Every car owner dreams of driving on a 4WD across wild and unexplored terrain to expand their understanding of nature’s boundaries and to experience the thrill that comes from driving through rough and unexplored areas. But that can also put you at risk as it may be impossible to get help when needed. Have you ever been in the unfortunate situation where your 4WD had toppled over and you’ve desperately tried to haul it back up? Sounds scary, right?
That’s where suspension kits and a Hilux diff drop might come in handy.
Other times, you may want to lift up your 4WD for additional ride height or clearance. The latter is all the more essential if you plan to do off-road driving a lot as the extra clearance can reduce the possibility of stones, rocks, and debris from damaging your car. When you install, this can alter the angle of your CV, and that’s where a Hilux diff drop becomes essential.
How and why? Let’s get to the fundamentals first.
What’s a Hilux Diff Drop?
While lifting your 4WD, an important aspect you should consider is the angles of your CV. In general, if the angles are higher than say 2”, you have to drop the difference, so the CVs are better aligned for what you want to do.
But dropping this difference is not easy again and that’s where you need a Hilux diff drop. This is a bracket or a spacer that helps to move the diff housing down, so it will correct the CV angles and will align it well for lifting the front part of your 4WD.
What’s The Role Of A Hilux Diff Drop?
Now, you might wonder why you need a Hilux diff drop to life your 4WD. Is it not possible to do it otherwise?
Well, first off, it is possible but not safe. Lowering the CV angle is critical if you want to install a suspension lift kit to give you greater clearance for off-road driving. This is why many people tend to fix a suspension lift right after they buy a 4WD to get the additional driving comfort and experience when you get off the paved roads. Now when the suspension is raised, the oil struts push the lower control arms down and as a result, the hub is moved to a lower position when compared to the front diff housing that remains fairly stagnant. As a result, the operating angles of your CV get skewed and required to be fixed.
When the drop point of your CV is lowered, it always can get over-extended and even break in the process. Fixing this CV can run into thousands of dollars that can burn a big hole in your pocket.
A Hilux diff drop brings down the difference and ensures that your CV does get over-extended and more importantly, doesn’t break. In many ways, it is cheap insurance that you’re giving to your CV to reduce the possibility of fixing expenses.
Specifically, it avoids the following problems that can come with your CV.
- A Hilux diff drop decreases the wear and tear on your CV
- It protects the rubber CV boot ribs
- A Hilux diff drop strengthens the joints as the CV is working at an angle that is closer to its maximum angle.
- It brings down the chances for your CV shaft to pull out of the inner joint.
In all, the primary role of a Hilux diff drop is to bring down the possibility of a CV failure that might require you to tow it down to a nearby mechanic shop, not to mention the costs and the time for repair that can keep you off the roads for some time.
This discussion can bring up an important question. Do all Hilux vehicles need a Hilux diff drop? Not necessary. Many experts opine that when you use a suspension lift that raises the vehicle by 2” or more, you need a Hilux diff drop to safely bring down the CV. Anything lower than 2” don’t need a Hilux diff drop and you can get away with it because the diff housing and the CV won’t have a sizable difference. Still, if you plan to travel long distances through uneven terrain, having a Hilux diff drop may not be such a bad idea after all, given that it is fairly inexpensive and simple to install.
How To Fix The Hilux Diff Drop?
Fixing the Hilux diff drop is a simple process, provided you have a basic idea of the car parts and their working. If this is something you’re not sure of or don’t have the time, you should take professional help. In all, fixing the Hilux diff drop shouldn’t take more than a few minutes and can be done with some basic tools you have on hand. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you should do it.
- Look for the bash plate and remove it.
- Unscrew the diff bolts at the front
- Next, insert the Hilux diff drop.
- Instead of the original bolts, screw in the longer bolts that came with the Hilux diff drop.
- Sometimes, you’ll have to trim one side to ensure that it fits well. Be prepared for that as well
- Finally, put the diff drop between the bash plates.
- Replace the bash plate you removed earlier.
And that’s it! Your Hilux diff drop is now fixed and it can be used to safely bring down the angles of your CV without causing any repair or breakage to it.
To conclude, a Hilux diff drop is necessary to align the angles of your CV that can get misplaced when you install a suspension lift kit on the front part of your 4WD to give you a smooth ride. When these CV angles become misaligned, there is a difference in the space between the CV and the diff housing. If you continue to use your CV, it is sure to lead to a breakage any time soon and this can run into costly repairs. To avoid this problem, you have to lower your CV angles and align them well with the help of a Hilux diff drop.