4wd vs auto rear locker - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
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4wd vs auto rear locker

I am looking at possibly getting a new GMC Canyon. 2wd with auto rear locker. I have a Tacoma with the selectable rear locker and there is no need for 4wd. If I get in a little mud or slippery situation or a boat ramp. I engage it and get out of the jam I’m in. I do not mud bog or look for muddy places to play in. Is this auto locker as good as the Tacoma version? Or should I go ahead and get a selectable 4wd
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 06:40 AM
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I have a 4x4 with the auto locker, the locker seem to work well in the moderate situations I have been in. I prefer having 4x4 vs 2wd, but that is just my preference.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:04 AM
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I have a 2WD with G80 Locker. Took that truck to Colorado in the winter towing a 3800 Lbs Camper. We encounter snow, ice, mud and all in between. The issues we found are the OEM tires, a bit more grip would be awesome and motorist need to be more nice to us, we had extra weight.

No issues or problems with the locker. I love that low tech thing, works wonders. Not as good as AWD but is an 80% as good as AWD. That I will buy another truck with it... you bet !!!!
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:47 AM
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I ran two Canadian winters with the rear wheel drive and locker on the stock SLT tires and it was fine. This winter I got snow tires and was able to seek out the deepest snow on purpose. Unless you off road or live near the arctic, don't waste your money on 4wd. So many people blow their money on that option just to get the 4x4 emblem on the side of the box and wind up with a truck that's heavier, more complex, maintenance intensive and harder on fuel.

BTW, It's my truck's third birthday today so I just had to post.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 10:39 AM
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Personally I wouldn't go with 2WD even with a manual locker system, but I need 4WD for snow in hilly situations. But an auto locker is not nearly as good as a being able to manually lock the system. My old Ranger has an auto locker and it is horrible when not in 4WD in slippery situations such as snow, boat launches, etc.

I considered getting a full size 2WD with a manual locking rear end, to get a lower in height vehicle, but opted against it because I want the drive wheels to be over the engine. Weight makes a lot of difference.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like the 2wd will do fine. I’m in middle ga and we only get ice maybe twice a year and no snow really. How does the locker act if you run in some water. Does it make you more apt to hydroplane?
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by rrowe563 View Post
Sounds like the 2wd will do fine. Iím in middle ga and we only get ice maybe twice a year and no snow really. How does the locker act if you run in some water. Does it make you more apt to hydroplane?
I think it only engages at very low speeds. I can tell you that for sure there is no issue at all at higher speeds. No fishtailing. Stable as a rock. It really is perfect at what it does.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:35 AM
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Just so you know, it's not like the Tacoma where you can turn it on or off as you want. It decides when it wants to lock or unlock based on wheel spin.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 11:52 AM
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It is an actual locker, with clutch packs, and not just an LSD. It only works at speeds less than about 25mph or so.

I have driven through some really nasty weather, and tough off road situations. I find the 4wd to be invaluable. I wouldn't buy a truck without it. The stability it gives you on ice and mud is amazing.

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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:11 PM
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I think the G80 is wonderful...

But if I lived in Canada, I would never consider 2WD, except maybe on a motorcycle.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 12:15 PM
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It all depends on where you are going.

2 trucks ago I couldn't climb a hill on a logging road in a 2WD and that sent me over the edge to buy a 4WD. When I replaced that truck with the Colorado I stayed with a 4WD. Although I rarely will have a need for it these days, I like having the option and I don't mind the expense.

That being said: You know the conditions you expect to be in better than we do. The G-80 automatic locker will do the same thing your previous truck did. Between that and decent tires you can get through most situations.
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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 12:51 AM
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rrowe563 I know this is an old vid but that's because the G80 locker has been around for a long time. Take a look and I think it will put your mind at ease.





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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 04:05 AM
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Originally Posted by rrowe563 View Post
I am looking at possibly getting a new GMC Canyon. 2wd with auto rear locker. I have a Tacoma with the selectable rear locker and there is no need for 4wd. If I get in a little mud or slippery situation or a boat ramp. I engage it and get out of the jam Iím in. I do not mud bog or look for muddy places to play in. Is this auto locker as good as the Tacoma version? Or should I go ahead and get a selectable 4wd
It is very much like yours, just automatic. I bet it will be fine for you.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 09:24 AM
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With good tires a 2wd and locker can do quite a bit. If you're in slick conditions then add a few 50lb sandbags to the bed for increased traction.

Keep in mind the Twins also feature AutoTrac 4wd which acts much like an on-demand AWD system. You can run it in wet conditions for instant 4wd when slip is detected and suffer none of the steering binding isues 4Hi presents. You can leave it in this setting indefinitely without harming anything except fuel economy. It's one of my favorite features on these trucks. Itn my mind it's a safety feature for my staff and my wife who are not used to driving 4wd vehicles and are not comfortable switching in and out of 4Hi. So during the wet season the work Canyon just stays in Auto4WD.

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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 12:26 PM
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All I know is the other day I lit up the rearend down my street. LoL
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 12:43 PM
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All I know is the other day I lit up the rearend down my street. LoL

I've done that too after taking all the nannies off.


in Georgie I would get a 2wd, raise it a couple inches, put what ever wheels and tires would look good on it and drive it like I own it...


if my wife would let me take her Grand Cherokee Overland High Altitude hunting I would have a 2wd truck...but she won't
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 12:51 PM
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Weight & tires better than OEM will help a lot in most situations. My last 2wd Ranger (2002) had read diff. lock with snow tires on the rear, but I still got stuck on wet clay on a slight upgrade in the middle of summer after a good rain. Very embarrassing. Traded for my first 4X4 and never regretted it.
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 06:19 PM
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Weight & tires better than OEM will help a lot in most situations. My last 2wd Ranger (2002) had read diff. lock with snow tires on the rear, but I still got stuck on wet clay on a slight upgrade in the middle of summer after a good rain. Very embarrassing. Traded for my first 4X4 and never regretted it.
I had that issue in rain in an 89 Ranger on a very steep slope in a parking lot. Fortunately I was able to get out, lock the hubs and shift into 4X4.

But in snow even a slight incline would stop it sometimes.

BTW, one other factor not mentioned is that with 4x4 or 4WD you can oversteer to get your front end moving the way you want it to go. We had some rather slippery snow this year and there was one place I drove were being able to do that kept me from running my front tires into the curb. I would never go with a 2WD pickup truck unless I lived somewhere flat that never snowed.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 08:27 PM
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Sounds like the 2wd will do fine. Iím in middle ga and we only get ice maybe twice a year and no snow really. How does the locker act if you run in some water. Does it make you more apt to hydroplane?
You should be fine with 2WD in Middle Georgia. I'm in the North Georgia mountains and have seen quite of few times when I must use 4WD or stay at home.
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 09:57 PM
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I think the G80 is wonderful...

But if I lived in Canada, I would never consider 2WD, except maybe on a motorcycle.
Well now, it's not all that bad up here in the Great White North! Depends on where you live. In fact I took the snow tires off the family van today! I took them off the truck 3 weeks ago but it's snowed since then.
This truck is the first 4x4 I've ever had. Good snow tires will get you through an amazing amount of snow and ice in fact, in most of winter situations snow tires on a RWD or FWD will outperform a 4x4 on all-seasons. However, a 4x4 with winter tires and a rear locker - it's better than I expected.
In many parts of this huge country up here, you can survive just fine in a 2wd, but a 4wd is a lot better if you live in a rural area and a lot more fun!

I really don't have anything to add to the original thread except to note that a locker obviously gets you double the traction (at low speeds) but my 04 Canyon had a posi-trac and while it was helpful, 4x4 is better - no doubt.

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