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Discussion Starter #1
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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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)
vehicle pulls when the 4x4 is engaged
makes this a bit of an odd one. :huh:

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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Discussion Starter #3
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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Hmm, kinda has to be the diff, there’s no other parts between that aren’t turning when in 2wd also. I’d 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 I’m wondering if there is a twin problem somehow, like a bound up planetary gear and a funky 4wd engagement system.
 

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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?

... Philip
 

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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
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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Discussion Starter #11
Also, forgot to say that the pulling is always in the same direction and from memory was only on throttle. It was quite a heavy pull too.
 

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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.
I think you may have just answered your own question.

The pulling was noticeable on a wet road surface after I had left a snow covered one.


Most 4WD's will exhibit some form of pulling on a hard surface, and therefore extra stress on the components, This is why you never drive them on a hard surface with the centre diff locked and 4WD engaged. This leads to excessive stress and "driveline windup" which will result in pulling to one side.
 

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the centre diff locked and 4WD engaged.....will result in pulling to one side.
The drive-line platforms peculiar to this year / model section are not AWD (All Wheel Drive), thus there isn't a center mounted differential of locking capability. :rolleyes:

And drive-line wind-up isn't a vehicle pulling to one (and the same) side experience.

Sourced from our FAQ section, the 4WD system applicable to this thread / discussion is explained in detail here...
https://www.suzuki-forums.com/2g-1999-2005-vitara-grand-vitara/51463-gv2002-4wd-problem.html
 

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The drive-line platforms peculiar to this year / model section are not AWD (All Wheel Drive), thus there isn't a center mounted differential of locking capability. :rolleyes:

And drive-line wind-up isn't a vehicle pulling to one (and the same) side experience.

Sourced from our FAQ section, the 4WD system applicable to this thread / discussion is explained in detail here...
https://www.suzuki-forums.com/2g-1999-2005-vitara-grand-vitara/51463-gv2002-4wd-problem.html
I realise these models don't have a centre diff, it was meant as a generic statement.
I agree, driveline windup is probably not what is causing the pulling, but can, and does contribute to the vehicle grinding to a halt on a hard surface, usually after turning the front wheel. If this situation is only happening on a hard surface and at no other time then is it not a distinct possibility its playing a part?.
My big nissan 4x4 definitely pulls to the left if on a hard surface in 4H and 4L in a straight line. Thats got a torque locked LSD rear and open front diff, everything says it shouldn't do this, but it does.
 

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A part time 4WD vehicle, in 4WD, on a "patchy-semi-slick/slippery" surface WILL handle unpredictably, especially under power - as the traction on any given tire varies, the tire will spin when it looses traction, and "tug" when it regains traction.

The fact that the pulling occurs under power in 4WD suggests uneven traction - what condition are the front tires in - are they a matched pair?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
A part time 4WD vehicle, in 4WD, on a "patchy-semi-slick/slippery" surface WILL handle unpredictably, especially under power - as the traction on any given tire varies, the tire will spin when it looses traction, and "tug" when it regains traction.

The fact that the pulling occurs under power in 4WD suggests uneven traction - what condition are the front tires in - are they a matched pair?
Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated.

I took it out last night and although I appreciate I shouldn't really run 4WD on a hard road surface it's all I had and the car pulled even off throttle. The steering wheel noticeably moved when I took my hands off it.
 

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THAT statement makes no sense. :huh: Please elaborate.
Haha, all I meant was that I wanted to test the pulling aspect last night but didn't have any off road terrain near me so just took it around the block. The car is perfectly fine in 2WD, but pulls in 4WD.
 

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Do you not understand that this 4WD system can NOT be driven on tarmac for any reason without consequences in performance or drive-line component harm? :huh:
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Do you not understand that this 4WD system can NOT be driven on tarmac for any reason without consequences in performance or drive-line component harm? :huh:
Yes I do know that and I wouldn't routinely do this, however to test the pulling aspect I drove it 200 yards in a straight line on tarmac.

Thanks for the advice though.
 
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