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Old 11-14-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
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When To Use 4H - Dumb Newb Question

2011 JK 2 door Sahara 3.73 Auto LSD 32" Bridgestone 255/70/18 Dueler ATs

Had it a couple months now and been lurking on the boards trying to educate myself. Previously had 2001 Grand Cherokee that had full-time 4WD. The JK puts a smile on my face every day!

Have read many differing opinions on use of 4H in the JK on pavement (and potential damage as it is not a full time system). I get not using it on dry pavement but still unsure of when I can safely use it.

Had our first real snowfall today and the roads were pretty slick. The Jeep handled very well in 2WD - ESP kicked in a couple of times, started to slide on acceleration a few times but got off the gas and it straightened right out. I intend to take a run at an empty parking lot to get used to it.

Was reluctant to put it in 4H as the roads were not absolutely "snow covered" - there were bare patches. Went up a few hills were everyone was struggling to maintain traction. Once I got near home with the full snow cover going up a hill, slapped it in to 4H and the traction was great!!

My question is - can I use 4H on wet pavement even though it may not be completely snow covered without damaging anything? I know, dumb newby question and I probably deserve to be flamed - but I'm going to ask anyway LOL.

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Old 11-14-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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My rule is if it is bad enough that you have to slow down to 25mph or slower around curves in the road then I kick in 4hi. If I feel like I can drive faster then I turn it off.

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Old 11-14-2011, 07:46 PM   #3
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There are a bunch of good threads on this. The website says not to use it on dry pavement as you said, it also says its okay to use on any slippery surfaces when driving under 88km/hr..So rain, dirt, sand, snow, slush, anything that could prevent the gripping while spinning is my interpretation of that... Others say different, others agree.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:55 PM   #4
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i agree with this, you will be just fine, even if the road isnt 100% covered it is still wet, if you feel the jeep jerking at all when you are making turns then most deff turn off 4h.. other wise you will be okay, good thing for on the fly shifting you can deal with it quickly for changes in road conditions, i live in the back country and would use 4h to get out of the back roads and switch to 2wd once i hit the city area. i promise you will be just fine
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rics1997
My rule is if it is bad enough that you have to slow down to 25mph or slower around curves in the road then I kick in 4hi. If I feel like I can drive faster then I turn it off.
This works.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:03 PM   #6
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True story Anti-Trust, you can shift on the fly so its easy to turn in bad patches and off when it clears up and then back on again if you need it. Don't go crazy, but you get the point...
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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So, backing up 25 feets after shifting out of 4h/4l isn't needed any more on the newer jeeps?
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Old 11-14-2011, 10:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raziel View Post
So, backing up 25 feets after shifting out of 4h/4l isn't needed any more on the newer jeeps?
No. There have not been hubs on Jeeps for many years.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:06 PM   #9
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Use it on low traction surfaces. If it's raining, don't engage it, slow down. Packed snow on the roads is low traction, but keep in mind you don't want to travel a whole lot faster than a speed you don't mind wiping out at.

Easiest way to break it is being engaged in 4L or 4H and turning on a high traction surface (like a parking lot). The tighter the turn, the more the drivetrain binds.
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Old 11-15-2011, 12:09 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by 3JKs1H1 View Post
Use it on low traction surfaces. If it's raining, don't engage it, slow down. Packed snow on the roads is low traction, but keep in mind you don't want to travel a whole lot faster than a speed you don't mind wiping out at.

Easiest way to break it is being engaged in 4L or 4H and turning on a high traction surface (like a parking lot). The tighter the turn, the more the drivetrain binds.
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You'll feel it "jump" in 4wd on hard surfaces when turning. You'll also hear a whine at low speeds. Bad.

If you feel like a surface is unsafe to drive on (traction-wise), use 4wd.
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:43 AM   #11
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Great advice, thanks to all!
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:48 AM   #12
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Thumbs up Good thread

While I'm a jeep newbie, I had a shift-on-the-fly 4x4 Tacoma as my year round DD for 4 years.

And I still find these opinions and information valuable.

So no, not a dumb question. And even though someone mighta had a 2004 thread about this, it's always nice to start a new one and get fresh opinions. Thanks for asking it.

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