty in going to Ford for a Ranger. They are a great vehicle.


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FollowupID: 884985

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 18:41

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 18:41
Wow! Brilliant reply, Frank. Thank you for taking the time to pen (type) that.

One more point (if you wouldn't mind)...
How do you find the Lovells upgrade (my plan exactly)?
FollowupID: 884986

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:35

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:35
My upgrade is to 3500kg GVM.

There are two rear spring options with the heavier one for the largest constant load available under the upgrade.

If I could do it again with the knowledge I have now, I would clearly specify a lift of no more than 50mm at the front. My greater-than-50mm lift required after market upper control arms with adjustable upper ball joints to get the wheel alignment right. The brand I chose (Snake Racing) contacts the inner guard on max upward deflections due to its slightly extra length outside the ball joint. There are alternatives that may not have this problem.Check out RoadSafe products, they have one that looks promising and retains rubber bushing rather than the more common greased bushes. The rubber type is better for NVH. Get it right first time because at about $1000 a pair changeovers get expensive.

If you get that 3500kg upgrade ( there may be lesser ones) you'll need to keep the vehicle loaded or the ride will get harsh.

For the front ask about adjustable shocks or progressive shocks that get stiffer as they compress to control extreme compression. That and the lift and springs depend on what you hang off the front - bar, winch etc.

Airbag Man sells an aftermarket progressive bump stop for the front suspension that helps control extreme compression. Worth a look.

I have the 3500 kg upgrade with the heaviest rear sprigs because my vehicle stays constantly loaded. What I have gives a firm but capable, stable ride.

In terms of towing the Ranger/BT50 has a big overhang behind the rear axle - about 1500mm between axle and towball. Due to the leverage, towball weight can induce porpoising on dips resulting in fully compressed front suspension. Hence my comments above about progressive shocks and the after market bump stops.

That's about it.


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FollowupID: 884990

Reply By: tuck - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:14

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:14
Changing subjects. Anyone having problems with flat batteries on a Ranger mk11. About to take back to Dealer for third time. Have the smart charge switched off. Camping for 5 days with absolutely no use of electronic s on car
Unlocked car in mornings and maybe opened doors half dozen times during day and locked at night to make sure all electronics were shut down
On 5th morning absolutely dead flat
AnswerID: 614395

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:41

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 20:41
Had that on my 2014 BT50. OEM battery lasted 18 months.

I replaced it with a Stop Start battery specified for those vehicles that shut down the engine when the car is stationary in traffic and then re-start it. It's far more robust and 18 months later is still performing as new. It will way outlast the OEM battery.s

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FollowupID: 884991

Reply By: Theo D - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 22:15

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 22:15

Simple as that.

I had a 2012/13 Space Cab Ranger 4x4 as a Gov work vehicle for 2 years and it was an absolute beast. Fantastic thing to drive... had so much going for it. Great on juice, comfortable to drive, plenty of towing power (I'd drive a dual axle 4x4 trailer most days with close to 2 tonne of gear on the back on all kinds of roads and it had loads of power). Only downside was the factory suspension. It was very poor. We put airbags in the rear and this improved it out of sight. Only reason we lost the car is it was a Q-Fleet car and once its down 100K it has be returned for a new one. We did 96K in just over 2 years. Never a drama.

Since then we've had the typical 3L Hilux which I've never been a fan of. Very weak clutch, had zero towing power compared with the 12/13 Ranger, didn't come close to the Ranger at all.

But then last year we were given 2 x 2016 Rangers and a 2.8L Hilux. All I can say is the Hilux has come a long way with the 2.8L... its a brilliant car. I would put it on par with the 12/13 Ranger... maybe just behind it. As a 4x4 it is absolutely magic in low range, third gear will go anywhere you point it. If I had the money to purchase a brand new 4WD, I'd buy one.

The Ranger, we have 1 x dual cab and 1 x extra cab (or it might just be a big single... hard to know what they labelled it). It seems to be over engineered, electrics in every direction, not a fan. Again factory suspension is average, and after only a few thousand clicks on the dirt some of the blokes I work with have reported its just falling to bits (glove box, side mirrors). The corrugations I work with sort most things out and it's made the Rangers pretty upset!

2.8L Hilux my friend! Just dont buy a 3L...
AnswerID: 614402

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 23:13

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 23:13
Thanks Theo, I'm getting to the point where tossing a coin might be the better option!

FollowupID: 885003

Reply By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 23:27

Tuesday, Oct 17, 2017 at 23:27
Theres stability control and 2 types of traction control on the new Hilux, engine tc and brake tc (according to Toyota). Are you sure the brake tc goes off with the diff lock on? I know a short press of the stability control turns the dsc and engine tc off but leaves the a-tc (brake tc) on. A long press turns all of the electronic aids off. Low range automatically turns dsc and engine tc off but leaves the a-tc on.
I've noticed on new vehicles that the tc is better overall than using the rear diff lock on a lot of cars, and that modern autos hold the gear really well in low range manual mode.
AnswerID: 614408

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 00:26

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 00:26
My understanding is (and that's all it is) that in most vehicles the @engine@ traction control and the brake traction control cannot be utilised separately. I am presuming Ford have done this, as you wouldn't want engine traction control in 4wd.

Regardless, Toyota tells me the braked traction control does not operate when the diff lock is engaged. From what I've read it was the same with the Ranger until last year.

I don't buy the "better than using the rear diff lock" story without some evidence. It doesn't make sense. What have you noticed?
FollowupID: 885008

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:09

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:09
If I had a choice between rear diff lock and open front or the Toyota TC all round, then the TC wins every time. I've seen things like Prados walk up extremely difficult tracks using the TC and couldn't be more impressed, it's Land Rover class good these days. :-) The only issue is electronic traction aids can stop working due to sensor or computer issues. I suppose the diff lock is dependent on sensors and the computer to lock in anyway so could be subject to the same issues.
Have a read of this -

Edit: Reading the article it states in the first paragraph that all electrics including A-TRC and DAC are off when the rear diff gets locked. Nice move Toyota.:-)
FollowupID: 885009

Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 01:45

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 01:45
When you next visit a Toyota dealership, ask if you can have a look at the owners manual for the latest Hilux.

If they refuse, or come up with some excuse why you can't I would demand to know what they have to hide.

If they do, and I can't see why you couldn't have a look in the book from one of their demo vehicles, turn to page 149. Under the heading "When driving the vehicle" you should find a number of dot headed paragraphs.
Have a read of them, particularly the 3rd and 4th down and ask for an explanation. I would be most interested in what they have to say.

AnswerID: 614410

Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:33

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:33
Now you've piqued my curiosity!
FollowupID: 885010

Reply By: Member - silkwood - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:37

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:37
Thanks to all for your input. It has been hugely helpful, though I have to admit to still see-sawing!

I will be purchasing within the next month so I will post on my decision and why (and what contributions influenced me).

I am impressed and grateful for the depth of thought that has gone into the replies.

AnswerID: 614411

Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Thursday, Nov 02, 2017 at 03:21

Thursday, Nov 02, 2017 at 03:21
Hi Mark . Interesting topic. I have been waiting for the Hilux extra cab to come out in auto before making a choice. Probably leaning toward the Hilux now anyway due to charging problems with the current ranger. A friend has the current ranger and even with the so called enable dual battery turned on is still experiencing flat batteries and an auxiliary battery not fully charged. Seems one poster here has the same problem. Plenty of posts on the issue here and else where. lots of annoying little issues as well, like not being able to listen to the radio while camping, door chimes , lights not turning off etc etc.Have not fully checked out the Hilux with regards to those things yet. I work with the guy that has the ranger. Wiring on the ranger is also exposed if you put an after market canopy on.
cheers Graeme.
FollowupID: 885353

Reply By: tuck - Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:55

Wednesday, Oct 18, 2017 at 07:55
Mark, other than my battery issues have not had a problem and have done plenty of off road work in various gearings low ,high range ,diff lock etc, Canning S.R North to South ,High Country, various coastal beach work.
AnswerID: 614412

Reply By: TerraFirma - Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 10:37

Wednesday, Oct 25, 2017 at 10:37
The Ranger wins ticks for a lot of things that don't matter in the Real World. The Hilux has proven to be bullet proof and in reality the new model drives so smooth and refined. (Bit bumpy at times but that's because it was designed to carry a load). Drive both and make your own decision. There's no doubting the Ranger is a good product but we need to see how it hangs together over the long term. You can buy a Hilux and if you look after it still sell it after it's done 250,000KM's because it's trusted to keep going strong. Not convinced the Ranger has the same appeal after those sort of KM's?
AnswerID: 614578

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