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Old 04-17-2011, 01:35 PM   #1
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4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Hey folks,

I have had my SMB now for about six months. We have the SMB 4x4 conversion. The first time I had the van in 4x4 high I noticed a significant shudder around 40 mph especially going uphill where I was at about 2500-3000 rpm. It felt much like riding on some significant washboard. Taking the van out of 4High results in a very smooth ride. I had the front driveshaft rebalanced and that seemed to take care of about 50% of the "unbalanced" shudder. Normal? It seems to me that this is outside of the expected hum and rattle.

Further thoughts?

Thanks for your help in advance!

Robert
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Re: 4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Sounds like a front drive-line/axle angle problem. I assume you have SMB 4x4? A set of angled shims may need to be installed into the spring pack to correct the pinion angle.
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Old 04-17-2011, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: 4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Or, maybe a bad u-joint - driveshaft or axle. Or it could even be a problem in the transfercase.

Did you buy the van new? If so, has it always done this, or is it a new problem.

If used, was the van modified from the original 4wd conversion? IE: more lift?

I'd check the u-joints first. If that is ok, put it in 4wd with the hubs unlocked and see what happens. Then report back here on results.

Mike
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:02 PM   #4
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Re: 4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Thanks for the responses!

I bought the Van new. SMB 4x4. Is there a good order to checking all these things? I'm going to be in SF on Wed, maybe I should call SMB and see if they would take a look?

Any other thoughts?

Thanks again!

Robert

I will try 4high with the hubs unlocked tomorrow and report back. (that should show it's the U joints?)
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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Re: 4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Quote:
Originally Posted by puahone
I will try 4high with the hubs unlocked tomorrow and report back. (that should show it's the U joints?)
It should eliminate the transfercase. It is still possible for the transfercase to have a problem that only shows up under load. Does the vibration go away downhill or coasting?

Still could be problem with the driveline angles or a u-joint.

It would be a good idea to talk to SMB.


Good luck,

Mike
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Old 04-19-2011, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: 4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Step 1 lock the hubs in, leave it in 2 wheel drive and take it for a run. If it still vibrates the it is from the transfer output shaft through to the wheels. If it does not vibrate then it is probably in the transfer case.

Step 2 remove the front shaft and lock the hubs in. If it still vibrates then it is in axle. If it does not vibrate then it is in the shaft or the alignment between the transfer case output and the axle pinion input. (index axle and/or double cardan driveshaft)

Also check the splines on the slipshaft of your front driveshaft . A common problem I have found (with land cruisers fleets in Australian) is that the front shaft sits in the same place for a long time (only turns when in 4x4). This lets the splines vibrate and wear in a single plane. The real fix for this (after replacing the splines/shaft) is to make sure that you either lock the hubs in once a month for a few miles or put it in 4x4 with the hubs unlocked for a bit of a run.

Now the other question is where are you running at over 40 in 4x4? . Do you do it often enough for it to be a problem that needs fixing?

My E350 diesel with an Advanced Four Wheel Drive conversion has the same problem. I am not too concerned as the I do not do much high speed 4x4 driving or drive with the hubs locked (except in the snow and ice which is not too much of a problem in Phoenix) and then it is a good reminder to slow down.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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Re: 4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Hey, thanks for the info.

Quick update. Drove the van with hubs locked/unlocked...

The vibration is only present when the hubs are both locked and I'm in 4high.

No vibration if one or both hubs are unlocked in 4high, no vibration if both hubs locked and in 2 wheel drive.

And obviously, there is no vibration in 2WD and the hubs are unlocked.

Does that point to something specific?

Thanks in advance!

Robert
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:18 PM   #8
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Re: 4x4 Shudder at 40 mph???

Start with simple stuff.

- Make sure the slip joint is greased. If this is dry it can cause problems when it is loaded (under power). You only have vibration when under power, so probably not a serious issue with the transfercase. But, I'd still check the fluid level in the transfercase.

- Grease the ujoints if they have zerks. While you are under there, check each ujoint for looseness. You should have no movement with your hand - up/down, side to side, rotation is ok. Also check the slip joint and make sure it is tight and the shaft coming out of the transfercase and into the front axle.

Since it is fairly new, I'd hope someone neglected to grease that slip joint and that is the only issue.

Good luck,

Mike
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