Noob 4x4 Mistake/Question - Jeep Wrangler Forum

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Old 07-18-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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Noob 4x4 Mistake/Question

Hi all. Just traded in my 2002 Liberty for a 2011 Jeep Wrangler. Spent 10 years with the Liberty...was a good vehicle. The Wrangler is my first true 4x4.

So I'm in the garage today getting ready to back my Wrangler out, and thought I'd engage the 4 wheel drive to ensure it would engage for the first time and all. Backed out of the drive slowly, turned the wheel to straighten out on the street, and of course felt the binding. Not knowing what that was, gave it a little more gas, to move just enough to straighten out on the street. Drove around my street one time (1/2 mile loop) and turned back into the garage. Went back into 2 wheel drive, looked you guys up, come to find out that was an idiot move on dry pavement.

I wouldn't think that i've damaged anything, but thought I'd check with the experts on the board. How would one know if damage did occur?

Thanks and look forward to contributing to the forum once I know a little something.

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Old 07-18-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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i really doubt you hurt anything...... but DONT DO IT AGAIN.


life is too short to be taken seriously all the time,,,, go buy a MR.potato head and have some fun.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:02 PM   #3

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4lo or 4hi? It should be okay, worst case the weakest link the u-joint will bust, so maybe check those over.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Thanks. It was 4 HI
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:03 PM   #5
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Don’t feel too bad. When I bought my first Jeep (CJ7) in ’86 I did the same thing. Drove down the street after locking my hubs and engaging 4wheel drive. When I went to turn around I bound things up and had a heck of time getting out of 4whell drive. Everything was new to me; I had no idea what I was doing. No damage though.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:13 PM   #6
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When I was a mechanic there were always a few people (usually wives driving their husband's 4x4) that came in after our one allotted big snow storm of the year complaining about their vehicle "turning weird". 100% of the time they had it in 4wd and I never saw anything hurt.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:36 PM   #7
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Don't worry about it. If you damage something doing that it will be immediately apparent, what with the loud BANG and total loss of power...
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:53 PM   #8
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The Mrs took the Jeep to work one day. I was talking to her on the phone that day and asked how the Jeep went. She replied "Really good, it was great with the heavy traffic. I just put it in 4LO and let it crawl along like an automatic - I didn't have to use the clutch".
I nearly had a heart attack. Turned out she was well aware of the perils of 4wd use on pavement and was yanking my chain. She kept me going for a fair while too.
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Old 07-18-2011, 11:10 PM   #9
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^ I LOLed at your story.
"Own a Jeep and own a piece of history."

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #10
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Thanks for the response everyone. I took her for a test drive after in 2 wheel drive and maxed out the turning radius in both directions while driving to listen for any issues, which I didn't hear anything abnormal. I also inspected the shaft u- joint and could not detect any movement, and shifted in and out of 4WD while at a stop and was surprisingly silent when shifting. Even more so than my old Liberty. Just paranoid, but it seems everything is good to go.

I did look at my owners manual again, surprisingly there are no warnings driving in 4WD on pavement, it only states that "the transfer case is intended to be driven in the 2H position for normal street and highway conditions", but nothing specifically about driving conditions in 4WD.

Thanks again for the replies. Won't be doing that again.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:23 AM   #11
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Me and some friends went frog giggin one night and i had to put my TJ in 4hi. My 4wd light doesnt work and i forgot all about it and i drove 30 miles home the next morning in 4hi lol no damage though
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:24 AM   #12
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edit: nevermind, found it in search
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:30 AM   #13
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I was bought a Bronco OJ white "cheap" because the po thought something was wrong with it because of the binding on the dry pavement.
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Old 07-19-2011, 08:33 AM   #14

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4WD on DRY pavement can cause severe binding of the driveline and ujoints which can lead to severe driveline damage. 4WD on slippery/muddy/Dirt/Rock/Sand surfaces is OK.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:57 AM   #15
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Very confused??

I just purchase a 08 Wrangler X and I am trying to figure out why you are not suppose to drive in 4 wheel on pavement? So in the winter time is it ok when the road are slippery?

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