Manual locking hub control/manual shift -VS- 4wd auto selector switch

glenn54glenn54 Member Posts: 23
edited March 2014 in Toyota


  • glenn54glenn54 Member Posts: 23
    Hello Folks :) I tried posting this topic under pickup trucks, but received no responses.I thought you teckies might be able lend some advise.I plan to purchase a 2001 tacoma 2.7l 4cyl 4x4 in the spring. One thing I noticed is that it's only available with manual locking hub control w/manual shift (4wd select switch V6 only). I was wondering if you guys might be able to give me a little insight on the differences of the two types of 4wd select to help me choose. Thanks :)
  • markbuckmarkbuck Member Posts: 1,021
    1) Simplest is manual locking hubs (which connect the wheel to the axles to the differential to the front drive shaft. The manual transfer case shifter connects the output shaft of the transmission to BOTH the front and rear driveshafts. Most modern vehicles will allow shift on the fly. This system is my personal favorite. You can drive around in 2wd with the front wheels locked in spinning the front axles and driveshaft for only a slight mileage penalty....
    2) Auto locking hubs or center axle connect with manual shifting transfer case. Hubs either lock using forward motion in 4wd, or have some electric/vacuum system to lock hubs. Tranfer case shifted manually. This is the system on my '99 Silverado.
    3) Auto locking hubs with electric shifting (some sort of button on dash) transfer case. Self explanitory
    4) Auto locking hubs with auto locking transfer case. Transfer case senses slip, and automatically engages/disengages 4wd.

    There are also full time 4wd systems galore.

    My favorite is manual locking hubs/ manual shift on the fly transfer case with a rear limited slip differential....
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    The manual system is trouble free and is almost guaranteed to work when it really needs to work. The key is to have the hubs locked at night before you need it. I generally only lock mine in when I know I'll need them. I do this because the vehicle is noisier, gets less milage and loses a couple of HP. I have a 4 cyl Toyota.
  • erikheikererikheiker Member Posts: 230
    None of those really describe the GM system. GM trucks don't even have locking hubs. There is a Central Axle Disconnect. Engaging 4WD connects the transfer case input side to the transmission and the output side to the half shafts. The half shafts connect to the front wheels via CV joints. There is no way to install any kind locking hub. That's why GM trucks don't have any protrusions in the middle of the front tires. An option available on full size trucks (and I believe on S-10/Sonoma) is AutoTrac. When AutoTrac is selected, the the vehicle is basically in 2WD until rear wheel slippage is detected. At that time, the front wheels automatically engage. The system reverts back to 2WD automatically when it senses no more slippage. This is how my truck is equipped and I find it to be the best system out there. Before, I would engage 4WD at stop lights and go back to 2WD after getting up speed. This gets old after a while! Keeping 4WD engaged all winter is bad for the transfer case and the tires if you ever drive on dry pavement. In a few years all manufacturers will have a similar system. It's the only way to go for those who use their trucks as personal transportation. Manual hubs and floor shifters are best left to four wheelers who like to crawl around the boonies on weekends.
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