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Possible Front Differential Problem, Diagnostic Help Wanted

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by buick455, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Jul 19, 2009 at 6:58 AM
    #1
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    [FONT=&quot]I have a 1996 Tacoma LX, 4WD, with 189,000 miles on it. This problem started with the front end making a single loud knocking noise when hanging a left. Well, here what this problem has developed into: Knock sound started to happen while I was going straight down the highway. I would start about 65 mph(knock knock knock). Its sort of a popping sound and it almost felt like it was right under my clutch foot. When I backed off it quit, for the most part. I am seriously wondering about that front differential.

    Also, when I jack the front of the truck up and support it with jack stands on the frame the right wheel will spin freely. The left wheel will hardly spin at all, the axle will not move much. When I support it by the a arm it spins freely. At first I chalked this up to the angle of the axle to the differential but now I am beginning to wonder.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    Before you tell me what you think (believe me I am open to any ideas) here's what's been done already:
    New Rack and Pinion, All tie rod ends, lower ball joints, one lower control arm bushing, left half axle, sway bar links and the shocks are two years old.

    I seems as if there are gears meshing that shouldn't be. Has anyone experienced anything like this? Any opinions are wanted.


    Thanks for the help!!!
    Clint[/FONT]
     
  2. Jul 19, 2009 at 1:28 PM
    #2
    Janster

    Janster Old & Forgetful

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    You mentioned that you installed a left half axle 2 years ago?

    Why did you install that - and, could there be something else wrong in there that you missed previously?

    How are the bearings? Are you leaking fluids?

    What happens when you put it into 4wD??
     
  3. Jul 19, 2009 at 1:29 PM
    #3
    chris4x4

    chris4x4 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. Moderator

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    X2.?
     
  4. Jul 19, 2009 at 2:40 PM
    #4
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Sorry, the left half axle is brand new. I changed it thinking it might fix the knock and since it was only $65. It wasn't loose. There is no leaking fluids. Previously, when I just had the left hand turn knock putting it in 4wd didn't change the sound. At highway speeds going straight I am not sure. Haven't tried. So I will do that, and let you know!

    I am going to see if I can drain and open up the front differential. I am not sure what the difficultly level for that is, but I want to see what the heck is going on in there.

    As far as the wheel bearing they are tight. The ones in the front diff. I am going to check again. They appeared to be fine the first time.

    Thanks for the Ideas!!!!

    Clint
     
  5. Sep 21, 2011 at 1:31 PM
    #5
    Nelz1

    Nelz1 Well-Known Member

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    I have excessive play on the diff/cv driver side joint but I've had issues on that side for along time (since I caught a little wall with the rim) new rack and spindle later now this comes along-I think the 5100's may have sped up the inevitable.
    The Transmission shop has it now,,, I wait for the dreaded call
     
  6. Jan 30, 2012 at 8:43 AM
    #6
    buick455

    buick455 [OP] Active Member

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    Ok its been quite a while and I have lived with the knock when hanging a left for about two years. One single annoying knock that would happen every time I hung a left. Any way took it apart this weekend to change leaking seals at the front differential. That's when I noticed the real problem. Finally fixed it, so here's what it was not:
    Left or right half axle
    Ball Joint up and lower
    Control arm bushings
    Sway bar link
    Leaf Springs
    Rack and Pinion
    Tie rod ends
    Front differential (didn't change but pulled it and had a shop look at it)

    I had two different TOYOTA DEALERS here in Denver look at it and either one had a clue either. (Don't like Go Toyota, stay away!)

    So to make a long story even longer, I noticed that both front wheel bearings had sort of a hitch in them when spun with nothing attached to them, kind of a rough spot. So I put in new ones. Guess what, that was it!!!! Most of the stuff I changed was wore out, really wore out anyway, so I don't feel that bad. Now I have a truck that's ready for another 200k.

    Hope this helps someone else.

    Best,

    Clint
     
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