Are both axles engaging

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Tookey
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Are both axles engaging

Postby Tookey » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:47 pm

Hi,

I said I wouldn't do it but I am considering a self build :roll:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/FORD-TRANSIT ... SwGYZdRB5O

On viewing a van such as the ebay example how would I tell that both axles are engaging in awd rather than one just being pulled/pushed?

In the first photo, near the rear wheel there is something hanging down, presuming that there is one near each wheel that would be 4 points of reduced clearance, do you know what it is?

thank you

Ivan C
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby Ivan C » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:52 pm

In reverse order :- shock absorber mount,
Gravel surface or 2 post lift?
As an aside, few people build out of choice, more a lack of viable alternatives,
Ivan C

DaveS
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby DaveS » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:19 pm

As above - shock mounts are pretty low on the Transits. I also can't recall whether these have a locking central diff or not, so be worth doing some research. Cheap enough base vehicle though.

crinklystarfish
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby crinklystarfish » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:36 am

Not all AWD systems work the same way.

This Transit's system seems to be like many soft roaders in as much as the AWD system locks via a hydraulic / viscous system rather than relying on a more conventional transfer box.

In this system power normaly goes to the rear wheels but when they lose traction the hydraulic / viscous couplings gradually 'bind' and divert power to the front wheels as well.

So, a down-and-dirty test would be to back it onto a loose / muddy surface so the rear wheels will easily break traction. When they do, the fronts should take up drive and pull the van out.

Or get it safely up in the air, engage drive and look for the fronts spinning.

Like Ivan said, only longer.

You're right to be wary of such AWD couplings, they often don't take much 'abuse' before they malfunction.

As before, because of the limited ground clearance of the Transit, there's a good argument that a RWD-only vehicle (esp with a diff-lock) with better ground clearance and reasonably aggressive tyres would be at least as capable off road - and more so in some circumstances.

That said, the Transit (as a concept and if all is working as it should) is a good starting point and it sould be pretty capable, particularly if taller tyres could be accommodated.

As always, much depends on intended real-world use.

crinklystarfish
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby crinklystarfish » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:22 am

Update to above.

Did a bit more reading and the Transit-in-question's AWD system may be a bit more involved than a simple hydraulic/viscous lock, and may well be incorporated with an electronically-overseen traction control system.

Same test applies, though.

Personally (given the overlanding context and desirability of simplicity, reliability and durability), I'd prefer my transmission locks to be free from ecu-control and involve an altogether more primitive manual engagement.

Again, though, the Transit-in-question looks pretty good as a starting point.

DaveS
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby DaveS » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:24 pm

Also seemed to recall reading somewhere that the AWD Transits are the same ride height as the 2WD versions?

Personally (and I accept I am biased!) the Sprinter 4x4s are a better base vehicle - lifted as standard, so capable of bigger tyres, proper centre and rear diff locks, and some also have a reduction crawler gear. But they're also typically around 50% more expensive than an equivalent Tranny.

Tookey
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby Tookey » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:00 pm

Gents,

What fantastic feedback, I hope you realise how much I appreciate it. It is likely that this will be our only trip that is outside of Europe and longer than a few weeks for many years..........I do play the lottery though :lol:

Obviously vehicle problems would not ruin the trip but time spent in 'one horse towns' while a mechanic tuts and shakes his head I would like to keep to a minimum, your valuable input is helping me to try and achieve that. There is always bad luck and unfortunate mishaps but if I leave knowing that I made a good effort at preparation and some informed decisions whatever happens after that at least I won't kick myself..........only the tyres!

Looking forward to meeting some of you at the AO, we are aiming to get there on the Friday now.

Tookey
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby Tookey » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:10 pm

In response to you Dave,

Sprinters are still on the list as are 4x4 Dailys (not quite rockin' horse **** but finding them seems difficult). I have settled on a panel van (phew, one decision made) as neither myself or wife have a license for >3.5t (also no suitable parking) and it will mainly do Scotland, Lakes and Dales other than this one off trip.

I am really looking forward to seeing yours

DaveS
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby DaveS » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:37 pm

No worries. Mine is definitely on the rustic end of the spectrum - but it works and we've done many family adventures in it. Tank has a range of c500 miles and its capable enough. 2-3 weeks at a time and 2000 miles and up, its been good. You could easily spec one for an extended trip - there are a couple in Latam at the moment in a converted Sprinter 4x4 minibus on a long term trip (I'll see if I can find their link).

As an aside, the Sprinter 4x4 forum guys are also in attendance at AO19, so you'll see some more ideas there too.

DaveS
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Re: Are both axles engaging

Postby DaveS » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:56 pm

Here you go, definitely worth a read:
https://mowgli-adventures.com/category/ ... ion-guide/


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