Is Selec-Trac worth trading in your 2020 Gladiator for a 2021?

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Let me preface this dissertation with the recommendation of reading the (90's) English Government study on driver habits with modern vehicles equipped with ABS. Short answer is vehicle crashes did not go down with the introduction of ABS. People simply drove more aggressively, with the believe that ABS would compensate. Same holds true for today's vehicles with Traction Control Systems (TSC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VCS).

For what it is worth, I live in Palmer, Alaska in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough (aka "Southcentral" bounded by Pacific Ocean to south-west, Arctic Interior to north and Harding Ice field to the east). Our weather changes hourly, and alternates between sub-zero temps as low as -35F (-33C) with light, fluffy snow (over ice), to near 32F (0 C) and freezing rain (over ice). Once winter sets in (for 7 months), our few paved roads more resemble hockey rinks (and yes we do play pond hockey on real skates in the street). The majority of the rest of our roads are frozen. compacted gravel and mud (icy in winter, mud slick in fall/spring and dusty in summer). Today we have sunny, -5F and 50 MPH winds gusting to 70 that are polishing the 2-3 inches of clear water ice on the roads and causing concrete hard snow drifts. I mention this, because I also own a 2020 JT. Mine is a Rubicon with auto stick, front and rear axle E-lockers, and all the driver assist/safety features on un-studded 33 inch M/Ts. I use the JTR to pick up large items. Otherwise I drive a stripped down, slightly lifted '96 Cherokee XJ with manual tranny, Detroit Locker rear (permanently engaged locker) and Trac-Loc Limited Slip front on 10 year old 31 inch un-studded A/Ts. Because I am old school (I am 58 and started driving officially at 14 on a farm license), I drive the Glad 99.8% of the time in 2WD, with all driver safety assistance features (VSC, TCS, etc except for ABS) turned off. I have had too many bad experiences with modern VSC/TCS systems not reacting in time or over-reacting and causing loss of steering input, PUTTING me in a ditch (VSC/TCS controls wheel spin through use of braking system, which when one wheel starts to lose grip and VSC/TCS activates, it can have a cascade affect on the grip loss of all other tires, causing ABS to activate, which then fights with VSC/TCS until you suddenly find yourself in the opposite lane or in a ditch). And YES, driver habits do contribute. So I run with these systems turned off, so I can get better road and vehicle dynamics feedback; thus modulating driving style accordingly. That means I need to back-off on my enthusiasm sometimes, as my throttle response and/or loss of tire grip exceeds conditions. If I have issues with wheel spin starting out at intersections or in parking lots, I either use light left foot brake (poor man's traction control) or switch 4-Hi on/off on the fly. It is old school habits, because I have to do the same thing in my Cherokee, since it has ZERO driver assist features (not even ABS) and was built for desert/rock-crawling which is the worst setup for Arctic/Sub-Arctic. As a sidenote, I also own a 2019 Toyota Tundra 4WD with E-Locker axles, and a 2021 RAV4 TRD. Great vehicles except for Toy's version of VSC/TCS. Unlike my Rubicon Glad which you can completely shut-down VSC/TCS without being in 4WD, in the Toys, you can only shut them off temporarily. Once vehicle (or wheel spin) hits 25 MPH, computer automatically overrides driver preference and re-engages these systems. That means computer will stop spinning wheels, just at the speed necessary to clear the treads of mud and snow. And yes, I can more completely turn these systems off with the Tundra, but that means engaging the axle lockers, which means vastly reduced steering control on city streets (I am sure this site has threads on why Lockers good for rock-crawling, but bad for snowy streets).
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steelponycowboy

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I had the older version of the full time select trak 242 on both an XJ and a ZJ and they handled much better on wet and slick roads than the regular 231 transfer cases did.

Even went to the bone yard and bought one out of an XJ and replaced the 231 in my TJ.

Getting a 2021 for the diesel motor and unfortunately the select trak is not available with the diesel. Probably for the same reasons it wasn't available on the ZJ with the V8
 

ShadowsPapa

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Why do you see so many SUVs in the ditch... black ice and drivers thinking their full time AWD is a solution, it’s not. Black ice causes loss of friction with road surface on all tires, no form of AWD or 4WD has any significant value the solution is drive cautiously
You are speculating of course. You have no idea what they have, or what mode it's in or how fast they were going (almost always TOO fast, like one cabbie here puts it - "4 wheel stupid")
I've seen and felt the difference - absolutely helps in more conditions and situations than many imagine. 30 years of vehicles with that or similar systems, and then there were those that didn't have that option or system. Huge difference.
No, it's not going to save the world and for some drivers no system other than locking them in their house is going to save them, but it absolutely can and does help.
I've seen people lose it when at least one, even two, tires were not on ice! so some just won't be helped.............
You can't buy such a thing and believe it's all fine and good and there's no need to be careful about changes in speed or direction, or going too fast.

AWD or select trac or whatever is an aid, not a solution. It's a tool.
 

ShadowsPapa

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I had the older version of the full time select trak 242 on both an XJ and a ZJ and they handled much better on wet and slick roads than the regular 231 transfer cases did.

Even went to the bone yard and bought one out of an XJ and replaced the 231 in my TJ.

Getting a 2021 for the diesel motor and unfortunately the select trak is not available with the diesel. Probably for the same reasons it wasn't available on the ZJ with the V8
XJ, ZJ, WJ, very sure-footed. Like anything else, it's an aid and not a solution, but you have to be doing something less than smart to lose it on bad roads with those things.
 

jjdustr340

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I don’t know the voodoo or mechanics behind the Select Trac, but I will say this....
With the recent snow/ice storm here in good old Central Ohio, I finally had a real chance to test it out in my 80A JT. Living in a small town, the main roads can be anywhere from “good” to “perfectly fine” while you can guarantee my neighborhood is an ice rink covered with snow. It’s so awesome to be able to set it in 4 auto and go do what I need to do. No shifting into 2H while on the main roads and back to 4H when I get off the main roads. I just drive.
I must say, it does its job and does it well!
 

Jtschnel

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You're always going to lose on the money so let's put that aside.

Do you want select-trac? Really that's the question here. Would you always like to be in 4ish high range?

While I love having a stick shift deep low range, all chest hair & no whining off road dirt eating savage... my wife's 4matic MB is the chariot of choice for scummy on road conditions. I touch nothing, shift nothing, feel nothing and just drive and let it bang away. Perhaps if I'm feeling the moment I can put the PCM into "Slippery" and let the transmission and throttle do some more work.

Yes there is a place for full time nanny mode and it's all those times you just need to go to the store and it's lightly iffy and you just don't want to be bothered. It's early, it's snowing, there is no 1/3, 1/3 & 1/3 and dang it you just want a big hot mug of bitter burned bean tea.

So yeah, you want select-trac? Go ahead and do it and be happy.
Spot on response!
 

jrf

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There is another thread with info on swapping the transfer case
Does anyone have a link to that thread...I'm interested in what that swap takes.
 
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