I decided to take my 98 to the country. It ran beautiful climbing the hills on the interstate but when I got onto my driveway which was covered in 1+ foot of snow, I was very disappointed. I got stuck and it took a nice amount of time to get out. The passenger side wheels were spinning but the wheels on the driver side would only spin every so often and would only make a half revolution and stop. When I finally became un-stuck, I parked my zj half on the snow(passenger side) and half on the street (driver side). When it cam time to move, I was stuck again because the dry wheels(driver side) wouldnt spin! How is the Quadratrac system supposed to work?
It seems like the 4wd is not working correctly. Picture this: You are driving off road and all of a sudden the passenger side of the jeep falls into a swamp and the passenger side wheels are just spinning freely with no traction whatsoever, shouldnt the wheels on the driver side have power and turn so you can drive out? or are you stuck? This is how I felt in the snow, like there was no hope, then my dad drives his truck with 4wd on the same snow and eats through it like nothing was there. I thought the purpose of 4WD was that each wheel has power. I only have power on the passenger side of the car....the driver side wheels are getting no torque. I think maybe something in the differential broke, but I just got the Jeep so I dont have much knowledge about it.
nope they should not. 4wd works by sending power to both the front and rear axels. the power naturally flows to the wheel on each axel with the LEAST traction because that's the easiest way out. a limited slip deferential helps this by sensing a differnce in torque between the wheel and locking the differential. it kinda works but a locker goes one step farther by completely locking the differential so the wheels have to spin at the same rate all the time. it works well until you turn and the outside wheel has farther to travel than the inside wheel. but that's really a whole nother debate. i think that answered your question.
I'm confused now
Neither the front or rear wheel on the driver side were spinning. If my rear wheel on the driver side wouldve spun, i wouldnt have gotten stuck.......Isn't there a problem with my 4WD?
No it is working normally. Turn the vehicle around and try it on the other side. You should find the side with the least traction spins while the other just sit there. You might try using the ebrake a little to slow down the spining wheel. You need either good working limited slip diffs or lockers in the rear axle (for 3 wheels to turn) and maybe the front (for all 4 to turn).
This can be difficult to grasp. Your transfer case is working, since you are turning wheels at both the front and the rear axles. Your front and rear axles have the same type of differentials, so forget the front for now and think only of the rear axle.
Imagine a typical front engine, rear drive car. It is considered to be a 2-wheel drive, that is, power is delivered through two (rear) wheels. If you have a limited-slip type differential, when you break traction, both rear tires will spin, whether on wet or dry pavement, or dirt, or snow.
But if you do NOT have some sort of limited-slip or locker diff, you have what is commonly called an open differential. With an open diff, when you break traction, only ONE tire will spin-- the one with the LEAST amount of grip! And this is exactly what is happening with your Jeep.
BTW, all things being equal traction-wise, when one tire on a rear-drive vehicle spins, it will be on the right(passenger) side. I have read why but I can't recall well enough to explain it.
1995 5.2 ZJ Sold... but still in the family
THANKS alot! I completely understand how it works now, and have been doing some research. I like the ARB locker because I can have the best of both worlds, but it is a little too expensive (especially with the installation labor). I own a JEEP therefore it is embarrassing to get stuck with it. I drive on-road mainly throughout the year but I do drive occasionally in the mud/snow/woods. I need something that will not effect driveability or gas mileage or wear the drivetrain faster. What do you guys suggest I get?
Dual ARB's would probably be the best for you but you could just start with something like a Powertrax No-slip in the rear (assuming you have a D35 as I don't know of any locker available for the aluminum D44). You can install it your self if you are mechanically inclined.
The Quadra Trac t-case (NV 249) was not one of the best. In most of them don't lock into low range and will send power to the slipping end leaving you stuck but 98 was the last year so yours may lock I don't know. Most ZJ owners swap in a NV 242 t-case which gives you a 2wd position as well as Full Time High (open diff), Part Time High (locked), Neutral, and Part Time Low (locked). Here is a couple of pictures to help you find out what rear end you have. The first is the Dana 35 and the second is the Aluminum Dana 44.