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Hi, I'm new here. If there's already a topic on this, I apologize, I looked through a few pages and didn't see this brought up.

I've been plowing snow the last couple days, and when I stop, shift from low to reverse or vice versa, the front wheels won't dig when I hit the throttle most of the time. I let off of it, and as the rear wheels slow down almost to a stop, you can see the front wheels engage, then when I hit the throttle, they dig just like they're supposed to. I wonder if this has something to do with cold weather, maybe something not engaging the way it should. Has this happened to anyone else?

I've had this 850 since last April, it is a beast pushing snow!
 

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Maybe some snow packed in the electrical connections up front causing some issues. Mine did some weird stuff in the snow till I cleaned them up and put dielectric grease on the connectors that I missed the first time around.
 

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Have you ever replaced the fluid in your front diff? I have heard of weird stuff happening if you don't flush them every so often. Try it could be an easy fix.
 

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Just make sure you let it a bit of time when you change gear to come at idle completely before giving it gas
 

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Mine is doing the exact same thing. I just started noticing it when I was plowing last week. I thought about trying to change the diff fluid, but I'd hate to go through that process without knowing for sure that that's the problem.
 

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Mine does the same thing it had since I got it new ive just got used to it
 

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It's definitely not "normal". The 4x4 barely works at all. The rear tires will just spin until I let off the gas, and then you feel the front diff engage for a second.
 

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I can be n a mud hole or n the snow and have it in low 4 wheel drive and put it in reverse and when I first give it gas the fronts won't spin at all but I can let out of the gas so the rear tires come to a stop and give it gas and all 4 will spin like there suppose to I'm not sure if its normal or not mine has done it since I got it new I used to kinda worry bout it but I've about just got used to it idk what would cause it I don't like it either
 

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When ur front diff engages does it stay engaged or does it just go right back to 2wd
 

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Mine stays n 4 wheel drive idk what that could be. What year is yours?
 

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Does the front diff make any noise after u try to engage it?
 

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Take a look at your cluster. I have a 2010 xp 850 and when I first got it and would get it stuck I noticed if I shifted gears to fast the 4wd would go out. I noticed that when you shift from low to reverse or reverse to low you go through neutral and the icon for the 4wd goes away. If the icon wasn't on the dash I wouldn't have 4wd, however now I am in the habit when I am stuck and shifting gears to make sure the icon reappears before I give it gas. If the icon isn't up and you give it gas it won't engage over a certain rpm, maybe that is why when you let off of the throttle you see the fronts engage a little from the rpm's going down. Hope it is a simple fix like this.
 

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Does ur 4 wheel drive ever work? Or does it only quit when u shift gears?
 

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It sounds like its in ur front diff ur armature plate could be broke or the cage n there could be messed up idk
 

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Mine is doing the exact same thing. I just started noticing it when I was plowing last week. I thought about trying to change the diff fluid, but I'd hate to go through that process without knowing for sure that that's the problem.
Start by changing front diff fluid. It will take all of 5 min. You open drain and let pour out. Clean and reinsert drain plug. You open fill tube bolt, use funnel with hose and put it fluid until it comes out the fill plug. That's it.

Take note of the color and condition of the fluid. If that doesn't work then you need to check the wiring to the front diff and make sure its good. After that the only other thing it could be is the Sprague cage/springs or armature plate in all reality.
 

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My 850 xp is doing the same thing.

The 4x4 wont engage until I let off the throttle, front will engage until it gains traction on all 4, then disengages until I let of the throttle again.

Happens in H L and R

It has done it since it was new so I thought it was just the design.
 
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