'08 WK 5.7L Front wheels locking up - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-08-2021, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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2008 WK 
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'08 WK 5.7L Front wheels locking up

Hello, and thanks for checking out my post!

I have poured over this and other forums for an answer to my issue(s) to no avail unfortunately. I have found bits and clues but nothing exactly matching my situation. So here goes:
My Jeep is a 2008 WK with the 5.7L Hemi and QDII. The issue is in the drive train somewhere, and my Jeep btw has the forward drive shaft with cv joints on either end rather than a u joint. Incidentally I should mention although I don't believe its related, that the transfer case end cv joint has a ripped boot and a very slight amount of play. Whats happening now is that I can only roll about 5-8 feet, forward or in reverse, before the front wheels lock up. It can be overcome but it sounds and feels terribly bound up and thus probably not a good idea to push it. At first the problem began with a feeling of binding up on tighter radius turns, either direction. It then progressed to binding when traveling straight and a notable feeling of resistance. Lights, codes, warnings- Initially almost everything in the dash lit up, ABS; Traction control off; ESP/BAS and another one I'm sure I'm forgetting, along with the "Service Four Wheel Drive" message being displayed. Following some reading I decided that I needed to check both 4wd actuators, replace 2 or more abs/speed sensors, and also replace the isolator bushings in front differential. I did all that, along with new gear oil of course (with ELSD additive, 75/140). Beforehand I did do the check for continuity with the 4wd actuators and the results were that neither were functioning. I also did the other 2 abs/speed sensors. When everything was concluded I anxiously hopped in the drivers seat only to have the wheels lock up before I could even get it out of the garage, which btw was actually much worse than when I parked it prior to repairs. I believe this could be due to the new bushings and subsequent absence of that extra play in front differential. That covers everything I think. Oh! one more thing, with all wheels off the ground when I rotate one of the front tires, in neutral, they both turn the same way whereas normally they should turn opposite directions with an open differential, afaik. I also started it while all wheels on stands to confirm the locking up and yes both front wheels lock while the rear wheels spin. Also, prior to installing the actuators I repeated the continuity check via the pins on the larger FDCM connector with both actuators connected but outside of gear housing(s). This time both tested correctly as they should with a beep on both circuits. I did not re-repeat with them installed.

Anyone able to diagnose what my next move should be?
Thank you so much (in advance) for reading my post and offering any info you feel is relevant.

ps: attached are a pic of tag on transmission (replaced with a rebuild last year) and 2 pics of front diff bushings.

Forgot to add- Following the repairs described above, the "Service four wheel drive system" message no longer displayed but warning lights persist: ABS (although I replaced all sensors), ESP/BAS, Traction Control off all still lit up.

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PXL_20210806_074201275.jpg   PXL_20210802_233222974.jpg   PXL_20210802_233210188.jpg  

Last edited by ThatsMrJ33p; 08-08-2021 at 02:37 AM. Reason: forgot to add last bit
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-09-2021, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-09-2021, 02:34 AM Thread Starter
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Do I need to get a new/rebuilt front differential? Anyone know if this is issue?
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-09-2021, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Any takers? my Jeep has been in my shop for over a week now. I am dead in the water atm though. Now I'm looking at higher priced parts and I don't want to replace anything I don't need to replace. I would really appreciate some sound advice.
Thank you
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-09-2021, 08:30 PM
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What happens if you remove the front driveshaft and run the vehicle up on the jackstands?

Up on the jackstands can you SAFELY try to isolate the source of the noise? And does it still happen with the driveshaft out.

FYI your abs light goes on if your wheels aren't all turning at the same speed. So likely a result of whatever is going on not a cause.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-09-2021, 09:38 PM
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There is an electrical connection on top of the front diff for the ELSD, try disconnecting that and seeing if your problems go away. I've heard of people having issues with the front diff randomly locking up but I don't quite remember what the resolution was. The 4WD system is dependent on the abs sensors so things like bad sensors or bad wheel hubs can very easily cause issues. If any of the teeth for the abs sensors are chipped that could cause issue as well. Make sure your tires are exactly the same size and that none of them are mismatched or worn more than the others. Try doing some google searches with "site:Jeepforum.com/forum/f67" at the end to limit the searches to this sub forum.

Also have you hooked a quality scanner up to it to read the ABS or FDCM codes? That may give you some clues as there are probably stored or active codes that a generic scanner would not read. I use an app called appcar-diagfca that is almost a dealer level scanner that can read every code on the WK. You can also use it for live data and could probably watch it to see if the FDCM is sending a signal to lock the front ELSD. I've also heard Jscan has similar capabilities but I have no experience with it myself.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-18-2021, 05:21 PM
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Reminds me of the above article, Front differential actuator.

Sounds like you replaced it already.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-14-2021, 09:58 AM
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My 2008 5.7 did that and I replaced master cylinder. Haven’t had any problems. Been about 8 months ago.
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-14-2021, 11:25 AM
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who are these people that post problems and then never come back to report anything? I HATE that!!!
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