Fact or Myth

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 11:28
ThreadID: 54663 Views:5078 Replies:16 FollowUps:22
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I have seen posts on here many times about the reliability of the Landcruiser front diffs and the Gearbox blowing up.

Now with the exception of the 78 /79 series gearbox who has blown one up eg: the 80 /100/ or any other Cruiser Gearbox, what were you doing at the time.

Who has blown a front diff on a Cruiser and what were you doing at the time.

I have owned 12 Cruisers in 26 years and never broken a front or rear diff and the only Gearbox I have trouble with is the 78 series, I have driven more Cruisers than I can remember, I have taken them to places that they were not designed to go, EG: My surveying years we used to drive off track through the bush following an aerial photo and never broke one.

I have been working at Mobil Jabiru pulling spanners until the tour season starts, I asked Dippy who has worked there for 12 years, how many Front diffs he has replaced or Gearboxes he said that he hasn't replaced one front Diff or any gearboxes in late models other than the 78/79 series.

Jabiru has more Toyota's than people, there are 2 workshops but Mobil Jabiru has the contact for Parks and Ranger Uranium, so you can imagine how many Toyota's go through the work shop.

This is more about the 100 series than the others So lets put it to the test, who owns one and who has broken one??

Cheers Steve.
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:07

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:07
Steve, you say 'with the exception of the 78 /79 series gearbox'. I'm led to believe the problem with these models was in vehicles built pre Sept 2003.
I have no personal knowledge on this, but I am very interested in getting the 'real' facts. As I have posted on another thread (thanks for your response on that thread - great rig your parents have), I am considering a 79 Series as a replacement for my Hilux.

Can you or anyone else confirm that, if there was a gearbox problem in the 79 Series, it was resloved for vehicles built after Sept 2003.
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Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:18

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:18
That would be a No as we pulled a gearbox out of a 05 model 79 series on Monday, the new lager shaft that goes in the transfer case has stripped the main shaft, this is less than 40000 km after the rebuild.

This is a non turbo model.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:30

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:30
Norm,
There were two gearboxes available in the 78/79series.

If you have the normally aspirated 1Hz you got the R151F (Prado/Hilux) gearbox. This one has the problems. The Problem you refer to is a two piece shaft between gearbox/transfer which breaks, leaving you stranded. Occurred 1999-2003. Toyota redesigned the shaft (now one piece), so that problem was solved. But the gearbox still has its share of problems particularly if a turbo is bolted on. This is the gearbox that Steve has had in his vehicles.

If you have the factoryTD (1HD-FTE), or the 1FZ-FE petrol motor or the new V8, you have the considerably stronger and heavier H150F box. This is the best box they ever put in a Cruiser - was used in the 80series as well.
It is also mated to a different Transfer Case. I am yet to hear of anyone having an issue with this gearbox. IMO its more reliable than any of the Nissan Boxes. The only common issue is slowish cold changes - which is resolved by using the Castrol VMX-M 85/95 oil.

Hope this clears the confusion.
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Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:41

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:41
The only difference between the 99 /03 box and the 03 beyond is the shaft as you say, but this shaft is now over engineered and strips the main shaft, that is what has happened to the box I am rebuilding at the moment.

I changed my gearbox oil to 85/90 and was told to change it back to the 75/90 as the oil will not get into the syncroes and make it harder to change gear and eventually make it go bang, this for a Toyota mechanic.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 22:56

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 22:56
Norm,
Just to give your a visual idea of the size difference between the two gearboxes:
This is a photo of the stronger box (H150F) and transfer:


And this is a photo of a new R151F (Prado/Hilux/1HZ) box:
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:11

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:11
Mate had the 100 diesel and did the gearbox 3 times, once was Toyota dealers fault.

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Follow Up By: Steve from Top End Explorer Tours - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:23

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:23
What was he doing with it at the time??

As I believe this has a lot to do with why they supposedly break.

I asked for facts so as to see if it is a Myth or not and to find out how it is happening.

Cheers Steve.
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Follow Up By: Notso - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:50

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:50
It was no myth mate I towed his van into perth the first time, did top gear.

The second time was in Tassie, did the same thing. The third time was in Tassie too but the dealer wore it as they stuffed up the rebuild somehow.

He tows a van but nothing special. Reckoned it was OK to tow it in Top so do heaps of others. So whether it was a one off problem or not I can't say.



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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:37

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 12:37
Steve,
I know many people who have broken front diffs, and occasionally rears and some of them two or three times. Most have happened in the High Country. Its a different sort of 4wding than the Top End. Lots of steep climbs, lifting and dropping wheels etc - spinning wheels and they drop and the diff goes crunch.

And like you say, the other LandCruiser boxes - H55F and H150F were better than the R151F that you've had the dramas with. Interestingly enough, the Prado owners don't have issues with this box. Lighter vehicle and doesn't get power upgrades like 1Hz.
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:37

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:37
Is the 80 diff any difernt
- I have a short movie on my camera of an intercooled turbo 4.5l petrol 80 with reputadly 240kw lifting a front wheel and bashing it down at full noise (It was the second time thefirst wasnt filmed)
diff didnt blow
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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:34

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:34
davoe,
I think the diffs are the same. There were a few broken diffs when the 80series was first released in 1990/91.
But the 4.1 ratio diffs may be stronger than the 4.3 ratio diffs - just a theory - don't know how truthful...
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 00:57

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 00:57
The 4.1 diffs are also in the 75 Series.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:31

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:31
I have driven nothing except cruisers (toooo many to count) for the last 7 years some which never saw a bitumen road.
I have had a cracked rear diff housing on my 75 camper and a cracked front housing (I think they werent spcific) on a 99 79 series
No g box, diff ot TC failures that I saw first hand
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:34

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:34
ah now i think about it i was givin the ontractors nippers ute which had no 4th gear
an wile i havnt seen failures TC cases and pinion seal leaking oil is another story
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Reply By: Member - Willie , Sydney. - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:45

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 13:45
Steve ,

A member , Richard H , was telling me that he smashed his front diff the other day on his 100 TD . He was going up a steep track , a front wheel lifted and then came down and bingo .

He is getting a new diff and a front difflock to ease the problem in the future .

Cheers ,

Willie .
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Follow Up By: Richard W (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 20:44

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 20:44
Yep that was me.
Steep rocky slope and even though I was trying to be careful probably lifted and dropped a spinning front wheel. Never mastered the poor mans traction control. ie light pressure on the foot brake.
New front diff and lockers are going in this week.
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Follow Up By: Andrew from Vivid Adventures - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 18:53

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 18:53
Looks like one of those dog wash trailers - just off-road variety there Richard... is it a camper?
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Follow Up By: Richard W (NSW) - Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 05:53

Thursday, Feb 21, 2008 at 05:53
Andrew,
Yep. Small hard top camper. Fairly basic with a queen size bed, camp kitchen, storage and now with side and rear awnings. Bought it second hand from a mate in Qld.
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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 14:12

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 14:12
Steve I had no serious driveline problems at all with my 1989 diesel Troopcarrier or 1991 diesel 80 series despite carrying heavy loads on remote ouback trips, towing big trailers & giving them a flogging up the high country on plenty of low 1st hills. (A few competitions included) Only exception was the troopy's seal between gearbox & transfer leaked pumping gear oil accross & I believe some early 80's had the syncro upgraded as it grated 1st to 2nd.
The main problems started with my 2000 diesel 105 series. 4 blown front diffs over a 60,000km period! All done in low 1st going forwards, no more than 2000 revs with a heavily loaded vehicle & over sized tyres (285's). Usual deal is lifting a front wheel over a rock ledge, wheel spins then diff breaks as it suddenly regains traction. With my model there is no doubt the front diff is weak as each was replaced under warrenty no questions asked. Dealer said it wasn't common but apprentice said he had seen 6 others in their workshop that year! Know of 3 others 1st hand blowing them in similar circumstances.
Although the diffs strength is pretty border line they can be upgraded with an ARB locker and when set up correctly not have any issues. Most repeat breakages IMHO are from poor dealer fitment.
Cheers Craig............
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Reply By: stocky - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 16:07

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 16:07
I know of a few FRONT WHEEL DRIVE 78/79's around these parts - usually with a trubo upgrade as well......
I think something to do with the 10ton of "gooseneck" boom spray hanging of the 5th wheel on the tray :-)

Sort of goes like this - booting down the paddock, do a cloverleaf turn and head up hill accelerating hard - instant FWD cruiser! LOL!
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Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:00

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:00
A popular 4WD mag that comes out monthly was doing a comparison with other models and blew a front diff on an IFS during a test a coupla years back.
I was under the impression that the IFS was the one to watch RE blowing diffs, especially when in reverse.


Shane
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Follow Up By: Skippy In The GU - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 22:38

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 22:38
They brake when doing a reverse snatch recovery
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Reply By: Des Lexic - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:51

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 17:51
Steve, I have a 2000 Solid front axle and I did mine in a few years ago. I was coming down a steep hill in low first and hit a large rock which blew the front tyre causing the rock to pick up and am into the base of the front guard behind the wheel. With low engaged, the jambed rock is stopping the wheel from turning and I'm driving against it. Peeled off several teeth off the crown wheel. Fortunately, the insurance company paid for the damages.
I also know of one of our club members with a 2004 IFS did his front diff during some training. He first noticed the "noise" coming down a sand dune. It could have happened earlier possibly.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 22:23

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 22:23
Dang I wish I was there..........
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Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 23:44

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 23:44
Well I don't want to be there when yours goes Bang.Cant stand to see a grown man crying. See ya on the 15th
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Reply By: fozzy - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 20:01

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 20:01
steve
mate in 100 rigid front did front diff twice-nothing spectacular just manouvering on incline to be able to tow another vehicle-vehicle has seen plenty of off road action in vic high country and driver certainly didnt give the vehicle any favours if you no what i mean.
i have 100td ifs and notice when on bitumen,and an incline and turning left i get wheelskip from front when accelerating from standing start-to me this is major potential for breaking front diff-never occurred in 80 series
cheers

fozzy
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Reply By: Topcat (WA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 21:23

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 21:23
Hi Steve, I have driven Tojos from FJ45s,HJ 47s & HZJ75s over the last 30 years clocking up over 600,000km & never had problems with diffs both front & rear. In the early model Tojos the only problem I had with transmission was the layshaft idler bearing going in the transferbox due to the chrome face hardening on the shaft wearing away. Never a problem with the gearbox end.
Since I bought the 75 series Troopy the only problem I have had was a similar case as with the earlier model & the 5th gear output shaft seal allowing oil to transfer into the gearbox. I changed the gearbox/transferbox 150,000km ago & replaced it with one out of a 100 series (98 model) & have never had a problem. I run Castrol VMX-M 80W gear oil & do a gearbox/transfer-diff oil change every 25,000km
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Follow Up By: Topcat (WA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 21:27

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 21:27
I forgot to mention that I did an engine change some 350,000km ago & the transmission is now coupled up to a 6.5 Chevy diesel.
Cheers.
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Reply By: Member - Phillip S (WA) - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:47

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:47
Steve...(didn't think much of Jabiru...lol) but I blew my R151f gear box some years ago...about 100k.....fifth gear and the connecting shaft BUT no problems with either front or rear diffs ( I get the serviced regularly and the oil is clean)...Toyota does a special on those boxes ( wonder why) and so I had a new gearbox and "beefed up output shaft" put in..about $3500 from memory for them both, labour and other parts extra...so far touch wood all O.K....BUT now I will not tow in fifth gear.
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Reply By: Flash - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:55

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 23:55
My son has done two front diffs on his 80 series..... and doing nothing particularly spectacular at the time.
And a mate of his has done a diff AND gearbox.
There is truth in it.
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 00:09

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 00:09
whats your mates name Gordon????
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 10:28

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 10:28
Hi Steve

Only seen one diff go , but also 3 CV joints in 78/79 (they go with a bang).

In two of cases it was muddy rutted track and a spining wheel which came down.

Track really didn't seem that hard , and I followed thru in Patrol ok.

These cars generally lack articulation and I think this contributes to and already marginal situation.
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Reply By: Member - Rotord - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 14:47

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 14:47
When a gear box fails ' while doing nothing in particular ' it is often the final result of a fatigue crack at the base of a gear tooth growing to the point where the tooth breaks off and general destruction follows . The fatigue crack can be started by normal stress at the base of a gear tooth being concentrated by a stress riser such as a machining fault giving rise to a microscopic sharp groove in what shoul be a smooth radius . If a gear is to light for the job , or overloaded, the likelyhood of a crack developing is multiplied . The crack will grow over a period of about 150 hours or more , depending on gear revs and the number of teeth on the gear wheel [ ie how many times the tooth is loaded ] . 150 hours multiplied by an average speed of 75 km/hr gives failure 11,250 km after the crack is started . While the crack is growing , the box will vibrate each time the weakening tooth flexes under load , and metal chips will be shed into the oil . Examination of chips in drained oil on a filter can be used to predict failure . Spectographic oil analysis and vibration monitoring is justified on more expensive or critical gearboxes .
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Follow Up By: Member - Rotord - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 15:26

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 15:26
Oops , make that spectrographic !
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 22:26

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 22:26
Well I was getting towed along a track by an 80 series and the front diff on it broke, a tooth or two off the crown wheel. Still kept going just no front drive. He was on 285's with the small yota pumpkins and me on 265's with the big Nissan pumpkins I was bound to get stuck. I believe wazza has more info.
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 09:28

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 09:28
Bonz, how many times have you been towed now? LOL
Cheers,
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 18:18

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 18:18
Not as many as Kim
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic)&Kath - Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 18:35

Wednesday, Feb 20, 2008 at 18:35
Look, Kim has two diesels in her. One for heating water and one for heating dinner, but none connected to a transfer case. Kim expexts to have a tow partner, hence has held onto Moses and now Kath. Even with a wounded diff, Moses drove to roadside assist. LOL
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