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4 wheel drive?

truckchictruckchic Posts: 105
Ok, I'm looking at a 4 wheel drive pickup - my
First 4x4. My question....how do you switch them
into 4 wheel drive? I never did before always had
2 wheel drive (don't ask me why, I live in Illinois
where 4 wheel drive would come in handly half the
year) Is there any particular way I should watch
out for?

The trucks I'm considering are GMC 1500 sierra ,
Chevy Silverado 1500. I'm thinking 2000 model due
to 4 door option. Ideas?
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Comments

  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    I am from indiana and know about the use for 4 wheel drive in the winters when a blizzard can hit anytime. I got my first vehicle of my own 4 wks ago a 4x4 Z71 4 door silverado. I drove a 2wd S-10 for the past 3 years boy what an adventure. I have the autotrac its a push button 4 wheel drive system. Gm also has the floor shifter but i would suggest you pay the $375 and get the autotrac. It has a button you push for auto 4 wheel drive just push it and when the truck tires begin to slip it automatically kicks in. I tested it last saturday we had a pretty good rain so i tried it in 2 wheel hi and the back wheels slipped alot then i put it in auto 4 wheel with absolutely no slip at all. They are done making the 2000 model they are now starting the 2001 models. If you have any other questions you can email me at [email protected] feel free i know what you are going through i planned for over a yr buying my truck. 30K is alot to spend. Good luck

    Ryan
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    truckchic, I have been driving four wheel drive vehicles for longer than I care to remember. The simplest and most maintenance free system, is called part-time 4WD. In order to go into 4WD, all you do is pull back on a transfer case (that's the gear box that distributes power to each axle through two drive or propeller shafts). Most systems allow you to shift "on the fly" which means while you are moving. My wife's 4X4 does not have that feature, and it is very inconvenient to use. The other big help is a limited slip rear axle differential, which again helps to balance the power in the rear drive axle. The problem with the electronic push buttons, is just that, the electronic push buttons. They require a synchronizer to keep both shafts turning at the same revolutions in order to engage within the transfer case. I am probably making it sound more complicated than it actually is, but the more simple the system, the more reliable it will be. Full time 4WD consumes more fuel and wears tires out more frequently.

    Remember: Part time 4WD, Shift on the fly, Mechanical instead of electronic, and Limited Slip differential (generic). Good luck, and if you have any pertinent questions, my email address is in my profile. There are other folks on the Dodge Dakota forum, specifically Andy Jordan who lives in Canada, races dog sleds and has great expertise on this subject.

    Bookitty
  • vince4vince4 Posts: 1,272
    Ditto on Autotrac, it totally eliminates slip on wet roads and you don't even know it's working.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    How can it wear down tires if it only engages when the wheels slip??? It cant. Fuel consumption very minimal i ran with auto 4 wheel on for 2 hrs in a rain storm very minimal if any fuel consumption problems. The good heavily the outbad. If anything the auto 4 wheel saves our tires from running in wheel all the time and only when it needs it. It also engages very quickly half a second much more quickly then a floor shifter and with those you have to stop shift then go with this you just push a button on your left. ABout the electrical problems anything electrical or MECHANICAl can break or go bad. Just because its electric doenst make it any worse than a floor shifter.

    Ryan
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    outbad = out weigh the bad

    sorry
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Ryan, all of the latest (within the last five years) part time systems offer shift on the fly. The push button systems are sometimes prone to synchronizer malfunctions. The synchronizer is needed to get both drive (propeller) shafts turning at the same RPM in order to engage the gearing in the transfer case. Incidentally, when referring to full time 4WD I was not including the
    auto 4WD systems. I actually prefer the manual locking hubs, but in that respect I may be a dinosaur. Be that as it may, the predominant problems that emanate from 4WD systems occur in the electric over synchronizer engagement systems.
    Most of the part time manual systems date back to the "Jeep" and other military systems popularized by WWII. Quite simple, if the wheels are all turning at the same speed (hubs locked manually or automatically), then the drive shafts are synchronized and engagement is made possible. Again, sometimes the simpler the better. The only 4WD full time system that I find acceptable is the
    Jeep Quadratrak (sic). But, that's what these forums and topics are all about; Opinions.

    Bookitty

    PS My 4X4 Dakota Quad Cab with 5 speed and part time system represents over 40 years of owning and operating 4WD vehicles.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    First truck got 4 wheel and i love the push button simplifies things very much. Technology is passing you by man. I have heard of no problems yet from GMs new autotrac. Theres problems with everything out there its all about preference. Guess its true you cant teach an old dogg new tricks hahaha j/k.

    Ryan
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Now that i think of it i have only seen 2 silverados (trust me i have seen alot of em) with the floor mounted shifter one at the chicago autoshow and another at a dealers lot. Wierd huh?? Just something i have noticed.

    Ryan

    BOO hey do you have a locking rear on your truck??? If so you think it helps???
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    Autotrac WILL wear tires more than 2-HI..

    Can't you hear the difference when engaged?...but not slipping?..it's someplace between 4-HI and 2-HI for feel and sound...

    It's partially engaged....aka partially wearing tires faster..

    - Tim
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Posts: 765
    I had to jump in to this discussion.

    Autotrac, Sensortrac and any other kind of computer controlled full time four wheel drive are, at best, a waste of money, at worst dangerous.

    We all know the stories about the invulnerable 4 wheel driver - as this is a truck forum they are invariably SUVs and driven by people who think that 4wd is akin to an invulnerability option. These people are the ones in the ditches on a regular basis.

    Full time and / or computer controlled systems take this to the extreme - hey just press this button and the truck will do the rest. Hello world - what are we smoking!!!

    If traction is marginal use 4wd, if it isn't use 2wd, simple. I do not want a system that thinks, "hmm the wheels aren't slipping 2wd is fine" if I am driving through standing water, snow, mud or whatever. I will be in 4wd mode thank you very much - it really isn't that much effort to reach out and move a shifter.

    Do these systems increase tire wear, reduce gas mileage etc - yes. Do they cost more to purchase - yes. Do they cost more to maintain - yes. Do they add additional functionality to go wrong - yes.

    I am not going to get into my driving experience, those that know me are familiar with it, but suffice it to say that I am no stranger to 4wd. I will never, ever, waste my money on one of these systems - but hey that is the beauty of free choice.

    OK, rant over (for now).
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Yea itll wear ur tires faster if ur in auto constantly but for just a little while maybe once a month its miniscual. How often do you actually run in auto 4 wheel tim????? For me so far ive used it 3 times. Twice in rain and once when i went down a muddy trail where they were doing some construction. How much tire damage could this have done??? Very little maybe none at all.

    I can hear a lil difference but not very much. Maybe cause the radio is to high.

    So what andy is saying is they arent worth the money and they dont work as well.

    To many people use the damn excuse its electronic more things can go wrong. Yes there are but dont use this as an excuse cause a lot of other things can go wrong too.

    it was well worth the $375 especially having the bucket seats and front console cant have the floor shifter then.

    So many pros and cons we could go at it all day its over they are both 50-50 get whatcha want.

    Ryan
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    is having serious denial here....

    LOL

    I had no choice.....unless I want a base or stripped LS model..

    - Tim
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Whos having denial???

    Yea a loaded LS or LT comes with the Autotrac.
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    ...chill....ain't talking to you..

    ...YOU said it would have no wear....and I say it does..

    Even when not sending power...but engaged..it's wearing the tires..

    ...and don't try to make yourself sound like the awesome off roader man......I have many years on you little man...

    LOL

    ..(now for Ryans explosion)

    - Tim
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Even with 2 hi on the tires are wearing. They are constantly wearing whatever you are driving in just coasting with the engine off is wearing the tires not that people do this but still. Maybe a slight bit more with auto 4 wheel on but what you lose maybe 250 mls on the tire??? Even with the floor shifter you will wear the tires.

    Now on this:

    ...and don't try to make yourself sound like the
    awesome off roader man......I have many years on
    you little man...


    When did i ever say i was an "awesome off roader " or make it seem like it??? Im far from that.

    i am just bothered by the fact people are knocking the autotrac because it is electronic and and talk about so many bad things when there has been nothing negative (malfunctions recalls or such) about this system. There is nothing in concrete that there are flaws in this system.

    Ryan
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Posts: 765
    Let me make this as clear as I can.

    I never said it was crap because it was electronic, in fact I never said it was crap. I do say it isn't as good - there's a difference.

    I never said it would fail, I said it was something else to go wrong - if parts fail at 1 part per 10000 produced per year (I'm making the numbers up) and your truck has 1000 parts then 1 in 10 trucks will fail statistically - if the truck has 2000 parts then 1 in 5 trucks will fail statistically - fact is facts.

    Now tell me where I am wrong in my arguments and we can have a constructive discussion, but let's make it something that we BOTH know about.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    You make it out to seem like the floor shifter cant fail or rarely does and the push button will fail more than the shifter. Thats what i am getting from you. Anything and everything can fail. The floor shifter is also something else to go wrong. If you dont want the hassles get a 2wd truck then.

    Ryan
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Posts: 765
    Then you are speaking a different language to me.

    There are more parts in the computer controlled or full time systems than in the shift-on-the-fly systems. There are therefore more parts to go wrong. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS FACT THAT YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND?

    I have not gone into the computer vs. mechanical because I don't know what is statistically more reliable - I do know that the more parts there are, the more can go wrong.

    A 2wd truck - yeah that would be really useful in my life!! As I said, if there is something that we can have a meaningful discussion about that will assist other people then that is great - but if you do not have the knowledge to do so, then there really isn't any point.

    I have stated my opinion, and explained why I think that way, if you have a different opinion then that is fine - though I am not yet clear on your logic (not saying you don't have one - just that I am not clear on it). If you disagree with me that's fine - it is your right - but back it up with facts, or at least read what I write before your knee jerk, and usually inaccurate, responses.
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Wasnt meant for you it was just a "comment" for anyone who doesnt want more problems.

    Your speaking a different language to me so dont feel bad we are both int he same boat. Ill quit now so you dont get all worked up about it. Ill go on my merry way happy with my autotrac hoping the million parts it has dont go bad.

    Ryan
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    I have a Silverado with the electromechanical CenterAxleDisconnect and the floor mounted shifter.

    Would rather have manual locking hubs to go with the manual transfer case shifter. This is what my buddy has on his F350SD "fully loaded".

    I drove the Autotrac and worked great, but prefer the simpler mechanical systems. Also I like mechanical windows and mechanical door locks.

    To each is own though....
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Ryan, I do not have a rear differential lock system (locker). What I have is a limited slip that uses a clutch pack to increase tractive effort (in 2WD or 4WD). A locking rear is usually for more extreme applications, and affects thing like turn radius etc.

    Ryan, we all learn by listening, absorbing and applying. Andy Jordan is an expert on four wheel drive as well as four paw drive. His opinion is very valuable to me. Your opinion is interesting, but at this point does not have the value, because
    your level of experience is just not there as yet. It is true that I am an "old dog", but I may have forgotten more than you'll ever know. I also
    do not buy 4WD vehicles because one defeats much of the control provided by 4WD. I could explain that to you also, but for two reasons. You are not at this point receptive enough, nor in possession of sufficient knowledge to fully grasp what I would offer. I am not knocking you, I,m certain that you are a nice fellow, and your truck is a very good model. My background is in rough terrain rubber tired material handlers (R/T forklifts and cranes). My engineering degree is in aeronautics but you could fool me in that area with a lot more ease than in all wheel drive equipment. The purpose of these forums, is the exchange of information. When "truckchic" originally posed the question regarding buying a 4WD truck, my post suggested that she contact Andy
    Jordan because his opinion is valid, and his vast
    experience is available through the wonder of the
    Internet. I know that this is a bit lengthy, but it needed to be said.

    Bookitty
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    I am not arguing with anyone i did listen to what he says and understand where hes coming from. Im sure you and him both have alot more experience than me this is my first truck. I did look into the autotrac alot to see problems and such but found nothing. no one i talked to or seen had problems why not simplify things but this is me.

    i got a locking rear differential (this is what gm calls it) on my truck i have felt it work a few times will in 2 hi and slipping on some water.

    Ok ill start listening more to you guys and ill stop arguing ( i realy wasnt arguing just disagreeing more or less).

    Ryan
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Posts: 4,162
    are wearing all the time.....that's quite the finding man.....amazing!

    You asked "how will it wear the tires".....we are telling you...

    You aksed "how many times do YOU use 4WD...I have used it X times!"...as if you are ....hell with this..this forum stinks....we need live talk..

    I thought this...you thought that...it seemed like you were saying this.....blah blah blah

    That's the problem with E-mail......you don't get a clear understanding of what is being said...due to no voice inflection and the likes...

    What we need is a get together of all of us in person......

    Didn't somebody have that idea???

    - Tim
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Yea some guy did. It became a dumb idea when they wanted to go to some theme park. haha.

    Ryan

    Im done my hands are tied behind my back
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Is it actually a "locker" or is it limited, like for instance posi-traction or another manufacturer
    name for limited slip. I am not familiar with what
    GM offers, but will attempt to look it up on one of my automobile ordering programs. Your truck sounds great. Is it a stretch cab or standard? The
    stretch I believe is now available with three or four doors. That's a lot better than pushing the seat forward and then falling into the back like on my '95 Dakota Club Cab. Also, the comfort level
    is much better in the GM rear seat.

    Bookitty
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Man i forgot who the manufacturer is TIM can you help me out??? They had a website. Oh man i totally forget. The option code for it was G80 i think. Man this is gonna bugg me now.

    My truck is an Ext cab 4 door. At first i got mad when i heard i couldnt get the 3 door but i am very happy i got the 4 doors i use the drivers side rear door everyday i put my work stuff back there. Lots of room in the back too people are very comfy dogg likes it too.

    Ryan
  • bookittybookitty Posts: 1,303
    Ryan, here is how Chevrolet describes the locking
    rear; "LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL -inc: premium carbon fiber friction plates Code: G80." The premium carbon friction plates indicate that it is indeed a limited slip using carbon (superior technology)plates in the clutch pack. Dana and several other manufacturers of heavy duty drive/steer axles for use in rubber tired construction equipment have gone to the carbon fiber plate, replacing the metal plates used previously.

    Bookitty
  • markbuckmarkbuck Posts: 1,021
    Chevy calls/buys it an Easton Locker, I think. I'll get my Silverado Manuals out tonight and take a look at the G80 guts. My recollection is that it's almost a hybrid between the ol' positrac, limited slip, centrifugal clutch rear diffs and a true locker (Detroit or Auburn). Definately is not a Torsen-Gleason style diff.

    In reverse, my rear diff occasionally locks up fully and definately affects drivability on hard ground, but I haven't noticed any problems with turning radius while travelling forward. There is also a rumour that above 15mph, the Chevy locker doesn't engage. Quadrunner has posted the Easton website before.

    Or is it Eaton. Ya, maybe that's it and my softball bat is an Easton. Heck, I give up, going home to take a hike ... ;o)
  • ryanbabryanbab Posts: 7,240
    Yea thats it easton is a baseball bat company eaton is the locking rear company thanks

    Ryan
This discussion has been closed.