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Unread 11-14-2014, 01:37 AM   #1
Caboose89
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: La Grande, OR
Posts: 196
4wd not working.

Ive got an 89 YJ sitting on 35" Goodyear Mtr's, with a locker in the rear. Today it dumped a good five inches of snow so naturally I went ahead and threw it in 4WD but noticed no change in traction. If you have ever driven a RWD jeep with a locker in the rear in snow, you know that it sucks and doing cookies is easier than keeping the dang thing straight.
I know the usual vacuum leak on the front axle but the PO put in a posi lock cable to bypass the vacuum leak problems so I know that this is not the reason it is not working. When I put it in 4lo the tcase still goes to a lower gear and the front drive shaft spins as it should but the front tires are not spinning. To test this theory I put it up against a curb put it in 4Wd and floored it. The back tires spun but the front stayed stationary. Only budging when I occasionally caught traction in the rear.
Tomorrow I will be tearing into it to see if I can find anything out of the ordinary, but what do I need to look for? Could the shaft collar connecting the two shafts be seized up? Could the fork have broken in some way? Could it be because I am low on gear oil? Any insight or shared knowledge on the subject would be much appreciated. My jeep used to be fun to drive in the snow but without 4Wd its downright unsafe.

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Unread 11-14-2014, 01:51 AM   #2
Gausswave
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1989 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: some where in the Cascades, WA
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To test the 4WD....( assuming your profile is correct and you have an open front diff )
Put the TC and transmission in neutral, set the parking brake and pull the cable lever to engage the 4WD collar on the front axle. Now jack up the front right ( passenger side ) tire. Spin the tire.

If the front drive shaft turns then you may have a bad T/C.
If it doesn't then pull the cover where the cable attaches and see why the collar hasn't shifted.
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Unread 11-14-2014, 06:36 AM   #3
fishadventure
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Morrisville, VT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caboose89
...but what do I need to look for? Could the shaft collar connecting the two shafts be seized up? Could the fork have broken in some way? Could it be because I am low on gear oil?...
Low on gear oil, no.
Fork may have broken but more likely the cable may have separated from the fork
If the cable handle moves but front axle is not engaging it is unlikely the collar is seized up.

You need to pull the cover and figure out what's happening or not happening. If collar and cable are all well functioning it is possible you have a broken axle. But you have to pull that cover and look first.
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Unread 11-14-2014, 04:47 PM   #4
Caboose89
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Figured it out. On my cable there is a button to unlock it, you then pull it out until it reaches a stop thanks to a spring, you then have to rock it forward to line up the splines and pull out the cable even more. The spring that was supposed to stop the cable on the first stop was not working, and I was pulling it out all the way without having to rock it to line up the front splines, causing them to not line up. So now I have to pull it out half the distance it would normally, rock it forward and it will then reach the second position on the cable after the splines line up. Took me a while to figure out and a lot of playing with the dang cable. Now I test to make sure the cable didn't go slack because of the faulty spring after it sits for a while by giving it a little gas and watching if the front turns. But that is manageable.
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Unread 11-14-2014, 08:15 PM   #5
fishadventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caboose89
.ou then have to rock it forward to line up the splines and pull out the cable even more... up the front splines, causing them to not line up. So now I have to pull it out half the distance it would normally, rock it forward and it will then reach the second position on the cable after the splines line up...
That is a normal procedure glad you got it
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Unread 11-14-2014, 08:22 PM   #6
Chrisnvegas
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Glad I kept my original vacuum system.
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Unread 11-15-2014, 06:46 AM   #7
fishadventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisnvegas
Glad I kept my original vacuum system.
Yes, the stock vacuum system keeps pulling until it engages. Very seamless automatic and non-interactive.

The cable system works but one has to 'keep pulling' until it engages if the splines aren't aligned. Mine engages nicely when I am moving slightly but requires several seconds of attention to disengage.
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Unread 11-15-2014, 08:01 AM   #8
Shadownwpa
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Location: Meadville, Pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisnvegas View Post
Glad I kept my original vacuum system.
Glad I'm putting in tj shafts.
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Unread 11-15-2014, 10:10 AM   #9
fishadventure
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadownwpa
Glad I'm putting in tj shafts.
It's one of those mind over matter things: if you don't mind it don't matter!

2WD lo was nice once again this morning backing a snowmobile trailer up a steep, curved, long driveway. One of the reasons that I don't mind. Cable does the same thing as the vac module just that the operator is aware of what it is actually doing. And to me that little bit doesn't matter.
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