Issues with 4 wheel low but not high

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Old 02-22-13, 10:47 AM
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Issues with 4 wheel low but not high

I have a 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo, inline 6, 4.0L, auto transmission, selectrac 4WD system

A few weeks ago when shifting out of 4 wheel high, it wasn't wanting to disengage. I re-engaged, and there a a loud clunk by the left tire, but after that 4WD disengaged and everything worked perfectly fine. I have an older Toyota that clunks all the time so I didn't really think twice about it. Two days ago we got a fresh foot of snow and where I was parked I had to shift into 4WD to get out, high wasn't working so I shifted into low, unable to do it at 5mph like your supposed to, had to do it at around 1/2 mph. I crawled out of the parking spot, and went down the road a bit to turn around. As soon as I turned left, the front drivers side tire started to bind and I couldn't go forward anymore without feeling like I was going to break something. I also smelled something burning. I reversed and it was okay but as soon as I tried to make any left hand turn it started doing the same thing, minus the smell. I figured it hadn't disengaged properly, I put it back into 4 high and it worked perfectly. I figured it was fixed! I went home and my road is very steep and requires 4 wheel low. I made it up the road fine and went to turn left into my driveway and the same problem reared it's ugly head again. My husband thinks its a bad hub assembly/wheel bearing. I do have a humming noise when I drive but attributed it to road noise and loud tires. Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
 
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Old 02-22-13, 11:31 AM
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Refresh my memory, is the selectrac the 4x4 that has 3 selections for 4 wheel drive; full time 4 wheel [green light] and then part time 4 wheel high and 4 wheel low? or does it just have 4wheel high and 4 wheel low?

Transfer cases can get a little ornery when they get some age on them but changing in or out of 4 wheel drive while slowly going forward/reverse usually takes care of that.

When you felt the bind, were the tires on dry pavement? You will feel a bit of resistance in the front end if you are in part time full wheel drive and the front tires aren't allowed to slip while you are turning. The smell doesn't sound good! Did you husband check the front hub for heat when you got home? Does it turn ok when the 4 wheel drive is turned off?
 
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Old 02-22-13, 11:57 AM
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Selectrac

Selectrac has high, part time and low. When I felt the bind I was in about 10" of snow. By the time I got home it was about an hour after I smelled something. I had to repark at work for the snow plow. What completely confuses me is that in 4 wheel high it works perfectly, it's only when turning left in 4 wheel low. I'm baffled, hoping it's the hub since that's an easy fix. It's definitely engaging and disengaging from low to high to low, that's not the problem so I don't think it's the (fingers crossed) transfer case
 
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Old 02-22-13, 02:54 PM
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Since you don't have the 'full time' 4 wheel selection, it's best to only engage the 4 wheel drive when you are on slippery roads. When in 4 wheel drive, both wheels travel at the same speed/distance. When you go around a curve, the outside tire has further to travel. When on a dry road [where the tire can't slip] it puts undue strain on the axle parts. After enough abuse, the parts will get extra wear. Unlubricated wear = heat.

It should be just as bad in high as in low although maybe the speed over powers it enough where you didn't notice. I had to replace the left hub on an older cherokee I used to have. I don't remember any symptoms other than noise..... but it's been 5 or more yrs ago.
 
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Old 02-22-13, 03:59 PM
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The gears and axles turn faster in 4WDL than they do in 4WDH, so they will lock up faster. Mine has Quadratrac with a separate lever for 4WDL. If yours were working fine in 4WDH, leave it there. There is seldom a reason to put the vehicle in 4WDL.

If it is a hub, good luck. Dodge Ram is $600 sitting in a box on the tailgate. Then you have to burn the old one off with a torch. Not pretty.
 
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Old 02-23-13, 05:51 AM
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Larry unless I'm mistaken, the axles don't turn any faster in 4 wheel low but the engine does. I don't know where the OP lives but I use 4 wheel low on my driveway every time it has snow or ice on it - best way to keep the speed low when going down hill

I don't remember any problems removing the hub on my 1990 cherokee...... but it was several years ago.
 
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