1. Tip...
    If you hold most smartphones sideways
    you can bring up a more full featured version of the forum.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice



Register Today It's free! This box will disappear once registered!

Bad Front Differential? Help Please!

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by sgoedvolk, January 1, 2005.

  • Searches ExplorerForum.com
    1. sgoedvolk

      sgoedvolk New Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mississauga, ON
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1992 XLT
      Hi,

      My son and I have a '92 XLT. For the last few month there has been heavy, intermittent clunk sound and/or grinding noise from the front diff. Only when 4WD is enabled. Today I had my son do the driving and I stood outside and watched. Had it on a patch of ice against a snow bank. When watching the LHS I can see the shaft from the transfer case turning and the wheel spins. Then suddenly a loud clunk. Wheel stops turning and the grinding noise. The shaft to the diff keeps turning but the driveshaft to the LHS wheel stops turning. Watching the RHS this does not happen. Wheel keeps spinning ... as it should.

      So it seems as it there is something not too good inside the diff. Maybe a broken/missing tooth on a gear? Has anyone had something like this happen? Also, how much work is it to pull the driveshaft and split the diff to see what's up?

      Thanks for your help!

      Shane
       
    2. Support EF

      Join the Elite Explorers for $20

      Explorer Forum has probably saved you that much already, and will continue to save you money as you learn how to diagnose fix problems yourself, and learn which modifications work without having to experiment on your own. Elite Explorer members see practically no ads, can add their own profile photo, upload photo attachments in all forums, and Media Gallery, create more private Conversations, and more. Join Today. Your support is greatly appreciated.


      to hide adverts.
    3. DB_1

      DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      October 23, 2001
      Messages:
      3,799
      Likes Received:
      41
      Trophy Points:
      58
      City, State:
      La Quinta, Ca.
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      97 SC Ranger xlt
      Do you have auto hubs or manual hubs? If they are auto then I suspect you have blown one of them. I'd take LHS apart and check it out as well as the wheel bearings for good measure. I'd do this before you consider opening up the front diff.
       
    4. sgoedvolk

      sgoedvolk New Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mississauga, ON
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1992 XLT
      Yep, I thought of that too but it does not explain the fact that the driveshaft stops turning even though the grinding noise and shaft from the transfer case keeps turning. If it were the hub that was bad I would think the driveshaft to the wheel would keep turning and the wheel stop turning. Just my thinking. I could be wrong.
       
    5. DB_1

      DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      October 23, 2001
      Messages:
      3,799
      Likes Received:
      41
      Trophy Points:
      58
      City, State:
      La Quinta, Ca.
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      97 SC Ranger xlt
      It takes a locked hub to turn an axleshaft, if one hub is broken the axleshaft wont turn because it is no longer locked...only way to know for sure is to take it apart,
      David
       
    6. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

      Joined:
      July 5, 2003
      Messages:
      6,662
      Likes Received:
      19
      Trophy Points:
      48
      City, State:
      Brockton, MA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '93 XLT 4x4
      When you indicate LHS you mean Driver's side correct? If you have a stock open differential then it is not a hub problem. If you have one bad front hub then you're basically in 2x4 since all the power will be routed to the wheel having the least traction (the one with the broken hub).
       
    7. sgoedvolk

      sgoedvolk New Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mississauga, ON
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1992 XLT
      LHS for the driver side. But this is the side with the problem. RHS (passenger) side seems to work fine ... well it spins on the ice without stopping. Tomorrow I'll rip the hub apart and see if there is anything there. Can I just swop left and right hubs and see if the problem moves to the other side?
       
    8. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

      Joined:
      July 5, 2003
      Messages:
      6,662
      Likes Received:
      19
      Trophy Points:
      48
      City, State:
      Brockton, MA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '93 XLT 4x4
      The HUBs are the same and can be interchanged. But I do not believe you have a problem... If you place the RHS tire on dry pavement and the LHS on Ice I would expect the LHS to spin and the RHS to do nothing. With open differentials the wheel with the least amount of traction gets all the power. If would be very common to find the U-joints badly rusted at the wheel stub axles. When were the U-joints last changed?
       
    9. sgoedvolk

      sgoedvolk New Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mississauga, ON
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1992 XLT
      As far as I know the U-Joints are original (they look it too). So what about this clunk and grinding noise ... and the wheel stops spinning? It is quite a violent activity ... this is what has me really concerned.
       
    10. Rooster

      Rooster New Member

      Joined:
      February 15, 2000
      Messages:
      37
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Norfolk, VA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      94 Explorer Sport 4x4
      I most recently experienced the same problem, though my noise was coming from the rhs. The problem happened as I was backing out of the drive-way while engaged in 4x. I heard and felt a loud pop from the rhs. As I drove down the street it grinded, and ratcheted real bad when 4x4 was engaged. It would not dis-engage properly, which caused the wheel to whine. I had to back up several feet to get it to dis-engage fully. I took my 94' to a front end guy who took the hub off, looked at some plastic race (?) told me everything looked fine. Told me to take it to a transmission guy. Transmission guy put it on a lift, engaged the 4x and everything ran as advertised from his prospective (transmission/transfer case). Told me my problem was in the front end???? After explaining my journey so far, he told me to take it to a 4X4 specialty shop. When explaining the problem to the service rep, he quickly informed me it was one of my auto hubs. That it had sheared some gizzmo connection. Hence, I ordered a set of Warn Manuel Hubs. Due in Wednesday.
       
    11. bennyhana20

      bennyhana20 New Member

      Joined:
      July 15, 2004
      Messages:
      15
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Amherst, MA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      92 explorer xlt
      I am very curious to an outcome. I believe the same thing happened to me. Mine occured being a drunken ass getting stuck in the snow.. i was in four lo, trying to get er unstuck, basically the drivers side front wheel would intermittenly stop spinning. and making an awful whining noise. 4hi and lo engage and work, when i have wheel turned almost all the way i get a snapping noise from the front drivers side. i hope it was a damaged auto hub and not a u-joint. ujoints seem fine (but are original equipment).. i was also going to grab a pair of manual locking hubs, seems like a good idea regardless.. Keep me updated and i'll do the same for you.. Where did you get hubs and how much if i may ask? thanks 92xlt
       
    12. Rooster

      Rooster New Member

      Joined:
      February 15, 2000
      Messages:
      37
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Norfolk, VA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      94 Explorer Sport 4x4
      Benny, I ordered the hubs through a off road specialty shop called "Hi Dust". The hubs were about $200.00, the conversion kit was about $50.00 and for them to install quoted cost is $60.00. As I mentioned above, I am scheduled to have them replaced Wednesday. I am going to ask them to re-look at the U-joints and all.
       
    13. DB_1

      DB_1 Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

      Joined:
      October 23, 2001
      Messages:
      3,799
      Likes Received:
      41
      Trophy Points:
      58
      City, State:
      La Quinta, Ca.
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      97 SC Ranger xlt
      Rooster, switching over to manual hubs is easy...you can do it yourself and save some money. All that conversion kit consists of is an inner locknut, a washer, and an outer locknut. You just need to buy a special socket for the locknuts around $15 depending where you buy it.
      The auto hubs are very weak even in the mildest of wheeling. I've blown one and I can bet just about everyone on this board has blown at least one...very commom problem. Manual hubs are your best bet and will hold up
      to more abuse than the auto hubs.
       
    14. sgoedvolk

      sgoedvolk New Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mississauga, ON
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1992 XLT
      Well after all the experimenting of the weekend and the comments from others I have also capitulated and orded a pair or WARN's. I figure even if this is not my problem I'll probably need them at some time. I managed to find a really great deal. Gary's Automotive (Galion OH). For $199 I got a complete kit that contains a pair of locking hub assemblies, spindle nut conversion kit, spindle nut socket and instructions to replace automatic hubs with the new manual hubs. I've had them expressed to me so I hope to install them on the weekend. I'll let everyone know of the outcome. Either way it has to be good ... Thanks for all the help!
       
    15. shadetreeranger

      shadetreeranger New Member

      Joined:
      December 18, 2004
      Messages:
      23
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      1
      City, State:
      salineville, ohio
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      91
      i did the manual hub conversion( got my x and found out the auto hubs were mia ) anyhow used parts off a parts ranger i have,after fighting with the auto hub spindle nut and destroying it found out there is a lock pawl that slides in under the nut in the groove on the spindle. if you get the pawl out you probably wont need the socket.
       
    16. sgoedvolk

      sgoedvolk New Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mississauga, ON
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1992 XLT
      Video Clips of the Problems

      Well after a week our locking hubs have still not arrived ... so much for express delivery. Anyway, we have not given up on the problem. On Saturday we executed a few more experiments. Also have some video that will maybe help someone else as well as maybe some more ideas for us.

      On the right side I am sure it is the hub. We can get the drive shaft spinning real well while the wheel remains stationary. So, this is what a bad hub does:
      Defective Hub Video Clip

      Then the left side is still our point of concern. Seems as if the hub is fine. I you watch this clip closely you will see that the driveshaft does not run smoothly. You can see this by watching the rotation of the driveshaft vs the wheel:
      Suspect Drive Problem on Left Front Wheel

      As soon as I get our hubs I'll let everyone know of the outcome. Thanks everyone!
       
    17. TPLYNCH

      TPLYNCH Well-Known Member

      Joined:
      November 19, 1999
      Messages:
      3,196
      Likes Received:
      2
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Brewster, NY
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1999 XLS
      Nice video. My interpretation would be that both hubs are shot, just the left isn't completely sheared off, yet.
       
    18. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

      Joined:
      July 5, 2003
      Messages:
      6,662
      Likes Received:
      19
      Trophy Points:
      48
      City, State:
      Brockton, MA
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      '93 XLT 4x4
      Nice video... It appears both HUBS are bad. Your driver's side HUB is obviously broken as it fails to lock, while the passenger side rachets in and out of lock. After seeing the video I have to assume you have some kind of locker in your front differential. With an open diff the passenger side axle shaft would only rotate until its hub locked. Once locked it would have 99% more traction than the broken driver's side. As such all power would have gone to the driver's side and nothing to the passenger side.
       
    19. sgoedvolk

      sgoedvolk New Member

      Joined:
      January 1, 2005
      Messages:
      20
      Likes Received:
      0
      Trophy Points:
      0
      City, State:
      Mississauga, ON
      Year, Model & Trim Level:
      1992 XLT
      Well our hubs arrived last Friday. By Saturday lunchtime all the problems were solved! Both the old hubs were bad. Really bad. The 4X4 works perfectly and the Warn's are the best. Also, if you have to do this job you must see DeRocha's "U-joint replacement info and pics" (see the post prior to this one). We put the laptop on the hood and went through the process, picture by picture and it is absolutely perfect. The right side took about 40 minutes and most of the time was spent just looking at everything. Left side was about 20 minutes. It's a real easy job, but I guess a lot of that has to do with having the right tools!

      Well that's it for me on this thread. Thanks guys for all your help and suggestions.

      Regards,
      Shane

      P.S. In our excitement we went to "test" our new found fun and while riding over some ice mounds managed to somehow punch a hole in the rear muffler. Bummer, but we'll get a new one and that will be this week's task. Eh, it's the cost of fun. Well worth it!
       

    Share This Page







    We Support Our Troops!