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If you can drive around fine in 2WD, 2WD is the correct choice.
If you are on a snow covered road where 2WD won't get you around, use 4WD.
It's common to use 2WD in the winter most of the time where the roads are good, but grab 4WD to get up the driveway that is still snow covered.
 

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in patchy conditions with my hubs locked and screwing around on curvy roads i've shifted from 2hi to 4hi at 1/4 throttle and foot off the clutch to keep my hardbody from going completely sideways. Do the newer t-cases not shift as easily?
I've not found my 2017 SV to be more difficult to shift from 2 hi to 4 hi than other 4wds I've driven, and sometimes a quick shift to 4wd will pull you out of a slide, though it's of course better to anticipate and shift to 4wd before you start sliding. In any 4wd I've driven, if you are spinning the back wheels, you will get a gear clash and it won't engage, so you have to ease off the gas (or disengate the clutch in a manual) to get it into 4wd, but if your wheels are spinning you generally should let off the gas whether shifting to 4wd or not. Generally speaking, if you're not spinning wheels or turning tightly, you can shift from 2 hi to 4 hi in motion and in gear.
 

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This discussion reminds me of a feature I'd like to see on the 3rd gen Frontier - a full time 4wd mode (i.e. 4 auto). You would have a clutch pack in the transfer case to allow for differential rotation between the front and rear drive shafts. This way, you wouldn't have to turn off 4hi in order to make turns on dry pavement. I think all GM vehicles with 4wd have this type of transfer case.
 

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The speeds you quoted are max speed shift points... thats foot flat on the floor...
Not reccomended max speed for the transfer case...
The previous quoted numbers are correct.
Also, if you need 4x4, unless you're desert running, should you REALLY be doi g more than 40? Or 20 in low range?
You do not need to be WOT to hit red line, you can probably hit red line with 1/4 throttle in 1st. And less than 1/2 in 2nd...

Like I said, the manual states 84 mph is max speed in 3rd gear in 4HI and that driving over 62.5mph (100 kmh) in 4H is not recommended as it will cause increased fuel consumption and higher oil temperatures and could damage drivetrain components but does not state that as the max speed, just gives the warning statement. So driving over 62.5mph isn't a big deal and seeing as they state 100 kmh as the speed then

Not sure on what states you've lived in and your snow driving experience but I find no issue with doing 65 on snow covered roads in or out of 4wd, but then I've been driving since I was 4 so I have well over 3 decades experience driving in snow states in shitty weather. For instance, we got 6 inches of snow here a few days ago and the roads were packed with some loose bits on top from plowing. I was driving 55 in 4x4 on that stuff and yes I did some brake checks and tested the traction and I was getting great traction with my setup so I wasn't worried, whereas everyone I came up on was doing 20-25. This is near Colorado Springs area and many folks don't seem to have much snow experience or they run summer tires or bald tires so that can be some of it. Me, I have plenty of ice and snow driving miles under my belt and currently I run a full set of studded firestone winterforce winter tires on the Frontier. My other car just has M&S rated all season tires but if it's bad out I'll take the pickup.

The faster you go in 4 low the more whine you get from the transfer case, I've definitely done faster than 20 in low, probably hit 30-35 in short stretches between deep soft sand areas.

Mainly it falls down to ones own experience and skill and how the vehicle is equipped.
 
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