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School me on the difference between 4WD vs AWD.

Purerock105

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#1
This is so I can better explain to my non Gearhead peeps.

Keeping it FCA. My Durango SRT is ALL Wheel Drive. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is 4 wheel drive. The Track Hawk is All wheel drive.

Go...😂
 

BULL

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#2
AWD normally indicates a transfer case that is clutch/automatic based and has a degree of limited-slip involved, also usually not selectable, although there are certainly hybrids of this.

4WD has a manual transfer case and is selectable, HI/LOW range, although again not always.


In days of old, this was much more clearcut, not so much anymore.


Our 2006 Durango has a hybrid 4WD (my opinion)
Our 2019 DSRT has AWD
My Power Wagon has 4WD and a real transfer case.

My AWD Hellcat has a....

(Sorry, those kind of statements will get a guy banned from a place like this....)

:p
 

Blkout

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#3
I think in days of old 4WD was mostly associated with trucks for off-roading and AWD was associated with cars. Before so many cars had AWD, it would have sounded funny to call a car 4WD given that mostly only trucks had that feature.

Also typically 4WD was often a selectable drive mode for trucks between 2WD and 4WD, where as AWD cars are always AWD not a selectable drive mode.
 
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Purerock105

Purerock105

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Thread Starter #4
So...having 4 wheel drive is the better drivetrain for off roading than All wheel drive. Also, because of the hi/lo option. Talking solely SUV's here not traditional 4×4.

Is any of the actual components a tougher grade?
Material wise.
 

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#5
So...having 4 wheel drive is the better drivetrain for off roading than All wheel drive. Also, because of the hi/lo option. Talking solely SUV's here not traditional 4×4.

Is any of the actual components a tougher grade?
Material wise.


I think the generalization is that 4x4 is stronger, and certainly in the beginning, I would have gone with that, but anymore, I don't think it's a clear boundary of what's what...
 
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Purerock105

Purerock105

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Thread Starter #6
Isn't there a current Charger trim an All Wheel drive option?

So...here it comes...why not a HellCat Charger/ Chally all wheel drive variant. It's the worst kept secret about getting these cars to hook up.
 
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Purerock105

Purerock105

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Thread Starter #7
Upon reflection, I do miss my buddies getting out and locking their hubs on their Broncos and K5 Blazers. 😂

Not me. My 75' Powerwagon had some sort of full time 4 wheel drive up to a certain speed, then I believe the rear shaft was primary after 30mph. So my setting was always in neutral. Rarely did I need to lock it in lo or 4Hi. Good times.
 

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#8
So...having 4 wheel drive is the better drivetrain for off roading than All wheel drive. Also, because of the hi/lo option. Talking solely SUV's here not traditional 4×4.

Is any of the actual components a tougher grade?
Material wise.
Yes. For off roading. Daily drivers will prefer AWD. No selecting / thought needed
 

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#9
Isn't there a current Charger trim an All Wheel drive option?

So...here it comes...why not a HellCat Charger/ Chally all wheel drive variant. It's the worst kept secret about getting these cars to hook up.
Currently only the six banger. A few yrs back (2013-ish) was the last Hemi AWD in the Charger I believe. Dont even open the AWD door Hellcat can of worms. Do a search and read the kagillion threads on it lol.
 

Stormtrooper1320

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#10
This is so I can better explain to my non Gearhead peeps.

Keeping it FCA. My Durango SRT is ALL Wheel Drive. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is 4 wheel drive. The Track Hawk is All wheel drive.

Go...😂
here's your answer.....

 

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#11
Upon reflection, I do miss my buddies getting out and locking their hubs on their Broncos and K5 Blazers. 😂

Not me. My 75' Powerwagon had some sort of full time 4 wheel drive up to a certain speed, then I believe the rear shaft was primary after 30mph. So my setting was always in neutral. Rarely did I need to lock it in lo or 4Hi. Good times.
Those had a full time 4wd system. 4 HI was the normal driving mode, then you had 4 HI Lock and 4 Low Lock. If I remember correctly there was a viscous clutch for the normal 4Hi setting that allowed driveline slippage.....and when you went to the Lock positions it mechanically locked that clutch.
I may be missing some of the actual full-fledged mechanical explanation, that's just how I rememeber the guy from the motorpool explaning it to me. The military had those same trucks (M880's).
 

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#12
I’ve always understood it as (for the older systems) 4WD sends the same/fixed amount of power to all 4 wheels which makes it good for off-road and low traction scenarios since all 4 wheels are each getting the same amount of power, so as long as a wheel on either side has traction you’re good to go; because of this, 4WD vehicles offered a 2WD setting to help them function on the road better. AWD sends variable amount of power to each wheel depending what each wheel needs; for example, when cornering the power will adjust depending on what wheels need power - inside wheels spin slow than outside wheels.
But, then the technology advances, and now full time 4WD systems operate more similar to AWD until you switch it to 4LO, and AWD systems can operate like 4WD systems. I had a ‘06 4Runner that had full-time 4WD and drove great on the street until I put it in 4LO.
It’s great not having to jump out and lock hubs anymore, but I sure miss our ‘72 (or ‘73. I forget) Jeep Wagoneer we had for hunting when I was growing up. That thing was a beast!!
 

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#13
My 17 half ton Ram has a "4WD on demand" button and the other 4wd buttons.
I really like the set up on my 95 1 ton ford that has hubs and a transfer case.
I prefer this system as it is a lot less complicated than the one on my 17 Ram.
 

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#14
I also have that "on demand" setup" on my '14 1500 Ram, and like the function but not that it uses small buttons to operate. My Cherokee XJ had what I think is the same transfer case, but it was operated with a lever.
Ether way, that would be a "full time" 4WD, when in that position.

AWD, as in a Trackhawk, has no low range or the ability to be locked into 4WD, but the percentages of how much power goes to the front or rear can be changed to some extent.

In many ways, the full time systems of the Seventies pickups had many advantages, but people seemed to think that the mileage suffered so many were converted to basic 4x4 function. That meant eliminating the differential (spider and side gears) in the transfer case and installing manual hubs.

A basic 4X4 'case and manual hubs is about as simple and effective as it gets, but eventually the thought of having to lock and unlock hubs apparently became such a burden that people now prefer less reliable and weaker setups.

My '17 3500 Ram thankfully has a lever for the transfer case, but the Central Axle Disconnect (CAD) up front relies on electronics, meaning that I could still be dead in the water if anything in that complex system decides to not cooperate.
And even if everything does work as intended, it's a weaker setup which still turn the left side axle shaft (and half of the right side's) and spins the poor spider gears at warp speed to allow the diff and driveshaft to remain stationary.

Not sure if this helped or confused things even more.
 

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#15
I also have that "on demand" setup" on my '14 1500 Ram, and like the function but not that it uses small buttons to operate. My Cherokee XJ had what I think is the same transfer case, but it was operated with a lever.
Ether way, that would be a "full time" 4WD, when in that position.

AWD, as in a Trackhawk, has no low range or the ability to be locked into 4WD, but the percentages of how much power goes to the front or rear can be changed to some extent.

In many ways, the full time systems of the Seventies pickups had many advantages, but people seemed to think that the mileage suffered so many were converted to basic 4x4 function. That meant eliminating the differential (spider and side gears) in the transfer case and installing manual hubs.

A basic 4X4 'case and manual hubs is about as simple and effective as it gets, but eventually the thought of having to lock and unlock hubs apparently became such a burden that people now prefer less reliable and weaker setups.

My '17 3500 Ram thankfully has a lever for the transfer case, but the Central Axle Disconnect (CAD) up front relies on electronics, meaning that I could still be dead in the water if anything in that complex system decides to not cooperate.
And even if everything does work as intended, it's a weaker setup which still turn the left side axle shaft (and half of the right side's) and spins the poor spider gears at warp speed to allow the diff and driveshaft to remain stationary.

Not sure if this helped or confused things even more.
One thing about hubs is you manually shift them in.
So, if you are in a dicey situation they are engaged and you just grab the transfer case if needed.
I have not used the system on my 17 Ram enough to have an educated opinion.
 

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#16
One thing about hubs is you manually shift them in.
So, if you are in a dicey situation they are engaged and you just grab the transfer case if needed.
I have not used the system on my 17 Ram enough to have an educated opinion.
Yep, I think that one issue people had with the manual hubs was/is that they never locked them in before they were needed. And then it was a bit inconvenient to get out in the snow or mud, and somehow that was the vehicle's fault.

Ironically, it was considered a sin to drive with the hubs locked for no apparent reason, yet that's how Ram, Jeep and others were operating for a long time...now there were no manual hubs to unlock, but the rest of the system was still the same.
Of course, forgetting to unlock one hub was completely sacrilegious and would supposedly ruin the diff in short order. But the system in our later Rams does exactly that, except on purpose.
 

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#17
This is so I can better explain to my non Gearhead peeps.

Keeping it FCA. My Durango SRT is ALL Wheel Drive. The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is 4 wheel drive. The Track Hawk is All wheel drive.

Go...😂
My understanding is typically a 4WD will provide an equal amount of power to front and rear drivetrains, an AWD will provide less to either the front or rear - usually a reduced percentage to the alternate. If the vehicle is front wheel drive in other variants the added rear wheel (AWD) will be less than 50%, if the other variants are normally rear wheel drive the added front (AWD) will then be less than 50%.
I had an AWD Chrysler Pacifica (crossover not minivan) and the added rear was only a 30%, (the standard non-AWD was a front wheel drive) with the front getting 70% - if I remember correctly.
 

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#18
My 2003 Dodge Durango has an electronic transfer case selector. AWD, 4Hi, 4Lo on the selector. When I flat tow it I put transmission in N and push pin for 4 seconds. Had Diffs serviced and shortly after had a humming noise...turned out to be wheel bearing. I suspected Diffs and couple shops said the AWD version of the Durango had to be dealer serviced. Luckily it was wheel bearing noise.

Guess my Durango is AWD with 4x4 vs just 4x4? Not well versed in these systems.
 

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#19
AWD normally indicates a transfer case that is clutch/automatic based and has a degree of limited-slip involved, also usually not selectable, although there are certainly hybrids of this.

4WD has a manual transfer case and is selectable, HI/LOW range, although again not always.


In days of old, this was much more clearcut, not so much anymore.


Our 2006 Durango has a hybrid 4WD (my opinion)
Our 2019 DSRT has AWD
My Power Wagon has 4WD and a real transfer case.

My AWD Hellcat has a....

(Sorry, those kind of statements will get a guy banned from a place like this....)

:p
Awww..you cops stick together ...that whole blue line thing..
 

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#20
Pure Rock,,, what the hell you talkin about Willis?? You live in St Pete, so you need either one for?? Chasing a blue crab away from a one legged sea gullish?? Don't need that shit down here. Water gets too high, buy a damn boat and put your Hell Cat in a multi story barking garage. Pref er ber ly next to a bar an diamond dolls,,, which happens to be next door to a multi story hotel and a liquor store. 4 WD in St Pete,,, you lost in Pant City?? Damn Willis,, wake up. Smell the beach and girlish sun tan lotion. Startin to sound like El Ri Co Ola.
 
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