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Old 12-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
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Question Basic use of 4WD question

So our snow storm that we had yesterday got me thinking about some posts I have read on here before. I had to use my 4WD as I was driving home, but there were areas where I was able to turn it off. I have read a lot of people like to put the rig in reverse for about 20ft or so after disengaging the 4WD just to unbind the gears. I wasn't able to do that as I was engaging and disengaging on main roads with traffic and couldn't really go in reverse each time. So my question, is if that is actually required and are you hurting the 4WD system if you don't put it in reverse RIGHT after turning it off?? I did perform this action once I got home even though I had already turned the system off about 10 min. earlier.


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Old 12-05-2013, 10:27 AM   #2
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I bought my 04 new and have driven it through every WI winter since. I have never done the action you are describing. I wouldn't bother with it. Its made to be used.

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Old 12-05-2013, 10:30 AM   #3
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Never heard of that. Grip it and rip it, hasn't blown up or cause any problems yet. The only time I may go in reverse is to slide it into 4lo if it doesn't wanna bite going forward. Anytime after wheeling though I've always just put it back in 4hi, then 2hi right before I hop on the road
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:03 AM   #4
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That process may be necessary in other 4wd vehicles (thinking older pickups).
But, in a TJ, you can go from 2h to 4h and back all day long without having to back up. Ever. Unless you need to, to get where you need to go.

It's been a tried and true Jeep TJ tradition for me since 2005.
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:57 PM   #5
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Yeah never heard of that reversing thing before either... The owners manual has a section about engaging 4wd and I don't recall seeing it in there either. Owners manual also has the speed limitations for 2H to 4H and also the proper procedure for putting it into 4L. If you don't have one, I'm sure there's on online somewhere.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:01 PM   #6
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The thing about going in reverse after taking it out of 4HI is just something I've read on a few threads here on the site. Was just curious as to how important that might be when disengaging the system. Haven't heard of it before or read it anywhere else so that's why I questioned it.
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Old 12-05-2013, 01:11 PM   #7
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y'all must be young.....back in the day, you had to go to reverse for about 10 feet to take it out of 4wd.....before the days of shift on the fly, and get out of the cab to unlock the hubs...
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #8
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y'all must be young.....back in the day, you had to go to reverse for about 10 feet to take it out of 4wd.....before the days of shift on the fly, and get out of the cab to unlock the hubs...
How far back was this day? Locking hubs are very familiar to me, but I have no memory of needing to back up any measurable distance to get in or out of 4WD. Just rocking back and forth some, maybe a foot. These were on many vehicles going back to the 40's.
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Old 12-05-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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This is my first winter with my own Jeep. It is interesting to see how many questions there are asking how to use 4WD, most being fair and understandable. It is even more interesting to see how many bizarre superstitions and rituals others have developed to stave off the unpredictable 4WD gods.
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:30 PM   #10
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4WD does wonders, that's all I have to say haha
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Old 12-05-2013, 04:54 PM   #11
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In all honesty though, whether there is anything to it or not, what does it hurt to do it? If it makes you feel better somehow, knock yourself out. Just try to not back in to whatever you had to 4wd out of!
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Old 12-05-2013, 05:04 PM   #12
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In all honesty though, whether there is anything to it or not, what does it hurt to do it? If it makes you feel better somehow, knock yourself out. Just try to not back in to whatever you had to 4wd out of!
Because it confuses your logical understanding of how things work if you clutter your mind with irrational and unnecessary ritual.

4WD, especially on a Jeep, is a fairly simple mechanical process. There is little to be confused about. Adding a layer of mystery to can affect other areas of systematic problem solving.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:22 PM   #13
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We had a 75 chevy 4x4 way back and that truck you had to reverse sometimes to get out of 4x4. If physically couldnt be shifted unless you unbound the drivetrain. As you backed up the lever would suddenly release and move easy and you were back to 2wd.

Our jeeps are built a bit better then that. If the lever moves easily into the 2wd position there's no need to reverse.
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:31 PM   #14
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We had a 75 chevy 4x4 way back and that truck you had to reverse sometimes to get out of 4x4. If physically couldnt be shifted unless you unbound the drivetrain. As you backed up the lever would suddenly release and move easy and you were back to 2wd.

Our jeeps are built a bit better then that. If the lever moves easily into the 2wd position there's no need to reverse.
10 feet?
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Old 12-05-2013, 06:33 PM   #15
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Can you shift into 2 wheel from 4hi while driving ?
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Old 12-05-2013, 07:35 PM   #16
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Can you shift into 2 wheel from 4hi while driving ?
Yes.
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:59 PM   #17
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yes the owners book i got said you could do it at speed up to 50mph... but i wouldn't test that personally
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:14 PM   #18
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Likely from procedure with auto locking hubs

Many 4x4 with auto hubs had to be backed up a few feet to unlatch the auto locking hubs so that hubs were disconnected from axles
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #19
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yes the owners book i got said you could do it at speed up to 50mph... but i wouldn't test that personally
I've shifted in and out of 4h going up to about 50mph. Never had any problems.
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:50 PM   #20
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yes the owners book i got said you could do it at speed up to 50mph... but i wouldn't test that personally
I have gone in and out of 4hi at 40-45mph while coasting and going easy on the lever. I haven't felt or heard a thing. If the Jeep is traveling in a straight line, the front and rear drive lines should be spinning at the same speed and ought to connect just fine. Trying this under load may possibly be an issue. Going into 4lo is an entirely different matter.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:00 PM   #21
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To add one more thing about this idea that our 4wd system is somehow delicate and fragile: how is it that guys can crawl around Moab in 4WD and locked on high traction slick rock and not constantly tear apart their drive lines? The point here is that people worry far too much about driving in 4wd on the street.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:05 PM   #22
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i did it at 35 once on sow and my jeep went sideways so i just do not do it anymore :P
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:13 PM   #23
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i did it at 35 once on sow and my jeep went sideways so i just do not do it anymore :P
Were you coasting during the shift? I'm feeling like I want to try to recreate this in a safe place. I'm not sure why the jeep would lose traction on snow and go sideways just because the front wheels were engaged at speed. There is something more to the equation. Maybe you were already sliding without realizing it?
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:14 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Timberline View Post
So our snow storm that we had yesterday got me thinking about some posts I have read on here before. I had to use my 4WD as I was driving home, but there were areas where I was able to turn it off. I have read a lot of people like to put the rig in reverse for about 20ft or so after disengaging the 4WD just to unbind the gears. I wasn't able to do that as I was engaging and disengaging on main roads with traffic and couldn't really go in reverse each time. So my question, is if that is actually required and are you hurting the 4WD system if you don't put it in reverse RIGHT after turning it off?? I did perform this action once I got home even though I had already turned the system off about 10 min. earlier.

the only time I find I have to reverse to unbind anything is when I disengage my lockers, particularly the front locker, but not for 4wd.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:23 PM   #25
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I have gone in and out of 4hi at 40-45mph while coasting and going easy on the lever. I haven't felt or heard a thing. If the Jeep is traveling in a straight line, the front and rear drive lines should be spinning at the same speed and ought to connect just fine. Trying this under load may possibly be an issue. Going into 4lo is an entirely different matter.
Not under load is exactly right. When I shift in and out of 4hi, I do it right as I'm letting off the gas. That way it's not pushing or pulling, reducing the change of gear mashing.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:27 PM   #26
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I heard with these new jk's you have to go in reverse for 2 miles after each time you go to 4lo. oh forgot about the 3 point turn prior to going into reverse.
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:31 PM   #27
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I heard with these new jk's you have to go in reverse for 2 miles after each time you go to 4lo. oh forgot about the 3 point turn prior to going into reverse.
No. No. No. You are supposed to go to the dealer in order to disengage 4wd. These things are delicate.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:05 AM   #28
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Were you coasting during the shift? I'm feeling like I want to try to recreate this in a safe place. I'm not sure why the jeep would lose traction on snow and go sideways just because the front wheels were engaged at speed. There is something more to the equation. Maybe you were already sliding without realizing it?

There's some nerdy physics and dynamics that explains why that may occur. Basically, as I understand it, if you're putting power to the wheels (you're in gear with a manual) the total friction on your tire changes direction when you go into neutral. That's why race car drivers downshift around corners. They do it for compression breaking but also because it helps them stick to the road.

Any enginerds out there that can explain this better?

Also, I have the worlds crappiest/hardest tires so I sometimes have to use 4hi when it rains and I've successfully shifted from 4hi to 2hi at all sorts of speeds between 10 and 40mph to no ill affects. I would recommend that you only do this in a straight line though.
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:22 AM   #29
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In the late 80s I had a Toyota 4’Runner that needed that 10' or 20' in reverse to get the transfer case to unbind & come out of 4wd. It was pretty obvious if it was stuck in 4wd as the truck would come to a stop in a corner if the pavement was dry.
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Old 12-06-2013, 09:43 AM   #30
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Yep, my 77 chevy with the np205 needed anywhere from 10-20ft sometimes to get it fully out of 4wd.

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