Selec-Trac full time 4x4 4WD system discussions

homerun

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You've got an auto-AWD system available at minimal charge, on a Jeep Wrangler, which already has good bones and tools for driving in inclement weather (to say nothing of its image with off-roading, driving in snow, etc.). For this to not be the standard offering on Wranglers in the northern part of the country is mind-boggling. If not for this forum, I wouldn't have really made much notice of it.

Audi dealers have AWD models on their lots in my area. BMW dealers. Toyota dealers. That is what customers want and expect around me. Seems like a missed opportunity by Jeep, because switching between 2H and 4H in changing road conditions (even within a single drive) is not the same as putting it into 4H Auto and letting the Wrangler optimize for the conditions. YMMV.
The issue is with advertising is 4H auto is that it requires CV joints, all other wranglers and gladiators use U joints which are far superior for off roading, especially in mud conditions.

I don’t dispute the benefits when driving on semi plowed snowy roads but that is not the primary focus for the vehicle. The other thing is how advanced the traction control features are in the modern Jeeps. If I don’t remember to turn traction control off it’s almost impossible to fish tail in snow parking lots.
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aldo98229

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The issue is with advertising is 4H auto is that it requires CV joints, all other wranglers and gladiators use U joints which are far superior for off roading, especially in mud conditions.

I don’t dispute the benefits when driving on semi plowed snowy roads but that is not the primary focus for the vehicle. The other thing is how advanced the traction control features are in the modern Jeeps. If I don’t remember to turn traction control off it’s almost impossible to fish tail in snow parking lots.
If you ever drove a Selec-Trac in part-time mode you’d be hard pressed to tell any difference in capability vs Command-Trac in part-time. I’ve owned both: they behave exactly the same on the trail.

In snow, the worst were my 2-door Rubicons with MT tires; I had to be very careful with the throttle or they were all over the road; my 4-door Rubicons less so.

By contrast, my Saharas with Command-Trac and a rear LSD were always point and go; done.

Selec-Trac simply adds a degree of convenience when road conditions alternate between bare, slush and snow: you don’t have to worry about shifting between 2WD and 4H; you leave it on and let it do its thing.

Knowing what I know now, I’d have a hard time going back to a strictly part-time 4WD, or for that matter to a Rubicon, which essentially runs on open diffs 99% of the time.
 

homerun

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If you ever drove a Selec-Trac in part-time mode you’d be hard pressed to tell any difference in capability vs Command-Trac in part-time. I’ve owned both: they behave exactly the same on the trail.

In snow, the worst were my 2-door Rubicons with MT tires; I had to be very careful with the throttle or they were all over the road; my 4-door Rubicons less so.

By contrast, my Saharas with Command-Trac and a rear LSD were always point and go; done.

Selec-Trac simply adds a degree of convenience when road conditions alternate between bare, slush and snow: you don’t have to worry about shifting between 2WD and 4H; you leave it on and let it do its thing.

Knowing what I know now, I’d have a hard time going back to a strictly part-time 4WD, or for that matter to a Rubicon, which essentially runs on open diffs 99% of the time.
I agree, but everything you mentioned relates to road manners. My comments related to off roading. A u-joint will be less prone to damage, withstand more abuse, doesn’t rely on a fail prone rubber boot to keep grease in and mud out, and came be replaced on a trail assuming you have a back up, if not it’s still a much easier job in your garage than a CV joint.

yes I have had both. I love the NP242 t-case in my old XJ, excellent for winter driving. I would still prefer Rock-Trac for off-roading.
 

aldo98229

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I would still prefer Rock-Trac for off-roading.
Well, that’s not news.

But there’s the widespread misconception out there that because a Rubicon can crawl over rocks, it’s got to be the ultimate winter mobile. It just ain’t. Lockers provide no benefit until the snow starts to get quite deep. Until that happens, a Rubicon with open diffs is slightly more useful in winter driving than a bucket of water in the rain...

BTW, another common misconception is that big knobby MT tires are unstoppable in winter conditions. They are unstoppable, alright...but only because you will have a hard time stopping with them... 😫
 

Strommen95

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Well duh; that’s not news.

But there’s the widespread misconception out there that because a Rubicon can crawl over rocks, it’s got to be the ultimate winter mobile. It just ain’t.

A Rubicon with open diffs is slightly more useful in winter driving than a bucket of water in the rain...
"Ultimate" is relative. While LSD and 4Auto are nice features for snow, the limiting factor is an inexperienced or poor driver. Someone that's a decent driver will do better in a Rubicon than a poor driver will with LSD/4 Auto. They're nice features, but not groundbreaking.
 

aldo98229

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"Ultimate" is relative. While LSD and 4Auto are nice features for snow, the limiting factor is an inexperienced or poor driver. Someone that's a decent driver will do better in a Rubicon than a poor driver will with LSD/4 Auto. They're nice features, but not groundbreaking.
Well, driver is ALWAYS a factor, even in a Hyundai Elantra.

The reality is these discussions about what is the “ultimate off-roader” are academic from the moment that so many people on here publicly admit that they never intend to take their Rubicon off-road. In those situations, lockers, 35s, and everything else, are there simply to impress the neighbors, and to give a false sense of security.

Anyone who plans to take their Wrangler to the trails, the best is to learn to use the 4WD, and how to pick their lines, in a stock Wrangler on 32s. They will be amazed what it can do, and have a TON of fun doing it.
 

viper88

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"Ultimate" is relative. While LSD and 4Auto are nice features for snow, the limiting factor is an inexperienced or poor driver. Someone that's a decent driver will do better in a Rubicon than a poor driver will with LSD/4 Auto. They're nice features, but not groundbreaking.
I owned a base TJ, JK with LSD, JLR. I daily drove all of them in record snow on city streets and highways. It's flat so no inclines. I had no issues with any of them in winter. I have a JLR with Rock-Trac on the way. I decided to go for it on a whim since it was a reasonably priced option. I figure it might be nice to not have to shift levers as often. We will see.

Honestly using dedicated winter tires makes the most significant difference in winter. My front wheel drive Mini Cooper S with Nokian winter tires was better than my TJ in 4-High with Bridgestone ATs as long as there was clearance. The TJ winter driving capabilities improved a LOT after switching to a cheap dedicated winter tire. The winter compound / tread pattern and higher clearance of the TJ made it a snow mobile in 4-high. The TJ with the cheap winter tires was also better than the JK with LSD and ATs. It was also better than the JLR with K02s. I will say the JLR on K02s are good enough where I don't need to consider a dedicate winter tire because city streets and highways are plowed. 4-high gets me out of any really high snow or slush. And the Chicago area is dead flat. I might consider a winter tire if I lived some place hilly with a lot of inclines.
 
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Hogdreamer

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I decided to order the Select-Trac option for my Sahara after I rode in a friend's Rubicon with the part time system. I was shocked how poorly the traction of this Rubicon was in snow. It actually was worse than the Jeep Liberty I owned at the time. Part of the issue may have been the more aggressive tires of the Rubicon compared to the Liberty.

And wow, did I make the correct choice for snow. I am more than a little impressed with the sure-footed capability compared to most any part-time system I've owned in the past. I like the fact that I can put it in 4 wheel auto when it's slippery and just forget about it.

Today, when the roads became snow covered enough to place the Jeep in part-time 4 wheel high I did but switched back to 4 H Auto almost immediately. The part-time 4 wheel did not have the same traction in the snow as the 4 auto. Not sure why that is but I just know the auto 4 is spectacular in the snow.
 
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