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Running 4wheel drive on pavement and/ dirt

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by wazzabie, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. wazzabie

    wazzabie 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    When is it OK to run 4 wheel drive either for the NP205 and NP 203 with part time kit. I ran my NP 203 with part time kit across the stateduring a snow storm many years ago. Parked it for a week and when I hit reverese the t-case chain slipped on the sprokets. I put in a NP205. So I can't run full time 4x4 on pavement I guess. Is off-road dirt the only place to run it full time. I thought about fixing my NP203 and going back to full time.
     
  2. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    Only time I'll use 4 wheel drive on pavement is when it's slick with snow, ice, or heavy rain. If it's been raining all day, I'll use my 4wd; the K5 is a lot more stable on a wet road in 4wd. Especially with the roads here, the rightmost lane is the ones I can fit in with the K5, but half of the lane is covered in water from 1/2-4" deep most the time -- flat land == bad drainage.
     
  3. 350k5

    350k5 1/2 ton status

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    From what I understand with full time 4x4 on pavement it puts a lot of stress on the truck becasue both wheels want to rotate the same distance. It's not an issue when you are going straight but when making a turn theres a lot of pressure on your axle, t-case, ect.

    Now I'm not sure why your NP 203 crapped out but it probably had something to do with that long trip in the snow. If all of the roads were snow covered and your tires weren't getting a lot of traction thats not as much of a problem with full time. In dirt and mud full time 4x4 is not a problem either. My guess is that you were on some dry/non snow coverd pavement making turns which was hard on the t-case (and the front axle too).

    It really depends on what you want to do with the truck... Is it a DD? Do you just want to off-road with it? For a DD I would stick with the 205 becasue you probably won't have much use for the full time 4x4 anyways. For an off-raod rig the full time would give you more traction in some tough situations. You'll still get stuck, but probably not as easliy.

    I would recomend just keeping the 205 you've got. Fixing the old one and having to change it again probably isn't worth it. At least not to me, but it really depends on what you want.
     
  4. wazzabie

    wazzabie 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    What is DD? I think the NP 203 broke because the roa was snow, ice and dry pavement at times. I also did about 50 mph passing all those going 25 mph cause the road was slick. The k5 is great in those conditions. Also when I pulled out the NP 203 I found the oil was low. So lots of things could have happened. Also it has the conversion kit in it which was installed in 1982. These kits from what I read tend to where out. The best kit to put in is the full shaft kit. But now that I have a NP 205 in it I'm thinking about rebuilding the NP 203 back to a fulltime unit and install the transfer case for extreme fulltime 4x4ing. The NP 205 is much stronger and all gear driven so it might take more abuse and run on a mixture of pavement, ice and snow. I don't know however.
     
  5. 78 k5

    78 k5 1/2 ton status

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    DD = Daily Driver
     
  6. hunterguy86

    hunterguy86 1/2 ton status

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    You have a 203 and a 205? I see a doubler in your future!!!
     
  7. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    DOUBLER!!!!!! and dont look back
     
  8. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    I hate people like you.

    4 wheel drive helps you go, doesn't help you stop. When there's wintry weather amiss, I still drive < 25 mph... because a K5 wheighs 4500+ lbs!!!!
     
  9. 350k5

    350k5 1/2 ton status

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    Yea, those trucks aren't really meant to go that fast in four wheel drive. (I think the top recomended speed is around 35 or so) They are built for lower speeds and driving that fast could have really put a strain on your tcase. To be honest, I would just stick with the 205, it is stronger and it's already in there. But if you were really serious about off roading then a doubler woudln't be a bad idea. You've already got 2 t-cases so why not put them both to work?

    I woudln't recoment going back to the 203, if you want to use that then a Doubler is the way to go. :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2005
  10. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

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    I don't recall any speed limitations for the high range. I have seen the listed range for low, but that's all I ever remember seeing. :dunno:
     
  11. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    The point I was trying to make is driving 50 mph on snow/ice/pavement mix is just plain stupid. I seen my fair share of snow when I lived in the mountains in Virginia, and here in Kansas... every time it snows, if someone has 4WD/AWD they think they can go the speed limit. 4WD/AWD will help you start moving, but does nothing for stopping in the slushy stuff.

    Last snowstorm we had in Kansas, my K5 was rearended 4 times... in one day. From people going too fast and following me too close. I can always stop in a reasonable distance, or put my truck somewhere where it won't hit any vehicle or person.

    I hate stupid people.
     
  12. atho

    atho 1/2 ton status

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    When my truck still ran, I would run it in 4hi for days at a time, on alternating snowy, icy, and clear roads. No problems. I was running a Rockwell T221, which is more old-school than the 205. If it could take it, the 205 certainly could.
    I didn't go faster than 55, tho.
     
  13. wazzabie

    wazzabie 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Well taken but never did I put someone in danger.
     
  14. Jagged

    Jagged 1 ton status

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    :confused:
     
  15. darenofears

    darenofears Registered Member

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    The 203 had a differential inside it that prevents damage unless in low or high lock
     
  16. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Part time....

    I had many GM's with the NP205 case...I hated driving in 4Hi to get gas while plowing--the 3/4 mile stretch of my street would be unplowed,and I'd need 4wd to drive down it--then when I come to the highway where the gas station is,its bare ,wet,or usuially bone dry tar,thanks to the DPW dumping a ton of salt down..

    But if I shifted into 2Hi to prevent driveline bind after I pull onto the bare asphalt road,I'd sit there spinning the rear wheels when I tried to pull out onto the highway(for those who dont know,a truck in 2wd with a heavy plow on it tends to spin the rear wheels very easily--usually you end up going sideways or in a circle instead of forward,unless you have a ton of sand in the bed!).It is always a challenge to pull out into traffic without nearly getting T-boned due to your truck spinning its wheels instead of taking off right away!.. :doah:

    So I'd have to leave it in 4Hi,and get out into traffic--once I got up to 25 mph or so,I'd take my foot off the gas suddenly,and yank it back into 2hi in one quick motion..then I could accelerate up to the speed limit no problem..if I hit another stretch of road thar was snow covered,I'd shift back into 4Hi again...

    I found if I LEFT it in 4Hi on the dry surfaces,I could feel the driveline binding up--and going around corners I'd often feel a hub go "BANG" as it unlocked momentarily due to the extreme bind,and my steering wheel would wobble and jerk back and forth..once I snapped an outer axle U-joint!...so I started loading lots of sand or weight in the bed so 2wd would be more snow friendly.

    Bottom line is part time cases DONT LIKE being in 4Hi on dry tarred roads,even if its only a mile or two---even if all 4 tires match perfectly,the diffs are never matched perfect( for example,a 4.11 rear axle equipped truck actally has a 4.09 ratio front axle!)--so unless you have a NP203 "full time" 4wd case with a differential in between the front and rear shafts,you should NOT use 4wd on dry roads--there MUST be some "slippage" allowed,or things will bind up and possibly snap!..I just learned to shift my NP205 "on the fly" from 2Hi to 4Hi,and lived with it--I prefer gear drive to slipping chains!...but full time 4x4 does have its advantages...fuel economy definately isn't one of them though!.. :rolleyes: :crazy:
     
  17. 350k5

    350k5 1/2 ton status

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    I know what you mean. Last winter we had a really heavy snowstorm, but people still wanted to drive way faster than they should of been. I was almost nearly rear ended a number of times (If I hadden't seen them they would of smashed right into me). Thats a main reason why I leave on the trailer hitch that came with it when I bought it. (Even though I don't have anything to haul around) It sticks out at least 2 feet from my bumper, so I'm hoping this winter it will keep my K5 safe from all the idiots driving around. (I'll feel bad for their radiator if they hit me hard enough :rolleyes:)

    Really, you shoduln't drive on bare pavement while in 4 wheel drive. Like diesel4me said it can really cause your axels, tcase, to bind up a lot without enough slippage.
     
  18. wazzabie

    wazzabie 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    So if one drives the majority of the time in 4x4 the NP 203 would be the best tcase?
     
  19. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Yup!

    Thats why GM made the NP203 Full Time case--so you could have 4wd all the time!---but they have a "4WD" and a "4LOC" position--only use "4LOC" if your on snow or dirt--that locks out the center differential action and basically makes it a "part time" case..there are kits to "convert" a NP203 to part time,most consist of gears that eliminate the spider gears in the center differential..then your back to having a "part time" only case..cant use it on dry tar in any 4wd position...not without binding anyway..most folks converted so they could add locking hubs and get better gas milage in 2wd. :crazy:
     
  20. mudslinger99

    mudslinger99 1/2 ton status

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    4wd is ment for slippery surfaces like mud, snow, ice and soft dirt at low speeds.. It is not ment to run on wet roads such as rain where there is no ice.. If there is snow or ice on the roads then 4 high is what you should run and if that's the case you shouldn't be running to fast any way..
     

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