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Discussion Starter #1
Ok Fellas, I've given my due diligence and now I'm starting to go in circles.

I've got what feels 'on the brake' like a spline-grind closing at around 2 mph. It sounds like spline shaft trying to engage when rolling at low speed and switching between 4x4 and 2x4. It has a subtle ratchety sound like splines grinding and I can feel it on the brake pedal. It only does it when I finish closing in on a stop sign.

It makes the sound with the auto hubs out at stopping speed.
It makes the sound with hubs locked.
It makes the sound in HI, LO, 2x4 at stopping speed (with hubs in auto).
It makes the sound with gear shift in neutral when stopping at stopping speed.
In PARK in 2x4, I can rotate both front axle U-joints with my hand freely.
There is no ABS light after changing the ball joints and cleaning the ABS sensors.

Here's the situation:

This weekend I replaced my ball joints. Everything went well. Crappy China ball joints are in, everything put back together.
I used the same seals and o-rings which looked fine. The axle shaft seals were blown, as usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. Ball joints are torqued to spec. The tie rods are probably a little over torqued since I used and impact gun, and I'll back off of these nuts and torque correctly this weekend. I had to replace the passenger hub vacuum nipple because I cross-threaded the old one. I put the new one in with lots of teflon and am pretty sure it is air tight.

On the road the steering wanders a bit, almost as if HI 4x4 was engaged. I reckon it that could be because I slightly overtorqued the steering rod to the knuckles. Also the front left axle shaft has dripped fluid and sprayed a little in the fender well, which is a new thing.

I'm not sure what direction to go at this point. I would think I have a vacuum problem after putting everything back together. That seems the obvious culprit. But it doesn't seem that I have a vacuum problem based on the conditions above. ABS makes more sense since I can feel everything on the brake pedal. (As a side note, I had an ABS light before cleaning, but the ABS sensors were very dirty which I cleaned. Also, it was likely the driver's ABS sensor being dirty)

I guess right now I need to rule out the ABS for one. Your help is appreciated.
 

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So you over torqued you tie rods and spun the stud with an impact.
Busted your inner axle seal putting your axles back in, to the point its spraying diff off the wheel....

likely your hubs are going out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Crap, don't say inner axle seal. I guess would that cause differential fluid to spray on the wheel? It wasn't a steady stream or anything, more like a bursted coke can pattern and some dripping off the bottom of the knuckle.

It grinds with the hubs out though, so I don't think that's it. Would a busted inner axle seal cause the grind?
 

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By hubs I meant the wheel bearings hub assembly not the locking hubs. Usually when the abs sensor get really dirty to the point of throwing a light it's the bearings coming apart.

And yes the inner axle seal is the only thing that will cause diff fluid to be in the tube.
 

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Fwiw don't use an mpact for reassembly on steering components or disassembly of any part you plan on reusing. Use the tourqe wrench on everything, f this up and it could be unsafe to drive.

If it's doing it in 2wd then it couldn't be your 4x4 system.

If your auto hubs are working then you don't have a big leak if at all. Does it default to defrost when you switch to 4x4?

Mighty vac on the nipple and see if it holds vacuum, but I wouldn't be using 4x4 pissing fluid like that. Next is your brakes get grease soaked...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, that's two more things I can check, but it sound like it could be related to that Inner Axle Seal. I found a youtube video for inner axle seal replacement, and that looks kind of like the leak I got now. I appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Now that I think about it, that's exactly what it is. When I put that passenger side axle in and hammered it in, I popped off that inner seal into the differential. That's probably where the grinding is coming from.

Word to the wise, be careful re-installing the front axles.
 

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Now that I think about it, that's exactly what it is. When I put that passenger side axle in and hammered it in, I popped off that inner seal into the differential. That's probably where the grinding is coming from.

Word to the wise, be careful re-installing the front axles.
LOL, should just slide right in. If not rotate the axle a little. Needs to be straight as an arrow.

Throw some new u joints in this time.
 
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