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Old 04-30-2005, 02:04 PM   #1
mysweetgreenvue
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Question AWD system

When driving on dry pavement, what is the power distrubition to each tire (in %) on a 2004 AWD Vue. How do you think the long-term health of the AWD system (and the rest of the vehicle) would fare if I would put 40K miles on the Vue per year? Thanks.

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Old 04-30-2005, 02:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: AWD system

I thought the following described it pretty well:

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...ht=hub+bearing

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Old 04-30-2005, 03:14 PM   #3
vue-vtec
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Default Re: AWD system

Basicaly, no power goes to the rear wheels when you are just driving along on good traction surfaces.

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Old 05-01-2005, 11:32 AM   #4
1saxman
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Default Re: AWD system

It probably should be thought of as an automatic supplemental rear-drive system, in that it can remain out of service for unlimited mileage, and engage without any driver input or knowledge when the front wheels slip. My band played at a Hummer festival yesterday, and they were taking their Hummers around an extensive off-road course, and most of them came back completely covered in mud. I'm thinking "I'm going to pay $75,000 for one of these ugly gas hogs, then bring it down here once a year and try to ruin it. I don't think so". Anyway, the VUE was sitting there watching all this go on, so when I left, we had to go down a dirt road about 1.5 miles long to get to the highway. It was a fairly loose surface, so once I just nailed the gas. The front wheels started to spin, then the rear kicked in and the VUE literally shot ahead. I had to brake hard (ABS) to keep from running into the back of the drummer's CRV, and the ABS system works fine off road, too. That was the first time I had used the rear drive off the highway, and it engaged quickly and smoothly. It's been used a few times in the snow and ice, but that's about it.
2003 V6 AWD ABS

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Old 05-01-2005, 08:50 PM   #5
Jldet5
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysweetgreenvue
When driving on dry pavement, what is the power distrubition to each tire (in %) on a 2004 AWD Vue. How do you think the long-term health of the AWD system (and the rest of the vehicle) would fare if I would put 40K miles on the Vue per year? Thanks.
No power will go to the rear wheels if you have the latest RDM version until you get BOTH front wheels spinning a significant amount. It is not a 4WD.

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Old 05-02-2005, 06:12 PM   #6
mikebutkus
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Default Re: AWD system

<<<Jldet5
No power will go to the rear wheels if you have the latest RDM version until you get BOTH front wheels spinning a significant amount. It is not a 4WD.>>>

Both front wheels ? Pretty impossible for a typical diff.
Your right front wheel will spin a lot before the rears kick in if the car had the RDM changed after the early Nov. RMD parts exchange. (notice I don't call it a repair)
So if you go sliding across a road. Only the fronts are working until the front or rear tires rotate some 90 RPM faster the the others.

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Old 05-02-2005, 07:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebutkus
<<<Jldet5
No power will go to the rear wheels if you have the latest RDM version until you get BOTH front wheels spinning a significant amount. It is not a 4WD.>>>

Both front wheels ? Pretty impossible for a typical diff.
Your right front wheel will spin a lot before the rears kick in if the car had the RDM changed after the early Nov. RMD parts exchange. (notice I don't call it a repair)
So if you go sliding across a road. Only the fronts are working until the front or rear tires rotate some 90 RPM faster the the others.
I have had the front right spin and the rears never kick in when making a right turn. On the other hand, when going straight and getting both wheels spinning the AWD always kicks in about 2 secs later. Maybe both wheels aren't spinning at the same time but it seems like it. For sure the new RDM is crap.

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Old 05-03-2005, 11:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: AWD system

If I had to do it over again, I would of certainly saved my money and went with the FWD. The AWD drive is a p*ss-poor setup. Also, if I went FWD, I wouldn't have the crooked
"AWD" on the liftgate....(it would make the crooked "V6" look less obvious)!! That RDM is garbage.

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Old 05-03-2005, 12:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jldet5
No power will go to the rear wheels if you have the latest RDM version until you get BOTH front wheels spinning a significant amount.
If you guys get a chance, go see my post on the RDM thread, its the last one, and tell me what you think... have they fixed this issue perhaps? thanks

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Old 05-03-2005, 12:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebutkus
<<<Jldet5
No power will go to the rear wheels if you have the latest RDM version until you get BOTH front wheels spinning a significant amount. It is not a 4WD.>>>

Both front wheels ? Pretty impossible for a typical diff.
Your right front wheel will spin a lot before the rears kick in if the car had the RDM changed after the early Nov. RMD parts exchange. (notice I don't call it a repair)
So if you go sliding across a road. Only the fronts are working until the front or rear tires rotate some 90 RPM faster the the others.
And, remember the system sends power to ONE rear wheel only!

FYI

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Old 05-03-2005, 12:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysweetgreenvue
When driving on dry pavement, what is the power distrubition to each tire (in %) on a 2004 AWD Vue. How do you think the long-term health of the AWD system (and the rest of the vehicle) would fare if I would put 40K miles on the Vue per year? Thanks.
Oh, and unless you live in Inuvik, NWT, then the FWD is just fine, thank you.

This has Traction Control which does pretty much the same thing for $2000 less. Plusm less mechanicals to worry about for maintennance and better gas mileage.

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Old 05-03-2005, 01:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturncanuck
Oh, and unless you live in Inuvik, NWT, then the FWD is just fine, thank you.

This has Traction Control which does pretty much the same thing for $2000 less. Plusm less mechanicals to worry about for maintennance and better gas mileage.

Does pretty much the same thing? Are you serious? Lets line our VUEs up side by side on a snowy road, and see who takes off faster. I've been in situations where I would have had to call AAA to be pulled out had not all wheels started pulling. This winter in fact I found myself at the bottom of a snowy hill, with both front wheels spinning slowly going nowhere. Finally I got irritated, hammered on the gas, and took off up the hill when the rear wheels engaged.

Don't try and convince people traction control is just as good... The WORST AWD will get you further than the best FWD traction control. I'd rather take the chance of driveline components breaking, over not having AWD when I really need it.

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Old 05-03-2005, 01:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tollag
Don't try and convince people traction control is just as good... The WORST AWD will get you further than the best FWD traction control. I'd rather take the chance of driveline components breaking, over not having AWD when I really need it.
Damn skippy bubs. I'm with you 100% there.

Fotovue put about 35k on his Vue in the first year, fyi. He's got the highest mileage Red Line out there, so far as I know, and he has AWD. I'm coming up on 22k and I've had no major problems.

...
Tupperware cars FTW!!!

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Old 05-03-2005, 02:53 PM   #14
1saxman
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Default Re: AWD system

This thing of both front wheels having to spin before AWD is activated is wrong. Here's why; the rear propeller shaft is always powered. That means if either front axle is turning, the rear shaft turns at the same speed. So, either front wheel turning faster than the rear wheels will activate the RDM after the design 'cushion' of speed differential is reached.

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Old 05-03-2005, 02:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturncanuck
Oh, and unless you live in Inuvik, NWT, then the FWD is just fine, thank you.

This has Traction Control which does pretty much the same thing for $2000 less. Plusm less mechanicals to worry about for maintennance and better gas mileage.

Don't confuse AWD with traction control. They are only similar in the safety aspect nomenclature.
Traction control activates the ABS and/or reduces engine speed. The idea is to stop or reduce the wheel spin.
AWD engages another axle to help propel you along.
***One stops, the other keeps you chugging along.***

My wife's LW300 has traction control and the front end nosedives and the engine momentarily "dies" until the wheels stop spinning. It's a weird feeling when you pull into traffic and don't move because your front wheels spin. Thankfully it can be turned off.

Traction control has its own mechanicals and electronics to "worry" about and the gas milleage of an AWD vehicle isn't the "huge" penalty people make it out to be. The '03 AWD V6 only looses a mile or two compared to the FWD V6.

The problems associated with the '04 and up AWD has to do with changes made from the previous AWD setup to meet the "foreign" drivetrain. Apparantly, the changes are still being made to make the parts compatible.

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Old 05-03-2005, 03:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tollag
Does pretty much the same thing? Are you serious? Lets line our VUEs up side by side on a snowy road, and see who takes off faster. I've been in situations where I would have had to call AAA to be pulled out had not all wheels started pulling. This winter in fact I found myself at the bottom of a snowy hill, with both front wheels spinning slowly going nowhere. Finally I got irritated, hammered on the gas, and took off up the hill when the rear wheels engaged.

Don't try and convince people traction control is just as good... The WORST AWD will get you further than the best FWD traction control. I'd rather take the chance of driveline components breaking, over not having AWD when I really need it.
Yes, it does pretty much the same thing.

The AWD does NOT ADD traction, it merely transfers power from a spinning front wheel to a none-spinning rear wheel.

There is NO extra traction, so don't kid yourself.

The traction control on the VUE does not only just "retard" the engine, it also brakes the over-spinning wheel. As the traction control on the VUE is all-speed, when it senses over-spin in one of the drive wheels it brakes that wheel so that the opposite wheel gets ALL the traction. Similar to the AWD where power is given to another wheel when one wheel slips. Now, to be honest, you will get slightly more traction from the AWD as two wheels are now driving instead of just one, however, the power is split -- 50% front 50% rear as opposed to 100% front.

Also, the AWD system only works if one front wheel looses traction, regardless of the shaft turning constantly. It is not powered until the power take-off from the tranny engages -- this happens when one front wheel looses power one rear wheel is engaged.

Still, remember, there is no substitute for snow tires.

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Old 05-03-2005, 04:46 PM   #17
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jldet5
No power will go to the rear wheels if you have the latest RDM version until you get BOTH front wheels spinning a significant amount. It is not a 4WD.
I think there might be a little confusion on how a "conventional" differential works. For the longest time, I was pretty much clueless on this device.

Attached is a link which explains it pretty well.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/differ....htm/printable

The reason I bring it up is that the RDM has no clue as to whether :

a.) one wheel is stopped, and the other wheel is spinning at 20 mph, as an example

or

b.) both wheels are spinning at 10 mph.... both in the forward direction, as an example.

In both of these examples, the front differential carrier is spinning at the same rate. This in turn, determines how fast the propellor shaft, which makes its way to the RDM, will spin. Finally, the difference in RPM's between the propellor shaft and the pinion of the RDM determines how much the hydraulic pumps works to pressurize the clutches to engage and transmit power to the rear wheels.

If you doubt the notion that only one wheel spinning up front can result in having the rear axle ever pushing, then try the following: Find something relatively immovable, like a tree out in the back yard. Back up your Vue to the tree about 6 foot away. Secure the VUE to the tree with a respectable chain and take up the slack.

Now, jack up one of the front tires so it's barely off the ground. Now put it in a forward gear and see if the rear wheels try to pull when the elevated wheel is spinning. That should be the proof in the puddin !!!

Last edited by jmandeville; 05-03-2005 at 04:55 PM..

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Old 05-03-2005, 04:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: AWD system

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1saxman
the rear propeller shaft is always powered. That means if either front axle is turning, the rear shaft turns at the same speed.
Maybe I'm being too picky....

The differential carrier will revolve at the average of the two wheels. So if one is spinning forward at 10 rpms, and the other one is spinning backwards at 10 rpms, then the differntial carrier will not be revolving at all.

If one wheel is revolving at 30 rpms forward and the other wheel is revolving at 20 rpms forward, the the differential carrier will be revolving at (30+20)/2= 25 rpms forward.

This differential carrier is what feeds power to the power take off assembly which in turn, makes the propellor shaft spin.

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Old 05-03-2005, 05:07 PM   #19
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Default Re: AWD system

All I know is that if you get the right front wheel spinning only while turning right (or the left when turning left) the AWD does not kick in. I can't tell you why that is technically but I have had it happen on wet and dry roads on many occasions.

The AWD has always kicked in 2 seconds later when going straight and both wheels spinning (maybe not spinning at the same time).

So both wheels in some fashion have to be spinning in order for the AWD to kick in. I don't know why...I'm just driving the darn thing.

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Old 05-03-2005, 06:52 PM   #20
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Default Re: AWD system

Going off what jmandeville said, the reason you're not getting rear wheel engagement with only one wheel spinning is because you'd have to have that one wheel spinning at twice the rpm it would take if two wheels were spinning. I believe that is his point.

I've been in a situation where I couldn't/didn't get the rear wheels to engage as well. I was on a trail with my front right wheel up against a small smooth rock. When I pushed the gas my front right wheel only slipped. I let it slip for a little while trying to get the rears engaged to push me over, but it just wouldn't happen, at least not with the amount of throttle I was willing to give it. Pretty embarrasing when your vehicle has "AWD" stamped on the back and you're stuck at a 4" rock with one wheel spinning away.

Granted this vehicle wasn't designed for off road, but I will be replacing it with a functional 4wd vehicle in a year or so. Hell, my Legacy would have gotten me over that rock, just wouldn't have gotten me to that rock.

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