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Old 09-13-2009, 04:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Samurai four wheel drive not engaging!

I have an '86 Samurai and while I was wheeling last night, we realized the front tires weren't spinning. You can look under and see the front drive shaft spinning and the hubs are tuned to "locked" but the wheels get no power. Any ideas to what my issue is?
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Old 09-13-2009, 05:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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im the first to admit i dont know a whole lot, but my first guess would be broken shaft
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Old 09-13-2009, 06:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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With the engine off and the tranny in gear, drop the transfer case into 4wd hig or low. Jack up one side of the front axle (keeping the other tire firmly on the ground). Make sure both front hubs are locked. Try to spin the tire. If that side doesn't spin, drop the tire back down to the ground then go to the other side and do the same thing.

When the transfer case is in 4wd, it binds the front driveshaft to the rear driveshaft. Either front tire will not turn while the other 3 are firmly on the ground (and everything is in gear). If one of the front tires turn, then you need to look at 1 of 3 things on that side. It could be the locking hub, the axle shaft itself or the birfield.

Starting at the hub, pull the cover and remove the C clip from the end of the birfield stub shaft. Remove the hub assembly. Check out the teeth. Anything broken or worn? Put the cap back on and lock it again in your hand. Try to turn the inner gear by hand. If it turns, you have a bad hub.

If not. use a glove and turn the birfield stub shaft. Do you feel any crunching? any metal to metal rubbing?

Remove the tire/wheel and then the brake caliper. Next comes the steering knuckle. It is a bit more complicated than just a few bolts, but if you have the tools and the mechanical aptitute you can do it. Remove the tie rod (and drag link for the passenger side) and then remove the upper and lower kingpins. Save the top for last and then pull the whole assembly toward you. It will slide off of the birfield stub shaft. If the outer stub shaft stays in the knuckle and leaves the inner portion in the axle housing then you found the problem. A blown (exploded) birfield is a common break for a zook.

If the stub stayed in place, pull the birfield assemly out of the axle housing and see if it the inner axle shaft is intact. Be careful, if the axle isn't lifted high enough on that side when doing this, then you will get oil draining out where you pulled the axle out. use a rag to stop the flow.

If you only got part of the axle shaft out (broken shaft) then you may have to drain the axl, pull the other side apart (pulling out the axle shaft) and then you would need to pull the differential to get the end of the shaft out.

Hope this helps a little.
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes that helped a lot, thank you! You are obviously extremely knoledgeable.
I jacked up the axle today with it in gear in four wheel and BOTH wheels turn. The front drive shaft wouldn't turn so four was at least engaging the shaft. The right wheel seemed to click in when I turned the hub and would make a little noise when I turned it. I'll have to go down your list. My buddy used to own a custom four wheel shop so I plan on taking it to his house as I have no experience with this stuff yet.
Thank you!
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Once you tear it down a few times it will seem simple to you. The birfield joint is the part that breaks the most out on the trail. When I ran stock units I would carry an extra pair in the parts box. You will get the hang of it.
Welcome to the addiction.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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hey guys thanks for that stuff i hope it works ima be checkin out that stuff tomoroow hope it works
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