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Old 12-19-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
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Question Front-end drivetrain slack normal in new Jeep?

Hi

I'm a new Jeep Wrangler owner and a 4X4 newb to boot.

Liking the new Wrangler Unlimited a lot. Took delivery in October.

The weather here just recently started turning wintery and I took occasion to engage 4WD high.

I immediately noticed slack at the front axle, and torque steer. The slack is prevalent when I let off the throttle, particularly while turning.

I've driven all-wheel drive vehicles before and did not experience this sort of drivetrain slop.

Is this normal for the Jeep 4WD system, or should I have the dealer take a look see?

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Old 12-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
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What do you mean slack in the front end?

You're not using 4wd on dry pavement or in the rain are you?

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Old 12-19-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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Snow covered roads. Heavy, wet stuff, with some limited exposure to wet asphalt.
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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By slack I mean perceptible, free rotation of the wheels without feeling restrained by the drive train. My guess is this is transfer case slack. Wondering if it is normal.

I've been doing a little research and I believe I'm experiencing a little wheel hop (normal) when turning on irregular surfaces (some snow, some asphalt).

Sound right to you?
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:09 PM   #5
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If it's a jerking sensation while turning in 4x4 then you are on too firm of a surface for 4x4. There must be some slip in the terrain for 4x4 for to operate normally. "In the rain" is not sufficient condition for 4x4.

All wheel drive and 4 wheel drive are two different animals altogether.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:43 PM   #6
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When I think of torque steer, I think of front wheel drive vehicles at wide open throttle. It only really happens on dry pavement. Are you sure you are not just spinning a front wheel, and getting a bit of understeer? Your front end has an open differential, and your rear may too (don't know about the new Jeep option packages), so like the fellow above me said it's different from AWD.
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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Don't run your 4wd and turn on wet asphalt. There is some give in the tcase but not much. I'm not sure we are understanding your description and that is causing some issues.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:38 AM   #8
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Thanks for the feedback. With your comments, and some research I believe I've learned a couple of basics:

- don't operate in 4 wheel drive mode on dry, or wet asphalt
- turning while in 4 wheel drive mode can cause wheel hop and drivetrain binding (bad!) while on asphalt. The driving surface should allow for some wheel skid/slip to avoid binding and hop. This is normal.
- 4 wheel and all-wheel drive systems are very different.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Random Skid View Post
Thanks for the feedback. With your comments, and some research I believe I've learned a couple of basics:

- don't operate in 4 wheel drive mode on dry, or wet asphalt
- turning while in 4 wheel drive mode can cause wheel hop and drivetrain binding (bad!) while on asphalt. The driving surface should allow for some wheel skid/slip to avoid binding and hop. This is normal.
- 4 wheel and all-wheel drive systems are very different.
Yep the front and rear axles are locked together mechanically by the transfer case and MUST go at the same rate. So when you turn, your front end must travel further than the rear, yet they must turn the same rate since they're locked. So that's what leads to binding. The tires need to be able to slip a little since they aren't able to travel the same distance. In an awd system there is a differential in the transfer case which allows the front and rear axles to spin at different rates. The part time system must only be used when conditions call for 4wd. Now, there are a lot of people that use it in the rain, but there is zero traction gained from using it. Plus its not worth the unnecessary stress on the driveline.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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x2

This has to be the most successful thread ever.

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