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Old 03-22-2008, 10:57 PM
 
Location: Earth
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1. What's the difference between a 4 wheel drive and a 4X4?

2. I see some transfer cases are electronically shifted and others are mechanical. Which is better? Why?

3. I see some 4 wheel drives have locking hubs and others do not. Why is this? Which is better....and why?

Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2008, 05:36 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,083 posts, read 36,501,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
1. What's the difference between a 4 wheel drive and a 4X4?
No difference, just different ways of saying the same thing.

Quote:
2. I see some transfer cases are electronically shifted and others are mechanical. Which is better? Why?
Internals of the transfer case are the same, but I personally like the manual shift better because there is no wires to break/corrode and there is no question if it actually shifted into or out of 4X4.

Quote:
3. I see some 4 wheel drives have locking hubs and others do not. Why is this? Which is better....and why?
Again my personal preference is manual locking hubs. Have changed a vehicle from automatic hubs to manual because a hub blew apart and it was $600 for the drivers side automatic, or $125 for a pair of Manual Warn Premium hubs. Right now in my driveway I have two 4X4 vehicles, mine has manual hubs, the wife has automatic. Both do the job, they are about even now for strength and reliability, but the Manual ones are MUCH cheaper to fix if/when they break. If hers ever fails, they are going to be changed to manual hubs and she doesn't mind turning them in when the weather gets nasty.
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Old 03-23-2008, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
9,529 posts, read 29,050,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
1. What's the difference between a 4 wheel drive and a 4X4?

2. I see some transfer cases are electronically shifted and others are mechanical. Which is better? Why?

3. I see some 4 wheel drives have locking hubs and others do not. Why is this? Which is better....and why?

Thanks!
I agree with Bydand, Deez Nuttz.

4X4 is just a abbreviated name for 4 wheel drive.

As for the different ways of activating the system . . . basically personal preference but the manual approach is less complicated and therefore less likely to fail as well as less expensive to repair.

In either case, the end result is the same.
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Earth
4,237 posts, read 22,991,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bummer View Post


4X4 is just a abbreviated name for 4 wheel drive.
Oh, ok. I would think 4WD would be the proper abbreviation.

Also out of curiosity if you did not lock the hubs and you put the transfer case in either 4 high or 4 low what would happen?
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Old 03-23-2008, 03:47 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deez Nuttz View Post
Oh, ok. I would think 4WD would be the proper abbreviation.

Also out of curiosity if you did not lock the hubs and you put the transfer case in either 4 high or 4 low what would happen?
You spin the front drive shaft and axle shafts, but the power never makes it to the front wheels. That's about it. I have done it before, and if you need it in 4 wheel, you know what is wrong in a very short time because you are either stuck, or darn near got stuck. Never did any damage if that is what you are looking for.
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Old 03-13-2009, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Billings, MT
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The numerical designator is better, because it tells you more. For instance, a twin screw three axle class 8 truck is actually a 4WD, but it is NOT a 4X4, it is actually a 6X4.
The first number in the numerical designator is the number of wheels on the vehicle. Keep in mind that dual wheels count as one wheel, as in a one ton dually pickup with four wheel drive is not a 6X6, it is a 4X4.
The "X"is read "by".
the second number is the number of wheels that are powered. Thus, a four wheeled vehicle which has two powered wheels is a 4X2 (NEVER a "2X4", that is a piece of lumber), a four wheeled vehicle that can power all four wheels is a 4X4.
A three axle truck that powers only the rear axles is a 6X4. If all three axles are powered, it is a 6X6. A three axle truck that only has one powered axle is a 6X2.
A "normal" bicycle or motorcycle would be a 2X1. Yes, 2X2 bikes HAVE been made.
Your kid's tricycle is a 3X1!
Yes, a unicycle is a 1X1.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Poway, CA
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just don't confuse '4WD' and 'AWD'. THOSE are different.

Mike
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Michigan--good on the rocks
2,544 posts, read 3,934,501 times
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Manual locking hubs are slightly better for fuel mileage, and save wear and tear on the front axle. Many (most) modern 4X4's have front axles that are always locked in, and only release at the transfer case. I haven't seen a 4X4 with independent front suspension that had lockouts.

I prefer a lever to shift into 4 wheel drive, for the reasons mentioned above. I also believe that it should be a little bit difficult to engage four-low. I have seen disastrous results with an electronic transfer case that was shifted into low range accidentally (although apparently you can drive a GMC Tahoe at 70 down the freeway in four-low...for a while).
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Old 03-14-2009, 12:05 AM
 
2,024 posts, read 4,934,972 times
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Old thread, anyway manual transfer case and hubs are the best cause you know when the hubs are locked in or out, same with t case it's in or it's out, you can always tell. With a button you don't always know if it's 2wd or in 4wd they sometimes do fail and at the worst possible time.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Way on the outskirts of LA LA land.
3,043 posts, read 10,972,575 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanman13 View Post
Manual locking hubs are slightly better for fuel mileage, and save wear and tear on the front axle. Many (most) modern 4X4's have front axles that are always locked in, and only release at the transfer case. I haven't seen a 4X4 with independent front suspension that had lockouts.
Some of Toyota's early IFS trucks ('86 to '88, possibly other years too) had manual hubs. They do save wear and tear on the axles and front driveshafts, at the expense of having to get out of the vehicle to lock the hubs. With my vehicles, I often locked the hubs well in advance of when I might need to use 4wd. I would do so at the trailhead if taking a 4wd trail, then shift the transfer case as needed. Sometimes in the winter I would just drive around with the hubs locked if a storm was expected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanman13 View Post
I prefer a lever to shift into 4 wheel drive, for the reasons mentioned above. I also believe that it should be a little bit difficult to engage four-low. I have seen disastrous results with an electronic transfer case that was shifted into low range accidentally (although apparently you can drive a GMC Tahoe at 70 down the freeway in four-low...for a while).
A shift lever is simpler and much less likely to be problematic than a pushbutton system. The advantage to the pushbutton is that you don't have an extra lever sticking up through the transmission tunnel into the cabin of the vehicle. On trucks with bench seats this is desireable if you plan to use the middle section to carry a passenger. On my Chevy Colorado Crew Cab, I have an automatic transmission and a pushbutton for transfer case gear selection. It would be very difficult to drive with six people in the truck if I had a shift lever (or two) sticking up through the floor. Having the controls at hand while driving is much nicer in that situation.

As far as driving 70 MPH in 4low: ! I've done so in 4hi without any problems once or twice, but usually if I need 4wd, it's because of snow, in which case, I don't drive quite that fast.
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