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Old 01-25-2011, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Basic 4x4 system question

Hi all,
I have looked everywhere including searching this forum and can't seem to find the info I'm looking for. I'm looking at buying a samurai real soon but I just want a description of how the stock 4x4 system works. I know they have a manual transfer case with 2wd, 4wd, and 4wd low, but that's about it. What I need to know is, is the transfer case locked or open diff when 4x4 is engaged? What about the front and rear diffs, open, limited slip, or locked? What about the front hubs? One post I read on here the guy was saying you could lock and unlock the front diff, not just engage and disengege the hubs. That's not right is it? Basically I'm just trying to find a detailed description of how the stock 4x4 system works... I'm sure someone can do that for me...
Thanks!
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'll try to explain it the way I understrand it. In 2W Hi you have power to the rear axle. In
4W Hi you have power to both axle's. If one tire has traction then the other tire will spin. This is true on both axles. You can add slip grip differentials to correct that. Or Lockers, or a Spool, or weld them, and maybe another trick or so. There are Pro's and Con's with any of these add on's. Hope this helps?
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouko View Post
In 4W Hi you have power to both axle's.
Meaning the transfer case is locked when engaged? (not an open diff)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rouko View Post
If one tire has traction then the other tire will spin. This is true on both axles.
Meaning both the front and rear are open diffs?

Last edited by sohcneondriver; 01-25-2011 at 03:16 PM.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm not sure what you mean by locked, but when you shift to 4WD you do so by engaging the transfer case which sends power to the front axle. Now you have to lock the Hubs in to get power to the wheels.
When you lock the Hubs in, the axle's turn, but without power until you shift the TC to 4WD. With equal traction all 4 wheels will have power to them. But if the wheels on one side loose traction then they will spin.
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Old 01-25-2011, 03:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There is no centre diff.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Cool no center diff that answers that question then, the front axle is locked to the rear axle when in 4x4...
Now about the front and rear diffs, open or limited slip? (Or, like I read somewhere, able to be locked like positrack? I doubt that, though)
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Old 01-26-2011, 03:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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both front and rear diffs are open in stock form
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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So, I want to make sure I have this right...

There is a manual transfer case with a shifter on the floor, with 2, 4H, and 4L. The transfer case is locked (no diff). Both the front and rear diffs are open, not limited-slip at all when stock. And, the front wheels have locking (unlocking) hubs, so that when they are unlocked, the wheels don't have to turn the front axle and driveshaft.

Is that all right?
If so, then another question- what would be the problem with having the front hubs locked in on pavement? Someone said you would lose steering and other bad things, but why? Wouldn't it just turn the extra stuff? (maybe lose a little gas mileage) Personally I wouldn't do it unless I was expecting to use 4x4 in the near future, but regardless, I don't see what it would hurt...
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sohcneondriver View Post
So, I want to make sure I have this right...

There is a manual transfer case with a shifter on the floor, with 2, 4H, and 4L. The transfer case is locked (no diff). Both the front and rear diffs are open, not limited-slip at all when stock. And, the front wheels have locking (unlocking) hubs, so that when they are unlocked, the wheels don't have to turn the front axle and driveshaft.

Is that all right?
If so, then another question- what would be the problem with having the front hubs locked in on pavement? Someone said you would lose steering and other bad things, but why? Wouldn't it just turn the extra stuff? (maybe lose a little gas mileage) Personally I wouldn't do it unless I was expecting to use 4x4 in the near future, but regardless, I don't see what it would hurt...
That is all correct. There is also a transfer case "neutral" where the transmission no longer puts power to the t-case, but the front and rear driveshafts are locked together like in 4wd.

The "bad things" people are talking about is if you have it in 4wd on pavement with the hubs locked. Hubs locked and 2wd on pavement is ok. In some markets, the Jimny/Samurai did not even come with (un)locking hubs so those vehicles always have the hubs "locked."
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Last edited by VaderSS; 01-26-2011 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, that is good to know. I didn't know that in transfer case neutral the driveshafts were still locked together.
That is also good to know about locking the front hubs. I thought maybe I was missing some info or something. At least I know better than to have them locked in in 4x4 on the pavement.

Hmmm...
This brings up another question-
I guess you also have a 2LOW (effectively) when the transfer case is in 4LOW and the front hubs are unlocked...
Really just thinking out loud here sorry
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