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Old 02-05-2014, 01:49 PM   #1
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I was driving today in extreme snow on the highway and accidentally turned on 4L instead of 4H. I didn't want to pass 80km/h but hovered at 70km/h for about 40 kms of distance. I realized I had the wrong 4WD on when I saw my engine rev'ing 3200-3500 rpms. After smacking myself on the head a few times, now I'm left with the question: did I damage anything? I spoke to my mechanic and he told me that the worst case scenario the transfer case overheats, and that they could check for metal pieces. He also told me change my oil. This scares me. Metal pieces?! Could driving at 70km/hr for 40kms do any damage at all? I have a 2012 JK Sahara.

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Old 02-05-2014, 01:54 PM   #2
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I was driving today in extreme snow on the highway and accidentally turned on 4L instead of 4H. I didn't to past 80km/h but hovered at 70km/h for about 40 kms of distance. I realized I had the wrong 4WD on when I saw my engine rev'ing 3200-3500 rpms.

After smacking myself on the head a few times, now I'm left with the question: did I damage anything?

I spoke to my mechanic and he told me that the worst case scenario the transfer case beats up and they could check for metal pieces. This scares me. Metal pieces?!

Could driving at 70km/hr for 40kms do any damage at all? I have a 2012 JK Sahara.

I rev at almost 3k rpms at 70mph. Different standard but engine is still working as hard.

My 3.6 has a redline around 6k. I think the 3.8 does to (yours). Or do you have the 3.6? Idk.

Anyways your fine. The only problem I could see happening is that the Dana 35 in the front is more suspectible to damage and you were giving power to it.

I wouldn't sweat it at all though. People.including myself have don't worse lol!

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Old 02-05-2014, 01:59 PM   #3
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I was driving today in extreme snow on the highway and accidentally turned on 4L instead of 4H. I didn't to past 80km/h but hovered at 70km/h for about 40 kms of distance. I realized I had the wrong 4WD on when I saw my engine rev'ing 3200-3500 rpms.

After smacking myself on the head a few times, now I'm left with the question: did I damage anything?

I spoke to my mechanic and he told me that the worst case scenario the transfer case beats up and they could check for metal pieces. This scares me. Metal pieces?!

Could driving at 70km/hr for 40kms do any damage at all? I have a 2012 JK Sahara.

Did you have it in neutral when you shifted into 4LO? You can shift in and out of 4hi while moving but cannot shift into 4lo. I don't think you would have messed anything up but it seems hard to do this by accident...
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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3.6

Is the jeep forgiving enough like that though? I've heard horror stories. I'm beating myself over the head... Wish I hadn't done that..
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:03 PM   #5
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Did you have it in neutral when you shifted into 4LO? You can shift in and out of 4hi while moving but cannot shift into 4lo. I don't think you would have messed anything up but it seems hard to do this by accident...
Yes I did. I started from my parking lot so I went neutral and down... All the way to 4L without thinking... Then just drove it the entire 40kms.

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Old 02-05-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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25 miles at <45 MPH in 4L.... Even though the manual suggests not exceeding 25 MPH in 4L, I'd say no biggy... IF the road was snow/ice covered and slippery all the way. You just wasted a lot of gas.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:23 PM   #7
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dang, you didnt realize it was in 4l when it took off like a rocket?

you're good. I wouldnt worry.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:32 PM   #8
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dang, you didnt realize it was in 4l when it took off like a rocket?

you're good. I wouldnt worry.
OP's Sahara transfer case is 2.72:1. Big difference (2.7X) in RPM - But, you just couldn't make that mistake in a Rubi with the 4:1 t'case!
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:36 PM   #9
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Impossible not to notice with a manual.
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Old 02-05-2014, 02:57 PM   #10
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Automatic. Not manual. So is the general consensus that I DIDNT do any damage?
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:12 PM   #11
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I'm trying to understand this. Did you shift your transfer case or your auto transmission from neutral all the way down to low gear? I'm asking because your first post indicates that you shifted at highway speed and post #5 indicates that you shifted when stopped in a parking lot. Either way you're probably fine at this point.
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Old 02-05-2014, 03:17 PM   #12
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Shifted at parking stop. I couldn't back out of my driveway with 3 feet or snow so I shifted into 4L and just kept it on even on highway. I was mostly cruising at around 60-70 but occasionally would go to 80 for a few mins (but never past 80).
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:06 PM   #13
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Automatic. Not manual. So is the general consensus that I DIDNT do any damage?
No one here can say that you didn't do damage.


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Shifted at parking stop. I couldn't back out of my driveway with 3 feet or snow so I shifted into 4L and just kept it on even on highway. I was mostly cruising at around 60-70 but occasionally would go to 80 for a few mins (but never past 80).
If you were doing 80 in 4L, you had to be at or over the redline. I really can't understand how you didn't notice your engine screaming at you. Did you do short term damage? Probably not. Long term? I would say yes, but not something that can be defined.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:29 PM   #14
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...If you were doing 80 in 4L, you had to be at or over the redline. ....

OPs talking kilometers... so his max was about 50 MPH = about 3800 RPM in 5th assuming 3.21 axles. Steady speed seems to have been 70 km/h so under 45 MPH = about 3300 RPM.

Not good, but not as bad as 80 MPH!
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:32 PM   #15
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I think your RPM numbers are way low.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:36 PM   #16
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I think your RPM numbers are way low.
You might be right. I used GrimmJepper's gear ratio calculator and assumed (yeah, I know the joke) WA580/NAG1, 2.71:1, 3.21, 32" tires, and that's what I get.... I'll look again and make sure I didn't do something stupid...


EDIT: Here are the results. I double checked my entries. All seems correct...


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Name:	Gears.jpg
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ID:	738225
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:48 PM   #17
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Shifted at parking stop. I couldn't back out of my driveway with 3 feet or snow so I shifted into 4L and just kept it on even on highway. I was mostly cruising at around 60-70 but occasionally would go to 80 for a few mins (but never past 80).
O'k. I agree that no one can say 100% that you didn't damage anything but you most likely didn't, which is an opinion. Consider changing your transfer case fluid, possibly. Or, check it before hand to see if you can tell if it's burnt or otherwise not normal. It's ATF+4. I don't think there's anything else you can do. Will something fail in a few miles or 50,000 miles, you won't know until you get there. Your mistake may or may not be the reason. I still think you'll be fine. These components can take a lot of abuse. Just don't make it a habit.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:53 PM   #18
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I think the biggest risk would be over reving the motor--and that most likely has a rev limiter built in. The only thing spinning in the drive train faster then if it were in 4wd hi is the engine--since the 4wd hi and low is just a slip of a gear over the out put shaft--so chances are you did not do anything and if the are no new noises comping from the drive train I would not worry about it and chock it off as a lesson learned
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:51 PM   #19
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I was at 3500 at 80km/hour. The roads were entirely covered in snow even the highway had about 5 cm packed snow. But yea, on the way back I used 4H instead of 4L and I was sliding everywhere. In Toronto here we had like 30cm of snow and was driving through the middle of a snow storm as well with tons of wind.

Does anybody know how much it would cost worst case scenario? I know the jeep can take a beating.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:58 PM   #20
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Oh, I also burned a quarter tank of gas going a distance of 50km.
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:00 PM   #21
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Oh, I also burned a quarter tank of gas going a distance of 50km.
Well I guess you learned your lesson to only keep it In 4hi on the road. That's like 30 miles right? So about 8mpg?
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:51 PM   #22
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Does 4L favor snow?

I thought that 4H would be better for driving on snow, no?
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:54 PM   #23
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Well I'm not sure. This was the first time I used 4L in snow. It was very good though. Felt like I had sticky wheels. When I changed to 4H on the way back I was sliding much more.

I just hope everything is ok with my transfer case
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:01 PM   #24
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Well if you think of it this way these are the options:
a) Nothing "permanent" really happened
b) Your transfer case will explode in less than 5,000 miles
c) Your transfer case will explode in more than 5,000 miles

Everyone makes mistakes. Even the folks who will never admit they do. Just from now on pitchblack learn how to "listen" to your Jeep - it talks to you if you listen. Those higher rpm's and the fact you could probably literally see your gas needle moving should have told you something was not kosher in Denmark.

Good luck and hopefully this was just a lesson learned! Though if you are that nervous maybe let the dealer or your mechanic take a look at it and look at the fluid or oil or whatever. So at least if there really is a problem now they find it before it becomes a possibly bigger problem.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:28 PM   #25
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Yes I did. I started from my parking lot so I went neutral and down... All the way to 4L without thinking... Then just drove it the entire 40kms.


Dude, you didn't go to 4LO. At 4lo at 70mph, you should be over 4000 RPM..

What you did probably is, you had it on 4wd (4hi) and then you set your main transmission to the low gear - that means it will use gears 1-4, but would not go into 5th/overdrive. That would fall right around 3000-3500 rpm I'd think.

To go to 4lo "accidentally" is not possible.
First, you have to shift your transfer case lever up to 4hi.
Then you have to shift your main transmission to neutral.
Then you have to shift your transfer case lever to the right and back to go through trasnfercase-neutral into 4lo.
Then you have to move your main transmission into gear and drive.

------------------------------
Edit: I saw the 70kmph (not mph) post. But you have a 2012 Sahara with 3.73 if I understand right. So still 3500rpm I'd guess is too low for 4LO. Are you sure it was 4LO and not the low gear mode on the main transmission?
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:31 PM   #26
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...4lo at 70mph, you should be over 4000 RPM..
Hello.

He is Canadian. He is expressing his speed in km/h NOT mph!

70 km/h is about 43 mph.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:47 PM   #27
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Does 4L favor snow?

I thought that 4H would be better for driving on snow, no?
Nope. It's the same exact traction as 4hi except in a much lower ratio. If you get stuck it may help limit you from over spinning your wheels but unless you have a rubicon and use it to engage lockers, it adds no traction. Also in the snow, lockers make turning harder so its only good to use them to get unstuck
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:27 PM   #28
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Nope. It's the same exact traction as 4hi except in a much lower ratio. If you get stuck it may help limit you from over spinning your wheels but unless you have a rubicon and use it to engage lockers, it adds no traction. Also in the snow, lockers make turning harder so its only good to use them to get unstuck
But wouldn't 4LO be give you wheel spin.
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Old 02-06-2014, 04:46 AM   #29
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Less likely to spin since everything other then the motor will be spinning slower. Look at it this way--in first gear 4wd high the tires can spin a whole lot faster at a given rpm then in 4wd low.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:02 AM   #30
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Wheel spin certainly wouldn't help with traction. It does help in certain situations along with momentum. Wheel spin alone is useless.

There are two important differences between 4H and 4L in a JK. The first is the obvious lower gearing which is very important with a manual transmission along with the anti stall and being able to start in 1st without the clutch.
Second is that ESP is automatically off in 4L. That could be what makes you think you have more wheel spin. When using 4H off road you should manually turn ESP off by holding the button in for at least 5 seconds. If you don't, it can actually cause you to get stuck in situations where wheel spin and momentum are desired.

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