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4x4 Useless       #: 478
 Moderated by: NoPower, Mike69, MaDMaXX Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
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 Posted: Fri Jan 12th, 2018 10:58 pm
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TheArcticWolf1911
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Today, my city got hit with some fairly thick snow. For some reason I decided it would be a good idea to go out into it. Even with new 'all-terrain' tires I expected a little fishtailing and wheelslip here and there, which I got plenty of.  The trouble came when I wound up coming off the road entirely and into a field. :(

Yes, I came off the road. Nobody was hurt, nothing was damaged. Well, except for my pride. That's completely decimated but that's beside the point. I'd like to blame someone else for it, but in a corner (going approx 20-25 mph) the rear end kicked out and I over corrected.

I kicked it into 4x4 low and just like every time before I tried to use it, I found it did absolutely nothing for me. I don't expect 4x4 to be a miracle-switch, but I find it odd (to say the least) that 4x4 helps in no way.  In fact, what got me out were a pair of these red plastic things that you place to get pulled under your tires. They remind me of cheese graters, but that's ultimately what saved me the cost of a wrecker to come pull me out.

Which brings me right around to the whole point of this thread I'm posting.

Does it sound like something is broken (because I do hear a slight metal-to-metal sound when engaged) OR is 4x4 just a gimmick that I fell for? Quite frankly I'm tempted to take out the 4x4 mechanism and pull the plug on the switch to take 'er down to a 4x2.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 12th, 2018 11:22 pm
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JAMMAN

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In my testing 4 X 4 made a substantial difference in traction, night and day. I don't have LS either or fancy tires.

I think something is wrong with your transfer case or front diff.



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 Posted: Fri Jan 12th, 2018 11:58 pm
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Jimmyspy
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4wd should make a pretty noticeable difference (although 4low isnt the best choice for snow conditions). The steering wheel will “tighten up” and you should feel the front end pulling.


A quick test for 4wd:          
 **WARNING: improper execution of this could cause damage to driveline components. Myself nor anyone associated with ford-Rangers.com is responsible should damage occur. **    
-go to an open and dry parking lot (might be hard to find if it just snowed)    
-put the truck in 4wd hi    
-IDLE forward. (Idling here is key)    
-begin turning the wheel so that the truck drives in a progressively tighter circle.    
-continue until the drive line begins to bind up (you’ll feel it and the truck will begin to slow down)     
-AS SOON AS THE BINDING STARTS, STOP!! If you keep binding the driveline up it will eventually break something. That is why you are idling. At idle there shouldn’t be enough force to break anything, but don’t push it. Once you have your proof 4wd is working, stop.    
 -take the truck out of 4wd, and BACK UP in the same path you you just took. This will ensure the tcase disengages.      
-congrats, your 4wd work     
-if the binding doesn’t happen, then your 4wd probably isn’t working. A common cause is the electric shift motor on the back of the transfer case.


Last edited on Sat Jan 13th, 2018 12:00 am by Jimmyspy



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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 03:45 am
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my truck did a similar sound ended up being the front drive shaft. the cv joint in it was basicly stripped out. but with your truck being a 98-2000 you probably have vacume hubs? one hub if nit both could be bad



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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 05:06 am
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97rangerstepside
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Your hubs probably failed, the vacuum ones of that gen ranger have a high failure rate. The ones on my brothers 99 failed and he swapped them out with some mile marker manual hubs and everything works as it should again.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 01:40 pm
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Hmmm I've done front brakes on mine and I do not remember seeing vac lock hubs. I had to pull up a vid to see what they looked like. Mine might have been converted already, I'll check next time it is on the rack. Looks just like my dodge did, a bearing and a spline and a nut. I do know the half shafts turn all the time on mine, I've had it in the air and turned the wheels. Maybe that's why my 4wd works well.



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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 02:07 pm
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JAMMAN wrote: Hmmm I've done front brakes on mine and I do not remember seeing vac lock hubs. I had to pull up a vid to see what they looked like. Mine might have been converted already, I'll check next time it is on the rack. Looks just like my dodge did, a bearing and a spline and a nut. I do know the half shafts turn all the time on mine, I've had it in the air and turned the wheels. Maybe that's why my 4wd works well.
They made the change from the vacuum hubs to live axle mid-year in 2000. So, if your truck was built later in the year, it could be a live axle from the factory.  

Last edited on Sat Jan 13th, 2018 02:08 pm by Jimmyspy



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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 03:25 pm
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June of 2000.

Could I tell by the VIN? I'm itching to go to work and pull the tires off now LOL



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 Posted: Sat Jan 13th, 2018 06:03 pm
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With your truck being built in June you do not have vacuum hubs



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 Posted: Sun Jan 14th, 2018 05:16 am
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MaDMaXX

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Man, i wish i had a 4x4 to test if it works :(

Shove it up on jack stands and try it :)



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 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2018 03:49 am
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MaDMaXX

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Did you get chance to test this yet, Artic?



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 Posted: Wed Jan 24th, 2018 04:26 pm
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Word to the wise.....general rule of thumb is to engage 4X before you need it. As much as this thought may alarm folks that are (wrongfully) convinced that engaging 4X on anything other than continuous snow or ice will result in serious damage in no time at all, the idea is to use it when you need it so as to be of benefit to you. The alternative to this may include landing in a ditch, in a field, around a tree, off the side of a mountain (hill for some readers), wreck a vehicle(s), need a tow along with 50 other people and you will wait 4-6 hours, etc etc etc.



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 Posted: Sat Feb 3rd, 2018 11:27 am
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TheArcticWolf1911
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I haven't had a chance to try it yet, Maddmax. I'm waiting for the weather to settle down where it's dry and not freezing. 
Jackstands is likely the first method I'll go with. I'm hoping something isn't broken, because I really don't want to spend any money on fixing it.

Last edited on Sat Feb 3rd, 2018 11:28 am by TheArcticWolf1911



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 Posted: Sun Feb 4th, 2018 07:32 pm
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I drive on dirt mostly, some mud, but my point is when I engage the 4WD it works great. I climb a slightly steep hill getting to my property, and it is all hard pack but loose top material and in two wheel drive, I can make it but it is a tire spinning experience. I got in the habit of clicking in the 4WD High, and up I go without any wheel spinning.

I do have an OX Locker but it was not engaged, easier to flip the switch for the 4WD !



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 04:59 am
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TheArcticWolf1911
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Finally got off my rear end and did something. I put it up on four jackstands and took this one minute clip. I'll let the footage and audio speak for itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiZH8HaYtek



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 05:03 am
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MaDMaXX

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Dude, welcome back!! :)

Well that's definitely why you had problems.

Looking at the angle on that left side, along with that clunking noise, i'm wondering if the CV joint is snapped inside the boot?

Do you have manual locking hubs? The right wheel should have been turning as the driveshaft was.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 05:08 am
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That was fast.

No, my hubs are vacuum operated. It wouldn't surprise me if one or both were toast.

The truck was only used in the winter for a while before I got it, and I'd imagine that the 4x4 was not used hardly when the truck itself was actually being used.

It doesn't come across in the video, but you can FEEL that clunking in your seat. It's also a lot louder than it comes across on video, but crappy cellphone video.

I get the inkling that I'll be replacing that diff up front, perhaps a pair of locking hubs, too.

Or, just pulling the 4x4 stuff out and converting it to a 4x2. Now that I'm working 5 days a week, I don't exactly have time to take on such an undertaking.

If nothing else I can leave it like it is and just pretend it's a 4x2.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 08:28 am
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Soo, i think that front left CV joint is broken and jammed, it would explain why the right axle is moving and the left isn't.

I'd start by pulling the front left wheel and see if that outer CV joint is toast or not.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 12:39 pm
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ACTUALLY with no load one might turn and the other not due to the spider gears. If you notice they were turning pretty close to the same speed. If it were a 3.73/1 gear (just for example) if both were turning the driveshaft would go around 3.73 times to every one the half shafts were IF THEY WERE BOTH TURNING. If one turns and it is going 3.73 to one then there is trouble. IF only one is turning then the other will go double the speed.

Do the same test and put a pair of vise grips or a chain wrench around the half shaft that is turning, it should lite the other one up. That one is going to turn easier anyway being it is a less angle. The angle is normal especially for being jacked up.

I  think you are going to see the left turning when the right one is bound and it will take you to the hubs. There are multiple articles on permanently locking your hubs which shouldn't be a problem. Yes the shafts spin all the time then but you shouldn't notice a huge difference. Ford went to that anyway early in 2000, canceled the vacuum hubs and just locked them up, I have one and just learned this a couple weeks ago or so on this forum.

Glad you came back, now grab your dad kicking and screaming and drag him back in.  :)

Gave you some rep too.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 05:25 pm
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Thanks for the input. I'll give it a try, hopefully, in the near future. It'll probably wind up being next weekend (3/24-25).



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 08:16 pm
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Get manual locking hubs. The vacuum system is problematic at best.

I have had the electronic locking hubs and vacuum operated on past trucks. By the time I got rid of them they had manual hubs on them.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 18th, 2018 11:09 pm
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97rangerstepside wrote:

Your hubs probably failed, the vacuum ones of that gen ranger have a high failure rate. The ones on my brothers 99 failed and he swapped them out with some mile marker manual hubs and everything works as it should again.


Tsquare
wrote:
Get manual locking hubs. The vacuum system is problematic at best.

I have had the electronic locking hubs and vacuum operated on past trucks. By the time I got rid of them they had manual hubs on them.


Should it be of help, we got you covered and with more items on the way as far as axle upgrades too.  Front Axle Components



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 Posted: Mon Mar 19th, 2018 02:14 am
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It's been a long time, but there is a write up out there that gives a procedure for reworking the PVH hubs so they are full time. Might be something to search for, as implementation would probably the best thing that could ever happen to those hubs!

Last edited on Mon Mar 19th, 2018 02:19 am by CBB9M



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 Posted: Mon Mar 19th, 2018 02:22 am
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There are multiple youtube videos also, actually it looks really really easy.



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 Posted: Mon Mar 19th, 2018 03:21 am
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TheArcticWolf1911
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Well, I did some more work today with the help of my father. We took apart the hubs and they looked just fine inside. Cleaned 'em up anyway.

We discovered that the hubs aren't getting vacuum in the first place, and we decided not to repair that system. I have a new left front axel/cv joint assembly on the way from rockauto, since it's toast. It very clearly binds up when the left hub is engaged, the right one however does not. This doesn't surprise me as I knew it was questionable at least when I got the truck. A non-attached boot and a pile of dirty grease tends to let you in on that.

ATM I have manual hubs. The screen was removed, so now to engage them I just push in and do what the vacuum would, which is where I'll leave it.

TL;DR: Hubs weren't engaging due to no vacuum present, left front CV was shot anyway.



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