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Old 09-12-2010, 07:47 AM   #61
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Part-time 4WD is for initial traction. As in, getting unstuck, or staying unstuck. It is not, as many people are seeming to believe, a way to go down the road in slightly crap conditions. That's either AWD, or a full-time 4WD setup.

In reality, probably about 75% of Wrangler owners will never NEED their 4WD capability. You could remove the t-case and swap in a 2WD front axle, and enjoy the improved fuel economy, with ZERO downside. A decent set of tires is all most folks need. It falls into the category of better to have and not need for these folks. A further 10% MAY need it for crap weather where they live, a few times a year, or for some trail work. The other 15% are we nutters who actually wheel the crap out of these things, and poach the good spare parts off of the 75% when we break stuff Mark W.

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Old 09-12-2010, 08:21 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Croakus View Post
Personally, you won't find me driving on gravel without 4wd ... but that's a long story for another thread
I'm usually in 4-high as soon as I'm "offroad" too.
This is a general safety factor as well as a consideration for the condition of the road or trail. The less you spin your wheels, the better. Tread lightly, leave no trace, yadda yadda.


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Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
I use 4Lo when I'm on a trial (sic, trail) that requires low speed crawling.... ....In beach sand I use 4 Hi with ESP turned off.
Me too.
4-low gives a bit too much torque for sand and creates wheel-spin. Sometimes 4-high and 3rd gear can get you farther/safer/cleaner. Spinning tires is fun but destructive.


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Originally Posted by ncossey View Post
If you use 4-low in deep snow or mud I bet 9/10 you get yourself stuck. 4 low has too much torque and will turn the wheels over 30% faster than 4 hi. If you are mudding, you need to be in 4hi or even 2wd depending on how thick the mud is. Most people don't realize that in soupy mud with a hard bottom all you need is 2wd.
My experience= Marine Corps 3533 (logistical vehicle operator, Humvees, 7-tons, Lvs, 5-ton, professional off roader.)
Good answer.
Have you taken Bruce Elfstrom's offroad course? I know he does the curriculum for the Seals & Rangers; not sure about Jarheads though.
Good class if you can take it.



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Originally Posted by TDCoffee View Post
Somewhere above it states if the rain forces you to slow down from highway speeds to 40-50 mph, then it is safe to use 4w hi. I feel this is right although I am no expert- other than driving in it a lot. This is probably how I'll continue.

I felt for sure that 4wd would help on ice. Although I don't have too much experience with it
I would never use 4WD on the street in rain period.
I use it on ice, aired way-down, slow, with my hand on the E-brake.



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Originally Posted by thaduke2003 View Post
In reality, probably about 75% of Wrangler owners will never NEED their 4WD capability.

All too true.



4-low, locked front diff, open rear:



4-high, open/open, aired-down:

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Old 09-12-2010, 08:32 AM   #63
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Just as some added confusion, I mean info--

My comments about the use of 4LO aren't based on all my experience off-road-it's SOLELY ABOUT THE HEAT GENERATION OF THE JK AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION, WHICH IS DIFFERENT THAN ANYTHING i'VE DRIVEN IN 50 YEARS !!

Another point is that the use of 4wd is not an action based on social and racial requirements, it's a system thats added to a vehicle that you should get some pre-knowledge and practice withit-for your enjoyment and safety--

You don't buy the jeep strictly as a commute vehicle-you want to play/have fun/see the boonies and be able to drive home, not hitchhike !!

So put some common sense into it and ask questions when in doubt--

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Old 09-12-2010, 10:04 AM   #64
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I don't pretend to have the extensive knowledge that some of you have, and I for one am very appreciative for the insight you have all shared. Bit, I can't quite swallow the " never 4wd in the rain". Having grown up, lived and owned a jeep in Florida I know all too well the summer downpours that occur almost daily. Roads will go from bone dry to 2"-4" of standing water in only an hour.

Somewhere above it states if the rain forces you to slow down from highway speeds to 40-50 mph, then it is safe to use 4w hi. I feel this is right although I am no expert- other than driving in it a lot. This is probably how I'll continue.

I felt for sure that 4wd would help on ice. Although I don't have too much experience with it
What you're failing to understand is that there is a major difference between a full time 4WD system and a part time 4WD system.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:54 AM   #65
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I don't pretend to have the extensive knowledge that some of you have, and I for one am very appreciative for the insight you have all shared. Bit, I can't quite swallow the " never 4wd in the rain". Having grown up, lived and owned a jeep in Florida I know all too well the summer downpours that occur almost daily. Roads will go from bone dry to 2"-4" of standing water in only an hour.

Somewhere above it states if the rain forces you to slow down from highway speeds to 40-50 mph, then it is safe to use 4w hi. I feel this is right although I am no expert- other than driving in it a lot. This is probably how I'll continue.

I felt for sure that 4wd would help on ice. Although I don't have too much experience with it
You should never need 4WD on rain slicked roads....... Just alter your driving to suit the conditions. Part time 4x4 is for when you can't get traction in 2wd....... If you can still make progress in 2WD, then you don't need 4WD. And if you can safely drive 50mph in what ever conditions, you don't need 4wd either.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:42 PM   #66
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If rain forces you to slow down...then slow down.

4wd is not gonna give you better traction in the rain. If your losing traction in the rain your doing something wrong.
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Old 09-12-2010, 01:45 PM   #67
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There are many people out there who have never driven a rear wheel drive vehicle. It handles a little differently in slippery conditions. I actually prefer it, but you have to get used to it if you're not familiar with it. That may be what scares some people into wanting to use the 4WD all the time.
Tom, how true. They don't know the joy of sliding the rear around on a turn on snow covered roads. A skill that is fun to work on...when nobody is around...and useful sometimes when others around. The first snow storm that I had the pleasure of riding in I was soon reminded about slipping the rear around a corner. Ooooh the good ole days are back. Just one more reason that the Jeep is soooooo fun to drive.
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:01 PM   #68
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As a general rule of thumb, I use the "gnarly" test to determine whether or not I go from 2 to 4wd. When the handling of the jeep gets "gnarly" the transfer case gets shifted into 4wd. It usually starts like this. I'm moving down the road and it starts snowing. Eventually the thickness of the snow begins to have an effect on my ability to maintain safe control so I slow down. Eventually the jeep appears to be gyrating around the center axis of the vehicle (horizontal or vertical) and when that happens I consider the ride "gnarly" and shift into 4wd. I use the same test on the trail when mud is encountered.

When I'm off road as in riding with a club, I'm usually in 4wd as soon as I'm off road. On ice I'm usually in 4wd even if it is not "gnarly" because it seems to track better. On ice I go really slow no matter what mode the transfer case is in, especially slow on down hill runs.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:31 PM   #69
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You should never need 4WD on rain slicked roads....... Just alter your driving to suit the conditions. Part time 4x4 is for when you can't get traction in 2wd....... If you can still make progress in 2WD, then you don't need 4WD. And if you can safely drive 50mph in what ever conditions, you don't need 4wd either.
I don't want to get into any kind of whatever, but I am not talking about just your standard rain shower. (Anyone else here from Central Florida? do you know what I'm talking about?) I am also 100% ready to admit that I am wrong. But having driven in torrential downpours- the kind that turn roads into straight up standing water, I feel that the same rule would apply to ford a small stream. That's what I'm talking about.

I of course understand and follow safe driving practices in rain and slick conditions. Understand that I am NOT advocating 4wd as a way to drive faster in the rain. I'm saying the difference between moving forward in a straight line and not having control of the vehicle. I don't mean to sound like some sort of rain guru, but Unless you know what type of conditions I am talking about, you probably think me some kind of crack pot. I mean can you guys honestly say NEVER, as in "not ever" under any circumstances?

I have seen far too many cars skid off the road to take chances with the serious rain Florida serves up.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:19 PM   #70
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I drove through Jacksonville in July in a torrential downpour. I just slowed down as did everyone around me. I never thought to go into 4wd. I was on the Mass. Pike Rt. 90 and in another downpour, again never thought to go into 4wd. My first response is always to slow down. The jeep acting "gnarly" would be my queue to go into 4wd in that circumstance as explained in my previous post. Slowing down prevents the jeep from going into "gnarly" mode, so I stay in 2wd. The only exceptions I've done so far are ice and off road with a 4wd group outing.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:37 PM   #71
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I don't want to get into any kind of whatever, but I am not talking about just your standard rain shower. (Anyone else here from Central Florida? do you know what I'm talking about?) I am also 100% ready to admit that I am wrong. But having driven in torrential downpours- the kind that turn roads into straight up standing water, I feel that the same rule would apply to ford a small stream. That's what I'm talking about.

I of course understand and follow safe driving practices in rain and slick conditions. Understand that I am NOT advocating 4wd as a way to drive faster in the rain. I'm saying the difference between moving forward in a straight line and not having control of the vehicle. I don't mean to sound like some sort of rain guru, but Unless you know what type of conditions I am talking about, you probably think me some kind of crack pot. I mean can you guys honestly say NEVER, as in "not ever" under any circumstances?

I have seen far too many cars skid off the road to take chances with the serious rain Florida serves up.
I used to live in Miami and drove my 4 cylinder 2.2CL with low profile tires through monsoon-type downpours. There's no need for 4 wheel drive in a heavy downpour unless you're in the Everglades trying to out run an alligator in a downpour. I drove through a downpour in my JK. Drove through 2 foot deep water so fast my BACK SEAT got soaked (T-tops on but back top was off) but I never needed 4WD.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:43 PM   #72
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I hear you all, and can bet that tou are all correct. It just seems to go against my better judgement.

I have always been a "2wd unless that absolutely isn't working" kind of guy. I don't use 4wd often or haphazardly.

Perhaps this thread just got a bit too judgemental too quickly.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:54 PM   #73
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Perhaps this thread just got a bit too judgemental too quickly.
I don't know if I would call it judgmental. Everybody has their own reasons for doing things. Will being in 4wd in torrential rain hurt the jeep? Perhaps not based on what I have been reading on the experiences talked about in these posts. Would I use mine in torrential downpours? So far I'm not convinced that it would be necessary. Would I fault others for doing that? No, as long as it didn't cause their vehicle to contact mine. Crazy out of control driving is just that...crazy and out of control. In winter when we have new snow around here people are off the road in all directions. I'm always amazed in these circumstances that people don't realize that when snow starts to fall that the roads will become slippery and that normal speeds just can't be maintained AND keep the vehicle under control. There will always be this situation for whatever reason. I'm the guy you will see keeping to the right and slowing early. I usually have a pretty good following even on highways were people can freely pass me. It is just the nature of who we are. Jack rabbits and tortoises!
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:00 PM   #74
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Very cool. I appreciate that.
Guess I felt a little flamed by the thread. I also take pride in my safe driving.

I'll probably look at my 4wd habits a bit differently after this thread. And in the end that's what it's all about. The sharing of info.

Thanks man.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:00 PM   #75
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Part time 4wd requires your front wheel to be able to slip. As far as I understand the transfer case and diffs on a stock YJ and TJ are geared so that the front wheels are rotating faster than the rear wheels. This is designed to pull you straight and maintain control in slippery conditions. But something must slip, the wheels will wear prematurely and you will stress(and strech) the chain on the transfer case. I had both a Cherokee and and a TJ where the previous owners had misused the 4wd and had to replace the t case due to damage. I found after when I was putting on my winter tires that my spare had flat spots, and looked like a stop sign. Something has to give; The wheels the chains or the driver.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:08 PM   #76
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Thanks man.

You're welcome.
This forum has a lot of friendly people. Opinionated...but friendly. We may be very direct and persistent in our discussions but you'll notice that we all try to get along even if we disagree.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:11 PM   #77
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Very cool. I appreciate that.
Guess I felt a little flamed by the thread. I also take pride in my safe driving.

I'll probably look at my 4wd habits a bit differently after this thread. And in the end that's what it's all about. The sharing of info.

Thanks man.
Sorry Coffee for sounding harsh... Some of us are just a bit more experienced in the whole life thing, and know that it is common for lots of folks, young and old to sometimes exceed the borders of common sense when driving conditions are less than optimal..... I'm used to guys asking about driving 80 on the hwy in 4wd........ No harm intended toward you in any way, just like to make sure folks understand the difference between part time 4x4 and AWD..... and making sure you are compensating for the conditions you may encounter... Having young drivers in my family makes me a bit more touchy on the subject than most, I'm sure...
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:34 PM   #78
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And as you can see, InfernoGirl is one of those opinionated but friendly folks of which I write.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:09 PM   #79
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Here's a good example of 4wd high, with snow tires and the 4wd gets shut off when the road turns to hard packed dirt...
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:19 PM   #80
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Im not going to join the rain debate because I dont know what rain is, and have never seen it.

As for the rest of it I love to stay in 2wd for as long as I can. makes your jeep seem more badass. Look how far I got in 2wd you can tell all your friends, or hummer owners at red lights.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:29 PM   #81
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I don't want to get into any kind of whatever, but I am not talking about just your standard rain shower. (Anyone else here from Central Florida? do you know what I'm talking about?) I am also 100% ready to admit that I am wrong. But having driven in torrential downpours- the kind that turn roads into straight up standing water, I feel that the same rule would apply to ford a small stream. That's what I'm talking about.
That's not a good analogy. On the road, the surface under the water is solid. A small stream would have a much different driving surface under the water which may or may not be visible. You good be dealing with loose slippery rocks, shifting sand, or thick mud.
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:47 PM   #82
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Old 09-12-2010, 09:56 PM   #83
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May as well throw in my two cents ... New to the forum as I recently purchased a 2004 Wrangler Sport. It's my second Jeep, as the first was a 1993 Sahara. Anyway, I'll use 4high and sometimes 4low when pulling my boat out of the water. The launch is loose pea gravel, and I just go straight for 20 or 30 yards before going back to 2wd. It puts a lot less stress on the engine and clutch, and I've always been of the opinion it's good to shift into 4wd at least once a month, if only for a few moments, to keep everything lubed and in good working order.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:03 PM   #84
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[QUOTE="daggo66"]



The point to remember is that there is really no point in using it if the conditions don't require it. Nothing is going to help you on slick ice. You certainly don't need it in the rain. One thing to remember is that in 2WD, it is a rear wheel drive vehicle. I grew up with rear wheel drive, but have gotten used to front wheel drive over the years.




Thanks Daggo for the reply. As I indicated, I have zero knowledge of the mechanical workings of motor vehicles. I do believe I understand better about the absolute "need" for 4wd from the information in the article, but I have to be honest, that article scared me to use it to some degree. There is a difference between saying you only need it in X conditions and saying if it is used on pavement that is not necessarily slippery such as rain on freeway, you are going to damage your vehicle, and I honestly came away from that article with that as an understanding. I have always used mine in heavy rains, driven 20+ miles during, and never gave it a second thought. We can discuss whether it was necessary, and I will concede it may not have been, but I never saw any harm in it either. My 2002 wrangler had been driven like this for 8 years and had 175k miles on it when I sold it still running. If there was damage, I am unaware of it. I did it in my new 2010 just this past week. And so knowing you have more knowledge, it concerned me I could have caused damage because I concede to your knowledge on the subject. The responses in the thread not being consistent, I called my mechanic today (a very good old friend) to get his take, and it was that while the need scenario you discuss is true, the likelihood of damage using it on occasion on dry pavement is minimal. He said that it was far more likely you would do damage on harder trails or mud, using it where it was actually needed, than the casual drive home on the freeway in the rain.

Thanks to all contributors in this thread, this has been a fantastic read experience for me!
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:08 PM   #85
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On slick ice, I am always in 4 high for added traction and stability steering. I've been pretty successful so far combined with very slow driving...even if it is so that I can get off of the road until it is treated.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:17 PM   #86
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The responses in the thread not being consistent, I called my mechanic today (a very good old friend) to get his take, and it was that while the need scenario you discuss is true, the likelihood of damage using it on occasion on dry pavement is minimal. He said that it was far more likely you would do damage on harder trails or mud, using it where it was actually needed, than the casual drive home on the freeway in the rain.

Thanks to all contributors in this thread, this has been a fantastic read experience for me!
The point that he left out however was wear and tear to parts on a system that was not meant to be engaged full time. That could certainly lead to a breakdown "on harder trails or mud" when you need it most. The system in Wranglers is meant for a specific purpose, driving off road in conditions that would stop other vehicles. To achieve that a compromise was necessary. A part time system is the best for heavy duty use. If you had to make an emergency move, while engaged in 4WD on pavement, and the wheels started to hop due to binding, you could find yourself in a world of hurt.

The type of driving you are talking about is best left to the crossovers.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:59 PM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66

The point that he left out however was wear and tear to parts on a system that was not meant to be engaged full time. That could certainly lead to a breakdown "on harder trails or mud" when you need it most. The system in Wranglers is meant for a specific purpose, driving off road in conditions that would stop other vehicles. To achieve that a compromise was necessary. A part time system is the best for heavy duty use. If you had to make an emergency move, while engaged in 4WD on pavement, and the wheels started to hop due to binding, you could find yourself in a world of hurt.

The type of driving you are talking about is best left to the crossovers.
Honestly wasn't my understanding of the convo. My understanding is he is saying that the casual drive home in the rain isn't going to cause any harm to the vehicle. It may not be necessary to do so, but if it's not going to harm any parts, there also isn't a reason not to from a mechanical perspective?
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:05 PM   #88
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I disagree with his opinion. You should do whatever you feel comfortable with. You asked for advice, I gave it. I have owned several 4WD vehicles including 3 Jeeps (3 part time systems and 1 full time system) and will continue to follow the advice that I gave you. I won't try to change your viewpoint.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:31 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by daggo66 View Post
I won't try to change your viewpoint.
Although, Tom's words may have an effect on your opinion of what to do in a particular situation....then that may change your viewpoint. The point is that we form opinions based on many factors and then develop our own point of view. Exchanging ideas here is part of the way that we do this. This forum has helped me make up my mind on a lot that has to do with jeep. And sometimes things change because of new information.

Regarding rain and the use of 4wd, I think that if we took a pole it would return that most jeepers would stay in 2wd in rain while driving on tarred surfaces. When you think of it in terms of coefficient of friction between tire and road surface, the most friction would be developed on dry hard surface. Next would probably be wet hard surface. Then wet hard surface with oil on it, etc. Somewhere between hard dry surface and deep mud or loose steep graded surface there comes the decision to use 4wd. Most of us want to extend the life of the drive train, even if we have a lifetime warranty on it...we don't want to be stranded in an inaccessible place. Be that as it may we all know that sh^+ happens. We just try and prolong when it happens. That may factor into this type of decision.
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:40 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daggo66
I disagree with his opinion. You should do whatever you feel comfortable with. You asked for advice, I gave it. I have owned several 4WD vehicles including 3 Jeeps (3 part time systems and 1 full time system) and will continue to follow the advice that I gave you. I won't try to change your viewpoint.
That is completely fair. Not my viewpoint, im trying to formulate one which is tough being a mechanical idiot in a sea of knowledge that doesn't agree. .

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