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Rear Diff Lock Actuator Installation guide:

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Danny B
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Joined: 12 Nov 2016
Posts: 14
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 14:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update, my switch wasn't the fault, I removed the actuator sand manually engaged lock, this turned the flashing light solid so the switch is fine, while actuator was hanging I give the drive gear a wiggle and it started to loosen of, switched diff lock on and happy days I heard movement. Everything is now working however I have a corroded back plate, started as a pin hole but after prodding and scrapping I had a hole my finger fitted through. Now filling it with structural adhesive.
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BobMurphy
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Joined: 01 Aug 2008
Posts: 1731
Location: Kirkliston, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 18:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm glad you have found the cause  Cool.


The Actuators can pick up a lot of road dirt when the cases fail:








I hope yours is OK inside.

Bob.
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Danny B
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Joined: 12 Nov 2016
Posts: 14
Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 19:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine was surprising clean inside, like I said it was only a pin hole when I removed it.  After filling the hole in I also coated both sides of the plate with 3m stone guard to seal it off. Won't last forever but definitely going to help.

Also not for anyone else fault finding, the fuse for diff is a 20 amp in the fuse box by steering column.
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vowlesd
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Joined: 31 May 2006
Posts: 4
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 18:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob, I add my thanks to those above - your writeup and explanations have probably saved me from my local dealer hitting me for a new actuator!

I'll add another scenario for those who may be following this thread in the future:
My car is a 2001 Colorado I've owned since new, now 15 years old with 150,000 miles on the clock.
The centre diff lock / low ratio gets a regular workout as the car pulls a two-horse trailer weekly, plus a 3500kg flatbed on a regular basis, on varying terrain.
But, as I'm careful to avoid 'sticky' situations, the rear diff lock has probably been used less than 10 times in the life of the car.

Last saturday with (empty) horsebox on the back, going uphill on a muddy field I needed the rear lock. Red light came on on the dash, rear lock engaged, all good, pulled out of the field.  

Then it wouldn't go off. Tried everything that normally works for the centre diff (forward / reverse in low and high ratios, twisting around in figure of 8 on a flat field etc. etc.) and after 30 mins of trying I gave up - the rear diff lock and light stay permanently engaged (rear tyres scrub), and of course the ABS light is on.

Using your excellent writeup I removed the actuator (although having not moved for 15 years my actuator was solidly salted to the diff casing and after undoing the three bolts needed an 18inch jemmy 'carefully applied' to free it off Wink ) and with it out of the diff it whirred back to the unlock position as soon as the ignition went on. It will happily whirr between lock and unlock when it's out of the casing, but if I put it back in it won't budge, and with it out I can't move the locking bar by hand.

So.... tomorrow I have to free off the locking bar through the actuator hole / end cap hole...  :-0  BUT thanks to you it's only going to cost me time !

NOTE TO SELF - Ignore those stickers that Toyota have slapped all over the car saying 'only use in emergency' 'cos if you don't use it frequently it just may NOT work in an emergency!
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diggerdave
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Joined: 03 Oct 2014
Posts: 333
Location: York

PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 18:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

This guide remains invaluable; I now have a working rear difflock. Thanks Bob.  Very Happy  (It's a shame there isn't a simple way to get the old ones off - what a pig of a job.)

I don't know how widely known it is, but the actuator from the front axle of a landcruiser 80-series is virtually the same part.  The casing is very slightly different (on mine I had to drill and tap a shallow hole to bolt the guard onto) and the plug might be different (it was on mine) but the wiring layout is the same and it's a simple job to swap plugs over. It fits and works perfectly. I got a good second-hand one for 200, half the price of a new one.  The 80 front axle is evidently a more sheltered spot, as they survive better there. I would not consider a second hand 90-series actuator unless it was pretty special.
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1997 KZJ90 (narrowbody) 3.0d, 2" suspension lift, 235/85/16 Cooper STT Pros. 206k miles
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tim falce
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 225
Location: London/NW Kent

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 23:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

The light on mine remained flashing when I tried the diff lock earlier this year, finally today I got round to removing the actuator but it was seized solid into the axle and the ally housing broke as I removed it. I have moved the toothed arm inside the diff and this makes the light go solid and locks the diff so I will post the result when I replace the actuator as soon as I get a new one.
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tim falce
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 225
Location: London/NW Kent

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2019 19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I fitted the new actuator which all works but the indicator lamp remains flashing until I move the car forwards or backwards a few feet then it will go solid. I can hear the actuator moving although I haven't checked to see if it's locked while the light flashes. Is this normal or should the light stop flashing immediately I turn the switch?
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diggerdave
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Joined: 03 Oct 2014
Posts: 333
Location: York

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 13:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim, it will flash until it engages fully. When you turn the switch it gets ready to engage as soon as everything is lined up, so a slight delay is normal both when switching on and off as the axle rotates. Nothing to worry about.
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1997 KZJ90 (narrowbody) 3.0d, 2" suspension lift, 235/85/16 Cooper STT Pros. 206k miles
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locodriver65
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Joined: 19 Apr 2009
Posts: 158
Location: WEST MIDLANDS UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 17:49    Post subject: diff lock Reply with quote

Hi,
Have you engauged low range. I dont think rear diff lock works in high range. Please check I could be wrong

Paul
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tim falce
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Joined: 16 Oct 2010
Posts: 225
Location: London/NW Kent

PostPosted: Tue Dec 10, 2019 19:19    Post subject: Re: diff lock Reply with quote

locodriver65 wrote:
Hi,
Have you engauged low range. I dont think rear diff lock works in high range. Please check I could be wrong

Paul
Yes. it's in low with the centre diff locked and yellow indicator lamp solid, diggerdave, the red light doesn't go solid until I drive for a small distance.
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diggerdave
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Joined: 03 Oct 2014
Posts: 333
Location: York

PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 19:49    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tim, when you operate the switch in the cab the difflock actuator drives a selector fork inside the diff housing, which operates on a splined sleeve that slides into the internals of the differential to lock it. This can only happen when the splines line up correctly as the differential internals rotate. To facilitate this the selector fork is spring loaded, with the spring exerting pressure on the splined sleeve. While it 'waits' for the diff to line up correctly to receive the sleeve the light flashes, only when the sleeve slips into position does the light go solid indicating that the diff is now locked. Depending on when you turn the difflock on, you may have virtually no time to wait (if the splined sleeve goes straight into position) or a couple of car lengths (if it has to wait before it can slide into position).

I think I'm right in saying that it only engages below 5mph too, so you should keep the speed down when moving forwards otherwise the flashing light will keep flashing until your speed is low enough. The ECU won't allow the difflock actuator to operate until you're below 5mph. It's not something I pay attention to very much because I'm usually going very slow when I turn it on. Once engaged there is no limit on speed as far as I'm aware.

Mine sometimes engages immediately or sometimes takes a couple of car lengths to engage, and I would say that this is typical.  I suppose that it is possible for the internal mechanism in the diff housing to get damaged or worn and this may be the case if you find you are having to wait a an excessively long time, but a short delay is normal.

If you are stuck because a rear wheel has lost traction then there's no need to drive forward because the rotating wheel will ensure that the diff rotates into position to accept the splined sleeve - that's been my experience anyway.
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1997 KZJ90 (narrowbody) 3.0d, 2" suspension lift, 235/85/16 Cooper STT Pros. 206k miles
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