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With winter coming I'm looking for some clarification. This is the first true 4x4 that I've owned. Everything else has either been FWD or AWD. The manual says no dry road usage, I get that. The Frontier isn't in any danger of being confused as a 911 or an Audi so why would you ever need it anyway on a dry road anyway? If we have open diffs at the front and the rear (I have a CC SV) and the traction control is used to engage the second wheel on either axle then why would it matter if I used 4X4 Hi as long as I kept it under the max speed? Wouldn't just a single tire on each axle be engaged outside of a slipping situation anyway? Are the active and engaged wheels on opposite sides of the truck? Maybe that's a wheel speed difference issue. I ask because snow removal can be spotty up here so it would be nice to have in in 4 Hi when the roads are partially covered in snow but do not want to break anything. The Search function revealed a few threads but nothing definitive.
 

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Locked transfer case. This is what makes it a true 4wd. An AWD car has a transaxle so the front 2 wheels can spin at different speeds than the rear. Thus if the traction control ninnies were not present only 1 wheel will spin if 3 wheels are 100% constrained.

So if you are in 4wh HI and making a U-turn, the front outer tire and the rear inner tire are spinning at dramatically different speeds. This will cause the drive train to bind and a tire to slip/chirp. However I would not worry too much about it. Sometimes in winter it is unavoidable to use or to leave your truck in 4wd. I take my truck up to 65mph regularly in 4wd hi. My wife did 75 unknowingly. I also make sharp turns in 4wd; slow speed parking lots. I took a picture of an example of a situation where this will happen. Though I did not need to here, often the pitch is opposite and I need to pull into drive isle as I am blocked the other direction. Getting out of such a parking space you NEED 4wd . Then you roll onto the pavement with the front wheels cranked. When that 2nd axle hits the pavement the drive train will bind and the tire will chirp. I'll do this 100 times a winter.
snow free.jpg
 

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The reason you are instructed not to use 4wd on dry paved roads is that in 4wd (high or low), the front and rear driveshafts are locked together and will always turn at the same speed. However, when you are turning, or if there is any mismatch between front and rear tires (even if identical tires are worn more on one axle than the other), they will need to turn at different speeds. As long as you are on a surface that allows some slippage, this is not a problem, but on dry paving, it will cause tires to scuff and put a lot of strain on the drivetrain. As for patchy snow, as long as there is enough snow or ice to allow at least one wheel to slip frequently, you should have no problem with running 4 hi.
 

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Rain is no-4WD too. Your tires squeegee the water off as you travel so a wet road is the same as a dry road.
I have used my 4H in the rain for improved traction and drive-ability. Naturally there has to be slip for this to work. If there is insufficient slip, the steering wheel will twitch, tires will hop, so on an so forth.
 

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I have used my 4H in the rain for improved traction and drive-ability. Naturally there has to be slip for this to work. If there is insufficient slip, the steering wheel will twitch, tires will hop, so on an so forth.
Absolutely unnecessary in the rain.
Clint
 

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Right here is the only times I have used 4Hi and also when I met up with Whistler in Landers
It's a Sandy place you need 4WD

This is a Video of my Truck stock too

@the 415 mark is the good part 😄
 

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You're not going to turn any better or brake any better with 4x4 in the rain. Not needed unless your one of those jackrabbit drivers...

As far as ice and snow, even patchy stuff I'd use it. It's fun at intersections when you can't hardly move because your rear tires are spinning and they have another 15 feet to go to get off the ice that accumulates at every red light during a snowstorm. 4x4 and your front tires are only a couple feet from excellent traction to get you moving through the intersection much quicker. So I'd engage 4x4 whenever stuck at one of those icy intersections and deal with 2 wheel drive any other time. I spent a few years up in North Pole AK and when I was there the roads were ice covered for months at a time, you'd get to driving so long on them that once the ice melted in the spring you'd realize you and everybody else were making up their own lanes that didn't always match with what was painted under the ice! I'd pretty much always run in two wheel and put it in 4x4 only at really icy intersections.

Now I have a full set of Firestone winterforce studded tires on a pair of stock steel rims I picked up in california for $50 for all four. Studs are hands down the best traction for icy/packed snow conditions so if you live West of the Mississippi then you might be in a state where they are legal. Here in Colorado they are legal year round but many states have only certain months where you can use them.
 

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Right here is the only times I have used 4Hi and also when I met up with Whistler in Landers
It's a Sandy place you need 4WD

This is a Video of my Truck stock too

@the 415 mark is the good part 😄
Yup, sand sucks.. your speed. I've done the Great Sand Dunes park via Medano pass a few times and there's some soft sand in spots there. I usually run 4Low and lock the Elocker on the rear end, that way abs is off, seeing as I have a 6m it's also easier to pick a good gear and usually run 3rd through the sand so I still have some power to accelerate and yet still go somewhat slow, or drop to 2nd and have more acceleration but less speed. I'll also tell you that this is probably 8,000 feet up and the pass is around 10k at the top so the 265 hp becomes 201 hp there and 185 at the 10,000 foot mark.
 

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With winter coming I'm looking for some clarification. This is the first true 4x4 that I've owned. Everything else has either been FWD or AWD. The manual says no dry road usage, I get that. The Frontier isn't in any danger of being confused as a 911 or an Audi so why would you ever need it anyway on a dry road anyway? If we have open diffs at the front and the rear (I have a CC SV) and the traction control is used to engage the second wheel on either axle then why would it matter if I used 4X4 Hi as long as I kept it under the max speed? Wouldn't just a single tire on each axle be engaged outside of a slipping situation anyway? Are the active and engaged wheels on opposite sides of the truck? Maybe that's a wheel speed difference issue. I ask because snow removal can be spotty up here so it would be nice to have in in 4 Hi when the roads are partially covered in snow but do not want to break anything. The Search function revealed a few threads but nothing definitive.
I also didn't understand why it would bind even though we have open diffs in the back and front. I come from AWD cars and this is my first 4WD truck...
 

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Thanks everyone. I'm going to go ahead and use it when the roads are icy or partially snow covered. Does it throw off the handling on icy surfaces when the drivetrain is trying to "un-bind" after a corner? .
 

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Thanks everyone. I'm going to go ahead and use it when the roads are icy or partially snow covered. Does it throw off the handling on icy surfaces when the drivetrain is trying to "un-bind" after a corner? .
Both pumpkins are open diffs. Therefore there is no confict intra-axle. The transfer case will deliver power with the proviso that each axle has the same rotational speed. Bottom line: so long as one wheel has slip, there is no binding. This is often the case with icy and snowy conditions. I have seen it with heavy rain conditions. You want 4WD because it prevents the rear axle (RWD) from swinging out causing a spin out. If you feel the back end slipping out of control in 2WD, it is too late to engage 4WD.
 

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Thanks everyone. I'm going to go ahead and use it when the roads are icy or partially snow covered. Does it throw off the handling on icy surfaces when the drivetrain is trying to "un-bind" after a corner? .
if its snowing, use it. If the plows still haven't scraped the roads, use it.
If you need to use 4x4 then you should keep speed down because roads are slick (not just because you're in 4x4)
When you're on icy surfaces, the handling will be "thrown off" because its icy. The driveline slip/bind will naturally unload on low traction surfaces. You may even see the SLIP light blink on. When you might feel it slide/fishtail due to wheelspin is when you are on the throttle and you have 1 tire on limited traction (like sticky snow) and the other catches a patch of ice under teh snow, or you just overpower. Then you can get a slide. That's not because of driveline slip, thats because you're breaking both tires loose.
 

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if its snowing, use it. If the plows still haven't scraped the roads, use it.
If you need to use 4x4 then you should keep speed down because roads are slick (not just because you're in 4x4)
When you're on icy surfaces, the handling will be "thrown off" because its icy. The driveline slip/bind will naturally unload on low traction surfaces. You may even see the SLIP light blink on. When you might feel it slide/fishtail due to wheelspin is when you are on the throttle and you have 1 tire on limited traction (like sticky snow) and the other catches a patch of ice under teh snow, or you just overpower. Then you can get a slide. That's not because of driveline slip, thats because you're breaking both tires loose.
On snow, there still sometimes be some slip due to the conflict between front and rear wheels. this will be most noticeable when making tight turns, as in parking maneuvers or a U-turn. Sometimes the truck won't track quite the way I want it to when making a tight turn in 4wd. I find it useful to use 2wd when making tight turns, provided, of course that I have enough traction to complete the turn in 2wd, which is usually the case, unless I'm dealing with deep snow, ice or steep slopes.
 

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Both pumpkins are open diffs. Therefore there is no confict intra-axle. The transfer case will deliver power with the proviso that each axle has the same rotational speed. Bottom line: so long as one wheel has slip, there is no binding. This is often the case with icy and snowy conditions. I have seen it with heavy rain conditions. You want 4WD because it prevents the rear axle (RWD) from swinging out causing a spin out. If you feel the back end slipping out of control in 2WD, it is too late to engage 4WD.
Funny you mention this because it has been raining most of the night and day and seriously it's crazy
I drive a 6 speed manual so I could afford to take off in second because first is too strong and all you do is spin out I was watching a Silverado next to me going through the same thing
So I started taking off in second and saved me from the BS spinning business still not going to engage 4WD for that there are Techniques too ….. thought I would toss that out there
 

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On snow, there still sometimes be some slip due to the conflict between front and rear wheels. this will be most noticeable when making tight turns, as in parking maneuvers or a U-turn. Sometimes the truck won't track quite the way I want it to when making a tight turn in 4wd. I find it useful to use 2wd when making tight turns, provided, of course that I have enough traction to complete the turn in 2wd, which is usually the case, unless I'm dealing with deep snow, ice or steep slopes.
4x4 will always push. Lockers will push even more.
 
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