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Transmission & Drivetrain 4x4 Auto Repair Tips For 4WD Trucks and SUVs

Do-it-yourself automatic and manual transmission repair tips and drivetrain tech for 4x4 pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.
To Lock Or Not To Lock?
When it comes to traction in off-road situations, differentials play a key role. Do you know the difference between open, locked, and limited slip differentials? Should you have locking differentials on your ride? If so, which kind? Once installed, the trick is knowing when to lock the "diffs" and when not to. The basics start here.
Auto Transmission Corrosion
Tips for preventing problems with your automatic transmission.
Auto Transmission Dipstick Levels
Tips for insuring correct auto transmission fluid levels in your truck.
Auto Transmission Operation
Tips for how to make an auto trans live longer.
Converting From Full-Time 4wd To Part-Time
What do you do if you want to convert your full-time 4wd truck over to part-time 4wd? Here's how it's done on a '75-'79 Dodge.
Details That Make A Difference
A partial list of details that make a difference when assembling a differential.
Diagnosing Drivetrain Noise
Many things can go wrong inside a differential. Although the hints are often subtle, most impending failures give fair warning in the form of noise. Here's what to listen for and how to fix it.
Differential Dimension Comparison Guide
A chart of popular rear and front end housing widths and bolt patterns.
Differential Exploded Views
A graphical illustration of the internal workings of open, posi and locker diffs.
Driveline Angles & Vibration
When lifting a vehicle it is not always easy to keep the stock driveline angles. Any variation from the stock angles can cause vibrations that are not only annoying, but can also accelerate u-joint wear. Here's what to do about it.
Driveline Basics
Some great technical tips to help line up your drive train.
Driveline Failures
Real life visual examples and graphical illustrations of some common driveline failures and their not-so-common causes.
Driveline Ranger Blues
Economical driveshaft repair for your Ranger.
Driveline Vibration Basics
The most frequently observed causes of vehicle vibrations as related to vehicle speed.
Engine & Transmission Temp Charts
Life expectancy charts -- Information regarding usable and dangerous operating temperatures.
Front Range Off-Road Twin Stick Install
If you have full time front lockers, then tight turns with the hubs locked in and 4WD engaged can be quite challenging. With a full time locker, shifting into 2wd or unlocking a hub may be about the only options available to extricate yourself from a hairy situation. A twin stick will help.
Gear Break-In
Ring & pinion gear break-in tips to ensure longer life.
Gear Examples
Real life visual examples and graphical illustrations of gears. An in-depth look at the Ford 9" and other differentials, including comparisons of Dana 28s, 44s, 60s, and 70s.
Gear Installation
For hard-core 'wheeling, slower speeds mean greater control and less strain on your drivetrain. However, hard-core 'wheeling also means big tires, which can drain your horsepower and drop your torque curve, leaving your engine sputtering the slower you go. Here's how to do a Dana 20 TeraLow gear install.
Gear Talk - Assembling Differentials
A list of details that make the biggest difference when assembling a differential.
GM Transfer Cases
Specs for GM transfer cases 1969 to present year models.
How Manual Transmissions Work
Here's a great introduction to How Manual Transmissions Work, including: The Goal of a Transmission, A Very Simple Transmission, A Real Transmission, Synchronizers, and more.
How To Check Your Transmission
If the car has manual transmission, usually the only problem can be a worn clutch disk. However, automatic transmission is less reliable, so be sure to check the transmission carefully.
How To Drive A Standard Transmission
Here's everything you need to know before you drive a standard transmission vehicle for the first time.
Installing Manual Hubs
Here's how to do a conversion from Auto to Mile Marker manual hubs.
Lockers & Differentials
The primary function of a differential is to transfer power to the wheels while allowing them to turn independently at different speeds. Locking Differentials, generally simply called Lockers, are for serious off-roading and challening trails. They are automatic lockers providing 100% traction, 100% of the time on both driving axles.
Lockers Explained
What's the difference between the different types of differentials (Open, LSD, and Locker) that you can use in a 4x4?
Myths Regarding Diffs
There are a lot of myths regarding the setup and design of differentials. This will set the story straight.
New Gear Break-In
You just installed a new ring & pinion set and youíre ready to feel the power. Hold on, donít burn rubber yet. That new gear set may become scrap metal faster than you can say "burned gear syndrome".
Shift Lever Seat Replacement
Sloppy shifting beginning to bug you? Try this.
Transmission Specs
Transmission specs for various makes and models of vehicles.
Transmissions & Transfer Cases
One off-roader's thoughts about transmissions and transfer cases - why he chose the products he did and some facts about each of his upgrades.
U-Joint Installation
Here's a simple way to change u-joints.
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