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Unread 08-13-2010, 04:53 AM   #1
Mazzie
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Default Question On 4 Low

I drive the customary 10+ miles a month in 4WD when not off roading for lubrication purposes. Typically by driving on long perfectly straight stretches of road, and very carefully avoiding any turn of the steering wheel save for the most minor correction to stay on course. However I wasn't putting it in 4 Low. Then yesterday I thought I better use 4 Low, and tried it on a private drive. I immediatly got lots of the dreaded dinging, and even a couple of gear grinds. At first it seemed pretty obvious I was just staying in High even with the Low light on. However after moving forward or backward a few feet I did eventually coax the 4 Low in and then it operated fine, with no more grinding or hesitation.

The question is on getting out of 4 Low. I did stop and put it in nuetral to engage, which I expected. After the first couple tries it went into 4 Low with no trouble. However I thought you could switch out of 4 Low while moving, such as switching it to 4 High and just keep going?? In my case the only way I get out of 4 Low was back to the Stop / Neutral thing. I went through the manual but didn't find any reference to getting out of 4 Low....only putting it in. In addition I could swear when I first bought the Runner I was driving in muddy roads and once in 4 Low could switch to 4 High without stopping.

What, if anything, as I missing here? Am I doing something wrong, or is my memory of going from 4 Low to 4 High while driving just my imagination?? Thanks in advance for any help.
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Unread 08-13-2010, 06:41 AM   #2
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nope have to be stopped to do the hi lo or lo hi change. its on the card in the sunvisor,
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Unread 08-13-2010, 07:14 AM   #3
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Definitely have to stop, go to Neutral and then disengage 4LO to shift back to 4 Hi or 2 Hi
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Unread 08-13-2010, 10:15 AM   #4
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Must stop. No way around it.

Since you are already in 4 Lo, you are almost stopped anyway.
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Unread 08-13-2010, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazzie View Post
Typically by driving on long perfectly straight stretches of road, and very carefully avoiding any turn of the steering wheel save for the most minor correction to stay on course.
You only have to avoid steering on asphalt when you have the center diff locked. If you switch to 4-hi feel free to drive like normal - all us v8s are in 4-hi all the time.
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Unread 08-13-2010, 10:27 AM   #6
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To change between H and L you must be stopped and in Neutral.

If you have a v6 you can shift between 2H and 4H on the fly (I think it need to be below 50MPH though).

For lubrication purposes you don't need to be in 4L, 4H is sufficient. Basically they just want to make sure the front axle and diff spins form time to time to lube things up. With the ADD on the V6 on the front axle it only turns the spider gears and not the whole diff, while in 2WD. WHen you engage 4WD (H or L) it connect and spins the whole diff and front driveshaft. This lubes up the mechanicals and seals.
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Unread 08-13-2010, 01:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replys, and I have a couple more comments / questions.

First java is right some very good info is on the sun visor card, however only a small child or contortionist laying sidways could possibly read it.....;^) bulldog is also right about shifing on the fly from 2H to 4H, although the actual top speed allowed is 62 MPH (100 KPH). bulldog question for you, regarding your explanation about not needing to lubricate 4H and 4L separately there must be some different gears to allow the much lower ration for 4L. They don't need lubrication?

I do have a couple of questions on mikestang writing: "You only have to avoid steering on asphalt when you have the center diff locked. If you switch to 4-hi feel free to drive like normal - all us v8s are in 4-hi all the time."

Am I wasting effort very, very carefully not driving on pavement in 4H while turning the wheel? Secondly while very carefully re-reading the sun visor card and manual is that they say NOT to shift into 4X4 while turning. So if driving in 4X4 all the time is normal for the V8 T4R's what is the significance of shifting to 4X4 while turning? Bonus question....I'm assuming locking the center differential (as mike warns against using on pavement) does NOT happen when you use 4 Low? If so then is there any need to lock the differential at times for lubrication purposes?

EDIT - OK I went back over the manual and it actually doesn't say not to engage 4X4 while turning, it's referring to not engaging the center diff lock while turning. Sorry about that.

Last edited by Mazzie; 08-14-2010 at 03:15 AM.
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Unread 08-13-2010, 01:31 PM   #8
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4H and 4L is just different gear sin the transfer case. They get lubed all the time when you drive, as they spin through the oil. The front diff does not get lubed properly all the time if you drive in 2WD, thus the need to go into 4WD to spin it up and lube it properly from time to time.

The V6 and V8 has a center diff, thus you can drive it in 4H or 4L on pavement with no issues. Though 4L your transmission wont do into 4th and 5th gear, so very high RPM for very low speed.

Only when you lock the center diff in either 4H or 4L will the front and rear axles bind when you drive on pavement or solid surfaces with good traction on all the wheels. This is very bad for your drivetrain. Offroad the tires slip enough normally to not be an issue in terms of driveline bind and damage.
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Unread 08-14-2010, 03:19 AM   #9
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4H and 4L is just different gear sin the transfer case. They get lubed all the time when you drive, as they spin through the oil. The front diff does not get lubed properly all the time if you drive in 2WD, thus the need to go into 4WD to spin it up and lube it properly from time to time.

The V6 and V8 has a center diff, thus you can drive it in 4H or 4L on pavement with no issues. Though 4L your transmission wont do into 4th and 5th gear, so very high RPM for very low speed.

Only when you lock the center diff in either 4H or 4L will the front and rear axles bind when you drive on pavement or solid surfaces with good traction on all the wheels. This is very bad for your drivetrain. Offroad the tires slip enough normally to not be an issue in terms of driveline bind and damage.
OK, I assume driving on the freeway with mild turns is OK then? In the meantime I'll engage the 4L in the parking lot if I can't get offroad (which is very hard to do in many areas of So. Cal) to make sure it's shifting properly. Last question the locking center diff gets lubed when you drive in 4H or 4L whether or not it's engaged ??
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Unread 08-14-2010, 07:18 AM   #10
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It's not that big a deal to not run in 4wd every month. There are millions of 4wd trucks that only get put into 4wd a handful of times their whole life (not just toyotas). Basically what I'm saying is there's no reason to religiously go out of your way to put it in 4wd.

Whenever you get a chance to go camping or hit a dirt road then you can stretch it's legs and it'll be fine.
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Unread 08-14-2010, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazzie View Post
OK, I assume driving on the freeway with mild turns is OK then? In the meantime I'll engage the 4L in the parking lot if I can't get offroad (which is very hard to do in many areas of So. Cal) to make sure it's shifting properly. Last question the locking center diff gets lubed when you drive in 4H or 4L whether or not it's engaged ??
To reiterate what's been said, you can put it in 4H and drive normally on pavement all day long if you want. Turns are irrelevant as long as the center diff isn't locked. This is the same mode that any AWD car uses (Subaru, Audi etc.) and also the V8 4Rs are in 4WD always. Put it into 4WD and spin around in circles in a parking lot...won't hurt anything
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Unread 08-14-2010, 10:23 AM   #12
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What he said, as long as the center diff isn't locked you can be in 4Hi 4Lo for as long as you want and make as many turns as you want.
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Unread 08-14-2010, 11:35 AM   #13
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Thanks to all for the help...just throwing it in 4X4 occasionally is going to be easy without having to be concerned about only going straight. I also want to shift into 4L regularly, to avoid the initial gear searching I think was caused by non-use.

The one thing I still need help on is the center diff lock, which is important as getting to a place where I can actually offroad takes a fair bit of time from where I live. Are those parts being lubricated too when you shift into 4H or 4L? Would it be beneficial to engage the button and shift into and out of a locked position while stopped? This to "move" those particular parts, but not to do any damage since no actual driving on pavement with the diff locked would occur?
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Unread 08-14-2010, 02:28 PM   #14
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No need to ever lock the center diff to lube, all the gears get oil any time you drive.
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Unread 08-15-2010, 10:21 AM   #15
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No need to ever lock the center diff to lube, all the gears get oil any time you drive.
OK, I think I've got it now....thanks everybody.
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Unread 08-16-2010, 02:17 PM   #16
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Shifting in/out of 4WD and the CDL (center diff lock) are done with electric solenoids. These solenoids do seem to need some exercise. I have read a number of times that the transfercase would not shift in/out of these two settings; but worked fine after doing it a few times.

This can be done in a parking lot, or driveway. Just be able to move forward/backward a few feet, to allow the gears to mesh. This might be worth a monthly shifting session, more than the lubrication issue.
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Unread 08-16-2010, 02:27 PM   #17
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Shifting in/out of 4WD and the CDL (center diff lock) are done with electric solenoids. These solenoids do seem to need some exercise. I have read a number of times that the transfercase would not shift in/out of these two settings; but worked fine after doing it a few times.

This can be done in a parking lot, or driveway. Just be able to move forward/backward a few feet, to allow the gears to mesh. This might be worth a monthly shifting session, more than the lubrication issue.
Great idea Photog, I agree that it's always a good idea to practice / use something before you really need it. Also thanks for the idea of just moving a few feet. I assume moving such a short distance, even on pavement wouldn't do any harm??
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Unread 08-16-2010, 02:46 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazzie View Post
Great idea Photog, I agree that it's always a good idea to practice / use something before you really need it. Also thanks for the idea of just moving a few feet. I assume moving such a short distance, even on pavement wouldn't do any harm??
Straight-line movement = no problems.
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