Are extended periods of 4x4 alright? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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  #1  
Old 12-16-2008
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Are extended periods of 4x4 alright?

I was wondering if keeping my truck in 4WD for long periods of time is okay, or will it hurt anything? We have compact snow and ice on our local highway here with some clear spots but it doesn't look like the roads will be totally cleared for quite awhile. Our daytime highs are barely breaking out of single digits and the lows are well below zero with more snow on the way.

I have the AVM hubs and my drive to work is about 35 miles. Top speeds are only 45-50 in the good areas, 35-40 on the icy parts. I just don't really want to take it out of 4WD in case I hit a really bad patch and need it right away.

Thanks guys.
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Old 12-16-2008
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You will be fine. The 01 and up spin the front diff and driveshaft all the time because of the lack of hubs. The only time its bad is when you are on dry pavement and making sharp turns often.
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Old 12-16-2008
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What do you mean lack of hubs?
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Old 12-16-2008
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Instead of hubs there are CVs like a front drive car.
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  #5  
Old 12-16-2008
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he means you dont have to lock anything in. it is a live axle setup which means the half shafts are spinning all the time whether you are in 4wd or not.
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Old 12-16-2008
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yeah you will be fine dont just hammer on it i have run mine for a 100 mile trip home b4 and that was at speeds around 60 to 65
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Old 12-16-2008
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Good deal. My next question was going to be how fast can I go, but looks like it just got answered. Thanks guys!
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Old 12-16-2008
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You will be fine at any speed. In my manual it says I can switch in and out of 4wd at any speed. I have driven 90 MPH just to see if I could and it worked just fine.
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  #9  
Old 12-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fddriver02 View Post
You will be fine at any speed. In my manual it says I can switch in and out of 4wd at any speed. I have driven 90 MPH just to see if I could and it worked just fine.
haha i have gone 90mph too and i can hear the gears in the t-case haha.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2008
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also, the nice thing about the 2001+ auto hubs are you don't need to back up to disengage them.
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edgeaholic (tm) View Post
also, the nice thing about the 2001+ auto hubs are you don't need to back up to disengage them.

x2, I love that feature.

I drive 15+ miles to work in 4x4 sometimes and have no problems.
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RentonRanger View Post
Good deal. My next question was going to be how fast can I go, but looks like it just got answered. Thanks guys!
your owners manual says not to go over 55 but you can cruise around 65-70 and be fine i wouldn't recommend going 80 or 90 for long periods of time.
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Old 12-17-2008
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i use 4x4 all the time in the winter for extended periods of time. i just try not to go over 55. if i do i just switch it to 2wd
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  #14  
Old 12-17-2008
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Yup mines parked in 4wd right now and probably wont get switched out any time soon..

This in not traffic, its choreographed car skating.. one of them gets out of step ya better be ready to get out of the way...
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Old 12-17-2008
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Generally, most 4 wheel drive vehicles say you can switch between 2wd and 4hi on the fly up to 50mph.

The faster I go, the less I feel the need to be in 4wd. I mostly use 4wd to get in and out of driveways, or areas where I am driving slower with low traction and don't have the momentum to carry the truck through where I want to go. I have absolutely no need to be in 4wd if I am capable of driving 50-65mph safety. I use 2wd as often as I can and only use 4wd before I am about to get stuck in 2wd, or to aid in traction when I slip in 2wd.

However, tires make all the difference.
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  #16  
Old 12-17-2008
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Off topic a bit, but technically with a 98-00 with auto hubs, you do NOT have to back up to disengage the hubs anyway. This is often true with older trucks and different hub designs, but not the vacuum hubs on these. That is, if everything works correctly.
You will be fine at whatever speed you will be driving in 4x4. Just keep in mind if the road clears a bit, go back to 2wd so you don't bind up the transfer case. With the manual hubs engaged, the driveline is already up to speed and should allow you to shift into 4x4 at higher speeds without trouble, unless the trucks computer has a sensor that does not allow it over 55mph.
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  #17  
Old 12-17-2008
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What hubs require you to backup? The older Fords? I know my 76 F250 axle does not require anything like that.
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  #18  
Old 12-17-2008
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I had the same question as the OP. I drove back from Colorado yesterday and probably went 130 miles on 4Hi. I tried to keep under 55 mph but at spots it was hard and I didn't want to switch back and forth.
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  #19  
Old 12-17-2008
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you can leave it in 4wd as long as you are not driving on dry patches longer than a half mile. IMO.

Even then if you have Live axle 01+ or Manual hubs(that are locked) you can switch in and out of 4wd as much as you want and on the fly. PVH are supposed to work that way too I think but someone will have to read that in the book.
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Old 12-17-2008
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Is there a recommend maximum speed for which you can shift on the fly? Almost every 4x4 I've ever driven has a warning on the sun visor or the dash for "2WD to 4hi shift on the fly max speed 80kmh/50mph"
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  #21  
Old 12-17-2008
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Straight from the book it says shift in and out of 4wd high at any forward speed for my 03.

Just don't do it while the rear wheels are spinning faster than the front wheels as in snow with no traction. Funny because that is exactly how the auto 4wd works in my buddy's Exploder.
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  #22  
Old 12-17-2008
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Hmm i dont know what mine says..

Its manual t-case so i just shift it with the clutch in and not on the gas heavy.. other than that never had a problem at any speed.. i can hear the gears at high speeds though.. kinda annoying but oh well.
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  #23  
Old 12-17-2008
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I push the clutch in too just to relieve any driveline stress. I can also hear the gears and feel more of the engine vibration running through the truck.
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  #24  
Old 12-17-2008
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i have a manual one also and going about 55-60 today i could hear the gears too its very annoying but when i shift i just lift off the gas and pull back then after a few seconds i get back on the gas. and i dont have to back up to unlock my hubs even when i had auto hubs
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  #25  
Old 12-17-2008
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I was always told I have to put the truck in neutral when I switch into 4x4 mode....
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