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Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

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  • Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

    Does it make a difference? Is one better than the other? I would think 4wd would be better since its sharing the load with all 4's instead of just the rear.
    CrankyBaits Custom Painted Lures

    1981 Sylvan Sportster 16' 1985 Evinrude 70 hp


  • #2
    Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

    You should always tow in 2wd. Switch to 4x4 at the ramp if you think you are going to get stuck. Most traditional 4x4's (not AWD) aren't meant to be driven on dry pavement in 4wd - you'll wear out your tires and put lots of unneeded strain on the drive line. And burn a lot of extra gas. The rear diff, axles, etc. should be more than strong enough to tow what ever the rated capacity of the vehicle is without using 4wd.

    I have yet to need to use 4wd at the ramps I go to. Hope this helps.
    - Adam
    1997 Bayliner 1704 Ski/Fish, 90HP Force
    2004 Dodge Dakota QC 4x4, 4.7L

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    • #3
      Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

      Truck 4wd systems are not designed to work on hard paved roads. You will have a hard time making tighter turns in 4wd on paved roads (i've done it before accidentelly ) It's fine to put the truck in 4wd on the ramp if you need extra traction, but you shouldn't drive miles down the road in 4wd, eventually it will tear up the truck.
      1999 Alumacraft 1448
      2000 Mercury 25E 2-stroke

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      • #4
        Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

        agreed 2w to tow 4w on the ramp

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        • #5
          Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

          Some trucks would be ok depending on the type of 4x4 system, as far as turning and such, but you are adding alot of wear and tear to the front drive train unnecessarily. I usually put my truck in 4x4 for when i am backing down the ramp just to make sure i don't spin out truying to come back up the ramp.
          sigpic2008 Mariah SX 20, 5.0 260hp, Fully loaded

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          • #6
            Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

            oh yeah, i forgot about about how much it sucks trying to turn. lol
            CrankyBaits Custom Painted Lures

            1981 Sylvan Sportster 16' 1985 Evinrude 70 hp

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            • #7
              Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

              Don't ever use 4wd while doing just casual driving. Use it only when you need it, such as on the ramp, in mud, ect. Unless you have a vehicle with an AWD system, don't use 4x4 on pavement, especially when turning, unless you like broken axles.
              Eric

              1998 Fisher Bay 19 Center Console w/ 1998 120 hp Force
              1959 V-hull aluminum jon boat, '83 9.9 hp Evinrude

              RIP to all of the below...burned in the wildfires 9/4/11
              1986 Sea Ray 197 SXL w/350ci Mercrusier/ Alpha I, Tow Vehicle: '95 Dodge 3500, Dually, 4x4, 5spd, 12 valve, 1973 Johnson 40HP
              sigpic

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              • #8
                Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                Originally posted by BoatingCop View Post
                Don't ever use 4wd while doing just casual driving. Use it only when you need it, such as on the ramp, in mud, ect. Unless you have a vehicle with an AWD system, don't use 4x4 on pavement, especially when turning, unless you like broken axles.
                Yup! Also will wreck your transfer case.$$$$$$$$

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                • #9
                  Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                  BTW, 4WD trucks actually have lower tow ratings because the added weight must be considered. There is no load carrying benefit to 4WD. Only a traction deal . . . In heavy trucks they try and limit "driven" wheels to one axle if payload is the main concern. Rare here in the US, but 6x2 tractors are very common in Europe.

                  The most efficient vehicle would be a 1x1 (unicycle) arrangement. Less stuff to turn
                  Keep the faith!!! We'll be back stronger than ever

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                  • #10
                    Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                    use 4 low on the ramp.
                    sigpic1982 Baja 16ss

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                    • #11
                      Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                      As has been stated never use 4WD on dry pavement. A transfer case is NOT a differential. You will break u-joints or axles with enough of that abuse. more likely with common NP208 and BW135x transfer cases is to stretch the chain drive or break it. With a gear driven case like a NP205 the case will be fine but it's your front driveline that'll likely pop first. So unless you have a differentiating transfer case like a NP203 don't do it. Even then, no benefit to it, just worse MPG.

                      I will say that it's fine to leave your front hubs locked on hard pavement with the transfer case in 2WD, assuming you don't have a locker in the front. No point to it though unless you got a short drive before needing 4WD again. Just more wear on the front axle bearings and worse MPG.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                        good thing you asked .. i have had no problem with 2 wheel drive yet.
                        1986 Larson Senza V-175BR
                        1977 Columbian Celebrity 14'

                        New England Get Together.. Still getting ideas!! Come join in the fun!!
                        http://forums.iboats.com/showthread....67&pagenumber=

                        IN MEMORY OF Our friend Tashasdaddy Robert (bob) Griffis. October 27, 1948
                        November 29 2010 RIP

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                        • #13
                          Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                          The system is not dsigned for just driving around. All sorts of issues, transfer case, torque converters, transmissions and differentials. Just to name a few of the problems you can have with this. Just use at the ramp.
                          May you live long and lucky

                          1991 Sea Nymph
                          25 Yamaha

                          2006 Rinker Captiva 192
                          Mercruiser 4.3 Alpha One Gen II
                          TU TU TANGO TU

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                          • #14
                            Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                            I rarley need 4wd at the ramp, but nice to have if putting in on a sand surface. The only acceptable use for 4wd on pavement is on the ramp. As stated before, DO NOT turn on pavement while in 4wd.
                            Eric

                            1998 Fisher Bay 19 Center Console w/ 1998 120 hp Force
                            1959 V-hull aluminum jon boat, '83 9.9 hp Evinrude

                            RIP to all of the below...burned in the wildfires 9/4/11
                            1986 Sea Ray 197 SXL w/350ci Mercrusier/ Alpha I, Tow Vehicle: '95 Dodge 3500, Dually, 4x4, 5spd, 12 valve, 1973 Johnson 40HP
                            sigpic

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                            • #15
                              Re: Better to tow in 2wd or 4wd

                              Originally posted by NSBCraig View Post
                              use 4 low on the ramp.
                              do not use 4 low on pavement. That will really wreck things.

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