Transmission windup, also known as transfer case bind, has been around since the first ever 4X4, but it’s often misunderstood. Here’s four myths:
1.You need to drive quite a long way before you get windup
No, you can get windup even by driving a few metres. Just go full lock and turn on a high-traction surface. Presto, windup!
2. You need to unlock your hubs before you drive on bitumen
No you don’t, you just need to take your part-time 4WD out of 4WD. Then the front and rear axles can spin at different rates, so no windup. Locking hubs slightly reduce fuel consumption.
3. Wet bitumen won’t give you windup.
Yes it will, it’s more than high traction enough.
4. Reversing straight back fixes windup
No, it won’t. Windup is caused by the front axle rotating faster than the rear. So reversing straight back does nothing for windup. However…if there’s very little windup then you may be able to jiggle the transfer case loose enough to get the vehicle out of 4WD by reversing.
5. Turning left cancels turning right
No, windup increases whether you turn left or right.
6. You can’t get windup with open diffs (bonus myth!)
Yes you can. Windup is about relative speeds of front and rear axles, not different speeds between wheels on an axle.
Transmission Windup Video
Confused by the above? Windup is fully explained here: