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First week owning a 4x4, so this may be a noob question.

My 95 sidekick manual says it should be driven in 4wd once a month or so to keep the auto hubs lubricated. It recommends wet roads, snow or dirt (never dry pavement). So since I don't know how long since it's been in 4 I stopped, put her in park, shifted to 4H, and drove a bit on wet pavement. About 3 lights later as I accelerated mildly away there was a large clunk and it dropped out of 4H into 2H.

I pulled over, and turned off the engine as recommended, shifted to 4L, and drove it just fine for several blocks, then reversed the procedure and drove home in 2H. I haven't tried 4H again since, but it has been fine in 2H. I do have a large field to test 4wd in, since it's not wet here currently. (Seattle - who'da thunk it?)

So - what can cause this, what to beware, where to look first?

Thanks for the suggestions,
Rick
 

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Pavement that is "only" wet might not have enough "slip" to allow part time 4x4 use. It would depend on the surface, your tires and many other things. As there isn't a center differential so the driveline will wind up and bind if the all the wheels are NOT rolling EXACTLY the same. Making any turns makes it worse.

I assume you do not know when the last time any of the parts have been serviced. Hubs need to lubed from time to time... most say yearly. I'm not sure how to lube auto hubs. Many are not fond of them, but they'll be ok if you are not flat towing or do much off roading.

I assume you are going to check and change the fluids in all the moving parts.

$350 TracKick.... that now has headlights? Cool. ;)
 

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And FYI...Mike's Urban Assault Vehicles
Close... mine do not have rocket launchers. :eek:

Here are two of three:



They pull TracKicks fairly well. (TracKick content.)
 

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The auto hubs are somewhat difficult, as you don't 'really' know if they are locked or not, frankly.
First, as Mike says, this car is part time 4wd, and should never be driven in 4wd with the hubs locked, on any surface where the wheels cannot slip, otherwise you can damage the transfer case, etc. In any event, with the auto hubs you are supposed to stop the car, put the car into neutral if you have a manual transmission, shift to 4H or L, and slowly drive forward for the hubs to lock. Of course, the question - are the hubs locked when you do this - or do they lock afterward and thus the 'clunk' as the transfer case realizes this? (Another question, of course, is, since the car is new to you, have you ever checked the fluid in the transfer case????) To unlock, you are supposed to stop the car, drive about 7 feet in the direction opposite to the way you were just driving before you stopped, then shift the transfer case to 2H (if manual transmission, push the clutch down while doing this). Did the hubs unlock? Hmmm...I don't know (which is why I don't like the auto hubs as you really have no control or knowledge of what they are doing). You will not do any damage to the transfer case with the hubs locked, as long as you take the transfer case out of 4wd. The auto hubs need to be lubricated each year - it is somewhat difficult to really clean them thoroughly, however. There is a snap ring in them that may be difficult to get out, and loads of parts, some of which are plastic, that can break. If you remove the auto hubs from the car, you should check to see if they are greased (but not tons of grease in there), and clean them out and re-grease them.
 
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