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  #1  
Old 07-17-2012, 01:31 AM
GrahamL GrahamL is offline
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Default 4WD Issues

My truck (1998 1500 5.9L) has been making a methodic thumping/clicking noise while in 4WD that gets faster but more quiet as I speed up. It also binds very excessively and gets louder when I turn. It's not because I'm using 4WD on pavement, it does it on any surface but it's less noticeable the more slippery the surface. I replaced the U-joints on my front axle with the Precision greasable ones but that didn't help. I also pulled off the housing for the 4WD actuator and about a pint of transmission fluid poured out which concerns me, but everything else appeared fine so I don't think that's it. Does anybody have any ideas? There are no problems in 2WD but 4Hi and 4Lo both do it. Could my differential be messed up? Thank you in advance for the help.
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  #2  
Old 07-17-2012, 01:37 AM
ArtNJr ArtNJr is offline
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Sounds like the problem is in the transfer case.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:52 PM
Screamintrashcan Screamintrashcan is offline
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I'd guess the ballsocket in the double cardan joint at the rear of the front driveshaft, typically, that center section is ungreaseable, and squeaks at first, then deteriorates at a high rate to vibrating like crazy, until complete failure. you'll need to check it out by crawling beneath and seeing what slop you can find by jerking it in different directions. should be NO slop, none. Parts req'd a ballsocket kit and two u joints, if you don't push the overhaul date too far in the future. An extra u joint to do the front joint too, giving the shaft a complete overhaul. If you have access to an oxy/acyetlene torch, the good news is, to overhaul the entire shaft is prob. $65 or so. a driveline shop gets about $300 minimum. Doing it yourself also gives you the satisfaction of knowing it's done right. Probably a good vid on utube. Good luck!! PS change the front joint on the shaft at the same time, and you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that it will probably never need screwing around with again.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:43 AM
GrahamL GrahamL is offline
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Thank you for the help Screamintrashcan I will check that out tomorrow. Why would a problem with the driveshaft cause excessive binding while turning though?
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Old 07-18-2012, 11:30 PM
Screamintrashcan Screamintrashcan is offline
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The only reason I know of for binding up in 4wd while traveling in a straight line is that either you have one or more tires of differing sizes mounted, or someone has thrown an axle or ring and pinion set into one of the axles that is of a different ratio. remember, it's not only the 245-whatever number that has to be the same, it's also the aspect ratio of the tire ie 245-{70 or whatever } number has to match as well. Your wheels are more'n likely all 16 inchers, or aftermarket 15 inchers. they need to all match, inch wise, as well. the width doesn't matter, (tho it'd look kinda weird if they were different, probably... Good luck!!!

Last edited by Screamintrashcan; 07-18-2012 at 11:31 PM. Reason: straight line travel addition
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:32 AM
GrahamL GrahamL is offline
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Haha yeah all my tires are the same size, it doesn't bind while going straight just when turning but I checked the double cardan joint and you were right, it is quite loose. I'm going to overhaul it this weekend. Thank you for your help Screamintrashcan!
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:48 AM
GrahamL GrahamL is offline
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Also, what would I need the torch for?
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:49 PM
Screamintrashcan Screamintrashcan is offline
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You're going to call those ujoint caps by a different 4 letter word, by the time you get them out without burning the old cross and bearings out, and heating the yokes to move those caps, don't be surprised if you need to lets say readjust the yokes a little, with a hammer and anvil, to fit the new joints properly. The yoke arms are very soft, and get bent a little it seems, no matter how you press the caps out. Just be certain that they are flexing freely when the caps are installed and clipped in. putting a tight joint in is silly, a thunk with a hammer to ensure freedom of movement, once clipped, goes a long way toward longetivity. using grease on the ballsocket in the middle during assy helps keep the spring & stuff from disappearing, too!! It's been a few years, but I don't remember anything difficult about the rebuild, just use all the parts! Time consuming, tho. took the better part of the afternoon, but it was done last, when it was freezing, outdoors.
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Old 07-19-2012, 10:04 PM
Screamintrashcan Screamintrashcan is offline
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Binding in a turn is inherent in these types of 4wds, particularly magnified by the wheelbase, the longer it is, the worse it is, ( the herky-jerky business makes it FEEL worse, this is caused by, in part, those axle joints are working their guts out flopping from one limit to the other, thats why CV joints 'feel' so much better in a turn than straight axle front ends. They're still binding, but cv joints are more forgiving in their pivoting action, at an angle. if you are experiencing unusual herky jerkiness, that has gotten worse since changing the axle joints, the yokes are probably bent inward to some degree, and need to be relieved, by thwacking the yoke arms outward a smidge, to allow free pivoting, but yeah, they all jerk and bind to some degree, and the driveline, REALLY feels the strain turning in 4 wd on grippy stuff, cuz the front axle travels further than the rear in a turn, and it magnifies relative to the distance between the axles. Good luck!
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2012, 03:06 PM
GrahamL GrahamL is offline
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I finally got around to fixing the problem I was having. I bought a new front driveshaft off a guy that was parting out his truck. I just replaced the new one with mine and it fixed my 4WD problems. I'm not sure if the problem was in the double cardan joint or the joint under the rubber boot in the middle of the shaft. They both seemed a little loose. I just thought I would update in hopes that this might help someone else.
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