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01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

 
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Old 07 Jun 2012, 06:22 pm
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Default 01 Limited Automatic/Differential or brake? Question

OK, I think this might be one of those Ut Oh Moments.

I posted about this once before but now I think its possible something is likely very wrong.

Question #1
Where does the differential get its lubrication on an automatic?
#2 Is it regular ATF4?

At a recent tire change the guy mentioned that he thought we had differential issue because when he tried to rotate the right front tire, I pretty much locked up while turning the wheel in reverse.

We had noticed a bit of noise (howling) on the way there thinking it was a bad tire.

Anyway, further symptoms are occurring now.

When we drive about 10-15 miles something happens, like something is making noise like it is heating up.
This is not like any bearing noise we have ever had and these were changed about 25,000 miles ago.
When this heats up it actually requires you to use more pedal to maintain speed and or accelerate.

I am suspect that the differential has gone low and messed something up? Is that possible?

any idea's?

Last edited by Sarasmiles; 26 Jun 2012 at 08:23 am.
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Old 07 Jun 2012, 07:01 pm
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

Differential can fail, especially in the N/A Manuals (T-350).
You won't know it before it happens, pin will just fly out.

I don't hear of this occurring on a Auto. If you are going in a straightline, differential isn't working, it wouldn't make noise.
You would have to spin (one) tire considerably for this to occur.

You're mechanic is a dope, if you have one wheel off ground and 'Park' selected, you'll get about 1/4 turn of tire before it stops. If both wheels are off ground then the other will simply spin opposite direction (Park Selected)

Differential is splash lubricated from transmission sump. Whatever lubricant is used to fill will be sufficient (You're supposed to use ATF+4, but, again any lube would work for this particular part).

When you say 'heating up', do you mean the temp gauge? Or are you getting a transmission overheat code?
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Old 08 Jun 2012, 06:05 am
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by UptownSport View Post

I don't hear of this occurring on a Auto. If you are going in a straightline, differential isn't working, it wouldn't make noise.
You would have to spin (one) tire considerably for this to occur.

You're mechanic is a dope, if you have one wheel off ground and 'Park' selected, you'll get about 1/4 turn of tire before it stops. If both wheels are off ground then the other will simply spin opposite direction (Park Selected)

Differential is splash lubricated from transmission sump. Whatever lubricant is used to fill will be sufficient (You're supposed to use ATF+4, but, again any lube would work for this particular part).

When you say 'heating up', do you mean the temp gauge? Or are you getting a transmission overheat code?
OK, I am relieved that the differential has not been run dry. I am only suspect of the issue for a couple reasons.

When the tire guy(not a mechanic for say) had the car on the lift, both tires off ground as he rotated the right front tire in the reverse direction and it rather abruptly locked/stopped.
That is when he said he suspected that there was a possible differential issue.

When I said heating up I was trying to emphasize that the noise/issue takes about 12-15 miles to occur.
Once I drive about 12-15 miles a noise develops much like a wheel typical bearing noise. At highway speed it gets pretty loud but does not seem to be coming from a wheel itself.
Sort of like it needs to heat up(in my terms)
We do not get any codes nor indicator lights that might be a clue.

Since we own 4 PT's and have had wheel bearings replaced on all of them all I can say is it does not act like a wheel bearing nor sound like that is the source of the issue.

It does seem to load down the car though, once it starts(after 12-15 miles) I end up having to use a lot more pedal to accelerate or even maintain speed.
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Old 08 Jun 2012, 07:12 am
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

maybe the break is hanging up?? it would make since to me because you have to use "more throttle" in order to keep going and maintain speed.??
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Old 08 Jun 2012, 07:25 am
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

That might be very possible, I just kind of overlooked that since there was to tugging or pulling in the steering.
I'll have my guy pull off the wheels and check it out.

I think we have an infra red thermometer around , think it would tell me anything out on the road?
Check disc temps?
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Old 08 Jun 2012, 02:12 pm
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

I've heard of differential carrier bearings failing in auto's, but I think it was AGES ago, prolly early version of the old 3 speed.
This wouldn't affect differential operation, and, if still occurring, the heavier C-Vans would see failure well before the little PT.

After the further description, MudSkinner is right on- If tires doesn't spin, opposite brake is likely dragging.

chock, tires, set e-brake, Jack up each front one at a time and spin tire in any range but park. Have assistant press pedal, then release, see if brake is stuck.

If it's noticeable drag- You will have smell and big time heat radiating from wheel-
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Old 09 Jun 2012, 09:33 am
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

Some years back I had bent a hub with a close encounter with a huge pot hole hidden by snow. It was bad enough that it caused brake heating and a pretty good noise as well.

It might just be the brake, like I said, the tire guy got me worrying because it clearly did not rotate as it should. He even stopped his guy from trying to spin it while putting the tire back on.

He had said to go around to a lot and do some hard/tight turns, it would likely blow the unit. Well, it didn't.

I only get the noise after at least 12 miles, mostly highway speed. It only gets so bad then stabilizes. Meaning I does not get worse, nor any better.

I do have around 168K on this car and though we try to keep it in good repair, it sits a lot as well.
I had been planning a front brake rebuild later this summer, we just did the rears a while back because the emergency brake shoes De-laminated and sounded like hell while driving.
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Old 09 Jun 2012, 11:16 am
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

We do / did alot of differential work to:
Get traction
Repair / improve stock T-350 differential.

This is T-350 5-speed, auto will be same basic layout:
Carrier
Side Gears
spider / pinion gears
pin
(Pieces of tin are 'Fix' for the t-350, the fix started with the 3speed I believe);











Here's what happens when it (begins) to fail:



Auto has an inspection cover and differential carrier bearing retainer.
You may be able to remove inspection cover, bearing retainer and inspect, IF you're worried.
I don't know how close to K-member it sits, so doubt you'll be able to remove it in car.


Again, I highly doubt there's any issue with the differential per se;
1. if there were, it would have flown apart without any warning long ago
2. Symptoms you describe don't point to a differential fault,
you would only notice a seized differential when you turned a corner, then;
a. it would have unseized
or
b. it would have broken apart -catastrophically.
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Old 09 Jun 2012, 11:39 am
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

And here's some pics of automatic- Turned out to be strut inserts, nothing with powertrain per se

Grinding - Accelerating from a stop
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Old 24 Jun 2012, 11:53 am
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Default Re: 01 Limited Automatic/Differential Question

OK, reviving this thread with a bit more info.


I "Finally" got the infra-red thermometer and gathered readings at each disc.

After 8.9 miles @ 55mph, Ambient temperature 83F Humidity 40%
Readings taken at the center of the braking surface on each rotor.

L/Front=332F
L/Rear = 159F

R/Front =677F
R/Rear = 133F

I fully understand the fronts temperatures being higher than the rears simply due to higher breaking load.
But obviously the right front is not even in the ball park!

To refresh, the noise, vibration & sudden need for more accelerator pressure at begin at the 8-12 mile mark dependent on the duration/speed.

So, would I be safe to assume its a hanging brake or is it possible for a bearing to generate and transfer that much heat to the disc/rotor?

Last edited by Sarasmiles; 24 Jun 2012 at 12:00 pm.
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