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front axles not engaging in 4 wheel drive

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Old 05-10-2010, 09:12 AM
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front axles not engaging in 4 wheel drive

Took the Bronco out this weekend and could not get the front axle to engage. The manual hubs were locked and the front drive shaft spins but no movement on the front axle going forward. When shifted into reverse the 4 wheel drive worked.
Before I start ripping things apart I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions or thoughts about what could cause this.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:40 AM
helirich helirich is offline
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I'm not sure of your symptoms. Are you saying that you can spin the front driveshaft and the front axles and U-joints dont spin? Or are you sayiny that just your wheels dont spin? Easzy way to check this (with the truck off) shift tranfercase to 2WD and hubs unlocked, reanch under and turn the driveshaft by hand. You can see the u-joints by the wheels turn. Lock the wheels and try again. If the driveshaft doesnt turn, than its probubly in the tranfercase.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by helirich View Post
I'm not sure of your symptoms. Are you saying that you can spin the front driveshaft and the front axles and U-joints don't spin? .
Yes, that is what I am saying.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:57 AM
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If that's really the case then your front differential is broken.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by andym View Post
If that's really the case then your front differential is broken.
That is what I am trying to figure out. If I engage the hubs and spin the wheels both wheels turn so I'm not sure if the diff is broken or what.

there is obviously a disconnect somewhere so I guess I will just start taking it all apart and hope that a broken part falls out
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:07 AM
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If you're turning the front driveshaft and the axles aren't moving then the problem is definitely in the front differential.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:36 AM
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with the trans in neutral, hubs unlocked:
xfer case in 2h, I can turn the front drive shaft and the passenger side front shaft turns
xfer case in 4h, the front drive shaft doesn't turn
xfer case in N, I can turn the front drive shaft and the passenger side front shaft turns
xfer case in 4L, the front drive shaft doesn't turn.

with the trans in neutral, hubs locked:
xfer case in 2h, I can turn the front drive shaft and both front shaft turns
xfer case in 4h, the front drive shaft doesn't turn
xfer case in N, I can turn the front drive shaft and both front shaft turns
xfer case in 4L, the front drive shaft doesn't turn.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:47 AM
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Replace your hubs. They are not working the way they should. With both front hubs locked you shouldn't be able to turn the driveshaft at all, regardless of what position the transfer case is in.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:49 AM
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Sounds like your transfer case is busted and both hubs are destroyed.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andym View Post
Replace your hubs. They are not working the way they should. With both front hubs locked you shouldn't be able to turn the driveshaft at all, regardless of what position the transfer case is in.
can you elaborate on this? my pea sized brain can't understand the difference between the driveshaft moving in neutral and not moving while engaged. Wouldn't neutral/2H NOT allow the front axles to be turned by the drive shaft since there should be nothing engaged. I mean, they front axles should turn freely on their own if I spin the wheel itself in neutral since everything should be disengaged and shouldn't turn with the drive shaft because wouldn't the drive shaft be disengaged?

I was expecting the axles to turn when I had the xfer case engaged.
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poison Oil Racing View Post
with the trans in neutral, hubs unlocked:
xfer case in 2h, I can turn the front drive shaft and the passenger side front shaft turns
xfer case in 4h, the front drive shaft doesn't turn
xfer case in N, I can turn the front drive shaft and the passenger side front shaft turns
xfer case in 4L, the front drive shaft doesn't turn.

with the trans in neutral, hubs locked:
xfer case in 2h, I can turn the front drive shaft and both front shaft turns
xfer case in 4h, the front drive shaft doesn't turn
xfer case in N, I can turn the front drive shaft and both front shaft turns
xfer case in 4L, the front drive shaft doesn't turn.
The bold parts prove that your hubs are shot. The reason is that with the hubs locked you shouldn't be able to move anything. If the hubs are working as they should, the axles are both tied to the wheels. If the wheels aren't moving, the shafts shouldn't be able to move either. The fact that they are spinning with the hubs locked means the hubs are shot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poison Oil Racing View Post
I was expecting the axles to turn when I had the xfer case engaged.
It's just the opposite. If the transfer case is engaged, it locks the front driveshaft to the rear driveshaft. Unless the rear driveshaft is free to move, the front will be locked in place.

Paul why do you say that his transfer case is busted too? Not sure I see where you're getting that from.
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Old 05-10-2010, 01:44 PM
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This appears to be as simple as one locking hub problem.
The OP mentioned that the axle shaft turns, but what about the wheel or rotor? Is the front end off of the ground?
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