4x4 "hops" When wheel spins - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource

Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 07-11-2018
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Houghton, MI
Posts: 5
4x4 "hops" When wheel spins

My 1997 ford ranger 4x4 with a 4.0 and automatic trans. Shakes and hops somewhat when I am in 4 wheel drive and the front left tire spins. Its a concern of mine because I live in northern mi. Has anyone heard of this happening? All 3 U joints are new and in good shape, has done this for the past 100k miles I have owned it
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 271
What kind of surface were you on when this happened?
Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2018
RF Veteran
iTrader: (1)
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,775
All 4 tires must be EXACTLY the same size when using 4 wheel drive

On dry hard surfaces in 4WD the front wheels will hop or skip when turning

4WD is not AWD, in AWD vehicles the front wheels only get 30% of the power, so don't do the hop or skip
4WD is 50/50, even split, when turning, all 4 wheels are turning at a different speed, and that difference shows up as a hop or skip on dry hard surfaces, on gravel or dirt you can still feel it somewhat, but not much.

Front axle is an OPEN differential, this means the easiest wheel to turn gets ALL the power, most cars and 2WD pickups have this in the rear axle which is why they get stuck.

Most 4x4s have Limited slip in the rear axle so both rear wheels get power evenly, but they have OPEN in the front, so 1 front wheel can spin if it losses traction

Make sure both front hubs are Locked when 4WD is selected, the "auto" hubs are not all that reliable after 20 years, many switch to Manual hubs for reliability.
You can leave the manual hubs Locked all winter and switch from 2WD to 4WD "on the fly" same as usual, doesn't hurt anything.
2001 and up Rangers have full time locked front wheels, called Live Axle, because of the problems over the years with "auto" hubs

Last edited by RonD; 07-12-2018 at 10:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2018
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Houghton, MI
Posts: 5
It happens on snow because that's about the only time I use it besides in deeper mud or rough roads. But usually it won't spin or anything and always hooks up well in mud. and all tires are the same size, brand, and depth.
Reply With Quote

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ignition key spins very loose, acts like it's not doing anything CJ74U2NV General Technical & Electrical 5 06-05-2017 02:35 PM
differential spins in netural fordruggedman Drivetrain Tech 4 09-07-2015 09:10 AM
panhard bar (help hops while driving? ) comunistico Solid Axle Swaps 2 06-22-2011 04:37 PM
Starter spins, doesnt engage hotrodder899 General Technical & Electrical 4 06-03-2011 09:57 AM
Swapped engines, wont start, transmission spins, crank doesnt. 503_94ranger_541 Drivetrain Tech 40 10-23-2009 07:58 PM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:54 AM.

© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.