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Discussion Starter #1
Snow has arrived here in Colorado. The other day I went to shift into 4wd, and I got a real driveshaft bind / bang sound from underneath.

Here is what I've done since: Opened up and checked/serviced my locking hubs (manual). They were fine.
Locked one side at a time and engaged 4wd (no sounds)
Locked both sides and disengaged 4wd (grinding sounds)
Unlocked both sides and engaged 4wd (no sounds)

So, it seems to me that this is coming from my front differential, right (which I believe is a D44)? Or what do you suggest?

Bronco is basically stock 1989 with a C6 behind a 351. T-case is manual shift.

I REALLY need 4wd where I live, so this has all of my attention.
 

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When you say hubs engaged, out of 4, grinding sound - is it grinding when taking it out it 4 or when the axle is turning? And is it when you rotate the tires on with it on jack stands or when driving it?

Have you checked the 3 u-joints? Specifically the inner one on the pass side?


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Discussion Starter #3
When you say hubs engaged, out of 4, grinding sound - is it grinding when taking it out it 4 or when the axle is turning? And is it when you rotate the tires on with it on jack stands or when driving it?

Have you checked the 3 u-joints? Specifically the inner one on the pass side?


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With hubs engages, out of 4wd, driving it I get the binding / grinding. On jackstands with both axles locked I can rotate one side and the other turns, and the d-shaft turns fine too.

I haven't checked U-joints. I actually don't know how to check it beyond just looking at it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
OK, a little additional information that I can add; it is NOT rhythmic, or associated with a certain number of rotations of the tires, etc. Sometimes it's "bang bang" and sometimes it's just occasional.
 

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With the Bronco on jack stands: For the axle u-joints take a long prybar or screwdriver and place between the lower steering nuckle and the u-joint yoke (axle yoke needs to be strait up and down). Now pry up and down on the axle while looking for play in the u-joint cross pins. Rotate tire until the axle shat yoke has turned 90 degrees and check again. Repeat for other side.
 

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With hubs engages, out of 4wd, driving it I get the binding / grinding. On jackstands with both axles locked I can rotate one side and the other turns, and the d-shaft turns fine too.

I haven't checked U-joints. I actually don't know how to check it beyond just looking at it.
You say, hubs locked, disengaged t-case (2wd) there is a binding/grinding. Could you be more specific about the "binding/grinding"? With the case disengaged and hubs locked the axle, diff and driveshaft will spin, but there is no load on any of it. In this case I would lean toward bad spindle bearings, bad u-joints (driveshaft or axle) or bad carrier bearings/pinion bearing. Have you checked the diff oil? Have you checked the pinion to see if there is any play?
In addition to this, I wonder about the "driveshaft bind/bang" you originally mentioned. Could you elaborate on that? Has it done it since? Weird noises and bangs are not uncommon when engaging the t-case. So it may just have been something engaging. Check your t-case fluid as well for shavings.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You say, hubs locked, disengaged t-case (2wd) there is a binding/grinding. Could you be more specific about the "binding/grinding"? With the case disengaged and hubs locked the axle, diff and driveshaft will spin, but there is no load on any of it. In this case I would lean toward bad spindle bearings, bad u-joints (driveshaft or axle) or bad carrier bearings/pinion bearing. Have you checked the diff oil? Have you checked the pinion to see if there is any play?
In addition to this, I wonder about the "driveshaft bind/bang" you originally mentioned. Could you elaborate on that? Has it done it since? Weird noises and bangs are not uncommon when engaging the t-case. So it may just have been something engaging. Check your t-case fluid as well for shavings.
Binding, I can feel what I think is the driveshaft loading up and then releasing with a bang. If I try to keep driving sometimes it will grind, like rocks in a blender. Really grinding. I haven't checked the diff oil, t-case fluid, or the pinion play yet, as this Bronco is pretty new to me.

I'm just new to Broncos, spending a lot of time wheeling with other rigs including most recently a 1985 Toyota Landcruiser, as well as an SAS Isuzu rodeo. The Ford front end is a mystery to me.
 

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Check those u-joints first. That would be one of the easiest / cheapest fixes. If it is binding and banging that bad the bad u-joint will be obvious to see if not broken.

Could be the ring gear or something in the diff but it would be pretty odd for it to grenade without some sort of hard wheeling underway.


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So this Bronco is new to you? How new? Is this the first time you've tried using 4x4 on the streets? Check the front driveshaft to see if there is a double cardon/CV joint at the t-case. It's basically two u joints at the t-case side. Also, it's pretty easy to remove the driveshaft. You can remove it and then try all the same things driving down the road to see if the noise is still there or gone. Lock the hubs and leave the case in 2wd. Then put the case is 4wd with the hubs locked. Lastly unlock the hubs and put the case in 4wd. See what you hear then.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So this Bronco is new to you? How new? Is this the first time you've tried using 4x4 on the streets? Check the front driveshaft to see if there is a double cardon/CV joint at the t-case. It's basically two u joints at the t-case side. Also, it's pretty easy to remove the driveshaft. You can remove it and then try all the same things driving down the road to see if the noise is still there or gone. Lock the hubs and leave the case in 2wd. Then put the case is 4wd with the hubs locked. Lastly unlock the hubs and put the case in 4wd. See what you hear then.
Yes,it's very new to me ... I've had it for a month or so, but because of the seasons I haven't been four-wheeling until snow forced me into 4wd. Unless I missed something there is only a single u joint at the T case, and a single ujoint at the other end of the driveshaft. I put a pry bar on each and can't find any movement in them. I also checked the u joints at each wheel, and also another in the middle of the truck going to the passenger side. None of them had any discernible movement. I will spend some time on this on Sunday with my son. I've found that if I am beside the truck instead of inside it, I can better identify the location of the noises. .
 

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You described the drive shaft, those ujoints you check just like you would on a solid axle. The axle u-joints are located at the end of the axle shafts by the back side of the tires....

The axle itself is no different than a solid dana 44, 30, 60, or what ever run in the Toy internally. The pumpkin still houses the ring and pion gears, the spider gear or lockers, and the bearings. Coming out of the pumkin you still have left and right axles held into the carrier (pumkin internals) by c clips. The outside of the axle shafts have ujoints just like on any other solid axle 4x4. on the other side of the u joint from the axle shafts are the hubs. The rotors mount onto the hubs. The only difference from a ttb 44 and a solid 44 is the axle housing is solid on a solid axle, and on a ttb the housing articulates (pivots) the housings on both axle types are designed for nothing more than to add a place for the suspension to mount to and offer protection to the axle shafts.
 

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You described the drive shaft, those ujoints you check just like you would on a solid axle. The axle u-joints are located at the end of the axle shafts by the back side of the tires....

The axle itself is no different than a solid dana 44, 30, 60, or what ever run in the Toy internally. The pumpkin still houses the ring and pion gears, the spider gear or lockers, and the bearings. Coming out of the pumkin you still have left and right axles held into the carrier (pumkin internals) by c clips. The outside of the axle shafts have ujoints just like on any other solid axle 4x4. on the other side of the u joint from the axle shafts are the hubs. The rotors mount onto the hubs. The only difference from a ttb 44 and a solid 44 is the axle housing is solid on a solid axle, and on a ttb the housing articulates (pivots) the housings on both axle types are designed for nothing more than to add a place for the suspension to mount to and offer protection to the axle shafts.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm not an internet doctor/mechanic, but thinking it might be spiders....
Funny, while climbing under it yesterday I looked down to see a black widow on my leg! Though it's freezing outside, apparently my garage remains warm enough for spiders.
 

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If it is the spiders, you might want to pull that front diff before they cause any more damage; or at least stop using four wheel drive until you do.
Hey, might as well get a locker and some gears seeing that you're going to be in there. 😁 ( is it just me, or are these smilies lame?)
 

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Could drain the front and go through the oil with a magnet and/or fish through the drain hole with a magnet for slivers chunks etc.
 

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Could drain the front and go through the oil with a magnet and/or fish through the drain hole with a magnet for slivers chunks etc.
Pretty sure it's a TTB with no drain hole?
 
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