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Unread 07-24-2011, 10:50 AM   #1
Jeff S.
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Default 4th gen 4X4 questions. 4hi 4lo differential center diff

Hello folks.

Since owning my 4th gen V6, I've been learning how it works. Many thanks to those on this forum and t4r.org. Thanks to you, I maintain my own truck- the simple things at least.

I've been trying to study how our 4th gen 4X4 system works. I've been searching and eating up threads.


I have some questions. To make a long story short, I got my truck stuck in 2wd. Luckily, it was in snow, so I could spin my tires to get it to lock into 4hi.

Why does the driveshaft need to be spinning to engage 4X4?

Conversely, why does the truck need to be stopped and put into neutral to lock the center diff or 4lo?

Is there a way to put the truck into 4wd if you find yourself stuck in 2wd?

I'd love explanations, even technical!

Thanks
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Unread 07-24-2011, 11:08 AM   #2
4runner8
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ive heard if your stuck in 2wd when selecting 4wd, turn the wheels back and forth. but one thing of advice, if you think your gonna get stuck go ahead and put it in 4wd. even if you didnt need it you need to work out the system everynow and then
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Unread 07-24-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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ive heard if your stuck in 2wd when selecting 4wd, turn the wheels back and forth. but one thing of advice, if you think your gonna get stuck go ahead and put it in 4wd. even if you didnt need it you need to work out the system everynow and then

Cool, thanks. Actually, from the experience, I keep my truck in 4wd quite often. Any chance of rain or snow, driving on dirt roads, or being in the back-country (even extremely mild). I plan to just keep it in 4wd through winter.

I really like the fact that we can keep our V6 trucks engaged in 4th, even at top speed.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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The transfer case doesn't have synchros AFAIK.So if the front wheels are static the gears may not be aligned and it will be hard to engage 4H. Since you have a full time 4WD setup it is best to be in 4H before you get into trouble.

You can lock and unlock the center diff while moving, not need to stop and be in N.

Since 4L is a reduction gear with no synchro you need to be stopped to have it engage. Toyota decided to add some electronic wizardry to make sure it is in N as well before it will engage.

The transfer case work quicker and easier if you use the functions often, I also found a good synthetic oil to help make it engage quicker (may just be that it was well broken in at that time).
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Unread 07-24-2011, 12:52 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply.

Yup, I put Amsoil severe gear in the front, rear and center cases. I also, thanks to the forums, have been greasing the truck myself. I'm not sure if it was the grease or Amsoil gear lube, but my driveline clunk is gone.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff S. View Post
Hello folks.

Since owning my 4th gen V6, I've been learning how it works. Many thanks to those on this forum and t4r.org. Thanks to you, I maintain my own truck- the simple things at least.

I've been trying to study how our 4th gen 4X4 system works. I've been searching and eating up threads.


I have some questions. To make a long story short, I got my truck stuck in 2wd. Luckily, it was in snow, so I could spin my tires to get it to lock into 4hi.

Why does the driveshaft need to be spinning to engage 4X4?

Conversely, why does the truck need to be stopped and put into neutral to lock the center diff or 4lo?

Is there a way to put the truck into 4wd if you find yourself stuck in 2wd?

I'd love explanations, even technical!

Thanks

I have the v6, although I longer have the stock tcase. I did learn alot about the stock case tho.

As far as the center diff lock go's. You dont have to be stopped, you just dont want to be turning or it can bind up or grind. its best to be driving straight. 4lo needs to be stopped and in neutral like Bulldog said. Your truck will beep if not engaged properly when going into 4lo. I think it beeps if you drive over 25 or 30 mph too. Cant remember.

Thats one disadvantage with electronic engagement. Sometimes it takes a bit to engage or sometimes it doesnt want to engage. I just would go forward and back (if u can) as well as drive straight, and it usually went in.

Read your manual, I learned alot about the system from reading it.
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Unread 07-24-2011, 02:43 PM   #7
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you don't have to be moving to engage from 2wd to 4wd. i do it many times parked and many times below 55mph
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Unread 07-25-2011, 12:52 PM   #8
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you don't have to be moving to engage from 2wd to 4wd. i do it many times parked and many times below 55mph

You're correct. I just tried it and it work, albeit it made a very ugly bang. When I was stuck before, it wouldn't engage.

I also, for the first time, locked my center diff on the fly.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 01:04 PM   #9
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.....

Last edited by shuly; 05-26-2012 at 09:53 PM.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 04:21 PM   #10
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I know it should be obvious...don't lock the center on dry pavement. Like Medic said...It's ok if you go in a straight line for a few hundred feet to lubricate everything (which should be done monthly,) but if you do it while turning things will bind, and can break.

Not sure if you are aware but you can get the center to lock while stopped. Not sure if you will ever need it, but just in case you do. If you are stopped while in Drive (do not do this in Park) press the center lock button. Then switch to neutral and wait a couple of secs. If it doesn't engage, try again. Found this to be helpful in a couple of situations. Reverse to neutral works as well.

Thank you. Actually, until recently, I was under the misnomer that the truck had to be stopped and in neutral to lock the center differential. So that's how I've always done it. And it's always locked/unlocked silently and immediately. Now, shifting from 2wd to 4hi, that was an ugly noise.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #11
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Default Getting into 4 wheel drive when stuck..

I saw in your post about the problem of getting into 4high when already stuck, since you normally have to be rolling, wouldn't an easy solution just be to go into 4low instead of 4 high?? Since you are suppose to be in nuetral anyhow to get into 4low, couldnt you just go into 4low instead of 4high in a situation where you are stuck and cant move? Then once unstuck, if you want to continue on in 4 wheel drive, get out of 4 low and go into 4 high..
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Unread 03-14-2012, 05:55 PM   #12
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little thread revival, but im pretty sure you gotta be locked in 4hi before the system allows you to go into 4lo
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Unread 03-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #13
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Default 4Hi to 4Low

I don't think so. I have gone from 2wd to 4low several times without any strange noises or anything like that, but who knows im a total beginner with my 4 Runner, im just going by what my manual says.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 07:50 PM   #14
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you can go straight to 4Lo , but it still needs to engage the front drive shaft which is what often doesnt want to engage while not moving. just because you skip over 4hi on the dial doesnt mean the truck doesnt have to go to essentially 4hi first.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 09:14 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4runner8 View Post
little thread revival, but im pretty sure you gotta be locked in 4hi before the system allows you to go into 4lo
No you don't have to engage 4Hi first. I've gotten stuck in what I thought was hard packed dirt was really a dry crust over sloppy mud. I shifted from 2wd to 4Lo, which engaged instantly, allowing me to drive right out of the slop.
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Unread 03-15-2012, 11:00 PM   #16
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hmmm, well i need to try in my tundra. never tried to go from 2wd to 4lo.
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Unread 03-18-2012, 08:15 AM   #17
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Default Brakes trick

I have read something before in a couple different posts about a trick you can use with your brakes when you get stuck. I didn't read very far into the posts about how this trick works, but it has to do with using the gas and brakes together at the same time i believe.. Anyway last night coming up my hill, ( i live on a mountain ) , i had it in 2wd, i believe it was my right rear wheel was stuck on snow and spinning, so i tried pressing my brakes slightly and working the gas a bit as well, then all of a sudden it grabbed and i drove away no problem... I don't quite understand what was happening there with my atrac but whataever it did it worked like a charm.. I read that the Hummer manual actually has a section on how to do this.. Any info on this little trick?
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Unread 03-18-2012, 10:48 AM   #18
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Applying the brake slightly stops the spinning wheel from turning and transfers power to the non-spinning wheel with traction. atrac does a similar thing
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Unread 03-18-2012, 02:25 PM   #19
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Applying the brake slightly stops the spinning wheel from turning and transfers power to the non-spinning wheel with traction. atrac does a similar thing
When on a Hummer tour in Sedona, AZ (read before my lift on my truck) the driver was explaining the samething that you are thinking of. I found this article on the driving technique. http://www.hummerknowledgebase.com/driving/btm.html

The article talks about replacing the halfshaft on the hummer but I will post the details on how the BTM is done.



The HUMMER diffs were designed for ease of use by military drivers, and it's my understanding from talking to many military HMMWV drivers that they have NEVER heard of "brake-throttle modulation", the most common comment being, "we just go till we get stuck, then put it in hi-lock and rock it back and forth till we get out".

As I understand it, BTM was discovered kind of by accident, and was not a design feature, but it WORKS.

I have a method I call "Constant-torque Modulation" which I find works even better than the standard BTM in the most extreme situations.

One of the things I found at Moab was that finesse is everything, and large power changes, rushing obstacles, jamming brakes and otherwise being ham-handed is detrimental to forward progress and wallet thickness, so I experimented with a modification of BTM.

When I approach an obstacle, I set up for the climb and when ready I apply FULL brakes. Then, I apply throttle and run the engine up into the best-torque range AND LEAVE IT THERE. In other words, I keep the throttle pressure the same throughout the climb. Then I use the BRAKES to adjust speed, NOT the throttle.

I have found that for the most extreme situations that this provides a much smoother climb with less slippage, bouncing, pounding or traction-breaking. I watched other drivers as they would approach, begin the climb, modulate, and then goose the gas part way up because they felt they were slipping. All this did was screw them up.

The constant-torque method offers you the most available torque for the whole climb at a steady power-state which does not fluctuate, while also ensuring that your Torsen's will be fully locked at all times so you don't spin a wheel and possibly snap a half-shaft through weak modulation pressure. The power input to the wheels is very smooth and I have been able to calmly walk up virtually every obstacle I have ever done at Moab with the sole exception of the Rockpile in Pritchett canyon, which required a slight run for inertial assistance due to my weight.

I most especially use constant-torque on DOWNHILLS, where it provides very, very precise control of your forward progress with little chance of accidentially "goosing" the pedal as you slide off the edge and bang down onto something on Nosedive, something I observed was a real problem. With the brakes already fully on, you just let off a hair to creep forward as needed.

Yes, it's hard on brakes and tranny, and should only be used on the severest of obstacles, using regular BTM on less demanding ones, but it's worth the effort, as it results in a smooth, finessed crawl rather than a banging, clanking gut-buster.

Try it sometime, you'll like it.
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Unread 03-19-2012, 03:26 PM   #20
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just depends if the gears line up or not.
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