Diff locks not working

Joined
Aug 14, 2005
Messages
58
Location
London SW15
This is my first post to this forum, so hello to all and thanks for a great site.

I have a UK spec 1996 4.2 litre turbo diesel 80 series with manual gearbox, front and rear diff locks and 124000 miles. The centre diff works ok, but the front and rears do not lock when the rotary knob is switched on to FF or RR. I'm guessing it's siezed due to lack of use. I am considering taking it to a specialist, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

Many thanks,

Frederick (London SW15)
 

Trunk Monkey

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Make sure you're in low range with the center diff locked. Get on some loose dirt and try to lock the f/r lockers. You may have to turn in a gentle circle to get them to engage. Mine were sticky when I got the truck, but I've worked them out a little and they work much faster.
 

tarbe

 
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Welcome!

Sure wish we could get that spec truck here in the States! Quite a find.

Your locker issue is common on trucks that have not had the lockers used much. Do as stated in the above post. The more you use them, the quicker they should engage...that has been my experience and the experience of a number of folks here.

edit: forgot to ask: do the locker indicators on the dash at least blink when you rotate the switch?
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
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S Brunswick Islands, NC
Welcome!

Mine was doing the same thing. I did the circle driving high tech fix and so far have gotten the fronts to work. I'm betting I'll get the rears loose if I keep at it...
 

Romer

fatherofdaughterofromer
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Welcome!

Great advice above and make sure you don't drive on pavement while your working the diffs. Post back the results. We yanks always like to know how the story ends.
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
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I had the same experience as FZJFillmore, with my 95 LC. I had not used the diff locks in at least 8 years and was able to get them to locl up on dirt last year, via the procedures described. Get on dirt, low range, locker switch on and slowly drive around until they engage. Might take a couple of minutes.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2005
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Wellington, New Zealand
The lockers on my recently purchased HDJ81 weren't working either, turned out to be an electrical problem, no power at the actuators, I beliebve it was a faulty 4WD control box. They're working now and yes they do take a while to engage!
 

Trunk Monkey

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If locking/unlocking them doesn't work, then the actuators probably need to be serviced. I think there's a write up on Slee's site. Friend just did his front locker, he didn't make it sound like it was too hard.

If that doesn't work, I've only got one other suggestion - ship your truck over here, and I'll ship you mine with working lockers. :D
 
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Jul 20, 2004
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Chandler, AZ
SamB said:
The lockers on my recently purchased HDJ81 weren't working either, turned out to be an electrical problem, no power at the actuators, I beliebve it was a faulty 4WD control box. They're working now and yes they do take a while to engage!
I had the same problem, no relay click, no power to the rear, front worked well, A new 4WD control box from C-Dan fixed it up.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
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London SW15
Here's a happy ending...

I eventually found some gravel here in London where I could play around with the diff locks (Richmond Park for those who know London). Still didn't release.

Removed dashboard panel below the diff lock knob and discover that the plug that inserts into the rear of the rotary knob is disconnected !! Plugged in quickly, panel back on, into gear and on with the diff locks. Dash lights blinking. Chassis felt incredibly tight and unwilling to turn corners. What joy.

I also had the front wheels realligned today [£40], new tyres fitted last week (Falken 275x70xR16 Land Air All Terrain [5 cost £428]) and the original steel wheels refurbished. Previously shod with BFG M/T's.

The outstanding jobs now are rear wiper motor not working, and sunroof motor not working. The sunroof motor is an Italian electric motor (Unus International), which I think was fitted to European spec trucks only.

I am hoping the rear wiper motor is common to Corollas and Camrys.... can anybody confirm ?

Many thanks for the replies.
 

Shipwreck

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TLC42TD said:
Here's a happy ending...(snip)... Plugged in quickly, panel back on, into gear and on with the diff locks. Dash lights blinking...What joy.
Hmm, maybe you still have a slight problem. Wouldn't the blinking dash lights indicate that the dash switch was turned on but the lockers haven't engaged? Did the flashing lights go out eventually? Are you sure that the stiffness you felt was not just the center diff engaging?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
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London SW15
Good point. I've just reviewed the owners' manual, and it confirms what you say. On my truck, the indicator for the rear diff stopped flashing (but remained illuminated), but the front locker indicator continued to flash. I'll check this out again tomorrow.

There is a noticeable difference between having FF / RR engaged, versus only centre diff.

Tell me, do US spec vehicles have a separate centre diff button located beside the hazard flasher, in addition to the H/L lever next to the gear lever?

Cheers,

Frederick
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
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The great white north
US spec dont have a separate diff lock button but many install it aftermarket

If your rear light is solid that diff lock is engaged but if the front one is flashing it is not engaged, only once if goes solid is it engaged.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2005
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London SW15
Tested again this morning with same results. However, after a little persistence, it eventually engaged. Now it engages every time on demand. No flasing lights, just three solid diff locks lights illuminated (orange, red, and red).
 
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