Information on the AWD System in a Lincoln Aviator

by Jesse Sears

The Lincoln Aviator, a mid-size luxury SUV from Ford's upscale Lincoln division, was produced for the 2003 to 2005 model years. The Ford Explorer-based SUV came standard with rear-wheel drive. A choice of all-wheel drive was available as an extra-cost option designed for improving safety and performance.

Standard System

Lincoln offered two different all-wheel drive systems for the Aviator, depending on whether the AdvanceTrac stability-control system was equipped. The basic system was permanent; it split torque in a ratio of 35 percent to the front wheels and 65 percent to the rear wheels. Lincoln employed the use of a viscous-coupling-center differential to split torque dynamically based on traction needs.

AWD and AdvanceTrac

Aviators built with all-wheel drive -- and Ford's AdvanceTrac -- made use of a separate AWD system. This system operated in rear-wheel drive mode during standard driving, using a clutch pack to distribute torque to the front wheels when needed. Working in conjunction with AdvanceTrac, torque was split side-to-side if wheel slip was detected. Aviators equipped with this system could be driven by one wheel at a time if needed.

Practical Application

Both systems were set up more for bad-weather safety than off-road performance. By the 2005 model year, the second, more complicated system was fitted to all AWD Aviator vehicles. This system increased safety, and upped towing capacity to 7,100 lbs.

About the Author

Jesse Sears is a Los Angeles-based journalist and photographer. He has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2008. Sears has been published in numerous traditional and online media ventures including "The Daily Sundial," "The Pasadena Courier," and others. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera route mouillée 2 image by thierry planche from