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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 11-10-2009
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4wd Problems

Hey guys, I had tried to go up a sandy hill the other night, and my truck wouldn't go. My buddy had got out, and said neither of my front tires were spinning. I tried a few more times, in both 4 low and 4 high and it wouldn't go. It will actually engage into 4wd, and I'll have the reduction of 4 low, but the front tires won't grab. The truck sounds completely normal in all regards.

My truck is a 1992 Ford Ranger, 4 liter, Dana35/8.8, Manual T-Case, OEM Manual hubs, and a 5 Speed.

I took my hubs off and they were pretty greasy inside. I took out the retainer clip, and sprayed brake cleaner into the grooves inside the hubs. After that I had cycled ATF through them repeatedly. I took the truck out, tried it again, and it was the same story as before.

Im going outside right now to put my truck on jackstands, put the truck in 4wd, and try it again. If the front driveshaft spins, I'll know its either my existing hubs or something inside the axle. If it doesn't I know I'm probably going to need a transfer case. Does anyone know of anything else that I should test before I jump to conclusions?

The only maintenance related items that I've done that are related are greasing my drivers side wheel bearings, replacing and greasing my passenger side wheel bearings, and I did U-joints. I tried driving the truck in 4wd, with just the front wheels but it wouldn't go, I was trying to get the driveshaft to my buddies place down the road to do the u-joints. I'm pretty positive the driveshaft was in the same spot that I had marked, but I could be wrong. I don't think it would make a difference aside from balance anyways? Thanks for the help guys
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Old 11-10-2009
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OK, so I jacked the truck up and tried to use 4 wheel drive, in both high and low range. The front driveshaft spins, and the drivers side axleshaft spins. My buddys dad swears up and down that he thinks my diff has grenaded itself, but I don't really think it's possible, I would think that it would be making some kind of noise as it's spinning the driver's side axle if it was pooched. I think I need a new set of hubs. Does anyone have any input?
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Old 11-10-2009
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Try holding the spinning front tire and see if the power goes through to the other tire.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Good call, I'll try that out tommorow. I guess if the other side starts spinning that would tell me my axle is garbage then, correct?
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Old 11-10-2009
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I don't think both tires would spin, right? Unless you have a limited slip front differential.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Possibly. You could just have a bad hub. When you are offroading and your buddy says he can't see either of the front tires spinning it could be because all the front axle power is going to the side with the bad hub since normally an open diff or L/S diff will send power to the the tire with the least resistance.

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I don't think both tires would spin, right? Unless you have a limited slip front differential.
Both would spin even with an open.
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Old 11-10-2009
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^^ your are right jack up the truck lock both the hubs in and leave the tcase in 2wd and spin one of the front tires they should turn in opposite directions
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Old 11-10-2009
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^^ your are right jack up the truck lock both the hubs in and leave the tcase in 2wd and spin one of the front tires they should turn in opposite directions
That wont work if he has a bad hub. I think the 92 hubs are the auto locking BS before they made the vacuum hubs.
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Old 11-10-2009
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nopes, manual hubs..i tried putting the t-case in neutral earlier and spun one front tire, the other one stays put though..but i mean with a bad hub you wouldn't be able to tell if the diff was bad in that scenario anyways though would you
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Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper02 View Post
That wont work if he has a bad hub. I think the 92 hubs are the auto locking BS before they made the vacuum hubs.
^^ it will tell you if you have a bad hub the tires should spin in opposite directions if it doesn't spin at all then its probably your hub. there weren't vacuum hubs till 98. the hubs just turn in and out mechanically when power is sent to them for the auto hubs. go to a junk yard and get some warn manual hubs they should be pretty cheap and fix your problem they are dim a dozen around here.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downey View Post
^^ it will tell you if you have a bad hub the tires should spin in opposite directions if it doesn't spin at all then its probably your hub. there weren't vacuum hubs till 98. the hubs just turn in and out mechanically when power is sent to them for the auto hubs. go to a junk yard and get some warn manual hubs they should be pretty cheap and fix your problem they are dim a dozen around here.
So if you are in 2wd there is no power being sent to them therefore they will not lock when turning them by hand bad or not.

From TRS:

Automatic Hubs (1983-1997):

With automatic hubs, there is no need to stop or get out of the vehicle to lock them in. The spring-loaded hub automatically engages on the fly when the transfer case is shifted from 2WD into 4WD. The application of torque to the axle causes the splined collar inside the hub to slide on to the axles splined stub shaft and lock.

I'd just convert to manual hubs. One less thing to worry about. Hub info

Last edited by whippersnapper02; 11-10-2009 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 11-10-2009
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^^^ correct if you have automatic hubs. like said above swap to manual hubs save you time and money and when you really need 4wd you will have it.


from what you said from above the tire doesnt spin then you have a hub that isnt engaging go get new hubs and go on your way. you would hear the parts in the diff if it was broken. i would put money on its you hubs
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Old 11-10-2009
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^^^ correct if you have automatic hubs.
You said earlier that the opposite tire would spin even with the auto hubs. I wrote my response before he stated he had locking hubs.

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^^ it will tell you if you have a bad hub the tires should spin in opposite directions if it doesn't spin at all then its probably your hub
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Old 11-10-2009
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if you have manual hubs they need to be locked in so they will turn opposite directions. the auto hubs only lock in when power is sent from the drive shaft.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
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I wrote my response before he stated he had locking hubs.
He said it in the first post.
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Old 11-10-2009
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Quote:
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He said it in the first post.
I didn't see. Still though. Someone is trying to pow me an it isn't going to work.

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if you have manual hubs they need to be locked in so they will turn opposite directions. the auto hubs only lock in when power is sent from the drive shaft.
I know that. I said that too.
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Old 11-10-2009
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It's all good, he made a mistake, just trying to help me out..much appreciated. I think my best bet is to just buy a new set of hubs for the time being, wear and tear item..truck has it's share of miles and hopefully that will solve my problem. If not, one more thing ruled out and I have a new set of hubs. If it is my diff, thats a good and bad thing I guess..4.56's or 4.88's are looking pretty good right about now anyways..just wanted a couple opinions. Thanks guys
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Old 11-10-2009
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On another note, Does anyone know if it's a big hassle to do gears on a danA35/8.8 with the diffs still on the truck?
and has anyone had any experience with "nitro" brand gears?
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Old 11-10-2009
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you have to pull the pig out of the truck to replace the gears what gears do you want to go to?
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Old 11-10-2009
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I'm thinking either 4.56's or 4.88's, i want to run 35s again
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Old 11-10-2009
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Did you replace the ujoints on the front axle or just the rear. There are two ujoints on the passanger side of the truck. It may of broke one of those or could of wrecked the splines were the two sections slide together.
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Old 11-11-2009
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you would he able to hear that stuff making noise when he was trying to run 4wd. get hubs i know thats your problem
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