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4X4 Explanation

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by XHitman396, May 18, 2002.

  1. XHitman396

    XHitman396 1/2 ton status

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    Ok, ive heard enough people who think they know what they're talkin about when 4wd comes into play, this is what im lookin for. EXACTLY how does four-wheel drive work, gotta 87 bone stock k-5 and dunno how it works, is the front left and right rear the only tires powered, only traction sent to tires with the least traction, how do the differentials work, or lockers even??? please help me out with terms of a red-neck who ain't used to them big words /forums/images/icons/smile.gif thank you very much

    Brett
     
  2. Chaz88K5

    Chaz88K5 1/2 ton status

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    ok lets see how well i do explaning this...on a stock 4x4 that dose not have any type of traction control device like a locker or ARB or somthing like that...the power sent to the wheels will go to the tire with the least amount of traction for each axle front a rear...if you have lockers all 4 wheels well turn (if i am not makin any sence let me know)
     
  3. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    There are various type of transfer cases so we'll start with the axles. The axles have differentials which distribute power between them down the path of least resistance (hence the lifted wheel spins). An axles differential is considered "open" in this case. Sometimes springs and clutch packs exist in the differential which inhibit its least resistance distribution, this still allows the wheel with the least reststance to get more power but limits how much power it can get compared to the other wheel. Then there are lockers which can engage and disengage depending on the force applied to them, engaged causes a lock between the tires and distributes power equally. Disengaged lockers are basicly open. A locker can be engaged via Air actuation or torque applied to it. A spool eliminates the 'open' all together and locks both wheels together. Now we have the transfer case. The transfer case has a differential as well which can be locked and unlocked but the result is either distributing power to each axle through the least resistance or equally to both (locked). A part time kit can eliminate the 'open' path of least resistance portion and make this all to the rear axle, all the time.

    Does that help?
     
  4. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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    I agree with Borrego mostly. the transfer case thing kind of lost me. I think it depends on the type of transfer case. On my 208...with the selector in 2hi, I only have torque transfered to the rear driveshaft. The front driveshaft sits idle (no power from the tranny). When I select either 4hi or 4low, this sends equal power to the front and rear driveshafts. Then the driveshafts drive the differential and so on and so forth from above. Hope this helped. Some T-cases will act like a differential, I think, such as full time 4 wheel applications. (no experience with full time, just guessing)
     
  5. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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  6. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Your right. Borrego was describing an NP203 from a "full time" setup. Most cases don't have differentials.
     
  7. BorregoK5

    BorregoK5 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah, I've got to stop posting so late, started an idea and fell asleep before the end! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif I figured a full time case / part time conversion would cover all t-case bases indirectly... ZZzzzzz......
     
  8. XHitman396

    XHitman396 1/2 ton status

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    yes all this stuff helps greatly, but what if like both the tires on the same axle have the same traction? thanks, and one more thing, im looking for some sort of traction control or locker that's not gonna put me out an arm and a leg (like detroits) any suggestions? this won't be hardcore usage, no rocks, only mud, so it doesn't need to be bomb proof (does it) thanks again
     
  9. Overkill

    Overkill 1/2 ton status

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    Well if both tire on the same axle have the same traction then you are in the best shape you could hope for, unless the amount of traction is none, haha. As far as a cheap traction control device goes, I believe you get what you pay for. If you can weld you can lock up both your axles for pennies, but they will be permanently locked. YOu can put in a mini spool for around $100-$150, which is effectively the same as welding the diff, but it can be removed and it won't instantly yield your carrier, or spider gears unusable, should you decide you don't want it locked. Limited slip can be nice if you don't have a real need for the axles to be locked, and they can be setup to be almost locked. All in all it depends mostly on what you intend on using your rig for. For examples of different situations you could do a search on this board and find oodles of great discussion that should help you make your mind up. If your only doing mud, it still depends on your driving habits, motor, size of tires you will likely run, and the type of mud (how deep, thick, rutted etc. etc.) Another minor, usually overlooked factor, to consider is if you drink while mudding. I know I personnaly get quite a bit braver and aggressive if I consume an alcoholic beverage or nine. If you are the anal retentive type that is deathly afraid of breaking something on your rig when you wheel you will likely be more apt to be kind to your equip and thus less preperation/upgrading will be necessary. My suggestion would be to play like it is and if something breaks, upgrade it. If you find yourself getting stuck alot, then worry about a locking device. If your fairly new to wheeling, experiment and then base your buildup of you rig on what you've discovered. Forecasting isn't always the best way to build a rig. Good luck and I hope this essay helps. Got any more questions, post em.
     

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