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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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There is no centre diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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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Discussion Starter #8
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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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Hi i'm a new member and i'll most probably be using this forum regularly as i've only just started taking an interest since my first car, (a '92 samurai with under 50k on the clock) blew its headgasket.

Basically, when I engage my hubs to 4wd and change it to 4wd high ratio, after 50yrds or so or when it hits a bump it jerks out of 4wd back onto 2wd. Apparently driving with the hubs engaged (and axle spinning) but with the gearbox in 2wd will consume more of today's stupidly priced petroleum than if you have the hubs disengaged?

I just want to know why the stupid thing jerks out of 4wd =/

help appreciated :D
 

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Hi i'm a new member and i'll most probably be using this forum regularly as i've only just started taking an interest since my first car, (a '92 samurai with under 50k on the clock) blew its headgasket.

Basically, when I engage my hubs to 4wd and change it to 4wd high ratio, after 50yrds or so or when it hits a bump it jerks out of 4wd back onto 2wd. Apparently driving with the hubs engaged (and axle spinning) but with the gearbox in 2wd will consume more of today's stupidly priced petroleum than if you have the hubs disengaged?

I just want to know why the stupid thing jerks out of 4wd =/

help appreciated :D
could be that the mounts are dammaged or the bushings are worn, causing the case to knock against the cutout for the shifter. Happened to me once when My front drive shaft seperated and jamed back against the t-case. Check your shifter bushing as well. Worn bushings usually cause it to get stuck in gear, but can also cause it to slip out.
 

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So now that were talking about 4x4 lo and hi..i have a question about when the best time or offroad conditions to use which 4x4 i.e lo or hi... Say im in sand dunes i take it that 4x4 hi would be better because you need more forward motion going up big dunes? And you would use 4x4 lo to say crawl through a rocky dry creek up a hard pack hill? and do you guys recommend me getting a locker in front or rear,? i cant really get a definite answer some guys prefer front and some rear? would you use the locker in the sand or only on trails in hard pack or rocky roads? i know its alot of questions but i want to know from your guys experience what will work best when im in the dunes or trails.thanks
 

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So now that were talking about 4x4 lo and hi..i have a question about when the best time or offroad conditions to use which 4x4 i.e lo or hi... Say im in sand dunes i take it that 4x4 hi would be better because you need more forward motion going up big dunes? And you would use 4x4 lo to say crawl through a rocky dry creek up a hard pack hill? and do you guys recommend me getting a locker in front or rear,? i cant really get a definite answer some guys prefer front and some rear? would you use the locker in the sand or only on trails in hard pack or rocky roads? i know its alot of questions but i want to know from your guys experience what will work best when im in the dunes or trails.thanks
If the trail you are on is difficult enough to keep the land speeds at less than 20mph, then you may be better off in low gear. Some folks are lucky enough to have 2low, and on those trails you may swap back and forth between the two depending on the traction available. Sand is a great time to keep it in 4hi.

As for lockers, If you are using the vehicle on the street 50% of the time or higher, I would put the first locker in front. This way you will have absolutely no problems on the road (with your hubs unlocked). If it is in a (mostly) trail zook, then put the locker in the rear for more control on the trail. With an automatic locker (cheapest and most often used), there are quirks you have to get used to when driving on the street. As I said, if it is in the front and the hubs are unlocked you will never feel it - no problem. But in the rear, the locker will 'load up' if one tire is going around more than the other (like in a turn) and then 'pop' making a big noise and shattering the nerves of the driver - until you get used to it. It is not hurting the locker, but the surprise can be unnerving and can even make the vehicle shift over in the lane a little. An auto locker is always on, and works well in both sand and rocks.

The option you have is to install a selectable locker instead. This is a locker you can turn on and off at the flick of a switch. It is much more expensive and and is a more complicated install - but is worth it on the trail. Many folks use the ARB air locker system and love it. I also like the fact that the air system also gives me a way to air the tires back up or run air tools (depending on your installation) out on the trail.

Another selectable locker option is a KAM locker from the UK. It is an electric locker that can be installed in the rear but takes a bit more custom work on the axle housing. I have both (two different rigs) and they both have advantages.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As for lockers, If you are using the vehicle on the street 50% of the time or higher, I would put the first locker in front. This way you will have absolutely no problems on the road (with your hubs unlocked).
Billjohn,
I'm starting to see that you are definitely an expert on this forum, the go-to guy when there is a question, lol, I hope that is ok. So here's another one for ya-

When I read this, at first I thought, hey that's a perfect solution for me, since I will be using mine onroad alot, but I want to get as much traction as I can when I'm not. But, I then realized this wouldn't work with what I'm wanting to do- I want to be able to lock the hubs in before I need them, so that I can just shift the transfer case into 4x4 when I get to that point. With a locker in the front, though, you can't lock the front hubs on pavement even when in two wheel drive. Am I thinking correctly on this one?
 

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Billjohn,
I'm starting to see that you are definitely an expert on this forum, the go-to guy when there is a question, lol, I hope that is ok. So here's another one for ya-

When I read this, at first I thought, hey that's a perfect solution for me, since I will be using mine onroad alot, but I want to get as much traction as I can when I'm not. But, I then realized this wouldn't work with what I'm wanting to do- I want to be able to lock the hubs in before I need them, so that I can just shift the transfer case into 4x4 when I get to that point. With a locker in the front, though, you can't lock the front hubs on pavement even when in two wheel drive. Am I thinking correctly on this one?
Thanks.

Your thinking is on the right track. Let's say you install an autolocker up front. Although you can physically lock the hubs and drive on the street in 2wd, it will be very hard to steer and will seriously wear (with possible breakage) on the parts. Not recommended unless it is an emergency. Emergency? huh?

I was out wheeling with my daughter, trying out a new suspension change. I had a Lockright (autolocker) in front and an ARB (air locker) in back. I made two mistakes... I went out as a single vehicle, and I goosed the throttle a little too much and came down on a berm the wrong way - snapping the rear driveshaft at the u-joint. I had spare joints, but the shaft had broken at the ears that hold the joint. No way was I going to get any power out of the rear axle to get out of the desert. I removed what was left of the rear shaft and basically used front wheel drive to get back to civilization. That was the easy part. When I got to the pavement I knew I only had a couple of miles to go to get to the house, so I headed home slowly. The steering was brutal. Going straight wasn't so bad, but turning made my arms sting. The vehicle kept trying to go straight because the locker had locked the front wheels together and they rotated at the same rate (think about it - when turning the outside tire has to turn faster than the inside tire). We got home, but it wasn't something I would want to do again.

What you want is a selectable locker (at least in front) so you can follow your plan. Although locking the hubs on an open differential (essentially just turning off the locker will feel like it came from the factory - unlocked) will cause a bit of wear, it is not catastrophic. I do that with my ARB's all the time as soon as I hit the trail head.

Hope that helps a little.
 
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