1999 GMC Jimmy 4WD has become hit and miss to engage

Tiny
SDJENSEN16
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 GMC JIMMY
1999 GMC Jimmy V8 Four Wheel Drive Automatic

Last week I noticed more noise while driving, especially while turning to the left disappears when turning to the right. 4 years ago I had the front right wheel assembly replaced to fix it then.
Question 1: how can I tell which bearing is failing?
Question 2: is this bearing causing problems for my 4wd to engage and slip out when engaged?
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have the same problem?
Yes
No
Saturday, December 20th, 2008 AT 12:59 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
SWILLIAMS
  • MEMBER
From your description it sounds like the right bearing is failing again.
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Saturday, January 3rd, 2009 AT 4:54 PM
Tiny
SDJENSEN16
  • MEMBER
Is it the right or left? I jacked up the front wheels and the right tire had no movement where as the the left had some.
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Tuesday, January 6th, 2009 AT 5:43 PM
Tiny
SWILLIAMS
  • MEMBER
Usually you can tel by the way the sound changes when your making turns. You said that the noise increased while turning to the left and disappears when turning right. That usually means the right side bearing is the problem.
The reason has to do with the load on the bearings. As you turn left the right side bearing gets loaded heavier and the steering input also loads it with an angular input. The opposite occurs on a right hand turn, the bearing on the inside of the turn gets unloaded some.

Motion in the bearings isn't good but that usually isn't the cause of noise. Most of the noisy bearings I have dealt with were nice and tight when moved by hand. However the races and ball bearings were damaged, either brinnelling or metal flaking off the surfaces were the problems.

In your situation I would replace both bearing assemblies.

As for the 4X4 problem that is likely a separate issue. Could be a vacuum leak or solenoid problem or if you have the auto 4X4 option the front axle may be failing.
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Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 AT 11:14 AM

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