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Old 02-19-2011, 01:55 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 62
Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

I test drove one of the used vans on SMBs site.
A couple interesting notes. In two years of ownership the owner has never used the van for camping. Crazy?! It was used as a daily driver so nothing 'in the back' has been touched.
The big thing I noticed was trouble with the 4x4. The owner had never put the van in 4wd. When I put it in 4hi. No problems. When I put it in 4 low it engaged fine and drove fine (very short distance). The problem I had was taking the van out of 4 low. The 4wd gear stick stuck and wouldn't return to either the 4 hi or 2wd position.
I eventually got the 4x4 stick position in 2wd though there was some heavy grinding. But the drive train didn't seem to engage the 'Drive' position.

I moved the upper regular shifter around and it eventually engaged in 'Drive'.
I have had 4x4 trucks before but never had any issues with the 4x4 so I don't know much about problems.
My question: how much of a concern is this in terms of headaches and monetary costs?
Any advice on moving forward with the seller?
I thought of requesting that SMB look at and test the 4wd.

Regarding 'the back': I tested the appliances and the water but was unable to figure out the propane. I can follow up on that. The owner didn't know much about the systems.


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Old 02-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #2
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Re: Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

Quigley recommends putting the transmission in neutral before switching in or out of 4wd low. Did you do that? Ours is sometimes hard to get in low and will occasionally grind a bit before going in. If you were on pavement when you engaged four wheel drive it can bind up (especially if you turn the wheels) and it can be very difficult to disengage.

Could be that everything was a bit "rusty" from not being used regularly. I was always told to engage 4wd and lock the hubs and drive a bit at least once a month to keep everything working smoothly. Whether that's a old wive's tale or not, I don't know but its fun to get offroad for the sake of required maintenance.

2007 Ford E350 PSD Quigley 4x4 and El Kapitan conversions, 315/70-17 BFGs
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
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Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

I was under the impression that I should have the transmission in park. That may have been the problem.

If this is an issue... Any ideas of fixing costs?
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:24 PM   #4
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Re: Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

I doubt it's an issue. Ours is the same way (New Process trf case installed by Quigley). It is best to have it in neutral to switch in and out of low gear (make sure you have the park brake on because when the trf case is in neutral you will roll if on a grade).

Also, if the owner is the original owner and the van is only a few years old, the trf case might still be under warranty. Even if it isn't under warranty, it is a fairly universal part and easy to change out. Heck, might give you a reason to go to the Atlas II trf case!
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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Re: Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

If you engage on pavement it's really easy to bind up, which makes it stick. On top of that, sounds like it needs to be broken in by being shifted. Seems like good like new operation to me!

In that situation backing up a few inches usually helps let the bind off.

Once the tcase is broken in and shifts easier you can shift on the fly- as long as you're not accelerating or engine braking, you can let off the throttle and shift to 4x4hi without stopping- DON'T do this into 4x4 low, you're not going slow enough, you think your are but you're not- so better just to stop going into low range until you've had lots of experience.

If you're having trouble you can put it in gear, let things spin (or move the truck slightly depending on if you're in gear) and try again.

Sounds like a find!
it was good to be back
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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Re: Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

I have found it can sometimes take 4'-6' of backing up to take out the binding. Especially if tires are mismatched (this includes uneven tread wear).
2000 E450 dually V10 wagon
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Old 02-20-2011, 01:05 AM   #7
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Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

Thanks guys.

Do the SMB conversions have the same 'issues'?
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:06 AM   #8
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Re: Quigley Test Drive: 4x4 issues

Oh ya. On mine I kinda want to be rolling a little when going into low range. If it gets bad I can go in and out of drive and that will help. On the fly you just need to apply a little pressure and vary the throttle a bit and it will usually move into 4x4 fairly easy. For low range, I drive a little slower to shift. But compared to some of the class A older vehicles I've driven in the past, the atlas is actually a simple to use transfer case. It's kinda like shifting a manual transmission without using the clutch and you'll get the feel of it.

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