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proper use of 4Lo

Discussion in 'Off-Roading & Trails' started by NAYo2002, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Aug 30, 2010 at 5:39 PM
    #1
    NAYo2002

    NAYo2002 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little confused on the proper use of 4Lo on trails. There seems to be a lot of contradictions on when to use it instead of 4Hi.

    I know you are supposed to use it for hill climbing and other situations requiring high torque/slow speed. What are the other situations?

    Also, on slippery rocks and logs, wouldn't having high torque be detrimental since you are more likely slip?

    Should you ever use 4Lo in sand, snow, and mud?

    Any help would be appreciated. I just want to learn.
     
  2. Aug 30, 2010 at 5:45 PM
    #2
    MontanaTaco

    MontanaTaco Well-Known Member

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    4lo is used where ever your going very slow (rocks/hills/etc) so you don't destroy your torque converter and the rest of the trans. I have used mine over logs, only two wheels hit it at one time so the front slipped but the back pushed me over.
     
  3. Aug 30, 2010 at 5:48 PM
    #3
    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I moded 1999 Taco so much it had turned to Land Cruiser
    x2 with 3.73 its torque converter that takes a beating. 4L most of the time unless its quick ride through.
     
  4. Aug 30, 2010 at 5:51 PM
    #4
    senna

    senna Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert, nor did I stay a holliday inn last night. Some situations such as low traction on snowy,wet or loose gravel roads can still be driven at higher speeds but traction benefits from 4 wheel drive over two wheel drive.

    Some situations require maximum traction and this is usually best at lower speeds. traveling over rocky, loose and unstable ground using four low and at times you might need to use the aid of your rear locker or A-TRAC, wich both only work in 4 lo (on your 09 OR)
     
  5. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:02 PM
    #5
    NAYo2002

    NAYo2002 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't high torque make it easy to slip on low traction situations though? I understand the low speed part, but when do you need high torque other than for climbing/pulling?
     
  6. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:06 PM
    #6
    senna

    senna Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say high torque, I would say gearing. slow speed and I mean crawling to avoid breaking traction.
     
  7. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:12 PM
    #7
    brettb

    brettb Well-Known Member

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    Is that the same for 1st gens? Cause I can never tell a difference when i turn it on. Do i need to change the fluid or anything?
     
  8. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:23 PM
    #8
    memario1214

    memario1214 Vivid Illumination Vendor

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    Yeah, I gots boost
    Go down a hill in 4hi in low gear... Then try 4lo in low gear down the same hill. You'll notice the difference!
     
  9. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:24 PM
    #9
    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I moded 1999 Taco so much it had turned to Land Cruiser
    You always need high toque but can not afford it, due to truck making 2 MPG :D
    4L gives you better control of wheels. Even big jumps on the gas pedal translates to a small changes on the wheels. So you will have your traction longer. Also you want your drive train to keep steady pace.
    4Hi is good on flat road maybe iced, little snowed. As long as there is hard surface underneath 4Hi is ok Now if you end up in snow blizzard with 4 feet drifts you may start considering 4L. :)
    4L is more for offroad terrain with uneven non-hard surface.
     
  10. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:26 PM
    #10
    NAYo2002

    NAYo2002 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    So 4Lo is primarily used as a speed control? Should you ever use 4Lo in sand and mud since you are more likely to spin the wheel with high torque?
     
  11. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:29 PM
    #11
    S.B.

    S.B. Well-Known Member

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    But not on dry roads.
     
  12. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:43 PM
    #12
    senna

    senna Well-Known Member

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    We are talking about the locker correct?

    So I don't think fluid will effect the locker operation like it would a true limited slip. You should change your fluid at least at factory recommended intervals.

    Does your lite on the dash come on and stay steady? no blinking.

    If the light is steady it is probably working. If you are ever in a situation where one rear wheel is off the ground and the locker is not engaged the you are stuck, if the locker is engaged then you keep on rolling. same goes for mud or what ever, just more obvious when one wheel is off the ground.
     
  13. Aug 30, 2010 at 6:50 PM
    #13
    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    Correct no 4wd on hard dry pavement.

    It depends on conditions.
    No point for 4low if you going over hard packed sand or 1 inch of mud. But lets say you are on the beach with super soft sand and 20 miles trip, 4L will save tranny for you. Same thing in deep snow on country road. plus with 4l if you hit bump it is less likely for you to bump the gas pedal.
    There is no clear guideline for it, its all about experience :D
     
  14. Aug 30, 2010 at 7:46 PM
    #14
    NAYo2002

    NAYo2002 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wouldn't you want to keep it in 4Hi for super soft sand though? I thought you want to float in the sand and keep momentum. Wouldn't 4Lo just dig you down deeper?
     
  15. Aug 30, 2010 at 8:06 PM
    #15
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    4 Low is usually not bennificial in sand... as the high torque will spin the tires and just dig you in... deflate the tires and use 4 High in sand, in most circumstances.

    When crossing through mud, if deep, then I want the increased torque and use L4.

    Otherwise, the only situations for Low Range is getting out of a stuck (with A-TRAC on) or climbing and descending steep grades at a crawl rate. Anytime your speed is under 20 mph for long periods of time, it is kinder on your vdhicle to just use low range and calmly idle through.
     
  16. Aug 30, 2010 at 8:06 PM
    #16
    crf69

    crf69 scraping my emblems off my plasti-dip

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    ummm yeah
    4-LO.....3 mph!!!!!
     
  17. Aug 30, 2010 at 8:12 PM
    #17
    CopDoctor

    CopDoctor Well-Known Member

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    i always wheel in lo unless it's just a trail or something light
     
  18. Aug 30, 2010 at 8:25 PM
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    BlueT

    BlueT Well-Known Member

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    I moded 1999 Taco so much it had turned to Land Cruiser
    Floating has nothing to do with Torque unless you really have lead foot.
    Did you ever rode mountain bike on soft sand? What did you use. high gear or low gear ?
    Digging into the sand does not change because you have more torque. it depends on how many wheel rotations happened. Its just with 4L your torque converter will have easier time rotating wheels. People had been told the idea that high gear is better but that was in time when cars had 100 HP and no low end torque. Its 245 HP engine with torque converter that will deliver power if you mash the brakes. So if your floor mat gets stuck this thing is going to spin all 4 wheels regardless if you are in 4hi or 4 L :D
    Just with 4 HI you going have less time to react.


    x2
     
  19. Aug 31, 2010 at 5:59 AM
    #19
    NAYo2002

    NAYo2002 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just to clarify, you are saying I should use it in 4Lo in sand and mud but give very little throtle to ensure wheel spin does not occur?
     
  20. Aug 31, 2010 at 8:09 AM
    #20
    David K

    David K Well-Known Member

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    It is impossible to use 4-Lo and avoid spinning the tires in sand, the Toyota is just too powerful in low range. Low range is for when you need power because the terrain/ soil/ grade is too great for the torque of high range to climb or drive across easily or at all... Use 4-Lo in deep, thick mud, climbing steep grades or deep snow... anytime forward momentum is slowed.

    I did provide an answer above, and you need to drive in sand for yourself and see what works... My sand driving experience begins in 1972, and I have driven all kinds of vehicles in sand... in 2WD, 4-Hi and 4-Lo. My 1977 1600cc 4WD Subaru wagon with 13" tires and no low range was one of the best sand vehicles I owned. Low power, light weight, little tires at 10 psi floated in deep sand and didn't dig in.

    Power and torque (spinning tires) is a ZERO gain in (deep) sand... You will just bury your truck... It is 'floatation' that gets you across sand. Sure, with low range and A-TRAC you can spin all four tires, and if the sand is damp, it will pull you out of a stuck. If the sand is dry, you will do far far better by lowering your air pressure to ~15 psi and leave it in high range and avoid spinning the tires... use a light foot and slowly get your momentum up. Then drive about as needed. Mud tires and three ply sidewall tires will likely require the pressure to be lower, like 10 psi. Street tires and some all terrain tires may do fine at 20 psi. 15 works fine with the Rugged Trails.

    The type of sand makes a big difference and the same sand can change throughout the year with humidity and temerature. In the winter, I can drive the deep sand beach in Baja at 32 psi with the TRAC in H4 with ease. The same beach in the summer, I had to lower the pressure to 15 psi. Desert sand is different than beach sand and the Pacific beach is far easier to drive than the Gulf of California beach... Pacific is fine sand and flat. Gulf is coarse sand with crushed shells or coral mixed in and steep.

    I don't know how the sand is on the Atlantic, but I can't imagine it is harder to drive on than the Baja Gulf beach.
     
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