If the roads are dry and pavement, don't use it in 4x4, that can damage your drivetrain and will put extra wear on your tires. Now if it's covered in snow, ice, gravel etc....then at least your tires can easily slip.
Yeah, I noticed on dry pavement it didnt like going much more than a mile or so at side street speeds in a straight line, it seems the 4x4 system was binding up a bit. It liked my trip to the local OHV area alot more in 4wd.
I'd only do it if the roads were all white, no patches of pavement.
Saw one transfer case glow cherry red and throw itself out the bottom of the jeep, a lady thought since it was snowing it was time to put it in 4x4 while doing errands around town.
as long as your tires are on a loose surface and can spin you will be fine.
I don't know about first gens, ( I guess they did, google had a few results) 2nd gens came with insta-trac. (4 button transfer case) when that is turned on the truck stays in 2wd, then when the tires start to slip it engages 4x4, and turns back off.
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