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Old 03-09-2014, 08:31 PM   #1
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4 Lo (Noob question)

When do you use 4 lo usually? I have used 4 hi in the snow and on rocky/sandy/muddy terrain.

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Old 03-09-2014, 08:39 PM   #2
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I think it's one of those "you'll know it when you see it" situations. Rock climbing, bad mud, stuff like that. I haven't used it myself, so I'm just summarizing what I read. Lots more experience than me here will help you I'm sure.

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Old 03-09-2014, 08:42 PM   #3
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You go to 4Lo when 4H is stuck. Think grind it with very low gear ratio and torque.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:52 PM   #4
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I heard someone earlier today say 4lo is your "working gear". I think that sums it up. It's for very low speed climbing, declining, etc. Only to be used in 1st and 2nd gear as well, never over 20mph, although I think you can max at 25mph?
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:55 PM   #5
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A good way to learn before you really need it would be to get to an open dirt lot of some kind, lose dirt even better, and put it in 4Lo and have fun!
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:58 PM   #6
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Another useful place for 4L is extremely bumpy/rocky/jiggy ground, when you're trying to just creep along without bouncing the devil out of your Wrangler.

Any place you need more torque/slower ground speed.....like towing a trailer load of truffles out of of the woods and you don't want them to bounce around & get bruised.....or when you're trying to pull a stump out & need maximum torque/traction....or when your traveling some really rutted rough or steep grade up or down....or....or.....or....why there's a lot of places/reasons/you'll discover. Snow/ice usually isn't one of the places you need or want 4L. As you survive more 4 wheeling adventures you'll start to recognize the circumstances when 4L is a good idea.
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Old 03-09-2014, 09:36 PM   #7
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Auto or manual? If you have a manual you should be in 4L just about any time you are off road. It will save your clutch.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:21 PM   #8
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Auto or manual? If you have a manual you should be in 4L just about any time you are off road. It will save your clutch.


Manual.... good to know!
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:00 AM   #9
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If you haven't yet tried 4-low, you're in for a treat.

After decades of wheeling, I'm always pleased when I pop the JK into 4-low and let the gearing do the work. The instant torque avail in 4-low can be startling. Taught my youngest son how to use 4-low a couple of years ago and he was really surprised with the difference. I seem to end up using 4-low a lot in steep country, when I'm dinking around nice and slow in the rough stuff. Mine is a manual trans too.

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Old 03-10-2014, 06:14 AM   #10
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If you haven't yet tried 4-low, you're in for a treat.

After decades of wheeling, I'm always pleased when I pop the JK into 4-low and let the gearing do the work. The instant torque avail in 4-low can be startling. Taught my youngest son how to use 4-low a couple of years ago and he was really surprised with the difference. I seem to end up using 4-low a lot in steep country, when I'm dinking around nice and slow in the rough stuff. Mine is a manual trans too.

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So is it clutchless shifting?
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:26 AM   #11
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You go to 4Lo when 4H is stuck. Think grind it with very low gear ratio and torque.
OK, here is my dumb question for the day.

The manual says that you have to coasting along at a couple of MPH in order to be able to shift into 4Lo. If that's really true, if you wait until you are stuck in 4H, its too late to shift down to 4Lo, no?
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:31 AM   #12
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So is it clutchless shifting?
It is not. The key is that it is nearly impossible to stall which will keep you off the clutch.
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:34 AM   #13
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It is not. The key is that it is nearly impossible to stall which will keep you off the clutch.

Sweet!
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:35 AM   #14
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OK, here is my dumb question for the day.

The manual says that you have to coasting along at a couple of MPH in order to be able to shift into 4Lo. If that's really true, if you wait until you are stuck in 4H, its too late to shift down to 4Lo, no?
4L is lower gearing. Think "more grunt". If you are stuck, it will not get you unstuck. It will prevent you from riding the clutch and will let you re-start the engine without using the clutch. You don't necessarily have to be moving to shift into 4L. You need the gears aligned. If they are not aligned, move slowly will line them up.

That being said, it's better to be in 4L before you need to be.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:10 AM   #15
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I would add a caveat to "anytime" you're off road. I would say anytime you are off road and you're not going to go above about 10MPH... you'll feel like your engine is going to explode when you hear how high it is revving. 4LO is awesome, though with a 6 speed!! Just use it for crawling, deep stuff, etc.
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:25 AM   #16
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I would add a caveat to "anytime" you're off road. I would say anytime you are off road and you're not going to go above about 10MPH... you'll feel like your engine is going to explode when you hear how high it is revving. 4LO is awesome, though with a 6 speed!! Just use it for crawling, deep stuff, etc.
Agreed. When I'm on the beach driving in heavy sand, I'm in 4H. Crawling over obstacles, I'm in 4L.
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Old 03-10-2014, 08:40 AM   #17
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I put mine into 4lo probably more than I need just because it makes me feel better when I am about to get into a "pucker" situation.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:01 AM   #18
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I put mine into 4lo probably more than I need just because it makes me feel better when I am about to get into a "pucker" situation.
that right there is the key to being prepared.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:51 AM   #19
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So I want to climb a big rocky hill, throw it in 4lo and off we go?
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:04 PM   #20
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We had rented a JK in Hawaii and were going up Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano. Threw that baby in 4L to make it up and down the single lane gravel road that wraps the volcano. elevation climbing up is 14000 ft. Prevented me from having to ride the brakes, and yes, helped slow us down instead of flying over the bumps. Use it when things get hairy! I'm from Nebraska and wasn't use to that kind of driving!
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:09 PM   #21
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Auto or manual? If you have a manual you should be in 4L just about any time you are off road. It will save your clutch.


The biggest thing for a 6spd manual and 4LO is you can start the Jeep without depressing the clutch especially in Mud/water situations where you get stuck or need to shift gears from 1st to reverse.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:33 PM   #22
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Steep climbs, big rocks, sharp drops, etc. Have a lot of that here in Colorado. I use 4LO on almost every trail. You can comfortably get up to 10-15 mph in 6th gear in 4LO. And nothing is easier than 1st gear in 4LO for declining a steep rock face. Just set it and and don't touch anything but the wheel.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:55 PM   #23
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Got the wife's Silverado stuck this weekend. I got it buried to the axle too... Got the JKU and hooked her up to the back of the Jeep. Put it into 4lo and idled her out. 4lo to the rescue!

HAve to say, she was impressed. Her comment was: "how is that little v6 going to pull this big truck out of that mud hole you put her in?" I just smiled and said watch the magic that is Jeep and 4wd
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:48 PM   #24
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Thanks guys! I appreciate all the good input.
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Old 04-04-2014, 06:16 AM   #25
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Thanks guys! I appreciate all the good input.
Hey, you never did report back. Did you go find something soft to rip up?
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:53 AM   #26
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I'm fairly new too. I have a manual too.
On my last adventure, I learned that when climbing big slippery inclines, it's better to start out in 4 Lo - 2nd gear. Helped me out a lot.
I use 4 Lo - 1st gear when "crawling" over rocks or serious mud, when I want/need to go slow.
Hell, I'm still trying to get the hang of it.
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Old 04-04-2014, 02:59 PM   #27
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Pulling a boat out at a crappy boat-ramp, especially with a manual trans
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:51 PM   #28
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It's Great When....

It's great when you are out 4x4ing and you lose your brakes. It happened to me where my back line wore through and I lost all my brake fluid and had no brakes. The pedal went to the floor. I now know to take vise grips and brake fluid along for protection. Anyway, since the inclines were steep going up and down and I was in the middle of no where (luckily I was with a group of 20 jeeps), I got on my CB, told everyone I would take the rear, and put her in 4 Lo and first gear. My passengers told me they would have never known I had no brakes if I hadn't told them. Of course, once I got to the main hwy, I called a tow truck.

I do use 4 lo for other reasons as well.
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Old 04-04-2014, 03:59 PM   #29
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The biggest thing for a 6spd manual and 4LO is you can start the Jeep without depressing the clutch especially in Mud/water situations where you get stuck or need to shift gears from 1st to reverse.

Is this true? I thought the clutch had to be in to engage the starter...
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:10 PM   #30
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Auto or manual? If you have a manual you should be in 4L just about any time you are off road. It will save your clutch.
YES! It's soooo much easier to ease out on the clutch when your in some loose terrain then it would be with 4hi. IMO 4hi is pretty useless to me unless I was doing some sprinting driving in sand. In 4low 3rd gear is your normal 1st gear ratio and I use it for pretty much everything that isn't on pavement.

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