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Old 10-19-2011, 07:21 AM   #1
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Question Only one tire pushes the Jeep??

Put the jeep up on jackstands last night to check the drive shaft. I've had a problem with it sliding back and forth because the small place holders from the yoke are spread too far apart and actual clips that hold the cap to the yoke do not hold it tight.

Anyway, while I had it on the stands I started it up and put it in 1st to check the wobble on the shaft. (good news here, no wobble)...however, I noticed only the driver tire spins freely. The passenger tire doesn't spin at all. I thought it maybe be the brakes catching the tire, but after hitting the brake pedal the tire still didn't spin. So I tried to manually spin the tire and it spun fine, no problems.

So all this leads me to my question: Are jeeps propelled only by one tire in the rear when in 2WD OR...do I have a craptastic axle that needs the inner guts replaced?

Thanks for the thoughts.

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Old 10-19-2011, 07:35 AM   #2
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Unless you have a locking or limited slip diff in the rear, only one wheel is powered. This is how an open differential functions.

You might have noticed the same behavior when your pushing a stuck car out of the snow, one wheel spinning and the other not moving at all.

When in 4WD (again, unless you have some traction device in the diffs), one rear and one front wheel is powered. This is the reason that hard core off-roaders add lockers or limited slip devices - to get 3 or 4 wheels powered at the same time.

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Old 10-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #3
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Here's what Wikipedia has to say about an Open Differential.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:38 AM   #4
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obvioously, I had NO idea this was the case. thank you very much for your response.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:42 AM   #5
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Just to be sure it's not a more serious problem, have someone put resistance on the wheel that IS spinning and make sure the OTHER one starts spinning. Or turn the engine off while it's in gear and spin either tire. The other one should rotate in the opposite direction if you have an open carrier.
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:47 AM   #6
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no, that hasn't been tried yet, but i'll do that before taking it off the stands. thanks for the suggestion! so, to make sure I understand, if one tire stops spinning, the other one should start? and this is an automatic process...

man, newb here! lol
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Old 10-19-2011, 08:39 AM   #7
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its automatic... The open differential allows for the outside tires to spin faster without binding or bucking through a corner because the distance traveled by the outside tires is greater than the distance traveled by the inside tire. The differential always sends power to the wheel with less traction.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:36 AM   #8
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Good & bad of it all... I have a full lock posi rear end in my 94'. Its posi, all the time. Just the opposite of yours. Great for pulling/pushing, snow, hill climbs, etc... Not so great for turning on pavement as one back tire will jitter all the way through the turn.

When I first got the Jeep I thought something was wrong because I could hear a tire wanting to jitter on corners even in 2wd. ...100% Posi, that explains it.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:06 AM   #9
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Watch the movie "my cousin vinny" and you will understand.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevenservices View Post
Good & bad of it all... I have a full lock posi rear end in my 94'. Its posi, all the time. Just the opposite of yours. Great for pulling/pushing, snow, hill climbs, etc... Not so great for turning on pavement as one back tire will jitter all the way through the turn.

When I first got the Jeep I thought something was wrong because I could hear a tire wanting to jitter on corners even in 2wd. ...100% Posi, that explains it.
That's the tradeoff between an open diff and a locked one. It's also the reason that the air locker and other systems were developed. On more recent Wranglers, they have a switch to control the axle and choose if it is open or locked. Prior to that development, you had three choices: open, limited slip (referred to as "posi", but that was originally a GM marketing term back in the early '60s), and a locker.

Driving on ice with a fulling locking set up is "interesting" the first time! You'll feel pulled to the low side of the street/trail and it takes some getting used to. For a couple of reasons, liability and maintenance, most manufacturers didn't put lockers in vehicles except for purpose built light commercial trucks early on in automotive development (think pre-WWII) and even more recent most drivers wouldn't want a locking axle for daily commuting.

Before the selectable lockers became available, even the most hard core off-roaders went with a locker in the rear and a limited slip up front to allow for less strain when turning. That setup was the best choice at the time, and did better on pavement and having both axles locked.

I remember how amazed I was when I first learned this, and how awesome a fully locked up Jeep was in dirt and rocks!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:36 AM   #11
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Lockers aren't just for four wheel drive vehicles... Many muscles cars sported a posit lock or Detroit locked rear axle. And most sports cars today have some form of lockable diff to manage the power off the line. A Detroit locker automatically unlocks the diffs in a turn. Limited slip allows for only a certain amount of wheel spin before locking and air lockers can lock the diffs at the push of a button. There are many different lockers out there ranging in the Yj from around 200 + for an aussie up to 2000 for the more expensive air and select table lockers
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:24 PM   #12
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this is all amazing information and brand new to me. glad i posted this question! thanks again for all the responses. i've seen lockers for sale in quadratec etc...but i guess i never really fully understood what they did. now i do!
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:57 PM   #13
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great info guys...
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:05 PM   #14
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an 8.8 from a mustang will have a limited slip diff. not sure about the rears out of the explorers.

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