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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My brother and I both have 4x4 titans. We were talking about the 4x4 system today after lunch. He said they need to be put in 4x4 about every month or so--which I agree with also. However, he said that it would not hurt the truck to drive in 4-hi on dry pavement if you don't get above 50mph. I disagreed with him on this. My dad agreed with him also. Both of them said it would hurt the trucks to drive them in 4-lo on dry pavement, but not in 4-hi. Whom is right in this discussion?
 

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NEVER drive a 4X4 on dry pavement as you will bind up the system. Try turning the truck on dry ground and you'll feel it dragging.

Clint
 

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When you turn in a circle the inner tires travel a shorter distance than the outer tires but since they are locked together the energy is try to force the inner tires to go just as far. The tires need the loss of traction as with mud, ice, sand or snow to achieve this.

Clint
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My brother and dad said that in 4-hi only one wheel on front and one wheel on back would be turning and that would not hurt anything.
 

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4Hi and 4Lo are just different in gear ratio. The differentials are still working the same either way.

Many break this rule, but it is just never recommended. AWD can do it, not 4WD, they are different designs. How much can you afford needless repairs?
 

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no, not good for the truck. Still puts alot of stress needlessly on components. Not much in a straight line (besides killing mpg) but turning will put extra stress on the front end on dry pavement.
 

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Driving in 4WD on a dry road while going in a straight line can be done all day long with no tire wear etc. Doing so around town will drag an inside wheel and cause increased tire wear and probably more wear and tear on the drivetrain in general but....I've never met anyone whos drivetrain failed because of doing this. I drove my 04 Titan in 4WD in the rain all the time and in one instance, the wife drove the truck, not realizing it was in 4WD, for almost a week in the summer so...no, you shouldn't do it but you're not going to snap something off as some folks here would have you believe.
 

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ttg said:
My brother and dad said that in 4-hi only one wheel on front and one wheel on back would be turning and that would not hurt anything.
Their both right. But what they don't understand is that this is a part time system meaning there is no center differential to allow for slippage between the front and rear tires as you turn, so the difference between the front and rear turning radius will cause scuffing of the inner and dragging of the outter wheels because the front and rears are locked together.
 

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HudsonValleyTitan said:
Driving in 4WD on a dry road while going in a straight line can be done all day long with no tire wear etc. Doing so around town will drag an inside wheel and cause increased tire wear and probably more wear and tear on the drivetrain in general but....I've never met anyone whos drivetrain failed because of doing this. I drove my 04 Titan in 4WD in the rain all the time and in one instance, the wife drove the truck, not realizing it was in 4WD, for almost a week in the summer so...no, you shouldn't do it but you're not going to snap something off as some folks here would have you believe.
Consider it luck. ;)

I've witnessed an outer u-joint fail on a vehicle by driving it in 4wd in a dirt parking lot, then out on the street to make a u-turn (on pavement) and *BAM* busted joint.

Seeing that our transfer-cases are chain driven, not gear, any unnecessary stress put on it due to the difference in speed between the front and rear will cause the chain to stretch.

As was said above, the binding isn't caused because the left and right sides turn at different speeds, the issue is because the front and rear need to run at different speeds. When you make a turn, all 4 tires take a different path. Since the paths are all a different distance to the same point, the tires will turn at different speeds, both side to side (there are diffs in the axles to compensate for this) and front to rear (In 4wd the front and rear driveshafts are locked together, they MUST rotate at the same speed). Forces build up and most of the time this energy is released through chirping, bucking tires. However, sometimes the tires have more traction and that energy will find another way out. Path of least resistance...which may end up being the t-case, u-joint, CV joint, differential...

Also, our trucks (and most others without front hubs) don't really need to have the 4wd engaged regularly. The entire drivetrain is in motion while driving, even while in 2wd. Engaging 4wd will engage the front output shaft in the t-case, 2wd disengages this but the front driveshaft, diff, and axles will keep rotating.

Basic rule of thumb is don't use 4wd when you don't need it. Work proactively so you don't get stuck, but don't engage it just because it's raining.
 

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Yahooligan said:
Consider it luck. ;)

I've witnessed an outer u-joint fail on a vehicle by driving it in 4wd in a dirt parking lot, then out on the street to make a u-turn (on pavement) and *BAM* busted joint.

Seeing that our transfer-cases are chain driven, not gear, any unnecessary stress put on it due to the difference in speed between the front and rear will cause the chain to stretch.

As was said above, the binding isn't caused because the left and right sides turn at different speeds, the issue is because the front and rear need to run at different speeds. When you make a turn, all 4 tires take a different path. Since the paths are all a different distance to the same point, the tires will turn at different speeds, both side to side (there are diffs in the axles to compensate for this) and front to rear (In 4wd the front and rear driveshafts are locked together, they MUST rotate at the same speed). Forces build up and most of the time this energy is released through chirping, bucking tires. However, sometimes the tires have more traction and that energy will find another way out. Path of least resistance...which may end up being the t-case, u-joint, CV joint, differential...

Also, our trucks (and most others without front hubs) don't really need to have the 4wd engaged regularly. The entire drivetrain is in motion while driving, even while in 2wd. Engaging 4wd will engage the front output shaft in the t-case, 2wd disengages this but the front driveshaft, diff, and axles will keep rotating.

Basic rule of thumb is don't use 4wd when you don't need it. Work proactively so you don't get stuck, but don't engage it just because it's raining.
You'd have to do quite a bit of on pavement driving to kill a drivetrain though. I found that out first hand. But I've always used 4WD on all my trucks in very bad rainy weather over the years and have never had a problem. Sounds like the friend you're talking about may have done more damage while offroading and the dry pavement finally did it in. Now I don't say anyone should drive in 4WD on dry pavement....there's no reason to and it kills fuel mileage but, hitting a dry patch while driving in the snow or rain shouldn't be the death of a drivetrain. And I agree that doing this on a regular basis just causes premature wear of all parts involved.
 

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HudsonValleyTitan said:
You'd have to do quite a bit of on pavement driving to kill a drivetrain though. I found that out first hand. But I've always used 4WD on all my trucks in very bad rainy weather over the years and have never had a problem. Sounds like the friend you're talking about may have done more damage while offroading and the dry pavement finally did it in. Now I don't say anyone should drive in 4WD on dry pavement....there's no reason to and it kills fuel mileage but, hitting a dry patch while driving in the snow or rain shouldn't be the death of a drivetrain. And I agree that doing this on a regular basis just causes premature wear of all parts involved.
Yahooligan said:
Consider it luck. ;)
I have agree with Yahooligan on this one and with the explanation. HVT, you are correct as well, in that you have to drive quite a bit to kill the drivetrain. However, the reason that is so is not because it doesn't hurt... It's because of design safety factors.

The bottomline is that no one fully understands the concept of safety factors in design more than Engineers. The world and it's inhabitants have forced "those who would be blamed for manufactured parts failures due to individual stupidity" have had to design for excessive stress in manufactured parts because they know that someone, somewhere is going to push the part, and the vehicle way beyond what is normal. In order to build something that doesn't fail on a daily basis, it is somewhat overdesigned to compensate for human mental lapses.

There is a point of diminishing returns, as would be expected, where the cost of hyper-overstrengthening a part does not provide an economical solution, and someone will push the parts past even this raised level of performance.

So no, it is not a good idea to run a 4WD on dry pavement, and no, it won't necessarily fail right away, but yes, one day it will tell you that you have exceeded it's capacity to tolerate humanity's deficiencies. Count on it. :D
 

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Blackbeauty said:
The world and it's inhabitants have forced "those who would be blamed for manufactured parts failures due to individual stupidity"


DEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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ttg said:
My brother and I both have 4x4 titans. We were talking about the 4x4 system today after lunch. He said they need to be put in 4x4 about every month or so--which I agree with also. However, he said that it would not hurt the truck to drive in 4-hi on dry pavement if you don't get above 50mph. I disagreed with him on this. My dad agreed with him also. Both of them said it would hurt the trucks to drive them in 4-lo on dry pavement, but not in 4-hi. Whom is right in this discussion?
None of you are 100% right.

You can drive in 4-hi, and 4-low on pavement all you want without breaking anything (as long as you stay under the speed guidelines in the owners manual).

Breakage will occur when the driver is throttle happy, and one wheel has traction but the others don't.
 

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Don't do it... The C-Clips on our front drive axles are already insufficient and proned to break the way it is, no reason to instigate them into self-destructing because it may just wear just enough to decide to break later when at 62k miles and out of warranty. If one breaks, your front axle will slide out of the Diff and the only fix is to have the entire front Diff assembly replaced. Ouch!!!! :eek:
 

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Bullwinkle said:
None of you are 100% right.

You can drive in 4-hi, and 4-low on pavement all you want without breaking anything (as long as you stay under the speed guidelines in the owners manual).

Breakage will occur when the driver is throttle happy, and one wheel has traction but the others don't.
You're more wrong than most anyone so far. You may want to review how 4wd systems work, it has nothing to do with speed and everything to do with speed *differential* between the front and rear. Has nothing to do with being throttle happy and one wheel having traction.

Take it from someone that has worked on these systems and has been in the field for a good 20 years.
 

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Yahooligan said:
.... it has nothing to do with speed and everything to do with speed *differential* between the front and rear. Has nothing to do with being throttle happy and one wheel having traction......
Exactly!!!!

I've ridden with a first time 4x4 owner who had about 40k on the clock and I caught him using 4HI in the rain when I was riding with him. He'd been complaining about what a POS his Chevy was and all the problems he'd been having. When I asked, he told me he always used 4HI in any bad weather so I had to explain it to him. His continuous problems were excessive drivetrain slack and U-Joint popping. Although it can be disputable, I have no doubt that it was caused from using 4HI while on pavement in the rain.

As for the second statement, I would've ruined every 4x4 I've ever owned if that were the cause. That's like saying your Rear Diff will blowout from burning rubber with only one tire spinning all the time, I have yet to see that be a cause. ;)
 

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you can, but not advised... the system is developed to be able to be shifted into 4hi up to 55mph (says it in your owners manual)... so it would handle it, but its just not something you do unless its really icy or snowy...
 

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A-Rod said:
you can, but not advised... the system is developed to be able to be shifted into 4hi up to 55mph (says it in your owners manual)... so it would handle it, but its just not something you do unless its really icy or snowy...
It says 62 MPH in the manual but...that's kind of ridiculous to me. If it's slippery enough to be putting the truck into 4WD, why the hell are you doing 60 MPH?:jester:
 

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Good discussion. Good technical stuff from yahooligan. Some stuff I hadn't thought of. Thanks.

Here's my 2 cents.

If you never drive on snow or ice and never go offroad, then buy a 2WD. Save yourself some money, gas, maintenance, handling, and having to decide if you should use it or not.

I used to NEVER go into 4wd unless I was already stuck. Now I use my 4wd every day, lately anyway. I have never had a problem - knock on wood. I am careful though, not to turn too sharp if I find a patch of dry pavement.

I avoid rules of thumb if I think safety is in question. Pay attention and if you feel the rear end wanting to pass the front end, slowly slow down. Then go ahead and use 4wd until you are sure you don't need it anymore.
 

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I only use 4wd when I need it for traction in town for safety reasons (having the ability to accelerate out of the way of an out of control vehicle in heavy snow) or when sliding around in the mud off road.
 
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