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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Question Type of AWD/4WD offered by Dodge

If this is in the wrong forum, then I am sorry.
This is the only Chrysler group I belong to and I just don't want to sign up to another just for one question.


Since my Eagle is on its steady course to that great bird nest in the sky

I have been looking for its replacement, and dispite recent events, I am still a MOPAR guy

The 3 Dodges I been looking at is an AWD Charger/Journey and a 4WD Nitro, however, I have a question about both of them.

What kind of systems are they?

Am I correct in assuming that the Charger's/Journey's AWD system is an "automatic" one and that it need no imput from the driver?

And the Nitro 4WD system is one that the driver makes the decision to go into 4WD, and that like most "normal" systems of this type, it is not design to be use in 4WD on dry roads

And, as a side note, what about the 4WD of the Nitro's twin, The Jeep Patroit?

It offers 2 sysytem, is one like excatly like the Nitro and the other the same but allows 4WD dry pavment

Now if I can only get the money to by one
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-01-2009, 09:59 PM
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Just buy a Magnum awd!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 12:27 AM
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Just for your info the Nitro's twin is the Jeep Liberty but without the offroading gear, not the car based Patroit.

It all depends on what you are looking for. As for price for AWD, the Journey is pricey, at a base price of $27,145 for the AWD version. And in that version, their is no need for driver input, it's always on.

The Nitro's is cheaper for a 4x4 at a base price of $24,645, but requires the input from the driver to engage the 4wd system. And it can not be used on dry pavement since it's a part time system only.

If you are into more offroading, then I would spend $1K more for the Liberty with the right off-roading gear.

The Jeep Patroit is is the cheapest of the AWD(Jeep still calls it a 4wd even though it always in 4wd mode like the Journey) groups. And it is a no driver input system. At a base price of $19,920. For for a few thousand more you can have a "Trail Rated" version that has a 4wd low lock system built into the AWD system for better off-roading.

Here's a review of the Trail Rated version, it seems pretty good for a car base SUV:
Jeep Patriot Review Off Road Test

If I was looking for a low priced AWD car, that has some off-roading gear built in, I'd go for the Patroit.
And the next step would be the Liberty, since I think if your going to spend the money for the Nitro, you should get everthing else that they took out it.

As for the Journey, it's a over priced wagon. IMO

Edit: Both Jeep Liberty 4wd system's are also part-time 4wd system's.


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Last edited by Strongt; 05-02-2009 at 12:34 AM.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 12:37 AM
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Also there is a no driver AWD system in the Charger for a base price of $30,540 if you want a larger car.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dart Boy View Post
The 3 Dodges I been looking at is an AWD Charger/Journey and a 4WD Nitro, however, I have a question about both of them.

What kind of systems are they?

Am I correct in assuming that the Charger's/Journey's AWD system is an "automatic" one and that it need no imput from the driver?

And the Nitro 4WD system is one that the driver makes the decision to go into 4WD, and that like most "normal" systems of this type, it is not design to be use in 4WD on dry roads
According to the local service manager and some people I know who actually still work at Chrysler.
Nitro: AWD system, not a true 4x4. It is an "always on" sort of awd system decent for foul weather, not for mudding etc. Not a part time system like the Liberty. To their understanding it is always on, but with out the jumping you feel in a solid axle awd.
Journey: Caliber awd system. The Journey is BASED on the Caliber frame and drivetrain. It is a basic AWD system. Not a new system. Its a development from the AWD systems used in the GM Montana Minivans and the older Chrysler mini vans from the 90's
Charger/300/Magum AWD: Based on the early 90's Mercedes AWD systems these are a full time AWD with a posi/limited slip front and rear dif. Very good and stabe in foul weather and prety much anything you see on most roads.

4x4 systems: You have Manual/Mechanical Transfer Case in which you as the driver pull a real lever connecting the front drive gears in th transfer case putting power to them. This is what is used in most trail rated jeeps they take more abuse then the electric/push button transfer cass since they truly disengage th drive gears when not in use. Not being sure what your use for the car/truck you choose there are a world of awd vehicles out there. If it has to be a mopar and you want one cheap go for an earlier liberty or even a grand cherokee you can pick up either used for a fair price. If you want a car, I would vote get an Audi or a Subi. Either will be better then either Chrysler system in both durablity and cost of repairs for drivetrain parts. And with the right choice you can also get a nice ride and a turbo.......

Last edited by Hypurr; 05-02-2009 at 11:20 AM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 12:52 PM
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Nitro's do not have a fulltime AWD system from the info that the Dodge website says and Edmunds. Only a part-time 4wd system. See the Dodge web site:
Dodge - Compare Vehicle and Model Specifications - Highlights

Also here's some info off of of Edmunds.com:

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on the Nitro SE and SLT is a 3.7-liter V6 rated for 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Dodge Nitro R/T comes with a 4.0-liter V6 engine good for 260 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque; it's paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. In our testing, we found the Nitro R/T was able to go from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds.

All versions of the Nitro are available with either rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). Nitro 4x4s have a part-time system with high- and low-range gearing, though this model's suspension tuning and tire options are both heavily street-oriented. Properly equipped, the Nitro can tow up to 5,000 pounds regardless of drivetrain.

Fuel economy is not a strong point for the 2009 Dodge Nitro. On 2WD models, the 3.7-liter engine achieves 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined; the 4.0-liter V6 gets 16/21/18 mpg. On 4WD versions, ratings dip slightly.

Here's the link: 2009 Dodge Nitro Review and Specs


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Last edited by Strongt; 05-02-2009 at 01:12 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 01:13 PM
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Help me understand why they don't recomend using 4x4 on dry pavement?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongt View Post
Nitro's do not have a fulltime AWD system from the info that the Dodge website says and Edmunds. Only a part-time 4wd system. See the Dodge web site:
Dodge - Compare Vehicle and Model Specifications - Highlights

Also here's some info off of of Edmunds.com:

Powertrains and Performance

Standard on the Nitro SE and SLT is a 3.7-liter V6 rated for 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission is standard. The Dodge Nitro R/T comes with a 4.0-liter V6 engine good for 260 hp and 265 lb-ft of torque; it's paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. In our testing, we found the Nitro R/T was able to go from zero to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds.

All versions of the Nitro are available with either rear-wheel drive (2WD) or four-wheel drive (4WD). Nitro 4x4s have a part-time system with high- and low-range gearing, though this model's suspension tuning and tire options are both heavily street-oriented. Properly equipped, the Nitro can tow up to 5,000 pounds regardless of drivetrain.

Fuel economy is not a strong point for the 2009 Dodge Nitro. On 2WD models, the 3.7-liter engine achieves 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway and 18 mpg combined; the 4.0-liter V6 gets 16/21/18 mpg. On 4WD versions, ratings dip slightly.

Here's the link: 2009 Dodge Nitro Review and Specs
Edmunds information would be wrong. Nitro's DO NOT have low range gearing. This is strictly a part time, on-road 4x4 system only, 2 settings: 2 wheel drive, and 4 "lock" which is hi range.

All transfer cases are dependent on year.

LX cars: 2009 models have the front axle disconnect. So until the car detects slip, it runs in RWD mode only. Earlier years did not have this, it also includes an indicator on the dash to report it's operation. Optional on 3.5 and 5.7 models only. It's fully automatic, and requires no driver input.

Caliber: AWD was standard on R/T models when it was launched, then dropped down to an option on R/T and now it's not available as of 2009. No driver input required.

Avenger/Sebring: AWD was available on 3.5 models only, and was dropped for 2009. The Avengers system would direct power to the rear wheels for better off the line performance when you dropped the hammer down. No driver input required. Not that many AWD cars were built.

Durango/Aspen: Hybrid vehicles have a full time AWD unit, and there is no driver input required, it also does not have low range so there isn't a switch included on the dashboard. Some 4.7L models only have a part time transfer case which you get 2wd or 4 "lock" (no "low), but a 2 speed transfer case is optional (with low range), all HEMI models have the 2 speed transfer case which is in full time AWD mode, unless you select to place it into "lock" or "low".

Dakota: 2 speed transfer case is standard across the line if it's equipped. From 05-07 there are some full time AWD trucks out there (which I almost bought one, but opted for 2wd instead) they also include low range.

All Jeep's 4x4 systems can be read up on Jeep.com, and the Ram is also listed on Dodge's webpage.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypurr View Post
According to the local service manager and some people I know who actually still work at Chrysler.
Nitro: AWD system, not a true 4x4. It is an "always on" sort of awd system decent for foul weather, not for mudding etc. Not a part time system like the Liberty. To their understanding it is always on, but with out the jumping you feel in a solid axle awd.
Journey: Caliber awd system. The Journey is BASED on the Caliber frame and drivetrain. It is a basic AWD system. Not a new system. Its a development from the AWD systems used in the GM Montana Minivans and the older Chrysler mini vans from the 90's
Charger/300/Magum AWD: Based on the early 90's Mercedes AWD systems these are a full time AWD with a posi/limited slip front and rear dif. Very good and stabe in foul weather and prety much anything you see on most roads.
Nitro's system is a part time 2wd based system. It's either in 2wd or you select 4wd high. It's not AWD.

The Journey is based on the Sebring/Avenger. Not the Caliber. Chrysler's system is NOT from the development of the GM's system. In fact Chrysler has been putting AWD systems in vans long before GM decided to.

The LX cars DO NOT have limited slip front and rear axles. The limited slip is controlled by the ABS system, there is no mechanical limited slip unless you opt for the Challenger (6 speed only), which gets a true locking rear diff.

Quote:
4x4 systems: You have Manual/Mechanical Transfer Case in which you as the driver pull a real lever connecting the front drive gears in th transfer case putting power to them. This is what is used in most trail rated jeeps they take more abuse then the electric/push button transfer cass since they truly disengage th drive gears when not in use. Not being sure what your use for the car/truck you choose there are a world of awd vehicles out there. If it has to be a mopar and you want one cheap go for an earlier liberty or even a grand cherokee you can pick up either used for a fair price. If you want a car, I would vote get an Audi or a Subi. Either will be better then either Chrysler system in both durablity and cost of repairs for drivetrain parts. And with the right choice you can also get a nice ride and a turbo.......
The only Jeep left to use a mechanical lever for the transfer case is the Wrangler. Otherwise all new Jeeps that feature selectable modes for the transfercase use a button or switch.

Explain how a manual lever "truly" disengages the transfer case? And why an electronic transfer case doesn't.

Sounds like you need a new source.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gn300 View Post
Help me understand why they don't recomend using 4x4 on dry pavement?
Part-Time 4WD systems effectively lock the front and rear driveshafts together, forming a single driving unit that does not allow for differential action between the front and rear driveshafts. Driveline noise and binding (Crow Hop) may occur when operated excessively on dry surfaces or in turns. This binding can lead to heat buildup and early part failure.


Credit: Jeep
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-02-2009, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for the info Dakota. All I know for sure was that the Nitro did'nt have a fulltime AWD system. But a part-time system. Boy, what a mess of 4x4 systems. LoL
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