Worst Valley

We’ve spent this weekend in West Valley at Mike’s house (still here, actually), and it’s been a pretty relaxing couple of days so far. Matt has been up here all weekend too, and we haven’t seen him in more than 2½ years, so it’s been pretty good to just hang out. We all went for a drive up Butterfield Canyon yesterday, and the damned Mazda started making that funny noise again–turns out that it’s the automatic hubs (NOT loose lugnuts). Whenever I put it into four-wheel drive and take it out again, then get up to 40+ MPH, the hubs start making a grinding/rubbing noise. I think they’re not fully disengaging like they’re supposed to, but backing the vehicle up for about 20 feet seems to do the trick. I think when I go to the junkyard next week to get a few other small parts, I’ll look for an Explorer with manual hubs that are in good shape, and get rid of the damned automatic hubs. I don’t really trust them even when they do work, ’cause you can’t tell visually whether or not they’re locked in, and you have no control over them if something goes wrong. At least for now, I know what the problem is and how to get around it, but I don’t want to wait until something breaks to get it fixed.

2 thoughts on “Worst Valley

  1. I saw your comments when looking for something else, and thought that I would let you know that the automatic hubs are designed not to fully disengage until you move in the opposite direction for about 10 to 20 feet. If you’re driving forward in 4×4 and shut it off, stop and back up 10 feet or so and that will take care of the problem. That’s how they’re meant to work, according to the Explorer owners manual.

  2. That’s what I always thought, but I also thought the 4×4 indicator light on the dashboard wouldn’t go off until the hubs had disengaged fully. Thanks for confirming that, though, since my Mazda didn’t come with an owner’s manual. =)

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