While the toughness and reliability of Toyota trucks are impressive, their solid axles have a weak spot that often sends owners to salvage yards and online forums in search of answers. Underneath 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Tacoma and Tundra vehicles, the cap that covers the differential is made of thin-gauge stamped steel, which lets rust eat away at it faster than other areas.
The first sign of failure is typically a wet spot on the outside of the cover, or a small drip on the ground under the axle. Left to corrode further, the axle loses fluid, or water gets into the housing, mixing with the gear lube. Fixing it hasn’t always been simple. These covers are welded in place, not bolted on like other trucks, so they’re tough to replace by themselves. In the past, you’d have to get a whole new axle from the dealership, replace the axle with a rust-free salvage part, or fabricate a replacement cover by hand. We’ve seen these homemade diff cover patches. They aren’t easy or pretty. If you live in a rust-prone area, problematically, odds are salvaged axles near you are also rusted. That means you’d have to source an axle from outside your region, which can get pricey.
That’s why Dorman designed OE FIX replacement differential covers for Toyota trucks. They’re made of heavier stamped steel for greater rust resistance, and come pre-primed. Installing this solution still requires cutting off the old cover and welding on the new one. Check out this cover made for 1996-2002 4Runners and 1995-2004 Tacomas.
With this exclusive fix in your arsenal, Toyota truck owners won’t be searching forums and salvage yards for solutions – they’ll be searching for the number to your shop.