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Problems in 4 wheel drive

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by docgab, Apr 29, 2003.

  1. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Hey all,
    Purchased my '78 K5 about 2 months ago or so. See below for specs. I put it into 4 hi for the first time today and had a (what I consider) strange thing happen. I was on wet pavement for about 20 yards before getting onto my dirt road. The front tires would spin out quickly then nothing, spin out, nothing, spin out, nothing etc. The tracks in the dirt going up a small hill showed the same thing. peeling out, then nothing etc. As you can probably tell, I am completely new to this but I am trying to learn! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I have no trouble with the rear so can I assume the problem is not with the t-case but with the front axle? All input is appreciated! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  2. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    Sounds like one of your locking hubs is bad. Take them apart and check them out, if everyting looks good clean them and put a little bit of grease on the moving parts and reassembly, don't fill the hub with grease since it will keep the parts that needs to move from moving. If this doesn't help you might have broken axle shaft.
     
  3. 87sm465np208

    87sm465np208 1/2 ton status

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    if you have autolocking hubs take them off and toss them down the driveway for the junkman to take away and then go get yourself some warn standard hubs, worth the money and will give you no [censored]. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif
     
  4. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    ok. Update here. The front wasn't breaking loose and spinning, they were locking up and skidding slightly off and on. After it initially happened, I parked at my house and put it in 2 hi and unlocked the hubs. I then went off down the road (slowly) and as I was going slightly downhill on the wet pavement, the wheels up front would slightly lock up for a half sec or so and then let go. I got out, locked the hubs, unlocked them again, and started down the road again with no problems. Again all help is appreciated!!
     
  5. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    First off, thanks for your reply.
    [ QUOTE ]
    Sounds like one of your locking hubs is bad. Take them apart and check them out, if everyting looks good clean them and put a little bit of grease on the moving parts and reassembly, don't fill the hub with grease since it will keep the parts that needs to move from moving.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I will check them out. I have had one of them apart recently as I had to replace some lug studs. Everything seemed ok then, but it woudn;t hurt to check again.

    [ QUOTE ]

    If this doesn't help you might have broken axle shaft.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    agh!! Bite your tongue!! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  6. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Thanks much for your reply.

    [ QUOTE ]
    if you have autolocking hubs take them off and toss them down the driveway for the junkman to take away and then go get yourself some warn standard hubs, worth the money and will give you no [censored]. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I have manual hubs, although they are pretty haggard looking. I keep hearing great stuff about the warn hubs. Might just have to go that way.
     
  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> I'd be willing to bet that someone changed one of the axles and now the gears are mismatched. That or someone changed the rear gears for towing or something. Either way, I beleive that the gears are a higher ratio (numerically lower) in the front. </font>
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I'm with Shaggy on this one. I've seen that before and your description sure matches the symptoms. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif Some folks don't realize that there are actually different gear ratios available. So they blow up a rear end, then just swap in another one that they can get cheap. Only afterwards do they realize that they screwed up, assuming that they ever figure out what went wrong. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif
     
  9. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    <font color="green"> I'd be willing to bet that someone changed one of the axles and now the gears are mismatched. That or someone changed the rear gears for towing or something. Either way, I beleive that the gears are a higher ratio (numerically lower) in the front. </font>

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Holy cow. Definitely a possibility. My K5 came stock with 3.73's but there is no way in heck that's what is in the rear. Not with the way it get going from a stand still. Agh, I guess I'll pull the diff covers soon and check for sure. Thanks for your help! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  10. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Thanks for the quick/informative reply.

    [ QUOTE ]
    I'm with Shaggy on this one. I've seen that before and your description sure matches the symptoms. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif Some folks don't realize that there are actually different gear ratios available. So they blow up a rear end, then just swap in another one that they can get cheap. Only afterwards do they realize that they screwed up, assuming that they ever figure out what went wrong. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Quick question now. Would it be best to just search for a D44 with matching gearing or just replace the gears in my current D44?
     
  11. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    <font color="green"> It would be easier to find one with the gears already in it, swapping gears is not for the faint of heart, and is expensive to have done professionally. I'd bet that someone swapped a rearend from a 6 cylinder truck and you have 4.10s in the rear, but still have the factory 3.73s in the front. 4.10s were common in 6 cyl trucks so you will need to find one to pull a front end out of.</font>
     
  12. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    <font color="green"> It would be easier to find one with the gears already in it, swapping gears is not for the faint of heart, and is expensive to have done professionally. I'd bet that someone swapped a rearend from a 6 cylinder truck and you have 4.10s in the rear, but still have the factory 3.73s in the front. 4.10s were common in 6 cyl trucks so you will need to find one to pull a front end out of.</font>

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Good deal, thanks for the help Shaggy. Much appreciated. Once the money fairy pays me a visit, I have quite a bit of work for the front. I have to install a raised steering arm, some new tie rods, replace my front rotors and now the axle. Alright!! If I don't know a good bit more about this stuff after I'm done, I'm hopeless!! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  13. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Depending on what gears you find in the rear, you may want to swap it out instead. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif If the front is 3.73, and the rear is 3.42 or (ugh!) 3.08, then I'd look for a 3.73 rear end to match up with the front.

    As for finding 4.10's in a junkyard.... Good luck! I've never found any at a yard. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  14. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Depending on what gears you find in the rear, you may want to swap it out instead. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif If the front is 3.73, and the rear is 3.42 or (ugh!) 3.08, then I'd look for a 3.73 rear end to match up with the front.

    As for finding 4.10's in a junkyard.... Good luck! I've never found any at a yard. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    <font color="green"> I think that the rear is lower though, since the front end is locking and pushing. If the rear were higher then the front would want to spin the wheels faster than the rear. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Could be 3.08 front and 3.73 rear too though, but since he said the truck had 3.73s stock, I think the 3.73 front and 4.10 rear is most likely.

    As for the 4.10s, they're more common in 3/4 tons, so you could find a 3/4 ton axle with 4.10s, then swap your 6 lug outers to it and sell the 8 lug parts. You could quite possibly make all your money back from buyign the axle by doing that, since the 8 lug parts are the most valuable part on a 3/4 ton fron axle. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font>
     
  15. docgab

    docgab 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    More good info and suggestions. Thanks Harry and Shaggy. I'm gonna check the ratios next week and see what's what.
     

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