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Four wheel drive weirdness


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13 replies to this topic

#1 northguy

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 01:56 PM

Maybe it's nothing to be concerned with, but it seems unnatural to me. When I put my gen 2 brat (83) into 4wd, the front drive unit pulls to one side or the other. I'll be cruising along and suddenly it'll pull hard to the right or the left (it varies?). Is it normal? It makes driving in 4wd very squirrely. Any ideas?

#2 beauregaardhooligan

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 02:27 PM

Are all your tires exactly the same size?
Different brands can be slightly different for the same stated size.

#3 northguy

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 02:57 PM

All tires same - brand new set or studded snows just put on about 2 months ago. All at the same time. When I drive uphill, the 4wd unit pulls like mule. It works great - won't even slip going up my drive, which is quite steep, ask Snowman. But if I'm going say 45mph in 4th gear, it is a bit scarey, feels like it could start to go sideways at any moment. Not too comforting as you are approaching oncoming traffic on a steel girder bridge.

#4 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 03:13 PM

Actually - sounds like either a bad axle, or ball joints or something. There's not really any way that putting the vehicle in 4WD can do what you are describing - the 4WD engages the rear wheels, not the front, so it would be rather difficult for it to pull just to one side like that. If you lost traction in the front, it might push you sideways much like a rear wheel drive car would.

I don't know - just sounds odd to me. I would be checking front suspension parts myself - and listening for the signs of a bad axle. I could be wrong tho - it's happened before.

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#5 MilesFox

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 04:23 PM

you dont have a bent suspension, do you?

#6 beauregaardhooligan

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 04:42 PM

Is it the front pulling, or the back sliding out? 4wd can oversteer on slippery roads.

#7 northguy

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 04:46 PM

It's like if I'm driving straight down the road and suddenly there is a power surge to one or the other front wheels. There are no grinding noises, or clunks associated with axle problems, and two wheel drive works fine. 4WD digs in like nobody's business going uphill. ???

#8 beauregaardhooligan

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 05:01 PM

Torque steer, or hitting a dry patch on the road?

#9 TROGDOR!

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 05:07 PM

My Loyale does exactly the same thing. Tires all match, everything is straight and in good order. I think it may have to do with dry patches in the road. I've noticed on the really slick stuff- sand or a road totally covered in snow- that the jerking goes away. Mine really isn't a hard pull to either side, just random jerks coming through the steering wheel to one side or the other.

#10 GLCraig

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 07:17 PM

Make sure your rear diff has the correct ratio, A budy of mine put a 3.9 rear diff in to his turbo wagon and has similar symptons.

#11 the_bard

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Posted 27 December 2003 - 10:58 PM

I've seen the same thing in my '92 Loyale. I can corroborate (sp?) Trogdor... it seems to happen when the traction isn't all that bad.

It doesn't show up at all going down Troy's unplowed roads, nor when they're semi-plowed. As long as the road has a good coating on it, my Loyale doesn't act up.

I've engaged the 4wd sometimes when it's really been raining, playing around with it. I stopped at a light going to work a few months ago, when it was raining heavy, and put it in 4wd just to see how fast I could come off the light, without having to worry about spinning the front tires. Like I said, playing :D.

Once I started getting up to speed, above 25 mph if'n I remember right, Subie started "lurching" from side to side. It was like each side was taking turns supplying power to the wheels, about a second long in duration before the other side would kick in. Put quite a bit of a shimmy into it, and scared me a bit. Haven't done it since, too.

I ought to add that I think I've got a bad ball joint on the right front that I just haven't gotten around to fixing... weather turned nasty (snow) before I could get a chance to swap it out. Whether that''s what's causing it, I don't know. If I end up swapping the joint out before I part Subie out, I'll holler.

#12 Turbone

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Posted 28 December 2003 - 02:02 AM

I'm with the Bard. It could be the fact that your not on a slick enough surface and your getting alternating grip. Also, what do you expect with studded tires on a metal bridge deck:eek:
Rob

#13 incognito

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Posted 28 December 2003 - 03:07 AM

I thought you were gonna wait till it started rusting to go and play in the BRAT... :D

#14 northguy

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Posted 28 December 2003 - 10:02 AM

Turbone - the deck of the bridge is regular old concrete covered with asphalt. But you guys may be right - it might just be catching on the few non-snow covered spots on the road. Just very weird feel and tenuous conditions to be driving at 45 mph.

BWM - just using it as my daily driver, but I have to admit I have found a few new backroads around my place. :D

Thanks to all for the input. It sounds like it's functioning the way it was designed to.




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