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Toyota Tacoma vs. Ford Ranger, Part XII



  • plutoniousplutonious Posts: 799
    stang, rickc5 and scape, I just don't understand your logic with this TRD/locker vs. Ranger/LSD debate. The Tacoma is available with an LSD just like the Ranger, which negates any advantage the Ranger has over the Tacoma in that department. Why can't you understand this????

    If you're like rickc5, either a Tacoma or Ranger with the LSD and softer suspension would be ideal. In fact, if his needs were mine, I'd probably go get a Subaru AWD wagon - it excels in the snow, can haul stuff, and is much more usable as a people hauler.

    But for the small percentage of people like me who have a REAL need for a REAL 4x4, the Tacoma TRD simply can't be beat. It's like having a modern day Jeep Scrambler with a locker and all its off-road prowess, but with a bigger bed and much better build quality/reliability.

    Read and reread this until it sinks in: "The Tacoma offers the LSD for those not interested in the locker." Repeat as necessary!
  • Or is the "fact" that the Tacoma comes with a Limited Slip new? It's either a brand new introduction, because there is not a single Toyota site I can find that backs this up. This includes dealerships,, and any other sites I came across.

    I think you are wrong, or at least the 2002 Tacoma brochure says nothing about a Limited Slip. Perhaps you are thinking of the Tundra?

    Also I'm not debating anything here about the LSD/Locker. I would say it's more of a clarification or discussion of both differential's benefits and applications. I'm not the one saying "Hurrah Hurrah, locker can do everything, it's all I ever need". I'm saying a locker is great is you just want to off-road, while the LSD is great when you want traction on slippery on-road conditions (ice, rain, etc). Or if you want to turn or go faster than 20 mph, and still have traction. The Locker isn't made for speed or turning, the Limited slip isn't made for one wheel getting up in the air. Which do you think would be most beneficial to most people?

    So I'm saying they are both good, for their intended application. One off-road and one on-road, even thought both can help in the opposite situations.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I would have to agree with stang, the percentage of off-roaders is quite small. I myself don't offroad, although I think it be fun to get into. As someone who is shopping for a compact pickup, I really have to disagree with rickc5 about his statement that the Tacoma is no longer a good general purpose truck. I'm not really sure where he's coming from on that. As for the locker vs. LSD thing, this has to be the most over-debated topic in here. (and the most pointless) All I care is that the truck I buy has some type of traction enhancement. The locker is intriguing to me because it's unique - no one else has it. I have LSD on my rig now, and it works just fine.
    As for the original question again - no I'm not an offroader, but I would most likely but an off-road package. I like getting the beefier tires and shocks, and the traction enhancements. (be it LSD or locker) Also, as I stated in an earlier post, it's very difficult to find a 4x4 truck where I live that doesn't have the off-road package.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I'd almost be willing to bet money that when they say limited-slip differential, they were actually referring to the locker. I'd also be curious to hear more about the "power door licks" they list on that site.
    If you can provide evidence from Toyota that the LSD is an option, then I'll believe it.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    Stang ---> I agree alot with what you said. However, you are missing my one and only point - for people that buy the truck for off roading purposes more so than towing and/or on-road performance, the locker is best. I said many, many times that, for everyday use, the LSD is best, no question. There are times on the road where I would have liked to have had an LSD, but there have also been times when the locker was the difference between being stranded for many hours. I am, needless to say, happy with my decision.

    There IS a distinct difference between the people who need a locker and the ones who need an LSD. Those that need the locker HAVE to have one -- point, blank, period. Scape, the one who has been saying no one knows about a locker, does not need one.

    Sure, I understand there are some people who buy trucks, even 4wds, and should have an LSD, no a locker. But at the same time, Stang, I question the rationale of your saying that some people buy the locker-equipped TRD package just b/c that is the truck that has the right options. That makes little sense and is a poor excuse. Its their fault and they are the ones who know about as much about when to use a locker as Scape.

    And no Stang, you aren't the only one who will see 10 years of service from their truck.

    Rick ---> Hehe, I think anyone could have told you that for on-road traction in ice and snow, the locker was not for you. Don't feel bad, too many were miseducated just like you. The LSD was the thing for you, sure.

    Just a quick question for ya'll, especially Scape: When the Jeep Rubicon comes out with factory front and rear lockers, will you then say that it sux because most people "don't really off-road?" That is, to me, the same as what you have been saying here. Again, real off roaders are built, not bought, but come on -- where will the idiocy stop?
  • "you are missing my one and only point - for people that buy the truck for off roading purposes more so than towing and/or on-road performance"

    How can I be missing that point, if I agree with it and have said essentially the same thing in post #1126? Here's an example "I'm saying a locker is great if you just want to off-road, while the LSD is great when you want traction on slippery on-road conditions"

    "Stang, I question the rationale of your saying that some people buy the locker-equipped TRD package just b/c that is the truck that has the right options."

    If you define "some" as a certain percentage that is not as great as "most" but not exactly the "smallest" or "least" amount, but somewhere in the lower middle, then Yes. Just drive by any mall. See the clean underbody that has never seen dirt, or the side rails that have never touched a plant or stick.

    I'm not saying it's the right options for the soccer mom and family. Just some people are just trying to buy a macho ride, even if the wife only uses it to pick up kids.

    Again some, not all, not most, but certainly not only just a few.

    BTW, I just e-mailed a local dealership about the LSD in a Tacoma...

    They replied "Yes the Tacoma is avaliable with the limited slip differential. The locking diff. is the same as limited slip."

    I have just gotten off the phone too. Asked him what he meant, he said they are both used for the same thing. After a little further probing, it is only the Locker that is sold on the Tacoma. The salesman, the article writer, and Plutonious got confused on the differences between the Limited Slip and a Locker. (And that is not the first time too).

    Don't believe me? Check, your local dealership, or any Toyota brochure (2002).
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378
    EAGLE: Again, based on my ownership of seven Toyota pickups since 1982, my opinion of a TRD-equipped Tacoma is that some of the features that make it a good off-roader compromise its every-day usage. For example, some specific things about my '99 I hated, but couldn't change without spending lots of money: 1) the ride was too harsh (IMHO). 2) lots of engine and wind noise at freeway speeds (not an issue at 5-20 mph). 3) the single-spoke steering wheel (fixed in newer models?). 4) the uncomfortable seats (also fixed?).

    SADDADDY: trust me on this, I KNEW what a locker was when I bought my '99, and I know what its intended purpose is, but I was still myopic at that time, and felt I HAD to have another Toyota, and was therefore willing to put up with the open axle for 99.9% of my driving. Not any more....

    PLUTO: Subarus are totally gutless at altitudes, are only good on PLOWED roads (no ground clearance), cannot haul much stuff, and can't go off-road, except for dirt/gravel roads. They are CARS, for Christ's sake, and IMHO, junky ones at that. Real popular with the ex-hippies in Boulder, for some odd reason. Are you an ex-hippie by chance??? Or, was this whole Subaru thing just your idea of a joke. If it was a joke, I got a giggle out of it.

    If Toyota offers a LSD in the Tacoma, it must have been announced just yesterday, as that site you posted is the ONLY place it has EVER been mentioned, and that MUST be a misprint/mistake.

    STANG: I agree with you 100% on your post #1123.

    ALL: Just like eagle has mentioned, when I was shopping for my '99, the ONLY non-TRD Toyotas available in the Denver area were 4-cylinder standard cabs. If you wanted a V6 and/or the extra-cab, you got a TRD, whether you wanted one or not.
  • rickc5rickc5 Posts: 378

    There is NO MENTION of a Limited Slip Differential (LSD) ANYWHERE on this site! Not as an option, nor as an accessory.

    Also, 1) the buckets seats in the crew-cab look to be an improvement over those in a '99. 2) If you buy a TRD crew-cab, you get Tokico shocks, NOT the Bilsteins. 3) no photos of the steering wheel (?).

  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    I think you need to go test drive a WRX. your opinion of Subaru's may change. mine certainly did.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    By missing my point, I meant that I still felt like you thought I was being confrontational about the whole thing. Although, I probably seem that way by being some adamant about this topic, that isn't my intention. Not that you ARE being confrontational, its just that I was not trying to be (except maybe to scape, j/k) and I wanted that known. No harm done.

    You guys are right. 99% of people don't need lockers. However, it seems to me that if you drive like half-way intelligently most of the time, the LSD is not a must-have either. I understand that it is a safe addition, though. Just, don't forget that for some, a locker is a safe addition as well.
  • plutoniousplutonious Posts: 799
    either off-road or on a snow/ice covered road, the locker will prove indispensible and will make you a believer. You'll get a hands on lesson on just how limited your limited slip really is as you watch in frustration as your 4x4 spins its tires with no grip.

    Watch a locker equipped vehicle take a rough hill and compare it to an LSD equipped vehicle. With the locker, there's no drama, no wheel spin, no dirt/rock flinging, no engine revving, no having to use momentum to get up the hill. Just a nice, slow, easy controlled ascent, even if a tire lifts off.

    Look guys, there's trade-offs on both lockers and LSDs. 99.9% of the time, while driving on pavement, you would never know the difference between the open differential and the limited slip. Heck, I kind of like the open-diff, taking turns hard and fast and having the inside tire lose a little traction and having some throttle induced oversteer. That's fun, especially on a wet road. But off-road, the difference is absolutely huge and there's just no comparison. Having a manually operated locker gives you awesome off-roading potential, and when turned off while on pavement, 99.9% of the time you wouldn't distinguish it from the LSD.

    But the fact remains that when you buy a truck advertised as being 4x4 and an off-roader, such as the TRD or FX4, don't you think you should be getting a package that's more specialized for off-roading than your typical LSD equipped minivan?
  • tbundertbunder Posts: 580
    and i know i said i would only chime in when i got another 4x4, but i just couldn't help myself watching you guys self destruct. i think pluto summed it up best with his last post. although i just said he makes sense, which he does cuz the locker is the best for the off-road scene, a lsd does good too. its just that the locker does it all with no questions-but with limited usage compared to the all around versatility of the lsd. and a lsd is NOT like having an open diff. when its wet out or in snow.

    but here's why im posting: pluto pretty much disregards any function in the lsd, as well he should since he has a locker. but i have spoken with a torsen engineer and was told that the fx4 torsen lsd is SPECIALLY designed for one wheel in the air traction.

    but here is the REAL reason im posting: pluto, could you please tell me what current mini-van comes stock with a lsd? i mean, any lsd in a front wheel drive car is pretty rare, but when it comes in a mini-van, that would be almost as rare as seinfelds chrome porsche or something wouldn't it? maybe im way off on this, who knows. but im just curious. i know the nissan specV and mazda protege3 have lsd's.
  • "either off-road or on a snow/ice covered road, the locker will prove indispensible and will make you a believer. You'll get a hands on lesson on just how limited your limited slip really is as you watch in frustration as your 4x4 spins its tires with no grip."


    "I just don't understand your logic with this TRD/locker vs. Ranger/LSD debate. The Tacoma is available with an LSD just like the Ranger, which negates any advantage the Ranger has over the Tacoma in that department."

    So I guess you realise there is a use for Limited Slip Differentials, and that there is an advantage for Ford offering them, yes?

    "99.9% of the time you wouldn't distinguish [an open diff] from the LSD."

    I think 99.9% of the time is a little high, but sure you shouldn't really know when it is in use. That is the beauty of it, however. No waiting for it to engage, no having to press a button to activate it, and no speed or turning imposements. But you do get divided traction when one wheel slips, which if you drive any slippery roads ever(oil, rain, ice, snow) you will appreciate the always on protection instead of sliding into a ditch or oncoming traffic.

    I think we all have stated our views on the applications of both the locker and the Limited slip differentials. I also think we are in the majority in agreement. Is it possible to put this one to rest?
  • plutoniousplutonious Posts: 799
    tbundy, no I don't know of any minivan that comes with an LSD, but many minivan-like SUVS and plenty of cars come with them. My point was that when you buy Ford's premier off-roader, the FX4 which has 4x4 written all over it, shouldn't it come with more specific off-road equipment?

    stang, this is becoming really silly with that winch comment. You and I both know that anybody who goes through the trouble of installing a winch on their 4x4 probably has a rear locker too. And a winch is only good if there's something to anchor it too.

    But that's besides the point. The point is if you find yourself stuck in "normal" situations, the locker will be a push-of-the-button lifesaver, whereas the LSD isn't going to do squat. Just wait till you or wife get stuck and have to flag down other drivers, dig the truck out or have it winched. You'll be watching your tires spin helplessly wishing you could simply push a button and put some power to the wheel with grip. All it takes is once, and the locker will make you a believer.

    Yes, I acknowledge there is use for LSDs and Ford's offering them, but I would rather have a locker.

    Please, give me a break with your sliding into a ditch or uncoming traffic because you don't have the LSD. The LSD probably helps, but it's marginal at best. I would say operator ability and most certainly tires provide the greatest advantage in winter driving conditions.
  • issisteelmanissisteelman Posts: 124
    Because I haven't responded to your poll. I live in God's country in the middle of nowhere and I travel off road all the time (especially to get to my camp which is only accessible by logging roads). So, I wanted you to know that some of us do more with our pick up trucks then drive them to the mall.

    And, I hope you finally realize that the TRD package is currently the best stock offroad package offered by any manufacturer for pick up trucks. If not, then I give up on trying to convince you of anything.

    Take care and I'll see you up at camp where life is so, so good...........Steelman.
  • In my statements on what the majority of consumers want in an compact truck, I did state that most don't need or want a 4x4 and/or off-road package. No where did I say that there are not people who do need or want a 4x4 and/or off-road package.

    Yes the majority of critics seem to pick the Tacoma as the best off-roading compact pickup truck. Kudos for Tacoma.

    This is no final realization on my part, but what I have believed in since day one of joining

    I am simply one of those included in my first statement that most people don't want or need a 4x4 truck. A limited slip is all I would want (or need) in a traction control device. I had a friend who wrecked his S-10 or sonoma (Forget which) because he downshifted during a fairly high speed turn at night. He hit some slick asphalt and spun out. The truck was totaled. Could a Limited slip differential saved it? Maybe. Could a locker save him? No way. Hence my choice and preference.

    I accept and approve of everyone's opinion of the best stock compact off-road truck you can buy. I hope you accept my opinion that a Ranger is not a off-road cripple either. New off-road packages such as the FX4 with it's limited slip differential immune to the "one wheel in the air" criticism. I also hope you all agree with a later synopsis of mine in which I stated that the Tacoma is a highly recommended truck, and the Ranger is ranked as one of the safest, and one of the best values in a compact truck. Take it as you want, the Tacoma is a tough truck, with a great reputation for quality, and the Ranger is another tough truck with lots of options and standard equipment, which I personally believe gives you more bang for the buck, hence the best value accolade.

    There, that should make everyone happy to a degree, and please note I have never contradicted any of my previous statements ever made on this board. I still am placing my money on the Ranger for my next compact truck purchase, because with all the details argued on this board and off added together, the Ranger is still the better truck for me. Many others are like me, and the sale figures only back up that statement. But there is no wrong or right, just different strokes for different folks. Take that as you will.
  • eagle63eagle63 Posts: 599
    drag out this pointless locker vs. LSD debate any further, but I think we need to know more about the Torsen diff that comes with the FX4. not all lsd's are the same, and I would suspect that if it's anyting like the Eaton "gov-lock" diff that comes with the ZR2 package, it's probably pretty good.
  • saddaddysaddaddy Posts: 566
    If the FX4 LSD works as well as a locker with one wheel all the way in the air, then it is not a LIMITED slip diff. If such is proven, then I will be surprised, though.

    I talk to a guy with an FX4 that wheels with some guys at the Tacoma off road site, and as soon as he gets the cash, he's replacing the Torsen with a selectable locker like his tacoma counterparts. This locker will be purchased b4 any lift, tires, sliders, or any other off road performance accessories, just to show how much of a priority it is to him. He wheels it a ton, so that has me thinking that the Torsen is really not much different than a normal LSD, just a little more viscous. Again, this is all great, just not for someone who really wants a truly capable off road truck.
This discussion has been closed.