Manual hub conversion

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Supporting Vendor
Jul 30, 2003
Broomfield, Colorado
Ok, I'm game to dive into the new section... our other Toyota is a 2002 Taco, TRD, etc.. my wife's DD, and I've been pondering what it would take to swap out the front hubs, and convert to manual ones. My reasons for doing this are...

1. Better MPG, also less wear on front diff, CV's, etc., since the hubs would only be locked about 5% of the time, if that.
2. Less wear on the CV's (since they wouldn't be spinning all the time) if I were to lift the front end, and upgrade to one of those OME kits. here
3. More reliable locking, if and when our Taco ever encountered something halfway serious.

So here's the Performance Products kit, I know most of what they do is SFI but it's all I've seen to date

so anyone done this? worth doing, or waste of time & money? I look forward to hearing your comments, thanks. -tim
This has been considered for my wifes D-cab also... I opt not to for a variety of reasons. Wear on the CV and diff is minimal, as it is just along for the ride w/o much load being placed on it. Wear can become a problem if lifted to high - this can be solved by installing larger CV joints and some slight differential lowering. Reliability? The no hub system is probably more reliable, no moving parts to break, plus the stub shaft is LARGER on them. I've heard of people breaking the stub shaft w/ manual hubs, never with the ADD system.

If one did decide to go for the conversion, it may be wise to hunt around at some salvage yards for the required parts. I can easily see it costing well under half of what the kit would cost, if not less.

Lastly... I'm considering throwing a full time transfer case from a 4-Runner into the D-cab. The AWD advantage would be nice. The usually light leaf sprung rear end has little trouble losing traction wet or dry.
Thanks guys- Shedguy, from half way around the world you pointed me to a place 15 minutes from my house... here's their write-up on the kit.
Most late model Toyota vehicles are equipped with an Automatic Differential Disconnect system, also known as ADD. These vehicles include 95.5 - 03 Tacomas, 96-02 4Runners, 00-02 Tundras, and 01-02 Sequoias. Instead of conventional manual lockout hubs at the ends of the front axle, this system uses a shift fork at the front differential to engage and disengage the front drivetrain when shifting from 2WD to 4WD. With this setup the front axles are locked to the front tire/hub assembly. This setup forces the axles to spin, regardless of transfer case position. While the ADD system is convenient for most consumers, there are select consumers that would prefer the options and efficiency that conventional lockout (manual) hubs offer. Another problem with ADD arises when using a spring lift on the front of these vehicles. These lifts place a greater angle on the axle (CV) joints and the CV boots. As lift height increases, excessive wear is placed on these components. For this reason, most people can only safely lift these vehicles 2".

The Off Road Solutions manual hub conversion places lockout (manual) hubs at the end of the axles. This allows the axles to be disengaged from the hub and tire assembly, no longer forcing the axles to spin with the tires. This eliminates excessive wear on the CV joints and boots. When the hubs are placed in the lock position, the factory ADD system will provide 4WD just as before. Our kit allows up to 3 ½" of lift to be achieved without axle problems. Regardless of suspension lift, it is a nice feature for any late model Toyota, giving the driver more options and reducing wear on the front differential. This O.E. quality kit is complete with Warn hubs, genuine Toyota wheel bearings, and all other parts and hardware necessary to complete the conversion. New CV boots are also sold upon request. Although installation of this kit is fairly straightforward, Off Road Solutions strongly recommends installation by a qualified professional due to the heavy amount of hydraulic press work.

Still sounds like something I'd like to do, though probably not the best way to drop $1000 bucks right now...
it is where I got my OME
Manual hubs are alot of hydrolic work. I have my IFS lifted about 4.5" with OME coils/shocks and Cornfed spacers and have no problem with day to day wear in the diff. I have abused my front end by destroying the spiders and breaking 5 drive axles, but that usually happens when the rev limiter is kicking in. I have bought Newfeild drive axles and have not broken them yet. There are many people that make drop differential spacers for the front, which lowers your drive axle angle by an inch. I would highly recomend OME or if you have the $ get Sway-Away coilovers. Don't forget it is a Toyota so there is nothing wrong with letting the ADD to do the work.
I have also considered this on the "Parts Runner" Tacoma... I run the OME Heavy Lift... But after a year, I am yet to have any problems as a result of no-hubs.

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