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Discussion Starter #1
We took a little road trip for christmas this year to visit the outlaws. Drove the 96 Bronco from So Cal to North Dakota (1700 miles one way) I have very little experience driving in snow and ice, (only a few times in our local California mountains) most of my 4 wheeling is in the dezert and Baja.

We hit a snow storm near Idaho Falls so I dropped my speed down from 70 mph to about 50mph, cars were still passing me like I was standing still. I started to see vehicles slipping and sliding and a few were off in the ditch in the center divider so I slowed down to about 30 mph. The ass end started to come around on me so I let off the gas and corrected it back the other way and it straightend out.

I pulled over and locked my front hubs and put it in 4 hi. When I took off I instantly thought something was wrong. The steering wheel was pulling hard left and to keep it straight I was turning hard right. I got a vibration and noise from the left front. I got off on the next off ramp of I-15 to make sure the hubs were locked and they were. Instead of sliding all over the road I just fought the wheel in 4x for the next 45 miles until we stopped in Idaho Falls for the night.

Of course it snowed all night and when we left heading towards Montana at 9:00 am the roads weren't clear yet....anyways long story longer we went for it and drove about 100 miles in 4 hi with the same problems with the front in 4x4.

What could be wrong ? or is that the way it should drive in 4x4 on the highway ?
 

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Kitteh Commandaar!
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Well, what your saying sounds pretty normal to me, usually you don have to fight it very hard UNLESS the road is sloped and 4 tires are all turning faster than your going (sliping). Usually the way the road is sloped, thats the way you start to slide (pulling feeling).

The road didn't happen to be sloped to the left or right at some places/all the way?

Again, just in my experence...
 

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Welcome to the Palouse. :thumbup

Do you have a locker in your front axle? That's the only thing I can think of. I get similar characteristics but it is only when I am turning extremely sharp. I'd imagine if you had a locked front you might experience some odd driving characteristics on the road in 4x4...
 

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The noise/vibration you were probably hearing was the front driveline spinning. If one tire were slipping a little on the snow/ice in the front it would have pulled in that direction. This sounds pretty normal especially since you were going a little faster. I hope Tom (locopony) chimes in he is always doing that drive from So Cal to North Dakota.
 

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I have factory hubs on mine and I get no noise and no pull from it. I have 33" tires and only a body lift to clear them. The suspension is off from the lift but still, I do not have to fight it. It sounds like there is a problem with your bearings. Have you jacked up the front end and spun the wheels yet?

Chris
 

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yeah ask the canadian guys here... the only reason i can hear any noise while in 4wd is because i have no carpet, just a painted floor. so there isnt much for noise dampening. You should only be in 4wd to accelerate, once up to speed, you should pop back into 2wd, this eliminates the feeling that you are invincible because your brakes work the same in 2wd as 4wd. Unless the road was COMPLETELY covered in snow and ice. either way there shouldnt be a constant pull and noise, its is however normal for it to pull while accerating or harder braking, and there shouldn't be any loud noises. If I were you I'd start by checking your u joints and spindle bearings.
 

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Practicing Infidel
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A worn out tie rod and give you that feeling too

Canadian (Sixlitre;))
 

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Zombie Hunter
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A worn out tie rod and give you that feeling too

Canadian (Sixlitre;))
or a worn ball joint will cause the pull.

grinding isn't good. nothing should ever "grind" when you're using 4WD.

i would check the whole front end from the hubs in. Bearings, axle shafts, driveshafts, check all the u-joints. I am assuming you still have a TTB font end.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the replys. Like I said I'm a total newbie in the white stuff !!

I have a limited slip in the front.

I just did the wheel bearings about 5k miles ago.

I have not checked the front drive shaft for balance.

I may take it back to Camburg to have them check it out for me. They did my suspension in May and this is the first time I have driven on the highway in snow/ice in 4x
 

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I live in 4x4 in my neck of the woods, but not normally for highway driving. Either way I never have noticed any problems in higher speed driving.

And as long as you are on snow or somewhat slippery roads, it is fine to run in 4wd. The Bronco's are like Jeeps in the snow, the ass wants to come around. The 4x4 won't help you stop, but it will keep you straight if you need to suddenly downshift to climb hills or pass.
 

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i run snow plows on my broncos and have ran them at highway speeds in 4 wheel, not supposed too, but i have on occasions, anyway here is why i am posting, i just bought two weeks ago a 96 bronco to replace one of the older rusted ones, it was perfect but when i test drove it and put it in 4 wheel, massive vibration and when i push the accel, hard pull to the left< wow, never had that and i have had around 7 broncos, first thing i did was check the tire size to be the same on all 4 tires, it was 31x10.50x15, so i pulled the front center shaft out felt the ujoints they were fine, changed anyway, checked transfer case bearings and pinion bearings on frontend, ok, then i pulled the front axles out changed the ujoints even though they seemed fine also, when reassembling the front lockouts i had my son grab one of the front bf goodrich AT and put it by one of the rear cooper tires, they were numbered exactly the same 31x10.50x15 but the new goodrich was over one inch taller than the cooper, so i just finished the job, took it for a test drive knowing i did not find anything wrong except the tires, and sure enough, major vibration and jerking to left on accel. pulled the other bronco in the garage and put it on stands, pulled tires off and put the set of matched 4 on this new bronco and perfect, no vibration or pulling, i just wish i would have tried that before rebuilding the front end, anyway it will be good for plowing, thanks johnb
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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Not normal. it's true that if the highway is sloped, and most are, you will be turning the wheel slightly into the slope, but you'd notice this in 2WD as well.

If it was pulling hard one way only in 4WD I'd check your hubs again. The vibration/noise may be from worn out spindle bearings, but I don't think they'd be the cause of your pull.
 

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Former owner of Shadofax
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I've run my spindle bearings down to absolute nothing and never got pulling or vibration.

One thing that I didn't think to mention because it sounds dumb (but it always happens). If you have snow packed into the rim, it will cause this. It freezes and then your wheel goes way off balance. I used to get it all the time in the Bronco.
That's true as well, the last snow here was super sticky, and with the rear discs it heated and stuck in the wheel slots,, but basically that gave me vibration/tire out of balance feeling.
 

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Zombie Hunter
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Would that only happen while in 4x4 or would it pull in 2 wheel drive as well ?
It will be somewhat apparent in 2WD. Loose steering. sort of like "swimmy" wheel, or slight play in the steering wheel.

Once you engage 4WD, it will become very apparent that your ball joints are worn. There is a way to check ball joints physically, it's slipped my mind at the moment, do a search on "ball joints", tons of good info here.

I've run my spindle bearings down to absolute nothing and never got pulling or vibration.

One thing that I didn't think to mention because it sounds dumb (but it always happens). If you have snow packed into the rim, it will cause this. It freezes and then your wheel goes way off balance. I used to get it all the time in the Bronco.
Ever have a caliper freeze open? or ice cause the caliper to not close all the way? That's fun too.
 
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