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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have an 89' Cherokee with a 4.0L straight six and FWD. Due to the inclimate weather in my area, I have been using my 4LO more frequently. When I make a sharp turn in 4LO, I feel like the front wheels are "fighting me" and I hear a scraping noise. I am not sure if this is an axle or transfer case problem. It does not pull this crap in 2WD, so it is some where in the front end. Any suggestions, similar experiences, or a solution to this would be much appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Not really why you'd have to go into 4Lo unless you were stuck in a ditch or something like that off the side of the road. First, in 4Lo, you really shouldn't be going all that fast, probably keep it under 25MPH. What you're feeling is the axle binding up because the surface you're on isn't allowing the tires to slip enough. When you're in 4Hi or 4Lo your tires front and rear spin at the same rate, and unless you're on slippery surfaces that allow the tires to slip some while you're turning, you will bind up.

You're best bet is to get onto a slippery surface (sand, wet grass, gravel, etc) and get your tcase out of 4Lo and into 2WD. If you have the 4-Full-Time option (which was available in '89) then use that during inclement weather.

My general rule of thumb is that if you can see pavement or street striping then 4WD isn't necessary. If you can't see the pavement or the striping then 4WD will work just fine. This is of course unless you have the Full-Time option, which then you can use that in any type of condition, even completely dry conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Correction

I'm sorry, I wrote 4LO. I meant to say 4HI, very rarely do I use 4LO. Its acting up in 4HI only, I was really tired when I wrote this.
 

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Well first of all the front has automatic locking hubs which would cause the "fighting" you are talking about. the scraping isn't from the transfer case, it would be coming from somewhere on the front axel
 

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Is yours the disconnect axle... It could be slipping some and causing some of the feel you are talking about.
 

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If it is something wrong in the driveline causing it, it's definitely front axle like Stryker said. Personally, I just think it might be that you're not used to the feel of the P/T 4WD front axle locking like it does.
My 98 does it what I thought was pretty violently, but my '89 Jimmy jumps and jerks the wheel all over the place, if it's not pulling you out of the seat, it's damn near tearing the wheel right out of your hands in 4WD, makes both of the Jeeps look tame. I just learned to not make sharp turns while in 4WD unless it's really slick outside.
Pretty much decrease the turn radius, and add a bit more power while turning.
 

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I'm sure that what you are feeling is the normal 4WD bind that happens when in 4WD and on a not so slippery, surface. and making a sharp turn. This will happen when in 4WD on the road even in inclement weather. The whole road is not slippery. This is normal.
 

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I hear this all the time when I am at work, people with 4X4s put their vehicle in 4X4 and it magically "controls funny" or "steers funny" or "the steering wheel is jumping." Its completely normal. What bowtieguy said is completely correct. When your front wheels lock in they can no longer slip around the turn like they normally do. They are gripping down completely and being forced to turn revolve at the exact same time on the left and right sides. This is what you are feeling.
 

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4x4 turning

yep mine does the same.....its ok
 

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hello thread. i came upon this problem and i have a question. how do you knw if your 89 xj came with the 4wheel drive option? bc mine says 4x4 but it only goes into part-time.. if someone could direct me in the right direction i would appericate it. i will be posting pics soon..
 

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Now this happens on a NP231, NP242, or other transfer case?

I only have experience with my NP242 in my 98. I have 2WD, 4x4 (Full time, Part Time, and Lo). Full time the front and rear diffs are not locked together so I can use this all the time. Part Time front and rear are locked and if I use this on dry, or even rain paved surfaces I run the risk of stretching the chain again.

If you are running a NP231 my understanding is you should only use it off road, or if the paved surface is VERY slippery, otherwise you risk damaging your transfer case.
 

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hello thread. i came upon this problem and i have a question. how do you knw if your 89 xj came with the 4wheel drive option? bc mine says 4x4 but it only goes into part-time.. if someone could direct me in the right direction i would appericate it. i will be posting pics soon..
If you go under your XJ and look at that thing that is just under the driver's seat. Looks like this...



Then look at the metal circle and read what transfer case you have.



Just under the word "MODEL". This one says "242 J". I have a NP "New Process" 242 J, or NP242J.

Once you get that information, post it here.
 

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Well first of all the front has automatic locking hubs which would cause the "fighting" you are talking about. the scraping isn't from the transfer case, it would be coming from somewhere on the front axel
it DOESN'T have auto-locking hubs. it only has a disconnect or not. not auto-lock.


now to the OP, what positions do you have on your 4wd shifter?

it's either
2wd
4wd part time
4wd full time
neutral
4 low

or
2wd
4wd part time
neutral
low

the first option is an np242
the second option is an np231


let us know, and we can tell you what axle you have. (with an np242 you don't have a disconnect, with an np231 you do in that year)
 

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I hear this all the time when I am at work, people with 4X4s put their vehicle in 4X4 and it magically "controls funny" or "steers funny" or "the steering wheel is jumping." Its completely normal. What bowtieguy said is completely correct. When your front wheels lock in they can no longer slip around the turn like they normally do. They are gripping down completely and being forced to turn revolve at the exact same time on the left and right sides. This is what you are feeling.
it doesn't revolve at the exact same time on the left and right sides. most people with xj's have open diffs, which means that the differential carrier allows DIFFERENTIATION between left and right sides on turns. BUT in dry conditions it becomes a bit harder for the axle to differentiate.

the only way your explanation works 100% is if it's got a locker, or an extremely tight limited slip.

which doesn't account for his problem at turns. the ONLY difference you feel in putting it in 4wd is that the front end pulls, and the axleshaft ujoints bind on any corners more than 45 degrees.

if you don't think this post makes sense, it isn't my fault. I didn't edit it until I edited the edit. the editing was done for good reason, but took away from the tech in my post.
 

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Just to through my .02 cents in, lets try to keep it simple and stupid. The scraping noise and binding lead me to believe that one or both of the axle joints are bad...
 

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and you likely hit the nail on the head.

oh, should check the diff fluid and change too.
 

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hello thread. i came upon this problem and i have a question. how do you knw if your 89 xj came with the 4wheel drive option? bc mine says 4x4 but it only goes into part-time.. if someone could direct me in the right direction i would appericate it. i will be posting pics soon..
Yours most definately has 4 wheel drive. "Part-Time" means that your 4WD is engaged, but should only be used "part of the time." You can refer to Mudd's definition for this, as he gave a good one. If the bezel by your handle says 2WD-4PT-N-4LO, then you will always see "Part-Time" when you engage your transfercase. If your bezel says 2WD-4PT-4FT-N-4LO, then you have the NP242, which can be a "full-time" transfer case - meaning that it can be engaged all of the time, regardless of surrounding conditions, and can even be used on completely dry pavement. In this case, you will see a "Full-Time" light illuminate on your dashboard if you choose the 4FT option on the tcase.
 

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Well first of all the front has automatic locking hubs which would cause the "fighting" you are talking about. the scraping isn't from the transfer case, it would be coming from somewhere on the front axel
I have to admit I thought the front hubs locked as well. Actually I thought it HAD locking hubs, it doesn't.

My 83 Chevy pickup had auto locking hubs. I've seen the manual hubs on Toyota's, and it wasn't until recently that I found out that the XJ didn't have anything like that!

Once I started getting into it, it made more sense. Pretty cool how it works on a NP242.

Full time sends 48% of the power to the front diff, and 52% power to the rear diff. But each diff can spin at it's own rate.

Part time does the same thing, but locks the front and rear diffs together. If you try to turn on a surface with good traction the inside turning wheel is trying to spin faster than the rear wheels. Since front and rear wheels are locked together (open diffs, lockers determine if it is 1 locked to 1 or more wheels) then the front tire chirps not because it it spinning faster than the other front wheel, but because it is spinning faster than the rear wheels.

This would be true for a NP231, but I just found out last night that the 231 does a 50/50 power split instead of the 48/52 of the NP242.

Anyway, long and boring I know, but hopefully technically correct. If it isn't please correct me because I am always trying to learn.
 

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i have an NP242 and i like it.... if you can't find the tag on the back of the T-case start whipping the area with a rag and you'll find it...:rock:
 
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