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Front end troubles

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by Dave N, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. Dave N

    Dave N Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 8

    Hi there, my name's Dave and I have a problem.:mad:

    Yesterday we (my father and I) started our truck, a 1984 chevy k10, unknown v8 with a 3 speed, regular cab longbed 4x4 (with auto-locking hubs), and when we were on the road it was making some bad noises from the front end. I thought it was a bad u joint on the pass. side axle. when we stopped to look at it, we discovered that if you turn the wheel all the way (right or left), something is binding up enough to slow/stop the truck. (i know some 'bumping' is normal, i drive a 2010 silverado which feels like it's tripping over itself in 4wd, but this is 100 times worse)

    thankfully we were done plowing for the day, so to a friend's service station we went. when the truck was on the lift, and the steering was turned all the way, the truck was bouncing so bad we thought it was going to fall of the lift. strange thing is, this only happens when the truck is in 4 wheel drive

    that night, we replaced the suspected u joint, and un-seized the front drive shaft (where it expands), hoping it would solve the problem. In the process, we also inspected the pass side hub assembly, and all seemed fine. when we started the truck, it still bounced as bad as before.

    the next day (today) the truck went to another friend's shop, where we checked over the driver side u joint and inspected that hub. in addition, we inspected the spider gears and replaced the gear oil. still nothing.:dizzy:

    now the truck still bounces, and refuses to shift into 4 wheel drive without rocking from forward to reverse and stomping the gas a few times

    i really hope somebody can tell us that this is something stupid 4 mechanics overlooked. Thumbs Up

    edit: feel free to ask any questions about the truck, i'll be checking in a lot
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  2. Dakota Dave

    Dakota Dave Member
    Messages: 44

    did you try turning the front drive shaft with the hubs unlocked. If you've went through the front end you need to look at the transfercase. it should have a drive chain in it.
  3. Dave N

    Dave N Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 8

    not too sure how to spin the shaft without the hubs locking

    mechanic number 2 checked the transfer case and said the chain looked good
  4. Dr Who

    Dr Who Senior Member
    Messages: 637

    Well its hard to tell what is going on just reading words, but..

    if the driveshaft U joints are good, both front axle U joints are good, the spider gears are good its hard to say what is going on.

    But since you said in the reply that you have to rock the truck to get it in 4x4, and you have auto locking hubs, I would start there.
    I would find a set of manual locking hubs and switch them, if no more then to test to see if the auto hubs are the problem or not. But that would be my guess by the info I have read, that is.
  5. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    those auto locking hubs are for grandma and grandpa. ditch them and get some reg hubs you have to lock or unlock.

    after this many years in service thay are most likely shot and not working right. seen lots of problems over the years with those things.
  6. Dave N

    Dave N Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the help guys, we really appreciate it

    Would bad hubs be able to cause binding bad enough to stop the truck though? I'm not too sure how they work so I figured why not ask
  7. welded wrenches

    welded wrenches Senior Member
    Messages: 177

    auto-fronts hubs -fyi...

    hi,as far them auto matic front hubs..there are a for sure a JOKE...Like what the prevoius reply says..get some aftermarket locking hubs..aka..warn or spicer...and give your old automatic front hubs to someone you dont like..LOL..
  8. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    thay dont make spicers anymore. but thay are the best for strength if you can find them still used.
  9. Jeffreyjr1414

    Jeffreyjr1414 Junior Member
    Messages: 3

    ok, here is a stupid question from a non profesional, are all four tires the same size and worn about the same? I had a boss who never rotated his tires then only put new ones on the rear and couln't figure out why he had problems, the rear tires are then over pushing the fronts. Good luck any how.
  10. Dave N

    Dave N Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 8

    Well, replaced the hubs with new autos (we had them 'in stock') and the problem is still there

    Tires are all the same size and worn evenly too

    I guess now our big idea is to run it till something breaks and hope it lasts the winter, dad doesn't really want to tear open the transfer case with this winter being as bad as it is
  11. KGRlandscapeing

    KGRlandscapeing 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,660

    If its not snow coverd or really sloppy what are you doing in 4 wheel?
  12. c&msnowplowing

    c&msnowplowing Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    Hey Dave...try this. You did not mention anything about checking your brakes. I had a 1983 1/2 and had a rotor break on me. Rotors were hot from plowing .....drove thru powder...and bang. Broke the right side rotor in half and made my front tire lock up when I turned. Driving straight it about shook me out of the cab. Not sure if that is your issue but I had the same symptoms. If everything else checks out then the only thing left is brakes and suspension. The only thing that will lock a wheel are u-joints, bearings, hubs...and brakes. I agree with the others , get yourself some good lock out hubs. Inspect your rotors closely as one may only be cracked and under stress when turning shifts and locks your wheel. Good luck
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2011
  13. nathan11507

    nathan11507 Member
    Messages: 68

    Automatic 4wd dr is a joke and is for grandmas and grandpas, lol well its all i have ever had and never once have had an issue with them what so ever, and my avalanche 2500 when plowing is never been in 4wd hi or low its only ever been auto 4wd and never needed anyything more then that but i guess its a matter of preference and will take auto 4wd drive over locking hubs any day
  14. sweetk30

    sweetk30 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,588

    i am not gona start a pissin match. but if your quotin me you better go back and read what i typed again.

    " auto locking hubs " NOT auto 4x4 in general.

    those hubs are well known for blowing up and screwing up. hell before i got reg locking hubs i got stuck in 4wd in snow in a parking lot. thay wouldnt lock back in when going from backwards to forwards.

    those hubs rely on the spinning of the shaft to lock in-n-out. when you stop and change direction thay momentarily unlock then lock back in the other way. and when people dont under stand this and try forward/reverse real hard several times thay can and have blown them up.

    for reg old work truck best is reg style locking hubs and or drive slugs . then newer vehicles these days dont have hubs except ford. but thay have a auto AND locked position to eliminate this problem.
  15. Dave N

    Dave N Junior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 8

    Were pretty sure it's not the hubs, the truck still jumps around with new ones in

    Tomorrow were ordering a new spider gear kit, comes with all necessary gears, washers, pins and nuts; under 100 bucks out the door

    If this isn't it then were calling it quits.

    Thanks for your help everybody!