Using low range in Prado

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 20:03
ThreadID: 9822 Views:5336 Replies:12 FollowUps:8
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Gidday all,

Thanks to all the knowledgable people here on exploroz, I have established that my 2000 Prado centre diff engages automatically when selecting Low range. It is mechanically activated and cannot be manipulated to avoid the centre diff lock engaging.

My next question is....How much damage am I going to risk doing to the car if I use low range to back my boat up my drive way. Initially, I have a 90 degree turn from the road to the driveway then approx 25m run up the drive into the carport. The driveway is of concrete construction.

Thanks in advance
Jason
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Reply By: Roachie - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 20:46

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 20:46
Jason,
In my opinion, you should be very careful, especially during the initial phase of the reversing when you have to turn 90 degrees. Once you've done that & have got the whole rig facing straight it should be okay as long as you can keep the steering inputs to a minimum.
I have a 2000 GU Patrol which, although it is a part-time 4wd, had a auto-locking set of front hubs. Unlike my previous Patrol which had manual locking hubs, I wasn't able to select low range without also being in 4wd mode. I recently changed the auto hubs for a set of AVM manual hubs ($160- from ARB and actually cheaper than the price of a set of 2nd hand GQ manuals from a wreckers). This allows me to climb steep gradients with my camper, even though the surface is concrete based. This occured on a trip to Cape York going up the Bloomfield Track where there is a long steep section which has 2 concrete strips (like a driveway). I needed low range, but didn't need 4 wheel drive.
As far as your vehicle is concerned, I'm not sure; but I do know there is a kit available to convert the bigger Cruiser's over to Part-Time 4WD. I guess you'd be able to do the same with the Prado.
Good luck.
Roachie
AnswerID: 43368

Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:33

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:33
Roachie,

I have explore every avenue and there is not a thing I can do. I have rang a few places to see if I could get free wheeling hubs, but the answer so far has been no.

Thanks for your reply
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Reply By: tessa_51 - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:00

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:00
Why low range?

Tessa
AnswerID: 43371

Follow Up By: Allfour4x4 - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:30

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:30
Probably vaues his clutch?
Glenn B.
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Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:34

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:34
Tessa,

The boat is just over 2 ton and I give the clutch an absolute flogging when I reverse it up my drive. The drive is on a few degree incline.

Jason

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Follow Up By: goldfinder - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:58

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:58
I also had the same problem with my ski boat. Needed 4WD to get up the driveway or I would spin the wheels and leave black marks on my light coloured stenciled driveway.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:05

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 22:05
I would have painted the driveway a darker colour goldfinder and have fun!If you hold your heart and focus,
you will end up holding your dream
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:51

Saturday, Jan 17, 2004 at 21:51
Macca, Do a search on reversing (I think post 6537 is about this subject too). One suggestion could be to attach a dummy tow ball to the front of the Prado and push the thing up, I have seen heaps and have been told they are very good for this sort of thing, as to the low range the corner would be your worry, the drive for 25m should be OK as long as its straight.Laterally Literal
Seriously Cerebral
AnswerID: 43379

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 01:17

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 01:17
In all the replies noone has given an answer to your question Jason. So here goes. You risk damaging your transmission and breaking an axle, particularly if you do a 90 degree turn on concrete. The extra weight of the boat will also increase the risk of damage as it will make it even less likely that the wheels will slip to allow for the locked centre diff. When you have the Prado and trailer in line it should be OK to reverse straight back. Wwhen you unhitch check to see if the gear levers can be moved freely. If they can the transmission hasn't been "wound up". Engaging 4wd and hence the centre diff lock on any surface which doesn't readily allow for wheel slippage is an absolute "No No" and obviously should be given greater attention in handbooks! As for fitting a ball to the front, this will make absolutely no difference to the risk of transmission "wind up". It may however, make it easier to get the boat up if you are not good at backing a trailer.
AnswerID: 43399

Reply By: Mick - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 01:21

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 01:21
Just another thought Jason, I strongly recommend that you do a 4wd course as I suspect that there will be many things about 4wdrives that you don't know. It's a great way to get the most from the vehicle and also to learn the safe use of your car.
AnswerID: 43400

Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 21:12

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 21:12
Mick

Thanks for taking the time out and replying to me. Your right, I should do a 4wd course but I have never taken it off road. I really only got it to make it easy to launch and retrieve the boat. I nearly lost my Commodore in the drink a few times. I use low range all the time to pull the boat out of the water. Other than that, its a big shopping trolley really.

Thanks again
Jason

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Reply By: brian - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 09:19

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 09:19
Jason,on many vehiclesyou can remove front tailshaft and therefore have hi and low range rear wheel drive and no damage to transmission.Check with reliable mechanic for your particular vehicle.

Depends on how much you need 4wd.
AnswerID: 43408

Reply By: AndrewX - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 20:24

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 20:24
Jason, you could get a Landrover Discovery as the centre diff lock engages independently of engaging low range. Come to think of it though you'd need it engaged after the first few backing sessions as the driveway would become quite slippery from the inevitable oil leaks from the Disco.
Not too sure about the viability of removing the tail shaft as suggested each time you back your boat up the drive!
AnswerID: 43445

Reply By: brian - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:12

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 22:12
Jason as you have confirmed you dont NEED 4wd for anything other than the boat removing the tailshaft simply turns your4wd to 2wd with low range.Have done it with suzuki and disco no problems but as before check yours with mechanic.
AnswerID: 43457

Follow Up By: AndrewX - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 23:10

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 23:10
Sorry to tell you brian but you needn't have done it with the disco as you can use low range without locking the centre diff on the disco. I knew another bloke who had a disco and like you didn't know that. Only discovered it when we investigated why he couldn't get up slippery slopes that we could all climb. He was very happy when we showed him as it made a HUGE difference to the disco's climbing ability! brian, I think it could also be argued that one can "need" 4wd every time it rains. The added traction on a slippery road from constant 4wd is a great asset which would be lost by removing the front drive shaft or tailshaft.
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Reply By: marcus - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 09:10

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 09:10
O.K save the gearbox,clutch and axles from damage just pick up a portable brawn winch,dyna bolt it to the back wall of the garage and winch the boat into the garage.Easy.
AnswerID: 43480

Reply By: brian - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 09:29

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 09:29
Andrewx ,you are totally correct about the disco,I was aware of this but in my case we had to remove the shaft due to universal joint failure and drove out in 2wd
AnswerID: 43486

Reply By: Jason (macca) - Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 21:10

Monday, Jan 19, 2004 at 21:10
Thank you everyone for your replies. Much appreciate your input.
When it comes time to trade the Prado (mid year), I am going to save myself a whole lot of trouble and buy an Auto with free wheeling hubs!

Thanks
Jason
AnswerID: 43561

Reply By: GC - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 12:36

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 12:36
Hi Jason,

Even though you use a lever to engage low range, it automatically engages the centre diff lock electronically. This is similar to that of an 80 Series Land Cruiser as explained in http://www.lcool.org/technical/80_series/centre_diff.html

You should be able to do much the same and have a centre diff lock switch so that you decide when you wish to engage the centre diff lock.

The guys on the LCOOL Prado group should be able to help and place an entry on the 90 Series LCOOL technical pages http://www.lcool.org/technical/90_series/90_series_technical.html

You can also apply to join the 90scool technical discussion group via the LCOOL application page http://www.lcool.org/egroups.html

For what it's worth, the 120 Series Prado fitted with a centre diff lock switch allows you to use low range without locking the centre diff.

Cheers
gc
AnswerID: 43659

Follow Up By: Jason (macca) - Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 21:58

Friday, Jan 23, 2004 at 21:58
thanks for the info, I will have a chat to them

Jason

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