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  #1  
Old 09-20-2011, 05:01 PM
DodgeBlue DodgeBlue is offline
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Default 4X4 "How it works" question

I have a 2011 1500 Larime 4X4 and I have a question about the four wheel drive. I have previously owned two Dodge 2500's, A durango with AWD/4 wheel drive, and a Toyota SUV 4X4. With all of these vehicles when in four wheel drive and the front wheels are turned sharp you can feel the steering wheel shake and the tires slip because the wheels are trying to turn at different speeds.

With my 1500 I do not feel that. When in four wheel high or low and I turn the wheels sharp I get no wheel slippage and shake in the steering wheel at all. The dealer says this is normal because there are clutches in the front differential that prevent the slipping and the traction goes to the wheel that needs it. I know this is how the AWD works. In the durango which is AWD all the time so it has clutches, when it is put into four wheel drive I feel the wheel silippage and the steering wheel shake.

So to my question. Is the dealer correct that in four wheel high or low the clutches in the front differential prevent the wheel slippage and steering wheel shake?

Thanks,

Dodge Blue
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Old 09-20-2011, 05:14 PM
Stangshcky12 Stangshcky12 is offline
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Putting your truck in 4wd and cutting the wheel isn't good for your axles
Your 2500 has a live axle and the 1500 has Ifs so the 1500 does have a different front differential then your 2500s have
As far as it having different clutches in it, I've never hear anything about it before
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:50 AM
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I do not believe the front dif is limited slip. If it were limited slip then it would have clutches. Every 4x4 I have ever owned did the sam ething. When you turn the wheel all the way. But only on Ashpult. Now I have not tried the new truck to see if this is the case.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:44 AM
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I could be way off here, but I was under the impression that the 4wd Ram 1500's had an open front differential, meaning only one wheel really drives. If that really is the case then you wouldn't experience that harshness as the wheels would not be trying to turn at the same rate. And also, if that is the case, the dealer pretty much told you the opposite of what it really is, because if it was a limited slip differential it would have clutches. If it is a limited slip, it should still not have harshness I don't believe unless you are under acceleration/load as that is when the clutches will engage to act more like a solid axle. When a limited slip differential is not under a load the clutches remain free and the wheels are allowed to turn at different rates. Only time you would have that harshness should be if you have a locker and the axle is locked.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:34 AM
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This past winter, in 4hi, I definitely noticed some binding when turning in and out of my driveway (if I happened to leave it in 4WD).

My question for you is - are you sure 4wd is engaging when you select 4hi? Because you should definitely feel some binding if you're testing it on dry pavement as you say.
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:37 AM
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Your transfer case is not engaged properly, get it checked!
it may be a switch problem too. But please test it in the dirt, not on dry pavement.

The front diff is open, there are no clutches and the the only difference between the IFS and SFA 2500
is the independent CV axles attached to the differential, the pumpkin and internals operate the same on both.

In 4WD auto, (aka AWD) the transfer case will switch an electric clutch to engage the front drive shaft Only "IF" the computer senses rear wheel slip. No shutter on dry pavement while turning.
In 4WD Lock (Hi or Lo range) BOTH drive shafts are powered and the rear will push against the front tire if the wheels are turned on pavement
( inner front tire traveling less distance than the rear that's trying to push it further) regardless of whether the diffs are locked OR open.
My 4G Ram does it, as does every other of the Dozens of 4WD's I've owned.

Only an AWD vehicle with a viscous coupling will avoid turning shutter on dry pavement cornering. Like a Grand Cherry I once owned.
Is your 4 Lock light flashing on your instrument panel when you engage it? or does it stay lit?
Reason I ask is mine was having trouble getting into 4Lo at first.
The light would flash for quite a while and I had to roll forward slightly in drive until I had full engagement,
the light has to stop flashing and stay on before you are really locked in.

FYI, you cant put a limited slip or ANY type of locker in a 4G front diff,
the weak cast aluminum diff housing isn't strong enough to handle the torque.
I checked with my Bud at ARB before I bought my Ram, I've used their Air Lockers for years Front and Rear on other 4x4's (mostly Jeeps)
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:03 PM
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excellent info blackramhemi thanks for posting that for him
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:47 PM
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Thanks all especially blackramhemi. I do understand that doing this on dry pavement isn't good I was using this as a way to explain my problem. Blackramhemi your post is exactly my understanding and the reason I am asking my question. The dealer insists everything is working properly. They said the front differential has electromagnetic clutches that the DTCS (Drive train control system) controls. They said this differential works differently from what I am used to. I am getting a printout from them from Dodge that explain how it works. I will post it at a later time. I still question whether this is the way it works or if it is in AWD when it is supposed to be in 4WD (lock)

DodgeBlue
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Old 09-21-2011, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DodgeBlue View Post
Thanks all especially blackramhemi. I do understand that doing this on dry pavement isn't good I was using this as a way to explain my problem. Blackramhemi your post is exactly my understanding and the reason I am asking my question. The dealer insists everything is working properly. They said the front differential has electromagnetic clutches that the DTCS (Drive train control system) controls. They said this differential works differently from what I am used to. I am getting a printout from them from Dodge that explain how it works. I will post it at a later time. I still question whether this is the way it works or if it is in AWD when it is supposed to be in 4WD (lock)

DodgeBlue
I suppose its totally possible there was change in 11' models,
but I have never heard or read anything on it.

All I know is in 4WD Auto (awd) my 10' is invisible on pavement sharp turning,
It studders in 4hi lock or 4lo lock and the front tire will bind and chirp at full steering lock.

post up if you find more info on a change in the new models
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Old 10-17-2011, 03:20 AM
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I too have the 4x4auto Tcase. I noticed that the front wheels weren't engaging in 4 low with the steering wheel turned. it was just spinning the rears. straighten out the steering wheel and all four have power. I even stopped, turned the steering wheel held my foot on the brake pedal and started applying throttle until the back tires started to spin, while the back tires were spinning and still holding the brake, I straightened out the steering wheel and the back tires quit spinning and the front axle engaged. I then turned the wheel again and the back tires started spinning again. It did this in 4low, 4hi, and 4auto with light fully on and not flashing in either range. I'm not to happy about this as I can see possible situations where this is not a good thing.
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