4X4 usage

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I am of the opinion that on those vehicles with a transfer case, the 4X4 feature shouldn't be used except at slow speeds - I'm thinking less than 15 mph. 1) Do I have this right? 2) Is there a note in the owners manual to this effect? The reason I am asking is that I am discussing 4X4 usage at 45 mph at 45 mph - and his position is that it's OK.
 
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I don't even think twice about going 45-50, even up to 55 in 4x4 on snowy roads. If conditions allow me to be driving faster than that, I'll usually put it back in 2wd. If we're talking about dry pavement, you shouldn't be using 4wd at all, unless the transfer case is equipped for full time 4wd.
 
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I think I remember reading in an old owner's manual a maximum speed of 50 mph. Definitely shouldn't use part-time 4wd on dry paved surfaces at any speed. The higher the speed, the faster the transfer case and u-joints are going to wear out. Some Select-Trac [part-time only] equipped Jeep Cherokees have a chain inside the transfer case that will wear its way through the side of the housing relatively quickly if 4wd is used frequently.
 
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I use it anytime there are slippery conditions enough to interfere with steering or stability. Ice especially. Under those conditions, I generally stay under 60mph, seldom above 50. But it definitely helps a bunch......You just don't want to use it with less than slippery conditions.....Torque winds up parts, and when it overcomes the traction you have, the results can be......Unpredictable.
 
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It all depends what you are doing. A friend of mine swapped a built BBF in a 78 Bronco and he regularly launches it off of dunes at Pismo at 80+. Of course at that point you find out the weak spots really quick.
 
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in my truck I have manual hubs so I leave them locked all winter and selectively use my 4x4. I since just as fast as I would in two wheel drive. It's got over 310000km and the 4x4 works perfect. I've been up to about 110kmh passing. drove about 500 km in 4x4 with bad conditions doing about 80-90 the whole way. 4 low is a different story. parts in the transfer case are spinning very fast and the multiplication of torque from the low gearing is stressful in the driveline if your being tough on it.
 
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Originally Posted By: 4wheeldog
I use it anytime there are slippery conditions enough to interfere with steering or stability. Ice especially. Under those conditions, I generally stay under 60mph, seldom above 50. But it definitely helps a bunch......You just don't want to use it with less than slippery conditions.....Torque winds up parts, and when it overcomes the traction you have, the results can be......Unpredictable.
didn't see your post. Very true. Going around a tight corner in 4x4 can be unpredictable. And stressful on the drivetrain.
 
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I plowed the company parking lot and I was always switching between 2 and 4-hi. I was also constantly driving with the steering at one lock or another as I did corners and the binding of 4wd bugged me. I rode with a guy who was on a paved road and turning left onto a dirt one. He put it in 4-hi on the pavement then crunched around the corner onto the dirt. I'm definitely a run-2wd-until-you-get-stuck driver. I suppose 4-hi has the handling benefit of being redneck ABS, and not having one axle lock before the other. You also have all that "stuff" turning which might keep the wheels from locking suddenly on a brief patch of ice.
 
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The only time I would use 4WD is when traction is low. if traction is low enough to need 4WD, I would question why they would be driving at high speed. 4WD does not help with braking when the car in front of you slows down.
 
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Originally Posted By: CapriRacer
I am of the opinion that on those vehicles with a transfer case, the 4X4 feature shouldn't be used except at slow speeds - I'm thinking less than 15 mph. 1) Do I have this right? 2) Is there a note in the owners manual to this effect? The reason I am asking is that I am discussing 4X4 usage at 45 mph at 45 mph - and his position is that it's OK.
Is this a theoretical discussion or a practical one? And I assume we're talking about a part time system here. In concept, I don't believe that a part time 4x4 system has a speed limit per se...as long as the vehicle is traveling on a straight road, and there are no differences in speed between the four wheels, you could drive as fast as you want. You could argue that things will wear faster, but a difference in speed is really what will wear/bind a part time 4x4 system, not generally the speed itself. After all, many "full time" systems have all of the drive line components spinning all the time anyway...but they're engaged through some sort of viscous coupling or clutch that allows for that pressure release. Now...practically...you of course don't find many roads that are as straight as an arrow for miles on end. Any turning of the vehicle without the ability for it to release the pressure in the system (like slipping/chirping the inside wheel in a corner) will wreak havoc in the system pretty quickly. A vehicle at speed and on relatively gentle curves won't be able to slip a wheel very easily...not like a sharp slow corner where the inside wheel can chatter as it is forced to spin faster than it wants to.
 
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My Silverado is allowed to opperate at any posted speed limit in 4HI, assuming slippery conditions of course. Most newer 4x4's have all the parts spinning even in 2WD so wear on the drive line is nil.
 
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Originally Posted By: RedOakRanch
My Silverado is allowed to opperate at any posted speed limit in 4HI, assuming slippery conditions of course. Most newer 4x4's have all the parts spinning even in 2WD so wear on the drive line is nil.
+1 for my FX4.
 
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Originally Posted By: CapriRacer
I am of the opinion that on those vehicles with a transfer case, the 4X4 feature shouldn't be used except at slow speeds - I'm thinking less than 15 mph. 1) Do I have this right? 2) Is there a note in the owners manual to this effect? The reason I am asking is that I am discussing 4X4 usage at 45 mph - and his position is that it's OK.
1- nope. 4wd can be used any time you are in a slippery situation. Case in point in the F150 traveling southbound here in MT. South(sunny) side downhill in the clear, as were most of the roads. Uphill(north) side of the hill had 1-2" of slush/snow on it, changed to 4wd at highway speed, which was 70. Yes, I slowed down; on the previous hill with same situatiIon I had left it in 2wd and it was squirrely. Putting it in 4wd settled it right down. 2- yes. Every owner's manual I have had said either "any legal speed", "any speed", or, on an older vehicle "up to 55 mph". Additionally, there is usually a maximum speed for 4LOW in the owner's manual.
 
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Dec 8, 2006
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Louisiana
I have a buddy that ran his 4x4 pickup at the 1/4 mile track in High 4 wheel drive. 15.1 seconds was his time. I was afraid he would tear something up, but no problems.
 
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If you have "4WD" with a transfer case which allows a speed differential to exist between front and rear axles it is generally known as "all wheel drive" and can be used on dry pavement. If you have the time honored system with no slip provision tire wear is a problem in the dry. If you can lock front and rear diffs without a slip pprovision in the transfer case you can creats some handling problems on dry roads.
 
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