Binding in AWD at low speeds

lzyellodog

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Well, Truck hit 96K the other day and she is falling apart. What I thought was tire/road noise is now something more seriuos I think. While turning into a driveway today the truck felt like it would not go forward. It seems like the AWD drive in the front is binding. ANy ideas. Truck is 04 tahoe 5.3 lter AWD LT
 

boostaholic

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It may be one of your unit bearing assemblies going out. The 03+ awd is controlled via abs input and could be effected by a failing unit bearing. Try jacking up the front end and applying upward force under one of the wheels with some sort of prybar. You should be able to feel (or see in most cases) the play in either the hub or balljoints, if they need to be replaced get them from a napa and have a local shop install them (or do it yourself it is pretty easy).
 

treepete

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when I would make real sharp turns on dry pavement, my front would make this horrible lurching/skipping feeling. does it still do this in 2wd mode?
 

lzyellodog

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when I would make real sharp turns on dry pavement, my front would make this horrible lurching/skipping feeling. does it still do this in 2wd mode?

Yeah that is the noise. BUt my problem is that the truck is AWD. No way for me to take it out of AWD. How long can I drive it before I have a real problem. Reason i ask is that I am two hours from home on a business trip. I do not need to drive it until Friday. And that would be the two hour drive home.
 

boostaholic

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Stop by a shop and see how bad it is, if there is significant play you might want to get it replaced otherwise drive it home and get a few other quotes before shelling out the money to repair.
 

lzyellodog

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Well here is an update. It appears that the motor that controls the four wheel low is shot. They replaced it and it still does it. There is some sort of control module in the truck that also blew. Fuel problem is the evap canister, replaced. New tires. Total repair so far $1800.
 

lzyellodog

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Alright I am out a total of 2500 bucks so far and we are still having problems. List of things that have gone wrong or needed replacement.

4 new tires $700
4x4 actuator motor and control module $800
Left front bearing $350
front and rear Differential fluid change $380.
Various labor $400.

So, the shop said that they think the differential in the front is shot. Something about the clutches in the diff are sticking and that is causing the binding. Looks like the the previous owner never serviced the diffs. The oil was black. Shop replaced with the GM specific product and we crossed our fingers. It is better but at low speeds with the wheel turned it grabs and you must apply more throttle. Once wheel is centered everything is fine. Highway speeds no problem. Really anything over walking speed is fine unless you need to turn at a low speed and have to crank the wheel over hard. I am going to drive it for now and see if things loosen up a bit. I am thinking about parking it for now and buy a beater. Depends on the cost of the rebuild of the diff. Anybody have any ideas on the rebuild? I thought about getting rid of it but i am way too upside down.
 

Julius Samonte

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Bringing it back from the dead. Had the same issue in my 02 escalade All time AWD with 115k miles at the time. The issue was the transfer case. Replaced with a transfer case from orielys and problem solved.

But now Its doing it in my 2004 suburban all time awd (4wd lo). And im trying to see if its the same issue. Anyone been able to solve it for an 04 burb awd/4lo?

thanks
 
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