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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a friend with a 2014 Trailhawk coming to visit in a couple weeks and we'll be heading out on the beach. I don't think she's ever used the 4WD Low function. 4WD Low is not necessary to drive on the beach but it is nicer.

On my 2018 Overland I use it regularly. I also need transfer case neutral sometimes for flat towing behind the RV so I like to make sure the transfer case switching works.

So given the talk about PTU failures, I'm kind of hesitant to have her use 4WD Low for possibly the first time ever. She said all recalls were done but I'm pretty sure her Jeep is over 100K miles. So what do people think? Is the 4WD Low something that should be used consistently or not at all?

BTW, is the PTU the transfer case? If so, it seems like non-ADII also have PTU failures. Is the failure mode not related to the hi-lo gear switching mechanism?

Pic of Gypsie for attention...last couple times out I haven't even needed to air down!

Tire Sky Cloud Wheel Land vehicle
 

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I have a 2014 V6 TH. The PTU should be fine. It gets used in normal driving.
Never driven it on the beach but apparently the 'trick' is to air down and drive on packed sand.
Your beach looks like it is nicely packed sand.
On loose sand you can dig in. Get some 2X10 boards to put under the jack.
There are traction mats you can put under the wheels.
Some beaches on the East coast have public tire pumps.
A good 12V tire pump and a tire pressure gauge are useful. An air-down device is helpful. I have one and never used it.
The TPMS won't be happy, just ignore it.
You should practice your 4 low skills on some nice grassy place, somewhere where you won't get stuck.
Getting into and out of 4 low, rear locker and select speed can be a little tricky. The computers seem to have a mind of their own.
Have her read the Owner's Manual, it might help, and is definitely the cure for insomnia.
Go for it, take lots of pictures. At least you don't have snow.

My only real concern is the RDM may need oil. Driving in 4 low for an extended period of time could stress it.
Has anybody ever checked the oil level? I seriously doubt it.
Refer to this Post: Rear axle weep
The easiest way to resolve this is to have a Jeep dealer add the proper gear oil to both sides.
Also, clean the metal filings off both fill plugs.
You could do it but it is a pain and the oil is really expensive.
The only way to check the oil level is to fill the RDU with oil until you can't add any more.
 

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My answer will be more philosophical than based on data, because we don't have such data available (that precise case of a PTU hardly ever or never used at all).
She's got it, might as well use it ;)

I really don't see any reason not to use it. And yes, the PTU is the transfer case. Are failures more common with the 2-speed PTUs ? That's actually a good question and I'm not sure we've ever kept count here on the forum. If I had to guess, I would venture that yes, ADIIs are more prone to problems, but then again maybe it's because of how they are used (abused ?) compared to ADI Cherokees.

As stated above, engage to test, then proceed gently out of the gate. Should be fine (hopefully not famous last words there 😅 )
 

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I have a friend with a 2014 Trailhawk coming to visit in a couple weeks and we'll be heading out on the beach. I don't think she's ever used the 4WD Low function. 4WD Low is not necessary to drive on the beach but it is nicer.

On my 2018 Overland I use it regularly. I also need transfer case neutral sometimes for flat towing behind the RV so I like to make sure the transfer case switching works.

So given the talk about PTU failures, I'm kind of hesitant to have her use 4WD Low for possibly the first time ever. She said all recalls were done but I'm pretty sure her Jeep is over 100K miles. So what do people think? Is the 4WD Low something that should be used consistently or not at all?

BTW, is the PTU the transfer case? If so, it seems like non-ADII also have PTU failures. Is the failure mode not related to the hi-lo gear switching mechanism?

Pic of Gypsie for attention...last couple times out I haven't even needed to air down!

View attachment 217858
Not sure what beach you're going to, but I drove on the beaches all up and down Corolla, NC with ease. Never even came close to using 4 low. Just air down, put it in sand mode, and all is well.
 

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Esp. not FWD... :cool:
 
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I wouldn't worry about it. That being said, mine has always done great on sand. I don't usually even air down, but I do generally go to 4low and locker if its over about 6 inches deep, or on a beach. Just throwing it in sand mode with the locker off does fine as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We'll be airing down to 15-20 psi, it's probably not necessary but makes the Cherokee float. I normally air down when it's soft. There are air stations at the beach and I have devices that air down in 3-4 minutes. I go out there a lot and while I have the board, strap, and shovel I haven't needed those things yet even when the sand is deep and soft.

If she doesn't try out 4WD Low before she comes down, we just won't use it. I was just curious if it was a bad idea to even try activating 4WD Low for the first time after 7 years and 180K miles.
 

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if you don't have to air down, I'd be surprised if you'd need low range
not all sand is created equal
  • Lynn Beach in MA & Galveston Beach in TX both have really hard flat sand, almost like pavement. you can drive a rear wheel drive mustang rental on it
  • Cape Cod sand can vary but mostly you have to air down. low range not required for me w/ AD1 & highway tires
  • was watching that recovery video channel & read about "blow sand" which is characterized by the particles being rounder & lighter? almost like little ball bearings stopping almost any vehicle that tried to drive on it
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
not all sand is created equal
True, and on this beach it always depends. In the summer, when there's less rain and more traffic, it looks like this. It made these ruts at 22psi. At 16 psi it makes very shallow ruts even in sand this dry and soft. Occasionally the travel ruts down the beach can get deep enough to lightly scrape the underside.
Cloud Tire Wheel Sky Water
 

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I remember some years ago when @David_Baker discussed his adventures on some Australian beaches, with his 2014 TH. Even airing down with 4Low + locker would eventually stop him, because of overheating. I'm sure sand type and depth has a lot to do with that...
 

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I have been driving on Massachusetts beaches for over 30 years, mostly on Duxbury Beach but also Sandy Neck and Race Point.

Over all those years I have found very little need for low range. In the case of Duxbury I have never aired my tires down and many times only used 2wd. At Race Point the rangers are very strict and won't let you past the gate unless the tires are aired down to 12psi. Race Point also has a lot of deep soft sand making ground clearance king.

Sent from my motorola one 5G using Tapatalk
 

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I have been driving on Massachusetts beaches for over 30 years, mostly on Duxbury Beach but also Sandy Neck and Race Point.

Over all those years I have found very little need for low range. In the case of Duxbury I have never aired my tires down and many times only used 2wd. At Race Point the rangers are very strict and won't let you past the gate unless the tires are aired down to 12psi. Race Point also has a lot of deep soft sand making ground clearance king.

Sent from my motorola one 5G using Tapatalk
So which post of yours is true, above you say you’ve been going offroad for 30 years, the link below in post #11 which you also just recently posted says your like 95% of suv owners and you don’t go off-road . Seeing 2 opposite posts by you at the same time makes me wonder about your advice.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So which post of yours is true, above you say you’ve been going offroad for 30 years, the link below in post #11 which you also just recently posted says your like 95% of suv owners and you don’t go off-road . Seeing 2 opposite posts by you at the same time makes me wonder about your advice.

I was thinking of just reporting this stupidity, but I've had enough of stupidity lately and you brought this into my thread.

First, if you're going to be stupid, you should learn to be a little less stupid by quoting individual posts. I had to read half the thread you linked to find the relevant post by dgc334. Here's the relevant quote:

I am also in the same camp as 95% of all SUV/CUV owners in that the car will never go off road.
In this quote you may notice dcg334 does not say they do not go off-road. They say the Cherokee will not go off-road. So you're just wrong in your stupid assumption at the most basic level.

But it turns out you're even more wrong that that. Dgc334 mentions:

I have been driving on Massachusetts beaches for over 30 years
You may have noticed this is a forum for the Jeep Cherokee KL, a generation which started 8 years ago. Since they have been driving on Massachusetts beaches for over 30 years, they have obviously used other vehicles, which they may still have. So dgc334 could be driving on Massachusetts beaches today while still being correct that their 2021 Jeep Cherokee will never go off-road.

And there's also the fact that driving on beach sand probably isn't considered "going off-road" by many. Sure, it's "off-pavement", but I've been on fire roads more challenging than the beach. I've seen AWD minivans out on the beach. I don't worry about going alone, while for "real off-roading" you should really go with a group. The beach is really pretty easy to drive on and off if you air down your tires.
 

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They say the Cherokee will not go off-road.
I was just waiting for the mention of just exactly which SUV/CUV's from any manufacturer are actually more capable than even ADI equipped Cherokee, and JL's and JLU's don't count, because I don't consider them to be in the SUV/CUV category, they're Wranglers. I'd put Hummers in that category as well. Really, what is there, maybe the 4Runner, and that's only because they have substantially more ground clearance, and they're body on frame design. Even Subaru is jumping on the Trailhawk bandwagon with their Wilderness Edition Outback, and Forrester. I don't know if they're actually any more capable than the regular models, but they sure are trying to look like Trailhawks, right down to the mat black hood decal. Really, what else is there? I'll throw the Bronco Sport in there as comparable, but the full size Bronco, I'm throwing it the same category as the Wrangler. The Cherokee is a very capable compact SUV, with literally no competition in the offroad department...😎
 
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