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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Burning Smell in 4WD

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10 replies to this topic

#1 exister99


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 10:49 AM

So the ice and snow is here and the Soob was rarin' to go with her studded snow tires. I've driven from Boise to Ketchum a couple of times in blizzard conditions.

Unfortuntely the last couple of weeks I have had the following two problems:

1. The 4WD lever is really hard to put back in 2WD after driving around in 4WD for a while.

2. When I stop after some 4WD driving there is a burning smell in the cab. This smell does not occur while in 2WD.

What is the likely culprit here? Is the linkage that gets worked by the 4WD lever inside the front differential? Is the front differential a seperate unit from the transmission? Could the rear differential be to blame?

I recently did a front end rebuild (half shafts, bearings, struts etc.), but haven't messed with the rear end much. Any suggestions are appreciated before I put her up on jack stands and start diggin in.

#2 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 01:05 PM

Check you U-joints in the rear drive shaft first off - probably not the problem, but an easy thing to check...

Next check the fuild level in t

Otherwise - the front diff has nothing to do with the 4WD shift mechanism, so that's out. I would have to say if you can't find the source of the problem outside of the trans, it's probably time for another tranny. You *could* tear into it - my guess is it's a bearing failure on the 4WD auxilery shaft, or the transfer case portion of the trans.... Next check the fuild level in tranny - if it's low then you most likely have already done serious damage by the sound (smell?) in this case.....

Check the rear diff out too - crawl under the car when you get that smell, and try to isolate where the smell is comming from....


#3 Skip


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 01:26 PM

exister, you say
"The 4WD lever is really hard to put back in 2WD after driving around in 4WD for a while."
This tells me you are running the 4wd on dry pavement and or with mismatched tires and are suffering from the transfer case being bound up. (One way to ease this is to reverse the vehicle about 20 or so feet)
If you drive with mismatched tires (you should have same brand, size, and wear amount front and rear) maybe the tires slipping to release this bind has caused the rubber smell?
If you drive on only snow covered roads does it still smell?

#4 Guest_taprackready_*

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 01:52 PM

Perhaps its his clutch burning up? Usually to put your sub or any 4x4 back into 2 HI you need to point the front wheels straight and roll a few feet front or back. Should be able to do it on the fly. I agree on checking the tranny fluid.


#5 c150L


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 01:56 PM

I agree with the mismatched tires and tranfer case bind, but must add that everything in the drive trane after the transmission gears will be bound. Not just the transfer case. Front and rear diff, all CV and DO joints, U joints, bearings, etc. (Harder on some parts, but excess pressures on all.

#6 Sweet82


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 03:28 PM

My hatch does the same thing..............

but I have never been able to pinpoint exactly what it was or where it was coming from. Nor have I really tried to locate it as it does not seem consistant or sevier (this is a burning rubber smell).

I have never associated it with the 4wd disengage problem. Seems like two seperate things to me.

Not sure that helps you..........:rolleyes:

82 Hatch, almost up and rhinoing.....
01 Forester, bent but not broken........

#7 Humble Nuto 53

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Posted 12 January 2004 - 05:10 PM

check the carrier bearing on the drive shaft, in the volvos
the rubber shrinks, then it kinda rolls around in there with
the driveshaft...... makes a nice rubbery smell for a while

also another handy method for finding hot smells is dive
under while the car is still hot and stinky and feel the drive
train... i like those cheap cotton work gloves from menards

and the smell of cookin meat too

#8 Qman


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 05:36 PM

No carrier bearing on a stock EA81 wagon!!

#9 c150L


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 09:00 PM

Mis matched tires on 4wd can deffinately heat up a driver train and give odd symptons.

This is not a Sube deal, but a Chev Blaser or pick up deal. Last winter, I went out to a friends house and he had one of his freinds Chevs in the garage, jacked up. The front diff was baking, oil spewing out of the seals (if there is seals there) by the U joints at the hub/spindle area. They were sure that the front axle was toast and needed to be replaced. In talking about it to the driver, it was his freinds truck, found out they had a flat on way back from up north and put on a puney spare. Continued to driver 150 miles to home, in 4wd, where they found the hot diff and oil baking out the ends. Told them to change the oil and get the correct tire back on and see how it goes. Just saw them a week ago, said they never changed axles in that thing.

May or may not be the tire size thing, but the bound up, non releasing 4wd lever leads me to beleive tire mismatch. Pull your car into the drive, 4wd on and unable to release from 4wd. (Dont break it trying!) Jack one wheel off the ground. (May well see that one tire rotate itself when it comes off the ground.) Maybe rock a tire back and forth a bit, and try to take out of 4wd again.

What sizes are all 4 tires? What condition is each of the 4 as compared to the others. If not nearly exact in diameter on all 4, the drive train WILL bind. (Especially on reasonable traction surfaces and only when 4wd. )

#10 beauregaardhooligan


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Posted 12 January 2004 - 09:17 PM

I don't see anything in his post about what the burning smell smells like.
Could be gear oil getting hot and coming out the dipstick? This has happened to me after vigorous 4 wheeling.
A hot clutch will smell like brakes.

#11 MilesFox


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Posted 13 January 2004 - 02:31 AM

what about if the clutch cable was too loose, causing the clutch to be partially engaged with the clutch pedal pushed in

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