4.88 Gears

D

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Hey guys, making this thread primarily because of a lack of available information regarding 4.88 gears for the 3rd gens. Hopefully you guys find this thread useful.

I made the change a bit over a year ago and wanted to gather as much data as possible in order to determine the true benefits. Part of that data collection meant running the truck in multiple configurations, i.e. with RTT, fully loaded with bikes, gear and RTT, no RTT, long road trips, low elevation, high elevation etc, you get the point..

Please note, fuel economy will vary based on your location, elevation, setup etc. But, my goal was to try and eliminate some of the guess work as this upgrade is most definitely a bit of a financial commitment.

Now, on to my setup; Truck as it stands today.... 2017 TRD OR 4x4, DCSB. I am running an Icon stage 9 lift with stage 3 S2 in the front and Icon stage 2 RXT in the rear. Tires are E rated 285/75 R17 Toyo MT. I have sliders, aluminum skids and a winch as well as a host of lights. While I have tried to keep the weight of the add ons low, it is added weight nonetheless. When I put the Toy MT's on, I knew that I had to get gears. Just wasn't an option anymore. Truck hunted for gears, had horrible fuel economy and generally was a bit of a chore to drive. So, knowing that gears need to be setup properly, there was only one shop near me that I trusted enough to tackle the project, SDHQ Offroad. These guys are a premier shop with an unmatched commitment to quality, so they were the obvious choice for me.

In the early stages of doing my research, Serena at SDHQ mentioned that they have all of the gear sets that they install REM polished prior to installation. So, I dug a little deeper into the process. Find out more here; https://weddleindustries.com/services/house-rem-polishing-process-weddle-industries

In a nutshell, REM polishing strengthens the gear-sets while also effectively eliminating the standard break in procedure, which was a huge bonus for me considering I didn't necessarily have the time to work the the proper heat cycles, oil changes and the like. If you do gears, I would highly recommend having this done. As an added note, SDHQ has Nitro 4.88's in stock, already REM Polished and ready to ship for both the e-locker and non e-locker differentials.

Onto my observations; Overall, the truck is vastly improved, accelerates easily from a stop, keeps RPM's low and more importantly, doesn't hunt for gears anymore, like at all.. Cruising on the freeway at 80 mph, my RPM's hover just above 2k while the truck is parked in sixth gear. And when I stomp on the skinny pedal, the truck moves. Just has a lot more get up and go than it ever did in stock form.

Next up, MPG's. Here I am going to post multiple scenarios to give somewhat of a cross section as to what to expect.

I live in Scottsdale AZ. at an elevation under 2k feet and on average I see 18 to 19 mpg with mixed highway and around town driving. That's without the tent because I do not keep in on all of the time. With the tent on, driving around town I see about a half a mile per gallon drop.

I do travel to higher ground to go camping or mountain biking etc. Take for example Flagstaff, AZ. Sits a bit of 6k in elevation so it's a bit of a climb getting up there. With just bikes, I see about 17 mpg going up the hill and about 16 with tent, bikes and a few hundred pounds in camping gear.

Now onto even higher elevations. I took two road trips to Colorado this summer, Crested Butte, Ouray, Durango, Telluride, Aspen and Winter Park. Up there, I was seeing approximately 20 to 22 mpg which was awesome, and another indicator that I need to move to CO!! Ha ha.. That was just bikes, no tent.

Truck has no problem hitting 90 plus mph, even loaded down and again, revs stay low unless I am really on it trying to pass someone.

So highway driving is cool and all, but what about offroad..... Well, on my most recent trip I really got to put it to the test tackling Pearl Pass from Crested Butte to Aspen. Definitely not an easy trail and there are a few sections where 4lo and the locker got a workout. With the 4.88's in 4 low, wow, truck has torque and can easily get itself up and over rocks with very little driver input, similarly, on steep, long hillclimbs, the truck walks right up without having to put your foot to the floor. So from a trail perspective, gears really were a HUGE improvement in the trucks performance.


If you couldn't tell by now, I am more than happy with my decision to take the leap and go to 4.88's. I use my truck and use it often so I wanted it to be comfortable and enjoyable both around town and on long road trips and the gears definitely achieved that goal.

One thing is for certain, if you go this route, choose a shop that KNOW's WHAT THEY ARE DOING and does gears frequently, I cannot stress that enough. Further, if I were to do this again, I would again choose to go with the REM polishing for that added piece of mind. As I stated previously, if you want to eliminate the guesswork, you can order pre REM Polished 4.88's directly from SDHQ. They are on the shelf and ready to ship..

** Another thing to note is that you will need to recalibrate your speedometer. Mine was WAY off, so I quickly picked up the Hypertech In Line Speedo Recalibration devise and that solved the problem. Speedo is dead accurate now**

Now I guess we can open this up to discussion. Other that have gears, @JTS2014TACO @Lord Humongous please feel free to weigh in and share your experiences. I would have loved to have had an in depth opinion on gears when I made the jump, but that info just wasn't really out there. Hopefully this helps anyone that is on the fence. I cannot thank @SDHQ OFFROAD enough for their impeccable work, guidance and service through this whole thing. I am very picky with who I let work on my truck but I trust them 200% to do anything to it...
 
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951_yota

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#405
First off if you are in Socal region chose “Martins mobile gears” he will install lockers and ecgs needle bearing for free during the install and has your truck done in approximately 6 hours. Many great reviews of him. Like Jerry said ensure to use a gear specialist Ive read so many horror stories. You also need to run different gear oil.

I chose not to do REM polishing as I had no plans to drive far enough for a few weeks where I needed to stop and let it cool also referred to as heat cycling. I just varied my speeds, kept it to 30 min drives max, and kept it under 55mph. If I would of known the REM also strengthened the gears I may have done it. But I hsve a few thousand miles on car since regearing and no issues.

As far as driveability. I had an opposite experience on 285/70r17’s with 60lb steal bumper, sliders, and two steel skids. Nothing on bed. The low end was great but on freeways I was still gear hunting between 68-73mph which is my average speed so it drove me nuts. I tuned my truck and now drive 80mph without issues or any type of gear jerking. As far as MPG, I noticed no improvements driving in SoCal in my MPG’s.

All in all I think that my truck drives very nice now with both done and I do highly recommend if going this tire size or more. The biggest satisfaction is not having that “man I feel underpowered” feeling anymore.
 
D

Deleted member 643

Guest
First off if you are in Socal region chose “Martins mobile gears” he will install lockers and ecgs needle bearing for free during the install and has your truck done in approximately 6 hours. Many great reviews of him. Like Jerry said ensure to use a gear specialist Ive read so many horror stories. You also need to run different gear oil.

I chose not to do REM polishing as I had no plans to drive far enough for a few weeks where I needed to stop and let it cool also referred to as heat cycling. I just varied my speeds, kept it to 30 min drives max, and kept it under 55mph. If I would of known the REM also strengthened the gears I may have done it. But I hsve a few thousand miles on car since regearing and no issues.

As far as driveability. I had an opposite experience on 285/70r17’s with 60lb steal bumper, sliders, and two steel skids. Nothing on bed. The low end was great but on freeways I was still gear hunting between 68-73mph which is my average speed so it drove me nuts. I tuned my truck and now drive 80mph without issues or any type of gear jerking. As far as MPG, I noticed no improvements driving in SoCal in my MPG’s.

All in all I think that my truck drives very nice now with both done and I do highly recommend if going this tire size or more. The biggest satisfaction is not having that “man I feel underpowered” feeling anymore.

Great input. I wonder if a larger tire would yield better results for you?
 

951_yota

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#405
Great input. I wonder if a larger tire would yield better results for you?

I actually do beleave that I may slightly be overgeared and to truly see the performance I should upgrade. But I feel good knowing that I can jump to 35 without issues. This is not a mpg bitch post as I love my mods but im averaging 13.9 mpg right now and I thought I would be getting better with those two mods. So I woukd say to others dont factor in Mpg increase into a decision. Do it on performance
 
D

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I actually do beleave that I may slightly be overgeared and to truly see the performance I should upgrade. But I feel good knowing that I can jump to 35 without issues. This is not a mpg bitch post as I love my mods but im averaging 13.9 mpg right now and I thought I would be getting better with those two mods. So I woukd say to others dont factor in Mpg increase into a decision. Do it on performance

Agreed. and I would also agree that you may be over geared for your application and that tires could and should make a change.. One of those rare instances when a larger tire will yield an improvement. Anyone I know that has done a re-gear as had the same tire size as myself which is roughly a 34 and as I stated in my original post, I definitely saw an improvement and on my daily driving these days, seem to average around 16 mpg give or take. And these Toyo's are heavy too.
 

951_yota

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#405
Agreed. and I would also agree that you may be over geared for your application and that tires could and should make a change.. One of those rare instances when a larger tire will yield an improvement. Anyone I know that has done a re-gear as had the same tire size as myself which is roughly a 34 and as I stated in my original post, I definitely saw an improvement and on my daily driving these days, seem to average around 16 mpg give or take. And these Toyo's are heavy too.

That would be awesome. Advice well noted. Oh boy Ive been looking for a reason to cmc and step up. I read your mpgs and was like wtf.
 
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D

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That would be awesome. Advice well noted. Oh boy Ive been looking flr a reason to cmc and step up. I read your mpgs and was like wtf.
lol, I did months of data collection as I was one of the first people to do a gear swap. Monitored everything super close and did whatever I could to run multiple configurations so that I could report accurate findings so that people could make an informed decision since this is, after all a reasonably expensive mod. Doing it for MPOG alone is not something I would suggest since so much dictates your results in that department. For me, it was more for overall performance and the 4.88's definitely achieved that goal
 
D

Deleted member 643

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Great write up , stickied this thread for other users to more easily access.
right on and thank you. I am always happy to answer any questions or help however I can. If people are in az and want to test drive the truck, happy to facilitate that as well..... But I will warn you all ahead of time, it will make you want bypasses and then your wallet will be set on fire :D
 

JTS2016TACO

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As Jerry has stated 4.88 gears are by far the best investment I have done to my truck. I have a heavy foot and like Jerry I get around 16-18 mpg which is great as far as I can tell. It basically puts it back to stock feeling with the heavy tires I run on my truck. Thanks Jerry for making this thread!
 

hellppy

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I sure did and I have to truthfully say, the gears were by far the best drivability upgrade I have done
Agreed! Gears were my best drivability upgrade too. I'm running 285/75/17 E rated Toyo Open Country MT's and with 4.88 gears, you would never even know it. I use my truck as a daily driver (mostly side streets) and get about 16/mpg around the city. On the highway there's no more gear hunting and I get around 18/mpg.
 
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