4x4 only front left/rear right tires spin | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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4x4 only front left/rear right tires spin

September 3, 2009
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I got myself into quite a pickle tonight, my explorer got stuck on a small sand dune.
The drivers side front tire was spinning away happily in the sand and because of the angle i got stuck in, the rear right tire was up in the air.

The rear right tire was spinning and the front left were churning away but the other two wouldn't budge.

What the hell!?

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The stock differentials in you Explorer do not have any type of traction control device (locker, limited slip, ect..). When you become stuck the tires with the least amount of resistance (traction) will spin easier than the ones with better traction. All available power will now go the the tires that have the least amount of traction. Its nothing wrong with the vehicle, its just the way differentials work.

if you have limited slip then what you can do is apply a slight amount of pressure to the brakes until both of them spin. What this does is tricks the truck in to thinking that the tire that is spinning is starting to get traction so the other ones will spin too.

well that would explain it.. The truck is still new to me, i had a 1998 Ranger 4x4 with a limited slip in the back and a 5 speed manual. I'm use to dumping the clutch and spinning ALL four tires at once. well thanks a bunch guys.