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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-26-2001, 12:58 PM
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Is 4x4 working???

I'm trying to determine whether or not the 4x4 in a 1996 Bronco I recently purchased is working. The indicator lights turn on and it feels like something’s happening underneath when I engage. (It also definitely engages in Low Range when asked.) However, the vehicle doesn’t seem to drive much differently when it’s supposedly in 4x4 mode. In particular, I don’t feel any real difference while turning, even quite sharply on dry pavement. My understanding is that with traditional 4x4s, there should be a good degree of “fight” while trying to turn. Would a 1996 Bronco be engineered differently (e.g., a front/rear differential) such that there’s not much of a noticeable difference? Are there any convenient ways to tell if it’s working properly? Many thanks for anyone’s insight!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-26-2001, 07:15 PM
 
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Re: Is 4x4 working???

I've got a '95, and the easiest way to check is as you mention, i.e. put it in 4x4, turn wheel sharply while slowly driving. If it is sending power to the front it is easy to tell due to some binding. Also, I believe if you have a friend check, the driveshaft (front) will be rotating. If it is not in 4x4, the driveshaft doesn't move.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-26-2001, 08:01 PM
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Re: Is 4x4 working???

Thanks so much for the follow-up. I suspect I may have some bad auto-locking hubs. (I've read a lot about problems with these and folks recommending replacing them with manuals.) Assuming it is the hubs, does anyone have a sense of how difficult this would be for me (someone who is pretty mechanically inclined and has done some relatively minor car work, but nothing extensive) to do myself? Thanks again!

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2001, 02:49 AM
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Re: Is 4x4 working???

Conveting the hub locks is a fairly simple task, but requires a couple of special tools: the spanner wrench for the wheel bearing nuts (CarQuest), snap-ring pliers (Sears), and some picks(Wal-Mart). All should cost less than $40.

The quickest & most fun way to test the 4WD is to put it in 4, stop on a really slick surface (like mud or wet grass), have an observer standing so he can see both front wheels, & [b]ROMP ON IT!!![b][img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img] If the 4WD is engaged, at least one of the front wheels will spin - if it's not working, they'll just start rolling as the truck starts moving.

A more scientific way would be to put the truck on 4 jack stands & put it in 4WD. Then when you put it in gear, you can see which wheels are turning.


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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-27-2001, 11:04 PM
 
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Re: Is 4x4 working???

You can also test the auto lockers by trying to turn the drive shaft by hand(truck parked and off). If they turn for more than say one rotation they the auto's are shot. if it won't let you turn them far they are engaging. My '93 really feels no different when in 4X4. It has an open diff which takes out alot of the weird pull you are talking about.


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-29-2001, 01:35 PM
 
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Re: Is 4x4 working???

I wouldn't doubt you have bad auto hubs, after the 3rd time with them breaking, I finally got the hint and switched to Manuals. The auto hubs are almost all plastic inside. I wimped out and let the local dealer do it. The comment the dealer guy made was that they do the swap all the time, especially on work trucks with the autos. The autos just aren't up to any heavy use, and of course, mine always broke while out 'wheeling.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-29-2001, 04:45 PM
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Re: Is 4x4 working???

I think you will need to change your spindle nuts also and that means you will need the socket for BOTH designs...

see "4WD DOESN`T WORK!!IDEAS??" posted earlier here on late-bronco site.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-30-2001, 09:35 PM
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Re: Is 4x4 working???

Sure enough . . . I could turn the drive shaft to my heart's content. Thanks so much for the suggestion!

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