4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD - Jeep Garage - Jeep Forum

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  #1  
Old 05-25-2016, 11:48 PM
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4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

I feel dumb. Years ago, it was simple. 2wd was typically rear wheel drive and possibly limited slip differential. I get that. 4WD typically had manually locking front hubs that put you into full time four wheel drive. Then, with the advent of crossover suv's and people not wanting to get dirty when getting out to lock the front hubs, we got more automated. When slipping was detected, power was directed to whatever wheel did not slip. So...while I am an engineer and have been in technology my whole life, I am not such a gearhead and I don't know what I am driving...2015 Grand Cherokee Overland High Altitude with air suspension and 4x4 with various automated programs like snow, mud, rocks, auto, etc. and hopefully better traction in rainy South Florida. Maybe even a trip north to try it on snow. Does anyone care to educate me on what this actually does? Please? Thanks for humoring me. I know I wanted this setup but I don't know exactly why.

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  #2  
Old 05-26-2016, 12:10 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

Quote:
Originally Posted by englanderm View Post
I feel dumb. Years ago, it was simple. 2wd was typically rear wheel drive and possibly limited slip differential. I get that. 4WD typically had manually locking front hubs that put you into full time four wheel drive. Then, with the advent of crossover suv's and people not wanting to get dirty when getting out to lock the front hubs, we got more automated. When slipping was detected, power was directed to whatever wheel did not slip. So...while I am an engineer and have been in technology my whole life, I am not such a gearhead and I don't know what I am driving...2015 Grand Cherokee Overland High Altitude with air suspension and 4x4 with various automated programs like snow, mud, rocks, auto, etc. and hopefully better traction in rainy South Florida. Maybe even a trip north to try it on snow. Does anyone care to educate me on what this actually does? Please? Thanks for humoring me. I know I wanted this setup but I don't know exactly why.
Englanderm, you have the basics pretty well down. 4x4/4wd is generally default rear wheel drive and the front can be activated (either with a level or an electronic switch). There is also AWD (which is what you Jeep is) this uses sensors to send power to any of the 4 wheels when slippage is detected. There are differing forms (quadra drive vs quadra track) but the basics are pretty much the same. The different settings (snow/mud/rocks/etc) adjust the settings (how much slip, etc) to work best in each case. There is also an "auto" setting that will detect it for you.

You also have quadra lift (air suspension), this allows you to raise the vehicle (upper most right button) into two higher positions when more clearance is needed.

Bottom line, you should have no issues in the rain or even in a trip up to the snow. You have a more capable off road than almost any other SUV.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:02 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

So the 4x4 badge should actually say AWD?

Also, what is the default on the Jeep under normal street driving conditions? Is it all rear or is there a % between front and rear bearing in mind no slippage?


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Old 05-26-2016, 01:12 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

From my understanding, the AWD system does not allow full lock between front and back. If one end slips, the other end will not have enough torque to get it going. If have first hand experience at extracting an AWD car that attempted to drive through sand.

The 4WD also has a low-range gearing.
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Old 05-26-2016, 01:34 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

This explains it pretty well: Jeep Grand Cherokee WK2 - Selec-Terrain
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Old 05-26-2016, 02:04 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

It is a bit confusing, I'm based in Australia, so perhaps things are a bit different over in the states, but here an AWD is a smaller SUV, like a forrester or honda CRV that don't have low range or diff locks. A 4x4 or 4WD has locking diffs and low range, some can be part time 4wd, where normal drive is from the rears, then you can lock in the fronts with the transfer case to give you 4wd when you are offroad. And then there is Full time 4wd, that allow slipping center diff so that all 4 wheels can get drive while on the road. You need slipping center diff or you would get drivetrain binding, as going around corners some wheels will have spun further than others.

Another popular thing on cars these days is traction control and ABS. Traction control is bad offroad because it tends to cut power in response to a spinning wheel, which can lead to getting bogged offroad. And ABS can be used to grab spinning wheels when offroad. So the select terrain programs dial in different settings for traction control, braking, transmission response and shift points, etc. that allow optimum traction and maintaining of momentum when in different offroad situations.
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:29 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

So... When set to AUTO, and no slippage, my Quadra Trac will direct 100% power to rear? Then, depending upon conditions, automatically direct power to non slipping wheel(s). Dialing one of the other settings adjusts traction control, ABS, etc to help me get through whatever I face? Full time AWD is not really full time if sensors decide rears are gripping?
Of course, south of the Equator, everything is reversed. Four is two and all is none (lol).
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Old 05-26-2016, 07:31 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

Quote:
Originally Posted by oneframe View Post
So the 4x4 badge should actually say AWD?

Also, what is the default on the Jeep under normal street driving conditions? Is it all rear or is there a % between front and rear bearing in mind no slippage?


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The Mopar world is fantastically crappy at consolidating the information in an easy to find way. I have probably read the version of the text below in 8 different places, 5 different times.

Between these two:
2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV - standard features, specifications, and dimensions
2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee: the flagship Jeep luxury SUV

  • In Auto it is 40F/60R.
  • Torque split is 50-50 in all Select-Terrain modes except Auto. Traction Control settings differ.
  • In Sport will be either 40F/60R or maybe as much as 35F/65R if we are to use the SRT's Sport mode settings as guidance.

For the non-SRT vehicles, it is stated:
Quote:
Sport mode, which cuts back the traction control, lowers the vehicle (when an air suspension is used), and puts more power to the rear wheels, has been moved from Selec-Terrain to the shift lever.
which I interpret to mean that it puts more power to the rear wheels compared to the regular Auto mode which already has a 40/60 split. Hence, perhaps Sport mode is 35/65 split. The SRT Track Mode allocates 30F/70R.
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  #9  
Old 05-26-2016, 07:39 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

So if I'm understanding what you're quoting, there is always some split with most power to the rear wheels? Yup! It's not clearly stated anywhere I've looked.
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Old 05-26-2016, 10:16 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

So, 4wd should be better then 4x4? Cause it can save some gas by choosing 2wd or 4wd manually?
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Old 05-26-2016, 11:52 AM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

The difference in fuel economy between a 4x2 and 4x4 JGC is almost nothing. The drive train is pretty efficient and "open", with little drag, unlike the older 4WD systems you had to "lock" into 4WD mode. Modern setups have come a long way in that respect...
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Old 05-26-2016, 03:44 PM
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Re: 4x4 vs. AWD vs. 4WD

AWD typically doesn't have low range, so that is often one distinction between vehicles labeled AWD vs 4x4.


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