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4x4 turning problem

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  #1  
Old 3 Weeks Ago
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4x4 turning problem

Hey guys, so recently I realized that my '00 ranger 4x4 won't turn when 4 wheel drive is engaged. Doesn't matter if it's 4hi or 4low, when you turn any bit in either direction it seems to lock up and any movement I can make it feels as if i have a welded diff, as there is an audible "skrrt" noise (I'm thinking it's from the front diff maybe?) I have the stock wheel and tire size, and it turns perfectly fine in 2wd. Also if 4x4 is engaged and i have the wheel turned, it will hold itself in neutral on a hill with no brakes. Anyone know what's going on? Winter is approaching and I'd like to have my 4x4 working for peace of mind, and I want to be able to participate in off road shenanigans as well, haha.
 
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Do you have the Stock Ranger Automatic locking hubs on the front wheels, or 3rd party Manual hubs?

OR.............do you have Live Axle, always locked front hubs?

2000 can be any of these
 
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Is there any way to tell? it's all stock, not the manual hubs. When 4x4 engages there's a few clicks from the dash but that's all I can hear.
 
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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After a quick search I am pretty sure it's the PV hubs, as my truck was manufactured in april '00 and to my knowledge they didn't use live axle setups until July.
 
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Are you testing by engaging 4x4 mode on a hard dry surface? A big NO-NO
If you are, it sounds like everything is working to me
 
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Technically it was wet out, haha. Looks like ill have to go to a muddy trail and try her out there. Maybe there isn't an issue, but it didn't feel right.
 
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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You can use 4WD on dry roads, just no reason to, low speed isn't an issue, its higher speed on dry pavement that can load up transfer case since its direct drive.

You do have something wrong, PVH(Pulse Vacuum Hubs) were used on 1998 thru 2000 Rangers but some 4WD models got Live Axle as early as late-1999, 2001 model year were all Live Axle, prior to that you just have to look, lol.

When you turn in 4WD on dry pavement you should feel front wheels PULLING you thru, almost a wobble, but there should be no noise associated with it, and steering wheel shouldn't feel locked

Since 2WD feels OK I wouldn't suspect the PVH system, you may indeed have a differential issue
Problem with Auto Hubs is you can't engage them unless you engage 4WD, so hard to test differential.

In 2WD get under truck and spin front drive line it should spin easily, and one axle should spin as well, it is an OPEN differential so only a wheel/axle gets power
 
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Old 2 Weeks Ago
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So I tested it a bit more, the front axle spins easily and turns one wheel with it as it should when jacked up, but the issue remains. When I tried again it seemed more like a VERY faint grinding sorta noise from the rear end while turning associated with tire(s) squealing. If I cut the wheel all the way it simply won't turn, unless I'm already moving and it feels like the parking brake is engaged, along with the awful noise from the rear. It is a limited slip rear diff if that means anything.
 
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Old 2 Weeks Ago
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When you turn with 4WD engaged, the front and rear axles rotate at different speeds. This causes binding in the transfer case when on a high traction surface. Even a wet surface can have enough traction to cause it. The result can be wheel hopping (when the tires brake loose), tires squeeling or it feels like the brakes are being applied as you have experienced. An extreme result would be a broken transfer case because of the binding (something has to give). On low traction surfaces, the tires slip and limit the force on the transfer case and everything should feel normal but it still can feel like something is dragging depending on how much force it takes to make the tires slip.

This doesn't necessarily mean everything is working well. You could still have a bad bearing somewhere that is making that noise because it is being highly strressed. If you can drive in a straight line and have no problems, at least the 4WD part is probably working (especially if it binds when you turn).
 

Last edited by IN2 FX4; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:24 PM.
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Old 1 Week Ago
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Is it an issue that I should really worry about then? I may just let it be, considering that the truck is gonna be rusted away within the next couple of years for sure.
 
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