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Unread 05-25-2013, 07:19 PM   #1
thrownout22
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4-LO on pavement damage

Hey, so I just bought a 2006 Grand Cherokee Laredo. It has the full time AWD with 4-LO switch. I was told by people that you should test out the four wheel drive when buying a used vehicle, so I test drove the car in a parking lot in 4-LO. I shifted into it properly from neutral, with the vehicle slowly moving and so on.

Anyways, I just read that you should never use 4-LO on pavement, even if its for testing out. Read all about drivetrain binding and everything. I drove once around the small parking lot slowly and that was it. There were no crazy noises or anything, and it shifted back into normal AWD fine. It has been driving great since.

With all that in mind, how much damage was done? I learned my lesson. Thanks.

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Unread 05-25-2013, 07:40 PM   #2
dillonjm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrownout22 View Post
Hey, so I just bought a 2006 Grand Cherokee Laredo. It has the full time AWD with 4-LO switch. I was told by people that you should test out the four wheel drive when buying a used vehicle, so I test drove the car in a parking lot in 4-LO. I shifted into it properly from neutral, with the vehicle slowly moving and so on.

Anyways, I just read that you should never use 4-LO on pavement, even if its for testing out. Read all about drivetrain binding and everything. I drove once around the small parking lot slowly and that was it. There were no crazy noises or anything, and it shifted back into normal AWD fine. It has been driving great since.

With all that in mind, how much damage was done? I learned my lesson. Thanks.
You didn't hurt it. You'd know if you bound it up, you'd have pieces of the transfer case on the ground.

The problem arises because you have to have some slip somewhere or it will bind and grenade the tcase. The potential exists on pavement for your tires to have enough traction in a turn to not allow any slip as they would off road in 4low. Thetorque takes the path of least resistance and if you have enough traction that path is through the chain/output shafts. If you didnt grenade the tcase all is fine.
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Unread 05-25-2013, 08:51 PM   #3
thrownout22
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That is pretty much what I have read elsewhere.

So I did do one lap around the small parking lot (i.e. turning). So just to sum it up, no crazy noises or any noises for that matter, and no exploded transfer case means my vehicle is good to go? I couldn't stop worrying about this all day. As I said, definitely learned my lesson!

Thanks for your reply.
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Unread 05-25-2013, 09:04 PM   #4
dillonjm
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Again, yes. You didn't hurt it, you'd know.

No lesson to learn, the 4 low position isn't a jettison transfer case position, just realize the danger of high traction situations and 4 wheel drive.
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Unread 05-25-2013, 09:11 PM   #5
thrownout22
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Got it, thanks!
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Unread 05-28-2013, 02:56 PM   #6
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If you just did it once and didn't hear expensive noises (like going around a turn and BANG!) its fine. You can use it if you go straight and do not turn tightly. I have use it to pull boats out of steep ramps, as soon as I am out then I shift back to 4 high. Keep in mind in 4 low the front and rear driveshafts have to turn at the same speed. When you turn the front tires turn a sharper arc and have to turn farther. So the front driveshaft actually has to spin a bit faster than the rear. The full time 4-high position allows the driveshafts to turn at different speeds the part time position of 4 low does not. My ZJ also has 4 high part time and its the same deal. I use it in deep snow but not on dry roads. Then I put the Selectrac in 4 high full time.
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Unread 05-28-2013, 03:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by LouC View Post
If you just did it once and didn't hear expensive noises (like going around a turn and BANG!) its fine. You can use it if you go straight and do not turn tightly. I have use it to pull boats out of steep ramps, as soon as I am out then I shift back to 4 high. Keep in mind in 4 low the front and rear driveshafts have to turn at the same speed. When you turn the front tires turn a sharper arc and have to turn farther. So the front driveshaft actually has to spin a bit faster than the rear. The full time 4-high position allows the driveshafts to turn at different speeds the part time position of 4 low does not. My ZJ also has 4 high part time and its the same deal. I use it in deep snow but not on dry roads. Then I put the Selectrac in 4 high full time.
They have to turn the same speed in 4 high (some cases label it 4 part time) also. Its the 4 all time position (AWD) in the 242 and 247 cases that allow slip at the transfer case.
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Unread 05-29-2013, 11:50 AM   #8
thrownout22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouC View Post
If you just did it once and didn't hear expensive noises (like going around a turn and BANG!) its fine. You can use it if you go straight and do not turn tightly. I have use it to pull boats out of steep ramps, as soon as I am out then I shift back to 4 high. Keep in mind in 4 low the front and rear driveshafts have to turn at the same speed. When you turn the front tires turn a sharper arc and have to turn farther. So the front driveshaft actually has to spin a bit faster than the rear. The full time 4-high position allows the driveshafts to turn at different speeds the part time position of 4 low does not. My ZJ also has 4 high part time and its the same deal. I use it in deep snow but not on dry roads. Then I put the Selectrac in 4 high full time.
This is the same stuff I have been reading elsewhere. Definitely no expensive sounding noises were heard at all. Thanks for the reassurance. The Jeep is still driving great.
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Unread 05-30-2013, 03:38 AM   #9
Timo_90xj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrownout22 View Post
Anyways, I just read that you should never use 4-LO on pavement, even if its for testing out.
If the transfer case/ 4lo was so brittle you couldn't do a lap around the parking lot at slow speeds, it would NEVER handle any serious offroading we do with these transfer cases.


Consider it this way - which do you think causes more drivetrain strain on every possible component:
1. Doing a 5mph loop around the parking lot on 4lo on stock tires?
2. Going over a big sharp rock/ rock ledge on knobbly, aired-down 35" tires on a steep, dry incline on 4lo?

..yeah, it's the number two. People get so damn scared of breaking stuff when testing 4hi/ 4lo on parking lots and tell you not to do so, but never give a second thought on what kind of beating they do with their Jeeps when using 'em on the trails. It is true you should never use 4lo or 4hi (on vehicles with a 242, 231 or 241OR) for extended periods of time on dry pavement, but a short slow speed test will do not harm at all. If it did cause breakage, there already was a serious issue with the transfer case or axle shafts.
edit: IMO doing a slow speed figure-8 on a parking lot tells you quite a bit on the condition of the 4wd system. If you get any kind of weirdish noises (loud bangs or clicks), you know there's an issue with either the transfer case or front axle shaft u-joints/ CVs.
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Unread 06-04-2013, 12:34 PM   #10
thrownout22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo_90xj View Post
If the transfer case/ 4lo was so brittle you couldn't do a lap around the parking lot at slow speeds, it would NEVER handle any serious offroading we do with these transfer cases.


Consider it this way - which do you think causes more drivetrain strain on every possible component:
1. Doing a 5mph loop around the parking lot on 4lo on stock tires?
2. Going over a big sharp rock/ rock ledge on knobbly, aired-down 35" tires on a steep, dry incline on 4lo?

..yeah, it's the number two. People get so damn scared of breaking stuff when testing 4hi/ 4lo on parking lots and tell you not to do so, but never give a second thought on what kind of beating they do with their Jeeps when using 'em on the trails. It is true you should never use 4lo or 4hi (on vehicles with a 242, 231 or 241OR) for extended periods of time on dry pavement, but a short slow speed test will do not harm at all. If it did cause breakage, there already was a serious issue with the transfer case or axle shafts.
edit: IMO doing a slow speed figure-8 on a parking lot tells you quite a bit on the condition of the 4wd system. If you get any kind of weirdish noises (loud bangs or clicks), you know there's an issue with either the transfer case or front axle shaft u-joints/ CVs.
This is a very interesting perspective - it makes a ton of sense. Thank you for responding to this thread!

The new Jeep is still driving great by the way.
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