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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not sure about this: I have the 2010 GV Limited with 4wd, so in 4H the engine is sending power to all 4 wheels, right? So that means it is AWD? And it has the option to switch to 4wd by locking the center differential with 4HL.

If I were to buy a non4wd GV, would it still be sending power to all 4 wheels? It would be AWD without 4wd? Would the difference be there is no 4HL and no 4L?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I guess for any vehicle to have 4wd or AWD, out would have a front differential, and rear differential, right?
 

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GV's were sold with three drivetrains. AWD/4WD with Low, AWD, and RWD.

The two AWD versions can't be driven in 2wd, and don't have any switch to do that.

The AWD GV's have front and rear differentials, but they are open and so are subject to allowing wheelspin. The ABS braking system is used to detect wheelspin and stop it, so this is sort of a substitute for lockers or limited slip differentials on the axles.

The AWD GV's center differential operates either locked or limited slip, depending on whether you're in 4HL/4LL, or 4Hunlocked.

So all your questions/speculations are correct.

It may interest you to know that in difficult traction situations, I've found that the 4Hunlocked/AWD setting is considerably more capable than the 4HL or 4LL settings.

I've heard that around 2009, the GV's center differential was changed to eliminate the limited slip function, making it an open or locked differential. Apparently in the open position it depends entirely on the ABS/traction control system to control wheelspin. I have to admit this doesn't entirely make sense to me.
 

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AWD and 4WD - a clarification...

There is a big difference between AWD and 4WD.

AWD drives all 4 wheel all the time with differentials on the front and rear axles AND some sort of center differential or viscous coupling system that handles any differences in rotational speed between the front and rear axle. AWD vehicles always apply power to all four wheels (duh) all the time so there is no 2WD/4wd mode.

4WD systems(sometimes referred to as part-time 4WD) DO NOT have a center differential or viscus coupling system to prevent damage from changes in rotational speed (referred to as "winding") between the front and rear axle. The transfer case allows the vehicle to be switched between 2WD and 4WD modes when the vehicle is being operated on surfaces where traction changes exist between the front and rear axles - like snow, mud, loose dirt or gravel, on uneven surfaces where a wheel can lose contact with the ground.

Driving a part time 4WD vehicle on a flat dry hard surface (like a paved road) in the 4WD mode for any length of time can cause damage to the drivetrain - u-joints and transfer case for instance - because the system has no way to absorb any variation of rotational speed between the two axles - no center differential or viscous coupling system. And yes, rotational speed variations ARE introduced on a flat hard surface when the driver makes any steering adjustments!

I hope that this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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First what's available in one market is not necessarily available in another.

Second Suzuki does not use the term AWD to describe the Grand Vitara, they list the options as single mode 4WD and four mode 4WD...

- the single mode 4WD is what has been described above as AWD, the vehicle is in 4H all the time.

- the four mode 4WD has the following modes - 4H, 4HLc, 4LLc & N - the Lc modes lock the center differential so those modes should not be used on a hard surface - similar to the part time 4WD mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So fordem, I'm concerned with the US Grand Vitaras, 2009-2010 model years;

you're saying they are four mode 4WD with 4H, 4HLc, 4LLc & N

or

they are single mode 4WD with 4H all the time ?

In either case, both versions will have a front and rear differential, making them AWD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks like you are spot on, after reading this, nice:D

Q: How do the different Suzuki AWD and 4WD systems work?


A: Grand Vitara - The Grand Vitara's single-mode 4WD system is offered with the compact SUV's 4x4 Premium trim, while the Four-Mode full-time system is available with the 4x4 Limited trim.

The Grand Vitara's single-mode 4WD system is ideal for drivers who need all-weather traction and participate in light off-road driving. The single mode and Four-Mode systems share a similar bevel gear open center differential that distributes power evenly between the front and rear wheels. The differential allows the differing wheel speeds caused by turning, minimizing the "binding" that causes unwanted noise and vibration during tight turns or maneuvering in some 4WD vehicles.
 

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So fordem, I'm concerned with the US Grand Vitaras, 2009-2010 model years
I have no idea what was offered in the US market - however - you can very easily find out what you have - four mode will have a knob that you rotate to select the modes, single mode has no 4WD related controls.
 

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Like to add that AWD systems are NOT all 4 wheels driven at all times. Generally, AWD means 2wd until it detects slip and the AWD locks the other 2 wheels. After a certain speed the same 2 wheels's power is cut and it reverts back to 2wd. We have both a 4wd and an AWD vehicle and they both do great in the slippery stuff
 

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Like to add that AWD systems are NOT all 4 wheels driven at all times. Generally, AWD means 2wd until it detects slip and the AWD locks the other 2 wheels. After a certain speed the same 2 wheels's power is cut and it reverts back to 2wd. We have both a 4wd and an AWD vehicle and they both do great in the slippery stuff
thats not the case with the grand vitara tho otherwise you would have an option of 2wd like the sx4.

the grand vitara in normal road mode is something like 62/38 split or around there
 

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Like to add that AWD systems are NOT all 4 wheels driven at all times. Generally, AWD means 2wd until it detects slip and the AWD locks the other 2 wheels. After a certain speed the same 2 wheels's power is cut and it reverts back to 2wd. We have both a 4wd and an AWD vehicle and they both do great in the slippery stuff
This does not hold true for all AWD systems - the JB & JT series Grand Vitaras do not operate like this, the AWD Mitsubishi Evolution Lancers do not operate like this - on an Evo you can choose between a 60/40, a 50/50, or a 40/60 torque bias, the Toyota Rav4 does not operate like this, my Mitsubishi Pajero does not operate like this, but my daughter's Nissan Xtrail does, and so does I believe the Honda CRV.
 

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This does not hold true for all AWD systems - the JB & JT series Grand Vitaras do not operate like this, the AWD Mitsubishi Evolution Lancers do not operate like this - on an Evo you can choose between a 60/40, a 50/50, or a 40/60 torque bias, the Toyota Rav4 does not operate like this, my Mitsubishi Pajero does not operate like this, but my daughter's Nissan Xtrail does, and so does I believe the Honda CRV.
In North America, the setup that is normally front wheel drive, and engages the rear wheels when wheelspin is detected, is called AWD. It's called "slip&grip" and is considered markedly inferior to the GV's setup where all four wheels are always engaged. The GV setup is commonly called "full-time" or "permanent" AWD.

The AWD Rav4's sold in North America have always been slip&grip.

Some vehicles, such as the 2nd generation of the AWD version of the Ford Escape, have what I call "predictive slip&grip". They are set up to detect situations where loss of traction can be expected, such as moderate or heavy application of throttle, and engage the rear wheels without detecting wheelspin. Of course, they also engage the rear wheels when wheelspin is detected. This makes them more effective than standard "slip&grip", but not as good as the GV's full-time AWD.
 

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This does not hold true for all AWD systems - the JB & JT series Grand Vitaras do not operate like this, the AWD Mitsubishi Evolution Lancers do not operate like this - on an Evo you can choose between a 60/40, a 50/50, or a 40/60 torque bias, the Toyota Rav4 does not operate like this, my Mitsubishi Pajero does not operate like this, but my daughter's Nissan Xtrail does, and so does I believe the Honda CRV.
The Toyota Rav4 2006- on does indeed work like this. FWD until slip then temp 4wd to 25 mph.
 

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Honda CRV is slip and grip too. For the 3rd gen you can't turn off VSA (traction control) is your tire pressure are under 28 psi.
 

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GV's were sold with three drivetrains. AWD/4WD with Low, AWD, and RWD.

The two AWD versions can't be driven in 2wd, and don't have any switch to do that.

The AWD GV's have front and rear differentials, but they are open and so are subject to allowing wheelspin. The ABS braking system is used to detect wheelspin and stop it, so this is sort of a substitute for lockers or limited slip differentials on the axles.

The AWD GV's center differential operates either locked or limited slip, depending on whether you're in 4HL/4LL, or 4Hunlocked.

So all your questions/speculations are correct.

It may interest you to know that in difficult traction situations, I've found that the 4Hunlocked/AWD setting is considerably more capable than the 4HL or 4LL settings.

I've heard that around 2009, the GV's center differential was changed to eliminate the limited slip function, making it an open or locked differential. Apparently in the open position it depends entirely on the ABS/traction control system to control wheelspin. I have to admit this doesn't entirely make sense to me.


hi guys
aim looking at buying a 2005 gv v6 its the late mood with electric actuator for 4x4 constant 4h anyway i have a 98 gv 4x4 with gear stick 2h 4h4l my question is which one is more capable off road my existing one is amazing off road i just don't want a backwards step to newer model any info would be great
thanks
 

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Both capable off road, the earlier one is probably a bit better given its construction but I get my 2013 and 2015 places people don't think possible.
Only difference is the fact the later one us a full time 4wd with the associated impact on economy, but personally I find it better in the wet road situation where it feels more planted and lass skittish than the rear wheel drive 2wd mode models.

Its still a 4wd, you can still have 4HL with the centre diff locked and 4 low. You just can't have 2wd mode, only 4H open diff mode for street driving.
 

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Both capable off road, the earlier one is probably a bit better given its construction but I get my 2013 and 2015 places people don't think possible.
Only difference is the fact the later one us a full time 4wd with the associated impact on economy, but personally I find it better in the wet road situation where it feels more planted and lass skittish than the rear wheel drive 2wd mode models.

Its still a 4wd, you can still have 4HL with the centre diff locked and 4 low. You just can't have 2wd mode, only 4H open diff mode for street driving.
ok cheers so i wont be missing out on much off road as the one i have i run in h4 when off road anyway i also am looking at a toyota rav 4 or mitsubishi outlander what are your shouts on these as a cape 4x4 com aired to the GV cheers
 

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Of the four vehicle you've listed - the 98 GV, the 05 GV, the Rav4 and the Outlander - the 98 GV is by far the most capable, with the 05 GV coming in second, I'd put the Rav4 in third and the Outlander last, but that sequence could change depending on what year you're looking at.
 

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Id put the outlander a distant last.......rav 4 depends on model, some were good, some were rubbish.

If you have only ever needed 4H off road the 05 gv will go everywhere the earlier one went, ground clearance being the only limitation in my opinion.
 
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