THE NEED FOR 2LOW
The benefits of having 2Low capability
Just to clarify; the 2Low kit provides a means of shifting your electronically controlled transfer case into low-range and only utilizing 2-wheel drive. Immediately after hearing the company name, our feeble minds regressed to the dreaded boy-band days of the late 90’s. Luckily the 2Low of today has many things going for it that the latter did not, mostly purpose, quality and a lack of noise.
Having the ability to shift into 2-wheel-drive low-range is something many in the hard-core off-road world have enjoyed for years. Creeping between trails at low speeds without imposing the
added strain and wear on the front-end components adds to their longevity, and can allow for tighter turning radiuses when traction is abundant — as opposed to the 4-wheel-drive counterpart. The other benefit for us, when traveling at slow speeds, includes less heat build up in automatic transmissions and not having to ride the clutch petal going slow when operating a standard transmission.
The 2Low benefits for a street-driven truck/SUV can be even more beneficial. Having added slow speed control without the front axle binding is something we wish we had in many past situations, namely; creeping up steep FSR’s with our trail rig in tow, parking a heavy travel trailer in a camp spot, and launching/ loading a boat, or plowing snow with your truck. We have been guilty of a few of these situations, normally a few times a month.
So, for $220 USD... from a Canadian Company… we ordered our “made in Canada” 2Low kit and installed it in under an hour in the office parking lot, if anyone asks… we were “off the clock”. Nothing more then a drill with a 3/4" unibit and a set of side cutters were needed for the install, and to be honest, most of that hour was used like “Pinky & The Brain” to plot our takeover and complete dominance of the world.
For our 2014 Ford F-150 FX4, we found a spot for the high quality
pushbutton that can only be accessed with the door open. This may seem like an odd place but we wanted to make sure the switch didn’t get hit accidentally and disable 4-wheel-drive when we really needed it. There is even enough cable included to mount the unit in the centre console storage bin.
The bulk of the installation, once the button location is determined, involves plugging the pushbutton into the small control module and then plugging that into your ODBII port. Really, it’s that simple. No program to download, no questions to answer, no vehicle setup, no auxiliary power; just plug the system in and mount the button. Tywraps, screws, and even a universal button mount are included. Really, it was so easy, we felt a little let down that we didn’t have to talk to tech support.
Working the unit is super simple, just like the installation. With the button off, shift into low range as usual, for our Ford, we had to go into Neutral and press a button. After that, press the 2Low button and it illuminates — indicating that the front axle disconnect has been enabled. The truck will not allow you to shift back into high range (4-wheel, or 2-wheel) until the 2Low is turned off.
Hauling heavy loads up steep grades in first or second gear has always concerned us as this gear reduction in an automatic transmission can create a lot of killer heat. Same as pulling a boat out of water, or backing our trailer up in tight quarters with undulating terrain… but no more. With 2Low, we’re no longer chewing fingernails to the bone wondering if the next expensive “pop” will come from the front end or transmission.
We picked the side panel on the dash to ensure the button would not get pushed inadvertently during driving.
Two-sided tape was used to mount the control unit to the dash inner structure.
We tossed a sticker on the inside of the panel in case future owners are easily confused.
With the panel popped out, use a step or unibit to make clean work of the plastic.
The supplied pushbutton gives a nice clean look.
Simply clip panel back on, and you’re ready for 2Low driving