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No 4x4 to Front Axle Question

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by AZ_Overdrive, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. AZ_Overdrive

    AZ_Overdrive 1/2 ton status

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    Got stranded in 12" of snow for 4 days 2 weeks ago due to no power to front axle on my 89' Burb. Had our travel trailer so heat, water, and food were no problem. However, really pissed that the Burb wasn't working.

    My Setup:
    89 Burb 1500 350 700
    14BFF with Detroit (from an 81')
    D44 open (from a 76 with external hubs)
    NP241 T-Case with new chain and shifter fork tabs
    4:10 gears
    305 70 R16 BFG MT/KM

    OK, so the rear worked flawlessly. Detroit was spinning both rear tires all day long. First time I have smoked a pair of tires on a dirt road. Front drive shaft IS turning but no front tires turning or even trying to turn. During several 4x4 trips before this event I did hear a poping noise from the underside of the Burb. Had the TCase rebuilt with a new chain just after the poping noise incident when I had the 700 beefed-up.

    So now I need to start troubleshooting the front end to determine what the heck is going on. I guess the first thing is to pull the external hubs and see if the are in pieces. The ujoints in the knuckles look ok, so if the hubs look OK I don't know where to go from there.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2006
  2. darenofears

    darenofears Registered Member

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    stuff

    check your front lockout hubs for engagement

    is it auto locking hubs or manual?

    or no hubs at all

    what transfercase

    we need more info
     
  3. 3 on the tree

    3 on the tree 1/2 ton status

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    I had this happen to me bout 4 months ago. One of my front hubs was not locking in. Jack up the front end, both tires in the air. One side at a time, lock the hub in and spin the tire, watching to see if it engages and turns the axle. My guess is you have a gunked up axle splines that are not letting the gear slide in and out of engagement. Thats a lot easier fix than busted internal parts, just clean the splines, and a super light oiling on them. Good luck.
     
  4. AZ_Overdrive

    AZ_Overdrive 1/2 ton status

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    Oops! Forgot to ID the Tcase. It's the stock 241 with new chain and shifter fork tabs. Other components checked out OK when it was rebuilt (before incident). The D44, external hubs, are manual lockouts (Warn).
     
  5. AZ_Overdrive

    AZ_Overdrive 1/2 ton status

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    Had the gears done on the front axle about a year and a half ago. When you are talking about cleaning the splines, are you talking about the ones at the end of the axleshafts where the hubs engage? I may have screwed this up. I remember, about a year ago, the lockout knobs were REALLY hard to turn so I put some grease inside them. In my searches here for my problem, everyone is saying to NOT put grease into the hubs.

    I will try checking the hubs by jacking up the front end as you described.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  6. dontoe

    dontoe 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    CB stripped the splines in the front driveshaft at the DPG recently. Half the shaft spun, lower half didn't.
     
  7. AZ_Overdrive

    AZ_Overdrive 1/2 ton status

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    I saw that post. Will also check front driveshaft.

    Thanks!
     
  8. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    If the front shaft (the whole front shaft) is spinning, you have new gears and an open diff, you would only have to lose one hub to lose FWD.

    The "popping incident" was probably one of your front hubs letting go in one way or another. Take them out and replace them with Warn Premiums.

    I've never heard of anybody advising against greasing the hubs. That seems counterintuitive. If you don't grease them, then they will rust up, sure as hell. I missed one spot on my outer stub axle one time and the next time I took it apart, there were nasty chunks of rust forming on the shaft in that one spot. Grease the hell out of those axles!!
     
  9. AZ_Overdrive

    AZ_Overdrive 1/2 ton status

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    Heh, that's what I did, greased the hell out of those bad boys. The hubs on there now are Warn Premiums.

    Yes, if 1 is bad, no FWD, that's what I thought. Even though this vehicle is a trail/tow rig may invest in an ARB or other to "avoid" this issue again. At least 1 wheel would be turning... At least, that's a good excuse to tell the wife!

    Thanks for the info.

    Will report my findings...
     
  10. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    If you're not planning to use the 4x4 on the street, just drop a lunchbox in it and save $500. :D

    Then use the money you save to get a winch. :waytogo:
     
  11. skelly1

    skelly1 1/2 ton status

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    I say lock-rite that front diff.
     
  12. AZ_Overdrive

    AZ_Overdrive 1/2 ton status

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    Was thinking about that. Any issue with towing in 4x4 (trail) with that setup?
     
  13. big dan

    big dan 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    when yall talk about greasing the axle are you talking about just the shaft or are you saying to grease the lock outs too?
    just wondering cause on the box my hubs came in it says to not grease the hubs or it will tear them up.
     
  14. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Factory lock-outs need a light coating of grease to keep them free and turning. Aftermarket lock-outs like Warns are pre-assembled and should come pre-lubricated. Those you shouldn't have to mess with.

    Grease the hell out of everything else from the tip of the stub axle to the spindle bearing. The more grease that's in there, the less water can enter.

    Oh, and the only problem you might run into with a lockrite in the front is some steering issues on off-camber slopes. Namely, with all four wheels turning, your truck will be more succeptible to gravity. You'll get the same with any full locker, though. About the only way to avoid that is with a limited slip like a Zexel Torsen or something.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2006
  15. big dan

    big dan 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Ahh. thanks for clearing that up.
     
  16. miniwally

    miniwally 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Goldwing2000 you are correct in part.
    You need to put a layer of grease on all parts except the lock out hub itself.
    You don not want to put as much greas in there as you can however.
    Greas in this case is going to keep the gear from sliding onto the stub and therfore have no fourwheel drive.
    This is a real problem in cold climates where the grease gets stiff enough to keep the gear from moving. Heavy amounts of grease on the stub shaft at the locking hub interface is a major no no.
    I understand what you are sayig about water intrusion and your points are very valid. I do put a good barrier of grease at the end of the bearings at the locking nuts but that is it. A simple wipe of the fingers over the stub shaft at the splines and install hub parts.

    To keep water from entering try the following:

    Wrap duct tape around the locking hub to bearing hub interface. a few good layers is good.
    Make damn sure that the excluder ring and its seals ar in good condition and that the stub shaft is pulled out into it and sealing.
     
  17. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

    I usually use a synthetic or semi-synthetic grease that doesn't thicken up with cold so much. Also, I've been running factory lockouts until just recently, and they work somewhat differently.

    If your way works for you, then more power to ya. I ain't gonna argue with success! :thumb:

    Pretty sure AZ_Overdrive isn't going to have any cold weather problems, though. ;)
     
  18. miniwally

    miniwally 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Well he did have Problems with the grease in there because he was stuck for four days while Search and Rescue were looking for them.
    I am suprised that with you living in Michigan you have not had the same problems by the way that you describe your system. I know that it gets cold there.
    How is a factory locking hub different than an aftermarcket hub?
     
  19. goldwing2000

    goldwing2000 Guest

    Except it has not been determined that grease was the issue!!
    Where the heck did he find 12" of snow in AZ, anyway? :thinking:

    Maybe I'm just lucky?

    Designed differently. The factory ones move the outer gear in and out while the aftermarket ones move the inner gear in and out. I think. Been a while since I took them apart.
     
  20. miniwally

    miniwally 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    If this is the story that I am thinking of he was in Washington State?? Maybe I should just say somewhere up north and he and his kids and maybe grand kids got stuck.
    They stayed in the travel trailer until they figured that they should go find help to get out.

    My understanding was that they even had Sat. TV and watched their story on the news. :mad:

    I will have to look at factory hubs vs aftermarket later. I am not following what you are saying. On second thought the light bulbs just came on I think I understand.
     

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