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Discussion Starter #1
Heya, been a happy 2009 Frontier owner for several months... took it on the beach this week and the 4wd seemed to seize up-- as though the parking brake is on while I try to drive. Any ideas? Definitely burnt clutch up trying to get it going.... 4x4hi and 4x4 lo acted the same way--eventually managed to get the truck going again...but with wonderul clutch burn smell for hours....grrr! Help!

:serious:
 

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Not enough info. What was the 4x4 indicator on your instrument cluster doing at the time?
 

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sounds like slipping clutch - don't understand 4x4 problem
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Indicator light was fine (I had a pathfinder & lived in a ski town before this truck)... everything seemed fine-- even drove in 4wd normal a few hundred yards until I went to turn and slowed down-- then it was acting like the parking break (or even more...) was on. I stopped, and tried moving again--felt like I was stuck until I realized my tires were not moving. Clutch has been great since I got the truck-- but like I mentioned, I definitely burned it getting the truck to move forward in 4wd... as it was sort of my only option since I was in sand.

Truck acts fine in 2wd. No codes come up either.

Thoughts?
 

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I'm going to look at every universal joint along the front driveline (from transfer case forward to axle ends). It sounds like it could be a universal binding under load (torque) on the joint. Does the 4wd indicator light flicker at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hm.

I'm going to look at every universal joint along the front driveline (from transfer case forward to axle ends). It sounds like it could be a universal binding under load (torque) on the joint. Does the 4wd indicator light flicker at all?
no flickering-- as far as the truck electronics knew.. everything works fine?

looking at the universal joints, is there a tell-tale or is it something I would have to pull apart do you think?
 

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transfer case

no flickering-- as far as the truck electronics knew.. everything works fine?

looking at the universal joints, is there a tell-tale or is it something I would have to pull apart do you think?
is the transfer case seized as well
 

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no flickering-- as far as the truck electronics knew.. everything works fine?

looking at the universal joints, is there a tell-tale or is it something I would have to pull apart do you think?
I remember reading somewhere that the flickering of the light is a readable code...I think I read it in the DLN section of the service manual. I will see if I can find it. If a universal is locking up under load on the front-end (I limit the fault to the front end because you mentioned that the trucks drives fine in 2WD) you should be able to see and feel that it is defective, I would think. I had a truck about 40 years ago that did a similar thing as your and you could hear the universal bind up on it. Pulled the driveline, replaced universal and it was good for years. Check the CV joints too!

Does the truck go in a straight line on flat ground in 4wd without "seizing" up?

Do you hear any clicking or groaning noises when you drive it in 4WD?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I remember reading somewhere that the flickering of the light is a readable code...I think I read it in the DLN section of the service manual. I will see if I can find it. If a universal is locking up under load on the front-end (I limit the fault to the front end because you mentioned that the trucks drives fine in 2WD) you should be able to see and feel that it is defective, I would think. I had a truck about 40 years ago that did a similar thing as your and you could hear the universal bind up on it. Pulled the driveline, replaced universal and it was good for years. Check the CV joints too!

Does the truck go in a straight line on flat ground in 4wd without "seizing" up?

Do you hear any clicking or groaning noises when you drive it in 4WD?
Ya- I saw the codes in the manual and in the Haynes book-- but there weren't any issues, it's though the truck thinks everything is fine. Went over the U joints, and they all seem fine. There's a little play in the front differential case, but it seems to turn the wheels just fine.

And yes, I can't get it to duplicate the 4wd issues on flat, normal land... turning or straight (originally I thought it was a U joint on a wheel that didn't like turning left, like zoolander).

Still a bit perplexed.
 
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