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Problem with AWD performance?

Discussion in 'Stock 2006 -2010 Explorers' started by d2power, January 10, 2020.

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  1. d2power

    d2power New Member

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    I just bought a 2010 Explorer XLT V8 AWD and performance in the snow is very disappointing. Once the rear tires let go like if they are on ice at the bottom of my driveway, they just spin and front tires don't seem to turn. Coming from a GMC Envoy, everything is better in the Explorer but the AWD system is disappointing compared to the 4x4 in the Envoy. Regretting not holding out for a 4x4 Explorer now. Is this normal or it should be better? Is there something that I can do to make it better? I tried locking it in 4x4 through the dash but that didn't help.
     
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  3. michael loibl

    michael loibl Active Member

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    Confirm if the fronts are turning or not, if they are not, then there is a problem
     
  4. d2power

    d2power New Member

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    Thanks. I'll ask someone to watch them but I'm fairly certain they aren't. They were on bare wet pavement while the rears were on ice and it wouldn't go anywhere. If they had power, it should have moved. If they aren't turning and everything visually seem to be in order and no dash lights or anything, where do I start to look for a problem?
     
  5. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Ditto. With AWD there should be at least one front tire, and one rear, spinning of the road is too slick. Once one rear begins to spin, then a front should too. If the rear has a decent LS diff, then the one front should be spinning at twice the speed of the rears. The front has an open diff, the rear may not, check your door jamb, the VIN tag, for the axle code(you want a letter code, versus a number only code).
     
  6. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    It may be that the transfer case has been damaged from past tire spinning, applying too much power when some tires are on ice, and others not. The spinning creates extra heat in the AWD clutches(viscous clutch), and eventually that ruins it. So apply just enough power to be near spinning, but avoid spinning the tires.
     
  7. Littleant

    Littleant Active Member

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    Have you checked the fluid. There is a viscous clutch inside the TC. Low fluid may affect the operation of the transfer case. There is also button below the radio that when engaged will show a yellow image of a car sliding on the dash. On my 2010 mountaineer when engaged will lock the AWD and keep it engaged.
     
  8. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    Fluid shouldn’t effect its operation. The viscous coupling is a sealed unit, and won’t run low.
     
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  9. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Ditto, unless it fails and the fluid inside leaks out into the TC, which makes the TC fluid black. The viscous clutch is sealed and without overheating, it can last the life of the vehicle.
     
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  10. Littleant

    Littleant Active Member

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    Thanks guys for the clarification.
     
  11. ThunderbirdSport

    ThunderbirdSport Active Member

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    Incorrect...at least for a vehicle with a properly functioning T-case. ESPECIALLY a viscous type such as these have..

    The T case fluid heats up, thickens up...acts upon clutches to engage the front diff....in a properly maintained system this is almost seamless and barely noticeable.

    If the rear is spinning and the front diff doesn't have power, your trans case is bad or there's little/no fluid in it or the fluid junk. Fluid issue aside, mechanically, there's absolutely NO way the front wheels could spin faster than the rear. Same speed, in certain circumstances....but damned sure not faster. And if you're stuck enough that both fronts and rears spinning aren't getting you out of whatever you're in....may as well turn the key off and grab a phone and call someone. LOL.
     
    Last edited: January 11, 2020
  12. michael loibl

    michael loibl Active Member

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    If only one front is spinning, and both rears were spinning at the same speed, the one front would go 2x speed. Both front and rear driveshafts would be going same speed, but if one wheel slows, the other side speeds up due to the differential
     
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  13. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    You should rethink that thought about tire speeds.

    If the rear is an open diff, in a 2WD vehicle, and one rear tire is on ice, one on dry pavement, how fast does the spinning tire go, versus the speedometer?

    If a 4WD vehicle has virtually no traction, good LS, both back tires spinning, what will the front tire speeds be usually? The front has an open diff, one tire is not going to spin, all power will go to the other front tire. So the front gets the same driveshaft rpm's, what speed is the spinning front tire, versus the two rears spinning(good LS)?

    The answer is double the speed of the rears.
     
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  14. michael loibl

    michael loibl Active Member

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    Correct, the simplest way I could explain it is with a properly locked transfer case the total speed of the two front tires will equal the total speed of the two rear tires, even if one tire of either axle is stopped
     
  15. imp

    imp Well-Known Member

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    The moot point here overall is that regardless of presence of limited-slip diff gears or open gears, if ONE WHEEL in back, or front, or both, spins faster than the other, the difference in speeds is being made up by spinning differential gears, which are basically doing very little. imp
     
    Last edited: January 12, 2020
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  16. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Ditto, and bottom line is that spinning tires is bad, both for movement, and for the transfer case. What kills an AWD is the uncontrolled speed difference between any front and rear drive shafts. Having mismatched tires is the most common now, but staying on the gas when tires spin can kill the AWD too.
     
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  17. Rod Robertson

    Rod Robertson New Member

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    is there a fuse to control this? I know in the Subaru world, people yank their fuse in hopes of getting better mileage on long freeway trips.
    I have pulled my driveshaft on a Volvo AWD trying to track down a vibration too. ;-)

    And congrats on finding a 2010 V8. I have been searching and they are pretty rare.
     
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  18. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    Typically you put a fuse IN a Subaru to disable the AWD.

    There’s probably a type of “brown wire mod” applicable to this generation.
     
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