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4x4 Rumble/grinding Sound When Turning


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#1 JoshVMAX07

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 03:40 PM

Hello all,

I had to use my trucks 4wd for the first time over this past weekend after a snow storm and I noticed something strange with the 4wd engaged. I noticed that when I turn, it makes a low rumble or grinding noise. The engine also seems to studder a little when this is noise is being heard. This is no problem when in 2wd mode. Auto mode also produces the same issue but its intermittent and not as noticable.

Does anyone have any experience with this type of issue and have suggestions?
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#2 The John

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 04:26 PM

Funny you mention this. I was just about to post this very question. Mine was more of a hum though, like the power steering pump was acting up but I dismissed it. However, when I got to the store this afternoon and tried to turn into a parking space, the truck felt like it was locking up and didn't want to move. I put it in 2wd and it released and I was able to pull into the spot, no problem. That was all in 4W Hi.
On the way home though I put it in Auto 4WD and didn't have any problems whatsoever.
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#3 NickV

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 05:21 PM

Funny you mention this. I was just about to post this very question. Mine was more of a hum though, like the power steering pump was acting up but I dismissed it. However, when I got to the store this afternoon and tried to turn into a parking space, the truck felt like it was locking up and didn't want to move. I put it in 2wd and it released and I was able to pull into the spot, no problem. That was all in 4W Hi.
On the way home though I put it in Auto 4WD and didn't have any problems whatsoever.

your problem sounds like you were trying to turn in 4Hi on DRY pavement, you can't do that because the system will bind. That is the type of situation Auto 4wd was designed for.

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#4 The John

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 05:30 PM

your problem sounds like you were trying to turn in 4Hi on DRY pavement, you can't do that because the system will bind. That is the type of situation Auto 4wd was designed for.


Well that explains it! That part of the parking lot was, in fact, non icy. I guess from now on in situations like today where the roads are half icy / half dry / wet, I'll just use Auto 4WD. Thanks!
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#5 8.1HD/ALLISON

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 05:37 PM

+1 on the dry pavement. Unless the roads are totally covered I would not use full time 4 hi if you have the option of auto 4. In 4 hi they tend to make a "groaning noise" when turning.

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#6 The John

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 05:40 PM

+1 on the dry pavement. Unless the roads are totally covered I would not use full time 4 hi if you have the option of auto 4. In 4 hi they tend to make a "groaning noise" when turning.

That groaning noise is exactly what I was hearing.
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#7 JoshVMAX07

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 06:36 PM

Ah, I wasn't aware that the 4wd couldn't be used unless the road was completely slippery. What should the 4wd hi be used for then? I know you should use 4wd low when in mud, but what would 4wd hi be usefull for? I was under the impression 4wd hi should be used on wet or potentially slippery roads when the truck needs to be a little more surefooted. The roads I was using it on were snow covered roads in which the snow had been melting to create a slush.

Also, it still made the groaning noise when in 4wd auto just not as often. It would do it like every other turn instead of every turn.
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#8 aj47

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 07:04 PM

The roadway does not need to be completely slippery, but at least one of the tires needs to be on a surface that will allow some slippage. There's little danger to the system while traveling straight, because all four wheels will be traveling at about the same speed. So driving on a highway with snowy patches is OK in four wheel drive. Turning is mainly where the problem arises, because the outside tires are moving considerably faster that the inside tires. If one tire can't slip and relieve the binding between the front and rear axles, then breakage can occur. An axle can snap or one of the planetary gears can be damaged.

#9 JoshVMAX07

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:23 PM

Oh wow, I hope I didn't cause any damage to my drivetrain then. I drove it around town like this for a short while. I guess im just a noobie at using 4wd. How would I know if there has been damage?
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#10 Matt_

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:28 PM

Oh wow, I hope I didn't cause any damage to my drivetrain then. I drove it around town like this for a short while. I guess im just a noobie at using 4wd. How would I know if there has been damage?


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#11 Idlewild294

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:47 PM

I once broke a shift fork in a F-150 because I caught some dry pavement on a tight turn in a parking lot. That was a $350 lesson, I could do that same thing in my old Toyota 4x4 and it just kept rumbling around in circles without any problem.
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#12 JoshVMAX07

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:52 PM

Ok, yea, it drives fine in 2wd mode. I guess I wont know if 4wd works fine until I slap some mud tires on it and take it out for some mudding.

My last question is about the Auto 4wd mode. I noticed it also has some binding on not so slippery pavement. Is that normal since I thought auto mode meant 4wd wasnt actually engaged unless a tire slipped?
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#13 Matt_

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:59 PM

My last question is about the Auto 4wd mode. I noticed it also has some binding on not so slippery pavement. Is that normal since I thought auto mode meant 4wd wasnt actually engaged unless a tire slipped?


That's normal for some trucks. When you're in Auto-4wd mode the shift motor turns to a "ready" state and slightly preloads the clutch packs. Variations between motors and other factors cause some trucks to feel a bit of binding in sharp turns on dry pavement while other trucks won't feel anything.
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#14 Idlewild294

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 09:19 PM

I have put my truck in 4Hi on dry pavement, but I did this only on a straight away on the highway and only for a brief moment to lubricate everything. I avoid any turns while in 4WD. Has anyone else done this?
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