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Old 10-20-2019, 01:19 PM #1
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e-locker engages when vehicle's lifted in the shop but not when it's on the ground

This is a bit puzzling to me, last year in the snow i tried to engage the e-locker and it never did, so I thought it might have seized due to lack of usage by the previous owner. So I took my 4runner to a shop that specifically works on Toyota and Lexus and had them dismount & balance my summer tires and balance & mount the winter tires on. BTW, balancing the tires on a hunter machine using the hawkeye tool makes a HUGE difference, this is the 1st time since I've had the vehicle that it rode so smooth on OEM 5-spoke wheels.

Anyway, I had them test the e-locker and to my surprise they said it engaged no problem, multiple times, when they had lifted the vehicle to work on it, but it failed to engage when I went to pick it up. The mechanic that worked on the vehicle tired for 15 minutes in the parking lot and it never engaged. Weirder still, when we go from 4-low back to 4-high (4WD) the rear diff light turns solid and ABS light comes on as if the e-locker engaged, but the green indicator on dash with 4 wheels and the orange light in the center of them, it keeps blinking and doesn't stay solid.

I don't know why the elocker would engage when the vehicle is in the air but not on the ground, what would cause this? All the fluids are new, and I regularly exercise the AWD/4WD modes monthly to keep he gears lubricated...

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-20-2019, 02:00 PM #2
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My guess would be that it wasn't engaging in the air either and the tech who was working on it didn't realize what sequence of lights meant that it was actually engaged, vs trying to engage. Hasn't been an option of almost 20 years, and was relatively rare even then so not like it's something they encounter every day. Personally I've haven't encountered one in more than 10 years so am hardly talking from experience here either, but see no reason why lifted vs ground would make any difference.
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Old 10-21-2019, 11:05 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DK327 View Post
This is a bit puzzling to me, last year in the snow i tried to engage the e-locker and it never did, so I thought it might have seized due to lack of usage by the previous owner. So I took my 4runner to a shop that specifically works on Toyota and Lexus and had them dismount & balance my summer tires and balance & mount the winter tires on. BTW, balancing the tires on a hunter machine using the hawkeye tool makes a HUGE difference, this is the 1st time since I've had the vehicle that it rode so smooth on OEM 5-spoke wheels.

Anyway, I had them test the e-locker and to my surprise they said it engaged no problem, multiple times, when they had lifted the vehicle to work on it, but it failed to engage when I went to pick it up. The mechanic that worked on the vehicle tired for 15 minutes in the parking lot and it never engaged. Weirder still, when we go from 4-low back to 4-high (4WD) the rear diff light turns solid and ABS light comes on as if the e-locker engaged, but the green indicator on dash with 4 wheels and the orange light in the center of them, it keeps blinking and doesn't stay solid.

I don't know why the elocker would engage when the vehicle is in the air but not on the ground, what would cause this? All the fluids are new, and I regularly exercise the AWD/4WD modes monthly to keep he gears lubricated...

Thanks in advance!
With the multimode transfer cases it helps to be moving in order for everything to engage. If the front differential disconnect isn't lined up properly then the ADD will never engage which is why it helps to be moving to get it lined up. Try engaging the rear diff locker and driving in figure eights on a dirt lot.
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:05 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
With the multimode transfer cases it helps to be moving in order for everything to engage. If the front differential disconnect isn't lined up properly then the ADD will never engage which is why it helps to be moving to get it lined up. Try engaging the rear diff locker and driving in figure eights on a dirt lot.
I tried that last year in the snow, did figure 8 forward and backwards, rode in circles, straight up and down and it always blinked, never turned solid.
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Old 10-21-2019, 06:45 PM #5
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Jack up the rear and see if YOU can get the elocker to engage. You might have to rotate one of the wheels to lock it in place. check to see what lights (elocker, 4wheel drive, Center diff) are lite. Make sure that both wheels spin in the same direction if it says locker is engaged. my guess is the ADD is NOT engaging (4wheel and center diff lights flashing) and if it isnt sending a signal back to the computer then the rear diff will not engage.

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Old 10-21-2019, 10:53 PM #6
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Try doing the blue or gray wire mod to engage in 2wd.

Mine wasnít working then after I did the mod and put the rear up on jack stands I was able to get it to engage by rolling the tires by hand.

Since then it has worked fine, I try to engage it at least once every few months, and if I wheel I use it a lot just to keep it fresh.


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Old 10-21-2019, 10:56 PM #7
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hard for me to think if it could engage on the rack that it would not engage on the road.
also, maybe because mine is older and ive done the wire mod, I have to engage at less than 5mph or at a stop and have to drive a few feet or more before it kicks on/in
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Old 10-22-2019, 08:52 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DK327 View Post
I tried that last year in the snow, did figure 8 forward and backwards, rode in circles, straight up and down and it always blinked, never turned solid.
Sounds like your locker motor may be gummed up with old grease. These threads may be helpful to you: E-locker motor issue: Diagnosis and fix! (he goes through and rebuilds the rear locker motor) and https://www.toyota-4runner.org/3rd-g...ay-quoted.html (good read to better understand how the rear locker circuit and components work).

Edit: If you choose to do what deves2 is suggesting I recommend you jack the rear axle up in HI4L, chock the front tires, and shift the transmission in neutral when you try to engage the rear locker. You'll probably have to spin a rear tire to get the axle to lock, but once it's locked both tires will spin in the same direction. (With the rear unlocked the tires will spin in opposite directions.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by deves2 View Post
Jack up the rear and see if YOU can get the elocker to engage. You might have to rotate one of the wheels to lock it in place. check to see what lights (elocker, 4wheel drive, Center diff) are lite. Make sure that both wheels spin in the same direction if it says locker is engaged. my guess is the ADD is NOT engaging (4wheel and center diff lights flashing) and if it isnt sending a signal back to the computer then the rear diff will not engage.
Rear locker will engage even if the 4wd indicators are flashing as long as the vehicle is in 4 low.
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Last edited by Bad Luck; 10-22-2019 at 08:56 AM. Reason: Added info
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