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Old 08-18-2011, 11:29 PM
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Hard to Shift into 4 Wheel Drive

This might be a stupid question but, I just bought a new 2011 wrangler unlimited and I tried shifting back it into 4 wheel drive when it was pouring rain earlier and I found that I wasn't able to move the lever from 2wd to 4wd. Am I doing something wrong? I wasn't going fast at all.

I hope someone can help me out. Let me know! Thanks.

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Old 08-19-2011, 04:46 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jburg
This might be a stupid question but, I just bought a new 2011 wrangler unlimited and I tried shifting back it into 4 wheel drive when it was pouring rain earlier and I found that I wasn't able to move the lever from 2wd to 4wd. Am I doing something wrong? I wasn't going fast at all.

I hope someone can help me out. Let me know! Thanks.
Let off on the gas and pull the shifter back steady. It should snap right in.
Practice today going a slower and if it doesn't go, swing by the dealer and ask if there is a problem.

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Old 08-19-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
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Let off on the gas and pull the shifter back steady. It should snap right in.
Practice today going a slower and if it doesn't go, swing by the dealer and ask if there is a problem.
As a general rule, I stop when switching. Whether it be from 4wd to 2wd, or 4wdH to 4wdL.

I think it's recommended you go 0mph-5mph before switching anyway.

But it does make sense that the newer ones have a speed lock. The old ones would just grindgrindgrind.

BTW: I don't know about the new ones, but all the YJ's and TJ's I've seen have always needed a little brute to pull the lever back. My YJ needs a nice forceful tug. Nothing too severe, but you can't tap it into 4wd.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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I found it was alot easier if you are slowing moving forward 2-3 miles per hour.. and shift into 4 WD...seems alot easier to shift instead of trying to do faster or from a dead stop
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:14 PM   #5
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If it doesn't go in, I usually just put it into neutral and try again and it usually goes right in.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:18 PM   #6
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You should never use four wheel drive on a hard surface road though regardless of hard shifting. It is not all wheel drive. Four wheel drive is for off road or loose surfaces. Rain is not considered a loose surface.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:32 PM   #7
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On a dirt road, 2H to 4H is easiest when moving (you can be going up to 50 MPH) and backing off the gas. It should easily move from 2H to 4H and 4H to 2H with a fairly low constant force.

4H to 4L is a more difficult...
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tjt94
You should never use four wheel drive on a hard surface road though regardless of hard shifting. It is not all wheel drive. Four wheel drive is for off road or loose surfaces. Rain is not considered a loose surface.
I had a teacher one time tell me never say never. What if you are pulling someone out of a ditch and you need to put it in low range? If you went by the rule of never locking in on hard ground that meens you would have to get in the ditch with whoever is stuck.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #9
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Slipping in and out of 2H and 4H is most easily accomplished by letting off the gas (so you're not loading the driveline) allowing the tcase gears to mesh. You could/should practice while going in a straight line on a low traction surface (like a dirt, sand or gravel road). You could do this in a parking lot, but it's not the preferred method.

Turning while in 4H or 4L on a high traction surface should not be done with a part-time tcase as it causes driveline binding, which could result in a broken tcase, ujoints, or differential.

Drive slowly in 4wd on grass and turn the wheel. You'll feel the system want to "hop". That's because a back wheel and front wheel want to turn at the same speed when the part time case is locked. On a left hand turn the rear inside wheel pivits more than the front inside wheel and something wants to give. The tire will slip, hop, or the driveline will pop.

As for the ditch, if your wheels are straight the 4wd should be fine. I've done lots of recoveries over the years without incident.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:59 PM   #10
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^^^ what he said. Exactly
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:02 AM   #11
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I had a teacher one time tell me never say never. What if you are pulling someone out of a ditch and you need to put it in low range? If you went by the rule of never locking in on hard ground that meens you would have to get in the ditch with whoever is stuck.
It didn't sound like he was pulling someone out of a ditch. I sounded like it was raining and he tried to shift into 4H. Whatever. It is just good to find out the differences between four wheel drive with a transfer case and an all wheel drive with a viscous coupling.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:07 AM   #12
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If it doesn't go in, I usually just put it into neutral and try again and it usually goes right in.
This is what I had to do, I was nervous at first mine didn't work properly (last truck was electronic).
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by IDSKoT

As a general rule, I stop when switching. Whether it be from 4wd to 2wd, or 4wdH to 4wdL.

I think it's recommended you go 0mph-5mph before switching anyway.

But it does make sense that the newer ones have a speed lock. The old ones would just grindgrindgrind.

BTW: I don't know about the new ones, but all the YJ's and TJ's I've seen have always needed a little brute to pull the lever back. My YJ needs a nice forceful tug. Nothing too severe, but you can't tap it into 4wd.
The newer Jeeps will go 4H on the fly at up to 50 mph.
Going 4L is different and you need to be crawling for it.
But what ever why you do it, let up on the gas and it should slip in.
First time always feels like you are pulling to hard. A little practice and you'll be a pro at it.
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Old 08-20-2011, 08:32 AM   #14
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If you've got an auto--pieceacake--4hi/4lo

Even if your stopped !

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Old 08-20-2011, 08:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by 3JKs1H1 View Post
Slipping in and out of 2H and 4H is most easily accomplished by letting off the gas (so you're not loading the driveline) allowing the tcase gears to mesh. You could/should practice while going in a straight line on a low traction surface (like a dirt, sand or gravel road). You could do this in a parking lot, but it's not the preferred method.

Turning while in 4H or 4L on a high traction surface should not be done with a part-time tcase as it causes driveline binding, which could result in a broken tcase, ujoints, or differential.

Drive slowly in 4wd on grass and turn the wheel. You'll feel the system want to "hop". That's because a back wheel and front wheel want to turn at the same speed when the part time case is locked. On a left hand turn the rear inside wheel pivits more than the front inside wheel and something wants to give. The tire will slip, hop, or the driveline will pop.

As for the ditch, if your wheels are straight the 4wd should be fine. I've done lots of recoveries over the years without incident.
+1 If i think i might need the 4 wheel drive on the highway during the winter, i put it in when i'm in the drive way (dirt and snow covered) and take it out of 4 wheel almost immediately but dont unlock the hubs by backing up. That way, it goes into four wheel drive at almost any speed easily....and out just as simply.

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Old 02-21-2013, 04:56 AM   #16
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Shifting from 4L to 2 Wheel problem

I have a JK 2010 Unlimited which I purchased Feb 15 2013 and the next day I put it in 4 wheel drive to climb a three ft. high pile of ice. It was a beautiful thing until I tried putting it back on 2 wheel drive. I tried while in park, neuteral and moving at under 5 mph. Nothing... I thought I was going to break the shift...after 15 minutes, while on park it finally shifted back into 2 wheel drive. I don't dare do it again.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:25 AM   #17
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:10 AM   #18
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Before Daggo bursts a blood vessel. Here is the procedure listed in the manual.

Shifting Procedure
2H to 4H or 4H to 2H

Shifting between 2H and 4H can be made with the vehicle stopped or in motion. With the vehicle in motion, the transfer case will engage/disengage faster if you momentarily release the accelerator pedal after completing the shift. Apply a constant force when shifting the transfer case lever.

4H to 4L or 4L to 4H
With the vehicle rolling at 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h), shift an automatic transmission into NEUTRAL (N), or press the clutch pedal on a manual transmission. While the vehicle is coasting at 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h), shift the transfer case lever firmly to the desired position. Do not pause with the transfer case in N (Neutral). Once the shift is completed, place the automatic transmission into DRIVE or release the clutch pedal on a manual transmis- sion.

NOTE: Shifting into or out of 4L is possible with the vehicle completely stopped; however, difficulty may occur due to the mating teeth not being properly aligned. Several attempts may be required for clutch teeth align- ment and shift completion to occur. The preferred method is with the vehicle rolling at 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h). Avoid attempting to engage or disengage 4L with the vehicle moving faster than 2 to 3 mph (3 to 5 km/h).
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:13 AM   #19
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Before Daggo bursts a blood vessel. Here is the procedure listed in the manual.
That wasn't the reason for the head shake. First the thread is 2 years old and second he said that he would never do that again.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:29 AM   #20
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That wasn't the reason for the head shake. First the thread is 2 years old and second he said that he would never do that again.
Great, I thought I would provide some valuable, correct info instead of an emoticon.
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:10 AM   #21
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try reverse

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Originally Posted by Jughead61 View Post
I have a JK 2010 Unlimited which I purchased Feb 15 2013 and the next day I put it in 4 wheel drive to climb a three ft. high pile of ice. It was a beautiful thing until I tried putting it back on 2 wheel drive. I tried while in park, neuteral and moving at under 5 mph. Nothing... I thought I was going to break the shift...after 15 minutes, while on park it finally shifted back into 2 wheel drive. I don't dare do it again.
In the old days, not just with jeeps, we would have to stop and back up a little to get it out of 4wd.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:56 AM   #22
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Pulled into a parking spot where the plow truck had made a big snow mountain, let the wife out so she could go shop. Obvious next step was 4H and slammed it up the mini-mountain like a Yeti humping a snowman. Wife came out, climbed in, gave me the "really?!" face and I backed out still in 4H. Stopped. Put it in 2H, reversed and turned slightly a bit more to clear another car and the Jeep felt like it never disengaged from 4H. It didn't "feel" like it disengaged until I pulled forward. First time that has happened. Weird?

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