The front wheels do not spin when in 4WD unless I back up briefly, then put it back in drive.
Hmmmm ... I guess I don't know then. I do remember that our Liberty didn't come out of 4wd (especially full-time) very easily when we first got it. I think the previous owner did not use it much and it was just a bit stiff and needed to be worked a few times. One winter with snow in Erie, PA running full-time a lot cured that problem. Now it shifts easily.
4-Low is not Full Time, it is Part-Time, meaning there will be binding on pavement.
To help with the shifting problem, sometimes I throw the tranny into Neutral before shifting the transfer case. This I think takes pressure off the transfer case and make it slip into 4 wheel drive easier.
Hope this helps!
sold - 2005 Liberty Limited CRD, 22G Package, Atlantic Blue, fully loaded.
2007 Grand Cherokee Limited Diesel 4x4
Are you doing this with the jeep on a lift or something?
It's pretty common that it takes a little bit for the transfer case to engage/disengage, especially when you are locking or unlocking it (which you would be doing every time you shift into 4wd with a command track).
Sometimes it "pops" in when after you drive for a few yards, or put it in reverse or something like that.
This happens especially on newer trucks because the parts are not quite "worn in" yet.
Ok, here's what I've determined. And if this is the case, then I feel kinda stupid bringing it up in the first place...
If I am standing still, in drive, foot on the brake, and shift it into either 4WD full or part time, it won't engage.
In the same scenario, but I put it in 4WD while in neutral then shift into drive, it engages.
While driving and I shift into 4WD, it engages.
Is this normal conditions for a Liberty? I don't seem to remember my '00 Cherokee (w/Command Trac) behaving this way.
FYI, I tested this on an icy slope.
Its okay. You really should be moving to engage the 4wd properly. It won't respond well sitting still. The gears need to mess properly and when they are moving you had the best chance of them aligning properly. I could shift a 231 sometimes at a stand still but never been able to shift a 242 at a stand still and actually get lucky that all the gears line up. That's why I tell my wife you need to know before you're in trouble that you need 4WD. If you get stuck its going to be harder to shift into 4wd, not impossible, but harder.
It sounds like your 4WD is working fine. Try to be moving when you engage. The instructions on how to properly engage 4WD are in the owner's manual. If you haven't already, you should read it to familiarize yourself with your vehicle.