Low holding torque for 1.7 amp NEMA 17 stepper, using L298N H bridge.

I do not believe that I am getting any were near what the motor could sustain. I am using a variable power supply to control voltage and currant into the L298N and using stepper my stepper to rotate the motor 180 deg. If I drive the voltage up to 24v then there is no improvement. If I drive the current up to 4 amps I get what I think is correct (then back the current off quick). I only back off the current because of the L298N, it gets hot. I can run the stepper at 2 amps through the L298N and the stepper is still cool. I do not believe that I am driving the motor with enough current or watts. I don't have much concern about the stepping power as of now, but I need the little motor to at the lest become warm and hold stationary....

Do I need a larger stepper driver, are the values of steppers bare minimum values?

NEMA 17 only specifies the motor's mounting face dimensions, what is the voltage, current, winding resistance?
can you post a link to the motor?
Stepper Motor Basics

The ancient L298 is totally unsuitable for a low impedance, 1.7 A step motor.
Try a DRV8825 driver instead, and be sure to set the current limit properly. Pololu has a good selection of modern step motor drivers, and excellent tutorials.

Thank You very much. I'll give it a try