Front driveshaft 4wd behavior - is this normal? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 33 Old 10-24-2021, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Front driveshaft 4wd behavior - is this normal?

Hello all!
I am a very longtime lurker, and even had an account a while ago, but can't seem to retrieve it, so I started a new one. Hi again!

I have a an issue with my '67 cj5, and am wondering if someone can tell me if what I am experiencing is normal. I did hours worth of searching, and couldn't seem to find my exact issue. I have been wrenching on this for 2 days....

My '67 CJ5 - V6 225, T88 trans, Model 18 case, 3.73 gears is mechanically bone stock with the exception of a newer saturn overdrive. I'm having trouble with a grinding issue in my front end, that I think has something to possibly do with my manual warn hubs. Can someone tell me if this is normal:

With the transfer case in 2wd, and hubs unlocked, shouldn't I be able to completely and freely rotate the front driveshaft 360 degrees? I have taken the front driveshaft off to test function, and the front transfer case output shaft will spin freely, but if I try and turn the front pinion by hand, it will not spin freely, and will engage the axle. However, if I rotate the tire by hand, the pinion does not spin.

The reason I investigated all this, is because I'm getting a light grinding noise very frequently as I'm coming to a stop - transmission in neutral. I get the same grind in the front end with the front driveshaft removed. I'm thinking this is because the hub isn't completely disengaging, and is sometimes catching / bouncing around on the only 1/2 disconnected front end as speed reduces, and differential gears unload.

I have no problems engaging and using 4wd, but I don't think I'm ever truly disengaging. I removed the warn hubs, and they seem to be working properly. Is there something else that could be wrong, as I don't think this is normal, and my identical '66 does not exhibit this.

Thanks for any help/thoughts!
Tony

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post #2 of 33 Old 10-24-2021, 08:40 PM
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How much grease was in the front lockout hubs? Old grease will keep the sliding gear from moving correctly and they can stick 1/2 way engaged. I would take the hubs back off and clean them out very good and apply a very light coaring of grease when you reassemble them. Had this issue with an early set of warn hubs not fully locking in.

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post #3 of 33 Old 10-24-2021, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
With the transfer case in 2wd, and hubs unlocked, shouldn't I be able to completely and freely rotate the front driveshaft 360 degrees?
Yes.
Quote:
I have taken the front driveshaft off to test function, and the front transfer case output shaft will spin freely, but if I try and turn the front pinion by hand, it will not spin freely, and will engage the axle. However, if I rotate the tire by hand, the pinion does not spin.
You are looking at the wrong axle. If spinning the pinion turns one axle, then the axle not rotating is the issue, since something isn't disengaging on that side.
Rotate the pinion. Note which axle is turning. Chose the opposite axle and remove the hub. Turn the pinion again. Both axles should rotate now.
Quote:
The reason I investigated all this, is because I'm getting a light grinding noise very frequently as I'm coming to a stop
On a side note, a "dragging" hub usually issues a ratcheting sound. Grinding usually comes with brake or bearing issues. Because the noise occurs while coming to a stop (braking?) I would suspect this first.

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post #4 of 33 Old 10-24-2021, 09:29 PM
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If you lift the whole front off of the ground,

with the hubs unlocked,

You should be able to spin each wheel and the front driveshaft remain still, hence the reason for the hubs, wheels run free and your

axle does not turn, less wear and tear on the front and better MPGs.

Turning the driveshaft will turn the L and R axles or just one axle at a time-----due to the spider gear action-----but that

motion should not transfer to the wheels unless they are locked in.

Look at the "U" joints (pic 1) they turn with the axle BUT not with an unlocked wheel----the "Unlock" is on the unseen end of the axle,

Prevent one axle "U" joint from turning with a big screwdriver (NOT YOUR FINGERS!!!!) and the other will start

turning when you turn the drive shaft. You are making the spider gears work the other axle.

This works with a STANDARD DIFFERENTIAL------not posi-traction type lockers!

Just for giggles, raise the whole Jeep on jack stands, crank it up and insure your front drive shaft is not moving

while in 2WD.....Or is the grind present while in the air?

BE SAFE!!!!

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post #5 of 33 Old 10-24-2021, 09:51 PM
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Almost sounds like you have a set of Warn Lock-O-Matic or Automatic hubs. These hubs have a Lock and Automatic position. There is a torque sensitive roller bearing clutch that is actuated by a cam that is splined to the axle. When the cam see torque from the axle shaft, it will transfer power to the wheels. The lock position locks the wheels to the axle shaft so that the front wheels can be used for compression braking. The roller clutch must no be overgreaesd or it will tend to engage intermittently. I know because it happened to mine.
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post #6 of 33 Old 10-24-2021, 10:52 PM
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Here's a pic of a Warn Automtic hub. The earlier Lock-O-Matic looks the same. The automatic hubs have a steel section between the control dial cap and the wheel bearing hub. The steel section is the roller bearing clutch body.
I guess I should clean and paint my hubs one of these days.
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post #7 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for the replies. Here is some more information that may help pinpoint:

With the wheels off the ground, I can spin each tire, and the driveshaft does not move. If I then spin the driveshaft, it will free rotate for 1/6th of a turn, and then engage whichever tire has less traction. When the tires are spinning on the road, the driveshaft is not moving - well, it it kinda floats around - sometimes sympathetically rotating, but mostly not - it kinda just hangs out there within the 1/6th of a turn "free space." When I apply the brake, I believe the axle is unloading, and catching the pinion/driveshaft, and banging against it. Noise does not seem to be coming from brakes nor wheel bearings (they are new), nor does it happen on every brake application...just ones from a higher speed....like 40+. Also, brakes do not need to be applied - happens on coast as well.

If I remove the front hubs, the driveshaft spins freely, as I would expect. The hub dials turn completely/fully in both directions, and I can watch the splines move through their entire rotation. The grease is smooth and pliable, and there is no binding. It almost behaves as if they are not releasing completely, even though their travel is complete. It kinda seems like the axle shaft is too long to let the hub disengage completely? I need to check the service manual, but are there shims there? The hubs were assembled with rtv instead of the actual warn gaskets. Are the missing gaskets contributing to this issue, not spacing out the hub enough? I tried temporarily inserting a large washer (as a spacer) when I reassembled them to space out the hub dial/engaging splines more, and it still engages, so I'm thinking not.

80cj - I had thought of this, and they do look like those, but say "lock" and "free" on them. Maybe I have auto hubs with the wrong dial? But even so, would this activity be normal with those hubs?

I've had this jeep for nearly 25 years, and it has behaved this way since I got it. I've installed new wheel bearings, and brakes, and assembled the hubs back on when I did that the way they came off, but perhaps someone installed something improperly before?

Jeepfeller - this jeep has a closed knuckle design - I can't access the wheel joint.

I am going a little crazy with this, so I hope I am making sense!
Tony
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Last edited by CJ5 1967 225; 10-25-2021 at 08:02 AM. Reason: typos
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post #8 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Jeepfeller - you mentioned:

"Turning the driveshaft will turn the L and R axles or just one axle at a time-----due to the spider gear action-----but that motion should not transfer to the wheels unless they are locked in."

When I turn the driveshaft, that motion transfers to whatever wheel has less traction - whether the hubs are UNlocked or locked. However, spinning the tires with hubs unlocked, the driveshaft does not turn. When the hubs are locked, the driveshaft does turn.

Tony
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post #9 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 11:44 AM
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Wanna keep original stuff?

Been an issue since DAY 1 ???

Well snatch your hubs off and stick 'em on the top shelf in your garage....you still will have original stuff!

I got Willy and Mr. Jeep both in 1991.

Someone had already installed "Selectro" on Mr. Jeep, as I nursed Willy back to health for the next 2 years I installed the same type.

T'was the 1st time I ever had "Mile Marker Classic Selectros", none of my previous CJ-5s had them. I really liked the BIG knob that made it so much EZer to turn.

Previous hubs would get their finger hole crammed with mud, even clean, they were harder to turn.

I have searched for a good while for the same type (Classic Selectro hubs) to fit your rig------No luck so far----hard to believe they were available for a '46 and a '77.

I did find this made by Mile Marker---no big knob---but the company has a good reputation. Here's the link,

https://www.carparts.com/search? q=locking_hubs&vehicle[cylinders]=6&vehicle[liter]=3%2E7&vehicle[submodel]=Base&vehicle[model]=CJ5&vehicle[make]=Jeep&vehicle[year]=1967

(EDIT--my link is not cooperating, either copy and paste it on a new tab OR use the portion that did show up and at the top of it Search "SELECTRO HUBS"--Sorry!)

You might contact them and insure I used your correct info, so you get the right hubs.

Pic 1) My Beagle is "pointing" at it.

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post #10 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CJ5 1967 225 View Post


80cj - I had thought of this, and they do look like those, but say "lock" and "free" on them. Maybe I have auto hubs with the wrong dial? But even so, would this activity be normal with those hubs?


The earlier Lock-O-Matics may have had "Lock" and "Free" settings on the dial. Try putting a magnet to the hub body back of the dial cap. If it's steel, it should be a Lock-O-Matic.

Edit: The section between the aluminum cap and wheel bearing hub. The bahavior is not normal. I had similar problems with Lock-O-matics on a 64 CJ-6. It was simply too much heavy grease on the bearing rollers. It's been a while but I think there were some nylon or plastic inserts to keep the bearing rollers at a predetermined spacing. I imagine if those break or fall apart, then the automatic clutch operation is affected. I have a set of Automatics on my current Jeep and there are some differences but as I remember, the differences were mainly in the manual lock.
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post #11 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, cool Jeeps, JEEPFELLER! Beautiful!

I have Selectro hubs on my '46 2A, and they are indeed easier to use.
I have no problem replacing parts, and/or buying new, or using a different brand. I really just want something that works! This particular jeep has a 'glass body, so originality isn't a concern at all.

Before I replaced any parts, I just wanted to be sure the hubs were in fact at fault, and it wasn't something else- like a shim/spacing issue, perhaps bad spider gears, or something else, potentially unknown due to improper reassembly before I owned it.

So the consensus is most likely nonfunctioning hubs. They should disengage completely - and after disassembly and inspection, they're not - and they gotta go...does that sound about right?

Tony
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post #12 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by 80cj View Post
The earlier Lock-O-Matics may have had "Lock" and "Free" settings on the dial. Try putting a magnet to the hub body back of the dial cap. If it's steel, it should be a Lock-O-Matic.
Thanks for the tip!
Just put a magnet to it - the selector dial on mine is NOT magnetic. You mean the actual selector dial, not the housing, correct?

Last edited by CJ5 1967 225; 10-25-2021 at 12:42 PM. Reason: clarity
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post #13 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I think I might be onto something.... I just watched a youtube video of a guy uninstalling a set of the lock-o-matics, and going into some detail about the different internals. These are indeed what I have, as I recognized the special parts inside from disassembling mine years ago - the large lock ring held in place with 2-3x allen screws, that has opposing holes for a large spanner wrench, as well as the multi-holed locking ring behind it. I had a little trouble with this part, and know it well....My apparently early hubs just aren't identified as a lock-o-matic on the outside....and what might be an interesting fact for all of us, is that he brings up the point that you can tell which is which from a distant visual inspection. The outside main body of the hub (closest to the rim) is smooth (like mine and 80CJ's is), as compared to the ribbed version for the non-lock-o-matic hubs (this is why the hubs on my '66 looks and behaves differently.) Visuals aside, the different/extra parts inside close the deal.

SOooooo.....80CJ - thank you for bringing all this up - It seems as if I wasn't going crazy after all. Everything appeared to be in decent mechanical shape, just a different setup.

Now, this doesn't really then explain my gear grinding/original purpose for investigating all this in the first place, but at least I think I know why my hubs were behaving "strangely!" Maybe the internal clutches aren't working properly....Maybe I'll swap the hubs with the ones on my '66, and see if it goes away. Maybe I'll just get a new set.

Thanks to all - it is most appreciated!
Tony
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post #14 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80cj View Post
The earlier Lock-O-Matics may have had "Lock" and "Free" settings on the dial. Try putting a magnet to the hub body back of the dial cap. If it's steel, it should be a Lock-O-Matic.

Edit: The section between the aluminum cap and wheel bearing hub. The bahavior is not normal. I had similar problems with Lock-O-matics on a 64 CJ-6. It was simply too much heavy grease on the bearing rollers. It's been a while but I think there were some nylon or plastic inserts to keep the bearing rollers at a predetermined spacing. I imagine if those break or fall apart, then the automatic clutch operation is affected. I have a set of Automatics on my current Jeep and there are some differences but as I remember, the differences were mainly in the manual lock.
I hope this helps. sounds like the Youtube video may be on track.
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post #15 of 33 Old 10-25-2021, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by CJ5 1967 225 View Post
OK, I think I might be onto something.... I just watched a youtube video of a guy uninstalling a set of the lock-o-matics, and going into some detail about the different internals. These are indeed what I have, as I recognized the special parts inside from disassembling mine years ago - the large lock ring held in place with 2-3x allen screws, that has opposing holes for a large spanner wrench, as well as the multi-holed locking ring behind it. I had a little trouble with this part, and know it well....My apparently early hubs just aren't identified as a lock-o-matic on the outside....and what might be an interesting fact for all of us, is that he brings up the point that you can tell which is which from a distant visual inspection. The outside main body of the hub (closest to the rim) is smooth (like mine and 80CJ's is), as compared to the ribbed version for the non-lock-o-matic hubs (this is why the hubs on my '66 looks and behaves differently.) Visuals aside, the different/extra parts inside close the deal.

SOooooo.....80CJ - thank you for bringing all this up - It seems as if I wasn't going crazy after all. Everything appeared to be in decent mechanical shape, just a different setup.

Now, this doesn't really then explain my gear grinding/original purpose for investigating all this in the first place, but at least I think I know why my hubs were behaving "strangely!" Maybe the internal clutches aren't working properly....Maybe I'll swap the hubs with the ones on my '66, and see if it goes away. Maybe I'll just get a new set.

Thanks to all - it is most appreciated!
Tony

if you swap them out with a different set, remember that you also have to swap out the spindle nuts behind the hub as the lock-o-matics nuts are a different thickness and only work with the lock-o-matic hubs.

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