Advanced 4x4 Lockers?

lakesinai

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
830
Reaction score
1,125
Location
29466
Vehicle(s)
F150 Crew Cab
Bronco
Outer Banks
I'd love some technical clarification. My OBX, I didnt want the lift, low gas mileage and noise of the Sasquatch. But i did add the rear locker with the 4.27, and the upgraded transfer case. With this, do i have automatic (not selectable) front and rear lockers anyway? The blurb says, "

". . . When in 4A, it continuously varies power to the front wheels for optimum performance for all off-road conditions, provides electronically locked power to both axles in challenging conditions, and can also increase wheel torque for driving over challenging conditions. . ."

This would seem that the transfer case computer can choose the front locker when needed, even if my non-sasquatch OBX doesnt have a selectable locker!?

SmartSelect_20210618-081514_Chrome.jpg
Advertisement

 

B-Rad

First Edition
Well-Known Member
First Name
Brad
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
163
Reaction score
383
Location
Ellensburg, WA
Vehicle(s)
1968 Bronco 1978 Bronco 2021 Bronco
Bronco
First Edition
I think it’s talking about locking the center differential in the transfer case (2H) so the front and rear outputs of the transfer case are locked together sending power to both the front and rear axle equally unlike 4A which could send power to the front axle or the rear axle independently
 

Mattwings

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
Matthew
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
2,272
Reaction score
6,062
Location
Northville, MI
Vehicle(s)
2018 F150
Bronco
Badlands
Vehicle Showcase
1
Clubs
 
No, the front differential is open, the transfer case provides power to both axles, not all four wheels. The whole system uses electronics to leverage the sensors and brakes to limit slip (GOAT modes) but it’s not mechanical and has the disadvantage of using brakes to control wheel spin. This can sometimes hurt momentum and deliver an odd “feel”. That being said, the rear locker and advanced transfer case are going to be very capable.
Edit- others jumped on this as I was typing 🙂
 

da_jokker

Wildtrak
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
2,761
Reaction score
3,454
Location
California
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler JK
Bronco
Wildtrak
Clubs
 
There is always a big confusion when it comes to 4x4. I go back and forth with my kid and my wife all the time.

It's actually completely misleading. 4x4 really means 2x2... You have one wheel on the front axle with power and one wheel on the back axle with power. If all wheels have traction then they all get power but as soon as one slips all the power goes to it and that entire axle is basically moot.

Once you add a locker, both wheels on that axle are fixed and will not rotate without the other. Since you're guaranteed to have at least one wheel per axle touching the ground you will always have power in the front and the back.

So a 4A simply means sending power to the front and the back AXLE and all Broncos are four-wheel drives. However it does not mean that all four wheels actually get power.

What makes four-wheel drive without lockers capable, is traction control that applies the brake to the individual spinning wheel so that the wheel that still got traction actually can do something.
 

Laminar

Black Diamond
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Messages
712
Reaction score
1,842
Location
Iowa
Vehicle(s)
Cougar
Bronco
Black Diamond
So a 4A simply means sending power to the front and the back AXLE and all Broncos are four-wheel drives. However it does not mean that all four wheels actually get power.
You mean 4H. 4H sends torque to the front and back axle. All four wheels get SOME torque. But with an open differential, you're at the mercy of whichever tire has the least traction.

4A is different, but we've been over that before.

https://jalopnik.com/how-all-wheel-drive-works-a-ridiculously-detailed-tech-1846233533
 

da_jokker

Wildtrak
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
2,761
Reaction score
3,454
Location
California
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler JK
Bronco
Wildtrak
Clubs
 
You mean 4H. 4H sends torque to the front and back axle. All four wheels get SOME torque. But with an open differential, you're at the mercy of whichever tire has the least traction.

4A is different, but we've been over that before.

https://jalopnik.com/how-all-wheel-drive-works-a-ridiculously-detailed-tech-1846233533
No i actually meant 4A since that's what the OP was asking about. But you are correct I should have ordered it a bit different.

4A CAN send power to the front axle If it detects any slippage.
 
OP
OP
lakesinai

lakesinai

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
830
Reaction score
1,125
Location
29466
Vehicle(s)
F150 Crew Cab
Bronco
Outer Banks
No i actually meant 4A since that's what the OP was asking about. But you are correct I should have ordered it a bit different.

4A CAN send power to the front axle If it detects any slippage.
Yes, I'm well aware what a mechanical transfer case does, I used to have a manual International Scout. I was looking for clarification on Ford's statement that the upgraded transfer case "provides electronically locked power to both axles" which sounded to me that the system could electronically engage the lockers on the front or rear axle. Given the discussion here, its clear that Ford's description refers to the transfer cases ability to change from its usual 4A mode where it sends power front, or front and rear as needed, to a mode where it "locks" by sending uninterupted (locked) power to both axles when needed, not to nonexistent front or rear lockers. That makes sense. And I'm glad i got the rear locker. Thanks.
 

da_jokker

Wildtrak
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
2,761
Reaction score
3,454
Location
California
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler JK
Bronco
Wildtrak
Clubs
 
Yes, I'm well aware what a mechanical transfer case does, I used to have a manual International Scout. I was looking for clarification on Ford's statement that the upgraded transfer case "provides electronically locked power to both axles" which sounded to me that the system could electronically engage the lockers on the front or rear axle. Given the discussion here, its clear that Ford's description refers to the transfer cases ability to change from its usual 4A mode where it sends power front, or front and rear as needed, to a mode where it "locks" by sending uninterupted (locked) power to both axles when needed, not to nonexistent front or rear lockers. That makes sense. And I'm glad i got the rear locker. Thanks.
Gotcha... Yeah, the transfer case has a Locker.. so thats the one that is electronically engaging... Nothing to do with what WE think of as lockers.

Personally I think that would be nice. If you have 3 lockers, why not be able to automatically engage them when needed. My guess is that the axle lockers are not capable of being "instant" where as the tcase locker (on the ones with 4A) can.

Which reminds me I saw something interesting on the Jeep forum. On specific trims if you opt for the T case that has the 4A feature you get different front axles.

Non 4A get more solid U joint types, where 4A gets more like a CV joint connection.
 

Hopeless Diamond

Badlands
Well-Known Member
First Name
JR
Joined
Jul 30, 2020
Messages
409
Reaction score
1,231
Location
Chumstick, WA
Vehicle(s)
F350/2dr Rubicon/'96 4R
Bronco
Badlands
Have you ever driven on an off-camber ice covered road? No way do I want the axle lockers being automatically engaged. For the areas and conditions I tend to be in, many times I'm happy to have 1 tire not having power so it can maintain some sort of traction. May not have forward motion, but I really don't want either end stepping out at the wrong time.
20210306_125520(2).jpg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
lakesinai

lakesinai

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
830
Reaction score
1,125
Location
29466
Vehicle(s)
F150 Crew Cab
Bronco
Outer Banks
Gotcha... Yeah, the transfer case has a Locker.. so thats the one that is electronically engaging... Nothing to do with what WE think of as lockers.

Personally I think that would be nice. If you have 3 lockers, why not be able to automatically engage them when needed. My guess is that the axle lockers are not capable of being "instant" where as the tcase locker (on the ones with 4A) can.

Which reminds me I saw something interesting on the Jeep forum. On specific trims if you opt for the T case that has the 4A feature you get different front axles.

Non 4A get more solid U joint types, where 4A gets more like a CV joint connection.
Yes, complicated decisionmaking to order a vehicle I've not seen or driven. At first i avoided the advanced transfer case, being used to telling it what to do, rather than having the computer decide. But the incessant Bronco demo rides on video, and a willingness to try the new technology, brought me in. The ability to choose a selectable rear locker was a game changer.

I strongly considered the manual, as well. In 1976, i traded a 1966ish International Scout, with manual 3sp, TC, no lockers for the fancy 1976 model with AC (wow), automatic trans and a manual transfer case. This .model was superior in every way for Cape Cod beach driving, and pretty comfortable on the road. I never goy stuck like the old manual. The International dealer was sure that the newfangled auto trans was superior on sand because of the smooth shifting that kept up momentum, and he was right. I've not driven on rocks, but for beach driving and snow (when i lived in Upstate NY) i believe that generally auto gives a more efficient sand drive. But i do miss the manual.

All that said. Who knows what the future brings. But . . . Electric vehicles won't have a manual, will they!
 
OP
OP
lakesinai

lakesinai

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
830
Reaction score
1,125
Location
29466
Vehicle(s)
F150 Crew Cab
Bronco
Outer Banks
Have you ever driven on an off-camber ice covered road? No way do I want the axle lockers being automatically engaged. For the areas and conditions I tend to be in, many times I'm happy to have 1 tire not having power so it can maintain some sort of traction. May not have forward motion, but I really don't want either end stepping out at the wrong time.
20210306_125520(2).jpg
Yup, ice and snow is a whole other world with its own vehicle needs and tire needs!
 
OP
OP
lakesinai

lakesinai

Outer Banks
Well-Known Member
First Name
John
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
830
Reaction score
1,125
Location
29466
Vehicle(s)
F150 Crew Cab
Bronco
Outer Banks
Gotcha... Yeah, the transfer case has a Locker.. so thats the one that is electronically engaging... Nothing to do with what WE think of as lockers.

Personally I think that would be nice. If you have 3 lockers, why not be able to automatically engage them when needed. My guess is that the axle lockers are not capable of being "instant" where as the tcase locker (on the ones with 4A) can.

Which reminds me I saw something interesting on the Jeep forum. On specific trims if you opt for the T case that has the 4A feature you get different front axles.

Non 4A get more solid U joint types, where 4A gets more like a CV joint connection.
Would the CV joint be considered weaker?
 

da_jokker

Wildtrak
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
2,761
Reaction score
3,454
Location
California
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler JK
Bronco
Wildtrak
Clubs
 
Have you ever driven on an off-camber ice covered road? No way do I want the axle lockers being automatically engaged. For the areas and conditions I tend to be in, many times I'm happy to have 1 tire not having power so it can maintain some sort of traction. May not have forward motion, but I really don't want either end stepping out at the wrong time.
20210306_125520(2).jpg
Well the 4A is not meant to be used off road. It is supposed to only be used when you are going between unpredictable traction and slippery surfaces.

I would think the moment you know you are not going to have anything resembling solid traction, you'd be going into 4H at least with lockers optional.
 

da_jokker

Wildtrak
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
2,761
Reaction score
3,454
Location
California
Vehicle(s)
Jeep Wrangler JK
Bronco
Wildtrak
Clubs
 
Would the CV joint be considered weaker?
Exactly... That was the question folks on the (jeep) forum were talking about.

I believe I read that the front axles on the Bronco are the same part number Sasquatch or not, so hopefully that's the case.
 
Advertisement

 
Holley (Ford Fest banner)
Advertisement
Top