Dealer warns front axle will wear out if left in 4x4

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
3,699
1,495
113
Texas
OK, the wear WILL be 'similar' whether in 2WD or 4WD, as ACDII points out MOST of the spinable stuff IS spinning,due to the ground. it really doesn't matter whether the engine or the ground is the 'driving force', the front axle, diff gears, bull gears are ALWAYS spinning, thus 'wearing out'.
The only way to truly reduce this 'wearing out' would be to install a version of Warn Lock-O-Matic hubs. Then there would be zero wear of the front axle components when in 2WD.
Lock-O-Matic hubs were a GREAT invention('50s) as they automatically ONLY supplied engine power to the front wheels IF in 4WD.
…IF…you don’t mind stepping out into the mud to engage them.…;)…. (But remember, QH proponents don’t want to get off the seat to hitch up…):ROFLMAO:
 

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
3,699
1,495
113
Texas
Maybe I was thinking of the manual WARN hubs…not the “lock-o-matics”.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
5,228
1,794
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
When I sent the hubs in for FREE repair, WARN in Toronto couldn't fix them ( no parts...) so... they returned them and a set of manual style hubs, free of charge. It took me 1/2 a year to locate parts to fix the Lock-O-Matics. This was long before the Internet or email...used this device called a 'telephone'.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

ItBmine

Well-known member

Equipment
B2620, RTV-X1100C
Jan 21, 2014
1,227
245
63
Canada
My 2013 B2620 has never been out of 4WD and I use it daily. Never had one issue. No leaks, no adverse tire wear.
I also don't drive it on pavement though.

I know a guy that plows parking lots in winter and he tells his guys not to use 4WD in the backhoes because it wears out the front end.
Ya, that makes a lot of sense......slip and slide, no steering, spin the tires and be stuck all night so you don't use the front drive in your 4WD tractor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

lynnmor

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601-1
May 3, 2021
735
510
93
Red Lion
My 2013 B2620 has never been out of 4WD and I use it daily. Never had one issue. No leaks, no adverse tire wear.
I also don't drive it on pavement though.

I know a guy that plows parking lots in winter and he tells his guys not to use 4WD in the backhoes because it wears out the front end.
Ya, that makes a lot of sense......slip and slide, no steering, spin the tires and be stuck all night so you don't use the front drive in your 4WD tractor.
Maybe he experienced breakage when they ram into hard packed snow piles.
 

ItBmine

Well-known member

Equipment
B2620, RTV-X1100C
Jan 21, 2014
1,227
245
63
Canada
Maybe he experienced breakage when they ram into hard packed snow piles.
No. I've known him for years. Never any failures, he's just very cheap and a penny pincher and thinks he's saving something.

You know, like all the people that drive 4WD pickups in the winter and never use 4WD because they say it's hard on gas, but will be sitting spinning and revving at every stop light trying to get moving again, LOL
 

troverman

Well-known member

Equipment
MX6000 HSTC; 2020 Kubota Z421KW-54 zero turn mower
Jun 9, 2015
1,107
213
63
NH
...Also 4WD on a tractor isn't really 4WD. It is front assist with an open differential. Basically if one wheel spins and it doesn't have traction, other one doesn't spin either. This is different than dif locks + transfer case on trucks and jeeps. Tractor type system is a lot more reliable and user friendly in regards to 'leave it in 4WD.'
No, it isn't. The type of 4x4 system found on our Kubota tractors is basically identical to a part-time 4x4 system found on many half-ton and heavy duty pickups, and Jeeps like the Wrangler or Gladiator truck. Let's take my brand-new 2022 RAM 2500 for example. When I am in 2WD Hi, power goes only to the rear wheels, no different than the Kubota in 2WD. When I shift the pickup into 4HI, 50% of the engine's torque is sent to the rear wheels, and 50% is sent to the front wheels. On the front axle of the pickup, there is a differential that allows different wheel speeds across the axle, just like the rear. But there is no differential in the transfer case. On the Kubota, when 4WD is engaged, its no different. 50% of the torque goes to the front, and 50% to the rear. There is no central differential, but there is a differential in the front and rear axles. Yes, a pickup has "low range" but all that means is there is additional gear reduction in the transfer case. It does not give you somehow better traction. "Part time" means 4x4 should only be engaged on surfaces where the wheels can slip relatively easily. This would include snowy or icy pavement, dirt, mud, sand, grass. The same is true for the Kubota.

Some vehicles have "full time" or "permanent 4WD," for example a Land Rover, Toyota Land Cruiser, Mercedes G, certain Jeeps, etc. This means they have all of the above hardware, but also include a center differential which allows variations in speed *between* the axles, not just across the axles. This allows them to corner smoothly on dry pavement while still being in 4WD. Generally, permanent 4WD means there is no 2WD option. Full time means there usually is a 2WD option. This is also different than many domestic pickup trucks that have 2H, 4A, 4H, and 4L. The "4A" mode, or automatic 4x4, means it is a part time system but has an electronically-controlled clutch between the front output shaft of the transfer case and the front drive shaft to the front axle. As wheel slip is encountered (or sometimes predicted by the ECU), the clutch engages to varying degrees, sending some torque (usually up to 50%) to the front but can also allow the wheels to turn without binding.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

troverman

Well-known member

Equipment
MX6000 HSTC; 2020 Kubota Z421KW-54 zero turn mower
Jun 9, 2015
1,107
213
63
NH
That’s a good point for those who haven’t considered the fact that when in 2wd the brakes only affect the rear wheels…which is fine in most instances. But on slippery surfaces, if in 4wd and brakes are applied…the brakes are affecting all 4 wheels. (Found this to be useful on slippery streets in the pickup also.)
4WD is not helpful in braking a road-going vehicle like a pickup, because the pickup already has brakes on all 4 wheels. A tractor only has brakes on the rear wheels (at least smaller tractors like most of our Kubota's). If you are using engine braking or an exhaust brake on a diesel, then 4x4 could be helpful in slippery conditions. But it can also be a hindrance, because 4x4 in a pickup does not allow as effective of ABS system operation.
 

troverman

Well-known member

Equipment
MX6000 HSTC; 2020 Kubota Z421KW-54 zero turn mower
Jun 9, 2015
1,107
213
63
NH
The only way to truly reduce this 'wearing out' would be to install a version of Warn Lock-O-Matic hubs. Then there would be zero wear of the front axle components when in 2WD.
Lock-O-Matic hubs were a GREAT invention('50s) as they automatically ONLY supplied engine power to the front wheels IF in 4WD.
Only Ford still employs hubs that can disconnect both front wheels on their pickups and full size SUVs. GM and RAM use a center axle disconnect, which only disconnects one side. But I think disconnecting hubs on the Kubota would be a challenge since they use a bevel hub design.
 

GeoHorn

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
M4700DT, LA1002FEL, Ferguson5-8B Compactor-Roller, 10KDumpTrailer, RTV-X900
May 18, 2018
3,699
1,495
113
Texas
4WD is not helpful in braking a road-going vehicle like a pickup, because the pickup already has brakes on all 4 wheels. A tractor only has brakes on the rear wheels (at least smaller tractors like most of our Kubota's). If you are using engine braking or an exhaust brake on a diesel, then 4x4 could be helpful in slippery conditions. But it can also be a hindrance, because 4x4 in a pickup does not allow as effective of ABS system operation.
I found it helpful because if one wheel slips…the anti-lock braking was activated in 2WD (reducing effectiveness on All Wheels) but didn’t do so in 4WD unless All wheels slipped.
At least that was my experience.
 
Last edited: