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My first real 4wd vehicle and I only have 220 miles on it :) I already got it dirty and climbed a nice high hill (here in S.FL it was man made) and tested the 4wd and the hill descent and loved it. surprisingly the 4wd works really really well in mud.
but what's this changing from 2wd to 4wd on the fly business about? I was watching a few videos and someone was talking about doing 50mph down the freeway and switching to 4wd on the fly. Max speed something like 55mph. I thought 4wd was only for dirt and never pavement ? and can I really switch it at speed without damage? seems dangerous?
 

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You can switch from 2w to 4w while driving. But don’t do over 53 miles an hour. Not sure but I think that’s what my manual said. But to go to 4low always stop in neutral and break pedal down. Someone will be along to correct me on the speed. Maybe it was 34 to switch and not over 54 while in 4w. On pavement in snow or ice. But not dry, unless your just trying to see if things are working ok. And in a straight line.


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Seems that if you’re already doing 50mph it’s prob not the right situation for 4wd. However, it will tell you in your manual what the procedure is. Highly unlikely in south Florida that you’ll ever need it on pavement for inclement weather. Most likely need it for running into loose sand in the trail rather than on the road.
Good luck with the new ride


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45 i think is the max speed to switch on the fly and i personally wouldnt do it at that speed. Much slower for me
 

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i wouldnt switch into 4wd over 50mph personally, but once your are in 4wd you are free to go to town, no limiter except what you are personally afraid of.

ive had my 4wd up to 90mph in dirt before, 100% fun times.
 

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I just try to be sure all 4 wheels are moving at the same speed, i.e. no wheel spin, straight road. 50 MPH or so seems reasonable.
 

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I believe the owners manual states you can switch into 4 high at speeds up to 60mph. The fastest I've done it in either my '16 P4x or my old '06 SE was about 50-55. Usually only on the interstate when driving in areas of snow and ice. Generally I'll switch into 4wd when the conditions look to be bad and switch out when it appears I'm on a clear section of road. Never been an issue.

As far as I know the computer will not allow you to switch into 4-lo unless you follow the procedure in the owners manual to the letter. If I remember correctly it's stopped, in neutral with your foot on the brake then go into 4-lo. You'll defiantly hear the transfer case change gearing when you're set.
 

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Won't hurt anything. Though if you're doing over 40mph and need 4WD you're gonna wreck...
 

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Won't hurt anything. Though if you're doing over 40mph and need 4WD you're gonna wreck...
Please explain.
I ran beaches a lot faster than 40mph, albeit not in the Frontier.
Went through silt beds at least that fast in the Frontier. If you don’t, you will be stuck.
 

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I believe he is talking about snow driving. That is my approach too. Anything faster than 45mph, if I need 4wd I am going too fast. I drive a remote stretch of highway in storms every day. If it’s nasty out, I’m out working. Slow and steady wins the race.

Remember, 4wd helps you go. It doesn’t help you stop or turn!
 

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Yeah, if you're on the highway, you're actually safer with 4wd off. You need the wheels to be able to spin freely if your foot is OFF the gas. No binding between wheels.

Sure, you'll only feel the binding on dry pavement, but on ice and snow you're still doing it. But your tire slips rather than bites.

Having a tire slip at 100km/h isn't ideal. Stay in 2wd on snowy highways.
 

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Yeah, if you're on the highway, you're actually safer with 4wd off. You need the wheels to be able to spin freely if your foot is OFF the gas. No binding between wheels.

Sure, you'll only feel the binding on dry pavement, but on ice and snow you're still doing it. But your tire slips rather than bites.

Having a tire slip at 100km/h isn't ideal. Stay in 2wd on snowy highways.
What? I see you are from Ontario and maybe this is good advice for your flat driving conditions, but I can assure you on the mountain passes here, where they film Highway Thru Hell, having 4wd on the highway is a heck of a lot safer. I pass many 2wd trucks and cars on the highways, spun out in ditches on the hills.

OP - I have had my 4wd system go nuts switching out of 4LO while still moving, so I always stop, put the truck in neutral, then switch out of 4LO. However, I switch in and out of 4HI at speeds all the time.
 

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Awesome, thanks everyone
Sometimes when you switch out of 4HI while driving, you need to wait a bit for it to disengage the system. Sometimes, applying the brakes and will do the trick, but sometimes I will shift the truck in neutral while coasting to and then back into gear after it flips back to 2WD. You'll see when you try it.
 

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What? I see you are from Ontario and maybe this is good advice for your flat driving conditions, but I can assure you on the mountain passes here, where they film Highway Thru Hell, having 4wd on the highway is a heck of a lot safer. I pass many 2wd trucks and cars on the highways, spun out in ditches on the hills.

OP - I have had my 4wd system go nuts switching out of 4LO while still moving, so I always stop, put the truck in neutral, then switch out of 4LO. However, I switch in and out of 4HI at speeds all the time.
4wd might help you get moving forward, but that's it. 4wd does not give you better braking or better steering.

Just because you passed someone who spun out, that doesn't mean you have more traction than them. If you take 2 identical trucks, with identical tires, and drive on in 4wd and one in 2wd,they both have the same cornering and braking ability.

The best way I can think of to describe it is that a tire has 100 units of traction. When you're accelerating in a straight line, all 100 units of traction are being used to go forward. Same thing when you brake in a straight line. Also, if you're turning left or right, you can can use all 100 units of traction to turn.

This all changes when you're doing more than one thing at a time. Turn left and press the gas? Now you have 30 units of traction turning you and 70 units of traction pushing you forward. Essentially, you can no longer accelerate as quickly, or turn as sharply, before losing control.

If you are cruising along the highway at 100km/h, you might have 10 units of traction pushing you forward and 90 units of traction for steering, but anytime that you exceed 100 units of traction, you will lose control.

So, turn too sharp, push the gas or brake too hard, and suddenly you're asking for 200 units of traction, but the tires can only give 100.

4wd doesn't change this. At low speeds, yes it can help you get moving forward, but that's it. You're still just as likely to spin out as the guy in the 2wd truck, only you might make it further up the hill than he can.

I did a weekend racing school a few years back, and that instructor explained it all better than I can. But watch Forumula 1 on tv. Those guys do ALL of their braking before they turn, so that they can use all of the available traction for the corner. This means that they can take a corner at 100km/h instead of 80km/h if they were touching the brakes during the corner.
 

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m_bison, if this is true, why are all rally cars AWD?
 

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4wd might help you get moving forward, but that's it. 4wd does not give you better braking or better steering.

Just because you passed someone who spun out, that doesn't mean you have more traction than them. If you take 2 identical trucks, with identical tires, and drive on in 4wd and one in 2wd,they both have the same cornering and braking ability.

The best way I can think of to describe it is that a tire has 100 units of traction. When you're accelerating in a straight line, all 100 units of traction are being used to go forward. Same thing when you brake in a straight line. Also, if you're turning left or right, you can can use all 100 units of traction to turn.

This all changes when you're doing more than one thing at a time. Turn left and press the gas? Now you have 30 units of traction turning you and 70 units of traction pushing you forward. Essentially, you can no longer accelerate as quickly, or turn as sharply, before losing control.

If you are cruising along the highway at 100km/h, you might have 10 units of traction pushing you forward and 90 units of traction for steering, but anytime that you exceed 100 units of traction, you will lose control.

So, turn too sharp, push the gas or brake too hard, and suddenly you're asking for 200 units of traction, but the tires can only give 100.

4wd doesn't change this. At low speeds, yes it can help you get moving forward, but that's it. You're still just as likely to spin out as the guy in the 2wd truck, only you might make it further up the hill than he can.

I did a weekend racing school a few years back, and that instructor explained it all better than I can. But watch Forumula 1 on tv. Those guys do ALL of their braking before they turn, so that they can use all of the available traction for the corner. This means that they can take a corner at 100km/h instead of 80km/h if they were touching the brakes during the corner.
I have been to a few track day events where they let you drive performance cars and that is pretty much how they explain it. You can only do 100% at a time. So if you are 50% acceleration you only have 50% left for steering.

The emphasize acceleration versus steering to stop people from smashing the throttle before they are out of turns and losing it. But it applies in all driving conditions. Being aware of what your vehicle can do is important. Most spin outs on the highways by me are from people making quick lane changes while it's wet/snowing and they are accelerating off or onto ramps.
 

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So OP starts out asking about 4wd to go up a hill in Florida, flatlander from Ontario says 2wd just as good as 4wd on a snowy highway, I say BS if you have lots of snowy hills as having traction up front keeps the truck from wanting to spin out, and same flatlander goes on to talk about braking in 2wd is now better. I neither brake much on the highway, nor do I need 100% cornering at high racing speeds on snowy highways, while in 4wd. And the argument is still that 4wd won't help pulling up a hill and 2wd doesn't mean you'll spin out because of a racing instructor's better description.

Did I summarize this correct?
 

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4wd might help you get moving forward, but that's it. 4wd does not give you better braking or better steering.

Just because you passed someone who spun out, that doesn't mean you have more traction than them. If you take 2 identical trucks, with identical tires, and drive on in 4wd and one in 2wd,they both have the same cornering and braking ability.

The best way I can think of to describe it is that a tire has 100 units of traction. When you're accelerating in a straight line, all 100 units of traction are being used to go forward. Same thing when you brake in a straight line. Also, if you're turning left or right, you can can use all 100 units of traction to turn.

This all changes when you're doing more than one thing at a time. Turn left and press the gas? Now you have 30 units of traction turning you and 70 units of traction pushing you forward. Essentially, you can no longer accelerate as quickly, or turn as sharply, before losing control.

If you are cruising along the highway at 100km/h, you might have 10 units of traction pushing you forward and 90 units of traction for steering, but anytime that you exceed 100 units of traction, you will lose control.

So, turn too sharp, push the gas or brake too hard, and suddenly you're asking for 200 units of traction, but the tires can only give 100.

4wd doesn't change this. At low speeds, yes it can help you get moving forward, but that's it. You're still just as likely to spin out as the guy in the 2wd truck, only you might make it further up the hill than he can.

I did a weekend racing school a few years back, and that instructor explained it all better than I can. But watch Forumula 1 on tv. Those guys do ALL of their braking before they turn, so that they can use all of the available traction for the corner. This means that they can take a corner at 100km/h instead of 80km/h if they were touching the brakes during the corner.
You are excluding the fact that in 4wd the front wheels that have the engine and transmission over them are able to pull the vehicle in the direction the wheels are pointed. While I do agree 100% with your "units of traction", keep in mind how much better the traction is between FWD and RWD....
 
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