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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My '96 Ram 1500 has done this since new, but I was wondering if it's normal; when in 4WD, the truck will barely move because the front end binds so badly. This is on any surface. It's like running a Detroit locker in the front. On slick surfaces, it's mostly a matter of skidding in somewhat the correct direction; if I get on hardpack and don't take it out of 4WD, it takes serious engine power to move at all, and I have little control. I've owned many 4X4s (Dodge, 3 Jeeps, one FJ40, Pathfinder, Blazer, Montero) and have never seen this problem to this degree, but I was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences.
 

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My suzuki samura does the same. Your truck has full time 4x4 correct (no lockout hubs). The transfer case will lock the front and rear outputs and the drivetrane will bind up if you turn. Are you having trouble going straight? Turning in a locked 4x4 mode will do exactly what you noted, especially with a locker up front.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I know some binding is normal. However, this is pretty extreme and actually brings the vehicle to a screeching halt. It really affects steering in slick stuff even more, as it pretty much turns the front end into a plow; no steering control to speak of in low-speed turns. No, I'm not locked. No trouble going straight, just changing direction.
 

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Thats not right, jack up your right front tire out of 4 wheeldrive and spin it feeling for resistance in the u joint, hub bearing and for the ball joints. Try the other side too. Check fluid level in transfer case and front axle. Try spinning the front drivehaft manualy noticing for binding in the joints and the double cardavan joint at the top by the transfer case. Make sure all joints are greased if possibly and tierods... Let us know what you find.
 

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why didnt you take it to the dealership when it was new and have it fixed? sounds like mopar might have accidently dropped the wrong ratio in the front axle... or forgot to put bearings in it
even on asphalt, if you're going in a straight line you shouldnt notice much binding, on a soft surface it shouldnt be noticable at all.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I own a 2001 RAM and mine does the exact same thing! I been to the dealership for them to tell me that this is normal and that they could not do anything for this. So I am now looking for a better differential fluid to see if that eliminates the problem. A friend of mine told me that his Cherokee had the same problem all that he did to cure the issue was swap the fluid out with a type of fluid available only from GM dealerships. I haven't tried that route yet but I am going to investigate it hopefully today. I will post more info if I can get this issue ironed out.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yea mines the same way and i think its absolutley rediculous. 26 grand for a truck and it acts like my 78 blazer in 4 wheel. None of my buddys fords do this nor did my 89 chvy pu as .. I figured it was form the posi diffs?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
although mine only does it at full lock left or right, otheriwse you dont even know its in 4 wheel
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have changed both of my diffs fluids with Royal Purple 75W90 and I have added a bottle of Gm Posi Additive to both and the lurching that my truck was suffering from has improved greatly. She only really jerks in corners on dry pavement now but in the sand and slick surfaces the problem has gone away until she reaches full lock in either direction and now there is just a little bit. I am happy to say that I no longer skid through turns! I hope that this helps you if you go the same route.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There may be another problem. We had a Jeep grand cheroke come in with very simular problems and the problem was they had different brand tires on the front then the rear and when measured they were different hight's The size was just enough for the to throw off the abs brakes and locking transfer.

Just a thought
Jerry
 
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