Front locker or winch first? | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

Front locker or winch first?

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Dustin

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There's a new 4runner purchase in my near future. I'll be getting one of the models with the rear locker option. Thinking about some of the first upgrades for it (tires + lift + onboard air will likely be the very first things) and I'm wondering from the more experienced crowd, would you choose a winch first or adding a front locker first? I'm still really new to off roading and overlanding and I suspect at least 50% of my time will be spent wheeling with just me and the family (no other rigs unless we just happen upon someone else at the time of our adventuring). Thoughts?
 

O.Dfj

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Depending on how new a 4runner you will have a-trac as well and it does a pretty good. If I was you I would take it out stock and see how it does and choose upgrades based on that.
 
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Lifestyle Overland

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There's a new 4runner purchase in my near future. I'll be getting one of the models with the rear locker option. Thinking about some of the first upgrades for it (tires + lift + onboard air will likely be the very first things) and I'm wondering from the more experienced crowd, would you choose a winch first or adding a front locker first? I'm still really new to off roading and overlanding and I suspect at least 50% of my time will be spent wheeling with just me and the family (no other rigs unless we just happen upon someone else at the time of our adventuring). Thoughts?
Speaking from experience with our 2014 Trail; go with the winch, you'll most likely never need the front locker with the traction control system.
 

PetfishEric

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You have many factors to consider. Where are you wheeling and what are the conditions. If your in the desert on rocks I would go locker first but if you are in the woods with mud then wench first. I've put wenches on 4 different vehicles and never used them to self recover on the trail. I pulled others out and used them for other things. Now I have been stuck with out a wench and really could have used one but a shovel and time work too.
 
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MOAK

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I've had front lockers on two vehicles for over 12 years. The lockers were stock in the rubi, ( which we sold 3 years ago ) and stock on our 80 series Landcruiser. We have wheeled in the backcountry all over the US and parts of eastern Canada. We've also wheeled in a few pay for play parks on blue/black trails in both the rigs. I can count on one hand the number of times that it might have been necessary to engage the front locker, so I engaged it. As time has gone on, I find myself much less inclined to engage it. I know that in the past 3 years with the 80 I've engaged the front lockers only very occasionally, and that is just to make sure it is working. Spend half the money you'd pay for an ARB locker + installation, and get a really good winch, winch accessories and a tire repair kit. I've actually used my winch many more times than I've used/needed the front locker..
If it were me, I'd go with 2.5" OME suspension, tires, sliders, winch. KISS, very simple, the less mods you have the less your chance of breakage. With those simple basic mods you can traverse 99% of all two tracks in north america. I wouldn't even consider a front locker... Welcome to the addiction !
 
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Winterpeg

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Keep in mind if you get a winch you will likely need to get a steel front bumper (unless you get the hidden winch option) and that would require an upgrade in suspension to accommodate the weight. You may want to consider that anyway for the weight of the winch.

I see you are are already doing the lift so you may have that covered... I would add the weight now though so you don't end up doing the suspension twice... Nothing worse than a front end that's too soft ;)

I'll respectfully disagree with the statement above about needing a locker in the rocks.... our A-Trac systems make these toyotas climb like billy-goats!
Lockers around this neck of the woods are used in low traction times.... deep sand and snow.
 
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4xFar Adventures

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I'd say winch first, especially if you're going out solo. Chances are if you need a front locker, you could use the winch instead. All the other times you don't need the front locker, you may still need the winch. As mentioned, you'll want a steel bumper with solid recovery points on it. The discreet/hidden winch mount can be a pita to deal with. Access to the freespool clutch can be difficult, and the ability to watch the line as it wraps on the drum (or spools off) can be almost impossible.
 

Dustin

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Keep in mind if you get a winch you will likely need to get a steel front bumper (unless you get the hidden winch option) and that would require an upgrade in suspension to accommodate the weight. You may want to consider that anyway for the weight of the winch.

I see you are are already doing the lift so you may have that covered... I would add the weight now though so you don't end up doing the suspension twice... Nothing worse than a front end that's too soft ;)

I'll respectfully disagree with the statement above about needing a locker in the rocks.... our A-Trac systems make these toyotas climb like billy-goats!
Lockers around this neck of the woods are used in low traction times.... deep sand and snow.
I'm planning for the toytec ultimate 3" lift package with either medium duty or heavy duty springs (trying to decide between a pelfreybilt bumper or southern style slimline front bumper to house the winch). I'll have to get on the phone with toytec when purchasing time comes so they can tell me what they recommend as far as spring rate for whatever bumper/winch combo I end up with.
 
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boehml

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I agree with the winch first mentality. A locker may help you to avoid the need for a winch, but a winch will help you out in every situation. I'm not familiar with the Toyota traction systems, but in my Jeep I have Brake Locking Differentials (BLD) and it has performed just as well as a locker for me.
 

O.Dfj

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I agree with the winch first mentality. A locker may help you to avoid the need for a winch, but a winch will help you out in every situation. I'm not familiar with the Toyota traction systems, but in my Jeep I have Brake Locking Differentials (BLD) and it has performed just as well as a locker for me.
Bld and atrac are basically the same wheel with no traction spins it applies the brake on the wheel sending power to the wheel with traction. Nissan has the samething i have no clue what they call it.
 
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boehml

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Bld and atrac are basically the same wheel with no traction spins it applies the brake on the wheel sending power to the wheel with traction. Nissan has the samething i have no clue what they call it.
Even more reason to purchase a winch first.
 
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Kelly

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Winch for sure. I rarely use my front ARBs. I've used my winch for everything from getting unstuck, to putting up a chain link fence :-)
 

offroadohio

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I would say winch first that way you can always get out of where you get stuck.

If you put a Locker in first you will just get stuck and harder to be recovered from places, and left wishing that you had a winch
 
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TBH, I'd buy a refrigerator before either! Just go out wheeling with built rigs & offer to keep their perishables nice & cool!

After that, I'd say winch. IMO, the more "seat time" you have with a non-locked vehicle there better driver you'll be in the long run. Just my $.02
 

MIguel Hernandez

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I would say a winch before locker cost and effectiveness, my qx comes factory with rear and a center lock diff, its the same that come sin the jdm skyline r34 model. its ok. but I would feel safer with a winch any day. I think just knowing its there for absolute recovery when you or someone may need the help and a hell of a lot easier on your wallet. just my 2ct.
 

Glenn

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Hmmm...reading a lot of winch first here. I have lockers, I have a winch, straps, tree savers...you name it. I have used the winch twice, straps a ton of times and it was always to get someone else out...lol.
If you are going to take on any difficult terrain you need lockers, lockers, lockers..."good lines" and skid plates.

Don't get me wrong, a winch should be on EVERYONES list that goes off road, but front and rear axles being locked with good tires? No need to ever get out of the vehicle unless its to help your buddy who is stuck because he bought a winch first...lol

My 2 cents :yum:
 

Scott

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I say winch first. My truck currently has only a limited slip rear and an open front. I also have a front winch. For anyone that goes out alone I think a winch is a better option.