Rear wheels behaving badly, possible differential or brake problem?
Yesterday we were using our 99 Ranger to haul some firewood, after backing up a small but moderately steep snow covered hill we loaded the wood and then tried to drive back down. At that point the rear drivers side wheel would not budge going forward. It would reverse just fine, but going forward it would just drag, not spinning at all.
So today I pulled the tires and the drums. When I was spinning the spindle to release the brake on the drivers side I heard a few pops as if something had been frozen up. So I got the brakes off of both sides, put the truck in the 2-wheel, and started it up. The axle spun freely in both forward and reverse. This made me think I was just a brake issue, although I still don't understand why it would go one way but not the other.
I kept it up on jack stands, put the drums and the wheels back on, started it up again and now when I put it in reverse one wheel spins forward while the other spins backward. When I put it in forward the opposite wheel spins its proper direction, the other wheel spins opposite. I also smelled what I believe was burning brake pad coming from the drivers side.
Any suggestions or ideas what might be the problem? I found a user who had a similar issue and his turned out to be the e-brake but I don't believe that's the problem here.