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Old 12-04-2005, 04:12 PM
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4x4 steering problem

Hi,

I have a 94 ford ranger with 4x4. When I engage 4x4, my steering wheel goes everywhere, really hard to control. Its like a really bad wobble. The ball joints are fine shape, the rotors are tight to the axle. I don't know how bad the u-joints are...I mean they need to be replaced but its not awful. as soon as I take it out of 4x4, its back to normal. In 4x4 = very wobbly, not = fine. Thanks, Adam

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Old 12-04-2005, 04:18 PM
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The front driveshaft "U" joints are probably seizing up....It doesn't turn when you are in 2 wheel drive.
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:40 PM
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Okay, better than a diff problem. Definitely more pronounced on one side, and there is a bad grind when you turn on that side. Does that match up? Thanks for the help, Adam
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:23 PM
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Sounds exactly like Poncho described!
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:29 PM
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4x4 steering problem

Your front axle u joints are frozen up. I've seen this dozens of times. you probably should change both sides while you are at it.
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:42 PM
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It sound like these guys have it nailed down, but I thought I would throw this out for a possibility.

Is this the same front end that you had before and this just started?

A vehicle you just purchased?

A replacement front diff.?

I replaced the front diff. on my Chevy Z71 (if it had been a straight axle I would have pulled the cover to check first). The salvage yard gave me the wrong gear ratio 3.42 when I needed 3.73. The thing hopped and jumped like crazy, I could not steer on the gravel, on pavement the tires were chirping, things grinding and popping (I didn't keep it in 4wd very long). Then I switched it out with the proper ratio and everything is great now.

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Old 12-04-2005, 05:45 PM
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Good point, if it has just been replaced.........

About the front axle "U" joints............Do they not turn whether in 2 or 4 wheel?

The front driveshaft does not, thats why I said that.
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:58 PM
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Thanks for your help...I've been meaning to do that stuff, so guess it just made it happen sooner. To answer the other question, it has 90,000 miles and the suspension is unaltered, it was owned by a heavy 4x4 guy before. Thaks for all the help, Adam
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Old 12-04-2005, 08:15 PM
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His weight should'nt have any thing to do with it.
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Old 12-05-2005, 04:40 AM
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4x4 steering problem

The ranger would have some type of locking hubs on the front end.rangers dont usually have "full time"4 wheel drive. It probably has automatic hubs that are supposed to engage when the front driveshaft turns.these hubs are troublesome at best,and on an 11year old truck they probably arent working properly anyway. IMO I still say axle joints
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Old 12-05-2005, 05:39 AM
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My Blazer has a slip gear that is vacuum actuated when in 4 wheel. In 2 wheel the front axles are turned by the wheels, but the front driveshaft does not. I figure that Ford uses a similar system.....
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