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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm a new owner of a '08 black escape. i'm loving her, but very confused about the 4wd concept on these new vehicles. I'm use to the old school type of 4wd! Help!
The owner's manual is just confusing me with the addition of traction control. Here we go! Is the vehicle always in 4wd? Is it the same as AWD? If it's not in 4wd is it only driven by one axel, is it the front or rear? I kind of understand the traction control, it works under 25 mph, and the manual says if you get stuck, turn of the trac control. :wall:
Any help, suggestions, simple explanations, would be very mucho appreciated! Thanks

[mod]Moved to Tailgate Chat.[/mod]
 

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The 4WD system in the Escape is a source of contention in the Escape community (at least from what I've read). I suggest we forget the 4WD vs. AWD monikers and get right to the nuts and bolts...

The system is completely automatic, but not always driving all four wheels. When no slippage is detected, only the front wheels are driven. When the computer detects front wheel slippage, a clutch pack engages the rear drivetrain instantaneously to power all four wheels. There are no switches, levers, or procedures to activate/deactivate the system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks alot my man! I really appreciate the fine explanation! It's been driving me crazy. Got the dealer to throw in mudflaps (there getting put on now) and floor mats. Soon as I figure it out, i'll try to post a pic of her next to my posts! Again, thanks a million!
 

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I moved this over to Tailgate Chat as nothing is really 'broken'.

The Escape's system is an AWD system; Ford only marketed it as '4WD' to fit with the Escape's SUV image. The Explorer's system is true 4WD, with a transfer case and low-range.

Is traction control there to apply braking to a slipping wheel to allow the opposing wheel to gain traction, or is it the type that will only throttle back the engine?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Squishy and I understand the move to tailgate section. You are absolutely right. Straight from the owners manual: Traction control helps your vehicle maintain traction, when driving on a slippery and or hilly road surfaces, by detecting and controlling wheel spin. Excessive wheel spin is controlled by momentarily reducing engine power and or applying the anti lock brakes. Traction Control is a driver aid that helps your vehicle.

If your vehicle should become stuck in deep snow or mud, try switching the AdvanceTrac with RSC system off by pressing the AdvanceTrac with RSC button momentarily. This will allow your tires to "dig" for traction. Remember to switch the AdvancTrac with RSC system back on once the vehicle is no longer stuck.

Electronic Stability Control will apply brake force to individual tires and, if necessary, reduce engine power.
 

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srvbb9 said:
Thanks Squishy and I understand the move to tailgate section. You are absolutely right. Straight from the owners manual:...
Don't encourage him! ;-|

Welcome to the forum! :welcome: Now get some pics up. :D
 

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So if the new Escapes are an AWD system where everything is automatic, and Explorer's systems are true 4WD with low range...then what would the old Escape systems be concidered like mine? Yes it's default is automatic, but you can turn the system "On" and override the automatic system........is it like knock off 4WD? lol :lol:
 

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gmercedesbenz said:
So if the new Escapes are an AWD system where everything is automatic, and Explorer's systems are true 4WD with low range...then what would the old Escape systems be concidered like mine? Yes it's default is automatic, but you can turn the system "On" and override the automatic system........is it like knock off 4WD? lol :lol:
Ersatz (German for artificial), or faux (French for fake) 4 X 4.

I think of it as a 4WD that's been Murphy Proofed.
 

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Yup. There's no real transfer case or low-range, but you can lock it into a pseudo-4WD or super-AWD, whichever you want to call it. :D
 

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gmercedesbenz said:
...what would the old Escape systems be concidered like mine? Yes it's default is automatic, but you can turn the system "On" and override the automatic system... is it like knock off 4WD? lol :lol:
Here is an explanation of the early Escape AWD system from the July 2000 issue of Car & Driver:

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Contrary to what you'll be told by the dashboard markings, your Ford Outfitter salesperson, and even Ford's press materials, the Escape's Control Trac II system does not offer fully locked four-wheel drive. Rather, this on-demand all-wheel-drive setup only sends power to the rear axle when the front wheels slip. Here's how it works:

In the "4x4 Auto" mode, 100 percent of the torque is sent to the front wheels until a wheel slips. When that happens, a rotary blade coupling (RBC) generates enough pressure to activate a multiplate clutch, like that found in an automatic transmission, which sends torque (as much as 100 percent of it) to the rear. At the heart of the RBC is a "fan" with three blades in a chamber filled with a silicone fluid like that used in viscous couplings. The fan is shaped kind of like the warning symbol for radiation. When the front wheels slip, this fan spins through the fluid, heating and expanding it, which generates the pressure to activate the clutch. Then the clutch - not the viscous fluid - bears the burden of transmitting the torque.

When set to "4x4 On", an electromagnet energizes a small clutch pack, locking a ball ramp to the input shaft. Now when the wheels spin, they turn the ball ramp, which overrides the RBC and pressurizes the same multiplate clutch pack. In the "4x4 On" mode, the rear axle is engaged quicker and more securely. The front and rear axles are, however, never locked together except during front wheel slippage. That way there is never any crabbing or binding in tight turns, and there is no need for a center differential.

With no limited-slip differentials, it is possible - with opposite corners in full droop and airborne, for example - for an Escape to get totally stuck. And that's why this ain't a true four-ba-four.


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I don't think the Explorer has limited-slip, either, at least in some models. The biggest difference between AWD and 4WD is in user interaction. AWD is more of an automatic system where the computer makes decisions for you. Most AWD systems do not have low-range gearing and can not be switched to 2WD mode. 4WD systems are more heavy-duty but requires the user to select the appropriate mode, and they have more modes to choose from - 2LO, 2HI, 4LO, and 4HI.
 

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i have a switch on my dash that allows me to lock the "transfer case" but alas no matter what you do, we only have 2wd. cause of the open diffs.
 

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We don't have a transfer case to lock. That switch just makes the response quicker in sending power to the rear wheels.
 

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how can it make it quicker? and i put transfer case in quotes cause i know thats not what it is, but its easier to put that for some people to understand.

the switch should engage the AWD, 4WD, rear wheels... whatever you want to call it. or else there would be no reason for the 01-04 to have it.
 

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Wow nice article, Thanks RobtRoma! :yes: Now I'm curious, I saw recently someone posted pictures of the actual percentage of drive that was being sent to their rear wheels at cruising, idle, and acceleration...(I looked around and couldn't find the post :confused: )...but it was a newer AWD system....I wonder if their is a major difference between the newer AWD systems and the older ones...
 

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I've always wondered the same thing. This thread really helped clear some things up :thumb:
 

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Bringing this back up. I have the '08 "Advancetrac" and I am in a jeep club. the Escape keeps up with the Jeeps on open trail and is okay on some of the hill climbs. The jeep drivers are surprised at how well the AWD system works on dry dirt. When I get stuck I use 2gear to start off in then throw it into D w/o OD and I usually get out of the rut. So far i have not had to get a tow. they did actually insist i get tow hooks and decent pick points. I also had an engineer tell me not to beef up the "Advancetrac" due to it being so well balanced and dialed in for beginner to novice trail use.
 

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MichaelJD1980 said:
I suggest we forget the 4WD vs. AWD monikers and .....
:lol: :lol: :doh: :whistle:

Ha Ha ... you didn't really think this group would let this sleeping dog lie, did you?

Just my opinion, if all 4 wheels get power all the time, it's All Wheel Drive. Everything else, be it manual, automatic, locking hubs, Limited slip, transfer case, viscous coupling, RBC, etc, is 4WD, just with different degrees of rubustness and capabilities.

Viva la difference ...
 
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