1. #1
    mdimech's Avatar
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    Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    So I put my new Gladiator in 4wd yesterday for the first time. I was hauling 3 loads of firewood across town and I had to drive up a grass hill to get to the wood. I've owned SUVs before with AWD. They all had independent suspensions. The 4wd in the gladiator felt...well, weird. The wheels in the front felt like they were "loose" and shaking back and forth. When I would turn tight it felt like it was catching or something. Is that normal? Is it because it is a solid front axle? I just want to make sure its working as intended.

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    JPNinPA's Avatar
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    Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    Do you have larger than stock tires?

    It will feel that way on solid ground or roadway. In a tight turn the outside wheel has a farther distance to travel than the inside wheel, however they are turning at the same rpm so one will have to break traction or the clutches in the differential will slip. Avoid this situation if you can.


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    mdimech's Avatar
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    Re: Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    Stock tires. Thank you! That that makes sense. Will I damage the truck if I do this? Seems like an odd restriction to not be able to turn tightly with 4x4. I’ll probably only use it occasionally but still...

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    Re: Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    You put damaging stress on your drivetrain when you run 4x4 esp low on dry ground. This should be in your owners manual.


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    Re: Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    If you have axle lockers, release them before trying to turn sharply.

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    Re: Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    Do you have the rubicon model?
    Front carrier
    Open (Sport, Sport S, Overland) or Tru-Lok electronic locking (Rubicon)


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    mdimech's Avatar
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    Re: Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    Base sport model.

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    aggreX's Avatar
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    Re: Noob 4 wheel drive question for my new gladiator

    Quote Originally Posted by mdimech View Post
    So I put my new Gladiator in 4wd yesterday for the first time. I was hauling 3 loads of firewood across town and I had to drive up a grass hill to get to the wood. I've owned SUVs before with AWD. They all had independent suspensions. The 4wd in the gladiator felt...well, weird. The wheels in the front felt like they were "loose" and shaking back and forth. When I would turn tight it felt like it was catching or something. Is that normal? Is it because it is a solid front axle? I just want to make sure its working as intended.
    What you're experiencing is whats been called "crabbing". The 4WD system in Wranglers is a part-time system designed to be used primarily off-road, loose gravel or dirt roads. The only recent exception is the Selec-Trac option offered on the new JL Wrangler which has a full-time 4WD mode as well as part-time and 4LO. If you are experiencing excess crabbing on dirt roads have the dealer check out the 4WD system as you have 3yr/36k warranty.

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