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No Front Drive - Question before I buy a diffential


 
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leblancr
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Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:16 am    Post subject: No Front Drive - Question before I buy a diffential Reply with quote

Hi,

My son has a '94 Grand Cherokee Laredo that he bought last fall. 5.2L full time 4 wheel drive. It always acted stiff turning tight, like parking in a parking space. My '95 Grand Cherokee acts the same way in 4 wheel, so we thought it was just because of that.

A month or so ago, he went off the road to avoid hitting a moose. No major damage, just a broken light and a ding in the passenger fender. A week or so after, the drivers front had a really bad growl in it. It sounded like a brake pad rivets eating a rotor. We pulled it apart and the brakes were brand new. There was no play in the wheel bearings and it turned fine in neutral. We put it back together and drove it to get gas (2 miles) and the growl went away. All has seemed OK since, noise wise.

A couple weeks after the noise incident, he mentioned that it turned much nicer, and that we must have straightened something out when we messed with the brakes. I didn't buy that, but haven't had time to play with it.

NOW, we finally have snow here in Maine, and he's discovered it is completely helpless in the snow. The front wheels aren't engaged. When he stuck it last night, I looked under it with a flashlight, and could see that the front driveshaft is turning, but the front wheels are not. I figured he's blown the differential. But, there is no noise coming from the pumpkin like there's stuff tossing around, etc.

In researching this, I've discovered many people stating that his original problem with turning is because of the Viscous Connector and it probably will need to be replaced. So that appears to be one question solved.

Long lead in, I'm sorry. Wanted as much info out there as possible.

Question is, what is my best approach to his differential problem? Should I just go to the junkyards looking for another differential, or are there common problems in the pumpkin that I can fix. Like a shear pin, etc. I'm comfortable with anything mechanical, and have a friend who can help with alignments and shimming, but I've never worked on a differential before, other than changing the axles and seals.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Rene LeBlanc
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ehirner
Moderator
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pull the cover and take a look inside. You'll quickly be able to determine if it's something catastrophic in the diff.
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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
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Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tthe turning sounds like a tcase issue.. maybe bad vc..
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Unless you include the sawzall work..

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swamp boy
Cherokee Muderator
Cherokee Muderator


Joined: 01 Jan 2004
Location: New Orleans LA.

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about the posts .. I made today.. I was on my Tablet computer and the batteries where dead in my keyboard.. I had to type with the stylus.. rofl


Anyway.. The turning issue you are talking about sounds like a Bad Viscous coupler. That is the liquid filled unit inside your transfer case that allows your front and rear wheels to rotate in turns and such so that you dont have binding when in fulltime 4wd.. Normally it will lock up in corners when its bad.. But I have heard of it going out completely and ceasing to function..

I would do what Ehirner suggested and check the front axle..

Pop off the diff cover and have a look.. You are looking for broken spider gears or something.. Also grab the driveshaft and wiggle it up and down and in and out.. That will tell you if the pinion gear or bearing is bad..

You will be able to see pretty easily if anything is broken..

If not take off your front driveshaft and see if the binding in turns goes away.. If it does.. Then your T case is the problem..


Good luck..


Carl
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Unless you include the sawzall work..

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leblancr
Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Location: Maine

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, I was afraid I'd end up opening it up. Sounds like a good project for this weekend. It's supposed to be warm this weekend. It might even go above freezing.
Neutral

I was really hoping for a disconnect axle problem.

The binding in corners has not been there since he went off the road, but I don't think the diff has been engaged since then either.

I'm sure I'll be in the transfer case once we get the diff working again. That definately sounds like a summer project, though....
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