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Old 25th March 2016, 06:35   #1
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Default Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

My Gypsy rarely sees 4x4 use in anger and while I understand the need to run it occasionally in 4x4 mode to keep that gear in running order, it isn't easy to find loose enough surface to do this on. What I do therefore is to occasionally run it in 4H on tarmac, but keep speeds low and have my hands off the steering wheel so there aren't any steering inputs as a cause of wind up.

Will it instead help if I was to run the engine for some time with the clutch engaged - foot off that pedal - but leave it in the 4x4 neutral gear that is to be found between 4H and 4L? Will all the parts that need to be occasionally used be so used by doing this?

And if forward motion driving is the only complete way to do this, is it also necessary to use 4L for some distance?
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Old 25th March 2016, 06:47   #2
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Default re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

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Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
My Gypsy rarely sees 4x4 use in anger and while I understand the need to run it occasionally in 4x4 mode to keep that gear in running order, it isn't easy to find loose enough surface to do this on. What I do therefore is to occasionally run it in 4H on tarmac, but keep speeds low and have my hands off the steering wheel so there aren't any steering inputs as a cause of wind up.

Will it instead help if I was to run the engine for some time with the clutch engaged - foot off that pedal - but leave it in the 4x4 neutral gear that is to be found between 4H and 4L? Will all the parts that need to be occasionally used be so used by doing this?

And if forward motion driving is the only complete way to do this, is it also necessary to use 4L for some distance?
When I had my Gypsy(s) (one for a while in Madras and another for a while in Bangalore), this is pretty much what I used to do too. Because it is not every week that one wished to go off roading or mud roading or slush pit scrambling and there were long periods of hiatus where 4x4 never really came into play! So I used to take it just off the tarmac (Bangalore those days and Madras those days had plenty of empty spaces on the outskirts of town), and engage 4WD H and 4WD L for a bit.

Last edited by shankar.balan : 25th March 2016 at 06:48.
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Old 25th March 2016, 07:21   #3
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Default re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

Well yes, but is it necessary to do both H and L?

And does this give more of a necessary workout than running the engine in a stationary car with the clutch engaged with first gear selected but neutral selected on the 4x4 stick? Is this enough - if so, it is very easy and convenient to do this.
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Old 25th March 2016, 09:53   #4
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Default re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

When i had bought my Gypsy, it had seen some offroading by the ex-owner. Post my purchase, i did not off-road at all. All i would do is shift it to 4H and 4L within my society premises and move it a few feet in forward and reverse once a month. 3 years after my purchase i attended one off-road session and everything worked perfectly.

Last edited by GTO : 25th March 2016 at 10:38. Reason: Typo
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Old 25th March 2016, 09:57   #5
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Default re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

Thank you; a few feet on tarmac in 4H/L can't do it any harm if one leaves the steering wheel untouched I suppose. That is what I have been doing, though the Gypsy hasn't needed to leave 2WD for over 4-5 years.
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Old 25th March 2016, 10:36   #6
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

Hi Sawyer,

The mechanical linkage of the Gypsy doesn't need frequent engagement, but if you are so particular, you dont really need to drive the vehicle in 4H or 4L. Just make sure to engage the lever and drive forward and reverse a couple of meters.
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Old 25th March 2016, 11:01   #7
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

By putting it in neutral you are disengaging the same, so it wont help. What i generally do is (though am not sure it is needed either in gypsy or thar). Engage 4x4 h and low once a month or so and drive very slowly for short duration, assumption is this would help circulate the oil inside on all parts, and also move those parts.

If you keep the speeds under 5 kmph no harm is caused to any of the parts.
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Old 25th March 2016, 16:46   #8
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

Looking at the replies, and thinking about this a little more it seems to me that all that is done when 4WD on a Gypsy is selected is coupling two sides that are moving all the time that the vehicle is being driven in either 2 or 4WD modes. Given this, leaving them uncoupled for long durations in 2WD mode should not come in the way of things working as they should in coupled - 4WD - mode. Am I correct?

Things are different with hub locks - in open position for a long time, parts that would need to be moving for 4WD would be motionless. Hence the need to occassionally drive the car with locked hubs to get all parts to move as they would have to when 4WD is needed/selected. Correct again?
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Old 25th March 2016, 18:10   #9
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

While 4H sees action in my Scorpio [new gen] quiet often, I don't really get an opportunity to engage 4L.

# Should I engage it once a month?
# On a flat surface, should it be driven it in 1st gear w/o any A pedal or steering in-put for some ~200 meters? (in 4 Low)

Last edited by Sheel : 25th March 2016 at 18:12.
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Old 9th June 2016, 16:37   #10
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

For any hard gripping surface where there are no chances of any slip, I think it is not advisable to engage 4L. Even for 100-200 meters will get the drive train wind up, depending upon how much steering input is there sidewise, although it may not be catastrophically damaging with in that distance.

What I am following right now is, going out in a flat field once a month or so (not hard to find since I come from farming background) and make straight runs in the field after engaging 4HL and 4LL in my Fortuner. If I am lucky to spot a slightly difficult incline somewhere, even better. Make 2 or 3 runs, soil allows for sufficient slip to prevent wind up and the system get a basic work out. I was also told to drive the car in Reverse for a couple of meters after hardcore 4LL applications. Don't know if this helps in some way, but I am assuming it takes out any possible windups, so I follow this religiously in my <3 months of ownership. Is it all okay to do what I do?
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Old 9th June 2016, 20:39   #11
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

A Fortuner owner is a better voice on this, but I don't think for cars such as that, anything needs to be done to keep the 4wd alive. Use the 4HL/LL only when road conditions demand the use of that mode.

I doubt anything needs to be done on the Scorpio either.

The only thing that needs to be done is to make sure that other people including reckless mechanics don't run the car in a mode not suitable for the conditions and damage the gear.
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Old 9th June 2016, 23:13   #12
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

In my experience I would say that in case of Jeeps and Gypsys, the only thing needed is for the linkages for your 4x4 selector to be engaged to ensure smooth shifting when required. I have experienced issues where i found it hard to shift into 4x4 L due to rust and gunk buildup in the shifter linkages. Through greasing and shifting into 4x4 L and H while on stand still once in a while did the trick for me. Never faced any issues. There should be no need to actually drive the vehicle in 4x4 mode just for maintenance sake.

Also, In case your vehicle has a FWH installed on the front axle, i would recommend that you periodically lock the hubs and drive the vehicle around in 2WD mode. This would ensure that the oil in the diff is circulated and that the hubs kept in working order for when the need arises.

Other than this, I see no need for the vehicle to be driven in 4x4 H or L just for maintenance sake. Because your transfer case is constantly functioning even in 2WD mode.

Just my 2 cents.

Regards,
L.o.R
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Old 10th June 2016, 06:49   #13
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

Good advice, and I agree with all of it. Keeping the linkages effective is a sensible thing to do, and the advice for lockable hubs is usually given by the hub makers also, and easily followed since it can be done on tarmac as well, in 2wd mode. But it remains a thing to bear in mind, to be done periodically when off road 4wD use isn't common.
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Old 10th June 2016, 10:22   #14
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

Any advice for an XUV500 AWD owner? The AWD mode is "auto on" or "AWD lock". Since I do not really go off-roading (except for negotiating deep potholes on a few Bangalore roads), what can i do to keep my 4X4 gear in working condition?
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Old 10th June 2016, 10:27   #15
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Default Re: Keeping the 4x4 gear in working condition

Agree with you guys on linkage and FWHs. I am not very particular about engaging 4L in my car, circumstances usually make me do it pretty often so far!

So yeah, not an issue with me. Also, agree with Sawyer on accidental shift of 4x4 lever into a position not required, especially by car cleaner, washing guy or mechanics. I make sure to look at the lever and pull it in rearmost position in Fortuner before driving away since 4H and 4L on hard tarmac will be pretty bad for drive train even if I do it accidentally!
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