yes, awd is now working, as i'm getting the dash light upon starting up. was not illuminating previously.My speculation... I suspect mismatched gears might give some initial bind off the line (assuming AWD is working).. but would then cause clutches to severely slip, grind, and burn up rather quickly once you started rolling. Pulling the fuse would likely prevent the engagement bind, but would not prevent the eminent catastrophic clutch damage.
Same happens if vehicle is towed with 2 on the ground (maybe this happened too)
Mismatched tires simply cause the damage to happen more slowly over a longer period of time.
Obviously pulling the driveshaft would be one work-around solution.
If everything is matched correctly, then this accomplishes nothing.
yup, woof. step 1 is to get the brakes inspected and reworked. without the front drive shaft in, the car runs totally fine. i live near the mountains now and will need awd, eventually at least. musicman, i drove 3,000 miles out here with both drive shafts in. my awd system clearly was not working at that point, but everything felt totally fine. as soon as the transfer case and awd electronic components were reworked, issues have arose. u joint or front shaft or front diff maybe.Unfortunately, your story is why people are often advised to stay away from AWD if you don't need it. It's a complex system with common issues, and not easily diagnosed or cost effectively repaired.
As you've stated you understand ABS has NOTHING to do with AWD.
Two completely DIFFERENT problems!
As such, it might be more productive to not confuse or mix discussion of both.
ABS: Pedal to the floor.. huge problem! I've had it happen to me, only in my case I believe the ABS was reacting to poor hydraulic pressure from a bad pressure valve in my power-steering pump. New PS pump and my brakes worked great again. This is assuming the ABS unit is working properly... brake lines are bled properly and free of air.
Fluid on the ground: that's ANOTHER SEPERATE ISSUE ALTOGETHER.
What kind of fluid? Are we talking about brake fluid?
If you have brake fluid on the ground, then you likely have AIR in the ABS system... HUGE problem.
AWD: The symptoms your are describing are NOT the typical AWD shutter/bind most people have. What typically happens is simply the AWD system "engages" while making sharp turns (due to mismatch in front to rear drive-shaft speeds).. and when AWD is locked in 4-wheel drive you literally are LOCKED in place... and can't move. The AutoTrac II fluid is supposed to allow the clutches to slip in this condition. The "shudder" you would typically feel is the binding/unbinding of clutches, again which happens at slow speed or no speed. Again, this is typically at slow speed or from a standing stop... NOT at 30mph!
What you describe is something different! It can't be binding.. you are already moving at 30mph. It sounds like you are describing a violent shaking or vibration. Many things can cause this.. and it likely will have nothing to do with the transfer case (unless it's seriously defective). Maybe your front differential has a serious issue with the drive-shaft engagement? (pinion bearing or similar) Note however, the differential is always spinning whether drive-shaft is in place or not. If not faulty front differential (or t-case), then possibly bad front drive-shaft itself, or u-joints?
But then you say it pulls to the left. This is likely something DIFFERENT altogether! The transfer-case could not cause a pull to the left, and neither could an open front differential. Normally a pull to the left indicates a right-brake caliper sticking. This could ALSO cause a violent shaking, as the brakes and rotor react badly with each other while seriously being over-heated.
But ALL the problems go away when you pull the front drive-shaft?
That doesn't seem correct, especially the pull to the left.
And how are you driving this van if the brake pedal goes to the floor?
I suspect you may have more than one issue.. and might possibly be getting them confused with each other.