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I have a question. I have a 2010 Escape XLT 4-cylinder 4WD. I have been searching all over the internet as to how exactly does the 4WD system work. My questions:

1. I assume 100% of the torque is going to the front wheels UNTIL there is a difference in speed from the front wheels to the rear and the rear wheels then get torque from the transfer case via the coupoling system .
2. What exactly is the coupling system. I found that older escapes used a viscous coupling system and that the newer ones use a magnetic? Anyone have any info on that?
3. Is the Escape an asymmetrical all wheel drive system?
4. When driving on dry pavement I assume the rear axle system is spinning and basically everything underneath is "turning". Only difference is that the coupling system is not "connected".

Sorry if I am not using correct terms. I am asking because my old Jeep Comanche was a 4 x 4. It had a lever on the floor to engage the front wheel drive. It was rear wheel 100% of the time until I engaged the lever for Hi or Lo speed 4x4. Put in Neutral, select Hi or Lo then after about 100 feet it would engage and bam... 4-wheel drive. It had a transfer case that would distribute 25% to each wheel when in 4x4 mode. I knew it was 4 wheel when turning and noting the "binding" on cornering while in 4x4. The front cv joints hated that....

Now that was 86'. We have come a long way. How exactly does the 4WD drive work in the 2010 Escape? Am I only engaging torque to the front wheels until the wheel speed sensors note a change in speed in the rear/front wheels which engages the coupling system to "activate" the rear?

If anyone can answer or point me to a previous thread that would be great....
 

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Here is what the engineer told me in the simplest term. If any slip occurs the Escape will automatically go into 4HI. You can look up Intelligent 4X4 or Intelligent four wheel drive and it will give you a break down of the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
GreatEscape2004 said:
Here is the link to a recent discussion on this subject:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2890&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=awd
Yes I read that one as well but I didn't get a definitive answer. The breakdown of the viscous coupling system was good though. I believe we (2009/2010 owners) have an electronic coupler? I am just trying to determine if 100% of the power is going to the front wheels until needed in the rear.
 

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That is definitely true. 100% of the power does go to the front wheels unless slippage is detected by the ABS sensors, which is when the rear-drive is engaged or disengaged. This can happen hundreds of times per second.

E/M/T "4WD" models have a "power takeoff unit" on the side of the transmission in front, and an electronically-controlled, solenoid-actuated clutch pack next to the rear differential.

It's really an AWD system, designed and manufactured by Ford for the E/M/T. The Fusion/Milan/MKZ and Edge/MKX use larger versions of this system. The Flex/MKT and Taurus/MKS use a system manufactured by Haldex.

Here's an image of the Haldex system, but Ford's in-house system works the same way:



As far as the "symmetrical" label that Subaru uses, I'm not really sure if their system is any different, but it may be.
 

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sinister mob said:
1. I assume 100% of the torque is going to the front wheels UNTIL there is a difference in speed from the front wheels to the rear and the rear wheels then get torque from the transfer case via the coupling system.
This is correct. The rear drive portion of the Escape is only active when wheel slip is detected. This only applies to Escapes that cannot override the system and are truly 100% automatic. Those previous versions with a selector switch operate similarly but with that added function [making those versions ever so slightly differently.]

There was a post on the internet where a guy (or gal) hooked a scan gauge tool to his escape and then drove around while monitoring the PTO output shaft [torque split]. On dry roads the rear wheels were only engaged momentarily. Just long enough for the Escape to get moving and then it was 100% FWD again. The same operation of the 4x4/AWD system was observed in the rain. I don't think he tested the system in the snow. So the system provides the added traction when it's needed but tries to maintain great fuel economy the rest of the time.

Too bad I didn't save that post link - it was really good. Tonight I'll search the web and see if I can find it.

sinister mob said:
2. What exactly is the coupling system. I found that older escapes used a viscous coupling system and that the newer ones use a magnetic? Anyone have any info on that?
Honestly I'm not sure. I know I can feel it click on with our '09 4-cyl 4x4 / AWD when it's needed. A magnetized system would be very cool. Reason being is there are no clutch packs to wear out over the lifetime of use / operation of the Escape.

sinister mob said:
3. Is the Escape an asymmetrical all wheel drive system?
To me the latest generation Escapes are a fully automatic AWD system which enables a 4x4 capability on an "as needed" basis. My thinking that it's not a true 4x4 is mainly because there isn't a transfer case or even a switch to lock in the front / rear wheels. The lack of that driver control for me implies an AWD system. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean I don't like the fully automatic system. I love it because my wife doesn't have to do anything when she needs the added traction. Plus the system is still plenty capable to get you down forest roads and way off the beaten path without worrying about getting stuck.

Squishy's post on that other thread also did a good job explaining the differences between the types of 4x4 systems as well.

Finally, here is a site that tries to explain the difference as well. Terminology: Different types of 4x4 systems

sinister mob said:
4. When driving on dry pavement I assume the rear axle system is spinning and basically everything underneath is "turning". Only difference is that the coupling system is not "connected".
Correct.

Rear wheels spin the half shafts.

Half shafts spin the Rear pinion.

Pinion (connected to rear drive shaft) turns.

Coupling is free which allows for the two halves [front and rear powertrain sections] to spin independent from each other.

If the drive shaft wasn't turning, the rear half shafts wouldn't be turning. But then you would need to uncouple the rear wheels from the rear CV joints with mechanical or vacuum operated hubs. That adds cost and complexity [2 decoupling systems at the hubs verses 1 at the PTO exit]

sinister mob said:
Sorry if I am not using correct terms. I am asking because my old Jeep Comanche was a 4 x 4. It had a lever on the floor to engage the front wheel drive. It was rear wheel 100% of the time until I engaged the lever for Hi or Lo speed 4x4. Put in Neutral, select Hi or Lo then after about 100 feet it would engage and bam... 4-wheel drive. It had a transfer case that would distribute 25% to each wheel when in 4x4 mode. I knew it was 4 wheel when turning and noting the "binding" on cornering while in 4x4. The front U-joints hated that....
Nothing to be sorry about. It's a very touchy subject and even more confusing one.

My personal take (slight humor) = I call the Escape a 4x4 system but it's really an AWD system which is different from my Jeep Liberty's full-time system which is also different from your old Comanche's part time system.

Also - It's technically a 2x4 system because the differentials are not locked or limited slip. Meaning that power is transferred front and rear as in a true 4x4, but only 1 wheel at the front and 1 wheel at the rear receives 100% of that torque. For it to be truly 4x4 both the front and rear drive sections would need to offer limited slip systems to split the power between both sides [left / right] of the vehicle. That would truly put power down at each corner of the Escape.

sinister mob said:
How exactly does the 4WD drive work in the 2010 Escape? Am I only engaging torque to the front wheels until the wheel speed sensors note a change in speed in the rear/front wheels which engages the coupling system to "activate" the rear?
Yes. Based on slip (wheel sensors) your system activates. Your Escape, in every day driving, is probably using the ADW/4x4 1% of the time. On soft soil or in snow, the system is engaged more but those days are few and far between (for me at least.)

Edited: tried to clean up my post a bit.
 

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jpark said:
As far as the "symmetrical" label that Subaru uses, I'm not really sure if their system is any different, but it may be.
Completely different. Subaru uses a transfer case, and a center differential. Power is constantly going to all 4 wheels.
 

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:doh:

I knew that.
 

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sleeve said:
sinister mob said:
1. I assume 100% of the torque is going to the front wheels UNTIL there is a difference in speed from the front wheels to the rear and the rear wheels then get torque from the transfer case via the coupling system.
This is correct. The rear drive portion of the Escape is only active when wheel slip is detected. This only applies to Escapes that cannot override the system and are truly 100% automatic. Those previous versions with a selector switch operate similarly but with that added function [making those versions ever so slightly differently.]

There was a post on the internet where a guy (or gal) hooked a scan gauge tool to his escape and then drove around while monitoring the PTO output shaft [torque split]. On dry roads the rear wheels were only engaged momentarily. Just long enough for the Escape to get moving and then it was 100% FWD again. The same operation of the 4x4/AWD system was observed in the rain. I don't think he tested the system in the snow. So the system provides the added traction when it's needed but tries to maintain great fuel economy the rest of the time.

Too bad I didn't save that post link - it was really good. Tonight I'll search the web and see if I can find it.

sinister mob said:
2. What exactly is the coupling system. I found that older escapes used a viscous coupling system and that the newer ones use a magnetic? Anyone have any info on that?
Honestly I'm not sure. I know I can feel it click on with our '09 4-cyl 4x4 / AWD when it's needed. A magnetized system would be very cool. Reason being is there are no clutch packs to wear out over the lifetime of use / operation of the Escape.

sinister mob said:
3. Is the Escape an asymmetrical all wheel drive system?
To me the latest generation Escapes are a fully automatic AWD system which enables a 4x4 capability on an "as needed" basis. My thinking that it's not a true 4x4 is mainly because there isn't a transfer case or even a switch to lock in the front / rear wheels. The lack of that driver control for me implies an AWD system. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean I don't like the fully automatic system. I love it because my wife doesn't have to do anything when she needs the added traction. Plus the system is still plenty capable to get you down forest roads and way off the beaten path without worrying about getting stuck.

Squishy's post on that other thread also did a good job explaining the differences between the types of 4x4 systems as well.

Finally, here is a site that tries to explain the difference as well. Terminology: Different types of 4x4 systems

sinister mob said:
4. When driving on dry pavement I assume the rear axle system is spinning and basically everything underneath is "turning". Only difference is that the coupling system is not "connected".
Correct.

Rear wheels spin the half shafts.

Half shafts spin the Rear pinion.

Pinion (connected to rear drive shaft) turns.

Coupling is free which allows for the two halves [front and rear powertrain sections] to spin independent from each other.

If the drive shaft wasn't turning, the rear half shafts wouldn't be turning. But then you would need to uncouple the rear wheels from the rear CV joints with mechanical or vacuum operated hubs. That adds cost and complexity [2 decoupling systems at the hubs verses 1 at the PTO exit]

sinister mob said:
Sorry if I am not using correct terms. I am asking because my old Jeep Comanche was a 4 x 4. It had a lever on the floor to engage the front wheel drive. It was rear wheel 100% of the time until I engaged the lever for Hi or Lo speed 4x4. Put in Neutral, select Hi or Lo then after about 100 feet it would engage and bam... 4-wheel drive. It had a transfer case that would distribute 25% to each wheel when in 4x4 mode. I knew it was 4 wheel when turning and noting the "binding" on cornering while in 4x4. The front U-joints hated that....
Nothing to be sorry about. It's a very touchy subject and even more confusing one.

My personal take (slight humor) = I call the Escape a 4x4 system but it's really an AWD system which is different from my Jeep Liberty's full-time system which is also different from your old Comanche's part time system.

Also - It's technically a 2x4 system because the differentials are not locked or limited slip. Meaning that power is transferred front and rear as in a true 4x4, but only 1 wheel at the front and 1 wheel at the rear receives 100% of that torque. For it to be truly 4x4 both the front and rear drive sections would need to offer limited slip systems to split the power between both sides [left / right] of the vehicle. That would truly put power down at each corner of the Escape.

sinister mob said:
How exactly does the 4WD drive work in the 2010 Escape? Am I only engaging torque to the front wheels until the wheel speed sensors note a change in speed in the rear/front wheels which engages the coupling system to "activate" the rear?
Yes. Based on slip (wheel sensors) your system activates. Your Escape, in every day driving, is probably using the ADW/4x4 1% of the time. On soft soil or in snow, the system is engaged more but those days are few and far between (for me at least.)

Edited: tried to clean up my post a bit.
I was going to say a lot of this. thanks. now I dont have to. haha. And about the true 4x4 and all....even limited slip isnt going to quite do it The only way this happens is if lockers are installed in both axles.
 

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:wall:

Oops... You are correct. Solid connection at all 4 corners could only be acomplished with lockers.
 

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I have posted photos of the 4WD system and scanguage on the internet. Check out the first three.

Stopped at red light. Zero torque to rear as viewed by the "0" at 4WD scanguage figure


Pulling away from the red light-torque sent to rear wheels note "numbers" at 4WD scanguage


Cruising on the road--I let pressure off the gas pedal--note "0" at the $WD scanguage figure


Great news. Just as everyone has stated, torque when wheels slip. Note the snow. Now check this photo out:


OOPS!, there is torque to the rear wheels even when the pavement is dry! If you believe in the scanguage's ability to read the 4WD Ford information, then one realizes the system is designed to send torque to the rear wheels upon acceleration--gas pedal pressure-- even on dry pavement. It is nearly impossible to start from a stopped position on dry pavement without inducing rear wheel torque. If you have a scanguage II unit, try it. But don't do it with someone on your tail. Go to a empty parking lot.

Here is another trial those in the warm weather states can try. Pull the fuse for the 4WD system. Now drive around and note the improvement in gas mileage. Hmm. The system operates on dry pavement.
Good luck expalining this as "Intelligent". I do like the system as it works well for me.
The
4WD does work in the hybrid when one is in electric drive:
 

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Hello everyone!

Im was looking in the internet, and i came up with this video...and i was wondering, which of the following, is our AWD system.


They try several awd systems, and they work differently, so i'm more confused now..

Thanx!! :thumb:
 

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Definitely nowhere near as capable as the Subaru's in regards to those tests. I would say ours is closest to the CRV's. Part time AWD. Our vehicles are basically front wheel drive until the fronts slip... although BillyK showed us using his ScanGauges that when the Escape starts moving from a stop on dry pavement, it will transfer some power to the rear wheels (see pics earlier this page). The Escape doesn't have limited slip differentials so there is no way it would pass the 1-wheel traction test. In theory it should make it up if both rear wheels had traction. But in theory, the CRV and Highlander should have gone up too...
 

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RobtRoma said:
.. In theory it should make it up if both rear wheels had traction. But in theory, the CRV and Highlander should have gone up too...
That was what got me confused...
So our setup is basically, as an additional safety feature? like Abs? for on road use only?
 

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It was basically designed for bad weather. That doesn't mean it won't help going through sand or mud and other off road obstacles... ahem... sig pic :D
 

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Davis137 said:
And, having the torque split to the rear end in deep or icy snow conditions, makes the 4WD escapes (especially the V6 models), rather drift happy...I know mine is!
yeah and more fun when slip control is turned off... :yahoo:
 
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