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  1. #1

    Question 4x4 use question

    I'm confused I had a ford 4x4 Explorer a 1999 Dodge 1500 4x4 pockup and now a 2002 Silverado 2500 HD 6.0 410 rearend.
    I had the front diff. bearing seize up last winter cost me 1700.00 to get it fixed. When I went to it pick it up I asked the owner of the trans shop why did it sieze up he said it was from over driving it in 4 hi. I told him I only used 4hi when the roads are snow covered and slick I only work 5 miles from home and maybe trips to grocery store. he said I should not use 4hi on the road for more than a few miles at a time because it heats up to much. That don't seem right I always used 4hi in my Explorer and Dodge for long periods and never had a proplem.

    So is he full of crap? Can I use 4hi when the are bad and not worry about it or should I forget I have a 4x4 and just stay in 2 wheel?
    Mike :glasses:

    2002 Silverado 2500HD 6.0 4:10 gears


  2. #2

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    He is full of crap and I would never let him work on anything I owned> <G>

    If you lived on the North Pole you could drive your truck in 4 High for the life of the truck with no ill effects. The transfer case would not wear out any faster.
    Jim

    2004 SILVERADO 2500HD LS
    Pro Comp Leveling Kit
    285-75-16 Cooper ST All Terrains
    Pro Comp Programmer
    Bilstein Shocks
    Linux Bed Liner
    Tinted Windows



    Other rides:

    1967 Landcruiser <350 Chevy>
    1970 Camaro
    1990 Geo Metro Convertible
    2007 FJ Cruiser

  3. #3
    Jr. Mechanic
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Deep River Ontario
    Posts
    100

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    at work we tell all the drivers to use 2wd until they become stuck and then engage 4wd because this gives you two options to get out of trouble, or if you know that you are going to be going through a mud hole then engage 4wd and get a good run at it.

    most of the trucks at work have selectiable locking diffs and axle interlocks, it takes time to know how to use it correctly.

    I know myself I drive in 2wd all the time unless I know that its deep snow, or if i'm going to be getting into trouble.
    06 Z71 Silverado Military Style!!!

    Red Seal Certified Automotive Service Technician

  4. #4

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    He has an overabundance of bullpucky.

    You can rip around in 4Low all you want and you'll blow the engine or trans before you hurt the front diff.

    There's a few thing that may have caused it:
    > Lack of maintenance. Even a newer truck, like your '02, the front diff rarely (if ever?) gets checked. I had a '79 F150 once. My transfer case got stuck in 4Hi. I could not get it out, no matter what trick I tried, even the hubs were bound tight. So I drove down the ditch for about 20 miles to get to a place where I could stop and pull my front diff cover. There was no gear oil in the diff...it had congealed to near-grease viscosity. The gunk rolled and dribbled out, and the axle unbound. I unlocked my hubs, disengaged the 'case and ran for a friend's place where we flushed the diff and refilled it with new fluid. No more problems.

    At the time, my truck was only about ten years old. The diff fluid had never been changed.

    > Running on dry hard surface. If the road surface is too dry to let the wheels slip to avoid driveline bind, and you do not have a differential in your t'case (I have no idea if that truck does or not...usually they are only in full-time 4wd trucks and awd cars) it can bind your gears as each tire is not exactly the same overall diameter. (even the same size and brand tires with exactly the same air pressure will not be the exact same rolling circumference...manufacturing tolerance and weight distribution of the rig affect that.)

    >Bad diff. Stuff wears out and if the bearings were not installed right, or had some grit or someones lunch in them from the factory...there ya go.

    >Lack of lube. Similar to the first reason, but if you do not use 4wd for extended periods, there is a possibility of the bearings going dry from not being used. Then the front axle gets engaged and roars off at highway speeds, the dry bearings start getting lube flung on them, but being dry, they overheat before they can get fully lubed. I usually engage 4x4 about once a month and drive around...hubs locked, t' case in 2H, then Tcase in 4H and the hubs unlocked. Or (and on auto hub rigs), go find some dirt and play...you can use regular maintenance as an excuse!
    Rob
    1999 Suburban C1500 LS 5.7 K&N filter, VentVisors, debadged aka "LAAT/i...Larty"
    1994 C2500 454. Ex-Forest Service beastie. aka "Redneck"
    2006 Saturn Ion...the Wife's car.
    Empty spot that needs a Jeep...

  5. #5
    Legend

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Red Wing, Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    3,386

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    I say full of crap. Except in maybe the dodge as chrysler trucks suvs have higher running temps in the their trannies, tcase and diffs.
    99 K1500 Suburban LT "THE BEAST"
    Hypertech III, K&N, true dual
    285/75/16
    ___________________________
    Jason

  6. #6

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    By "Front Diff Bearing" are you talking about the carrier bearing, pinion bearing, axle bearing, or wheel bearing?

  7. #7

    Default

    I dont think your mechanic would like me than.
    When we off-road down near the border we'll run the truck for hundreds of miles in 4hi and 4lo across paved and hard pack roads.
    I think your mechanic was saying the first thing he could think of.
    Depending on the model/manufacture some of these trucks have the front diff/carrier assembly spinning at all times the trucks moving.
    It would have been better to tell you sometimes bearings wear out prematurely, there is not definate answer why, maybe it had a lubrication issue, maybe it had a quality issue.

  8. #8

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    I,m no expert but i have forgotton mine in 4x4 on hard gravel road and even on pavement for a few miles. I sometimes drive in 4hi for 10 miles or so when i have not used it for a while just to keep everything free.
    My 04 nor my 93 hace ever had any failures due to this driving although i would not use 4hi on paved surfaces intentionally.
    Snowy roads should not affect it at all, unless you are doing a lot of sharp turning, may put undue stress on things.
    If you have 4x4 auto, i'd sujest using that.
    2004 Chevy Silverado Z71, 5.3L auto
    Beginning work in progress

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by skinner View Post
    I,m no expert but i have forgotton mine in 4x4 on hard gravel road and even on pavement for a few miles. I sometimes drive in 4hi for 10 miles or so when i have not used it for a while just to keep everything free.
    My 04 nor my 93 hace ever had any failures due to this driving although i would not use 4hi on paved surfaces intentionally.
    Snowy roads should not affect it at all, unless you are doing a lot of sharp turning, may put undue stress on things.
    If you have 4x4 auto, i'd sujest using that.
    It's a very good idea to run your truck in 4X4 once a month. You don't need to drive 10 miles though. If all you have is pavement just drive it for a block and that's all it needs.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmiee View Post
    It's a very good idea to run your truck in 4X4 once a month. You don't need to drive 10 miles though. If all you have is pavement just drive it for a block and that's all it needs.
    I know but sometimes it won't get used for quite a while so i like to run the driveshaft u-joints and bearings a bit longer to get the grease movin so they don't get stiff. The truck gets lots of backing in the water to launch boat in the summer and i like to kinda burn off any moisture that may have gotten into the ujoints and even the diff.
    If there is a bit of moisture in the diff, the heat can and will evaporate the moisture out the vent but if it never gets hot enough from no use it won't evap.
    I have used this technique in ATV engines and diffs that don't get run much in winter so they collect some condensation from warm cold operation.
    Getting the engine hot and giving the diffs a good run gets them warm enough to clean up the moisture.
    Changing fluids will get rid of excessive water contamination but there will always be some left behind, hence evaporation is a good was preventitive maintenence, provided the regular maintence and inspections are kept up properly.
    I should have explained better, sorry.
    Skinner

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