Toyota Unveils New 2015 TRD Pro Off-Road Package – Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner

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Toyota has unveiled a new off-road TRD Pro package at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. Billed as the next evolution of TRD off-road performance, this new offering is sure to grab a lot of attention. Here is what you need to know.

Toyota Unveils New TRD Pro Off-Road Package - Tundra, Tacoma, 4Runner

Look at this trio of off-road vehicles! These guys are ready for some dirt.

Working with the Toyota Racing Development team, these new packages, for the Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner, are the culmination of the experience they have learned at the grueling Baja 500 and 1000 endurance races. Each package is built to withstand some pretty harsh treatment while amping up the fun factor of off-roading.

Specifications for all TRD Pro Series

Each Tundra, Tacoma and 4Runner with this package will come with:

  • TRD Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs
  • TRD-tuned front springs
  • TRD front skid plate
  • Unique front grille with “TOYOTA” badging (pays tribute to early iconic Toyota models)
  • TRD floor mats
  • TRD shift knobs
  • Black wheels

Also, Toyota is announcing the new Inferno color will be added to its lineup. This hot red is joined by black and super white.

Toyota Unveils New TRD Pro Off-Road Package - Tundra

Tundra TRD Pro

The Tundra TRD Pro will get some other features as well including:

  • TRD-tuned springs with 2” lift for the front of the vehicle
  • Decreased spring rate to improve ride quality over harsh terrain
  • All-black 18-inch alloy wheels with Michelin ORP tires
  • TRD dual exhaust system
  • TRD PRO quarter panel bed stamping
  • Unique interior seat color with red stitching
  • Unique instrument panel ornament insert
Toyota Unveils New TRD Pro Off-Road Package - Tacoma

This “Taco Supreme” has some impressive wheels and suspension upgrades. Also, the 2″ front lift with increased wheel travel is a great addition.

Taco Supreme

The Tacoma will get the standard features, plus what Toyota calls a “little hot sauce:”

  • TRD-tuned springs with 2” lift for the front
  • Decreased spring rate
  • 16-inch black beadlock-style wheels
  • BFGoodrich® All-Terrain LT265/75R16 tires
  • TRD Exhaust
  • Black TRD PRO badge
Toyota Unveils New TRD Pro Off-Road Package - 4Runner

The TRD Pro 4Runner comes with an assortment of off-road goodies.

TRD Pro 4Runner

Last but not least, the 4Runner will be equipped with:

  • 1.5” lift for the front of the vehicle
  • 1” of additional wheel travel
  • All-new 17-inch TRD all-black alloy wheels
  • Black TRD Pro badges
  • Black front and rear lower bumper accents

Our Take

While it would have been really cool to see Toyota come out with a so-called Raptor fighter, this truck package will probably the affordable alternative. Here are our top reasons why we think these packages are cool.

1. Most after-market lift kits don’t increase wheel travel.

To get additional front end wheel travel, you typically have to buy a new upper control arm and coil spring, and those kits cost $1,000+. To get more rear end wheel travel, you need a new leaf pack that also costs hundreds of dollars. Getting both stock from the factory is a big deal. 

2. The shocks are a really nice upgrade. Toyota’s engineers did the valve tuning, so you get a factory like ride in an upgraded shock that’s hard to buy off the shelf. The increased piston size means that you can get better performance without stiffening the ride. Our guess is that these shocks are a $200-$400 upgrade if you had to buy them after-market (and you probably can’t get a factory tuned off-road shock).

3. Additionally, the external reservoirs on the shocks boost performance if/when people really hammer their trucks (only we doubt most of the people will be doing this).

4. The Tundra TRD Pro has an “oil filter access panel.” It is nice that Toyota is FINALLY listening to its customers on this. In fact, Tim brought this up in Jackson Hole and surprised a few people on it. It is highly doubtful that his question at a regional Toyota event caused the access panel to be added, but, hey you never know!

The TRD Pro series is expected to hit dealerships this fall. Pricing has not been announced.

 Tundra TRD ProTacoma TRD Pro4Runner TRD Pro
Wheels18” black alloy w/ TRD logo16” black beadlock style TRD alloyNew 17” black TRD alloy
TiresMichelin ORPBFGoodrich All Terrain KO- TBD
ShocksTRD Bilstein High Performance
- 2” of additional wheel travel
- 60mm pistons > 46mm OE
- 12mm shafts > 12mm OE
Speed & Position Valving
- Bilstein progressive piston and valve design
- 3 stage position sensitive valving
- 1.25” of additional wheel travel
- 60mm pistons > 46mm OE
Remote Reservoirs
- Increased oil capacity for heat management
- Increased control of cavitation
TRD Bilstein High Performance
- 1” of additional wheel travel
- 60mm pistons > 36/32mm OE
- 18mm shafts > 12mm OE
- 1.5” of additional wheel travel
- 46mm pistons > 36/30mm OE
- Remote reservoir
TRD Bilstein High Performance
- 1” of additional wheel travel
- 60mm pistons > 32mm OE
- 18mm shafts > 12mm OE
- 1” of additional wheel travel
- 46mm pistons >
SpringsUnique TRD-Tuned Front Springs
- 2” lift for the front of the vehicle
- Decreased spring rate to improve ride quality over harsh terrain
Unique TRD-Tuned Front Springs
- 2” lift for the front of the vehicle
- Decreased spring rate to improve ride quality over harsh terrain
Unique TRD-Tuned Front Springs
- 1.5” lift for the front of the vehicle
ExhaustTRD Dual Exhaust
- Stainless steel system
- Polished steel dual wall tips
- Reduced back pressure
- Throaty rumble sound
TRD Cat Back Exhaust
- Stainless steel system
- Polished steel dual wall tips
- Reduced back pressure
- Throaty rumble sound
No Change from OE
Skid PlateNew TRD Front Skid Plate
- 1/4” thick aluminum with oil pan access panel
TRD Front Skid Plate
- 1/8” thick stamped silver powder-coated
TRD Stamped Front Skid Plate
- 1/4” thick aluminum with venting for front differential
Exterior- Unique “TOYOTA” front grille
- “TRD Pro” quarter bed panel stamping
- Black “TUNDRA” badging on doors
- Unique “TOYOTA” front grille
- Black “TRD PRO” external hard badge
- Black “TACOMA” badging on doors
- Unique “TOYOTA” front grille
- Black “TRD PRO” external hard badges
- Black front and rear lower bumper accent
Exterior ColorsBlack, Super White, and Inferno (all-new exclusive color)Black, Super White, and Inferno (all-new exclusive color)Black, Super White, and Inferno (all-new exclusive color)
Interior- TRD Shift Knob
- TRD Floor Mats
- Unique seat color with red stitching
- Unique IP ornament insert
- TRD Shift Knob
- TRD Floor Mats
- TRD Shift Knob
- TRD Floor Mats

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Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. LJC says:

    This is not even close to a Raptor fighter, not by a long shot.
    No selectable eLocker? Has Toyota become alergic to them? Seriously. Back in the day, the Land Cruiser could be had with both front and rear lockers. It’ll be totally uncool when the Auto LSD kicks in…

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      LOL. I was reading through the press release and thinking, man, these guys are going to be mad about no eLocker. 🙂


      • rob says:

        if you watch the press release when there in one of the vehicles the driver said the pro series trucks have locking rear diff. just sayin

        • Tim Esterdahl says:


          We will just have to wait and see. The official press release they sent did not include a mention to a locking rear diff. If they did put one on it, it would seem to me that the press release would have made a big deal out of it.

          I believe, either the guy misspoke or was referring to the 4Runner.


    • Breathing Borla says:

      the real land cruisers used to have 3 lockers actually

  2. LJC says:

    Toyota doesn’t understand that the Tundra is the most scrutinized truck in the universe. Offroad critics are going to have a field day with this missing feature. A critic will hot-dog it in a sand pit and overheat the ALSD (brakes actually) in minutes.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      As much as you want one, the sources I talk to say it isn’t a heavily requested feature. From my understanding, DJ’s comment above are pretty consistent with Rock Warrior owners. I know of several in Texas who beat them up and never have a need for an eLocker. Now, I’m sure there are people out there that want it that is just what I am hearing.


  3. DJ says:

    In Toyota’s defense, I think this is a nice step forward.

    I’m sorry, but folks calling for a “Raptor fighter” with lockers, a diesel, etc need to be realistic.

    First off, who off-roads a $50k truck? That just doesn’t make sense. These trucks are too big and heavy to off-road anywhere where I’m located (CO). I can’t imagine fitting this truck into somewhere where you would need a locker. That’s what 4runners and FJ’s are for.
    These trucks are made primarily to haul stuff, that’s why they have a bed. Secondly they’re built to tow, around 10,000 lbs. I do both with my rock warrior. I certainly do not wish it had 35 inch tires and 10mpg like a Raptor. I have no desire to off road it, destroy the paint, mess up the alignment, and damage parts. I have a UTV for that.
    I would love to have the shocks and springs from this PRO Tundra, sounds like they have dialed in the on and off-road ride.
    I’ve owned 4runners with lockers, never had to use them. If I had a locker on my Rock Warrior, it would never be used.
    I hope this puts in perspective where I am and where I belive Toyota’s thinking it.

    • KMS says:

      Good points DJ

      Like you, I use my RW for towing, hauling (lot’s of firewood, building materials, etc). I live in WV and a truck the size of a Tundra is very limited as far as off-roading goes. That is why I have my CanAm commander.

      Those calling for e-lockers and criticizing Toyota as though they are missing the boat are being a bit myopic IMO.

      I’m actually pretty impressed with this preview, I like the new front end, and am impressed with the choice of suspension components. I would say that 95% plus of Tundra owners will be happy with this new package.


  4. Goldie says:

    Hmm…I wonder if Toyota will theses shocks and springs as accessories? They look beefier than the Bilstein 5100s. I wouldn’t mind putting these on my 2010 Tundra if the cost is less than say Fox or Kings coilovers.

    You listed the shaft diameter for the Tundra as 12mm. I assume that is just a typo and it really is 18mm like the Tacoma and 4runner shocks.

    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      That list came directly from Toyota’s press release. I simply copied and pasted.

      I just double checked the press release and that is what it says. Looking at it again though, I’m like you and I’m thinking it should be 18. Unless Toyota tells me differently, I’m hesitant to change it.


  5. LJC says:

    I’ve been filling out TOI surveys for almost two years now. NOT once was there a question about a eLocker. The surveys I’ve filled out include: HD Truck options, Engine Options, Electronics Options, and remote information options, and most recently the Accessories Options. This survey was TRD centric. And again, no question about an eLocker.

    So, the point about nobody asking for one; who are they asking?

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Sweers has told me time and time again that they have spoken to customers and the demand simply isn’t there.

      That is a good point on the survey though. Next time I see him, I’ll ask him why it isn’t a survey question.


      • Mickey says:

        Tim this is where I will really disagree. Sweers is a down right liar. How do you become the head engineer of a truck and not know the issues of the truck he has helped designed? I won’t believe anything the man says. As far as I’m concerned he speaks with a forked tongue. As mentioned by LJC if no question or answer that can be put in stating e-locker how will he actually know what people really want?

        • Tim Esterdahl says:

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending him. Trust me, my first question will be why the AIP issue hasn’t been resolved. If he “bitched” his way to the top of engineering like he said he did, why wasn’t that issue priority #1.

          On the eLocker discussion, I’m not thinking he is lying. I just don’t hear that much about it from other sources. Frankly, it seems like only on this site is it even brought up. I go to dealers and they scratch their heads. I talk with other manufactures and they don’t have a lot to say. I look on forums and there isn’t that much discussion (some, but not that much). On the list of things for Tundra, I would say the eLocker is way down the list. Most people want to talk about AIP, frame rust, steering rack, water pump, crewmax 6 foot bed, drive side door handle, etc… I just don’t see it that often that’s all.

          Lastly, I am not saying that LJC point about needing it is invalid. He has a right to request it and he brings up a great point on why is it on the survey. All I am saying is I don’t hear a lot of requests elsewhere.


        • hemi lol says:

          Mickey, on at least 2 occasions i have spoken with mike sweers and grilled him about it. For most purposes the Auto LSD works EXTREMELY well especially since Toyota is the only manufacturer that uses that tech on the front axle. in 4×4 that feature is called A-TRAC. On a 4×4 Tundra its standard, on Tacoma its only on the TRD Off Road pkg. and UP and OF packages on FJ and trail on 4 runner. standard on Sequoia and Land Cruiser as well. I will defend Mike Sweers as far as how he speaks because these guys have to be really careful how they speak so they dont infringe on their agreements with the Company about when and where they can talk about certain things.

          FWIW dont count out a locker yet…………. I heard that as well as an ITBC (which dont bother me either way) and a larger fuel tank didnt quite make it to the 14 model……. heres to hoping it does make it into the 15! and who knows maybe engines……….. I wouldnt bet on that till 16-17 tho. judging by the new CAFE crap for 17 model year.

          • Mickey says:

            I understand about the elocker but most of my point was towards him not knowing anything about the AIP issue’s. That I find hard to believe. Being the head guy on this truck and not knowing what TSB’s or Recall’s that are out on the truck is beyond me.

  6. Larry says:


    I’m with you, a 50K off road truck, people have lost their minds. I once had a 1963 4 cylinder 4WD scout. Limited slip front and back. One time I tried to cross a stream, all for wheels went down into the mud and the frame was resting on a rock slab. It took 2 jeeps to pull me out. If it was a 50 grand raptor, 1) I wouldn’t have tried to cross a stream with it and 2) with it’s size, it would likely still be there.

    As for the locker issue, it is my view it makes more sense to save the money and use it for a 12000 pound winch which can be mounted in front and rear hitch receivers.

    The raptor is too wide and too heave to be useful. Once and a while I get out to the Salt Flats. If you get out there before things dry up you can sink through the crust and if you do you have a 6000 pound raptor to get out with no anchor point for miles.. A jeep is one thing a big truck is another and it won’t help even it could lock front and back.

    There ford raptor is crazy and Toyota should stick with making real trucks.

  7. AKD says:

    I want the Vintage Toyota Grill!

  8. mk says:

    shocks and lift are a very nice touch, other than that – ho hum no big deal. Wouldn’t spend much over 1 grand to get the package and am sure it will be 2-3 grand extra. Nice little profit margin for toyota for sure.

    That oil filter opening on the skid plate should be standard eqmt. on ALL tundras no question about that. To have to remove the entire skid plate just to remove the oil filter is stupid.

  9. LJC says:

    I’ve read the responses. Here’s my take. A chosen few seem to think the Tundra doesn’t need a locker as an option. These people are responders on this blog and Sweer’s friends. What strikes me as interesting is there are companies that sell differentials and all of Tundra’s competitors offer them as an option. This new package is for off road and no eLocker?

    I’ll make another point: as well all know, the Tundra is J2807 compliant, yet an integrated trailer brake controller is still not an option.

    Now, to make one thing clear there is a lot to like about this new package and to be honest I like most everything about it. And as one poster noted, I wonder if parts of it are backward compatible.

    • mendonsy says:

      I suspect that the “chosen few” is probably almost all the Toyota truck buyers. An elocker is a rather radical solution to the problem. A more conventional limited slip diff like a torsen would probably be a better choice for most buyers instead of the current rather ineffective system.

    • KMS says:

      To be honest LJC, just about the only person I see consistently calling for a e-locker on the Tundra is you. I frequent a couple of other forums and there is hardly any talk about a locker on the Tundra. I’ve been a Tundra owner since 2004, all either 4×4 TRD or RW. I’ve taken my trucks out in the woods, in the mud, in the sand, in the snow, etc… and have never needed a e-locker.

      Now I’m not saying that for those real hardcore off road types it wouldn’t be nice to have, but for the vast majority of Tundra owners it would never be used. I can see why Toyota, from a business aspect, does not address it either. There just isn’t enough of a demand and the vast majority of Tundra owners, like all other fullsize truck owners, do not use their trucks in places that justify the need for a e-locker.


      • Mickey says:

        Been many talks about elocker on

        • KMS says:

          Plenty of discussion but when you look at the total traffic on that site, it’s still a minority issue. Same thing on some other forums. This is a small niche issue for right now.

          I don’t care either way as I do not have a need for one considering how I use my truck. For those that do, there are aftermarket options out there, such as the Auburn model.

          For Toyota, I can see their reasoning in this matter. From a business standpoint, they just do not see enough demand to justify the addition.

          Folks need to remember that Toyota runs a very conservative business model for the most part. Most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll find out how this will play out when they do start selling the PRO series. My personal opinion is this model will sell quite well and fit the needs of a large majority of Toyota truck consumers, including those who self identify as hardcore/serious off roaders.


          • Mickey says:

            Agree KMS. Like you I don’t go offroad at all. Not my kind of thing to do. Either take the boat fishing or ride the Harley for my enjoyment.

          • Tim Esterdahl says:

            You know Mickey, I have heard an argument for a locking differential for those who go boating. The argument is that when you are on the boat ramp, it can get slippery and having a locking differential would be beneficial. Thoughts?


          • Mickey says:

            Tim I do understand that one. At first with my F-150 I had that issue of spinning the tire and no traction. Same as for the 06 Silverado. But an old man taught me a new trick with my 07 Tundra. He showed me a way not to do that. I don’t even touch the water much less the slime with my tires. I have solid traction on the cement. What I do different now is that I don’t completely submerge the trailer to get the boat on it. I drive the boat up the trailer. The horsepower of the 3.0 Mercury Alpha One goes up with ease. Always centered on the trailer. Once all the way up I have the wife lower the back glass so she can hear me. Then tell her to go and pulls the boat right out. If I don’t hold on as soon as I say go, she will put me down. Only happened once. So I’m ready for her. So I don’t have a need for a locker at all.

          • Tim Esterdahl says:


            It’s all in the technique eh? Sounds right to me!

            I’ve just heard that on the slippery boat ramp an eLocker makes some sense, yet the professional boat team that Toyota sponsors and gives trucks too, don’t have eLockers. Seems like if they can make it work, then others can too.


          • Larry says:


            I launch boats on rivers all over the place. On concrete ramps, dirt ramps. Sometimes we need to back down as far as we can between some trees or tamarisk. None of us have lockers. Never any troubles. It’s the front wheels which have all the traction anyway with the motor and trans over them. This locker issue is being overstated. There is a place for it but, if I am in those places I would rather have a winch and an addition 100 foot of synthetic line.

            A much more important feature would be the ability to unlock the front differential at times using 4WD low when backing down a concrete ramp which might require maneuvering around stuff on the ramp. With 4WD low lock and not having CV joints the front drive line twists up. In tight places where we want to step or rocks or ledges slowly 4Low locked is a big problem. First thing this spring my RAM gets after market free hubs to the tune of 1500 bucks. Already have them just need the snow to melt so I can do the install.

            Since I don’t have a Tundra,,,,,, do they have CV joints up front. My T100 didn’t.

          • Tim Esterdahl says:


            Thanks for chiming in and I’m not sure about the CV joints. I find the eLocker debate to be pretty interesting with passionate people on both sides. It seems to me that there are indeed places and times where it might make sense, yet it seems like it is far and few in between.


  10. […] Toyota Unveils New 2015 TRD Pro Off-Road Package – Raptor Like Upgrade | Tundra Headquarters Blog 07' SR5 DC, 5.7, TRD Toyota SS steps ARE MX cap AMP bed step DIY underseat storage Weathertech […]

  11. T says:

    Tim… what mechanical changes have been made to the power train for 2015 besides the obvious off-road enhancements for the Tundra? Variable Valve lift? direct injection?

    • Tim Esterdahl says:

      Nothing mechanical, this is simply a package offering. If you are looking for those changes, it is probably going to come in 2016/17 if at all. Toyota has so much demand, they don’t have a lot of interest in making many changes – it seems to me.


      • T-Towing says:

        Speaking of 2016/2017…the “3” needed time to make a better product and inflated towing numbers until they had a product that might make those numbers stick(a few years down the road). Toyota lost an opportunity and with RAM and Titan coming out with diesels in half tons they are falling behind.

        Basic engines mods (VVLift, Elec.engine fan) I mentioned to you before straight from the factory would improve city mpg to 17-18 and highway to 19-21. No new transmission, engine or frame, maybe a hp upgrade while still improving mpg. It would be cost affective and would help sell the product.

  12. mk says:

    having driven chevy’s eaton made rear locking differential vs. what the tundra has, NO question in my mind which performs better in wintertime use = GM’s for sure.

    I personally think Toyota’s system is junk and doesn’t work worth a hoot, but no one listens to me.

    • toyrulz says:

      I live in Northern Ontario, Canada – Near Timmies where Toyota does cold weather testing.

      I went to car wash yesterday and near the entrance was bumpy frozen ruts and glare ice where most tires spun to enter.

      I was behind a Chevy, he couldn’t move forward or reverse, spinning one wheel, then he locked and and spun both and got no where. I was getting out to push when he finally got some momentum to get in.

      I didn’t even kill my nannies and and got through without flashing a warning light. I am blown away by the effectiveness of the Nannies at ruining all the fun and keeping the truck hooked up. I also like that I don’t go sideways in situations like that or drive-thrus.

      My old 2004 Tundra had a real LSD and after a T-100 with open diff. And no auto-LSD I was surprised how it liked to get sideways because both wheels spun.

      Most severe winters – I see them every year – I’ll take my 2011 Tundra with winter tires and 400lbs of sand in back over everything except my full time 4×4 4Runner which is closest I have seen to having a tank. Tundra too big off road, if you need LSD, you might want a vehicle better suited for off-roading that extreme.

      What the Tundra can do, it does well. Yes, a locker will help, but doesn’t make Tundra a smaller, lighter, narrower, shorter wheel base and tighter turning dance partner. Where there are a few off-road scenarios that the Tundra would be tool of choice, like the farm, there are some good aftermarket solutions – there is just not enough demand for Toyota to do it.

      I hear our huge ring gear rear end is from Hino’s part shelf. It is over built and open diff’s are the most reliable. Toy added the Auto-LSD to add capability to the reliability. You want them to mess with that.

    • KMS says:

      Having owned Chevy 4WD trucks and now Toyota 4WD trucks, I think it’s a stretch to call the Toyota drive system junk.

      I live in WV, up in “the hollars” as the locals call it, and I can tell you that my RW does great during the winter when I do need to lock it into 4WD.

      To address what Larry said concerning boat launching. When I was stationed in Missouri, I did a lot of fishing with a buddy who had a boat. On weekends I would tow his boat (had a chevy at the time) whenever we went fishing. First time I recovered his boat, I backed down the ramp too far and needed to use my 4WD to get back up. My buddy explained to me what I did wrong, and after that I would back down just far enough so he could “drive” his boat onto the trailer. Never had to use 4WD again and never spun my wheels while in 2WD.

      From what I’ve seen, actually having a need for a e-locker for most Tundra owners is not there. The majority of owners will not take there trucks into situations that require a dedicated e-locker and IMHO why would I want to take my 40G plus truck somewhere just to risk trashing it? That’s what my 10G commander is for and I can get much further back into the woods with my commander than I ever will with a full size truck.


  13. Ryan says:

    Awesome breakdown of the new TRD Pro packages. Can’t wait to get my hands on one of the new Tundras this fall.

  14. Randy says:


    I have owned or driven these kinds of trucks extensively and have towed with them all, including big boats up to 9,000 lbs. That includes launching and loading on exceptionally steep boat ramps covered in slim.

    4×2 open diff

    4×2 LSD

    4×2 with traction control with and without LSD

    4×2 w eLocker and traction control (Ford is pushing this hard because it is a lot cheaper than LSD, for which they are way over charging – it is all marketing and profits).

    Of course none of the 4×2’s above will do a steep boat ramp covered in slim; but I assume everyone knows that?

    4×4 plain old time open diff (front and back) with a locked transfer case – very old school with no traction control. Sometimes this can get real spooky.

    4×4 with open front, locked transfer, and LSD, with traction control

    4×4 with open front, locked transfer, and eLocker, with traction control

    4×4 AWD with traction control

    4×4 oh yes almost forgot Super Duty’s with front locking hubs. I just left them in “auto” mode and went from there; never in all these years did I have a requirement to get out in the mud and mess with them LOL

    4×4 with locked transfer case and A-Trac Tundra style without eLocker. The computer controls on this are a lot better than Ford or GM systems by a wide margin (I have not driven a RAM that way). I had much rather have a Tundra A-Trac 4×4 than the Ford or GM with eLocker.

    More often than not an eLocker on a boat ramp is not your friend, because of no steering control; it ends up acting a lot like Tundra’s 4×2 Auto-LSD, but at least the Tundra’s Auto-LSD is a lot more forgiving and you have better control of the truck.

    Even in extreme off-roading – Raptor and Tundra TRD-Pro – an eLocker has to be used wisely. If you are on an exceptional steep climb position around 1mph AND have to steer around some large boulder’s you will find that the eLocker could force you drive directly into them; particularly if one of the front wheels is off the ground. In a case like that the Tundra’s A-Trac is by far the superior way to go.

    eLockers are good in very limited situations; but the A-Trac system offers a lot more flexibility in the real world.

    As far as I am concerned; AWD in the type of conditions I talked about above, I will just refer to it a sloppy 4×4. AWD is good for cars, and it is good for little ole ladies. I have seen one F150 set to AWD at steep slimy boat ramp and it was not a pretty sight. The computer controls simply go “round robbin” from wheel to wheel attempting to get the truck to move. It was really hilarious. That same situation for the Tundra A-Trac is a walk in the park; there is no comparison.


    • Tim Esterdahl says:


      Thanks! That is great information.

      Here is another question for everyone: what situation/s would an eLocker make sense and/or what parts of the country in your opinion.

      Thanks again.


      • Randy says:


        If you have a 4×4 and all 4 wheels have zero traction then a lockers front and back have the greatest chance of getting you un-stuck. Like heavy mud. But the number of trucks with front and back lockers are in the minority – a rare bird.

        On other 4×4’s with normal traction controls and a rear locker only, then the main benefit is solving the problem on “no weight” in the back for traction. Having a locked rear axle in heavy mud with no weight load “might” be more advantageous than other methods.

        There really is no clear answer: All the various traction controls have advantages and disadvantages.

        Adding to the complexity are the owners: The vast majority of the owners of these trucks do not know how to use the features. During the last little ice storm, the owners of f150 4×4 with LSD could go up and down big hills (and the A-Trac Tundra’s did even better), those with eLockers could not, because they did not know when to turn it “on” or “off”, and their optional AWD was too lame to get them un-stuck. Additionally, in the few cases that owners turned the elocker “on” to get un-stuck on ice and make a sharp 90 degree turn usually did not produce the desired result (wreck). eLockers are not for the faint of heart; they have their place but they are not for everyone.


        • Larry says:


          You bring up an important issue. Most drivers do not know what a differential does so locking the rear axel comes with handling issues most won’t understand. A locker should not be used on the road for anything other then getting free when we are stuck. The truck won’t turn with it locked up.

          Years back my neighbor had a 4Runner built from all the same parts as my T100, She got it stuck when both wheels on one side went off the edge of her driveway. The other wheels were on the concrete but the ones on the left side kind of dug a slight hole in packed snow. The tires had little tread left and all they would do was spin. That’s the situation where a locker would have gotten out in seconds.

          I was able to get her 4Runner out by getting the wheels moving then pumping the brake. When it back out she was really pissed. I explained why it worked but I’m not sure if she really got it.

          My RAM has a solid front axel and in lock even a modest turn causes lead and lag shaft speed differences. My wife has a hard time with this. People need to take the trucks to snow covered parking lots and learn how these things behave. Because people won’t learn how these devices work the FEDs are starting to take them away and require traction controls systems. Our Subaru Forester has traction control and I hate that thing. Forget to disable it and it won’t go up our snow covered drive way. As soon as it detect wheel spin it cuts power. The last thing people should be doing is locking the rear differential and driving off when it starts snowing.

          Now days we have few choices for real old style jeep off road capability. The modern 4WD systems with traction control systems really keep the trucks moving straight and preventing wheel slippage and now people are driving on snow pack at 70 instead of 50. I see it all the time and when they lose control I have also seen them down the bank and in the Provo river.

          • Randy says:


            All very true. The things you see out on the road in the snow and ice conditions are hilarious. I just do everything I can to stay away from them all. It is like they intentionally want to crash and burn with the dumbness.


        • Goldie says:

          Good points Randy. Gotta know when to turn on the locker and more importantly, when NOT to turn on the locker. A locker in the hands of the inexperienced can be a dangerous thing. That’s one of the main reason I don’t like the automatic locker in the GM trucks. They seem to lockup at the worst time, going around a sharp corner on an icy road or trail. If you’re gonna give me a locker, at least let me control when it locks and unlocks.

          Just remember that (to quote Stan Lee), “With great powers comes great responsibility”.

          • Randy says:


            Oh wow, that is one that I have not driven: The automatic mechanical lockers, I had no idea they worked that way, frightening.


          • Tim Esterdahl says:

            This is a great discussion and I’m very pleased with the responses!

            It seems to me that the eLockers are great in certain circumstances, with an experienced driver and are probably a great package or aftermarket add on.

            With that said, one thing I find really interesting is that if you search GM’s truck site, it only offers the G80 option (the Eaton locker) on their towing package. Ram offers it on their HD towing package. Seems to me that if we are talking about the eLocker being exceptional when getting stuck in mud, I wonder why it is only in the towing package. The eLocker option, to me, seems more likely to be on an off-road package like the z71 or their all-terrain package.

            Ford seems to offer it on all their trucks.

            Also, I’m working with LJC to see what dealers offer in his area. For example, do the trucks with the eLockers as stock or as a dealer add-on and what the amount/variety of trucks come with the eLocker. I wonder if the eLocker addition is more of a regional thing.


          • Larry says:

            Take a look a the Ford Raptor 4.10 TORSEN® front differential.


            From the image It’s not easy to understand how it works. For the average driver who is not mechanical, it’s a much better option then a fully locked rear axle. You can also find video on youtube to get a better idea of how it works. It’s almost impossible to explain one of these devices. To explain them people really need to hold a model in their hands to see how they work.

            True, people are asking for options to lock rear axels but it will never be main stream. It’s something that needs to be an option for the few who have a use for it.

            It was mentioned that GM has an auto locker. That’s a bad idea. I would never purchase a system which would lock my rear axel on it’s own.

            Any 4WD system with open differentials will get the job done in almost all situations if people use caution and keep the truck on the road surface. When myself and others go to remote camp sites which require going over some rough washed out roads or rocky areas, we don’t usually lock up. It kind of helps keep us from getting in too deep. We often lock the systems to get over rough spots then go back to RWD. In addition running around even on dirt causes huge amount of ware on all the components when not needed. These things are not perfect and we are not racing.

          • Tim Esterdahl says:

            Umm… yep. I have no idea how that works. It is a nice cut away image of it though!


          • Goldie says:

            It must eating up the Ford fanboys knowing that that most off road capable F150 uses a component from a Toyota company (a lot of manufacturers uses Torsen by the way). Torsen diffs are made by JTEKT, which is part of the Toyota Group, like Aisin.

            I agree that a Torsen rear diff would be a better option than a full locker. Toyota use Torsen diffs in a lot of their vehicles including in the rear of the LFA and the Mega Cruiser. Plus the Torsen would compliment nicely the traction control/A-TRAC/Auto-LSD system.

  15. Randy says:

    Here is another way to look at your question for my situation:

    How often would I find myself in axle deep heavy mud front and back, that front and back lockers “might” save me? Would it actually produce a better result than A-Trac? I guess it all depends on the type of mud or “gumbo” you are stuck in?

    Is it possible that a rear eLocker only could yield any benefit over A-Trac? Maybe I guess? I’m not going to test that theory in my truck, I like it too much. LOL

    I will be happy to test all these things on someone’s truck other than mine.

  16. GoBig says:

    I agree with many of the previous posts that it’s doubtful these trucks will see serious off road use. Off pavement sure, but within reason.

    I do drive my Toy off road (In Alaska no less) and have great fun with it. Of course it’s a 1985 4wd pickup.

    I think the TRD package is cool, and will allow a little cautious off the pavement driving, but realistically, it doesn’t have to be Baja 500 ready.

  17. Randy says:

    Speaking of Torsen

    Has anyone noticed that when Ford what to actually make something that “works” they “always” have to go to Toyota for the parts? Anything that Ford makes and designs in-house “never” works.

    I could not hold back on that one.


    • Larry says:

      I get the point but it’s a bit of a reach. The big turbo diesel in the F250s was in house development. The power stroke diesel “never” works???????????? The 6 speed automatic transmission paired with that diesel, is it your view that it doesn’t work also?

      There is a lot of stuff in Toyota cars and trucks which they don’t make.

      It’s a world market now and made in XXXX by zzzzz doesn’t mean much any more.

  18. […] Another thought would be to re-release a new Ford Raptor as a trim-level upgrade over the stock truck. Yes, it wouldn’t have the same modifications that the current Raptor has, but it would keep the name alive.  This would be akin to the Rock Warrior offered by Toyota until this year. Then, reinvented as a TRD Pro Tundra. […]

  19. […] Toyota unveils new 2015 trd pro off-road package – raptor […]

  20. MCE says:

    I own 08 tundra crew TRD 5.7 Area that needs improvement. The 4 wheel drive system, Using brakes for loss of traction. dropping motor Rpm’s. Tires moving at speed keeps you moving and throws mud out tire treads. Truck is in desperate need of locking differentials. Front and Rear. Yes I understand a front locker may cause a steering issue if traction is great. But it should be a selectable option for those whom actually use a 4×4 for off road in deep mud. 4 wheel powered W/O motor loss. See Air Locker. notice the improvement. steep hill climbs,Sand,Mad. 4×4 should= 4 wheels powered. Not 4×2= 1 front/1 rear or 4X3= 2 rear,1 front. 4×4 should be limited slip rear or locking rear. Front limited slip to locking as a selectable. This is not just a Toyota issue. I am not a hater. My opinion.

    • Larry says:

      You might be out of luck when it comes to the 4WD issues. I doubt many know how to use the brakes with open differentials when one wheel is spinning. For years now 4WD systems have been slowly migrating and morphing into systems which have one job. Keep the vehicle going straight at 70 MPH on snow pack. The Feds have required all this traction control stuff and the 4WD systems of the past are going away. For the cost and my use I don’t need lockers and I suspect that the majority of the market just doesn’t have enough demand to manufactured them. The limited slip units on the Raptor might be the best we will get from the dealer. I don’t know anyone who has real locker. I deal with driving up steep snow packed hills 9 months of each year. The open differentials and simple transfer case which lock front and back work okay as long as you keep the truck on the pavement. Off road mud is a different story. That kind of use might just require a custom built setup with expensive aftermarket parts. I agree with you that front and back locked are what some will need but I don’t see it coming from any of the dealer lots.

      How do we design a 4WD system that will work great on something going 80 mph on wet roads in Florida and then get someone out of deep mud off road in Utah. I don’t think it’s a one size fits all situation. Just like tires, good snows aren’t worth a cent in deep sand. My old Subarus would eat snow, the new ones don’t even come close but they will track straight gong way to fast on snow pack.

      I wouldn’t even think of taking my truck off an establish paved or dirt road unless the surface was dry and solid. A jeep is one thing a big truck in another. Getting a 7000 pound truck out of the mud when it goes through the crust on the salt flats won’t be easy, nothing is getting you out but a tow truck. I have seen more then one truck sunk up to the body on the Salt Flats because they went out there too early in the season.

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