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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time really testing out the AWD system on a muddy road and it failed me miserably. Was trying to climb a slippery section of road going into a friends property and the wheels began to spin. I tried to back up and get a new approach but soon after that, the AWD system shut down. It would not work again until i was able to get pulled out of my stuck position and back to flat ground.

System seemed to work after that, but what good does it do if the system shuts down while you are stuck? I know these arent made to go to the rubicon, but a slippery dirt road, come on man! What gives? Im sure its a safety thing Ford implemented for the system to not over heat or get abused, but litteraly 4 minutes of trying to get unstuck shuts the system down? Anyone ever experience this? Hoping someone has and can tell me a way to bypass this system shutdown? Thought i had the perfect camping vehicle in the new Transit, but with no confidence in the system now, it has me worried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry to hear you experience. When you say shut down- how did it let you know this - a dash message?
I'm sure you tried a bunch of reset tries, restarting etc.
What drive mode where you in?
If you are climbing a slippery hill you should have it in mud /ruts (NOT slippery) so there is less or no traction control.
thanks for sharing
Yeah switched into Mud/Rutts mode which i think automatically disables traction control if im not mistaken?

Wheels started to spin in the mud and i was only able to try to get unstuck for about a minute before a message on the dash said something to the effect of "AWD system shutting down" I cant remember exactly what it said since i was heated at this point and worried about backing down this muddy hill without going over the edge. i was really surprised it shut off. i was almost at the top of the hill before it shut down. I would have made it even spinning the tires if the system hadn't failed me.

Of course being such a new model etc.. im sure experiences are low with issues with the system, but was just hoping someone has had the same issue and found a fix? I have the LSD in the rear, so other than installing an air locker (which i may have to do now if possible) i think i have all Ford can offer etc... I just hate mechanical systems like this that have no override or no fail safe. Thank god for friends with 4x4 or i would still be stuck there.

Is there a magic fuse i can remove to make the system stupid so it wont shut off? (lol) I would rather overheat the system than be stranded. Should be my choice to decide that. (lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Were you stuck or still moving forward and climbing when you say you were spinning your tires for a minute?
Wheels started to spin, but i was still moving and making forward progress, until i wasnt and the system shut down. I would have made it no problem if i could have kept the power on and have they system stay on. Once it failed and shut down, i was done and helpless. Frustrating to say the least how it failed so quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks guys for all of the feedback. I think getting some tow hooks are a must at this point as it would have been easy to be pulled out from the front, but glad i didnt try, my bumber would still be there. (lol)

As mentioned, there are no easy access points from the front to attach too, but aftermarket options for tow hooks are out there, just take a bit to install as the entire front end has to come off to install.

Next time i will try other modes, turn off other stuff etc... just to play around to see if it shuts down again, but i need a backup plan and i think tow hooks are it at a minimal cost. Quigly install is not an option at this point $$$$
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
"Note: Excessive tire slippage can cause driveline damage.
All-Wheel Drive Information Messages

traction control
The system automatically turns on each time you switch the ignition on.
If your vehicle is stuck in mud or snow, switching traction control off may be beneficial as this allows the wheels to spin.




Message Description
AWD Temporarily Locked​
The system is temporarily locked.This could be due to the system increasing its capacity in order to improve performance.​
AWD Temporarily Disabled​
The system temporarily turns off.This could be due to the system overheating.Stop your vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so and allow the system to cool.​
AWD Restored​
The system resumes normal function.​
AWD Malfunction Service Required​
The system has malfunctioned.Have your vehicle checked as soon as possible.​
AWD OFF​
The system temporarily turns off to protect itself from overheating or if you are using a mismatched tire.
Thanks Van7 for the info. Now it comes back to me, it was the AWD temporarily disabled message i got on the display. Im sure due to it saving itself, but makes no sense as it failed that quickly. I would think i would get a little bit more before it shut down? Like the manual says, 2.5 miles in deep sand will make the system fail, but i didnt go anywhere near even a 1/4 mile before it shut off. I just dont trust it anymore and cannot rely on that system to save me unless there is a way to disable the safety feature of it saving itself and leaving me stranded. Sure wish someone had a dongle or something. (lol) I would by pass any factory safety setting in a heart beat as most often than not, it shuts down way before its close to failure. All i needed was 50 more feet and i would have been to the top.
 

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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I have a transfer case from an AWD Transit opened up on my bench right now. Got tired of so little information available from Ford so I bought one and disassembled it :). I can say with a high amount of confidence that the issue you had with the AWD system is 100% due to the AWD control module software and how it handles (...or in your case chokes on and errors out because of...) the incoming wheel speed data. The transfer case mechanicals internally are simple. The encoder motor that controls the front drive engagement is simple and provides the module with nothing other than a positional signal (there is no temperature sensing of the t-case or the encoder motor in the system). The "AWD" engagement is all handled by the module and the algorithms (which are different depending on the drive mode selected) and the math behind relative wheel speeds vs. throttle position vs. output shaft speed and any number of variables Ford has chosen to use. It's possible that the module itself has a temp sensing shutdown mechanism, after all it is engaging/disengaging a 20amp motor in real-time based on how the wheel speeds are interpreted. I could see the module heating up quickly if it was having to "work" a lot to manage the response to the drive mode algorithm but I don't see the motor having any issues because it doesn't actually see any significant load.
Awesome, i love people smarter than me. (lol) Thanks for the info, yeah as mentioned, im sure its this one little electronic doo hickie thats gumming up all of the works to save the system from implosion. What wires do i have to cut......... for the bypass. (lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
What drive mode were you in and was traction control on or off?

I've found I can't get the van to behave/respond to throttle with TC on so I turn it off as soon as I hit dirt and things are much better.
Well that is where im a little unclear. I was in Mudd/Rutts mode which i assumed was beast mode as it takes off TC automatically, but maybe it didnt at first and thats why i got stuck?

All in all, i think the system should have stayed on longer to give me more of a fighting chance to get unstuck. I didnt need much, but more than what it gave me. I dont see how the system could have over heated as well, i wasnt stuck for long enough to make it shut down on high temp. I think it was more of a speed sensor thing as mentioned in MGmetalworks post. Too much wheel spin must not like it and shuts the system down is all i can think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Do you have any pictures of where you got stuck? Would love to see what it took, so far my system has performed well in snow but I have not been in any sort of mud.. Also, do you have stock tires and any build weight or is it empty? I am learning a lot from this thread.. I would be pissed to see an error like you saw..
Sorry no pics handy of the hill that claimed me, but im there all of the time, so maybe next weekend i will try attempt number two to see how things go. (lol) Just need to make sure im in the "make it climb mode" next time as i couldnt find that yesterday. (lol)
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Here is a pic lifted from his buddy's FB post. View attachment 146500
Yeah thanks for the reminder. (lol) This pic is not the hill i got stuck on. This was the first hill i went up like it was flat ground, the 2nd one after this was the issue. This pic is of me backing all of the way down and they getting high centered on this snow bank and i couldnt go forward or backwards. Helpless feeling to be honest. If i was alone i would have had to walk home. (lol)

My next attempt will try everything that has been mentioned to do before i get stuck. Thanks guys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
What tires?
Stock tires with new tread. Im sure thats a major problem in mud or snow, but with the limited wheel/tire options for the AWD stock height van im still in search mode for something else. Would love to go 17" and something AT or similar in the future. Not in any hurry to spend money on a lift kit, but it may be down the line.

Thanks again guys for all of the feedback.

I did email Matt Ford as they seem to be the most versed so far in the 2020 AWD models and they mentioned i may have been better off in Slippery/Ice mode instead of Mudd/Rutts? Seems to give the front tires more percentage of traction etc... He did not mention turning off TC, but i would assume you couldnt get far in mud without it off? When TC is on (at least with my Dodge Ram) it robbs all of the power from the wheels and you go nowhere.

Since the van is still new and im figuring all of this out, im gonna go testing and try different settings on slippery surfaces and post up anything i can find differently than this last time. I hope i find some mode that is beast mode etc... and keeps the system on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
That is the spirit. Testing the limits on a vehicle when new is my favorite. I already got my van slightly sideways in the snow to see what it would do. Same with slippy ice on a downhill. They aren't infants they are machines. Btw...hope the braaappp was good. I haven't ridden the moto in a few months now. Miss it.
Yeah would have liked to not spend 60K to have a test vehicle, but someone has to be the ginny pig. (lol)

The Braaapp session wasnt as good as i would have liked i think since my wind was takin from my sail after the morning AWD fiasco. I couldnt get it out of my head and it effected my moto skills, but whats the saying again, "any day on the bike is better than a day on the couch" or something to that effect. (lol)
 
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