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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, who can straighten this out for me. I consider myself a car guy but I really don't know the difference between four wheel drive and all wheel drive. I see a post that talks about putting AWD emblems on the Pilot. Everyone seems to feel that we have AWD. I guess I would too, I thought AWD was when you didn't have to do anything, it just did its own thing, whether it be through a viscous coupling or magnetic clutches, or such.
The stickler is that Honda Corp says we have 4 wheel drive. In their comparison with the BMW and the MDX (which has the same drive system as the Pilot) they say that the BMW has AWD and the MDX 4 wheel drive. (This is on the Acura web site, go to comparisons, and choose MDX. You can also choose Pilot and see how close they really are). The even give a little Acura emblem to the MDX for beating out the BMW because 4 wheel drive is not available.
What gives? Before we put "AWD" emblems on our rides perhaps we should know for sure.
 

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FWD start to finish

:p Well, I think the Pilot is All Wheel Drive (AWD) for certain speed. Well, this is how I found out last week 12" of snow.

1. First try drive forward & backup without removing any 12" of snow from front or rear of the Pilot, no problem, looks like it is AWD and no stuck and no front or rear wheel spin.

2. Drive around the City and found a 45 Degree hill (Yes, a 45 Degree Hill). First of all the Pilot was traveling about 20MPH as I reach the begining of a 45 degree slope, guess what? front wheel spin for just a second and felt the VTM-4 kick in a Rear Wheel....45 Degree with over a foot of snow...NO PROBLEM BABY!!!!. And the best of all....I am the only first car to drive over that hill....Have a pictures but have some trouble with USB of my PC. Will post when I get to work again.


SS EX-L RES #35211
 

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My opinion

I do not think the Pilot system is true AWD. In AWD systems, power is sent to individual wheels needing the power. The system is constantly adjusting power to each wheel.

In the Pilot, it adjusts power front to rear, not to individual wheels. It's more like a modified 4WD.

Each system is better in certain situations. I personally like AWD, but I like most other aspects of the Pilot.
 

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here is my spin on this. An AWD vehicle is a constant all wheel vehicle, i.e. it doesn't switch from two to four wheels spinning. A 4WD vehicle has to be engaged (somehow) to be in "4WD". The kicker to 4WD is that unless you have a locker or possi traction, you are only spinning one front, one rear in "4WD".

In the Pilots case. It is a front wheel drive vehicle that has the ability to switch into a All Wheel Drive/4WD. I mention both, because AWD means all four tires are turning, and a 4WD system with lockers would spin all four wheels.

So in my opinion, you can call it either. I think Honda calls it a 4WD becuase it has to be "engaged" for the "4WD" action to take. But since all wheels are turning once engaged, many could call it "All wheel drive".
 

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Marketing!!!

Lets see it has 4 wheels which are driven, so it is 4WD.

Wait, it has 4 wheels total, so it is AWD.

This is like the sunroof / moonroof discussion.

There are lots of types of 4WD systems, the Pilot has one particular type, but trying to say it is more or less 4WD or AWD is an argument of semantics not technicalities!
 

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Actually AWD and 4WD are both wrong....the Pilot is 3WD:D

The Pilot has a locking effect in the rear due to the VTM4 and open diff in the front so only one front wheel gets power, the one with the least traction.


Terminology varies between manufacturers, some call AWD what others call 4WD and vice versa. To me, not that I'm right, just opinionated, 4wd is when you have to do something like move a transfer case lever or push a button. So by that reasoning the Pilot is AWD or 3WD.:confused:

Bub
 

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pile_it said:
Actually AWD and 4WD are both wrong....the Pilot is 3WD:D

The Pilot has a locking effect in the rear due to the VTM4 and open diff in the front so only one front wheel gets power, the one with the least traction.


Terminology varies between manufacturers, some call AWD what others call 4WD and vice versa. To me, not that I'm right, just opinionated, 4wd is when you have to do something like move a transfer case lever or push a button. So by that reasoning the Pilot is AWD or 3WD.:confused:

Bub
Wouldn't that make most cars 1WD and most 4 wheel drive vehicles 2WD (open front and rear diff). I do understand the issue and I agree that it comes down to marketing. The manufacturers call it what they think will sell best.
The ability to power all wheels makes it both 4WD and AWD.
Now back to Sun, I mean Moon, Oh never mind.
 

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i think the Pilot is like a...

...transformer autobot. It is a family van w/ a high ground clearance, bigger wheels, and more aggressive looks who mainly drives on front wheels but when some situation arises it transforms to an AWD mode or when a real deep S_IT happens the driver could just push the VTM-4 lock button to engage all 4 wheels making it a 4WD vehicle. It is not like any other vehicles out there, it does not have a truck frame to handle serious terrain nor it does not have a true AWD system that transmits power to all 4 wheels full time.
 

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I think the truth is somewhere between hubby and pile it's versions. I agree that AWD refers to a vehicle in which both axles are constantly driven and can't be disengaged. 4WD refers to a vehicle in which one axle can be disengaged, although I don't agree that it has to be manually done with a switch or lever. And I think pile it is right that the Pilot is really 3WD because the front axle has open diff, and a lot of other 4WD vehicles fall into the same category. Many may only be 2WD because they have open diffs front and rear, but if they qualify for the 4WD name, then the Pilot does too.
 

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My 1st post! Please be gentle - pardon newbie ignorance. ;)

As a mechanical engineer, life-long gear head and Grand Cherokee owner, I think the general industry accepted definitions were given by a fellow on rec.autos.4x4, which I paraphrase below. Of course there are exceptions, due to rogue Marketing groups trying to influence buyers.

4WD = part time systems which run in 2WD on pavement, and on which you only engage the other axle (usually the front axle) then extra traction/stability is needed. Most are heavy offroad vehicles with a split high/low range transfer case. Most (but not all) have a separate frame and are not unibody. Most (but not all) have solid axles. Examples: Most Ford Explorers, Jeep Wranglers and Cherokees and the like.

Full Time 4WD = those systems which send torque to all wheels all the time, without user interference or axle-engaging automagic systems to achieve that. Additional user interference (center diff lock as the most common) and additional automagic systems (viscous LSD on center diff most common) can be present. No real distinction between "soft-roaders" and heavy offroad vehicles; both often have full time 4wd, but again only the latter will have a split high/low gear transfer case.
Soft-Roader examples: RAV4, Subaru Outback, Audi Quattro
Heavy Off-Roaders: Toyota Land Cruiser, Range Rover; Mercedes G500 G-Wagen

AWD = the least defined category, and probably flame-bait. Often it includes the full time 4wd category, but I tend to define it more strictly as those vehicles that *only* send (a significant amount of) torque to the other axle (mostly rear axles, only a few front axles) AFTER slip occurs. This behaviour is in contrast to full time, where all wheels get torque all the time, and at least with a fairly even balanced split, i.e. 50/50% up to 33/66%, but much more bias than that makes it rather AWD than full-time.

YMMV. Happy New Year.

Don
 

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Re: FWD start to finish

haknuman59 said:
:p Well, I think the Pilot is All Wheel Drive (AWD) for certain speed. Well, this is how I found out last week 12" of snow.

1. First try drive forward & backup without removing any 12" of snow from front or rear of the Pilot, no problem, looks like it is AWD and no stuck and no front or rear wheel spin.

2. Drive around the City and found a 45 Degree hill (Yes, a 45 Degree Hill). First of all the Pilot was traveling about 20MPH as I reach the begining of a 45 degree slope, guess what? front wheel spin for just a second and felt the VTM-4 kick in a Rear Wheel....45 Degree with over a foot of snow...NO PROBLEM BABY!!!!. And the best of all....I am the only first car to drive over that hill....Have a pictures but have some trouble with USB of my PC. Will post when I get to work again.


SS EX-L RES #35211
I was just re-reading some of the older posts and remembered this one. I assume you meant a 45 percent hill and not a 45 degree hill. As I recall, the Pilot is supposed to handle a up to a 31 degree hill (dry pavement).

rod
 

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Re: Re: FWD start to finish

colorider said:


I was just re-reading some of the older posts and remembered this one. I assume you meant a 45 percent hill and not a 45 degree hill. As I recall, the Pilot is supposed to handle a up to a 31 degree hill (dry pavement).

rod
Hell, boys... I was just driving up a 180 degree the other day. Man was that fun. I did experience some slipage when I drove up the 90 degree hill and had to give up on the 270 degree hill because all the crap in the car kept falling out of the vehicle.

The 360 degree hill was just like the 180, except in the other direction.

:D
 

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Please explain

pile_it said:
Actually AWD and 4WD are both wrong....the Pilot is 3WD:D

The Pilot has a locking effect in the rear due to the VTM4 and open diff in the front so only one front wheel gets power, the one with the least traction.
Bub


Why send power to a wheel with the "least" traction? Seems like if you send power to a wheel with little traction (grip on the road) all you will do is spin it.
 

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Because;

GMinTX said:
Why send power to a wheel with the "least" traction? Seems like if you send power to a wheel with little traction (grip on the road) all you will do is spin it.
Because most of the people discussing this don't know how a differential works, or how many differentials the Pilot has!

(OK, Sorry for the Smart A-s reponse) :2: :2: :2:
 

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Because most of the people discussing this don't know how a differential works, or how many differentials the Pilot has!
You're right. A differential distributes equal torque the wheels it drives. In the case of a typical front wheel drive setup with an open differential, both wheels receive the same amount of torque regardless of traction. But, what this means is that if one wheel is on ice and the other on dry pavement, much less torque is required to spin the wheel with the less traction. The wheel on dry pavement has the same amount of torque applied to it as the wheel on ice, only its not enough to move the vehicle.

Seems backwards doesn't it. You get equal torque to the wheels when both have good traction, yet you can be stuck with just one of the two wheels cannot get the power to the ground. Limited slip differentials help in that a mechanism such as a stack of clutches allows some coupling of the two axles. This could get you unstuck in the situation described above, but because the clutches are always slipping during cornering, they are wearing and may require more service than just an open differential. It would be great to be able to lock the differential only when needed, which is similar to how the rear end of the Pilot works!
 

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Nice job, DN325Ci. Good explanation and the way off-roaders describe the labels. You've been there, done that and bought the T-shirt with off-roading?
 
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