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Discussion Starter #1
I recently replaced my old pathy with another old one (I am hooked). The "new" one is a 95' Pathfinder SE 4X4 (Auto). I didn't try putting it in 4WD when test driving it but tried it later and all was fine until I tried to disengage it. The lever shifts fine and the green indicator light goes off but I hear a noticeable whine out of the transmission as if it is still locked in. I thought maybe it was just the hubs that were gummed up and not releasing, but when I jacked it up both front wheels spin free. Anyone ever run into this problem? Any ideas on things to check?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
No, the axles did not rotate with the wheels. I didn't check to see if the axles would spin though. I would guess they should spin (with some resistance) if the front differential is disengaged from the transmission. I will have to check that tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Not so sure if it is the 4WD at all now. I checked again and the front axles spin free even though the transmission is locked and the front wheels are on the ground, meaning when in motion the front differential is not spinning at all. Maybe the grinding noise is coming out of the transmission or rear differential :-(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The front transfer case is totally free as is the front driveshaft. Yes, the 4WD lever is shifted all the way forward. I suspect the noise is from the transmission or possibly the rear axle and not related tot he front drive. Maybe it was just a coincidence that it started when I put it in 4WD or maybe the shock of it snapping in took out a component in some other part of the driveline. I am taking it to a shop tomorrow to have it professionally looked at. (sigh)
 

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would it be the bearing between the hub and the shaft ?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I took it to my mechanic, who is usually pretty good. He test drove it, checked both transfer cases and auto trans and could not find anything wrong. He said it is an old truck (150K miles) and they just make noise. Thankfully he didn't charge me anything, but I still think something is out of whack. With my luck something is going to seize up on me at the most inopportune time. Not sure what to check next. How would I diagnose a bad wheel bearing?
 

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drive around 10 mph and make the truck dance back and forth harshly, if the noise changes its probably a bearing. you can also jack up the frt end and grab top and bottom of tire and see if it moves. the bearings are inside the hub assm. check your PM.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I tried the sawing back and forth trick and there is no noticeable change in pitch or volume and I could not feel any real play in any of the wheels. I thought maybe I would try changing the differential fluid with synthetic LSD oil even though the mechanic said it was relatively clean and there were no metal chips in there. I am not sure what else to do at this point, other then wait for it to get louder or strand me somewhere on the most desolate stretch of I-80???
 

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Is this due for a front wheel bearing re-pack anyway ?
I suggest you do the routine maintenance on the front hub and check the bearings by hand.
Turn the bearing against the races including the center race I have had a damaged center race on an Audi, previous owner couldnt find the problem. you cant see it only feel it.
Front bearings are difficult to diagnose.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I don't know what the front hubs look like. I just bought this truck (with 150K miles on it). It seems to have been meticulously maintained, but you never know what the previous owner has done. I will just have to make the time to inspect them all.
 

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I brought mine with 25,000
Every 30,000 the front hubs are meant to be re-packed.
The dealer service guy told me to leave it till the brakes needed doing to save work and labor charges.
I am now at 69,000 and still has not needed brakes to be done !!!
 

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Sounds stupid but did you try backing up? My hubs will not unlock untill i back up at least 8 feet. The 4wd light will go out as soon as i take the trans case out but the hubs stay locked. When i drive forword i get a wining sound like a supercharger.
 

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Is this due for a front wheel bearing re-pack anyway ?
I suggest you do the routine maintenance on the front hub and check the bearings by hand.
This may seem like a stupid question, but how often should you repack the front wheel bearings and is it a difficult process?

***scratch that. I just read the post where it says every 30,000kms.***

still would like to know how difficult the process is. I will probably need to do my brakes next year so that may be a good time to do them. I have no idea if they have ever been done on mine and i am at 245,000kms
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Sounds stupid but did you try backing up? My hubs will not unlock untill i back up at least 8 feet. The 4wd light will go out as soon as i take the trans case out but the hubs stay locked. When i drive forward i get a wining sound like a supercharger.
Yes, I have reversed numerous times. The hub are definitely free. It could certainly be a bearing or something in the rear transaxle. The front diff and hub are not the issue.
 

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stick it back in 4wd on dirt and drive it hard in rev and drive then back into 2wd roll about 3 feet then stick in rev and drive hard about 20 feet. be mean
 
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