Switching back 4WD to 2WD - 1998 Jeep Cherokee 4L Limited Petrol
I bought my first 4WD about 3 weeks ago - a 1998 Jeep Cherokee 4 L Limited (Petrol). Since then, I've had absolutely no problems with it - until today, when I stupidly decided it would be a good idea to run it on 4WD for a few miles, to keep the 4WD mechanisms from seizing up.
It works fine in 4WD... in all 3 types, the problem is I can't get it back into 2 WD.
1) I put the car in Neutral (while Stationary) 2) I switch the 2WD - 4WD stick to 2WD. 3) the 4WD lights on the dashboard go out.
4) When I then move into Drive, and start moving I can feel 4WD is still at least partially engaged - e.g. going around corners, and a 'heavier' feel to driving, plus extra noise.
I've tried working 2WD to 4WD stick backwards and forwards, but it won't go back into 2WD like it was.
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Not sure what you mean by "4wd all the time, Neutral". But I can tell you how it's supposed to operate.
The three modes are 2wd, 4wd high and 4wd low. When switching between 2wd and 4wd high it makes no difference whether the Jeep is moving or in neutral. The only condition that needs to be obseved when switching from 2 to 4 high is the speed of the Jeep. It should not be done above 45mph. The switch from 4wd high to 4wd low is a different animal. The Jeep must be stopped and in neutral. Also you should be aware that it is not a pleasant sound or feel when moving from high to low so you should worry to much about the lowed junking sound. At times it may even be necessary to put the lever back to the high position and move the Jeep a couple feet to align gears before it goes into low.
This is the reason for the relative ease when switching from 2wd to 4wd high. There is an art to switching from 2wd to 4wd high then to 4wd low. Once your son becomes familiar with the Jeep and begins using the different modes it will become easier. I would like to add one more piece of advice. After building Jeeps for over 25 years and owning several I have found that 8 out of 10 times that 4wd low is used, it's used incorrectly or not needed at all. It's a good idea to find someone who has experience with 4wd to give a bit of instruction on how it should be used. Especially in the mountains. Let me know if you need any clarification on anything. I hope this helps.
Neutral is only used when you need to tow the jeep. Normal two wheel driving is done in 2h. To engage 4wheel drive keep rolling slowly and engage either 4h or 4L. Generally 4L is almost never used as it is for pulling weight like a vehicle stuck in a snowbank. If it does not return to 2h when you go back into two wheel operation, many times it will if you back up about ten or twenty feet. Don't engage 4 wheel drive while standing still. and never force the lever if you hear grinding.