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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > WK2 Grand Cherokee Forum > 4WD malfunction on the beach (SERV 4WD)

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Unread 05-09-2012, 10:38 AM   #76
Kev M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
So, and I think I know the answer to this, with the system in the new GCs, you cannot ever get it truly into a 2WD/rear wheel drive only mode - correct? I'm realizing this now, but wasn't totally aware of it I guess pre-purchase. It is marketed as a "4x4", so I guess I kind of assumed that it would have a 2WD mode. Normally I research the h#ll out of everything, probably assumed too much with this one though...
Correct, though truthfully there's probably little difference.

I don't know HOW variable the transfer case is - i.e. is it limited to something 60/40 or can it, like many automatic systems go about 90%+ to one end (rear)?

And even if it doesn't, how many 4x4's spun all the axles, all the time anyway (unless they had manually locking hubs and a multi-speed transfer case). When it comes to automatic systems they almost always spin most of the components, most of the time anyway. So what would be the advantage of running it in 2wd? There won't be much (if any) of a MPG benefit, there is, for all intensive purposes, the same amount of drag, the same amount of vehicle weight to move etc.

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Unread 05-09-2012, 10:40 AM   #77
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I don't think WKs (2005-2010) had a 2wd mode either. My 07 WK QDII does not.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #78
onebluemcm
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Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
Correct, though truthfully there's probably little difference.

I don't know HOW variable the transfer case is - i.e. is it limited to something 60/40 or can it, like many automatic systems go about 90%+ to one end (rear)?

And even if it doesn't, how many 4x4's spun all the axles, all the time anyway (unless they had manually locking hubs and a multi-speed transfer case). When it comes to automatic systems they almost always spin most of the components, most of the time anyway. So what would be the advantage of running it in 2wd? There won't be much (if any) of a MPG benefit, there is, for all intensive purposes, the same amount of drag, the same amount of vehicle weight to move etc.
Arguably though, long term reliability and longevity could be better with a system without the complexity of a LS transfer case. Maybe technology has come a good long way and this is less of an issue, but if you don't have any kind of "clutch" in your transfer case it can't go bad can it.... If it's going to function the way it's supposed to, and well I should say, then fine - certainly if it's an actual improvement over an older standard 4WD system great. Posts like this have me worried though for the same reasons - reliability. We've been in some really remote back country in various places around the country and if I'd had a true 4WD failure it would have cost many hundreds of dollars to get pulled out. In my good old Ranger, that was the least of my worries...
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Unread 05-09-2012, 12:08 PM   #79
Kev M
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Though I totally hear you on the risks of a break-down in remote back country that just suggests to me that you need to make sure you remain self-reliant - i.e. take a winch to get you out and hope that any breakdown would only reduce capability and not completely cripple the vehicle.

Truthfully variable slip transfer cases of one form or another are the norm on hundreds of thousands of AWD vehicles produced each year and they're not all going udders skyward so I imagine the odds are in favor of long-term reliability.

But obviously poo does happen from time-to-time (which is true on all vehicles).
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Unread 05-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #80
onebluemcm
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Ha - udders skyward, I like it!

For argument's sake, the vast, vast majority of AWD vehicles with a limited slip transfer case are on-road only and not subjected to the substantially higher loads and demands of off-roading.

Your point about ensuring a higher level of self reliance is well taken and something that I ascribe to. The kind of problem that initiated this thread though is the kind of thing that sort of just shouldn't happen. To me anyway, this kind of problem is an unacceptable failure in that once the guy was pulled out and back on "normal" ground, everything basically worked fine. It's not like he got stuck because of driver error, at least not from what I can tell of the situation - it does appear that the vehicle let him down in a situation where it reasonably should not have. Now, if he had gotten stuck with no drive train errors or what not then yeah, it's a driver miscalculation issue and being more self reliant is a very valid point.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 01:19 PM   #81
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Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
it does appear that the vehicle let him down in a situation where it reasonably should not have. Now, if he had gotten stuck with no drive train errors or what not then yeah, it's a driver miscalculation issue and being more self reliant is a very valid point.
This is exactly what happened and exactly what I have told the service manager - the system failed when I needed it and I no longer have faith in the off-road capabilities of this vehicle. There was no driver error, I was cruising along at 15mph on a flat strech of beach when the fronts stopped pulling, the rears dug in and the serv 4WD light started flashing. The entire reason I bought a Jeep (with the upgraded off road package by the way) was for the beach driving, now it's basically useless to me. I might as well have a 2WD, we don't really get a lot of snow here in NC and I don't go out mudding. I'm just glad I'm not an isolated case and it seems there are enough similar failures out there that Jeep is at least researching the issue.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 07:43 PM   #82
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Chrazy-Chris

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Unread 05-10-2012, 06:53 AM   #83
Kev M
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
Ha - udders skyward, I like it!
For argument's sake, the vast, vast majority of AWD vehicles with a limited slip transfer case are on-road only and not subjected to the substantially higher loads and demands of off-roading.
True, but still - look at Subarus - nothing but AWD since what, the 1980s? Including 250-300 hp turbos that DO get serious abuse. And it's not uncommon for Subarus to last hundreds of thousands of miles without a transmission/differential failure. So I still say these things are generally rugged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgiuliani View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by onebluemcm View Post
it does appear that the vehicle let him down in a situation where it reasonably should not have. Now, if he had gotten stuck with no drive train errors or what not then yeah, it's a driver miscalculation issue and being more self reliant is a very valid point.
This is exactly what happened and exactly what I have told the service manager - the system failed when I needed it and I no longer have faith in the off-road capabilities of this vehicle. There was no driver error, I was cruising along at 15mph on a flat strech of beach when the fronts stopped pulling, the rears dug in and the serv 4WD light started flashing. The entire reason I bought a Jeep (with the upgraded off road package by the way) was for the beach driving, now it's basically useless to me. I might as well have a 2WD, we don't really get a lot of snow here in NC and I don't go out mudding. I'm just glad I'm not an isolated case and it seems there are enough similar failures out there that Jeep is at least researching the issue.
Understood for sure - but it DOES appear to be a pretty isolated failure and though we would do well to be aware of it and approach with caution, each of our vehicles will more likely prove themselves to us and earn our trust than not.

I hope to make it down to the OB this fall...but I'll take her on the beach with caution and a 50' tow strap following a buddy (above the high water mark).
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Unread 05-14-2012, 02:59 PM   #84
z06vette1
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I wanted to post an update. I was able to have this issues resolved. The problem was a short in the four wheel drive/ transfer case switch the part number was 56046233AC. It was about a twenty minute fix at the dealer after the part arrived. I have had it on the beach since and it worked excellent. Very happy with the QL as it was great to raise the ride height and not feel bad about the sand plowing into the front facia etc. hope this helps to those that have experienced the same issue. I wasn't the only jeep hooked to the "Beast" humbly being towed from the NC beaches. Good luck everyone
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Unread 05-14-2012, 04:51 PM   #85
MaineJeep11
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It always seems to be those stupid little electrical things! Glad it was fixed and wasn't anything too serious though.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 05:48 AM   #86
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Thanx for closing the loop... glad to hear jeep and or dealer followed thru
Regards,
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Unread 05-15-2012, 05:59 AM   #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z06vette1 View Post
I wanted to post an update. I was able to have this issues resolved. The problem was a short in the four wheel drive/ transfer case switch the part number was 56046233AC. It was about a twenty minute fix at the dealer after the part arrived. I have had it on the beach since and it worked excellent. Very happy with the QL as it was great to raise the ride height and not feel bad about the sand plowing into the front facia etc. hope this helps to those that have experienced the same issue. I wasn't the only jeep hooked to the "Beast" humbly being towed from the NC beaches. Good luck everyone
Thanks for the update. I'm not gonna lie that is a HUGE relief for me because I am really looking forward to taking advantage of the selec-terrain when it is needed.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 09:05 AM   #88
z06vette1
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This was a frustrating issue to take care of! I think the service department at newirth motors is as happy as I am to have this issue fixed! Finally able to enjoy this vehicle on the beach. Chrysler still will not reimburse me for the tow off the beach the second time I was towed the driver remembered me and asked why I was stupid enough to try it again! All set for now hope the others with this issue can rest easy
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Unread 05-15-2012, 02:59 PM   #89
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I have seen this same issue for the XK. That was going to be Plan B for my similar error message if the differential solenoid swaps did not help. Fortunately for me, the solenoid in the front was my issue.
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Unread 05-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #90
Big50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M View Post
Correct, though truthfully there's probably little difference.

I don't know HOW variable the transfer case is - i.e. is it limited to something 60/40 or can it, like many automatic systems go about 90%+ to one end (rear)?

And even if it doesn't, how many 4x4's spun all the axles, all the time anyway (unless they had manually locking hubs and a multi-speed transfer case). When it comes to automatic systems they almost always spin most of the components, most of the time anyway. So what would be the advantage of running it in 2wd? There won't be much (if any) of a MPG benefit, there is, for all intensive purposes, the same amount of drag, the same amount of vehicle weight to move etc.
The drive train will rob considerably more hp/mpg's then a 2wd. As an example of drive train loss, many people will swap there drive shaft for a lightweight version. While it doesn't boost horsepower at the crank it takes less effort to turn the drive shaft, as a result you can pick up any where from 10-20 hp on the dyno where it measure how much hp is being delivered to the ground.
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