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Is Front Axle Free-Wheeling in 2WD?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by prossett, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. prossett

    prossett 1/2 ton status

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    I have an '83 K5 Jimmy running an N208 transfer case. My question is when I'm in 2WD is the front axle engaged or disconnected?

    In other words, in 2WD does the front axle freewheel?

    The reason I ask is because that's one of the differences between the YJ and TJ Wranglers, and welding the spider gears at the front of a YJ is fine because in 2WD you won't feel it, which is cool. I was wondering if perhaps the same applies to the K5s.
     
  2. 4X4HIGH

    4X4HIGH 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    With a 208 when you're in 2wd there is no power going to the front axle, the front driveshaft may or may not spin but definately no power to front axle.
     
  3. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    The big plus of having locking hubs on a 4x4 is when they are unlocked, and the case is in 2WD, nothing turns. TJs & YJs both have at least some parts turning. The K5 has none. You will be fine. However, if it has auto hubs it would be best to swap them out for manual ones. A failure that prevented unlocking could give you a nasty surprise.
     
  4. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    You're not truly freewheeling unless the hubs are unlocked. When you lock the hubs with the t-case in 2wd, then the axle shafts, ring & pinion and front driveshaft are spinning, but the t-case has the front in neutral.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status

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    what i really like with the manual hubs is, keep them unlocked, put it in 4low, and boom u got 2low ;)
     
  6. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The whole TJ vs. YJ thing has more to do with the front axle setup then the t-case (the t-case between a TJ, YJ, and the 208 in your K5 basically all work the same). The YJ has a center axle disconnect which disconnects the left and right side tire from each other thus letting them turn independently of each other (ie. front spool is not noticable on the street when in 2wd). The TJ does not have the disconnect feature, and neither the TJ or YJ as locking hubs, so the left and right side tires are always directly linked to each other. Therefore with a front spool/welded diff on a TJ the front tires would always be fighting each other when turning.

    The K5 will have some type of locking hubs on it (or could be easily swapped in) which would do the same basic job of the axle disconnect.
     

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