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Old 10-27-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
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4WD not working

Hi,
My SMB had big problems this weekend in the sand, it appeared my 4wd was not working.

How do I test for 4wd function in a way that will isolate the problem (ie hub, axle, diff, transfer case ect...)

Thanks,
John
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:46 AM   #2
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Re: 4WD not working

I'm sure others will chime in, but I'd shift the transfer case to activate the front end and leave the hubs unlocked. Have someone look at the front drive shaft while you slowly drive. If the front drive shaft turns, the t-case is working. If not, that's where the problem is. If it is turning, the problem is probably in the front hubs. The chance of you having torn up the ring and pinion without hearing a lot of noise from up front is next to zero. Depending on whether or not you have an open front end or a locker, you can do the same drive test with one and then the other hub engaged while the t-case is out. Just check again for the drive shaft turning.
Good luck!
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: 4WD not working

I think you should describe "appeared my 4x4 was not working" in more detail.

You can also take the rear DS out with a non-Atlas (or just shift to front only with an Atlas) lock the hubs and try driving. That's kind of a "whole front end" test. Likely you have an open diff in front and anything past the diff will just spin on the broken side, thus getting 100% of the power.

Which side the problem is on gets more complex, so you should probably verify all the simple stuff first- hubs were locked, 4x4 was indeed engaged (your lever might show the light without engaging the driveshaft if not properly adjusted), etc.

But again, what exactly happened, and have you had working 4x4 before?

See first post here: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=2700
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:34 AM   #4
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Re: 4WD not working

Its quite easy with an Atlas to not move the lever far enough to engage the second axle. Many times you need a small amount of forward speed while moving the lever, and many times backing up will make it easier to engage the lever.

While somewhat inconvenient, the more you engage the second axle, the easier it becomes - both in terms of knowing when it's truly engaged, and as the t/c shift mechanism "breaks in". Two of my three vehicles have Atlas t/c's.


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Old 10-27-2010, 10:38 AM   #5
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Re: 4WD not working

What 4wd system do you have? SMB, Salem-Kroger, Quadvan, Quigley? Manual, Auto Hubs?

And how did you try to activate it? Lock the hubs and shift the transfer case, Push a button?

Some more information might make it easier to help you out.

Mike
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: 4WD not working

Thanks Scatter, that will get me started.

Its a 2003 E-350 with Quigley conversion, coil sprung, Dana 60, with manual Warn hubs, front end.
Single, 4 position transfer case lever, 7.3 L diesel engine automatic trans. No differential lockers front or back.

I was trying to get turned around on a track in the desert composed of very wet, but well drained decomposed granite.
With my hubs locked and the transfercase in both 4H and 4L I could not back up on a slight incline, my real tires were hopping and skipping, but the front wheels appeared to be not being powered.
The incline was very slight, and the gravel, while wet wasn't that slick, my rear tires were digging down, but the front wasn't helping at all.
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Old 10-27-2010, 05:46 PM   #7
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Re: 4WD not working

That sounds like you have a bad locking hub. If only one hub fails, then the front has no drive power.

Kinda like an open rearend with one wheel on ice - that wheel spins and the other does nothing. A bad front hub lets one front drive axle spin and no power to the other front axle.

With the hubs locked and the transfer case in 2wd you could try and turn the front driveshaft. If it turns and the van doesn't move, then you have a problem. If that happens, you should be able to see one axle spin and the other not moving. The one spinning has a bad hub.

Mike
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