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About all the manual says is to keep your speeds under 50 mph while in 4wd. Seems like I read somewhere that you can shift in & out of 4wd at speeds up to 40 mph, but I can't find that info right now. I know that I have shifted in & out of 4wd doing 30 or 35 mph with no problems or strange noises.

You can also check out the online manual for the Nitro for this kind of info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I figured there must be some speed.
It's not that I was too lazy to look it up in manual.
I don't have one yet as I just ordered my RT.
I had no idea there was such a thing as an on-line manual!
Cool . . .
 

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The FT transfer case has been bumped for the 2007 model year. Maybe in 2008.

Isn't PT 4wd Lock better than the FT 4wd anyway?

Pluse you get better mpg, and less wear and tare when you don't need the 4wd.

The dealer told my to order my R/T the way I wanted it, with the MyGig, It could take as little as 6 weeks, and as long as 6 months. I think I might just wait for the 2008's, by then I'm sure the MyGig will be more available, pluse they'll have all the 1st year bugs worked out, and maybe even some rebates!?

-TheChad
 

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Yes to everything you said about p/t 4wd. As to ordering now or the 08 your choice. but the way NITRO's are selling I would not count on any rebates. As for the time frame 6 to 12 weeks seems to be the norm. good luck whatever you do & don't be a stranger to the forum.:D
 

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Please forgive me if this is a stupid question...

What is the difference between 4wd Low, and 4wd Lock?

I always thought trucks with 4wd Low, was nothing more than 4wd with the front axle Locked, which was why you wern't suppose to drive fast with in in 4wd Low, and that 4wd High, or Normal 4wd mode was just 4wd with out the front axle locked!?!?!?


-TheChad
 

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Most 4x4 trucks have a transfer case with a high & low range, hence 4 wheel low. The Nitro only has a high range transfer case. Reasons to have a low range include extreme pulling, hill climbing or rock crawling.

Any 4 wheel or all wheel drive has to lock the hubs to get power to drive all the wheels. Unlocking the hubs is done so the vehicle can attempt to get descent mileage (turning less running gear). Any 4wd or AWD vehicle made in the last 10 years has auto locking/unlocking hubs.

I decided the high range was fine in the Nitro because most all of the reasons I need 4wd are traction in snow, mud, dirt, slick boat ramps, etc. If you put a truck in low range in those situations you would probably just spin the tires.
 

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Most 4x4 trucks have a transfer case with a high & low range, hence 4 wheel low. The Nitro only has a high range transfer case. Reasons to have a low range include extreme pulling, hill climbing or rock crawling.

Any 4 wheel or all wheel drive has to lock the hubs to get power to drive all the wheels. Unlocking the hubs is done so the vehicle can attempt to get descent mileage (turning less running gear). Any 4wd or AWD vehicle made in the last 10 years has auto locking/unlocking hubs.

I decided the high range was fine in the Nitro because most all of the reasons I need 4wd are traction in snow, mud, dirt, slick boat ramps, etc. If you put a truck in low range in those situations you would probably just spin the tires.

My reason's for wanting 4x4 are the same as yours, Snow, and slick boat ramps. So I think the Part Time 4wd is exactly what I need.

I guess this is where the limited slip differential comes in? If I understand what I read correctly online, basically most part-time 4x4 systems lock the tires together, so if the right front tire doesn't get traction, even if the left front tire does, the system automatically transfers all the power to the rear tires. The sight I was reading said systems like the Hummer's have is the best which is a full time 4x4, with limited slip differentials front and rear, so that if 1 tire doesn't get traction, the other 3 will be given power, instead of removing power from the whole axel... (Am I understanding/explaining this correctly?)

Couldn't you just put the Nitro in 1st gear if you needed 'low range'?

I am looking at getting the R/T, So beyond the 4wd, I think tires would be an issue as well in the deep snow (1'-2'), since the R/T has performance tires vs the more off-road A/T style on the other models.

-TheChad
 

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Low range is a completely different gear in the transfer case. It's a significantly larger gear-ratio. I could drive my Ram around on the beach all day in 4-high at about 30 MPH, but in 4-low at 10 MPH it would be close to redline. (Note that this was a 5-speed manual with a "granny" or crawler 1st gear for towing, and a 4.11 rear end, so it was pretty much the most extreme low-range setup you could order from the factory.)

The difference between low and high is that in low-range you're putting a huge amount of engine torque to the wheels while turning them VERY slowly. I've had my Ram (which sat on 33.5" tires) with all four wheels buried to the axles, but after dropping it into 4-low it literally just walked up the side of those holes. It absolutely doesn't cause spinning.

Lockers are completely different matter. A fully locking differential means both tires spin the same amount, no matter what.

I assume the Nitro doesn't have a low-range option simply because it's an EXTREMELY light-duty truck. It doesn't have the room for the larger transfer case or a transmission that could handle the workload, the suspension isn't there for the kind of situations where you're likely to need 4-low, and finally, as somebody else pointed out, all that weight and more bits spinning around in the driveline translate directly into worse fuel economy.

That being said, I had one of the original Durangos, which "feels" like a very similar truck, and in my mind was probably a much better truck (time will tell), but it did fairly well with a full high/low transfer case.
 

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I think I might just wait for the 2008's, by then I'm sure the MyGig will be more available, pluse they'll have all the 1st year bugs worked out, and maybe even some rebates!?
Something more to consider.. If you look back at the original literature, the part-time transfer case that we've all got in our 4x4 Nitros so far was only supposed to be available in the SXT with a manual transmission. All automatic 4x4's were supposed to have the full-time transfer case. 2007 may be the only year where you'll see a part-time transfer case in an SLT or R/T. Of course, everything is subject to change..

 

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Regular differentials deliver power to 1 wheel, the one with the least amount of traction. A limited slip diff distributes power to both wheels with a tiny percentage of slip between the two. Or in some cases like the Nitro, there is some intelligence built in & it distributes power to the wheels that are slipping.
On the older trucks, where there was no computer managing this stuff, you would lock the hubs & put it in 4wd & this would typically give you 1 drive wheel in front & 1 drive wheel in the rear. If you had a posi or limited slip diff in either the front or rear, then you would have true 3 or 4 wheel drive.

If you didn't have any slip at all, then the truck would be TOUGH to drive. It would barely go around a corner (since the outside wheel has a longer path than the inside wheel) & would have a tendancy to hunt all over. My Arctic Cat 650 4x4 quad is a BEAR to drive with the front diff locked. It will climb right out of the deepest of mud holes fully locked, but trying to drive it down the path locked will make it hunt all over the road.

My 98 Dakota had a weird transfer case with PT 4wd & FT 4wd, high & low range. PT high range was good for most all cases, including driving on snow or dirt. If you tried using low range in wet snow or a slimy boat ramp, the truck would spin all 4 tires, whereas if you used PT 4wd, it would intelligently deliver power to the tires that had the best grip.

FT low literally meant ALL 4 wheels got FULL power. My wife pulled our 20' Mastercraft out on the beach in FT low one time, then drove a block home on the paved street. She literally could not make the turn into our street, the truck bucked & tires barked & then it just bound up & stopped. I stuck it in reverse & floored it & the whole truck just POPPED as it unbound all the running gear. Then I was able to put the truck into 2wd & make the corner.
 

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FT low literally meant ALL 4 wheels got FULL power. My wife pulled our 20' Mastercraft out on the beach in FT low one time, then drove a block home on the paved street. She literally could not make the turn into our street, the truck bucked & tires barked & then it just bound up & stopped. I stuck it in reverse & floored it & the whole truck just POPPED as it unbound all the running gear. Then I was able to put the truck into 2wd & make the corner.
Ouch. That's a great way to tear up all sorts of expensive parts.

For those of you new to four wheel drive -- take the warnings in the manual very seriously. NEVER drive it on hard surfaces with four wheel drive engaged.

Also, you should get in the habit of running it in 4WD about once a month or so to keep all the fluids mixed up and all the internal parts coated. I don't know why the owner's manuals never mention that, but it's something I've been told my whole life about 4x4 ownership.
 

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Yea, the first time I saw this happen was in an old Subaru 4wd wagon. The car just stopped on the street. The guy would floor it & it was like the brakes were bound up. My brother figured out that it was in 4wd & the transfer case was bound up. Stuck it in reverse & gased it...... POP & it came loose. No immediate damage in either case. But a good example of what happens if your driving in 4wd on dry pavement.

The Dakota went for another 100k before I got rid of it..... still no 4wd problems.

The electrically actuated 4wd in the Nitro is a new one for me. Sounds exactly like the 4wd on the Arctic Cat ATV. So far it's been way easier in & out of 4wd than any other truck I've owned. I had an old Toyota 4'Runner we used to have to drive backwards & forwards till it would come out of 4wd.

Good suggestion to do a monthly drive in 4wd. You have to make a point to do it on wet pavement or in the dirt. Doesn't take too long, just a few minutes to stir thinks up a bit.
 

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Actually you'd be fine putting it into 4WD for the "monthly mix-up" if you had somewhere that you could drive in a straight line for half a mile or so. Shouldn't take much. It's turns on a hard surface that really screw things up.

Electrically activated 4WD has been around for a long time. GM has been putting them on their SUVs for many years.
 

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was wandering around looking for an explaination of what Dodge says about the 4X4 and the knob on my console. DUH, finally figured it out.

Nothing I've ever seen was as bad as my old Ford Exploder when it came to 4 wheel drive. That was another case of the first model year and my old 91 had more problems witht he 4 whell on the fly. All in all it was a great car though.

Chad, I have the same concerns.
I am looking at getting the R/T, So beyond the 4wd, I think tires would be an issue as well in the deep snow (1'-2'), since the R/T has performance tires vs the more off-road A/T style on the other models.
I am told that the tires are aggressive enough and in combination with the ESP I won't have any problems with deep snow in my driveway. That being said I have, more then once, had to resort to Low Range to make the incline so the proof will be in the pudding and if the pudding is too deep I'll be hiking my ass up my driveway next winter.
 

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If you are thinking the stock tires are aggressive enough for snow, only if you have little to deal with . If you live in snow country the stock tires are about as aggressive as a Tibetan Monk. Get some good snow tires & w the 4wh./dr. you get anywhere within reason . Don't know about driving in pudding though might have to get someone to plow the pudding.:pepper:
 

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I am told that the tires are aggressive enough and in combination with the ESP I won't have any problems with deep snow in my driveway. That being said I have, more then once, had to resort to Low Range to make the incline so the proof will be in the pudding and if the pudding is too deep I'll be hiking my ass up my driveway next winter.
Yea, I have to agree with Dan. The baloneyskin Goodyears these Nitros came with are pretty much bottom of the barrel. We get by OK, only because of the Traction Control. But with some descent tires, they will get around a LOT better.

BTW, we had an inch of snow here yesterday. :confused: And to think it was 70 & sunny on Saturday.
 
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