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4x4 upkeep       #: 1356
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX
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 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2018 02:59 am
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Eddie Money
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A couple members mentioned running the 4H and 4L every so often just to keep things lubed and moving. In my local I use 4WD for snow maybe once a year. So I have some questions.

For those rangers that only see city streets but want to keep things in good order, how often and for how long (distance) do you run it in 4WD for upkeep?

Is driving around the block far enough? 

Do you recommend both 4H and 4L or is one sufficient, which one is preferred? 

Ok, this came to mind while I was slowly driving up the street in 4H. I've heard and read this numerous times and it's stuck in my head. " If you drive on the street in 4WD you'll break something". What will you break?

How is a full time 4WD different than a 4X4? 

What's the difference between full time 4WD and AWD?

Last edited on Fri Oct 26th, 2018 05:42 am by Eddie Money



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 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2018 10:47 am
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The "running it in 4H and 4L" is mostly an exercise for the electric motor that switches the transfer case. It isn't like a door window motor, it is under the truck exposed to the elements. Moving it frequently will insure that it moves at all when you need it.

Driving on the street with the 4WD on will wear tires faster and get horrible fuel mileage. Driving on trails in 4WD will wear tires faster and get horrible fuel mileage. It's a wash.
If you had "spools" that lock both wheels in mechanically where they cannot slip then you can break something quickly. Most people only install spools if they are racing and it isn't for daily driving.

I'll let 410 explain the full time 4wd since he has the ratios memorized and I would have to research LOL.



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 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2018 01:17 pm
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410customs

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use both 4 hi and 4 low to exercise the transfer case motor

Driving with 4x4 engaged is not going to hurt anything unless you try to do a bunch of turning or go a long distance. These trucks are dang tough and can take some abuse! Driving one or two blocks on hard surface will not hurt anything and not cause any binding. It is sharp turns in 4wd on hard packed surfaces that will start to cause some bindage, but again these transfer cases are pretty stout. The weak link in the 4x4 system is the front hubs, and that is a good thing! I would rather replace a hub  then a driveshaft.

As said before it is basically to ensure your ESOF motor (electronic shift on the fly) stays in working order, they do not like to sit. You can actually shift from 2wd to 4hi to 4 low without driving at all. You MIGHT have to move 1-2 feet sometimes to get it to go in and out of 4 low if shes having trouble.

Full time AWD (5.0L V8 Explorer) is slightly different then 4x4 hi range on the street because it sends 30-40% of the power to the front axle not 50%/ The full time AWD is hard on front end parts, tires mostly, then wheel bearings and CV axles, ball joints, tie rods and the front driveshaft. 5.0L Explorer AWD eat tires three times as fast as a normal V6 Explorer/Ranger. THe 4405 AWD t case found in the 5.0L explorer has a clutch inside it and the power that is not used ends up being heat and is wasted. I am not a big fan of the full time AWD t case because of the poor MPG and tire wear. All of or 5.0L trucks are converted to 4x4 here. I haev customers who love the awd, so some rigs get to keep it, just not mine.

Control trac AWD is different because it is automatic, sending power to the front axle only when the rear axle slips a certain amount (speed sensors differ enough to engage the clutch in the t case and power is sent up front until it is corrected)
Control trac AWD is only on Explorer's, not Rangers
This is the "4auto" position on the dash switch.

For people like me who live in areas with ice/snow driving on the street in 4wd high range is a common thing, in between puddles or patches of ice as long as the road is not twisty I will just leave it in 4hi...even at speeds like 65-70 mph...never an issue. You can switch in and out of 4hi at any speed below 45 mph. Very often in Colorado you will have dry pavement between patches of slush and ice, it is best to just leave her in 4hi, Basically I lock my hubs in November and I unlock them in April, this way I can shift from 2wd to 4hi at will.....

4 low is great at the boat ramp for pulling the boat out of the water, a good time to exercise your 4 low :)

Sand, dirt, loose gravel, slush, even tons of water on the road is a good time to use your 4hi

The goal is to make sure it works when you actually need it. So a couple/few times a year do not be afraid to engage 4hi and drive a block, then put her in 4 low and drive 10 feet. Stop and shift it back to 4 hi, drive 10 feet, then finally back to 2wd.
You can drive 1 block or 15 it is up to you, you can also just shift it in and out while sitting still. It is nice to hear that T case motor shift so you know its working!

I just did this in our excursion last week, with snow coming I wanted to make sure shes still shifting. It was actually very slow going into 4 low this time, but she eventually went. My shift motor may be getting weak in that truck, 207K miles now. Time to service the hubs and make sure the ESOF is working a few times before winter hits....

The rest of our trucks here are all manual shift 4wd, however I am getting ready to convert our 2000 E350 to 4wd I may do a 4407 e shift t case in that Van :)

Last edited on Fri Oct 26th, 2018 01:19 pm by 410customs



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 Posted: Fri Oct 26th, 2018 07:03 pm
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I also only use my 4WD when there is snow on the road so I also should test it occasionally to make sure it is still in working order.



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 Posted: Sat Oct 27th, 2018 01:17 am
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Thank you gentlemen for the information and tips. My questions have been answered and there is great info for others



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 Posted: Sat Oct 27th, 2018 02:37 pm
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410customs

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Come to my house! My road will give you a reason to use 4x4!!!
Thats part of the reason we moved back here, we always wanted to go off road but never found the time



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 Posted: Tue Oct 30th, 2018 02:13 pm
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So since last winter, at least once a month I would cycle my truck in and out of 4Hi, 4Lo and back to 2Hi. But now, it seems that I'm not getting any 4 wheel drive at all. When I put it in 4Hi, the relay clicks and the 4x4 light comes on, but I'm pretty sure it stays in 2 Hi. When I put it in 4Lo, the light stays at 4x4, but it definitely isn't in 4Lo. Does anyone think this is a simple fix? I don't hear the motor at all when I put it in 4Hi, by the way.



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 Posted: Tue Oct 30th, 2018 04:06 pm
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if the light comes on then the shift motor has turned to the high range or low range position
You may have an issue with:
front hubs
front driveline
front diff
transfer case

If the light on the dash comes on when you push the button that 100% means that the feedback stator in the shift motor has moved over to the high range/low range position, that is the only way the light in the dash will come on
If this happens and the transfer case is not in 4wd I would first remove the shift motor from the t case and have a look at it
If your front driveshaft does not lock up in 4hi or 4low its a transfer case issue (internal)
If your front driveshaft locks up in 4hi and 4low but the front wheels do not it is a hub/differential issue

Last edited on Tue Oct 30th, 2018 04:07 pm by 410customs



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 Posted: Tue Oct 30th, 2018 04:11 pm
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Thanks Jamie. So in other words, not necessarily an easy fix. Appreciate the feedback



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 Posted: Wed Oct 31st, 2018 12:55 pm
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It might be a really easy fix! You just need to diagnose what the heck is going on.
FYI I consider transfer case issues and swaps pretty dang easy in these trucks compared to engine / trans issues I can drop a t case in minutes not hours



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 Posted: Fri Nov 2nd, 2018 06:57 pm
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Well as it turns out, it seems my truck can fix itself. I just kept cycling it through 2Hi to 4Hi to 4 Lo and back, over and over and it actually started to work again. That being said, it makes quite the clunk going in and out of 4 Lo now



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 Posted: Sat Nov 3rd, 2018 01:07 am
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rob3837 wrote:
Well as it turns out, it seems my truck can fix itself. I just kept cycling it through 2Hi to 4Hi to 4 Lo and back, over and over and it actually started to work again. That being said, it makes quite the clunk going in and out of 4 Lo now
Christine!!!! Yikes. Lol



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 Posted: Sat Nov 3rd, 2018 02:29 pm
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4 low will clunk pretty good

Keep exercising that motor!! That is all they need to be used a few times a year

Last edited on Sat Nov 3rd, 2018 02:29 pm by 410customs



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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2018 06:53 pm
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Eddie Money wrote:
rob3837 wrote:

Well as it turns out, it seems my truck can fix itself. I just kept cycling it through 2Hi to 4Hi to 4 Lo and back, over and over and it actually started to work again. That being said, it makes quite the clunk going in and out of 4 Lo now
Christine!!!! Yikes. Lol

I'm waiting for the gigantic rusted out hole in my bed to fix itself now



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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2018 07:15 pm
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I had one more question. While running it through 4hi and 4 low, should it be taken out of overdrive or is that not a big deal?



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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2018 07:46 pm
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Irrelevant on an autobox.



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