Question about Jeep TJ

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My 4 wheel drive in my jeep TJ sport won`t engage in 4 wheel drive, the 4 wheel drive is seized up, the shifter is really stiff. I think I have to take it apart in order to free it up, any suggestions É

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Serviceing it is ok but i would replace it
once it has frozen up (rusted) it will do it agin a short time after serviceing
i have done this on alot of jeeps and other models
replace it with a new one
rank and vote my solution TY

Posted on Dec 15, 2008

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Shifter will not engage 4 wheel drive.


Check to make sure it is connected at the transfer case. The shifter bushings become worn and break and allows the linkage to fall off the lever arm.

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Why are the wheels locked on Jeep ? Won't even roll in Neutral!


so you did get the key to move enough and brakes on to move the shifter to neutral.
are you an the arctic circle, (i have a buddy there,) pop 100.
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or one axle bearing is seized.
so jack up each wheel 1 by 1, and see if it turns
on flat ground, and other wheels chocked so car can not roll.
i bet all 4 can spin,
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Don't know how to engage 4WD - No owners manual


I love driving 4x4 jeeps, especially in 4-wheel drive. First, a list of when you should and should not use 4-wheel drive.

2x4 Hi is for normal driving in most weather and anytime you are driving over 50mph.

4x4 HI is for getting you unstuck from mud or snow and can be used up to 50mph but is not recommended for much faster. It is only designed to get you moving and unstuck, it will NOT make it any safer to drive faster on slick surfaces like rain, snow, or ice. Always drive slower on these kinds of surfaces.

4x4 lo (low) is for extreme 4x4 driving like trail riding and mud bogging to get over steep inclines and deep mud without burning up the clutch. 4x4 lo should never be used to drive faster than 25-35mph and should only be used in off road situations.

Neutral (on the 4x4 shifter) is mainly used if you are towing your jeep with any of the wheels on the ground. It completely disengages the transmission from the drive train so you can tow it without damaging the trans.

Now, to shift from one to another. My jeep may be different than yours and I haven't driven my jeep in a while (I had to sell it) but it should shift the same way.

First, make sure you are parked and the wheels are not moving. Put the main gear shift (5-speed) into Neutral, hold down the clutch and move the selector from 2x4 to 4x4 by first pulling the shifter to the side then moving it up or down. Some jeeps (especially older ones) may have a wheel lock on the outside of the wheel hub (AKA hub lock). This must be in the "LOCK" position for 4x4 and "UNLOCK" for normal 2x4 driving. Make sure it is fully engaged in the slot before shifting into 1st. Then you can drive normally, following the guidelines above.

The regular 5-speed transmission will shift just the same as before but you will notice that the jeep will drive much slower in 4x4 lo and it will have much more torque for those really sticky situations.

Good luck! Have fun! And if you do plan on doing some real 4x4'in or mud boggin' make sure you buy a winch for the front of your jeep or bring a friend who has a winch on their truck to get you unstuck from the worst of the worst! Don't forget to rate!

P.S. if you have problems with one or more 4x4 settings you can always shift back to 2x4. Make sure that if you are driving on the highway or in normal driving conditions, you are always in 2x4.

P.P.S. If you are near the Columbia, MO area send me a PM, I'd love to find some new friends to do some 4x4 driving with in the area so I can get back into the sport. I miss it.

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1 Answer

How do I activate the 4 wheel drive for snow highway driving?


They didn't make Grand Cherokees in '86, so I assume you mean '96?

I'm also assuming it is indeed a 4x4 and not a two wheel drive...sorry, I have to ask!

All the V8's GC's were Quadra-Trac. Please confirm this with what is label on your shifter. If so, it should say "4Hi, N, and 4Lo".

The Quadra Trac system has a viscous coupling. Meaning, that when the rear wheels start to slip, it heats the coupling up, and engages the front wheels.

This system typically put about 95% of the power to the rear wheels, and only about 5% goes to the front during normal driving, so it's essentially in 2wd mode.

When you put the transmission shifter into neutral, and pull your transfer case down to 4lo, then you have all four wheels locked. Do not drive like this on dry pavement.

To answer your questions, the 4x4 should automatically engage when the rear wheels start to slip. It is a seamless transition and you really won't be able to tell.

If you're in real bad snow, then pull it down to 4lo. That'll lock all four wheels in and give you greatest traction.

Drive safe.

Jan 21, 2009 | 1991 Jeep Wrangler

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