After replacing worn gear in transfer case actuator servo motor, I noticed that rear wheels appear to be skidding on dry surface when I try to brake or accelerate at low speeds with steering wheel turned either direction. When braking or accelerating in straight line everything is fine. The 4x4 light in dashboard does not turn on when this skidding happen (I would describe this skidding as mild jerking coming from rear).

While I am not 100% sure, it could be that this issue started to happen immediately after I replaced the transfer case actuator gear (or at least this issue became more prominent now).

I have brainstormed few possible root causes based on car history:

  1. Could this be something as simple as bald tires that need to be replaced (in fact, 3 of them are end of life, Fron left is still ok)? But this does not explain why issue became more obvious after replacing gear unless I simply did not notice it before.
  2. Since this is 4wd car and few years ago I replaced only one tire to a new one, could this uneven tire wear have damaged something, like, differential or transfer case? And maybe could explain the worn transfer case actuator gear too because it was engaged too often?
  3. Could it be that while I was replacing the transfer case actuator gear I have damaged transfer case (the instructions I followed stated that it is ok to let transfer case hang as long the size 18 bolt remains in crossmember holding transfercase. So I left it overnight like that. Maybe that was a bad idea? How to verify now?)

What I need is help in understanding what symptoms to check to prove or disprove each of the 3 brainstormed root causes.

I am somewhat hesitant at investing more in this car (like replacing all 4 tires unless I would know that is the root cause for wheel skidding). Though, I would be ok to buy a tool that would allow to read more detailed codes (my cheap OBD2 tool does not allow that).

  • 1
    Have you tried raising the wheels and seeing what happens when you turn them by hand. Do you get consistent results across all wheels?
    – HandyHowie
    Oct 19, 2018 at 11:38
  • 1
    The point of my test was more to do with checking that the wheels were able to rotate individually. For example, if the rear diff was locked up for some reason, you would not be able to rotate one of the rear wheels while the other rear wheel was on the ground.
    – HandyHowie
    Oct 19, 2018 at 21:33
  • 1
    What does the gear that you replaced do? What does it actuate?
    – HandyHowie
    Oct 21, 2018 at 21:15
  • 1
    @HansSolo - If you cannot turn the wheel, there's an issue with the differential. Even a limited slip should allow you to turn one wheel. Oct 28, 2018 at 16:25
  • 1
    Yes, you'd need to lift up one side and put it in neutral. You want the drive shaft to spin. If you have it in park and one wheel on the ground, the tire which is off the ground will not spin. Oct 28, 2018 at 18:53


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