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4WD Question

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by BPK63, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. BPK63

    BPK63 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    I have a 92 Chevy K1500 work truck. I got this a few years ago with a plow on it just to plow my driveway. My side street is on an incline/hill so going out my driveway I'm hitting an incline. Last year I had issues with it going into and staying in 4WD. I had a module on the front axle replaced and it seemed to be fine. Last night we had icy conditions and I had a lot of traction issues of course but a lot of the time I would put my head out the window to see the rear wheels spinning and the front doing nothing. My question is, should all 4 wheels have power all the time and all spin at the same time even in icy conditions? At other times I could see the front wheels trying to spin and grip. This was an unusual icy night, no other problems this year, but I'm wondering if I still have a 4WD problem with this truck.
  2. kashman

    kashman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,070

    i think it 60 40 60 back 40 front
  3. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    Allz i know is all my chevys are only 3 wheel drive and my ford is only 2 wheel drive....... 1 in the back and 1 in the front :drinkup:
  4. JCI Trans

    JCI Trans Senior Member
    Messages: 315

    Unless you have a locker in your axles you will see wheel spin. My old 92 suburban was hell off-road for that reason, you'd get one wheel at each corner spinning. Open diffs suck!!!
  5. BPK63

    BPK63 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    I guess maybe chains on the back wheels might help?
  6. tuna

    tuna Senior Member
    Messages: 488

    Only AWD`s split the torque unevenly.4wd`s are 50/50.
  7. Lencodude

    Lencodude Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    That is normal for that truck, it only spins one wheel and the other sit still in the front. I have notice that in the front wheels on my 88 on icy roads.
  8. linckeil

    linckeil PlowSite.com Addict
    from CT
    Messages: 1,272

    axles with open differentials are lazy - they put all the power to the wheel with the least resistance/traction. a limited slip/posi will help to distribute the torque, but will act like an open differential when you need it the most. a locker is the solution - equal torque to both wheels.
  9. BPK63

    BPK63 Senior Member
    from CT
    Messages: 246

    From what I've read here and since I do see my front wheels spinning I guess the truck is working properly . When I come off my driveway I'm on a steep hill. I have to plow down the street and off to the side of the road to push the snow out of the way. When it's really slippery out is when I have these issues. Dry snow I have no traction problems with. My next question, for the future - I bought this old truck used cause I'm getting too old to spend 3 hours in the driveway with a snowblower. Did that for 20 years. The plow makes short work of it. What would be a better small truck for me to look for in the future?
  10. RichG53

    RichG53 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,135

    Tonka ? ? ? ? ? ?
  11. TLB

    TLB Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    I don't think you want to go to a smaller truck. If you get large amounts of wet snow you are going to want that truck you have now for the torque that motor has.
  12. aeronutt

    aeronutt Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    OK, I know somebody is going to disagree here because it's symantics and splitting hairs, BUT....

    4x4 pickup transfer cases do not split the torque 50/50 front-to-back. Torque is a measure of rotational force applied, not rotational movement. If you stomp the gas with the front axle on dry pavement while the rear axle is on clear ice with a bit of water standing on it you will get more like 95/5 distribution. Both axles will rotate at exactly the same speed, but the front axle will be doing all the work because it's got the traction.

    The exact OPPOSITE is true when talking about torque differential between the left and right tires on any given axle. Assuming you have a standard "open" differential and disregarding fluid viscosity of the gear lube in motion, both tires will receive exactly the same amount of TORQUE even while one tire spins wildly and the other appears to be doing nothing at all. The tire that appears to be doing nothing is actually providing the same motive force as the tire that is spinning, it's just not rotating at the same speed.

    Using the above science, "Triple L"'s post yesterday is wrong saying his truck is really only "3-wheel drive" based on the fact he only sees 3 wheels spinning. In fact, all 4 wheels are providing motive force, but each axle's total force applied is limited to 2X the tire with the least traction. Having one tire suspended in mid-air means the axle traction formula is 2x0=0 and you go nowhere.

    A locker will not prevent spinning, it only prevents UNEVEN spinning. This means that the tire with better traction gets more torque delivered than the tire with poor traction. Extending this concept a little farther means that you are no longer limited to 2X the least traction. In fact, if one tire is suspended in air your axle can still apply 100% of the other tires available traction to move the vehicle. If you deliver enough torque (ie stomp the gas...) to spin all 4 tires then lockers on front and back can actually be a bad thing because you loose a lot of directional control when the tires are spinning rather than gripping. Lockers are a useful tool and can certainly save you in un-even traction conditions, but they are not magic bullets that prevent you from ever getting stuck.