By on June 21, 2016

mkc17_models_detailflip_awd

TTAC commentator Fordman_48126 writes:

Sajeev,

I have a 2015 Lincoln MKC powered by the base 2.0-liter turbo and all-wheel drive. My issue is that the AWD system is a part-time setup that defaults to front-wheel drive. Do you know if there a way to convert it via changing and/or modifying the programming on the ECM to run it in all-wheel-drive mode all the time?

I really like the way my wife’s 2010 Audi Q5 handles in slippery conditions with its full-time Quattro system, and the mileage penalty isn’t bad from what I can tell. I find that in many situations the system is detecting slippage but the traction control always seems to activate before the rear differential kicks in.

Sajeev answers:

Getting a definitive answer is difficult. And even if you can unlock the parameters that control all-wheel drive, who knows if anyone tweaks that side of the computer. My advice is to contact a tuning company directly because they might have the ability to unlock that part of the ECM.

But this might not be a good idea, even if it’s a great idea in theory. I reckon FWD-based intelligent AWD powertrains that only activate the rear wheels when needed could be inadequately designed for full-time use. This pertains to the Power Take-Off Unit and all points downstream.

Do you really have faith that companies overbuild PTUs if they never see that much action? Not if it’s my ride I don’t, son …

Even if this is a short-term lease, it’s not a good idea to override the (possible) computer calibration. Instead, get winter tires for more grip, or just leave it alone and enjoy the white knuckle moments of joy of a tuned 2.0-liter Ecoboost in the summer! If they don’t have a tune for your ride yet, just ask.

[Image: Lincoln Motor Company]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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76 Comments on “Piston Slap: Always AWD for the MKC?...”


  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Fordman- if you see this- how do you like the MKC vs the Q5? Going to be shopping in that segment next year and we’re looking at those, the new Sportage Turbo, Santa Fe Sport Turbo and the RDX.

    And yea the issue here is probably not electronic. I would not risk it.

    • 0 avatar
      Davekaybsc

      The Sportage and Santa Fe are an odd choice vs. a Lincoln, Audi, and Acura. You might be able to get cooled seats and whatnot in them, but they are definitely NOT luxury products by any stretch of the imagination.

      The Q5 is VERY old at this point – about to be replaced in fact. If you’re going to get one, I’d wait for the all new 2018. The outgoing car has basically the same interior as the recently departed B8 A4, which was a real low point for the A4 in terms of interior design and materials, and the Q5 is the same. The plastics are a lot harder and cheaper than you might expect from the former king of interiors. It’s not really any nicer inside than the MKC, or Volvo XC60, but it is at least better Acura (low bar).

      If any sort of handling precision is a priority, the Q5 and X3 are MUCH better in that regard than the Lincoln and Acura, and of course the Korean twins.

      The new Benz GLC has the nicest interior in the class.

      • 0 avatar
        hifi

        I would also encourage anyone looking in this category to test drive the X1. I have been looking for something to replace my not-so-dearly-departed Evoque, and have driven everything from the Model X, to the GLC, to the Q5, to the X5/3/1. I was shocked at how much I enjoyed driving the X1 for an extended weekend. BMW did a good job with that one.

        • 0 avatar
          WestoverAndOver

          hifi, what did you think of seat comfort in the X1 over an extended period? My wife and I are in search of a solution to a problem that does not exist and are considering the new X1, among others. My seat time in the vehicle has been minimal so far. Same question on GLC, if you don’t mind.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      RDX had to be pushed off the flat rollers in this teat. You already know the I snide is a let down, know you know the outside is too.

      https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/244191-buick-joins-torque-vectoring-goes-snow-wheel-drive-show

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        I meant MDX. It only sends so much power to the front wheel and not enough to pull itself off the roller with one wheel with traction. Where the Envision can send enough power to any single wheel while the others are slipping.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    Yeah, Ford didn’t design the drivetrain that way for the heck of it. If they could’ve made it perform like Quattro without compromising other aspects of the system, they would have. These guys aren’t idiots. Maaaaybe those compromises won’t happen to affect Fordman negatively, but there really isn’t any way to tell without knowing what Ford’s engineers knew.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Don’t play with voodoo. You’ll make PTU angry.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      This. Next time Fordman, don’t play with voodoo and buy the Subbie.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Or accept the voodoo and leave it alone. If you gotta ask, “Can I mess with this voodoo, even though I don’t know how this voodoo works?” then you should leave it alone.

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        Subaru has been moving the same direction. The Forester with an auto require some X mode in order to do the torque split they were known for and I think it has some mph limitations.

        My wife’s Clubman S All4 is basically FWD until it detects a slip. These systems seem to have reached a maturity point to where they are competent for winter driving. We will throw some snow tires on there for good measure and should be good to go. Her old 2005 MINI S w/ LSD was pretty solid in the snow on all seasons, so I expect no issues with the new one.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          My old Encore AWD was the same. Floor it on snow while stopped and there is a split second difference before the rears are turning. But brake torque it and all four wheels are spinning.

          Unfortunately with TC and stability off after 25 mph the stability returns to on and the fun stops.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            That’s because the Buick Encore actually uses advanced, highly proprietary technology that DARPA essentially gave to General Motors, but that General Motors was not supposed to implement into any production vehicles for consumer sale until at least 2030.

            But engineers and advanced materials scientists accidentally did incorporate and include that technology, which is named “Bionospheric Parallelism,” by accident, and now it’s out in the open, with millions of techies and hackers, many from foreign (some hostile) governments, now utilizing to try and design some form of variant cold fusion device from.

            I heard that the U.S. Government (through the Pentagon & CIA) is trying to buy each and every Encore now, even if they have to pay up to $237,000 each, to prevent this technology from proliferating and being used against the U.S. by adversaries.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I guarantee you if you convert it to full-time AWD, you’re gonna wear a bunch of crap out quite quickly.

  • avatar

    A proper old school PTU or transfer case has an additional differential in the transfer case to compensate for the varying speeds of the front and rear wheels. As well as a low range.

    The now common AWD set ups often have a set of clutches in the PTU to compensate for the speed when both the front and rear axles are engaged. It seems that every manufacturer has their own AWD vector for various models. While being on a mission to save space with an ever smaller PTU that only works part time when the “computers” tell it to engage.

    Sajeev is correct these modern PTU’s are engineered to function part time not full time.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I was just watching a review (of the CX-5… yes I know it’s a totally different car), and if the rear diff on this thing looks anything like that car’s? Yeah, no. That thing was a cube about 5″ on the side; it was clearly meant to help you get out of a minor situation, not be used full time. The reviewer speculated it probably held about half a cup of fluid.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    There is less than 20 oz pop bottle worth of fluid in that PTU. Running in AWD all the time will burn that fluid up. It will burn, stink, and be terrible.

  • avatar
    lahru

    The amount of traction any vehicle has on any road surface is determined by conditions that would detract from a vehicles traction such as debris, be is snow, water, sand or ice. And all wheel drive only enhances a vehicles ability to climb. A vehicles traction around corners is not enhanced by all wheel drive. All wheel drive vehicles have sensors that want all the wheels turning at the same rate and the power to any additional wheels be it front or rear form normal comes and goes as the sensors see fit.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      “all wheel drive only enhances a vehicles ability to climb” ….and accelerate.

      I’m no expert, but modern systems do allow wheels to turn at different rates which are specifically designed to enhance traction. I fully get that is practical terms, we are talking minor improvements and that most people assume AWD does for more than it is capable of, but I have always understood modern systems do provide incremental improvements.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      A vehicles traction around corners is improved greatly if the front and rear axles are locked together so that they turn at the same speed.

      #1 if the torque is evenly split that means that you won’t have wheel spin just because a wheel at one end is on a lower traction surface at that instant. It can’t spin because it would also require the axle on the other end to have a wheel spin. That keeps you on the course you’ve chosen. See Quattro being outlawed in racing because of the advantage it provides through the corners.

      #2 when you go around a corner the center line of the rear axle inscribes a smaller diameter circle than the rear and thus the rear wheels want to go slower. Having them locked forces them to turn the same speed and thus want to inscribe the same diameter circle forcing the vehicle to turn, see Honda’s SH4wd.

      A quick drive around a slippery curve with a vehicle in 2wd, be it the front or rear wheels that are driven and then taking that same curve in the same vehicle with both axles driven and you will see just how much that helps with getting around a corner. When we get snow around here there is a reason my go to vehicle is the old one with a manually selected transfer case that allows the axles to be locked together and not the full time AWD vehicle with the center differential. That full time AWD vehicle would also be picked over a vehicle with one of the modern in and out “awd” systems for the same reason.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      Take your theory to a local rally-cross, come back, and apologize for spewing BS.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Scoutdude that’s nonsense. Ever notice how a truck/SUV in part time 4wd (ie locked power split to front and rear axle) crab walks in corners? As in, the forces it has to overcome from the rear end traveling less distance (fewer rotations) than the front end literally cause the front wheels to break traction on dry pavement and skip and hop?

        The “best” solution for traction in a corner is an open center differential system that is fluidly transferring torque as needed. Wheels travel the distance they need to. This is what Quattro, Super Select, Multi-mode 4wd, Subaru’s symmetrical AWD, etc. do (with more details and differences between systems).

        Lahru is equally ignorant, just at the opposite spectrum it seems.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The “best” solution for traction in a corner is an open center differential system that is fluidly transferring torque as needed.

          Sorry but that is pure BS a true open differential will not fluidly transfer the torque as needed. It will transfer the torque to the axle with the least traction. There is a reason that cars with an open differential will only spin one wheel when you do a burnout.

          The original Quattro used a Torsen center diff and with a Torsen it acts as an open diff if there is no resistance on one half of the system.

          Take a look at this video of a basic quattro and see how it fails to get the car off of the rollers until the driver applies the brakes which will the load the Torsen diff which will make it send torque to the end that has resistance (traction) and actually send it in proportion to the resistance sending more to the end with more traction. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=125&v=Oo9GV4mSnRQ

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Here is another good video that shows how having awd does improve traction through a corner compared to 2wd. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soU7s-syFTM Note this is on wet pavement so that the available traction at all 4 corners is substantially similar so the Subaru’s system is splitting the torque near 50/50 like a traditional 4wd with the front and rear axles locked together.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I agree that a Torsen center diff on an AWD car is a very optimal solution indeed. It acts like an open diff for smooth bind-free cornering, but will react to loss of traction at one end by shuttling more power to the other, rather than simply spinning the loose end even more like with an open diff.

            Where I vehemently disagree is the concept of a hard 50/50 lock front to rear (like a traditional part time 4wd system) being a good thing in interests of minimizing slip. It INDUCES slip. Why do you think so many transfer cases have the option for open-center diff function?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Show me all those transfer cases that offer an open center diff that have been made in the last few decades.

            IF you are going around a corner the fact that a true 50/50 torque split induces a very slight amount of slip is what gives it the advantage, because it forces the vehicle to turn. If that 50/50 split is so bad why is that the default functionality of many of Subaru’s “symmetric” awd?

            Note the whole symmetric thing is pure marketing. What they mean by symmetric is the fact that they have a longitudinal engine/trans configuration which is symmetrical vs a transverse set up which is not symmetrical. It is about the side to side weight balance and has nothing to do with the power distribution.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Let’s see:

            Mitsubishi’s SuperSelect, GM’s “Auto” 4wd setting, Toyota’s Full-time and Multi-mode (4Runner, Sequoia, Land Cruiser), Nissan pathfinder’s “auto” setting, Isuzu’s TOD system w/Torsen, my old Mazda MPV’s 4wd system, Ford’s 4wd “auto” setting, Jeep’s old SelecTrac and current Quadratrac.

            Some use a traditional center diff with a hard locking function (Mazda, Mitsubishi), others have a viscous coupling (Toyota, Nissan, GM, Ford), Isuzu used a Torsen center diff. The common theme here is that the system allowed for slip between the front and rear driveshafts to prevent binding, with an OPTION to lock if circumstances called for it. Subaru’s symmetrical 50/50 relies on a viscous coupling that allows for slip, otherwise the cars would be crabwalking and popping when taking corners on pavement.

            What’s so hard to understand about this?

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Sorry but no. Ford, GM and Nissan’s “auto” systems are slip and grip with no center diff. They are either a good old manual style transfer case with a motor to do the shifting or a clutch style transfer unit that locks up on signal from the computer.

            The Mitsubishi system uses a viscous coupling with its center diff so sorry not an “open center diff”.

            As you stated the Isuzu used a Torsen center diff so again it is not an open diff.

            It has been a long time since I messed with one of those MPVs that had the available 4wd and I’m not recalling exactly how they did it.

            So you did find the one and that is the Toyotas with the Multimode or full time AWD that do have an option of driving both axles through a true open center diff.

            However you’ve lost the point. A true 50/50 torque split will get you around the corner better than any system that allows for slip and grip. A torsen would be preferred if you want to keep both ends engaged all the time, so you can park on dry pavement and still have a reasonable distribution of torque for all other conditions, assuming that you know that in some situations you will need to apply the brakes if you want to move. See the Audi video above for just how well that Torsen system works when available traction at one end of the vehicle is essentially nil.

            To sum things up. If you are going around a slippery corner or one that has traction conditions that are variable a true 50/50 split is the best thing, preferably via an mechanical lock of some sort.

            The problem with that is that the driver would have to make a choice and the average driver of today is not properly informed enough to make that choice.

            So the next best thing is the Torsen, but it too has its problems in that the operator needs to know when brake application is required to make the vehicle move plus it is not the most fuel efficient.

            So we have what we find in most cars today and that is a slip and grip system which requires no thought from the driver.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Okay I will concede that I was incorrect in calling viscous couplings “open diffs” but in many (not all as you point out) cases they function in the same way (Toyota pre-03, Mazda, Mitsu, Jeep SelecTrac) where it is a cheaper way to accomplish the same function.

            I stand by my point that a truly locked together front and rear axle do no favors for traction by way of inducing slip rather than rotating at the different speeds that they need to for a corner. The most glaring example of this ‘forced slip’ is what SUV/truck owners hear/feel when they take a sharp corner in 4Hi/4Low.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Scoutdude is right. When my kids and I were mudding in 4WD Scouts and Jeeps during the eighties, we welded the differential gears to get better locked traction with all wheels spinning. A bitch turning on asphalt but great on loose or slippery surfaces.

        Honda’s SH4wd system is very similar in that it uses electronics to achieve the same end result. Vehicles using Torson differentials also use electric current to change the viscosity of the differntial oil to increase traction.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Mudding with welded diffs (ie right and left wheels on an individual axles) is very different than discussing maintaining traction in a corner where like you mentioned you encountered problems due to the differential not being able to do what it is supposed to. Same logic applies to the rotational speed difference between the front and rear axles in a corner.

          “Torson differentials also use electric current to change the viscosity of the differntial oil”

          I don’t even know what to say about this :/

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            I’d say “it’s completely wrong”.

            I’d love to know if there was any diff anywhere that used electric modification of viscosity in special diff oil, because that would be *awesome* – but to the best of my knowledge every version of the Torsen system is purely mechanical with gears and whatnots.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            There used to be a differential that used a fine metal powder in the differential oil where the viscosity of the oil would limit slip of clutches inside the differential so both wheels would spin, if an electrical current was applied. I believe Volvo played around with those.

            Then there was the mechanical limited-slip differential which spun both wheels but reduced crow-footing in hard cornering.

            And then there was the Detroit Locker. My dad used that one on his dragster.

            As far as the gears and whatnots, there used to be an excellent video on YouTube illustrating the Jeep QuadraDrive I system. I provided a link in the past.

            Most modern AWD/4×4 system originated in one or more of these earlier systems.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      And finally here is a good video of how AWD does help you get around slippery corners better than FWD or RWD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hlnw2SUgY6U

  • avatar
    energetik9

    My third car is an older Honda Pilot and it has a similar system of default FWD. Poor design in my opinion. I’ve noticed wheel slip from the front on a number of occasions in the rain where the front starts to plow until the AWD kicks in. Easily controlled, but still not what I want from a heavy, already sloppy handling SUV.

    Not sure if you can or would really want to fix it.

  • avatar
    Edsel Maserati

    Interesting issue. I sure wouldn’t mess with it — or trust anyone else to mess with it.

    I had an MKC for a week two winters ago and hared around some back roads that were crossed with snowmelt. I actually had fun in this thing. Never did plow it though deep snow so I don’t know its ultimate capabilities. But for ramming around on curvy back roads, it was way fun. More than I expected. The short wheelbase does limit its hauling capabilities and and the second row of seats was on the thin side. But for bopping around, hell yeah.

    The new Q7 is way more impressive. But the MKC might better deserve comparison with the Q3.

  • avatar
    Hoon Goon

    You’ll burn out your clutch pack, kid.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No it will do the opposite and prevent the clutch pack from burning out IF it is only used in slippery conditions.

      With the stock programming the system enngages the rear output when it senses slip. It then engages the clutch pack which includes slipping of the clutch as the speeds are equalized. With the clutch engaged the outputs will then turn a the same speed. The computer will see that the wheels are turning the same speed and disengage the clutch. The road will still be slippery so again wheels will slip, the clutch will be engaged causing it to slip and wear some more.

      Now if you were able to tell it to stay in 4wd from the get go there would be zero clutch slip since you would engage it before wheel speeds differed. It would then stay in that mode and stop the clutch from doing its wear inducing in and out and in and out dance.

      Now if the mistake was made where the system was left engaged in high traction situations then yes something would eventually give. Would it be the clutches, or maybe a u-joint? Who knows w/o testing as it would be the weakest link in the system.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        “Now if the mistake was made where the system was left engaged in high traction situations then yes something would eventually give”

        Well, since he was talking about having it reprogrammed to be ALWAYS ON, that would be the thing we’re discussing, wouldn’t it?

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          No he didn’t say that he wanted it to be on 100% of the time, only that he wanted to be able to put it in “awd” in slippery conditions so he didn’t have to wait until the vehicle decided it needed to engage the rear axle.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    For what it’s worth, the Escape has one of the better part-time AWD systems on the market; it’s superior to most of its competitors in that regard. I’m sure the MKC has that same system.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Is the CRV full-time still? I seem to recall they used to have a little sticker that said “Full-Time AWD” on them. But maybe I’m making that up and it was actually on a Legacy.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I think I have seen such a badge, and I think it is a pack of lies.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Okay found an example from an Element.

          https://www.handa-accessories.com/element/realtime4wd.jpg

          “REALTIME”

          What in hell does that even mean?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            “REALTIME”

            What in hell does that even mean?

            Live not Memorex.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Livestreamed AWD right to your differential!

            *THX sound*

          • 0 avatar
            energetik9

            REALTIME is just marketing. In that it reacts to slippage in ‘real time’. It probably made more sense when AWD systems were new, but now all modern systems worth anything work in real time.

            My old Honda pilot (as mentioned) has IMHO, the silly FWD transfer. My wife used to have an RDX that had a fancy graphic showing how torque was being transferred to different wheels (in real time).

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    As has already been stated, real torsen Quattro Audis (not the 4Motion “Quattro” in the Golf based models) are designed to send 60% of the power to the rear all day every day, and even the older models – my last Audi was a C5 A6 – will still bind when making a turn at full lock. Not sure if the new models have dealt with that.

    Hacking a part time “slip and grip” AWD system to run full time is a great way to break that AWD system, and Ford will NOT pay for the repair.

    Instead of throwing money at some tuner to mess with your ECU, spend that money instead on a set of X-ice xi3s. There is NO substitute for real snow tires.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      You’re going to trigger Dave of the Calgary prefecture.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        Geez, its a good thing I decided to browse TTAC today. Corey, I’m not BTSR, I don’t troll TTAC full time to post first on anything, whether I have anything to add or not!

        Slip n grip sucks, but once it kicks in it can make a difference in forward progress. I like the Patriot, SX4 and older Honda VTM4, and older RAV 4 that at least gives you the option to lock the diff at low speeds.

        Winter tires comment is obvious.

        There aren’t a ton of options for FWD biased systems that are full time or that preload the rear diff on launch. Interestingly enough, the AWD system in the Regal does. Even though its FWD/transverse biased, it is never FWD full time.

        (ignore the GM bias) http://gmauthority.com/blog/2014/02/a-look-at-the-2014-buick-regals-all-wheel-drive-system/

        “When not in the bends, the all-wheel drive system splits torque 50/50 between the front and rear wheels. In the Regal GS, selecting sport or GS Interactive Drive Control modes enables the system to deliver 15 percent more torque to the rear wheels for improved traction and stability under spirited driving. A Haldex module uses a electronic limited slip differential to shift torque between the two rear-wheels, reducing torque steer and understeer and thus increasing grip.
        All-wheel drive is available in conjunction with all 2014 Buick Regals equipped with the 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

        Read more: http://gmauthority.com/blog/2014/02/a-look-at-the-2014-buick-regals-all-wheel-drive-system/#ixzz4CF1CWR9k“

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    I have an extra set of wheels/winter tires that’ll fit your MKC. Let’s make a deal.

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Fordman, get the FoRS. Then let the voodoo work for yoo.

  • avatar
    phreshone

    The Ford system is safer than the Audi system…

    The driver will be less likely to go faster than the braking conditions warrant.

    The classic image of the guy in the Grand Cherokee going past you at 70mph in a snow storm, and seeing him on the side of the road 3 miles later.

    If you’re feeling a little slipping and sliding before the part-time AWD kicks in, you’re probably going faster than the car can stop.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      The rear-biased, full time, fully mechanical, longitudinal Quattro with Torsen center diff is a beauty. It is hard to resist having fun driving one of those things in winter conditions with the nannies off. Just install a set of factory-studded European winter tires and you’ll never have less traction than you expect.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    I am curious if anyone at SEMA even offers a service to alter this part of the PCM?

  • avatar
    modemjunki

    I’ve got a 2013 Escape Titanium with the 2.0. I do not get advertised fuel mileage because I regularly enjoy putting the right pedal down whenever I feel it is safe to do so. The AWD is seamless even when hooning it in the snow with stock all-seasons.

    I took it out to a local megamall parking lot to practice driving with it when we had some snowfall last winter and put the driver display in the mode that showed power transfer.

    At all times (wet or dry) the system is AWD when starting out from a full stop. It then reduces torque sent to the rear wheels once you are moving at a steady state for a bit, but that is dependent on what you are doing with your right foot. If you are getting on it it keeps the rear wheels engaged, if you put the pedal down to pass it engages the rear wheels, and if you start hobby-horsing the throttle to jockey in traffic it engages the rears.

    In the snow the results were interesting. Not once did I notice (“feel”) the torque transfer modulation. Instead the car behaved somewhat like my old ’03 Subaru Forester XS Premium – it just gathered itself up and moved without too much fuss unless I really got on it.

    Unlike the old Foz, the electronic nannies prevented me from actively maintaining wheelspin and driving it sideways. I actually view this as a positive point for a commuter vehicle.

    And that is the point of my response – these vehicles are 100% fly-by-wire with a system designed by folks who were told to make it work smoothly, to make it as safe as they could, and to make it last at least as long as the warranty. I would wager that neither you nor I are qualified to second guess that work.

    Don’t mess with it. Don’t void your warranty. Throw some snow tires on it of you feel you need them.

    Just drive it and enjoy, that’s a nice car you’ve got there.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    My 2010 Sport Trac Adrenalin /4.6 v8, 6spd auto and AWD is interesting. I spent sometime on the internets trying to figure out how it’s Haldex derived AWD actually operates and…after driving it for 6 years it has proven dependable though startling at times. Normally it appears to be front wheel drive. If I’m parked on wet grass the rear wheels engage pronto, almost scared the crap out of me. Under throttle when cornering it feels just like a front wheel drive. Twice, on snow/ice going uphill on a turn I felt the traction control kick in at lightning speed, so fast it left me wondering…chicken & egg..did that just save me from a spin or did it detect wheel spin and corrected so fast that it felt like the AWD caused a temporary slide…I couldn’t tell.

    From what the internets say…the AWD/traction control monitors wheel rotation and engages the AWD clutch pack (to become AWD, send power to rear) and the traction control brakes the offending spinning wheel.

    Or something like that. That I know, the AWD is not full-time AWD. But it can become instantaneous when needed.

    Is this all correct?

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      No the transfer case in your Explorer SportTrac is not a Halidex system. It is a Borg Warner unit one of their TOD or torque on demand systems. It primarily drives the rear wheels and when it senses the need it will engage the front axle by applying clutches. It can adjust the power anywhere from 0%F/100%R to 50%F/50%R.

      • 0 avatar
        JaySeis

        Hey thanks! I’ve never seen that explanation. I checked https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ControlTrac

        And there was the explanation.

        So the sensors (wheel and clutch pack) sense wheel spin and torque, then apportion power back to front and individually to wheels or…a single wheel if necessary.

        Like I say I searched for a simple diagram and description of how power was routed but never found one.


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