Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-17-2014, 05:40 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 61
Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

Membership -

A general question, albeit a long and tortuous one ...

If the owner of an SMB, one hailing from a fairly mild Western climate state, one having garaged his vehicle and having driven it gently, one who has never off-roaded it to any great extent, one whose vehicle is equipped with an SMB Atlas 4x4 system ...

Get the picture? Now add this: Let's say this owner hasn't utilized his vehicle's 4x4 system in more than 5 years! No 5- or 10-mile "exercising" once or twice a year. No shifting into 4x4. No messing with the manual hubs. Not used. At all.

How severe the consequences? And, more importantly, what would be the membership's consensus in advising the next fellow who came along, the next owner possibly, as to how he should proceed? Take it to Fresno for an inspection? To any 4WD shop? to not use it at all until inspected? Other options?

Thanks for your thoughts!

- Rusty

2003 EB350, 7.3L, SMB 4x4, "50" w/propane
Rustywolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2014, 05:41 PM   #2
Senior Member
twogone's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Taylor, Mississippi
Posts: 1,648
Re: Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

How many miles have you driven since it was shifted?

'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
twogone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2014, 06:28 PM   #3
Site Team
BroncoHauler's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,197
Re: Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

I'd say the hubs would be the biggest area of concern, but even that is relatively easy to address. Inspect the hub, have them lubed, or just have them replaced and eliminate the concern.

As for the Atlas t/c, I wouldn't bother taking it to SMBw unless you are really close to them. I don't know if I'd say 'any 4WD' shop, but one that actually knows 4WD gear and Atlas'. To me this rules out 4WD Parts (and their like), but others have had good luck with them depending on particular location. Ask some local 4WD clubs for shop recommendations.

SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2014, 07:47 PM   #4
Site Team
daveb's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Turlock Ca
Posts: 9,877
Re: Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

Advanced Adaptors will give you the names of shops that know their products well. I ended up in Stockton CA at a place that does Land Cruiser expedition vehicle work that was suggested by them.
2006 Ford 6.0PSD EB-50/E-PH SMB 4X4 Rock Crawler Trailer

Sportsmobile 4X4 Adventures..........On and off road adventures
daveb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2014, 10:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: San Diego
Posts: 498
Re: Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

San Diego has M.I.T. that is recommended by Advance Adapters
2004 SMB 4x4 RB 6.0 PSD; ARP Head Studs, Gen 3 Cylinder Heads, BPD Oil Cooler connected to AMSOil Bypass, a whistling Wicked Wheel Turbo, Coolant Filter, Upgraded alternator, ScanGauge, SCT custom and SMB Fox shocks.
BFG 285/75 R16 KM3 Mud Terrains on ProComp 7069's
PatO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2014, 12:02 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 286
Re: Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

Take off the 4x4 shifter boot and inspect for corrosion on the shifter linkage pivots.
The PO of my van "never put it in 4x4" and the shoulder bolts that the levers pivot on had seized up. The front one actually twisted off the threads when I tried pull it into gear for the first time. While you have the boot off, shoot some penetrating silicone lube (garage door stuff) on the pivots just in case.

You mentioned "mild western climate" though, so you'll probably be fine.
2006 E350 Diesel, SMB 4x4, RB50- "Hopper"- SOLD
BogusBlake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2014, 01:15 PM   #7
Senior Member
Seattle's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 110
Re: Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

When I purchased my 2006 in 2010, the owner never used the 4x4. I had zero problems with the hubs or transfer case other than regular maintenance. It was a west coast van. Good luck!
2006 EB SMB 4x4 Diesel
Seattle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 171
Re: Unused 4x4 capability - hazards?

Along with driving The Van once a week just to keep things moving, I lock the front hubs in every couple of weeks and drive a few miles just to slosh the lube around in the front diff. I also run the transfer case through all the different permutations every now and then to keep things loose in there. Sure, might be obsessive, but I spent a lot of money for The Van, and want to take care of it, and make sure it lasts.

Oh, did I mention that when I'm not using it, I leave the fridge door open, so the door gasket doesn't lose its flexibility.

2005 SMB RB 50 4X4 w/ a 6.0 PSD
flyfisher is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:09 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.