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AWD vs 4x4 4.6?

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by 97exploder19, January 9, 2019.

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  1. 97exploder19

    97exploder19 Active Member

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    Thinking of purchasing a 2009 or 2010 v8 in either version.

    I currently have a 99 5.0 awd and really do like the awd in snow (no need to switch to 4x4) but would rather have the option to go back to 2wd when I don't need it. Fuel mileage in that thing is horrendous; I get around 11mpg in town and maybe 14-15 on the highway if im lucky.

    My question is how is the fuel mileage between the awd and 4x4 versions? If there isn't much of a difference between the two, I won't limit myself to 4x4 versions only.
     
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  3. digifoss

    digifoss Elite Explorer

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    I wonder if the fuel consumption might have more to do with the V8 vs V6 ? I haven't had my explorer long and have only checked fuel use once and it was 15.8 around town use. I have a V6 and 4WD. For comparison, I have a 95 GMC Suburban 3/4 ton 4WD and weighs about 7000 lbs that gets me about 18mpg around town and 22mpg on the hiway. But it is a 6.5 Turbo Diesel.
     
  4. MNgopher

    MNgopher Active Member

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    You are aware that none of the 06-10 Explorers (unless it is a 2 wheel drive model) actually have a true 2wd mode, correct? On the 4x4, your options are auto, 4hi, and 4 low. There is virtually always some power going to the front, regardless of v6 or v8.

    Also, there are not a lot of AWD Explorers (I've been told they exist in a certain trim at one time), but you can find that more readily on the Mountaineers. Biggest thing is you give up 4 Low. You may be able to find a better price on a mountaineer if you are looking that way - they were lower priced when I bought my Explorer (but I couldn't find one that was in as good of shape mechanically).
     
  5. 2010Eddie

    2010Eddie New Member

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    Hey 97Exploder19:
    I have a 2010 with 4.6V8 and 4WD. The auto 4WD usually runs in 2WD unless a wheel starts to slip then the front wheels kick in. If I nail it half throttle in the snow, I can feel the rear tire slip for a split second before the front wheels kick in. Overall, I like it because it has best of both worlds.....2WD most of the time for MPG and 4WD kicks in automatically when needed so it's almost like an AWD system. No need to see if your tires spin then shift into 4WD. And you still have the low range if you need that.

    As for gas mileage, mine does 13-14 city.....my wife does all local driving hauling the kids to school, shopping etc. Normal mix of driving is 15-16mpg. I live in NJ so I have 4 seasons weather and some hills, but no major mountains. Long highway trips are between 18-21mpg. So overall, you should see some improvement over your '99 5.0 AWD.
    Note - My tires are goodyear (forgot the model) that are geared toward gas mileage and long tread life....but I only noticed maybe a half MPG increase when I got them.
     
  6. MNgopher

    MNgopher Active Member

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    I think one has to be careful in calling what the Explorer does when no slip is being experienced at the rear tires as 2 wheel drive.

    In the simplest explanation, it isn't truly 2 wheel drive. There are no disconnects anywhere in the system that completely unlocks the front driveshaft from the transfer case, meaning all of that stuff is turning anytime the vehicle is in motion. In fact, in order to provide the "seamless" 4wd power, everything has to be moving so the system can instantly provide the power to where it is needed. (In other words, it takes time to lock things up and then send power). As a result, there is virtually always some amount of power going forward - I've seen reports its in the low single digit percentages on the V8's, but regardless, its there. When things slip,you feel a surge as the power is shifted forward an it bites. It is not going from zero to some power, it is going from low to much higher power.

    Watch it in operation outside, and you'll see the slipping and shifting of power occouring.

    And that is part of why these don't get great gas mileage in City driving - as reported, expect low teens in City driving (ours does 13-14) and freeway can be over 20. In mixed driving, year around, we average 14.7 mpg. (Our fuel mileage plummets in cold weather, which we do have winter here...)
     
  7. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @97exploder19
    Well, one might feel better knowing that two-ton vehicles with carburetors were LUCKY to get 10-12 mpg on the highway! imp
     
  8. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    @MNgopher AWD Gen IIs did not have the front driveshaft disconnect built into the front differential carrier of 4X4s. Or, if they did, they were inoperable, as they came into play with 4X4 electrically, by the dashboard switch, sort of like "front hub disconnects". However, those differentials DID have front axles with CV joints turning at all times, so disconnecting operation of the front driveshaft did little to improve fuel economy, IMO. It may be that late Gen IIs did away with that disconnect feature, not sure, but my '96 certainly had it. And my Gen III 4X4 does not. With it's "4X4 AUTO", those front drive parts need to be turning all the time. imp
     
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  9. traveler

    traveler Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The Gen II AWD had no electrical switch at all. It was a full time fluid (I think) all wheel drive, which sent power to the wheels as they needed it. No switch involved.
    That said, I believe the OP was asking for a comparison of the Gen III AWD to the 4WD. I do not know what vhanges we're made from the Gen II to the Gen III
     
  10. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    I don’t believe there is a real appreciable amount of power going to the front in a no slip situation. The front driveline is turned by the road, and when slippage occurs it “duty cycles” the electromagnetic ball and ramp clutch in the transfer case. At least, that’s how it functions in the 2nd gens. Imp is correct, there was a vacuum disco on the early 2nd gens. 4wd and AWD will be similar since you are always turning both front axles, the differential, and front shaft.
     
  11. MotorCityFats13

    MotorCityFats13 Active Member

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    my parents had a 95 EB 4.0 and it had on the dash 2wd 4high and 4 low but my 98 xlt 4.0 only had 4wd auto 4 high and 4 low and I know when you put each on 4 jack stands in 2wd the 95 only spun rears and I could do awesome donuts in the snow as where my 98 could not unless you did the brown wire mod ..... not exactly sure if the 95 was actually a BWM before people knew what it was
     
  12. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    The 95 wasn’t a “brown wire mod” it functioned as intended, as a 2wd. They did away with the 2wd setting to make them feel more sure footed, and it didn’t cause any extra wear, issues, or inefficiency to be in 4 auto vs 2wd.
     
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  13. MotorCityFats13

    MotorCityFats13 Active Member

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    back when I was working at ford I asked my dad to ask an engineer why they did away with the 2hi option and he said they knew the available transmissions were a weak link and did not want people to be able to put more stress on them and this went for the 5.0 and the 4.0

    I still feel to this day that if 4 auto was the only option my parents would not have rolled and totaled the 95 on that snowy road as they rarely ever moved that switch even though I told them multiple times to keep it in 4 auto after my mom spun it out into a guard rail years before but it definitely wouldn't of hurt... I spun my 98 out on the express way into a guard rail so I know it doesn't solve everything but my tires were pretty bad... now with the RSC system on my 07 it almost feels like I cant do anything wrong before the system makes corrections and to anyone that has not tried it get on a very low traction parking lot covered in snow do about 30-40mph let off the gas and brake and crank the wheel hard one way and don't stop it will not spin out and will do its best to complete the turn.... its pretty nice unless you want to spin out and then it sucks in the fun category my brothers 04 would totally lose all control
     
  14. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    I don’t buy that it had to do anything with the transmissions, and surely not with the 5.0. The 5.0 never had a selectable option, and it’s easily 3 times as stout as the anemic v6 offerings.
     
  15. MotorCityFats13

    MotorCityFats13 Active Member

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    I was told that is why the 5.0's never had that option because people love burnouts and ford reworked the system because they didn't know 6v owners also loved burnouts... ive never known anyone with any of the v8 options but from personal experience ive seen 4 out of 5 5r55's bite the bullet with my 07 still having a functional transmission after 180k
     
  16. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    They made lots of 5.0s with 2wd.
     
  17. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    I suspect cost of OEM production came into play more than any safety concerns, but WTH does it matter now? 2WD gave a nice, solid option of not spinning the front driveshaft all the time due to the axle disconnect, at the price of a rather delicate vacuum disconnect mechanism, different than usual center section casting, heavier, something Dana probably charged an arm and a leg for, as sole supplier, Model 35s I think. Get the standard front diff housing back in there, spin the front shaft all the time at price of a bit more fuel, simplify radically the Transfer Case where the shift motor does one function only: 4X4 LOW. Everything else done electronically, since all production had the wheel sensors, easy to detect "slip' between front and rear axles, instantly engage electronically a clutch to the front driveline, every type of driver, knowledgeable or not, gets "4-Wheel Drive".

    My '04 of course has it, and I hate it. Sometimes that clutch slams into and out of engagement several times quickly, frightening my wife, whom I have taught to religiously listen for pending trouble; now I gotta explain some normal noises and feels are OK. Sh!t. imp
     
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  18. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    I didn’t even think about the extra parts. That makes a lot of sense.
     
  19. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    Maybe so......I've always looked for simpler ways to do things, since simpler usually costs less. The productive part of my career involved conceiving, designing, and building machines for use in production in manufacturing plants, eliminating hand-work (meaning payroll). Last big one was in making tennis balls! Two rubber hemispheres get ground flat, then edge-dipped in rubber, those operations were done by hand previously, cost savings over $1 million per year. The machines cost ~ $ 100K each, built 3, so a 3 year payback on capital investment, my meager $25K meant almost nothing. imp
     
  20. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    Yeah, a fair portion of my job is boosting output, minimizing uptime, followed by eliminating work done by hand.
     
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