Pajero Sport & Triton - Super-Select II 4WD System Explained
I undertook one of my annual Mitsubishi product training weekends last month at Lancelin in Western Australia, where I was once again reacquainted with the QF Pajero Sport and MR Triton.
They’re both really capable and I think often underrated 4WDs that have one feature that’s been setting them apart from the competition for years, Mitsubishi’s Super Select II 4WD system.
Super-Select first saw the light of day back in the days of the NH Pajero in 1991, at a time when things 4WD were decidedly spartan. I still can’t fathom why Mitsubishi has never truly capitalised on this class leading drivetrain. Even a Mitsubishi executive recently stated that, “we make great cars, we just don’t seem to be able to tell anyone about them”.
New Pajero Sport and Triton owners who understand Super Select’s capabilities, select the 4H (AWD) setting at the dealership, and leave it there for all hard surface driving. It won’t hurt the drivetrain; the fuel efficiency won’t be noticeably affected, and you won’t cause any premature wear of the front diff, tyres or driveshafts. A quick look at the mechanics of the Super Select system, will confirm this to be the case.
These are the various modes of operation that you can dial up with the Super-Select II system;
2H - Part-Time/Rear-Wheel Drive (for city and well-maintained dry bitumen or never)
4H - Full-Time/All-Wheel-Drive with centre diff open and a 70:30 torque split biased to the rear wheels - (suitable for any type of surface)
4HLc - Part-Time 4WD with centre diff locked and a 50:50 torque split between the front and rear axles and HIGH range gearing engaged - (for high-speed dirt/sand loose surfaces only)
4LLc - Part Time 4WD with centre diff locked and a 50:50 torque split between the front and rear axles and LOW range gearing engaged - (for any low traction terrain that requires torque and low speeds to safely navigate)
Any and all of the HIGH range modes can be accessed while driving (on the fly), and at speeds up to 100km/h, while LOW range is a stationary engagement proposition only. You’ll need to stop, shift into neutral or dip the clutch, select 4Llc, and then grab your drive gear.
Engaging 4H is simply selecting AWD, something that numerous larger 4WD wagons and SUVs have as standard - Prado and LandCruiser are two examples - and that means more grip, way fewer instances of wheel spin - and the TC power cuts it can induce at just the wrong times - improved vehicle stability, cornering ability and driveability. It’s heaps safer as well, particularly in the wet.
That dial set's your Mitsubishi apart from most of the direct competition. Don't be afraid to use it, well except for 2H, it's mostly pointless.
Here’s a test for you. Next time you’re going for a spin, give your Super Select selector a twist. It won’t bite.
On a straight section of bitumen, get up to a constant speed, it doesn’t matter what that speed is provided it’s under 100km/h and not exceeding the posted speed limit, because that’d be illegal of course.
Come off the throttle, turn the selector from 2H to 4H and watch the indicator light on the dash, it’ll flash and then confirm success. Now your Pajero Sport/Triton has a 70/30 (rear/front) split of torque and if you’re good, you’ll notice the steering is a little sharper. You can use this mode on ANY surface, be it bitumen or compacted dirt and in all-weathers with no risk of drivetrain ‘wind-up’ because the centre differential is open and providing the necessary slip between the front and rear axles.
You can now leave it in 4H and forget about 2H forever.
However, there are more options further around on the dial, that you do need to know about, if you’re heading off-road and into trickier terrain.
As the track that you’re driving deteriorates and you’re thinking that traction could start being an issue, think clay, mud, gravel, sand and even corrugations, it’s time to engage 4WD, or 4HLc on the dial, the 'Lc' standing for 'locked centre', which locks the centre diff. Locking the centre diff splits the torque equally between the front and rear axles, which means maximum grip on loose surfaces.
4HLc or 4LLc is what you want to have engaged on any low-traction surface, like this beach. If it's compacted and an easy drive then 4HLc is the go, but if it was soft then 4LLc would be more efficient.
As with the move from 2H to 4H, you can move from 4H to 4HLc on the move and at speeds up to 100km/h, beyond which the vehicle's electronics will prevent the change occurring. Unlike 4H, 4HLc must only be used on loose surfaces, or you will induce drivetrain wind-up and quite possibly destroy a gearbox or diff or both.
When the going gets more difficult, rougher, steeper or where more torque and less speed are required to get through, LOW range (4LLc) is where you want to be on the dial. Moving to 4LLc engages the transfer case’s low range gearing, and that can only be done with the vehicle at a dead stop.
When completely stopped, slip the gearbox into neutral and then turn the dial to 4LLc. Listen for a clunk as the low range gearing engages, confirm engagement on the dash display and then select drive, or grab a gear and you’re off, safe in the knowledge that you’ve got the same 50/50 split of locked-diff torque.
By selecting LOW you've now multiplied the available torque thanks to the low range gearing, which means you can tackle difficult terrain at much slower speeds, and with less strain on the vehicle.
Mitsubishi’s Super-Select II really is one of the best 4WD drivetrains available in today’s marketplace, and once you get your head around the basics, it’s straightforward to use.
See that dial down there? Move it, or lose it!
Pajero Sport & Triton Products By Loaded4X4
They've definitely got one of the best drivetrains in the business, but both Mitsubishi's have a few shortcomings in other departments. But don't worry, we've developed and/or sell the gear that you need to turn the Triton and Pajero Sport into well behaved and rock solid adventure machines.
Loaded4X4 Dynamic Tune suspension - it's no secret that the OEM suspension is rubbish. We've set about improving both the ride and handling with our Dynamic Tune suspension. It transforms the way Triton and Pajero Sport drive.
Loaded4X4 Bash Plates - the only kit that includes front mount strengthening, more airflow than the OEM plates and real transfer case protection. The OEM protection is tin foil in comparison and you risk damaging the radiator and front 4WD actuator.
Pacemaker King Brown 3" exhaust for Triton and Pajero Sport - Increase power by 12kW and reduce EGTs by close to 100 degrees C. There's a video at the Triton link of our car and the subtle exhaust note change that the Pacemaker system achieves. It doesn't drone inside the car.
Customer Reviews Page - Plenty of feedback here about us and our products.