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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would ask a few questions being I’m new to having an off-road truck and there are many knowledgeable people on here with years of experience.

My off-road experience has been limited to beach and some trails in Wharton State Forest in NJ with a Subaru Forester.

My questions are based around the transmission and what gears you stay in. For example, say your going slow over a moderate difficult trail or even easy, is it better to say in 4H and shift the automatic into 2nd or 1st gear or just go to 4Lo and stay in drive? Do you turn O/D off? I never really gave it much thought.

I’m curious how you utilize the transmission and different 4wd modes for different scenarios.

Thank you
 

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... say your going slow over a moderate difficult trail or even easy, is it better to say in 4H and shift the automatic into 2nd or 1st gear or just go to 4Lo and stay in drive? Do you turn O/D off? I never really gave it much thought.

I’m curious how you utilize the transmission and different 4wd modes for different scenarios.

Thank you
Heya Mike, so 1st off I’d like to say how much I would love to take (& how much I would learn) a few lessons in off-roading. I haven’t met anyone in person, either, so I don’t even have that experience to learn from.

I say all this because IWhat the hell do I know?

You can leave your truck in drive with OD on if you want. I’ve never hurt sh!t that way. If your going slow, your truck picks the gear automatically. Never gets to fourth... never gets to fifth (OD), right? So wont hurt jack st.

Or... you can manually shift into a lower gear if you want, your rpm will just be a bit higher.

All this can be done in 4H.

The time to use 4L is when you’re really having to climb (either up or down), or if you’re perceiving getting stuck, or if you’re spinning. You can leave your shifter in D, or you can drop it into first or second or third, etc. Your truck won’t shift into the higher gear until it needs to.

My new truck has that descent control button which my old one didn’t. That fuggin thing is awesome, and weird to get used to.

Let’s say you’re on a steep descent, rocky, chunky, sh!t be slidin out from under ya... You dial in 4L, hit the hill descent button, and take your foot off the brake. Feels like you’re gonna shat y’self, but the transmission automatically brakes the truck to a crawl.

Wicked cool, fun as phvq and totally counter-intuitive.

Anyway, rambling now. Hope this helps & hoping I didn’t steer you too far wrong. If I did, I’m not gonna take any responsibility if you follow my stupid advice. I hope you (we) get lots of good tips from this thread.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Munga! I appreciate it. To engage 4Lo, you have to put it in neutral first I believe. I know it's in the manual. I think my dad's old Bronco was like that too.
 

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Good info! I was planning on making a similar post, because I had the same questions.

I've never owned a true 4x4 either, although I did have a 2nd gen Subaru Legacy for many years. I used to rip the throttle wide open on dirt/gravel roads and get it sideways, and I loved to do donuts in mud holes, but that was about it. I was well aware of the limited off-road capabilities and never tried to tackle anything too challenging. (Still did more off pavement than the average chromed out mall crawler though!)
 

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Pretty good advice so far. The Frontier will handle quite a bit in 2 hi. Use 4 hi if your rear wheels are slipping, or if you are driving in mud, snow, fording streams, or any other low traction situations. Use 4 lo primarily when it's both steep and rough, i. e. when you need to go very slow either climbing or descending. As a general rule, in high range or low, I put it in drive when climbing or on the level, and use the manual gear selection downhill to keep it from shifting up so I can use engine braking to control the speed. On very steep downhill, you may also need to use the brake, or the hill descent button. In low range, be cautious about manually selecting low gears, especially 1st gear. You should generally be stopped, or nearly stopped, before manually selecting first gear. Low range first gear is very low, and selecting it at speed can over-rev the engine as well as putting some heavy shock loads on the drivetrain, which could break something (a u-joint if you're lucky or a differential, axle shaft or the transfer case if you're not).
 

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When selecting 4lo, yes neutral and preferably stopped or barely moving. Low range as mentioned previously is very low reduction. Think the difference in say 1st and 3rd gear. Also any throttle input youll feel a jerking motion and same when you let off. Its just how low range works. When learning what youre comfortable with offroad, just take youre time. No need to destroy the land or your truck. Dont be afraid to walk it out either, by looking for potential hazards if youre not sure what alls ahead. Most importantly, enjoy the time you spend offroad and away from the crowded streets.
 

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Thanks Munga! I appreciate it. To engage 4Lo, you have to put it in neutral first I believe. I know it's in the manual. I think my dad's old Bronco was like that too.
Yes. Stop transmission in nuetral, move the selector to 4 lo, wait until it stops blinking. Same procedure but move 4 wheel knob the other way to shfit from 4 lo to 4 hi or 2 hi.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I posted this in another thread but I noticed it takes a bit of time for the indicator to go back to 2wd from 4hi. If you drive a bit it eventually disengages. There are a few youtube videos that show you how to get around this. I tried one and it didn't work.
 
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