: How does the 2007 Escalade AWD work?

10-24-10, 12:25 AM
After watching this video:
how does my 2007 caddy AWD stack up to this kind of a test?

Big Windy Ext
10-24-10, 09:45 AM
I couldn't tell you how our Caddy's would do but the Subaru is impressive . My 4 wheel drive 2002 Suburban would only spin one of the front wheels , the wheel on ice . 3 wheel drive . The Caddy w/AWD has stability control so it just might do it and since I haven't stuck it yet either. I know the traction control has been working hard , I wore out the rear brakes at 40,000 .

10-24-10, 06:16 PM
The Esky is a rear wheel drive based AWD system meaning the rear wheels will get the bulk of the power vs the rest of the cars that were in the test which were front wheel drive based. I am not sure it ever gets to 50/50 on the front/rear power distributon. Notice that they didn't test a BMW as BMW (and I think Mercedes) also uses a rear wheel drive based AWD system. In that test I'd suspect that a RWD based AWD system would have done well in the inclined test.

If you take your Esky in the snow, the traction control kicks in before the wheels really start to spin.

As a side note, my wife's RWD (not AWD) 5 series BMW with 4 snows is great in the snow with all of the electronic goodies like traction control, etc. They say that is due to the 50/50 weight distribution of the BMWs.


10-25-10, 03:28 PM
Our Lades would get stuck on the roof:histeric:

10-28-10, 09:15 AM
I'd have to say in this test it would do poorly. As soon as the front two wheels get on the rollers the open differential in the transfer case would allow much of the power to leak out the front wheels. Unlike other transfer cases for AWD cars/trucks that use a torsen or other viscous coupler. The BW case in the escalade uses a open differential much like an open rear end.

Pinning the pedal from a dead stop in the Escalade or the Denali for that matter. You can get a second or two of front wheel spin, meaning that the power is slipping out of the front end.

The traction control system would help a bit, and by a bit. I don't think it will (from my experience with it on many GM trucks, including my Envoy with a locking 50/50 transfer case) can transfer enough power from the 3 wheels to propel the truck up a steep incline.

Testing the escalade in deep snow, (2 feet). The Envoy will go much farther with the locking 4wd system. The escalade seems to send power much to the rear wheels and the fronts don't pull much at all.

Although in snow covered parking lots, this makes for awesome power slides.

In conclusion, the AWD system works fine for everyday snow and maybe a bit of mud/grass. It however is a "dumb" system when comparing it to BMW, RR, and MB's systems. The G80 locking rear end helps, but it is no substitute for a locking transfer case. Even if it had smarter front to rear torque biasing system, it still wouldn't be able to climb that ramp because the front diff is open and power would still not be sent to the front wheel with traction.

Big Windy Ext
10-28-10, 11:17 AM
You don't think stability control would apply the brake to the spinning front wheel ? I really don't know myself what capabilities lie in the stability/traction controls but I thought one of them was to reduce any wheel from spinning . I haven't stuck the Escalade to see for myself how well it works .

10-28-10, 04:02 PM
4 wheel drifting in the snow is a blast with this system. It is very capable AWD system in the snow. I could feel each wheel independantly trying to gain traction. I don't think its a Suby type system but for what it is in this typd of vehicle, it is more than capable of getting un stuck or moving in Ice or snow. I got mine for towing boats out of slipery ramps. It works great.. rear start to slip and power goes to the front flawlessly.. I also pulled telephone poles out of the water by reversing up the steep wet ramp with a tow strap tied to the front tow hook. backs tried to spin and the fronts started helping. pulled 4 of them out with ease.

I don't think Caddy or GM have advertised rally ready a lade..

10-28-10, 04:30 PM
my escalade hybrid has the selectable 4wd and that test would be peanuts:)

10-28-10, 04:44 PM
the escalade's rear wheels will still have power in a situation like this, and push it over the rollers

10-29-10, 01:47 AM
That's good to know, is there a web site that talks about the Escslade's AWD?

10-29-10, 11:16 AM
I don't know about the test, but I drove around in 20 inches of un-plowed snow last year and tried to get stuck and couldn't. I even stopped on a hill and it walked up it like nothing. Good enough for me!!

10-29-10, 11:56 AM
If you live in an area that gets more than a few inches of snow in the winter, put 4 real snow tires on your Esky vs the stock all-season Bridgestones and you'll see an instant improvement in snow. Tirerack.com did a nice test of FWD, RWD and AWD with all-season vs snow tires.

I swear by 4 snows in the winter.


11-01-10, 01:00 AM
The Borg Warner (BW) model 4485, RPO NR3 transfer case is a 1-speed, full time, all wheel drive (AWD), transfer case. The transfer case provides power to both axles, through an external planetary type differential, which has 2 different sets of pinion gears. The planetary differential provides a 40/60 torque split, front/rear, full time. This means both axles are constantly being driven for maximum traction in all conditions.

The transfer case external type planetary differential functions the same as a typical rear axle differential. The transfer case differential pinion gears function as the spider gears, and the sun gears function as the side gears.

The following actions occur because of the planetary differential:

• If the vehicle is on a hoist, the front propeller shaft can be rotated by hand.

• The vehicle cannot be driven if 1 propeller shaft is removed.

• Operating the vehicle on the hoist can damage the differential pinion gears, by over-spinning.

• Operating the vehicle with 1 propeller shaft removed causes over-spinning of the differential pinion gears.

The BW 4485 design of the planetary differential allows the use with the Vehicle Stability Enhancement System (VSES) vehicles. The VSES takes use of the planetary differential, by applying braking to a tire that has less traction and dividing the engine torque to the other axle.

The BW 4485 case halves are high-pressure, die-cast magnesium. Ball bearings support the input shaft, the front output shaft, and the rear output shaft. The transfer case requires DEXRON®VI Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) GM P/N 88861003 (Canadian P/N 88861004), which is red in color.

When the BW 4485 is operating in the AWD mode, the power flows from the transmission to the transfer case input shaft. The input shaft delivers the power to the planetary differential. The case of the planetary differential is splined to the input shaft. The planetary differential splits the torque 40 percent through the front differential pinion gears to the front sun gear. The front sun gear is engaged with the drive sprocket, which drives the chain to the front output shaft, and power is delivered to the front propeller shaft. 60 percent of the torque to the rear output shaft goes through the rear differential pinion gears and rear sun gear, which is connected to the rear output shaft and to the rear propeller shaft.

11-01-10, 01:01 AM
The new t-case (07+) is basically an open differential. The system uses ABS (brakes) to shift more power to the non-slipping wheels. When it detects wheelspin, it brakes that wheel to direct more power to the front. It is supposed to be a 60/40 split back/front so the front should be spinning all the time.

11-01-10, 11:31 PM
Very interesting. For some reason I didn't think the fronts were driven until the rears starting slipping.

Big Windy Ext
11-02-10, 07:36 AM
I get a gold star for my thought that stability control would stop the wheel spin , and explain why I wore my rear brakes out before the fronts , my foot is in it a little too much !