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4wd drive controls, secret handshakes

PHXPHOTOG

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There are a few things about the 4wd drive controls you may or may not know. Here are some tips.

Traction control, turn it off. It not only controls your rear end it dumps you out of the throttle and limits the power to 1,500 RPMS. The secret handshake is the traction control button also lets you turn off ESC (electronic stability control). Press the button once and it turns off TC, press it again and hold it down for 5 seconds and you will see a dash indicator that ESC is off. This only works at slow speeds. Everytime you hit 35 MPH it will automatically re-engage ESC. FWD low automatically disables them both. In 4WD drive high you have to do it. Both of these systems are great safety things for slick roads. They will get you in trouble on difficult off-road terrain. I don't want a computer Nanny controlling my truck.

Hill Descent: It works like a dream. It will set your down hill speed at the speed you are going when you engage the button. The cool thing is you can use the cruise control up/down button on the steering wheel to increase or decrease speed when it is actively engaged. When the dashboard icon is lit steady hill descent is on in standby, when it is flashing it is actively engaged.

After engaging 4WD don't forget to put it in off road mode. This is the 4WD tuner. It changes shift patterns and increases throttle sensitivity.

Some of these things will hold when you turn off the truck and restart. Others have to be reset every time at startup. It all depends on which mode things are in. Its almost a PIA because you have to keep monitoring everything. But it is all good stuff.

So my preflight check from startup to 4WD high goes like this:
Turn off auto on/off
Engage 4WD high
Put in off road mode
Turn off traction control
Hold down TC button until ESC is off
Engage hill descent when needed
Then I have fun.

Steve
 
I didn't know that about the ESC... Cool tip! My truck is too old and too much of a base model to have any fancy modes! I do have the very much sought after jellyfish launcher though!:LOL:
 

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I didn't know that about the ESC... Cool tip! My truck is too old and too much of a base model to have any fancy modes! I do have the very much sought after jellyfish launcher though!:LOL:
The jellyfish launcher is cool. But when your using it for a campsite light it times out every 10 minutes. Many things on my rig time out.
 
My truck is too old and too much of a base model to have any fancy modes!
Was going to mention, it's not age, it's trim level. Custom trucks don't have the MODE selection, just 2wd, 4wd AUTO, 4wd High and 4wd Low. Traction control and ESC trick still works on Customs in 4 high as well as 2wd. 4 low it is all disabled as previously mentioned.
 
Was going to mention, it's not age, it's trim level. Custom trucks don't have the MODE selection, just 2wd, 4wd AUTO, 4wd High and 4wd Low. Traction control and ESC trick still works on Customs in 4 high as well as 2wd. 4 low it is all disabled as previously mentioned.
Just found out about pushing the 2high button 5 times in 10 seconds to put the transfer case in flat tow mode ...learn something new every day! Now...if I can just figure out how to lock the front hubs...:love:
 
There are a few things about the 4wd drive controls you may or may not know. Here are some tips.

Traction control, turn it off. It not only controls your rear end it dumps you out of the throttle and limits the power to 1,500 RPMS. The secret handshake is the traction control button also lets you turn off ESC (electronic stability control). Press the button once and it turns off TC, press it again and hold it down for 5 seconds and you will see a dash indicator that ESC is off. This only works at slow speeds. Everytime you hit 35 MPH it will automatically re-engage ESC. FWD low automatically disables them both. In 4WD drive high you have to do it. Both of these systems are great safety things for slick roads. They will get you in trouble on difficult off-road terrain. I don't want a computer Nanny controlling my truck.

Hill Descent: It works like a dream. It will set your down hill speed at the speed you are going when you engage the button. The cool thing is you can use the cruise control up/down button on the steering wheel to increase or decrease speed when it is actively engaged. When the dashboard icon is lit steady hill descent is on in standby, when it is flashing it is actively engaged.

After engaging 4WD don't forget to put it in off road mode. This is the 4WD tuner. It changes shift patterns and increases throttle sensitivity.

Some of these things will hold when you turn off the truck and restart. Others have to be reset every time at startup. It all depends on which mode things are in. Its almost a PIA because you have to keep monitoring everything. But it is all good stuff.

So my preflight check from startup to 4WD high goes like this:
Turn off auto on/off
Engage 4WD high
Put in off road mode
Turn off traction control
Hold down TC button until ESC is off
Engage hill descent when needed
Then I have fun.

Steve
Thanks for sharing! I also found that launching from a dead stop and/or just wanting to burn some rubber is much easier if you turn off both traction control and ESC by holding down that button. If you try to burn out with just traction control disabled, the rear axle does this weird hopping. So turning off ESC is a must.

So I want to add a launching tip to go with your offroading tip:
Put it in Auto mode (not full 4WD), engage sport mode, and disable traction control and ESC (by holding traction control button like you said). Hold the brake and rev up to 2000 RPM's, then full pedal-to-the-metal and drop the brake when the light turns green. You will beat most people off the line, guaranteed, if you have the 6.2L. After that depends on what mods you have lol.
 
Off-road mode actually decreases the throttle sensitivity to help smooth out driving over rough terrain.
 
Off-road mode actually decreases the throttle sensitivity to help smooth out driving over rough terrain.
Thats what I thought because it makes sense. And thats what I would expect. Bt this is where I got increased sensitivity from. A GM online manual.

"Off-Road Mode : Use to improve driving at moderate speeds, on grass, gravel, dirt, unpaved roads, or snow-covered roads that have not been groomed or plowed.

The accelerator pedal will be more sensitive to provide finer control of the torque at the wheels.

StabiliTrak/Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the Antilock Brake System (ABS), and the Traction Control System (TCS) will change for optimal off-road performance."

I will look it up in my paper manual when I get a chance. I try hard not to give bad advice.

And even though the manual says it also tunes the TC and ESC for off road I still prefer them off. This is my 6th 4WD vehicle and all of them saw a lot of off road miles. I am leary of too many computers controlling my vehicle when I know how to do it. I initially scoffed at hill descent mode too. But it proved me wrong. It is an amazing feature it works well.

Steve
 
Thats what I thought because it makes sense. And thats what I would expect. Bt this is where I got increased sensitivity from. A GM online manual.

"Off-Road Mode : Use to improve driving at moderate speeds, on grass, gravel, dirt, unpaved roads, or snow-covered roads that have not been groomed or plowed.

The accelerator pedal will be more sensitive to provide finer control of the torque at the wheels.

StabiliTrak/Electronic Stability Control (ESC), the Antilock Brake System (ABS), and the Traction Control System (TCS) will change for optimal off-road performance."

I will look it up in my paper manual when I get a chance. I try hard not to give bad advice.

And even though the manual says it also tunes the TC and ESC for off road I still prefer them off. This is my 6th 4WD vehicle and all of them saw a lot of off road miles. I am leary of too many computers controlling my vehicle when I know how to do it. I initially scoffed at hill descent mode too. But it proved me wrong. It is an amazing feature it works well.

Steve
Baz, I think you are correct. The paper manual uses "The accelerator pedal is tuned for off road use. This mode modifies pedal mapping". There is no reason to increase sensitivity for off road driving. Sorry I made an incorrect statement.

Steve
 
so do most of y'all drive with traction control off?

i turn off the auto stop/start feature right after turning on my truck. i'll have to try turning off traction control to see how if feels driving without power being limited to 1,500 rpms
 
so do most of y'all drive with traction control off?

i turn off the auto stop/start feature right after turning on my truck. i'll have to try turning off traction control to see how if feels driving without power being limited to 1,500 rpms
I never touch it under normal conditions. You will never feel a difference unless you break traction, that when TC and the governor kick in. To try it out on dirt or a slick surface. Stand on the pedal, as soon as the tires spin it will dump you out of the throttle.

Steve
 
so do most of y'all drive with traction control off?

i turn off the auto stop/start feature right after turning on my truck. i'll have to try turning off traction control to see how if feels driving without power being limited to 1,500 rpms
I turn off TC when driving in heavy rain and snow (and on dirt/gravel roads or any off roading it is a must). 4Auto helps obviously, but especially in 2WD and either way I don't need a computer nanny retarding the throttle when I am trying to clear an intersection or trying to maintain momentum. Nothing wrong with a little wheel spin in slick conditions even on turns - just appropriately counter-steer as needed, use your right foot to help control the oversteer, and let the g80 do its thing.
 
So you disable traction control when it helps MOST???? Rain and snow??? I understand offroad when you want to keep momentum up to get through deep snow or mud, but not on the roads.
 
So you disable traction control when it helps MOST???? Rain and snow??? I understand offroad when you want to keep momentum up to get through deep snow or mud, but not on the roads.
Yes I do regular turn TC off on the road. Drove for many years in cars and trucks without TC. Never had a problem. Rather have my car/truck react in a mechanical and predictable way in the slick than the jerky and intrusive synthetic and irregular application of brakes and neutering of the throttle which is what TC provides. TC is fine for those who are not actively monitoring inputs and works great for those who it is better to play it safe less they over correct and spin into a ditch (thinking about my wife here)...
 

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