4wd on dry road

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Thread: 4wd on dry road

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    Default 4wd on dry road

    hello-
    i just purchased a 1999 Tacoma SR5 this weekend. the seller was very touchy about testing out the 4wd. he says you should never, ever use 4wd on a dry road. he took me on a patch of grass and demonstarted Hi 4wd for about 10 seconds. it seemed to work great. he put it in Low 4wd and drove about 5 feet. --so at least i know it works.

    but is this true? --is it really bad to use 4wd on a dry road? is he exaggerating?

    thanks.

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    Welcome to TS dan-o!

    The salesman is correct that you should not drive the truck on dry pavement in 4WD. It will put additional stress on the drivetrain. I am guilty of using 4x4 on wet pavement/concrete once before and there are no signs of damage though.

    They say you are supposed to use your 4WD at least once a month too.
    "You can't be afraid to reverse engineer something to see how it works." -Me




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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    thanks for the welcome, and the answers.
    can you tell me what you mean by 'binding'?
    does turning stress the drivetrain even off-road?
    what about using 4wd on an icy road?

    danny

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    Quote Originally Posted by dan-o View Post
    thanks for the welcome, and the answers.
    can you tell me what you mean by 'binding'?
    does turning stress the drivetrain even off-road?
    what about using 4wd on an icy road?

    danny
    Binding is that extra stress on the drivetrain. All 4 wheels are turning at the same speed and need as little resistance as possible. This is why pavement is bad for 4wd because there is alot of resistance. When off-road, the tires have less resistance because of the softer terrain (usually dirt or mud) I've used 4wd on an icy road before, but again the tires don't have as much resistance, so it's ok. Just watch out for the patch of road that isn't icy though.
    "You can't be afraid to reverse engineer something to see how it works." -Me




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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    Quote Originally Posted by dan-o View Post
    can you tell me what you mean by 'binding'?
    does turning stress the drivetrain even off-road?
    what about using 4wd on an icy road?
    In 4WD, the transfer case has locked the speed of the front wheels to the speed of the rear wheels. When you turn, the front wheels and rear wheels try to rotate at different speeds--this is what causes binding. You can turn in 4WD when the wheels will be able to slip to make up for the difference in speed. Ice especially, gravel, sand, loose dirt, and very wet roads are fine. The more traction you have, the better the chance of binding--but the better traction you have, the less you need 4WD.

    On some other vehicles, you can engage 4WD but they have an unlocked center differential that allows the front and rear wheels to turn at different rates. That's usually the characteristic of a full-time 4WD.

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    I guess I don't understand the difference between fulltime and partime 4 wheel drive.Back in the early 80s I had a '78 GMC with fulltime 4wd and you could drive it on any surface.

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    Quote Originally Posted by boxcar View Post
    I guess I don't understand the difference between fulltime and partime 4 wheel drive.Back in the early 80s I had a '78 GMC with fulltime 4wd and you could drive it on any surface.
    Full-time 4WD (also marketed as AWD) means you had open differentials all around. The wheels could all turn at different speeds. Power would only go to the wheel with the least traction.

    Part-time 4WD means at least the center differential is locked, making the average speed of the front wheels turn at the same average speed of the rear wheels. Power would go to the front wheel with the least traction AND to the rear wheel with the least traction (50/50 split).

    Wikipedia: Differential (mechanical device)

    Full-time 4WD with a lockable center diff is probably the most useful, ala Sequoia. I think they call it Multi-mode on there.

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    Thanks for the good information!!

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    ditto that..... Thanks!

    is binding that 'shaking' that happens when you make a sharp turn in 4wd? --is it something you notice, or does it just sort of happen and it's no good....


    thx again

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    Quote Originally Posted by dan-o View Post
    is binding that 'shaking' that happens when you make a sharp turn in 4wd? --is it something you notice, or does it just sort of happen and it's no good....
    The shaking you felt is probably from the wheels forcefully slipping to release the tension created by binding. If you're at that point, you're stressing your drivetrain.

    Binding is really the conflicting forces you're putting on your drivetrain--something has to give way--either tires slipping, or the drivetrain flexing, bending, and breaking. The driveshafts have a "little" play in them that probably flexes a bit and is probably why more people haven't destroyed their transmissions.

    Minor binding like that will probably lead to more play over time. My guess is that over time with minor binding, you're more likely to feel rough starts from a stop (drivetrain clunking) than you are to actually break something.

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    The 4WD system is actually fairly robust, at least on stock tires. The tires will lose traction, in general, before something breaks.

    I would love to have a center differential in my Tundra but I'm not sure the Seq center diff would hold up to the stress of larger tires, lockers and such.

    Don't use your 4WD on the pavement, even in straight lines, especially on the highway. It's bad for the system, it's also very bad for your tires. Find a dirt road...or wait til it rains really hard and make a slow loop around the block while it's raining, disengaging the 4WD for the turns.

    If you got 4WD because it snows in your area but have no use for the system otherwise, I highly recommend getting manual locking hubs from Offroad Solutions. You'll be able to open the hubs and engage the transfer case on the pavement, so it stays lubricated but doesn't hurt the system or your tires.

    The ADD system uses car-style semi-float hubs, so the front diff is always being lubricated. It's the ADD system and the transfer case that need exercise.

    -Sean

    GFX by FreedomEagle50
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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    thanks again all.
    well luckily i haven't felt any shaking in my tacoma!
    but i do remember that shaking from when i owned an 87 landcruiser. (as well as the manual locking hubs!)
    i will be doing a good amount off-road driving so i guess i'll leave the 4wd for now.
    thanks again for all the great info.
    danny

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    let me get this straight, if u r offroading, u can NOT leave it in 4wd when taking turns? so do u pop it back & forth between 2wd & 4wd while driving? what about uneven terrain?

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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    if u r o/r, u can b in 4wd 4 the wHoLe tIMe even if u r driving sLiCkRoCk. if u 4get & u r in 4wd on bitumen u may b 4lorn since ur tires wear 2 fast. ur tires h8 2 slip if traction good, but n o/r situ8tions & crawling they will b fine, drivetrain sTrOnG lIkE oX even if driver sMaRt LiKe tRaCtOr. no need 2 shift out but if u have convert wit teh manual hubs u will have the easy time when on teh slickrock.

    I hope that helped.

    -Sean

    GFX by FreedomEagle50
    1-Gen Tundra Offroad Technical FAQ Index
    Armor - Lift vs. Travel - Traction - Tire Fitment - Recovery - Lift Kits - Driving - Tires & Gears - CV Boot Mod
    Manual Hubs
    OB's cup size: 36DD

    "some people will call you stupid but its worth a try because i know i also want one more inch."--SouthernTundraSC


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    Default Re: 4wd on dry road

    no because it didn't make any sense, speak english!
    Quote Originally Posted by DevinSixtySeven View Post

    I hope that helped.

    -Sean

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