New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 9th 2016, 8:14pm

So I put a new rear driveshaft in my 1997 Astro (when I bought it, it was missing one) and immediately noticed that when I make any sharp turns, the front diff seems to be locking. It's very noticable, and you can feel "pressure" build up and then one of the front wheels will start spinning around a corner. One time it also made a sort of clunking noise, coming from the passenger side front wheel area. Help!

I'm starting to think I bought a POS.
Last edited by infinitenexus on July 10th 2016, 4:02am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now rear diff seems to be locking

Postby Meterpig » July 9th 2016, 8:51pm

Now..this is interesting. When you bought the van, it was missing a rear drive shaft. Did it drive? It certainly would have rolled forward on a hill. Now a rear is in, it's binding? It's possible that the transfer case is binding..which isn't something I have read with that particular case (the Borg Warner). The newer cases 2000 and up will bind on occasion.

So, to confirm...

Didn't come with a rear shaft
Is a 1997
Now binds in turns.

Weird.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now rear diff seems to be locking

Postby Rockridge » July 9th 2016, 9:46pm

Is it possible the drive shaft gearing does not match the front. Was someone in the middle of a rear end swap?
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now rear diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 10th 2016, 4:03am

Meterpig wrote:So, to confirm...

Didn't come with a rear shaft
Is a 1997
Now binds in turns.

Weird.



Correct. And only in turns. I'm completely new when it comes to these vans, and AWD in general. Should I flush the transfer case and put in new fluid? Would that even affect it?
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now rear diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 10th 2016, 4:04am

Rockridge wrote:Is it possible the drive shaft gearing does not match the front. Was someone in the middle of a rear end swap?



When going in a straight line it's fine, only in turns. And really only in sharper turns does it act up. But the front diff definitely seems to be locking, as when I turn a corner my inside tire will try to stay the same speed as my outer tire and spin a bit.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby Leeann_93 » July 10th 2016, 4:06am

It's possible, though not probable with the BW4472. Much more likely with the 99+ case.

Your case takes Dexron. Plain, regular ol' Dexron.


I think it's more likely the PO replaced the differential with one that has a different gear ratio than the front diff.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 10th 2016, 4:16am

But wouldn't that give me issues in straight lines also? It only gets this feeling during turns, specifically slow sharp turns.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 11th 2016, 3:01am

After driving it around for a couple days in this condition, it's definitely not a mismatched gear ratio issue. Straight line performance is completely fine. The problem only arises when making slow, tight turns, and then my front diff is essentially locking, causing both sides to turn at equal speeds and thus making my inner wheel spin.

Does anyone know why my front diff would start locking? And furthermore, how to fix that? Would a diff fluid change help? I'm at a loss, but I'm really close to just dropping this thing off at a junkyard and dealing with the loss of money, because I am not going to deal with another POS car, and it's looking like that's what I was sold.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 11th 2016, 3:08am

Just searched google for a while, and the issue is definitely my front differential locking. Now I just need to figure out how to fix it before it breaks something. My passenger side front wheel already started making lots of clunking noises (I don't believe it's CV joint clunking though, more like something is suddenly loose in the suspension). I'm starting to hate this van.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby Coaster » July 11th 2016, 4:05am

wow you give up quick. i suggest you quit while you're behind. maybe a Prius is in your future?
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby juststartin » July 11th 2016, 5:09am

Don't get frustrated too quick....you're in the right place for the answer. Stick it out and take gentle turns m'man. You WILL fix it if you keep at it!
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby Astro Pop » July 11th 2016, 7:16am

Are all the tires the same size? Critical to AWD. Can't be different by more than 3/32".
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » July 11th 2016, 1:36pm

Jack both front wheels up. See if they spin opposite directions. Or makes crunchy crunchy noises doing it.
I doubt it has a posi in front but never know. Someone may have put one in. But mainly check to see if the spider gears are failing.

Then with help spin both the same direction. Just see if the transfer case is making any strange noises, but at least engaging some.

Wiggle the front drive shaft. It could be a U Joint is fried and flopping around when under pressure.

Wiggle wheels. It could be a bad bushing in a A Frame.

Check side play in the front axles.

Stuff like this is deceptive sometimes. Whet it feels like and what it is can be 2 different things.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 11th 2016, 7:20pm

Coaster wrote:wow you give up quick. i suggest you quit while you're behind. maybe a Prius is in your future?


Thanks for the rude comment. It helped precisely nothing. Glad to see you're such an insightful and intelligent person
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 11th 2016, 7:27pm

The tires are all new and th same size. Where I live right now I don't really have a place to work on cars safely and being a full time student and having two jobs I'm usually low on free time. I'm at a jiffy lube right now to get th transfer case and front diffs checked out and fluid changed and they just informed me that I have a leak in my front differential. Maybe we're getting to the bottom of this.

Edit: they just told me they won't work on the van because it has several notable leaks in the front differential. They recommended I take it to a full service shop. So I guess this won't be cheap.

What pisses me off is that I have a strong feeling the repair bill is going to be equal to what I paid for this thing.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby chevymaherchevymaher is online! » July 11th 2016, 8:01pm

infinitenexus wrote:
What pisses me off is that I have a strong feeling the repair bill is going to be equal to what I paid for this thing.

I know the feeling I got mine free. I into it for 2 engines, 2 differentials, 3 totals I fixed, interior, 2 stereos, 3 sets of tires, 2 A/C compressors. Oh the list goes on and on. I got a shelf full of new engine parts for future use. Spare interior for the next rejuvenation.

But it is still cheaper than a new car and doing the same repairs. Everything has a car payment if you put enough miles on it. And I have put the miles on mine. Nothing is free. It just a mater of what you want to drive.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby infinitenexus [OP] » July 11th 2016, 11:39pm

More things are suddenly going wrong with this van. It sounds like the passenger side front tire is about to fall off now. And after reviewing the purchase and whatnot, I'm actually talking with a lawyer. The guy totally ripped me off and sold me a POS. The good news is the lawyer thinks this will be a pretty easy case. So I guess all is not lost.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now rear diff seems to be locking

Postby AstroWill » July 12th 2016, 12:53am

Meterpig wrote:Now..this is interesting. When you bought the van, it was missing a rear drive shaft. Did it drive?


Certainly not without a driveshaft ;)


infinitenexus wrote:More things are suddenly going wrong with this van. It sounds like the passenger side front tire is about to fall off now. And after reviewing the purchase and whatnot, I'm actually talking with a lawyer. The guy totally ripped me off and sold me a POS. The good news is the lawyer thinks this will be a pretty easy case. So I guess all is not lost.

They always say that, the lawyer will get paid either way :)
Your states laws will determine a lot of that, some states it's hard to sell a vehicle 'as is', and in others it's buyer beware. Either way, for vehicles of this vintage, you might have an uphill battle. Good luck!

Have you taken this to a shop to have it looked at? Sounds like some professional advice might be in order.

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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby DarkAstro » July 12th 2016, 1:25am

There has to be a reason why would the seller will try to sell a van with a missing driveshaft? Personally if it was me, I wouldn't buy a vehicle with anything missing drivetrain wise. Being a mechanic myself, I would have done a lookover before purchasing. I had sellers trying to sell me on junk that is not worth it. Missing CATS, ODO cover-ups are a few I dealt with.
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Re: New rear driveshaft, now front diff seems to be locking

Postby redfury » July 12th 2016, 2:22am

Remove the front driveshaft! IF the front still binds, then it's the differential. If it doesn't bind anymore, then you have a problem with the transfer case.

Of course, have to also throw in there to look at the axle half shafts to see if you have torn boots and binding joints in the turns like any front wheel drive car would.
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
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