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Unread 07-07-2004, 11:11 PM   #1
stevenjs
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Jeep Wrangler low 4WD : is this a hassle to engage?

Greetings all,


After 20 years of motorcycling I've been looking to buy my first "car," and I've had a lifelong desire to own a Jeep Wrangler. I have some regular need for off road capabilities, and from what I have read at the Jeep web site (being a complete newbie to 4WD), getting into low 4WD seems like a magic trick, or a major hassle. And that's for the 2004 models.

The jeep site says, in order to use low 4WD, you have to shift into neutral while going 2-3 mph, then engage the low 4WD, and shift into gear. All the while you're going up hill when you realize you need it????!!


It sounds rather difficult even on level ground or an easy decline. And 2-3 mph? What if it's 1 or 4 mph? Then it doesn't work? And the procedure is what, eyeball the speedometer for 2-3 mph, as fast as can be shift into neutral, engage the drive, and shift into gear before you accidentally get to 4 mph or slip to 1 mph??!


I'd much appreciate hearing from those experienced with jeeps who can shed some light on real world engagement and use of low 4WD.


Thanks.

regards,

stevenjs
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Unread 07-07-2004, 11:23 PM   #2
TellyDSP
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Well, I don't think there's much a difference between any year when it comes to difficulty. You want the tranny in neutral while switching. It isn't really magic. Just get the wheels rolling, not fast, and switch in. I've also done it while standing still. Keep in mind you don't want to engage 4wd, especially low, on solid ground(ie: blacktop)

Quote:
The jeep site says, in order to use low 4WD, you have to shift into neutral while going 2-3 mph, then engage the low 4WD, and shift into gear. All the while you're going up hill when you realize you need it????!!
Deffinately should be reading lines/trails better. Nothing personal.

I wouldn't say it's really difficult or a science. Engage it when you need it, and disengage when you don't. Don't use 4lo for fast speed, use it for crawling. 4hi works for legal speeds, but if you're going "legal" speed, chances are you don't need 4ed. Keep in mind it's not AWD. The 2-3MPH is not set instone. Your Jeep won't grenade at 4MPH.

HTH
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Unread 07-07-2004, 11:40 PM   #3
stevenjs
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Thank you, Telly DSP.

I'm still a little confused though. I posted to the YJ forum, and the respondant claimed you had to be stopped to engage 4lo in a YJ, and had no idea why you had to be moving to engage it on a TJ. He said a friend with a TJ could not even engage it moving either, and produced some god awful sound. Clearly there is some art to it.

Being a complete newbie, I have no idea about reading trails or "lines," whatever that is. I've taken the motorcyle many places that should require a jeep, and there is "go" and "stop and forget it" as far as reading goes.

But I should think your options could easily be severely limited in terrain suddenly turned precarious, as to whether you could coast in neutral at 2-3 miles per hour to get into 4Lo if perchance you did not anticipate the need for it. Can you engage it moving backwards??

Will it "grenade" at 7 mph? How forgiving is it?

regards,

stevenjs
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Unread 07-08-2004, 01:42 AM   #4
Baas
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Lower than low

Bull!! I own a 2004 Sport and I have changed into 4 lo standing still and moving with no funny sounds or anything.
4WD lesson one: As soon as you hit the track you do 2 things –
1 Deflate your tires to about 1.5 bar or 1 bar for sand (I don’t know what the conversion is to PSI but fully inflated is 2.5 bar so do the math)
2 Engage 4WD lo range.
The only time I have ever used 4WD High range was driving on 100’ dunes in Namibia (South West Africa). I could not get enough speed in low range (Even in 4th) and opted for 3rd gear 4WD high range after about the 3rd try.
Remember as slow as possible and as fast as necessary!
Good luck
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Unread 07-08-2004, 01:54 AM   #5
kizer
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stevenjs

Its not hard at all. I would say visit a dealer and have him show you the ins and outs. After you shift a few times you'll wonder what the fuss was all about.

If your planning on buying a used one I would still visit a Jeep dealer. They can explain how things work and at the sametime you'll get a hands on lesson and be on top of things before you pickup a used one.

Sometimes I can shift into 4lo moving very slowly and other times I have to be dead stopped.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 07:38 AM   #6
Andy1100
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I've never had a problem. I always come to a complete stop, put the gear shift in neutral, pull on the handle to 4lo. Piece o' cake! I do the same to disengage. Full stop, neutral, and shift out of 4lo.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 08:48 AM   #7
RockRunner85
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Heres the deal with the Rubi tcase well atleast mine. I can't shift into 4lo when moving or it will grind no matter how slow I go. I have to be stopped. Sometimes when pulling the lever back to 4lo it won't go any farther than say neutral so what I do is let off the brake and let the jeep roll a slight bit and it pops in or I slightly let the clutch out until it barely barely catches and it will pop right in.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 10:27 AM   #8
stevenjs
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Thank you, Gentlemen,

It would seem from all your responses that one thing is certain: you can count on engaging 4 low when stopped. That, to me, makes the most sense and is how I'd want it to be.

RockRunner confirms what the respondant in the YJ forum said, sometimes engaging while moving produces the dreaded grind, but it seems there are times when being stopped is not enough either and he needs to let out the brake or clutch to engage the 4Low. This might be due to the new technology in the Rubicon, however.

RockRunner, have you ever let out the brake to engage the 4 low while rolling a bit backward?

Kizer, thanks for the dealer tip. I'm thinking used right now, likely a '97 or '98 Sahara. I suppose most dealers will have used as well as new.

regards,

stevenjs
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Unread 07-08-2004, 11:42 AM   #9
kairo
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Mine's a bit different, and allthough i'm driving a vehicle over twenty years older then yours I thought i'd throw it in for good measure. I have a dana 300 trans. case and the easiest way i've found to go to 4 low is leave it in first gear (lock the hubs of course) and let off the clutch while applying pressure to the 4wd shifter. as soon as you let off the clutch enough it should just slip in. coming in and out of 4 high I often have to play with it for a while. sometimes i've got to be going about 5 mph for it to release, sometimes it'll do it at a stand-still.

I'm also one who puts it in 4lo as soon as i hit the dirt and just use the upper gears.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 12:17 PM   #10
karma279
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I don't know what some of the fuss is about.... I have a '97 TJ with 88G on the clock and I have zero trouble engaging 4WL. I can do it rolling in first, rolling forward in neutral/clutch in (any gear) or at a dead stop. I can be in the mud in 4WH and decide to play, push in the clutch, shove it into 2WD and drop out spinning. And I beat the hell out of my Jeep..... never had any difficulty.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 12:40 PM   #11
RockRunner85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenjs
Thank you, Gentlemen,
RockRunner, have you ever let out the brake to engage the 4 low while rolling a bit backward?
Yeah its rolled foward and backwards not a problem. I'm talking about slight movement any more than just a slight crawl and you can hear the chain jump a tooth or two. I basically just slightly let off the brake until it moves enough for it to fall in.

If just letting off the brake doesn't let it go in because the jeep didn't move then I very slightly let the clutch out. Not even enough to make it move. If you let it out too much it will grind.

I don't know why mine is soo picky. When I first got it I tired to put it in moving slowly and it grinded. I tried yanking it into 4lo hard and it grinded. I don't know what gives.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 01:39 PM   #12
jkulbeth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockRunner85
Yeah its rolled foward and backwards not a problem. I'm talking about slight movement any more than just a slight crawl and you can hear the chain jump a tooth or two. I basically just slightly let off the brake until it moves enough for it to fall in.

If just letting off the brake doesn't let it go in because the jeep didn't move then I very slightly let the clutch out. Not even enough to make it move. If you let it out too much it will grind.

I don't know why mine is soo picky. When I first got it I tired to put it in moving slowly and it grinded. I tried yanking it into 4lo hard and it grinded. I don't know what gives.
Mine is the same way, and that's why I just come to complete stop for 4LO. My confidence isn't up with the rolling method after a few grinds. Stopping works and it's grind-free.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 06:37 PM   #13
lupinsea
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I've learned the hardway, this is what seems to work well for me:

2Hi --> 4Hi
  1. Drive like normal but lift your foot off the throttle
  2. Pull the transfer case lever straight back til it stops in 4Hi while coasting
  3. Foot back on the throttle and continue driving
That's it. It doesn't seem to like to engage 4Hi if the Jeep is stopped in neutral so I make sure I keep rolling. Also, for 2Hi --> 4Hi it's not necessary to put the tranny in neutral.


4Hi --> 4Lo
  1. Bring Jeep to a complete stop or 2 - 4 mph
  2. Toss tranny in neutral
  3. Pull t-case lever straight back to 4Lo
  4. Re-engage "Drive" or what ever gear you want
  5. Then drive

If you aren't familiar with the procedure it's not too bad: slow down, tranny in neutral, pull t-case lever, back into drive or gear.

Good luck.
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Unread 07-08-2004, 06:43 PM   #14
Thoughtcrime
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I've had no problems shifting into 4-Lo when stopped, I'm not sure why others do. Most of the time, I know beforehand whether or not I will need low gearing, as it's VERY low, so it's not the kind of thing you'd want to engage on the fly anyway. Regular 4WD (high) engages while moving, in fact, it engages better while moving I've found, and that's usually enough for those I need 4WD in a hurry situations anyway.
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