Hilux Diff Drop
Over the years, a number of different diff drop kits have been developed for the Toyota Hilux. Lets have a look at some.
The 1" spacer style Diff Drop
This is to explain to anyone what the 1" diff drop spacers are and what they do. There are alot of rumours/falacies when it comes to using these spacers and I hope to clear up some confusion regarding the topic. The 1" diff drop spacer are exactly that - spacer that are 1" in height that fit between the front two differential mounts and the crossmember tha mounts bolt onto. This here is a pic of what the kit looks like -
Here's what they look like when fitted to to a 2005 and on Hilux.
Now there are for's and against's with this kit. Some Suspension kit's offer them included but a quick Google search will find numerous suppliers of this style of diff drop kit. These kits are advertised as lowering your front diff one inch so as to reduce the CV angle on your driveshafts due to installing a suspension lift. This is misleading and doesn't go into full details about the true results of installing this. Let me explain. Does it reduce cv angle? Yes it does, but no where near the 1" that is claimed by the distributors of this type of diff drop kit. You will only get half an inch reprieve at most due to the "cantilever effect" that the front diff has and its position in relation to the Driveshafts. here is a great diagram to explain what I mean -
The 1" diff drop kit does drop the front mounts an inch, but because of the position of the CV shaft it doesn't repriece the angle 1" worth due to the rear mount still being fixed above the rear crossmember. In conclusion, becauses only 12mm or so reductiion in CV angle is achieved with this kit, it really isn't necessary for any suspension kit below a full 3" in height. It is pointless....this diff drop spacer kit is for those that want to squeeze as much as they can out of their front suspension if they are running around 3.5" of lift. Several kits use these diff drop spacers. If the driveshaft angle bothers you that much, I would recommend a lower suspension kit and not use these spacers, just my opinion...others may differ. My reasoning is that for example, if you have a 3" suspension lift, fit these spacers to the front diff mounts, you have reduced your clearance by a full 1" (making it the same clearance as a 2" lift kit without spacers) under the front diff whilst having the CV angle of a 2.5" suspension kit.
The Arm or Cradle style Diff Drop
The next iteration of diff drops that proved quite popular for sevearal years was the cradle or arm style diff drop.
This style replaces the diff mounts and allows the diff to be relocated by around 30mm. This design has a weakness because of the single ended mount shown on the left side of the photo above. The factory bash plate cannot be refitted after this style of diff drop is fitted and requires fitment of a bash plate with a hump protriuding below the bash plate to protect the lowered diff. Some designs of diff drop bash plates are quite chunky and leave your rig exposed to getting hung up. Look for a nice tapered design with a minimal diff hump for best offroad performance.
In recent times, this design has fallen out of favour becasue it has been prone to bending of one of the mounting arms in off road conditions. To counter this, some different designs are emerging in 2016..
Double mounted Cradle style Diff Drop
To compensate for the weaknesses of the single ended arm stylemounting system several suppliers have recently developed a double ended mounting system as shown belowtoyota-hilux-35mm-diff-drop-relocation-kit
Its still too early to have any significanrt feedback on how these perform but this style can get around 35mm of diff drop to straighten out CV angles. The diff dropped bash plate shown earlier will usually still fit with this diff drop installed.
You can get a doubble ended arm style diff drop from VMN here