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4WD Systems Transfer Cases & Locking Hubs.

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Old 04-18-2016, 04:55 AM   #1
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Default 1995 Explorer 4wd questions regarding 4x4 operation and issues

Just picked up a stock 1995 Ford Explorer Sport with a 5 speed.

I have noted a few issues regarding the transfer case (which may be nothing?) And a rather serious shaking issue with the front end while in both 4wd auto mode, and the 4-lo mode.

1st with the transfer case. I had all 4 wheels off the ground for testing. In 2wd mode I noted the front drive shaft was spinning. Not 'at speed' like the rear shaft, but spinning. I can stop it easy by hand, as there's no real torque behind it. Just spinning. I am unsure if this is normal, as this is my first 4wd SUV and this thing has quarks.

2nd issue. I've noted in 4wd auto and lo. Front end shakes badly. Now I've been told this is likely due to my running 75 series tires on the back, and 70 series on the front. (235/75/15 R, and 235/70/15 Front)

Now I'm not sold on this, because the difference isn't huge, and the shakes are bad. In 2wd mode it goes down the road like a lumber wagon. (rough ride) but no shaking. I've noted while I had the 4 wheels off the ground for testing the following:

Left CV shaft has no play in any direction. Solid feel.
Right CV shaft at the plunge joint:

No play at the outer joint. The inner joint has about 1/4" inch in-out play where it connects to the front axle. Likely normal as there should be a snap ring holding it together and the joint comes to a dead stop when trying to pull it outwards.

That same plunge joint has what looks to be a lot of up/down slop when the 4wd is NOT engaged. As in: Grab the plunge joint and you can rock it up/down and it has a slight tilting action as well. Engage the 4wd and watching the action on the CV axles: Left spins normally. We blocked the left wheel (open diff after all...) and the drive 'power' goes to the right CV axle shaft/wheel.

I can see that plunge joint rock up/down almost like it's out of round while spinning. This is of course under no real load, and I'm kinda suspect of what that effect would be under load trying to move the Explorer forward.....

Need to know if that's normal, or if there is an internal bushing/bearing that could be bad. This is my first go with 4wd after all, and I have no issues in doing manual labor and repairs.


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Old 04-18-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
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Yes, in 2WD the front drive line can have some spin but no torque, that is from the clutch setup inside the transfercase.

Tires size is almost an inch difference in diameter, 28.88" and 27.95"
29" tire rolls 7.5ft in one revolution
28" tire rolls 7.3ft in one revolution

That .2ft difference, PER rotation, adds up fast and has to go somewhere, so absorbed by the clutch slipping in transfercase.
Not a good situation long term

Could be the vibration but would think that's more of a front axle issue, yes, wheel CV joint could be the vibration.
They are only used in 4WD.
A hub or ball joint would tend to vibrate in 2WD as well.
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