Strange vibrations in 4WD

Short Bus

Original poster
Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
I am having some strange vibrations in 4WD. If I use 4WD and come to a stop I can feel it vibrating. If I switch to 4Auto or 2WD I feel like the front wheels were binding or storing energy somehow and it is released when I shift out of 4WD.

I recently installed Marks 2.5" and put hose clamps on the CV boots, IDK if this could have anything to do with it, but thought it's worth mentioning.
 

RayVoy

Member
Nov 20, 2011
939
Are we driving on dry pavement?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Short Bus said:
...I feel like the front wheels were binding or storing energy somehow and it is released when I shift out of 4WD..
That's how it works. Driveline binding is a natural result of using the system on a high-traction surface. It's mentioned in the Owner's Manual as something to avoid. You could break things.

AWD systems used on other vehicles have enough slippage to not show this, but it's natural and desired in a true 4WD vehicle. ONLY use 4HI and 4LO on slippery surfaces that allow binding forces to relieve themselves.

If you ever get binding in A4WD mode, however, that's evidence that your transfer case clutches are excessively grabby due to low or old fluid, or an internal failure.
 

Short Bus

Original poster
Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
Not on dry roads, they're snow/ice covered and SLIPPERY I can also feel the vibrating sometime while driving.

I know not to use 4WD on dry roads, I should have mentioned that in my first post.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
How many miles? How fresh are your differential and transfer case fluids?

Could be aging CV shafts. They work OK when not lifted and the joints are not cycling in normal operation. When there's any torque, even on a slippery surface it's a few hundred pounds of friction per tire, a worn joint will make you notice it.

I'd start budgeting for shafts.
 

Short Bus

Original poster
Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
the roadie said:
How many miles? How fresh are your differential and transfer case fluids?

Could be aging CV shafts. They work OK when not lifted and the joints are not cycling in normal operation. When there's any torque, even on a slippery surface it's a few hundred pounds of friction per tire, a worn joint will make you notice it.

I'd start budgeting for shafts.

Just over 40K miles, I planed on changing the fluids this summer. I didn't need 4WD before the lift this winter, and haven't used it since last winter.
 

HARDTRAILZ

Moderator
Nov 18, 2011
49,665
Did they get your alignment right after the lift? I had one done and still had vibrations in 4x4, but the Firestone alignment cleared it up. Do you have a printout from your post lift alignment?
 

walterc4553

Member
Dec 5, 2011
69
To test roadie's theory pay attention to when the noise occurs and when the binding starts to occur.

To save on wear and tear only change the shifter in and out of 4wd when stopped or slow. But test the following.

1. Straight away. Does the noise appear or disappear. Does the binding occur if you shift out of 4wd after only going straight.

2. Loading up the left or right side CV's while driving straight. Load up one side's CV's and axles with tension by turning the wheel slightly to the right on a straight away. Do you hear the sound. Do you feel the binding occur. Don't do turns. Think of it like you would be heating up the tires like a NASCAR driver, is the best way to explain it. Do one side at a time and ease back into going straight so you don't bind the opposite side. Stop and turn it out of 4wd to see if that side had binding. Then do the opposite side. You don't need to go fast and you don't need to be on a road. The CV on the opposite way that you are turning will be the one with tension.

3. Do soft turns in one direction. Do very wide soft turns in a parking lot and listen for the sound. Very wide big parking lot. This will cause the most tension and almost guarantee that you will hear a noise from one side or the other if a CV is bad. After you finish turning continue straight for a bit before you disengage 4wd so that some of the binding is released before disconnecting 4wd.

If you hear a CV noise while going straight the axle is for sure bad and will go sometime. If you hear is with gentle tension in the second method then the CV has some miles on it but will cause you some issues. If the CV makes noise with heavy tension on wide turns then it could last you a while but like Roadies said start saving your money.

The theory's on replacement are varied. I believe that you replace right away so that other things are not damaged. Others believe you don't replace until the noise is really loud when driving straight.

After seeing the miles I doubt that your CV's are bad. But maybe. More likely you could have a slight misalighnment. 4wd can sometimes bindup on me even when on snow and ice.
 

Short Bus

Original poster
Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
HARDTRAILZ said:
Did they get your alignment right after the lift? I had one done and still had vibrations in 4x4, but the Firestone alignment cleared it up. Do you have a printout from your post lift alignment?

It took a week to get into my alignment guy. He has a pit in his garage behind his house. I didn't get a printout. I first noticed the vibrations the day before the alignment.

walterc4553 said:
To test roadie's theory pay attention to when the noise occurs and when the binding starts to occur.

To save on wear and tear only change the shifter in and out of 4wd when stopped or slow. But test the following.

1. Straight away. Does the noise appear or disappear. Does the binding occur if you shift out of 4wd after only going straight.

2. Loading up the left or right side CV's while driving straight. Load up one side's CV's and axles with tension by turning the wheel slightly to the right on a straight away. Do you hear the sound. Do you feel the binding occur. Don't do turns. Think of it like you would be heating up the tires like a NASCAR driver, is the best way to explain it. Do one side at a time and ease back into going straight so you don't bind the opposite side. Stop and turn it out of 4wd to see if that side had binding. Then do the opposite side. You don't need to go fast and you don't need to be on a road. The CV on the opposite way that you are turning will be the one with tension.

3. Do soft turns in one direction. Do very wide soft turns in a parking lot and listen for the sound. Very wide big parking lot. This will cause the most tension and almost guarantee that you will hear a noise from one side or the other if a CV is bad. After you finish turning continue straight for a bit before you disengage 4wd so that some of the binding is released before disconnecting 4wd.

If you hear a CV noise while going straight the axle is for sure bad and will go sometime. If you hear is with gentle tension in the second method then the CV has some miles on it but will cause you some issues. If the CV makes noise with heavy tension on wide turns then it could last you a while but like Roadies said start saving your money.

The theory's on replacement are varied. I believe that you replace right away so that other things are not damaged. Others believe you don't replace until the noise is really loud when driving straight.

After seeing the miles I doubt that your CV's are bad. But maybe. More likely you could have a slight misalighnment. 4wd can sometimes bindup on me even when on snow and ice.

I'll try some of these things in the next couple days, my wife is in the hospital with a bad infection right now. I haven't heard a noise, but the binding is going straight. I bought a quart of Autotrack II, so I can make sure the T case is topped off.
 

Short Bus

Original poster
Member
Dec 2, 2011
1,906
I got the t case toped off today, it was about 3/4 of a quart low. That seemed to help some. Just to make sure it's clear, The vibrations are when I'm stopped and in gear, but only after i have driven some. I can switch out of 4WD and back in and it goes away after the energy is released.
 

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