Hey folks, if this is a repeat post, I apologize, I tried posting earlier but it doesn't seem to have showed up, so maybe I didn't finish it properly. NEway I'll now add more details all related to my sig truck. Just as background, when I first bought this truck this year, i took it to a dirt parking lot, it went into 4wd, 4lo, and the indicators lights turned on and off and the system engaged and "jerked" properly. I have only used 4wd once since then on slick roads and had no trouble... Until.
A few weeks ago I drove my truck up a grassy slope around the back of a building and out of courtesy put it in 4wd to avoid tearing up grass. An unbelievable, obnoxious rotational banging emanated from what appeared to be my left front end. I quickly took it out of 4wd but the banging continued for a brief while and I could feel it like a bind in the system even though I was on relatively soft turf. I assumed this was my auto hubs malfunctioning and not engaging properly in some way. Sadly, I just broke my arm severely a few weeks ago and a lot of "to do" things have been on hold till I can function after my bionic man surgery. Things like replacing those hubs, which i already knew were frozen and was planning to replace since I bought the truck basically. The banging did stop and didn't repeat so I've gone on about my business.
Jump forward to this weekend. I was working on some tree clean up and saw something odd on Sunday after having heard some weird bangs under the truck driving home on the freeway Saturday night from my friends house. (I was going roughly 75/80 and felt like the banging was getting more frequent and random for a while) I need sway bar links/bushings so the occasional bang isn't unheard of, but these bangs and the frequency of them made me go ... Hey, I didn't see that bump in the road?
I wondered if maybe one of the hubs was engaging a little? I slowed down and happened to get onto the side roads to my house around this point and the weird bangs stopped, I made it home incident free but nervous about this potentially new development. This is btw, the first time I've hit interstate speeds since before my 4x4 'moment a few weeks ago.
Low and behold, Sunday I'm out working with my truck and I see my front driveshaft hanging down and broken in HALF?!
I'm Not even talking split at a u joint or sheered bolts, but the main wide section of drive shaft broken apart!? (I'm now thinking that the banging Saturday was maybe the floppy driveshaft spinning with torque from the transfer case oils and hitting the bottom of the cab when i was at higher speeds ... oye.
) As an odd change, I'm suddenly literally getting .2 to .3 more MPG which makes me think maybe things were locked and spinning that shouldn't have been all along. Like maybe now I'm getting that because I'm not spinning the front diff in 2wd.
Or in other words, this has me wondering if my transfer case was NOT disengaging 4wd in spite of indicators turning off?
I'm also considering that maybe my AUTO hubs which are not marked are actually locked in the MANUAL LOCK position or are not disengaging right and that my front drive shaft has been spinning all the time and the banging happened going into 4x4 a few weeks ago because the internals of the transfer case were not lined up when it engaged and maybe I got lucky the 2 other times I used 4wd. Then again maybe the drive shaft was just rusted to death like a few other things down there and was an unlikely victim of mild violence with a bad hub engagement.
In any case, any thoughts/interpretations on what leads to a snapped front drive shaft, and where is the best/most reasonable place to source a replacement one?
I'm planning to get either the Mile Marker or Warn Hubs as an aside, but now I'm wondering if I should be looking deeper than just replace the outer locking part of the hub based on what happened? I know I can pull the driveshaft for now and run it as a 2wd only until I can buy the drive shaft, but also I don't want the front axle/diff getting hurt if the hubs are not in free wheel mode, which I'll check easily enough, even one handed. Thoughts welcome