Mechanics

CAN THE FRONT WHEEL DRIVE BE DISCONNETED SAFELY

1994 GMC Safari • 213,000 miles

I have a 94 Safari with 213k miles, on its last leg. Need it to last a while longer. The cv joints are shot, wondering if both front axles and front drive line can be removed, and just run it as a rear wheel drive van?
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HEpperson
August 30, 2011.



We only recommend the manufacturer's recommendations. Removing said parts could lead to serious problems.

You need the cv joints to hold the front wheel bearings together. If you remove the front drive shaft, you can run it that way as a rear-whee-drive because unlike Chrysler and Ford systems, yours uses a transfer case, not a viscous coupling to one axle. That means both drive shafts are locked together and will always turn at the exact same speed, and if one is disconnected, the other one will still turn. That system is very hard on tire wear and it is critically important that all four tires have exactly the same circumference to prevent damage to the transfer case.

There should be no need to pull the half shafts apart since they'll just be going along for the ride, so to speak. It's the outer housings that have to be bolted solidly in place to prevent the wheel bearings from coming apart or becoming noisy.

Caradiodoc
Aug 31, 2011.
Thank you for the information. I did read else where, that if disconnected in this fashion, that there was a potential problem with the van rolling away while in park? Any truth to this?

Tiny
HEpperson
Aug 31, 2011.
Nope. The rear axle is still linked mechanically to the transmission with its parking lock.

Caradiodoc
Aug 31, 2011.