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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a 2003 Tacoma 4x4 Non-TRD and I noticed it has a button Labeled "RR Diff Lock." My assumption is this is meant for TRD models and Toyota doesn't bother changing out the button for NON TRD trucks, but the button does seem to be wired up (pressing it engages the dashboard lights for the rear locker and ABS).

Can anyone confirm whether its normal to have this button on Non-TRD non e-locker trucks or is there a chance I've got an e-locker even though its a non-TRD truck?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Its possible I do have the locker I guess (the Truck is new to me), but it isn't a TRD model as far as I know. Any definitive way (maybe VIN lookup or something) to tell other than the usual TRD decals and badging?
 

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The e-lockers were available as a special option, so you could order a vehicle with the e-locker and not the TRD package. There are many people that also pieced together the parts and axle and installed the locker after the fact. If your rear axle has the e-locker motor sticking off the side of the diff, then you do have the e-locker.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, I'll check it out tomorrow and see what I've got.

Is this the motor I should be looking for?

 

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Discussion Starter #7

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Yup, looks like you got all the TRD suspension options. The rear springs are pretty typical of stock rear springs with lots of miles. OME has a good replacement spring pack you might want to consider. You would need to lift the front at the same time. Optionally Wheelers Offroad has some stock replacement spring options.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I was actually just looking into the OME Dakar leaf springs. They are priced reasonably, I've heard they are good as a "jack of all trades, master of none" leaf spring that can handle weight, tow ok, perform decent offroad and on road. I get the impression Deaver or Alcan make better springs for crawling, flex, and for on/offroad driving without much weight, but also read the Dakars are popular for expedition type builds.

I've heard the OME springs increase load carrying capacity and I think Deaver's and Alcan's (obviously can be customized) but in general decrease load carrying capacity compared with stock, I've also heard stock springs aren't capable of handling the full GVWR of the truck. Have you come across any hard numbers for load carrying capacity or recommended weight ranges for the various types of springs?

My problem is I don't know what I need. Currently I don't carry much weight in the Truck 90% of the time. I've got a Wildernest Topper which weighs probably 200-350lbs, and on average maybe 25-25lbs of tools and other junk in the rear. I don't have an aftermarket bumper but it'll likely be one of my first purchases as the current rear bumper is pretty banged up and bent out of shape, i'm guessing that would add another 50-100lbs. I do a lot of camping, and carry more weight in the back in those situations, and occasionally 'use the truck as a truck' for hauling building supplies, landscaping stuff, or furniture etc. Long term I might be looking to purchase a Four Wheel Camper for the truck and/or a motorcycle rack for a small dual sport, but I guess I can cross that bridge when I get there.

Based on my driving style it sounds like maybe Alcans or Deavers would provide the best ride for my daily driving, but would not be well suited for the other 10% of the time, and might sag prematurely if overloaded too often, and would need to be replaced if I did end up getting the Four Wheel Camper, or motorcycle carrier. Dakar's might not be the best ride for my daily driving but would handle everything OK. I'm torn, but leaning towards the OME Dakar's--less investment up front and more versatility from the sound of it--if I knew the on road ride quality would be the same or better than worn stock leafs I would pull the trigger and just get them. Have/do you own them? How would you say the ride quality is (compared to stock) when not heavily loaded? at about what point does the ride quality hit its sweet spot?
 

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The rear locker only works in 4WD-LOW unless it's been modified. Try engsging it in 4wd low when stopped, and drive forward and backward a bit in an S pattern if the light blinks but it still doesn't engage. It will turn solid red when engaged.
 

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You could also consider air bags, I had them on my 01 reg cab with a cap. I carried a lot of tools and it worked out great, also had new springs from frame replacement.
 
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