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Old 08-25-2010, 07:03 PM
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Off Road Traction

Hello everyone. I have a 2008 F-350 FX4 Off Road with an automatic transmission and limited slip option. (under 10K km on the truck). I have the factory 20" wheels and stock AT tires on it now.

Last spring I was pulling into our driveway and ended up with the truck stuck in a very little mudhole on the side of our yard. The right rear wheel was spinning and even after I engaged the 4X4 I ended up having to get my old chevy 4X4 and pull my new truck to get it unstuck in my yard.

I am going to be taking the F-350 out into the forests more often now and do not want to get stuck out in the woods like I did in my own yard last year. I am going to be getting some Toyo Open Country MT on the truck (same tires I have on my Chevy) but am wondering about the limited slip and how to keep from getting in a situation where the rear tire just spins and cannot get any traction out of the other wheels even after engaging the 4X4.

I did not have the manual hubs engaged when I got stuck in my yard and am wondering if the F-350 has to be moving for the 4X4 to engage or should I have the manual hubs engaged before I think I may need to engage the 4X4 from a standing stop?

Any suggestions, ideas, or your experiences with the limited slip on these trucks is deeply appreciated as I definately do not want to have to walk out from the roads I will be on
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:18 PM
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If you even think you're going to need 4X4 engage it before you head out. The 4X4 doesn't engage unless there is forward motion. Also many people upgrade their factory LSD with a locker.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superdutydixie View Post
If you even think you're going to need 4X4 engage it before you head out. The 4X4 doesn't engage unless there is forward motion. Also many people upgrade their factory LSD with a locker.
Thanks--I was thinking that not having forward motion may have been a part of the problem. Is engaging the manual hubs enough or do I have to have the actual 4X4 engaged (turning the dash engagement)?

I guess I am not clear if it is the hubs not being engaged that was the problem or if there is another engagement that has to take place by the 4X4 dial. The chevy takes a minute to engage with the autohubs but it does so without forward motion.

I am getting my truck into the dealership for servicing next week and will ask them about an upgrade to some type of locker. I love this truck but just haven't gotten to where I trust it yet as far as the 4X4 capacity goes.

BTW---that is a nice looking truck you have.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:15 PM
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I have been stuck in sand while in 2WD and tried just shifting into 4X4 without locking the hubs, still couldn't get the truck to move, got out locked the hubs and the truck came right out.

I would say you must have the hubs locked or you are not actually in 4WD.

My truck is a 6 speed manual, and a manual shift 4X4, so I don't know if that made a difference.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:36 AM
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I have manuel hubs too, always engauge if i go into an area that may be bad but stay in 2wd. pretty sure you have to have the hubs locked in to put in 4wd. i have ben stuck before got out lock hubs switched to 4wd and poped right out
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:48 AM
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i would suggest getting a detroit tru trac for the rear, and maybe even for the front depending on how intense the stuff is your going to be getting into.
My truck will engage 4wd without forward motion, if i feel one of my rear wheels spinning, i stop engage 4wd high, and once the rear tire starts to spin i will feel everything engage and i will get unstuck.
Seems to me that if your not going into 4wd if you turn the dial there maybe something wrong?
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Old 08-27-2010, 02:08 PM
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Hubs need to be engaged for 4wd to work at all. L/S axles are ok in light off roading, but once a wheel is in the air all your traction will go to that wheel and you're done. ARB air lockers are selectable, so you can have them unlocked on the road,and locked off road (you can use the compressor to air up tires also). I don't know if they make them for this truck tho. I have them front and rear in my Jeep for 5 years and have had no problems and love 'em.
I'd also stay away from the stealership for any axle work.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:07 PM
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if you have ESOF you dont have to get out and lock the hubs, they will automatically lock once you switch the switch, if you have a manual 4x4 then you have to get out and lock the hubs for the 4x4 to engage.
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:08 PM
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Thinking back to when I got stuck in our driveway I didn't get out and try manually locking the hubs. If it takes forward motion to engage with the ESOF then that may have been the problem. (It is probably called shift on the fly for a reason other than that I had thought LOL)

What I started doing when I was tiptoeing around with it in the woods after that was engaging the hubs to lock as some of you suggested and then using the dash switch to do what I thought was engaging the transfer case. I am thinking now after reading what some of you have posted is that the dashboard switch does two functions: 1) engages the hubs in they are not manually locked in and 2) engages the transfer case either into hi or lo range.

I have used the dash switch without manually locking in the hubs when I was actually moving and it seems to work fine (at least on washboards) so maybe this truck does take actual forward motion for the hubs to actually engage.

As for the question about the type of terrain I am taking this into the roads are logging roads, and some of them have been either not maintained and/or deactivated with some pretty deep water bars dug across them. It is not extreme four wheeling as in cross country or rock climbing but it is terrain that a dependable 4X4 is needed or else there are some long, long walks back out.

Anyway, thanks again for your replies. I was trying to get my head clear on how this ford 4X4 works. The last other ford 4X4s I have had were a 1997 F350 powerstroke automatic and a 1988 F150 5-speed manual. I didn't have the same problem with them I had with this superduty in my own driveway of all places LOL
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