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Old 12-15-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
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Probably a stupid question

I am a new 4x4 smb owner. I have previously thrashed my 2wd vehicles on 4wd roads and finally came to the conclusion that it was time for an upgrade. I've never owned or driven a 4x4 so maybe this is normal and I just don't know it but when I go into 4h when I am making tight turns my steering wheel wants to turn back and fourth on its own. I was thinking maybe I'm putting it in 4x4 wrong and that has somthing to do with it. I usually put the van in park, lock the hubs, put the van in neutral, put the van in 4h and shift back to driv and go.

Is this normal?
Am I doing somthing wrong?
Or is there somthing wrong with my 4x4?

The van steers perfectly normal in 2wd...

Kathryn
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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Re: Probably a stupid question

That is normal. Sometimes four wheel drive even makes it slightly difficult to make a sharp turn. It's even worse if you have a locking differential but that is an option you have to ask for.

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Old 12-15-2012, 05:25 PM   #3
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Re: Probably a stupid question

One nice advantage to having an Atlas transfer case is that you can disengage the front axle for sharp turns.


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Old 12-15-2012, 05:37 PM   #4
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Re: Probably a stupid question

With my atlas, I can go in and out of 4x4 high at a reasonable speed. I usually find that a slow roll helps the to engage both the low range and the 4x4 stick. (Some conversions only have one stick though)
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: Probably a stupid question

Kathryn,

There is no such thing as a stupid question, as long as you don't know the answer just ask away. AS you can tell, this site is a wealth of information and no one will make fun of you for asking.

Mike
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:41 PM   #6
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Re: Probably a stupid question

Kathryn

When you have your vehicle in 4 wheel drive a couple things come into play that make the steeering feel kind of wonky. The first is your steering tires are trying to pull you through the turn. In a turn the front end and the rear end don't follow the same exact path. In effect they are traveling a slightly different distance through the turn. Since the drive system is locked into 4 wheel drive the front traction tire and the rear traction tire need to keep the same RPM or cover the same distance in a turn. The front end covers a slightly greater distance in the turn than the rear end. In order to cover the different distance at the same PRM the front tires have to break traction on the road. When you are on pavement or a hard surface where there is good traction the need to "slip on the road" makes the steering feel very strange. It doesn't feel as funky if you are on something with less traction. If you play around in 4-low this wonky steering feeling gets a lot worse. Throw locking differentials into the mix and the feeling gets even stranger.

Long story short it's normal.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:34 AM   #7
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Re: Probably a stupid question

Kathryn ,
Gnarvan is right about the achieved pulling tires as apposed to free rolling tires and the lower the gear the more that you will sense this change in the feel of your steering .You will get to where you will know when your front end is engaged just from the feel ! and in some scenarios you will will feel a sense of relief from this different feeling . Just remember not to grip the wheel Tightly while you are in Four Wheel Drive as you can experience enough Torque to injure your Wrists and or Fingers . When we first got our SportsMobile I had my Bride behind the wheel so that she could practice driving , shifting and getting the overall feel of how everything felt , her first comment was not unlike your posting with regard to her sensations . At one point while in Low Range and Lockers engaged on a berm sided one lane road she experienced a young man coming at us in a Trophy Light type truck at a high rate of speed , she panicked a little and said where can I go to which I replied just turn left up and over the 18" Berm , the next thing that I heard was the sound of her beautiful head hitting the driver side window with enough force to Daze Her ! So don't grip your wheel to tightly with the front end engaged !
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:37 PM   #8
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Re: Probably a stupid question

Just curious.
What year is your Sportsmobile and who did the 4x4 conversion?
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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Re: Probably a stupid question

Thanks everyone! Just got back from 5 days in Death Valley and did some easy 4x4 roads with no problems.

Bmwbilo, my van is a 2003 with 4wd by advanced 4x4 in slc
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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Re: Probably a stupid question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathryn
Thanks everyone! Just got back from 5 days in Death Valley and did some easy 4x4 roads with no problems.

Bmwbilo, my van is a 2003 with 4wd by advanced 4x4 in slc
I'm sorry
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