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Hey ya'll,
This is my first post on the forum. I've been really thinkin of buying a Nitro, I love the looks of it, and the room it has!! I'm torn between getting the 4x4 or the 4x2. I've never owned a 4wheel drive before, but i'm thinkin for snow and ice that we occasionally get here that the 4 wheel drive would come in handy!! I travel alot so i dont wanna get stuck in snow or ice. But then i was reading the the Traction System that comes on both the 2wheel drive and 4wheel drive may help with driving in snow and ice. I really dont know what to do. Any suggestions from anybody???
 

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I Recommend 4-wheel-drive

coulter said:
Hey ya'll,
This is my first post on the forum. I've been really thinkin of buying a Nitro, I love the looks of it, and the room it has!! I'm torn between getting the 4x4 or the 4x2.
I recommend 4-wheel-drive. You will benefit from the added stability and traction in foul weather.

We have no foul weather here, to speak of, but the 4-wheel-drive is great on the beach and on unpaved trails.
 

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coulter,
Did you realize the 4X4 is part time 4 wheel drive. It must not be used full time and should only be used for short periods moving in a straight line such as pulling your boat out of the water while on a boat ramp.

If real 4WD is needed try the Jeep line.
 

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4-wheel-drive

Rockfish said:
coulter,
Did you realize the 4X4 is part time 4 wheel drive. It must not be used full time and should only be used for short periods moving in a straight line such as pulling your boat out of the water while on a boat ramp.
There is no apparent difference in efficacy between full-time 4-wheel-drive and part-time 4-wheel-drive. The only difference is part-time 4-wheel-drive requires engaging the front drive system (in the case of Nitros and other rear-wheel-drive vehicles). When in 4-wheel-drive, the Nitro's drive system is not effectually variant from that of an AWD Jeep. The Nitro may be driven in 4-wheel-drive at maintained speeds for long periods of time on wet roads, in snow, on dirt, on sand, in mud, etc. The only caution is that the vehicle should not be driven on dry pavement in 4-wheel-drive.

My previous vehicle was a Dodge Ramcharger. It featured a 4-wheel-drive system that required shifting the transfer case into 4-wheel-drive. The only significant difference between the performance of the 4-wheel-drive systems of the Ramcharger and Nitro is the Ramcharger offered low-range 4-wheel-drive, whereas the Nitro offers only high-range 4-wheel-drive. Since I never found use for low-range 4-wheel-drive in the Ramcharger (and I traveled in some very demanding conditions), I seriously doubt I shall find its lack a serious issue with the Nitro.

Personally, I greatly prefer a part-time 4-wheel-drive system over a full-time 4-wheel-drive system--both from the standpoint of driver control and fuel economy.
 

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Here is an extract from
http://www.4x4abc.com/4WD101/def_turnpart.html
which is a site where you can obtain info on 4X4's. The following is an excerpt on part time 4wd.
When starting from a standstill with sharply turned wheels: The need for higher rpm in the front will most likely prevent you from getting started at all. If you step on the gas really hard (plus slipping your clutch) you might get the vehicle moving with spinning rear wheels but stress on all driveline components will be dangerously high. Chance is that you will break something.

When traveling with part time 4WD on high traction surfaces like asphalt, concrete, etc. handling of the vehicle will become unsafe (understeer) and the "driveline binding" will eventually cause component failures. Part time 4WD should not be used on high traction surfaces! Even when going straight most of the time, slight differences in tire pressure front to rear or vehicle load resulting in different axle speeds will cause "wind up" and eventually damage.


When traveling with part time 4WD on low traction surfaces like sand, gravel, mud, snow, etc. handling of the vehicle is unsafe (understeer) as well, but not as severe as on pavement. The slowed down front wheels simply skid a little on gravel, sand, snow, etc. during a turn. This in mind you should always approach difficult off-road obstacles in a straight line otherwise you might lose some of the much needed traction due to wheel slip on your front wheels.

Do not listen to guys who tell you it is OK to use part time 4WD on pavement! Severe damage will be the result.

Here is another important fact: Since front and rear axles are not able to rotate independently ABS will not work properly.
 

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Part-Time 4WD can be used in low traction conditions. This includes ice, snow, mud, and sand. It should not be used in high traction situations, but its not needed when the traction is high anyway.
 

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The guy said not to use it on dry pavement. I am a proponant of part time 4WD had it in my Dakota and in my Durango and let me tell you i never had a problem with it being ingaged for a long drive if it was needed. Plus with my Dakota i had to keep it in for 4 days once cause of snow and it never had a problem. Now in My Blazer i had the button was in a bad spot, my grandmother put me in 4wd and i drove a day with it on. I complained all day it was turning so bad and handleing bad. So there are some credence to what you say but not totally.
 

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Ok *here* is the deal with part 4x4. I am going to dumb it down a lot, becaues honestly I don't know it any other way lol.

Your vehicle has 4 wheels, in the nitro the rear 2 wheels are your typical "drive" wheels. The power trail goes like so:

Rear two wheels, connected together through a differential. Thats a set of gears that basically spins whichever of the tire has least amount of traction(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Differential_(mechanics)#Loss_of_traction).

From the diff. it goes through a drive shaft to your transmission. Which is basically a box with various gears in it.

The transmission is hooked to your engine, which powers the entire setup.


*HOWEVER*, on the part time(and full time) 4x4 vehicles there is something called a transfer case. It sits between transmission and drive shaft. During normal(2x4) operation it is no different then NOT having a transfer case.

However, when set into 4x4 mode the t-case takes the power and splits it down the orginal drive shaft, and then also up a secondary drive shaft to the forward differential. The forward differential then powers the front two wheels.


So what does all of this mean in regards to this topic?

Your front wheels, and rear wheels are linked together VIA the transfer case. While driving straight, this is completly normal. HOWEVER, when you turn your front two wheels spin at different speeds. This is where issues occur. In a true AWD car(nitro RT even) the front differential is setup for this, it splits the power in a normal manner, like a FWD car would. Now, in a part time 4x4 vehicle the front tires spin at different rates.. which then causes the transfer-case to spin at a different rate.. which in turn causes both engine and rear tires to spin at different rates.

So now all 4 tires and the engine are having there speeds dictated to them by the one front wheel that is turning. Basically, if you use a part time 4x4 while turning.. you will go slowly and stress the living crap outta your drive line. Eventually breaking something.
 

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Hi guys.

I am an Australian Nitro owner.

I am a bit confused about only driving using 4 wd in a straight line.

How then do you use it on a dirt road or in ice , you have to turn if driving in these conditions.

Also what might be of interest to you guys is I cannot join a 4 wd club here as they claim it is not a "real" 4 wd as you cannot select low range. Very disappointing. Love the car, best most comfortable vechicle I have every owned. cheers
 

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Hi guys.

I am an Australian Nitro owner.

I am a bit confused about only driving using 4 wd in a straight line.

How then do you use it on a dirt road or in ice , you have to turn if driving in these conditions.

Also what might be of interest to you guys is I cannot join a 4 wd club here as they claim it is not a "real" 4 wd as you cannot select low range. Very disappointing. Love the car, best most comfortable vehicle I have every owned. cheers
Welcome from "Down-under". As you can see from the above posts the Nitro is not a full-time all-wheel drive vehicle as was promised as an option when first introduced, but was going to be available in July to order in its first year of production. I went in to special order one with money down. When my second dealer I went to called the factory they were told no real 4X4 option, as shown on the Nitro Website, was going to be produced so I decided I really did not need a new car. All that changed when here, to increase sales in the U S just months later they offered a Lifetime Warranty on the power train. The young salesman that had taken my first order had ordered my fully equipped Nitro for stock exactly as I had submitted (same color, same everything) and I went in and bought it the same day as the Lifetime Warranty was available!

I have never looked back and the 4X4 on demand has worked just fine in rain and snow but can not be left in that position all-the-time. Guess you do receive better gas mileage not being in 4X4 all the time and when needed just activate from the console. The Nitro was never designed to be a off-the-road vehicle anyway. Good Luck!
 

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From The 2008 Fleet Buyers Guide (large 19M file!)


From the above information it appears that the Nitro for 2008 will remain a Part-Time 4X4 using the 143 New Venture Transfer Case but the 2008 Jeep Liberty will offer the MD 256 Selec-Trac ll Active Full-Time 4WD. Some suggested last year that this would be the case to protect the Jeep nameplate. If this holds true I will not order a 2008 Nitro RT as I would not order a 2007 Nitro RT due to the lack of a full-time 4X4 option. I understand many don't agree but this is what I had on my Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and I will not buy anything less. Will continue to just drive and use my Wife's car and save about 30K.
LINK:
 

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Hi guys.

I am an Australian Nitro owner.

I am a bit confused about only driving using 4 wd in a straight line.

How then do you use it on a dirt road or in ice , you have to turn if driving in these conditions.

Also what might be of interest to you guys is I cannot join a 4 wd club here as they claim it is not a "real" 4 wd as you cannot select low range. Very disappointing. Love the car, best most comfortable vechicle I have every owned. cheers
Most of what was posted in the initial posts is simply not true. The Nitro has a Part Time 4wd system. There is no center differential built into the transfer case. The transfer case simply locks the drive shafts together via an electric motor with a 50/50 torque split. When you are in 2wd, the front drive shaft and the front axles and differential are always spinning, just not providing any traction until the transfer case locks the 2 drive shafts together.

It is not a good idea to be in 4wd and try and turn on a hard surface. If you constantly drive on slippery surfaces you could always leave 4wd engaged. Granted, there is no 4 lo. I have owned 3 Jeeps and the only time I ever engaged 4 lo was to make sure that everything was in working order!

:cool:
 
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