Joined: Wed May 2nd, 2018
Occupation: Elevator Design Worlds Tallest Buildings
Interests: Ranger Based Vehicles and OFFROAD
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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 02:19 pm by 410customs
I build custom RBV, specializing in drivetrain conversions, wiring, suspension and complete custom trucks