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Old 11-01-2010, 03:40 PM   #1
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Driving in pouring down rain

What's your experience with driving your TJ in 4WD, in very wet conditions, highway driving? Do you notice a difference in traction and control versus 2WD? Any hydroplaning?
4WD works very well for me in those conditions as well as driving in slush.

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Old 11-01-2010, 03:44 PM   #2
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It's great so much more traction and no hydroplaning but horrible gas milage!

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Old 11-01-2010, 03:46 PM   #3
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Hydroplaning will not be cured with 4WD. 4WD is for off-road and snow/ice. Not wet pavement.

I honestly do not understand why some people have such issues driving in the rain. Its water for Christ's sake. I ride my motorcycle through it...1WD
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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Having lived in WA for a couple years I didn't have any issues 2wd in the rain. And it rains there a lot.

Except I-5 between at least Ft. Lewis and Seattle has slight tracks/ruts wore into the pavement. That got interesting sometimes, but then I just moved over a bit in the lane to stay out of the tracks.
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:08 PM   #5
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This below thread evolved into a discussion on driving with 4x4 in heavy rain around page 2 or so.. Mostly people agreed that it doesn't much help with the issue of hydroplaning.

http://www.wranglerforum.com/f33/4-l...h-61230-2.html
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:27 PM   #6
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I never use my 4wd until I get stuck
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:38 PM   #7
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I only use 4WD on a as needed basis in the snow. Like when going up hill or thru the really heavy stuff. Other then that it's 2WD all day.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
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As an avid stormchaser, I've found 4wd does help tremendously in the rain...however, it will not allow you to go even faster than you can in 2wd. If you were hydroplaning in 2wd, you will still hydroplane in 4wd. When you're getting torrential rains, often times your wheels will pull you right or left as you're going through the pools of water...with your rear wheels pushing you to maintain speed, they often try to push the ass end of the Jeep around. In rain, you're not likely to spin out, but it'll make it pull much harder right or left. When in 4wd, your front wheels are now pulling you along keeping your ass end in the back...and helping to pull you straight whenever the water tries to force your wheels right or left. Hope this makes sense.

Either way... if you're having trouble maintaining control at 45 mph in heavy rain, in my experience, 4wd will help you regain that control, but you still need to stay under 45mph or you're gonna have problems again.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:50 PM   #9
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I could be wrong but I don't think driving a TJ in 4wd on wet pavement is recommended, it doesn't offer enough slippage for the front diff, which can bind. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:54 PM   #10
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All I can say is that paying the $ to get good tires is worth it. I am running Maxxis Bighorns and I never slide or anything. You know how if there is a huge deep puddle on the side of the road it usually pulls you to that side as you go through it........well that doesnt happen with the Bighorns. I used to have BFGH ATs and they were horrible in the rain. Oh and I only use 4WD in deep mud or snow.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
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I don't use 4X4 on pavement in the rain. Snow, yes.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:11 PM   #12
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only when stuck. otherwise 2WD
I drive my RX8 in the rain with high performance summer tires that are almost no tread left never had problems.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:25 PM   #13
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Hydroplaning happens at a speed. You can calculate the speed for your Jeep with the following formula.

9 X SQRT P
or
9 times the square root of the tire pressure.

It won't make any difference if all for tires are powered or not.

TIRE
PRESSURE

HYDROPLANING KNOT/MPH

30

49/57

40

57/66

50

64/73

60

70/80

70

75/87

80

81/93
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJeepman View Post
What's your experience with driving your TJ in 4WD, in very wet conditions, highway driving? Do you notice a difference in traction and control versus 2WD? Any hydroplaning?
4WD works very well for me in those conditions as well as driving in slush.
Hydro planing is when your tires can't evacuate the water fast enough between the tire and the road, causing you to literally drive on water, rather than pavement.
4WD will not do anything for this.
Also, you really shouldn't be using 4WD on pavement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by missingbite View Post
Hydroplaning happens at a speed. You can calculate the speed for your Jeep with the following formula.
Wouldn't it also have to factor in the tread pattern?
I'm pretty sure you'll hydroplane quicker on a bald BFG A/T tire than, say a new BFG M/T.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:08 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pokey View Post
I could be wrong but I don't think driving a TJ in 4wd on wet pavement is recommended, it doesn't offer enough slippage for the front diff, which can bind. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
You're not wrong.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:18 PM   #16
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Torrential rain offers a lot more slippage than just standard wet pavement...it's really not all that different from driving through a really slushy parking lot. Now wet pavement or a slow steady rain...no way, not only will you have issues binding the drivetrain, but you'll even FEEL it binding the drivetrain.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missingbite View Post
Hydroplaning happens at a speed. You can calculate the speed for your Jeep with the following formula.

9 X SQRT P
Hydroplaning is much more complicated than that. You also must take into account: Tire width, Vehicle Weight, Tread Depth, Tread Pattern, Depth of water on road, Compound, etc.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:57 PM   #18
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From Jeep.com / Engineering FAQs
Quote:
With a Part-Time system, 2WD mode should be used during normal driving conditions and 4WD mode is to be used only when off-road or on wet or slippery surfaces.
With highway driving, there isn't a whole lot of turning to bind the gearing (crow hop). With that and under wet conditions (it says "wet or slippery" .... yes, it does), the tires will have enough slippage/flex to run in 4WD just fine, the way I interpret it.

There's a big difference using 4WD in heavy rains versus 2WD, a much more stable vehicle for tracking ahead resulting in a safer ride. Those front wheels pulling, instead of being pushed, make a very noticeable difference.

As for hydroplaning, the wheels being locked together will help prevent a single wheel spinning by itself and losing more traction, on top of the water, so yes there is some benefit, maybe just enough in some circumstances.

Although one has to be careful as to what speed they at at when shifting in or out of 4WD, the speed while in 4WD, isn't resticted by the transfer case, as far as I can tell.
Quote:
Q. Can I shift into 4WD High Range at any speed?
A. Shifting into 4WD High Range can be made with the vehicle stopped or in motion. If the vehicle is in motion, shifts can be made up to 55 mph (88km/h).
Quote:
Q. How fast can I drive in 4WD High Range?
A. You should not go faster than road conditions permit
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Old 11-01-2010, 10:06 PM   #19
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Bald tires will hydroplane easier. Tread pattern also comes into play. My point is that you will hydroplane at a given speed. The formula I gave is a good example for average road tire conditions. We use that formula in the airlines for landing on wet runways. Even though tread wear on the tires vary, it gives you a good idea. 4WD won't help at all. It's speed.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:44 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubba68CS View Post
Hydroplaning will not be cured with 4WD. 4WD is for off-road and snow/ice. Not wet pavement.

I honestly do not understand why some people have such issues driving in the rain. Its water for Christ's sake. I ride my motorcycle through it...1WD
X2 on the motorcycle in the rain.

As far as driving in the rain, it seems it's not all that good for the Jeep.
I guess I'll have to do a "limited" test since our forcast is 70% chance of rain tomorrow. Dang, wish I had some good tires it would be a LOT more fun!!!
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:27 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by monkeee2002 View Post
Hydro planing is when your tires can't evacuate the water fast enough between the tire and the road, causing you to literally drive on water, rather than pavement.
4WD will not do anything for this.
Also, you really shouldn't be using 4WD on pavement.
With front wheel drive (a minivan) I've had the front wheel, that was under power, spin like crazy when hydroplaning. Never experienced this in 4 wheel drive (my Jeep) as both wheels (1 front, 1 rear) under power would have to be hydroplaning together. Locking the front and rear axles together is an advantage in this situation, as it is for offroading. Bald tires .... that's another issue, "borrowing trouble", I call it.

As for driving on very wet pavement, I don't see a problem with 4WD on the highway. Chrysler actually says it's okay for wet or slippery conditions. As long as there's no "crow hop" (like in making sharp turns where I would likely disengage 4WD anyway), all should be okay.

As for motorcyclists (another Poster), they are either under overpasses or stopped along side the road in heavy rains, accompanied by strong winds, around here.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:48 AM   #22
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I would never want to drive in 4wd on the highway unless it was covered in snow and I was going pretty slow. I don't think I have ever driven any of my jeeps in 4wd over 45 mph.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:52 AM   #23
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With front wheel drive (a minivan) I've had the front wheel, that was under power, spin like crazy when hydroplaning. Never experienced this in 4 wheel drive (my Jeep) as both wheels (1 front, 1 rear) under power would have to be hydroplaning together. Locking the front and rear axles together is an advantage in this situation, as it is for offroading. Bald tires .... that's another issue, "borrowing trouble", I call it.

As for driving on very wet pavement, I don't see a problem with 4WD on the highway. Chrysler actually says it's okay for wet or slippery conditions. As long as there's no "crow hop" (like in making sharp turns where I would likely disengage 4WD anyway), all should be okay.

As for motorcyclists (another Poster), they are either under overpasses or stopped along side the road in heavy rains, accompanied by strong winds, around here.
If people are so apt to put their vehicles in 4WD for a little bit of water in your area, I think I'd avoid being caught on the road with you as well.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:04 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by pokey View Post
I could be wrong but I don't think driving a TJ in 4wd on wet pavement is recommended, it doesn't offer enough slippage for the front diff, which can bind. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
I agree with this statement. Rain does not constitute the need for engaging the front axle and is not really recommended for the drive train. Snow, mud, ice, dirt and rocks yes but rain, no. Slowing down in these conditions is the wise way to drive.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:16 AM   #25
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I agree with this statement. Rain does not constitute the need for engaging the front axle and is not really recommended for the drive train. Snow, mud, ice, dirt and rocks yes but rain, no. Slowing down in these conditions is the wise way to drive.
Where isn't it recommended for heavy rain, Chrysler says "wet or slippery conditions"? Heavy rain qualifies as "wet" to me, certainly isn't dry. 4WD, in the situation of adverse conditions (heavy rain, slush, snow, gravel, whatever), allows one to get the benefit of front wheel drive while having the rear wheel drive working in unison - a win-win.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:21 AM   #26
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If people are so apt to put their vehicles in 4WD for a little bit of water in your area, I think I'd avoid being caught on the road with you as well.
Who mentioned a "little it of water"? Yes, I'm a terror on the highway.

By the way, AWD vehicles are actively adjustng to driving conditions continuously, wet or dry. They just don't lock the axles. as I cruise by.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:27 AM   #27
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Heavy dpwnpours bring up all the oil on the road.... So to those who don't see it as a problem. I've been on an on ramp on torrential downpour and my damn rig slid sideways and wound up in an enbankment.... Thanks to oil on the roads and the Asphalt differences in each county and road/highway.
However four wheel drive SHOULD NOT be used on hard surfaces and that includes slippery hard surfaces as well.
Have a great day.
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:32 AM   #28
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Who mentioned a "little it of water"? Yes, I'm a terror on the highway.

By the way, AWD vehicles are actively adjustng to driving conditions continuously, wet or dry. They just don't lock the axles. as I cruise by.
Its truly terrifying how little skill people have behind the wheel. And to think, I've driven around on snow and ice in RWD vehicles all my life!!! OH MY FREAKING GOSH!!! HOW DID I SURVIVE WITHOUT 4WD TO PULL ME THROUGH!!!

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Old 11-02-2010, 09:32 AM   #29
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I was thinking if you in 4WD locking up front diff, what if you wanna steer trying to avoid something, is the handling gonna affect since front wheels are locked up?
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:33 AM   #30
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Heavy dpwnpours bring up all the oil on the road.... So to those who don't see it as a problem. I've been on an on ramp on torrential downpour and my damn rig slid sideways and wound up in an enbankment.... Thanks to oil on the roads and the Asphalt differences in each county and road/highway.
However four wheel drive SHOULD NOT be used on hard surfaces and that includes slippery hard surfaces as well.
Have a great day.
Actually, torrential downpours wash away all the road grime...its the drizzle that brings it up and DOESN'T wash it away. I'd much rather be caught in a torrential downpour on my bike than a light drizzle.

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