Cruiser feels like it's binding up

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate
links, including eBay, Amazon, Skimlinks, and others.

Jun 20, 2007
Provo, Utah
Okay, first a little background. This is a '92 FJ80. I just changed the front ujoints on it not long ago. Recently I have been noticing an intermittent problem with the drivetrain acting like it is binding. It acts like the emergency brake is on just a little bit or it's in 4lo with the center diff lock activated. I have solved this problem temporarily a few times by throwing it into 4lo and locking the center diff (7 pin mod) and driving around a bit. That seems to make the problem go away temporarily. So, now for a background on things that have recently gone a little less than ideal. First, when I changed my front ujoints I was an idiot and forgot to mark the driveline and drive flange with match marks so I have no idea if I put it back the way it came off. I am not noticing any bad vibes at higher speeds, though. Second, while the front driveline was off I just assumed, like any 4wd vehicle, that I could drive it without the front driveline. I could hear things whirring (transmission?) and then growling when I would put it back into park. Apparently you can't drive the cruiser w/o the front driveline (why?). All I can think is something to do with the AWD system (viscous coupler, miscellaneous other stuff maybe)? The last recent mishap I had was leaving my headlights on too long and killing my battery. The problem with the binding issue has only manifested itself since then but I cannot for the life of me imagine how that could be related to the battery. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you in advance.
You CAN drive without the front driveshaft.

But you gotta lock the CDL.
Clarify. Did you indeed drive it around without the front shaft with the whirring, etc? Also, you've done the 7 pin mod? Did not know that was applicable to the 92 which comes with a center lock switch already on the dash. Are you sure this is a 92 for the edification of folks here - you should have a 4.0L under the hood if so. These binding issues don't happen to pre 93 models often.

x2 on locking the CDL without the front D-shaft. Which u-joints did you get? The factory spec ones that require a press to put in, or the cheapos from your local parts depot? Did you replace them properly, and make sure they were seated properly? I need more info to give any kind of advice.
I didn't drive it around without the front DS. I didn't know locking the center diff lock would allow me to do so. The 7 pin mod allows me to have control over locking the center diff in low range. Without the mod the center diff lock is automatically locked in low. It is indeed a '92 with the venerable old powerhouse the 3FE. I used TrailCreeper ujoints from TrailGear. I had a devil of a time getting the old ones out, even with a 20 ton press, but the new ones went in fairly smooth. Even craptacular ujoints from a parts store shouldn't cause this problem, though.
Unless you put two new tires on (of 4) or rotated the tires while doing all this I cannot see anything you've mentioned giving you an issue. It does make me wonder if there's an error of some kind on the 7 pin mod you did. Is there a mod for the 4.0 liter model that's different from the 4.5 liter model and you followed the wrong directions? It definitely sounds like your center diff is locking. Could it be the center diff was locked when the battery died, and now when you activate the switch it UNlocks the center diff because now the switch is out of phase with the diff actuator?

The center diff lock works just fine. I've had the mod for about six months now and never had any issues with it. It definitely is locked when locked and unlocked when unlocked. I can see the too-much-grease thing being a potential. I am going to pull the driveline and clean some of the grease out. Thanks for the ideas and advice, guys.
I don't think the grease is it. If you've driven the truck around the block it's a non issue as grease will get forced out. Hmmmm

I had a binding issue with mine a couple of years ago. Got to the point I couldn't turn into a parking space without it happening. There was no problem when driving straight only on tight turns. Checked the brakes, pulled both tail shafts. It didn't happen when using only front drive. Turned out to be thethe LSD in the rear diff.
Gave me good reason to put in the airlocker. No problems since

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom