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Discussion Starter #1
Hello to all !
Yesterday while riding in normal beautiful groomed winter trails, at one point there was a part with a non even thickness of snow that wasn’t hard packed nor soft and that was uneven. Take note that other rides did pass before me during the day so there were some tire tracks and not necessarily straight !!!

My machine was weird (I thought). I felt that I was getting thrown left to right constantly.

First thing that came to my mind was, I’m losing a wheel or my visco lok. Is it working normally underload and with no load ?
Maybe I’m just paranoid !!!

I’m pretty sure that underload it is OK. The reason that I’m saying this is that I don’t get stuck. I went over a big snow bank the day before !!!

It’s more the in between. Between underload and the ‘’no load’’ situations while ridding in those groomed snow covered trails.

All wheels ok, axles ok so I lifted my front end, engine not running, I’m able to turn BY HAND one wheel while holding the other one.
Mind you that I wouldn’t say that I need extra strength to hold one wheel (right or left) but it is stiff !!
The faster I turn that wheel, the harder it gets. I’m assuming that this is normal. All this with no engine power. I will try tonight while engine is running and in gear.

I saw a few videos of people testing them but besides the guys climbing trees or WOT in 3 feet of mud, I don’t see anywhere ‘’ how stiff or not ‘’ is it suppose to be with no load/stress.

What would be the symptoms, while ridding on groomed winter trails if my visco lok was not working properly ?

2016 Outlander 850 MAX XT

Thanks
Luc
South shore Mtl
 

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I think the first thing to note is that the Visco-Lok front diff is purely mechanical in its operation, there's nothing electric involved, so inherently there will be some "variances", even in its normal operation.

In the simplest of explanations, there is a specialized viscous fluid in the "spool" inside the front diff. We're told it is very heat-sensitive. As one axle spins up without the other, that friction of course heats up the goo inside the spool, which locks in the other axle, providing power to both front wheels.

Other than in that scenario, the front diff should behave like a traditional "open" diff, and one tire or the other would pull, depending on available traction, up until such a time as described above.

Sounds to me like yours is behaving as designed. The one thing I've always been told, is if you find yourself in a "low-traction" situation, to avoid blipping the throttle, don't go on/off/on/off, as that allows the front diff to essentially unlock. Keep steady engine rpm going to the wheels, that'll help keep the front diff locked up, keeping you in true 4wd
 

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getting tossed back and forth if your following someone else tracks is normal especially if the tracks you are following are not strait.. I used to do that so the people behind me got tossed around like a pinball..LOL... then i would get it on the way back through
 

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Does the OP's machine have power steering? If it does, it has Visco "QE". Quick Engage. Only takes about 1/2 a turn of slippage to engage. If no power steering, it has the standard visco that takes 2-3-4 turns of slippage to engage.

And as Zrock mentioned...if you are in someone elses snow tracks, it's like pinball. Only way to avoid this is to be first, and make your own trail.....you will be first out of gas this way for sure.
 

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I think the first thing to note is that the Visco-Lok front diff is purely mechanical in its operation, there's nothing electric involved, so inherently there will be some "variances", even in its normal operation.

In the simplest of explanations, there is a specialized viscous fluid in the "spool" inside the front diff. We're told it is very heat-sensitive. As one axle spins up without the other, that friction of course heats up the goo inside the spool, which locks in the other axle, providing power to both front wheels.

Other than in that scenario, the front diff should behave like a traditional "open" diff, and one tire or the other would pull, depending on available traction, up until such a time as described above.

Sounds to me like yours is behaving as designed. The one thing I've always been told, is if you find yourself in a "low-traction" situation, to avoid blipping the throttle, don't go on/off/on/off, as that allows the front diff to essentially unlock. Keep steady engine rpm going to the wheels, that'll help keep the front diff locked up, keeping you in true 4wd
I didn’t know that’s how Visco lock worked, I assumed it worked electronically by sensing less resistance or something like that. Now that I know this I’ll be treating my machine a little differently when I get into some trouble. I’ll watch to keep it at a steady rpm and let it have a few tire turns to let it engage the lock. I know that you’re not supposed to engage front dif lock manually while moving on machines like the king quads, but do the visco lock units lock the same way and wear out overtime like the king quad locking units if you engage them while moving? Or does it lock in a different way to prevent wear of the locking unit?
 

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I didn’t know that’s how Visco lock worked, I assumed it worked electronically by sensing less resistance or something like that. Now that I know this I’ll be treating my machine a little differently when I get into some trouble. I’ll watch to keep it at a steady rpm and let it have a few tire turns to let it engage the lock. I know that you’re not supposed to engage front dif lock manually while moving on machines like the king quads, but do the visco lock units lock the same way and wear out overtime like the king quad locking units if you engage them while moving? Or does it lock in a different way to prevent wear of the locking unit?
The visco-lok is purely automatic in its operation, there's nothing you can or need to do, in regards to it. It is a sealed unit inside the diff, separated from the fluid and non-serviceable by the average end-user. Maybe Dave can clarify, but I believe in later years, they got away from the welded spools and went to bolted halves, that would allow for "servicing"? But most that went that far into their front diff were prolly in there for a Torq Locker or similar.

Now- that's not to be confused with the actuation of 2wd/4wd, while moving- don't do it, lol. Stick to stopping before switching in or out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I do have power steering.

it’s because i’ve seen one video that with the front end lifted, only one wheel turned with little engine power. The other didn’t even turn until he reved it up. I also saw someone that was able to hold one wheel (not easy but able) because it wanted to turn until he reved it and could not hold it. On my bike, even with the slightest rpm when the front wheels start to turn, there is no way you can hold it.
One seemed almost free wheel, one was medium and mine seems hard.

Which one is the normal ?
Also thanks for all your input ?
Luc
 

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Sounds like yours is working 100% normally. You have the QE (quick-engage) front diff, as stated above, due to power steering. It's said to lock-in at as little as half a revolution of one tire, LOTS quicker than the older/traditional visco-lok diffs, which, again, depending on age/useage, could be anywhere from 2-3 revolutions, before locking, or even in severe cases, not locking in much at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks Bombardier bomb

I can go to sleep in peace tonight before my nice ride tomorrow

take care !
Luc
 

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As BB said...it sounds fine. Run 'er on Med or Max power steering in the snow. (I run Min or Med in the summer time as I've heard stories of the PS motor overheating....but thinking in the winter this shouldn't be an issue)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I always leave it in min.
I don't find it that hard.
But might give it a try tomorrow
Thanks
Luc
 

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I always leave it in min.
I don't find it that hard.
But might give it a try tomorrow
Thanks
Luc
Med or Max will minimize the kickback from the other tracks in the snow.
 
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