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4x4 question


September 18, 2006
Reaction score
City, State
Eden, WI
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 Sport 4X4
I havn't done the brown wire mod on my 99 explorer sport yet, but i am thinking about it. I live in wisconsin, and spinning around in two wheel drive is one of the best things to do all season. Since the explorer has control trac this is virtually impossible. My question is, if i do the brown wire mod, will this allow me to do donuts and fishtail with out worrying about breaking something in my 4x4 system? What amount of control do you have over the stock 4x4 system do you have by doing the brown wire mod. Could you use it to save gas by driving in 2wd when 4x4 isn't needed?

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not really save gas....and if you do the bw mod then it becomes 2wd 100% until you hit the switch.

after you do the brown wire mod you will have a true 2wd and the only think that you will nee to worry doing donuts is the tranny and not the 4 wheel drive.

you will not see any difference in gas mileage because the 4x4 auto engage only when you are under 35 mph and when the pcm determine that the rear wheels turn more than the fronts.

is it safe? I have heard warnings of burning out clutch packs and transfer cases by spinning the rear wheels too much in 2wd with the brown wire mod.

Please read through the comprehensive brown wire mod thread. It's discussed in there. The short answer is that while yes, you can then spin teh rear wheels, it's not the best idea. The transfer case was not designed to be able to sustain extended sessions of excessive differences in driveshaft speeds. Extended rear-wheel roast sessions can and do result in a burnt-up transfer cases. Short spurts here and there, for example, a quick doughnut in a parking lot isn't going to do much damage, but it's certainly not helping extend the life of the t-case.

As for the mileage gains, there are none to be had.


can your front wheels turn easier with the mod done? Especially when you turn real short, you get that clunking and binding of a vehicle turning with 4x4 engaged.

You should not be making tight turns on high-traction surfaces with the 4wd engaged to start with. The BWM does the same thing as putting it back in 4auto: It disengages the transfer case.