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Ford Everest Gen 1, Gen 2 and parkbrakes on a hill

Back in 2017 I tested a Ford Everest and as part of my testing put it on a hill. What I found was extremely interesting and not something I’d ever seen before. You can see what the problem was, and an explanation in the video below:

Here’s a little more context to the video. Modern 4X4s have largely dispensed with the part-time 4WD system, and even the simple open/locked centre differential we found in the likes of Discovery 1 and 2, LC80 and LC100.

In the case of the Ford Everest Gen 2 there’s a friction clutch actuated by a motor, which progressively changes from open to locked. Such systems are designed to be user-friendly, as there is no longer any need to learn about windup or locking centre diffs. There are offroad benefits as there’s no windup, and tighter turning circles, yet the problems of an open diff – sending all the ‘drive’ to just one wheel – are avoided. The system also works effectively onroad too, moreso than an open diff. So there’s good reasons to move to this sort of variable-centre-clutch technology.

However, such systems may suffer from problems. In the case of softroaders, the clutch often overheats and then gives up, leaving you in 2WD, usually front-drive, until the clutch has cooled enough for the system to work again and distribute some torque to the rear wheels. That’s not normally a problem for 4x4s which run heavier-duty systems but one problem is not locking when they should. Such was the case in the Gen 1 Everest, and you see the results above.

When I found the problem I reported it to Ford, and spent some time with their engineers out on a hill exploring the issue. And when the Gen 2 Everest was released I was curious to see if the problem was fixed – you can see the results in the video below.

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