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Old 12-15-2008, 09:23 AM   #1
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Atlas TC Shifting Advice

Hello all!

Doing a little 4whling practice this weekend and I found that the shifters were really difficult to shift out of 4wheel low. I was in 4whl Low and it took me about 15 minutes to put it in Neutral. I pounded, cursed, and even got out of my seat to take the darn thing out of Low. Finnaly I started driving about 5mph and got to dis-engaged the front and soon came the rear as well. Are there any tricks on engaging and dis-engaging the Atlas II transfer case without breaking my hand? Thanks for listening (or reading).
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:02 AM   #2
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Well, Ray, you can shake hands with my sore hand! Shifting that box is very difficult, but the good news is that it gets better with time and more actuations. It's always a little game of putting the transmission in neutral, then drive, then back to neutral and so on.
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #3
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That's what the SMB guys told me, too -- it does get better. And it does.

I'm not sure if it's the Atlas transfer case itself or the driver (or both) that's improved over time, but shifting has gotten easier. Not perfect, but easier. Here are some comments I made on this thread: Atlas 4 wheel drive operation

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffff
In my experience...

Shifting the transfer case between 4-High and 2-High (engaging/disengaging the front wheels) can be done at any speed. I do this all the time when driving in partially snowy conditions with the front hubs locked. To shift, it helps to minimize torque on the transfer case -- stay in Drive, but be neither accelerating nor decelerating. Don't try shifting in the middle of a sharp turn.

Shifting the transfer case in and out of Low is best done rolling very slow (<5 MPH but not stopped) in Neutral. If something goes wrong and I get stuck with a transfer case lever between High and Low (e.g. Neutral), then I have to stop and turn off the engine to complete the shift (happens about half the time).

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Old 12-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #4
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I've always had good luck shifting out of 4 lo by putting the transmission in reverse and then shifting the transfer case while rolling slowly backwards
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:02 PM   #5
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Yes part of the bind is between the axles, turning and non-slip surfaces exacerbate the bind. Backing up a little is usually helpful, and it has also been my experience they loosen up over time.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:33 PM   #6
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Here's a helpful video of Jon (from SMB) explaining the shifting of the Atlas transfer case:



And yes, when it was new it was very difficult to shift. It has 33,000 miles on it now, and sometimes it is still hard to shift. Moving the van slightly really helps.

Brian
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:20 PM   #7
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Got to shift my front in and out several times today because we're having a Winter storm here. It has gotten easier since I've owned it (more practice than anything). Reverse works best for me when its being pesky (just putting it in reverse, brake appied, not moving).
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:46 PM   #8
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Thanks all!
I guess practice makes perfect.

deminimis,

In a case like today

Quote:
Originally Posted by deminimis
Got to shift my front in and out several times today ......
Did you keep the hubs locked at all times?

Thanks
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:59 PM   #9
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Well, sort of today. I had them locked in and engaged the front from a stop. Once I got over the icy grade, I shifted the front to neutral on the fly. Onto the Interstate. When I approached 55-ish, I was getting some vibration (front diff fluild is probably cement as its around 16-20 degrees). Decided I didn't need the front locked, so pulled over and unlocked them. Its getting bad here and they've shut down my office now, so when I go out to the parking lot to go home, I'm going to lock them in a leave them in. Never noticed the vibration before (I lock in to lube the works every now and then), but it hasn't been this cold around here since the early 90's, so it probably just a weather thing. Well, I'm off to crash through some snow drifts.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:45 PM   #10
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definitely a hubs locked day here in the NW as Deminimis notes. In and out of 4WD all day. Even put the chains on for kicks and did some hill testing with and w/out front engaged. I am not a chain person by nature, carry but never really use 'em, but it was kinda fun seeing how well it could do with one set on the rear.

oh yeah...back to the thread. Definitely in Low you gotta be moving a little. And you will come to see over time there is a sweet spot in RPM/loading even going in and out of High. It will break in some too but still requires thinking about when to shift for optmimum results (without forcing).
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