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4x4 experiment

271Ranger

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Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Sport XLT
I put my 1998 Explorer Sport in 4x4 high and then
stopped, got under the truck and marked the
driveshafts (front and rear) at the same clock position.
Next I drove around some corners and I could feel
and hear the drive system bind and then release itself.
Finally I stopped and looked under the truck and the
driveshaft markings were not together anymore.
Even though the truck was "locked" in 4x4 high,
the transfer case had allowed some slipping or
independent movement. My theory is that after a certain amount of torque is built up between the two output shafts, the clutch will slip in order to relieve any bind. I emailed Ford and this was confirmed.

Any thoughts?

Joe
 



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jimbo74

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that sounds accurate... if it was truly locked up, then you would be blowing up axles and u joints and anything else that spins....
 






Adam Berger

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Would this mean that there is no need to worry about transmission wind up on hard surfaces?
 






SWLathrop

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You can still trash things even with this scenario. Even thought the front and rear axles have the same gears, the front can still turn up to 10% faster than the rear causing binding before the clutches let loose.
 






Robert

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And that is if the clutches let loose before a u-joint does. Basically when you are in 4x4 High or Low on pavement and make sharp turns, the weakest part in the system will be the one to give. That is the nature of physics. It sounds like in your case, the transfer case clutches were the weakest link under that instance. Next time it might be something else whether it be the tires slipping, gears breaking, u-joints snapping, or any number of other things.
 






271Ranger

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by design

The clutch will slip "by design" when the amount of
torque that has built up between the front and rear
shafts reaches a certain threshold.

Joe
 






SWLathrop

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"The clutch will slip as designed"? Is this why my 97 Sport w/control trac and 01 Sport owners manuals both state "4H and 4L are not recommended on dry pavement as "doing so could cause difficulty in tranfer case disengagment or damage to the transfer case".
 






271Ranger

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I don't think it is something they want you to get
in a habit of doing. But, have you ever heard of a
newer explorer breaking its transfer case?
 






Jason_25

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Originally posted by 271Ranger
I don't think it is something they want you to get
in a habit of doing. But, have you ever heard of a
newer explorer breaking its transfer case?

I can attest to this. Mine constantly does this. Even offroad in 4-low, and it bothers the heck out of me with the thus noises it makes. However, it's still NOT a good idea on the road. And yes I have heard of 3 newer explorers breaking their transfer case, and countless others with problems with them.

BTW, the 2001 sport has a BW1354 chain-driven transfer case, not a clutch-based 4405.
 






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