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Old 12-27-2009, 04:08 PM   #1
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Rear Differential Problem?? Help!

Greetings All,

We just pulled off the road in Deming, NM, and as we turned the trailer around in a parking lot, the right tire made a funny noise and started "scrubbing" very hard.

I made a couple of more turns with the same result. As it is Sunday, we decided we better hole up for the night and it just so happened we were in a Wal-Mart parking lot! I drove clear across the lot to the spot where people were parked, and by the time I got there, NO NOISE NO SCRUBBING?? So, we decided we would still wait until morning to go to a garage and have it checked, but we drove 10 miles out to the State Park for the night. Same thing, no problem, no noise.

Any mechanics out there, or if you have had a similar problem who might advise what could be going on?? I was in 4 wheel drive for awhile yesterday in the snow. We were not towing at that time.

Thanks!

FLYNCLD
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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Were you in 4 wheel drive when you heard the noise, if so that is a normal sound when making a turn at slow speeds
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:44 PM   #3
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No we had been out of 4WD since yesterday and had put on about 300 miles since then. Also it is the rear wheel that is making the noise, so not a turning wheel. Basically from what I could tell, that wheel was not turning at the right speed (what a differential does), but now it is fine?
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Old 12-27-2009, 04:48 PM   #4
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Without knowing what your tow vehicle is, or which direction you were turning when you heard the scrubbing sound, I'll guess it may be a right rear wheel bearing. The tire/hub/axle shaft assembly could have walked out of the axle tube an inch or two, and allowed the outside edge of the tire to rub the inside of the fender well.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:03 PM   #5
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Thanks Terry, but the axle, tire, etc. all look fine. It wasn't rubbing, but scrubbing, or chirping along the pavement almost like the tire was somewhat flat (which is what I thought at first), but it isn't, or like I said that the tire is turning at the wrong speed compared to the left side. I don't know how else to describe it, but you could actually feel the right hand tire grabbing the pavement. I'm glad it's gone but I don't trust it!

BTW...2001 Chevy 2500HD 4WD!
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
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Maybe the tire "hopping" is a better description!?
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
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Do you have a locking rear differential that was locked and now is not?
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #8
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Funny you should say that! I was JUST thinking the same thing. Perhaps it got "locked" when I was in 4WD and didn't come out. Because I didn't make any sharp turns until I was hooked up and towing, I didn't feel anything?

Would this be likely to have caused any damage?
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:30 PM   #9
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Beats me ... mine locks up automatically and unlocks the same way, and so far as I'm aware, is not dependent upon being in 4wd ... it just locks when one rear wheel starts to spin at a rate sufficiently higher than the other for the mechanicals to engage.

First time I did it, I was at a stoplight and when it turned green, I got overeager on the throttle on damp pavement, towing the A/S ... started to get some wheelspin, and bam! it locked in RIGHT NOW and the spin stopped in a small fraction of a second. Then it apparently unlocked, 'cause I couldn't feel anything more. There are positive air lockers also that you manually lock and unlock with a valve setting, but mine isn't like that ...

But I've never (known to me, anyway), had it continue in locked mode more than a few dozen feet ... I'd think it'd cause uneven tire wear, scrubbing and scuffing, etc. pretty quickly, esp. if turning. Bigger question, it seems to me, is whether this is what it was, and why it did this, so you know how to keep it from doing it again.
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Old 12-27-2009, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirsDream View Post
But I've never (known to me, anyway), had it continue in locked mode more than a few dozen feet ... I'd think it'd cause uneven tire wear, scrubbing and scuffing, etc. pretty quickly, esp. if turning. Bigger question, it seems to me, is whether this is what it was, and why it did this, so you know how to keep it from doing it again.
It may not have been locked until right then, because I did not feel anything unusual before that, and like I said we drove about 300 miles, then picked up thee trailer and drove another 180 miles before this. Once I straightened out in the parking lot, then it apparently unlocked. But you are right, those are indeed the questions!
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:17 PM   #11
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From what you describe the differential was locked up as if in 4 wheel drive.

If you have full time 4WD on some models you are supposed to back-up for 8 to 10 ft after disengage 4WD.

Do you have manual locking hubs on the front axle?

You can do serious damage driving in 4WD on hard pavement something has to give either the tires scrub of gears break.
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:35 PM   #12
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Flying',

There are different differentials—standard, positraction and locking plus many varieties of 4WD. You can call the service dept of a Chevy dealer and give them your VIN and they should be able to look up precisely what you own. It could be axle or bearing problems as well. When I've had a locking rear differential, it could only be engaged with a switch—could you have accidently hit the switch?

These things rarely are self healing. Better check it out soon. Continuing to drive on a problem only gets worse until you run up a really big bill. I know from experience.

Hopefully it's just a normal thing when something hangs up briefly.

I assume it's the rear wheel, so locking front hubs shouldn't matter.

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Old 12-27-2009, 06:48 PM   #13
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It is not full-time, there is a switch on the dash 2WH-4WH-4WL..the rear diff is a automatic locking, no switch. Self-locking hubs.

As usual, thanks for all the advice! I think I will still take her in tomorrow! As my wife always reminds me...better safe than sorry!

Of course when I take it in, it won't do anything wrong which will then result in a diagnostic charge for nothing and blowing up completely 200 miles later!
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Old 12-27-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
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I also lean with the possible locking differential and having enough slippage to cause the lock to engage. Your Chevy year had the option of a locking Eaton diff., but I would err on the side of verifying that!
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