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Old 08-07-2019, 03:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 4x4 Issue

Hi all, I'm a new person here but massively impressed with all the information available on the forum.

I have an issue with my Grand Vitara, and despite searching I couldn't find a similar thread, so hopefully it's ok to post this.

Essentially I noticed that the vehicle pulls when the 4x4 is engaged, so took this to the garage to investigate. They put it on the ramp and have said that when 4x4 is engaged all four wheels turn for a short while, but then the driver side front wheel stops leaving just 3 turning.

They have suggested that the diff needs changing, but they didn't sound massively confident that this was the issue. Given the cost of part and the fitting I wondered if anyone has had a similar problem, and what you guys think it could be?

I'm in the UK and the car is a manual, petrol (1.6l), 2005 Grand Vitara.

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.

Cheers.
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
the driver side front wheel stops, leaving just 3 turning.
Initially I suspected a locking-up brake issue, then a local hub bearing seizure, lastly some sort of internal differential problem.

But the rather unique timing circumstance (if accurate)
Quote:
vehicle pulls when the 4x4 is engaged
makes this a bit of an odd one.

Deeper investigation is needed to pin down the failure source.

A critical exam of the diff level THEN the drained diff gear oil for cast off foreign debris would be a good place to start, along with comparative IR temperature readings of the front brake discs when this apparent lock-up is present.

Comparative IR temp readings taken at each end hub bearing housing would also aid the investigation.

Welcome aboard and keep us posted!
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for that.

The garage said that they checked the brakes and ruled that out. They then followed some sort of Suzuki flowchart and ended up believing it was a diff problem. Maybe I should get another opinion, although this was a Suzuki dealership.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hmm, kinda has to be the diff, thereís no other parts between that arenít turning when in 2wd also. Iíd take a jack and lift the front. Engage fwd with engine off, and observe the wheels behavior. You should be able to rotate one and see the other side rotate similarly the opposite direction.
The way the 4wd mech works is to engage 4wd at the t case and then lock ONE side shaft into the diff. So Iím wondering if there is a twin problem somehow, like a bound up planetary gear and a funky 4wd engagement system.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Isnt that an open diff? with no resistance one side will stop..

Have you tried holding back the rotation on the opposite side?

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Old 08-07-2019, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry McOchner View Post
The way the 4wd mech works is to engage 4wd at the t case and then lock ONE side shaft into the diff.
Whilst there are 4WDs that work that way (I own one), on these 4WDs, the CV shafts are inserted directly into the differential side gears - on these the ring gear does not bolt directly to the diff carrier, it is bolted to an outer housing which connects to the carrier via a pneumatically operated dog clutch.

mrfish - what the garage described is perfectly normal - the vehicle has what are known as open differentials, and when the wheels are off the ground, if one wheel on either axle has more "drag" than the other, it will stop rotating and the other one will turn twice as fast.

Question for you - what surface were you driving on when the 4WD was "pulling"? Hard dry surface? loose & slippery? a combination of both?

These vehicles are part time 4WD and the 4WD should not be used on a hard dry surface, there needs to be some amount of slip between the wheel and the surface it is on to prevent what is drive train wind up, and this slip can cause some degree of pulling in one direction or the other - if you're in 4WD on a stable, loose surface - for example compacted sand or gravel, and travelling in a straight line, it should be stable with no pulling.
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Old 08-08-2019, 02:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordem View Post
Whilst there are 4WDs that work that way (I own one), on these 4WDs, the CV shafts are inserted directly into the differential side gears - on these the ring gear does not bolt directly to the diff carrier, it is bolted to an outer housing which connects to the carrier via a pneumatically operated dog clutch.

mrfish - what the garage described is perfectly normal - the vehicle has what are known as open differentials, and when the wheels are off the ground, if one wheel on either axle has more "drag" than the other, it will stop rotating and the other one will turn twice as fast.

Question for you - what surface were you driving on when the 4WD was "pulling"? Hard dry surface? loose & slippery? a combination of both?

These vehicles are part time 4WD and the 4WD should not be used on a hard dry surface, there needs to be some amount of slip between the wheel and the surface it is on to prevent what is drive train wind up, and this slip can cause some degree of pulling in one direction or the other - if you're in 4WD on a stable, loose surface - for example compacted sand or gravel, and travelling in a straight line, it should be stable with no pulling.
That's really useful to know, thanks.

The issue was first noticed last winter when there was snow, and I drove on a combination of very slippy snow covered roads and ones that had been cleared. It's possible that as I didn't disengage the 4WD on the cleared roads that is when it was pulling. In all honesty I haven't had the need to use 4WD since last winter, but wanted to be prepared for the upcoming one and sort out any issues now. I guess the only real way of testing this theory is to take it off road and see what happens?
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Old 08-08-2019, 05:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What can you remember about the pulling?

Was it - always in the same direction (to left or right) - pulling both on & off throttle - a heavy pull or a light pull?

These vehicles have an unusual front axle freewheel mechanism, one in which the front wheels are always connected to the front differential, even in 2WD, there is just no torque being transmitted, and I find it hard to think of a scenario where the diff would be the cause of the pulling, without also making horrific noises.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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While searching 4x4 diag and testing steps, I found this thread. Seeing as how the issue is "Pulling to one direction or the other", rather than a specific 4 wheel drive issue. Maybe a thread retitle?

It seems paramount that the conditions when the "pulling to one side" are duplicated, making note of the driving surface also takes place. I did not read confirmation of this.

A properly aligned vehicle with no bent or worn suspension or steering parts should track straight regardless of transfer case selection. Even while going straight on dry pavement.

Please share when this is resolved. This is very interesting.

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Old 08-19-2019, 03:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renntag View Post
While searching 4x4 diag and testing steps, I found this thread. Seeing as how the issue is "Pulling to one direction or the other", rather than a specific 4 wheel drive issue. Maybe a thread retitle?

It seems paramount that the conditions when the "pulling to one side" are duplicated, making note of the driving surface also takes place. I did not read confirmation of this.

A properly aligned vehicle with no bent or worn suspension or steering parts should track straight regardless of transfer case selection. Even while going straight on dry pavement.

Please share when this is resolved. This is very interesting.

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Sorry for the delay in responding to the previous posts, been away.

Anyway I titled this 4x4 as the issues only occur in 4WD and the garage have said that there is a problem where all 4 wheels do not turn when 4WD is engaged. I assumed the pulling was a consequence of this, but maybe not.

The pulling was noticeable on a wet road surface after I had left a snow covered one. It doesn't pull at all in 2WD.

I'll take it out later to see exactly what happens and report back.
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