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4 Wheel Drive/SUVs/2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4 x 4


I have an automatic 4 x 4 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2008. Below the "D" on my "gear stick" I have a plus and minus sign. I am able to move the shifter left or right and it will lower the number to 1 or increase to 4 and then Drive. What is that doing? Am I putting in in 4 x 4 drive? I have a button I can press that allows for all wheel stability when roads are wet. Can you tell me if I am shifting automatically into 4 x 4? If not, how do I use the 4 x 4 system? What exactly am I shifting up and down for and what does that do? Is there a certain number I need to shift up or down to when in drive in certain road conditions? Any help you can provide to enlighten me on all this will be extremely helpful.

Thank you,


The "D" stands for Drive in an automatic transmission.  The left and right on the shifter allows you to manually shift the transmission through the gears, first, second, third and fourth.  The numbers tell you which gear you are in.  Shifting to the left, usually down shifts to the lower gears, while moving the lever to the right will up shift to the higher gear ratios.  This can be used for more power when climbing steep grades, or compression for less brake use when going down steep grades.

There are several models of the Grand Cherokee in this year.  Without knowing which model you have, I wouldn't know which transfer case you have.  

It sounds like you may have a single range transfer case.  If this is the case, then the all wheel stability would shift it into a full time 4-wheel drive mode.

If you have a quadra-drive transfer case you would have a full time 4-wheel high range mode, and a part time low range 4-wheel drive mode.

If you can try to obtain an owner's manual for your Jeep.  It will explain all of the shifting techniques and uses for your model.


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Carl Brandt


Will discuss suspensions, lifts, lockers along with tire suggestions. Trail ratings and possible requirements needed for specific type of trails. Safety equipment and what you should carry with you. Certified off-road instructor. I am not a mechanic, and 4-Wheeling is a hobby, so if I can't answer a technical question it is due to my mechanical knowledge being related to vehicles that I have owned, or have worked on. I do not have manuals on all vehicles, and I suggest that you obtain a repair manual for mechanical problems and do some research before asking your question. Most mechanical questions can't be answered completely without looking at, or listening to the vehicle in person.


40 plus years of 4 wheeling in a variety of vehicles. At the present time, my major off-road rig is a 94 Jeep Wrangler with a spring over and a 1 1/2" suspension lift. This gives me a total lift of 7" or so. I have lockers front and rear. I have removed the track bars, and sway bar for maximum articulation. I am running a stock 2.5 ltr 4 cylinder with a Jacobs ignition along with a cold air high flow filter. It has 4.56:1 gears with a Dodge NV4500 transmission along with a 3.8:1 Atlas II transfer case. This gives me a final ratio of 105:1 in low gear/low range. Other vehicles I own, are a 96 Ford F-250 with a 6" lift, posi rear end, 36" Hummer tires, 5 speed with a fuel injected 460 ci engine, an 87 Samurai with an 8" lift, Ford 9" rear end with a spool, Chevy Dana 44 front end with an electric locker, 5.88 gears, 16% reduction in high range and a 6.5:1 low range with 35" Baja Claws, and a stock 2003 Grand Cherokee Overland. Trails I have run are the Rubicon (10 times), Dusey Ershim, Fordyce Creek trail, McGrew trail, several trails in Moab, Utah along with local monthly runs.

Lost Coast 4x4's Cal 4-Wheel Corva UFWDA Blue Ribbon Coalition

Certified off-road instructor - Certificates in engineering/electronics

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