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I have a 2009 SE V-6 4X4, pretty solidly stock... and admittedly, I don't know much about driving off-road.

4HI has come in handy several times on slippery muddy or snowy conditions, but I have not yet had to venture into the 4LO, and I didn't in fact know how to do it until I just read my manual. I have a little off-road driving experience, mostly getting inadequate vehicles (cars, 2WD Ranger/S-10, etc.) where I had to get them very carefully (we used to jokingly call my Chevy Prism the "rally car"). I have driven a "real" truck off-road a few times but never really knew what I was doing.

I am getting ready for a trip to the southwest next week, and though I don't plan on trying to do any serious 4x4 driving, I may want to get adventurous to get back to a trailhead or a remote campsite. Also, the way thing have been this year, snowy conditions are a definite threat.

So can anyone offer me any Frontier specific recommendations for choosing gears for certain conditions? When do I NEED to break out the 4LO? How/when do I use the "slapstick" function?.... and I am sure there are more answers for questions I don't even know to ask.
 

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Dont wheel/get a head of yourself alone. You will know when you will need 4Lo. Usually when you are thinking "damn I shouldnt have came this far." Turn it on and drive with it to get a feel. Just dont be haulin *** in it in 4Lo. Then you shoul know when it will come in handy.


*Disclamer I drive a 4x2 truck
 

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If you find yourself going down steep slippery hills that you know using the brake will turn into a slide now might be a good 4lo time.Use 4lo and move the gear selector down until the motor slows you down not using the brakes much at all.4hi is great for most everything going slowly over or threw whatever you might be doing ,but like Idle said you will know when you need 4lo_On snow covered roads you can roll at speeds in 4hi but in low if you his lets say 20 and let off the gas the truck will slow down pretty fast.
 

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the above statements pretty much cover it. you will know its time for 4lo if you are going slow, and feel like you need more power.
 

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4hi is good for about everything except for rocks or and trying to get unstuck or out of a bad situation
 

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4lo = high rpm
 

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4lo = high rpm
yes High RPMS but low wheel speed, lots of toque and HP, with low wheel speed.

no?
put your truck in 4lo and see how well your tires clean mud.
Low wheel speed = your tires ain't clearing out worth crap.

I'm surprised no one mentioned the number 1 rule for 4x4 newbies
Never used 4wd on road unless that road is made of dirt, gravel or covered in snow/ice. If you do turn it on on pavement then do it while going straight and at low speeds.
 

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no?
put your truck in 4lo and see how well your tires clean mud.
He only said 4lo=high rpm

Do you disagree?

Sometimes when crawling you need high rpms (for power band) but low tire speed.
 

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i do. ive never been over 3k im 4lo. havent needed to. 4lo is crawling, you dont need high rpm to crawl in 4lo. you just need to crawl. produces a lot more tq at low rpms.
i know others have bounced off the limiter in 4lo. its just not my intended use. if you need to go that fast in 4lo, you dont need it imo. its just your driving style and what you think you need it for. its just my opinion no big
 

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You will need to learn to read the terrain. If you are looking up a nasty rutted hill, there will be good and bad "lines" to take. Same for mud or any other obstacle; find a good line and know where your tires will hit. IMO, nothing helps more for learning to read terrain than riding an 4-wheeler/quad for a while.

4-Hi: Deep mud or other slippery conditions; general steep hills that require little to no negotiating
4-Lo: Slow/technical hill climbs and crawling; pulling out stuck 2wds ;)

Most everything else can be done in 2wd. Also, for the rare situation where 4-Lo is really needed, I go ahead and lock up the rear diff.

With that being said, I don't do anything too extreme in my daily driver, that's what I bought a 4-wheeler for :)
 

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He only said 4lo=high rpm

Do you disagree?

Sometimes when crawling you need high rpms (for power band) but low tire speed.
RPM isn't only in ref to the motor

andy said 4lo = low rpm and poor tire clearing which is true, the tires have lower RPM in 4lo than you can get in 4hi

4lo doesn't necessarily mean any rpm for the motor, you can bounce rev limiter or you can crawl it does take more rpm or higher gear to go similar to 4hi speeds when in 4lo

pretty much everyone is right just talking about different rpm being tires or engine
 
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