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Old 07-24-2011, 08:14 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
The AWD version of the Flex and MKT as well as the Excape do indeed have a transfer unit, its just integral with the transmission. The transfer unit is what redirects part of the torque from the normal driven axel (front in this case) to the rear. I suppose the term 'transfer CASE' is outdated in this respect since there is no seperate add on CASE.

Why do you suspect the Escape is not 4WD as advertised on the window sticker. In 4WD mode it does indeed send torque to all 4 wheels.

Not sure what trouble you are having with the AWD system in the Flex but it is NOT the same as what is in the Escape.
Let me start with the last items first. Where did I say I was having trouble with it - I said Ford calls it 4WD but on my Flex AWD. WHAT PEOPLE ARE HAVING TROUBLE WITH is the transmission burning out - 4WD, AWD (Fusion) and FWD. With a manual transfer case and the wheels rotating freely that problem would not exist. Since the 4WD and FWD have the same 6F35 I wonder if you are correct about the transfer case being built in? My son is an MEng and he worked on the Escape including 6 weeks in Hiroshima with Mazda on the sister Tribute so my first source will be to check with him. Keep in mind this is the same transmission design used by GM as it was a $1.4 billion joint program and part of the contract is that they each keep the other informed of any changes or improvements they make. The Flex and MKT have the 6F55 to handle more torque.

You referred to having the Escape in 4WD mode - IT ONLY HAS ONE MODE - nothing for the driver to select. I only question the definition Ford is using and when I asked my dealer last year the staff there said they have been puzzled by 4WD vs AWD terminology as used on their various vehicles. The only place 4WD is used is in the literature - no labels on the car anywhere.

I believe the systems Ford is using is one it designed (with Borg Warner some claim) and they are no longer using the Haldex AWD system. My two manuals have the following descriptions:

Quote:
Escape
Your vehicle is equipped with an intelligent 4WD System that
continuously monitors vehicle conditions and automatically adjusts the
power distribution between the front and rear wheels. It combines
transparent all-surface operation with highly capable four-wheel drive.
The 4WD system is always active and requires no driver input. It is
capable of handling all road conditions, including street and highway
driving as well as off-road and winter driving.
Quote:
Flex
Your vehicle may be equipped with a full-time All Wheel Drive (AWD)
system. With the AWD option, power will be delivered to the front
wheels and distributed to the rear wheels as needed. This increases
traction which may enable you to safely drive over terrain and road
conditions that a conventional two-wheel drive vehicle cannot. The AWD
system is active all the time and requires no input from the operator
Now, I'm sure you can spot the mechanical differences from that description. Neither can I.

Neither indicates what the default allocation is when no slippage is detected. My Dodge AWD manual said 90/10 F/R and then moved more to the back when slippage in the front is detected. Various distributions seem to be used.

There is certainly no MANUAL transfer case like I had on my Tahoe and Colorado or earlier Jeeps (Cherokee and Wagoneer). The TC used by Ford could simply be a series of clutches that allow transfer of power as slippage is detected. I've been unable to find anything concrete from Ford other than an announcement that pre-dates the use of the 6F series on the Escape and Flex.

Quote:
Wards
WardsAuto.com, Jul 10, 2006 10:02 AM

DEARBORN, MI – Ford Motor Co. has developed its own all-wheel-drive system for several upcoming sedans and cross/utility vehicles, rather than expand use of the system supplied by Swedish parts maker Haldex AB, Phillip Kurrle, driveline systems supervisor tells Ward’s.

The new system will be offered in V-6 Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan and Lincoln MKZ (formerly Zephyr) midsize sedans and Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX CUVs.

Kurrle says there are several reasons why Ford decided to develop an AWD system in-house, instead of using the Haldex system employed in the bigger Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego sedans and Ford Freestyle CUV

The Ford AWD system is similar to that used on the Ford Escape CUV, he says, adding that Ford developed the system independently of its subsidiaries, including Mazda Motor Corp., which engineered its own system.

Being able to build the system in great quantities is essential to meeting earlier announced plans to sell 500,000 vehicles with fulltime AWD systems annually in the U.S. by 2007.

The Ford-developed technology is similar in many ways to the Haldex system, Kurrle says, without revealing exactly what changes were made. “This is a ‘slip-and-grip’ system. It detects the slip of the front wheels and transfers torque, similar to the Haldex system.”

The Ford technology, Kurrle says, is simpler than the Haldex system because it is “more electro mechanical (and) the Haldex is more of a pressure, hydraulic-based” system.

Just found this on a Ford Forum:

Quote:
Ford Motor Company experts clear the air on all-wheel drive vs. four-wheel drive

With the addition of the all-wheel-drive (AWD) Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, Ford Motor Company is now offering affordable AWD technology to a whole new group of customers, bringing it to one of the largest volume segments in the industry.

Many of these new customers may wonder why they need AWD on their midsize sedan, especially if they live in a climate where the roads are never icy or snow covered.

“Many people think about the AWD system on the Ford Edge the same way they think of the four-wheel-drive (4WD) system on their F-150,” says Ashok Rodrigues, 4WD technical specialist for Ford Motor Company. “There’s been a lot of confusion in the industry as to how manufacturers use the terms 4WD and AWD.”

Rodrigues says there are three basic types of AWD/4WD systems, regardless of whether they’re based on front-drive or rear-drive vehicles. Those are part-time, center differential and on-demand.

Part-Time Four-Wheel Drive

Part-time systems are what most people commonly think of as 4WD. These rugged, traditional systems, found on trucks including the F-150 and Super Duty, feature a simple lock and unlock mechanism that locks the front wheels to the rear wheels. Four-wheel drive is engaged by the vehicle’s operator, usually by flipping a switch or pushing a button on the dash.

Part-time systems are almost always marketed with a low-range gear that’s used when maximum torque is needed, for such activities as extreme off-roading or for moving a heavy object.

“It’s pretty much a black or white operation,” says Rodrigues. “You either want four-wheel drive or you don’t.”

The benefits of this system are its ruggedness and the fact that it’s inexpensive. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are at their best pulling a boat out of the water or hauling a Bobcat back in the woods. The downside is that the system isn’t really adaptable to everyday driving.

“With a part-time system, you will inherently bind up when you go around corners,” says Rodrigues. “When cornering, the front wheels want to track a wider arc than the rear wheels. Because all four wheels are locked together physically, you simply can’t do that with part time. It is an inherent part of the design and is fully intended.”

Center Differential

The V-6 Mercury Mountaineer uses a center differential that constantly splits torque 40 percent to the front wheels and 60 percent to the rear wheels. Unlike the part-time system, the wheels themselves turn at different speeds, eliminating the binding that part-time systems exhibit when cornering.

Center differentials need some sort of clutch or limited-slip mechanism to control slip. For example, when the rear wheels begin to slip, the clutch mechanism applies brake torque to the rear axle, sending drive torque to the front axle and keeping the vehicle moving forward. Rodrigues says that traction control can also serve as the clutching mechanism, providing a cost-effective means of applying brakes to the spinning axle.

“The nice thing about a center differential is that it’s always sending that torque,” he says, “so you have a very nice refined driving performance. Some people really like those kinds of systems. But they can be heavy, expensive and, as the devices are generally purely mechanical, there simply aren't many tuning options.”

On-Demand All-Wheel Drive

The third type is the on-demand system. An on-demand system is always driving one axle and then drives the other axle as conditions demand. In the case of the Ford Fusion or Ford Edge, the front axle is the primary drive axle. For the Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer, the rear axle is the primary drive axle.

Simple mechanical systems use a clutch to send torque to the secondary drive axle when the primary axle starts to slip. Today’s electronic systems — like those found on all Ford Motor Company cars as well as Ford Explorer and Expedition, the Lincoln Navigator and the V-8 Mercury Mountaineer — use a computer controller that monitors such things as steering angle, accelerator pedal position and engine speed to provide the precise amount of torque, front to rear, as needed.

“What’s really impressive about these systems is that they don’t just react to slip,” says Rodrigues. “They usually prevent that slip from occurring in the first place. By predicting slip and preventing it, the driver doesn’t feel the vehicle slipping and responding. The operation is seamless.”

He says on-demand systems create a smooth, confident driving feel in all weather conditions with much better traction. The systems also help balance and improve driving dynamics by sending torque to the secondary axle when it’s most appropriate for handling.

“On a normal front-drive vehicle, the front wheels have a limited amount of traction available to them,” says Rodrigues. “That traction has to be used for moving the car forward and for steering. If you use all of the torque to drive forward, you don’t have anything left to steer with, and vise versa. An AWD system off-loads some of that drive torque to the rear wheels. The harder you accelerate, the more of that torque that’s going to be redirected to the rear wheels, restoring the ability of the front wheels to steer the vehicle while providing an even higher level of acceleration.”

But he cautions that while these sophisticated AWD systems do help with acceleration, they won’t make the car stop any faster.

“Your traction is much better and your handling is much better,” says Rodrigues, “but AWD does not give you more braking power.”
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:48 PM   #72
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Boy, this thread sure has gone south.......started out about towing an Escape and degenerated into a p...ing match over FWD vs AWD. Unfortunate !
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Old 07-25-2011, 01:51 AM   #73
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so which of these ford transmission autos can be towed 4 down and which can be towed with the front wheels on a dolly?
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:20 AM   #74
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All I know is I have a 2010 Escape FWD and I tow it four-down and have had no problems with my transmission to this point. I also know it could be towed on a dolly if I chose to do that. I love it as a Toad and a daily driver.
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Old 07-25-2011, 08:54 AM   #75
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so which of these ford transmission autos can be towed 4 down and which can be towed with the front wheels on a dolly?
Simple. 4WD/AWD and FWD 2011 Escapes can be towed four down. FWD can be towed on a dolly.

The question that remains unanswered is "why so many Escapes, including 2011 models that we thought had fixes to the 6F35 transmission, are burning out?"

Those of us who have the 2011 "thought we were safe" for several months until a few 2011's lost their transmissions. Now we have to travel with the horrible thought in the back of our minds - "are we next."

As to the discussion over AWD and 4WD, it would be LOVELY to have a manual transfer case with a neutral position. Then, we could put the TC in neutral and not worry about burning out a transmission. What some may find difficult to understand is that all of the FWD, AWD and 4WD (no manual transfer case) models when being towed turn the wheels, drive shafts and transmissions - thus they heat up. Since there is no torque going through them when towed, it makes one wonder how they can heat up to temperatures equal to or greater than when being driven. That is a fluid distribution problem that "we thought" was fixed in February 2010. We also wonder why the other transmissions in this Ford/GM family are not experiencing the same problem?

DW really likes her Escape for size and convenience. The only cloud is the transmission issue when towing flat. My own feeling at this point is that Ford should start thinking about adding a lube pump to new units installed after burnout to avoid the embarrassment of multiple replacements. The mystery remains though as to why some have towed very long distances with no problems at all and some haven't even made 200 miles before they are up in smoke.
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Old 07-30-2011, 09:13 PM   #76
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I agree but the horn will only blare when the system is "activated" not "armed". Does anyone else have an answer to the reason for placing key in "accessory" position for towing ??
Well I just got back from my first trip with the Escape Hybrid. The reason I have to keep the key in the ACC position is because with the transmission in "N" it will not turn to the "OFF" position. Also I cannot put the tranmission into "N" position unless I turn the key to the "ON" position first, then, turn the key back to the ACC position. Make sence?
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:42 AM   #77
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Interesting......on my 10' Escape (non-hybrid) I can put the key in the "OFF" position with the transmission in "N", don't have the optional security system referred to earlier either. Guess I'm still wondering why I have to place mine in "ACC" ???
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Old 08-01-2011, 11:03 PM   #78
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We tow the 2011 Escape FWD V-6 behind a Southwind 35A Workhorse W-24 after having the dealer lower the fluid level. No problems and really like the Escape.

It was between the Escape and the Honda CR-V. No regrets with the Ford.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:42 AM   #79
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Obviously there are a number of us that tow the Escape with no problems. Can only assume those that have had transmission problems may have just had faulty transmissions to start with. I too chose between the CR-V and the Escape and settled for the roomier less costly option, haven't been sorry.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:58 AM   #80
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I have a 2010 Ford Escape that I will be towing 4 down. Does miles rack up on the odometer when towing?
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:04 AM   #81
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Miles?

Our 2011 does not register miles while towing.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:08 AM   #82
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we tow 2011 4down run it through gears every 300 mile or so for 5 min.... while towing, no problems to date and miles don't add up while towing ...mike
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:19 AM   #83
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Thanks for the info, after reading all the tranmission failures it makes me wonder if mine will meet the same fate. I also wonder for every failed tranny how many others have never had a problem. Maybe there should be a thread just for posting trouble free transmission stories?
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Old 04-13-2013, 02:24 PM   #84
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Thanks for the info, after reading all the tranmission failures it makes me wonder if mine will meet the same fate. I also wonder for every failed tranny how many others have never had a problem. Maybe there should be a thread just for posting trouble free transmission stories?

if you stay within the guide lines for flat towing you will likely be ok. The ones that have failed are typical of owners not following the guide lines. I have seen one escape go through 3 transmissions with the mileage difference of less than 10 miles between the first and 3rd. It was obvious that the owners were either trying to burn up transmission or did not care. The transmission will build up a lot of heat when flat towing. I actually stopped a couple going down the freeway with their escape venting fluid from the transmission. when I inspected their vehicle the under hood temps felt like the engine was running the entire time. When the engine was started and the transmission was placed in gear, the transmission was in fail safe due to the excessive heat. after a few minutes of idling, the temps went down and the transmission engaged correctly. they admitted that they have not stopped yet for a cool down. driving all day. I did verify that they were driving at 60 mph when I stopped them.

there was another case of repeat flat tow failures with an escape. every time the customer flat towed, they needed a transmission when they got to their destination. after multiple replacements an engineer rode with the customers. surprisingly there was no failure.

Due to the amount of failures, Ford has finally said in early 2012 that escapes and fusions built by and after Feb of 2012 are no longer flat towable. The remco pump will help keep proper cooling but following the guide lines you should be ok. If it was me, I would stop more often and idle longer. I would idle for 10-15 min and make sure to turn on the A/C. this will kick on the cooling fans and help draw cool air through the trans cooler.
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