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Old 02-14-2020, 07:57 AM   #61
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Wow. I have never owned a 4WD or AWD car, and never will now.

It's ridiculous. If your tires have different pressures, that can cause more than 2/32" difference in tire deformation too.
It has me thinking twice about my future cars. But I have to say at 10 years, so far so good. Tire technology has come a long way in durability. Now if I could only say the same about windshields...

Running the wheels at different diameters for a short period is OK. After all, think temporary spare. They warn against chronically running them out of size. The TPS system will alert early enough to the pressure effects of causing a different size.
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Old 02-14-2020, 01:04 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Fermion View Post
Just a update. We finally got our 2017 Ford F150 back from the dealer service repaired. It cost us a bit over $3700. Ford denied to repair under warranty and our insurance company denied covering because there was no damage from an accident. Donut hole.

I filed a complaint with our state CRC but all I have gotten back is a form letter stating they will handle it as a non binding informal complaint and send out a non binding letter to the parties involved that said parties are not compelled to answer. Yeah.

The story changed several times but the final story from the dealer was this (his email):

"In regards to the warranty denial regarding your 2017 F150 with 30687 miles . Upon inspection of your vehicle our Ford Technician had found the differential case broken in half and the pinion gear was skipping on the ring gear and not moving . When you initially called in you had stated to myself that this occurred after having been stuck and trying to get out while in 4 low. Upon careful examination once the component was removed we found no signs of a manufacturer defect in the components involved. Leading us to believe that this occurred while you were trying to get the vehicle unstuck. We did not see any impact on the components involved which would indicate it did not happen due to hitting any objects."



I think I am just SOL as I am a peon and they are a big company (at least Tesla is kicking their butt on market cap).

Anyone want a 2017 Ford F150? I will make you a sweet deal. It now makes me sick to even look at it.
I have had a similar "warranty denial" situation, in my case a Chevy Silverado, that once I escalated beyond the dealer level (I think 2 levels later) was finally resolved. I would definitely continue the escalation based on the information you have given about the incident. Also, continue your state CRC complaint, and any other avenues. I would spend a lot of time for a $3700 return-on-my-time.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:46 PM   #63
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Write on Ford's VP's twitter/instragram feed - https://twitter.com/sundeep

However, as I read the post the first thing that jumped out at me was you'd been driving in 4H for a while. Not sure about the new Fords but a locking 4WD will always have a not-to-exceed speed limit for 4H and the traction must be poor on the roads to allow the wheels to slip otherwise it puts a lot of strain on the diff (if it's a locking kind) and the transfercase. 4L is for very low speeds.

An AWD system is not limited by speed or traction, except in very few cases where you can lock the diffs. Locking diffs need the traction to be low so the wheels can slip or it will bind up and kaboom.
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Old 02-14-2020, 03:12 PM   #64
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I've never had a 4 wheel drive, but after reading this thread I know I'll never get one.
I don't need something else that can break though normal usage.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:49 PM   #65
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I've never had a 4 wheel drive, but after reading this thread I know I'll never get one.
I don't need something else that can break though normal usage.
I've been into motorsports my whole life and off-roaded for 10+yrs in remote areas, I personally never had a single issue with the 4WD system itself. However, I saw plenty of carnage when people did blatantly silly things but that wasn't limited to just the 4WD failures. It's true 4WD/AWD have more components (and added weight as well as cramped space) for things to break but if you need it it's pretty robust and extremely useful to have

Edit: Oh and I'm not saying Fermion's situation isn't a factory defect, just pointing out a couple of things since I read a few comments about 4WD vs AWD etc.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:02 PM   #66
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I wouldn't let this go until I'd walked it up the chain of command at Ford, starting with the zone rep. If the failure occurred as described, it should be covered under warranty. As I stated earlier, Ford does incredible things to their products in testing to ensure they don't fail due to a simple user error.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:19 PM   #67
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I am right now getting the transfer case oil and magnet checked by a local mechanic after contacting the Ford dealer where I purchased the vehicle (not the dealer who repaired it) and finding out this problem has occurred for them several times and they have covered it under warranty. The service manager there is the nicest guy in the world and actually sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

Here is what he said:

" From the information you have given us, there is a possibility that the front differential failure you experienced was due to the shift fork in the transfer case not engaging 4WD low even though the instrument cluster icon showed the shift was complete. This can be caused by a thrust bearing cage in the transfer case breaking and the resulting debris causing the transfer case shift fork to bind between the 4WD high gear and the 4WD low gear. This essentially causes the transfer case to be in neutral. Then, with the transfer case essentially in “neutral” after shifting the transmission into drive, the accelerator is pressed. The engine free-revs and the transfer case shift fork finally engages 4WD low range. The torque amplification from the gear reduction and the elevated engine RPM from being in “neutral” combine to create an incredible amount of torque and shock to the front differential, resulting in parts escaping from the inside of the front differential.



One way you can verify our theory is to check the magnet inside of the transfer case. This will require completely draining the transfer case fluid and visually inspecting the magnet through the drain hole. The magnet is quite close to the drain hole so seeing it isn’t overly difficult. What you would be looking for are pieces of stamped metal that come from a bearing cage. They will typically be 3-8 mm long and quite slender. Sometimes the pieces have been run through gears so they may be balled up or even very flat. Keep in mind that very fine metal shavings, almost like metal dust, stuck to the magnet are very normal. We’re only looking for comparatively large pieces. If these larger pieces are present, we have a very good case that the bearing cage failure is the root cause of your front differential failure."
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:19 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
I've never had a 4 wheel drive, but after reading this thread I know I'll never get one.
I don't need something else that can break though normal usage.
I'm not into motorsports but I'll have to agree with dvalley on this one. After learning to drive with rear-wheel drive cars and using them for two decades I bought my first 4WD pickup in 1985 and was astonished at how well it went in snow. Being a heavy vehicle though, I learned that stopping it was a different matter. Fortunately I didn't do any damage learning that lesson.

I had that '85 Chevy for 18 years, and the current 4WD GMC is 17 years old and the 4WD components haven't given a moment's trouble. Granted, the only time I engage 4WD is when there's snow/ice on the pavement which is very much the exception here. An only once did I drive any distance in 4L and that was about three miles in 2+ feet of snow. Basically I was just using the opportunity to play with it knowing there was plenty of slipping going on so there was little chance of damage.

Although we are by no stretch in the middle of the WV Appalachian mountains the terrain is still such that in almost any amount of snow if you don't have 4WD you're not going anywhere. Not reliably anyway.

One other thing that justified to me the expense of 4WD (in a pickup anyway) was that it was the only option that you could buy and get all, or at least nearly all, of the cost back when you sold the vehicle. If it's 4WD, a pretty raggy pickup is still worth at least $2k.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:51 PM   #69
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It has me thinking twice about my future cars. But I have to say at 10 years, so far so good. Tire technology has come a long way in durability. Now if I could only say the same about windshields...

Running the wheels at different diameters for a short period is OK. After all, think temporary spare. They warn against chronically running them out of size. The TPS system will alert early enough to the pressure effects of causing a different size.
Thinking about this some more, I see why different tire sizes on the same axle will cause the limited differential clutch to wear out, because it is forced to slip.

Now, the center differential of a AWD car will have the same problem with the front and rear axles rotating at a slightly different speed and for a sustained period. Its slip clutch will wear out the same way.

The only way to have a fully robust AWD is with an EV, where each wheel has its own motor. This principle is of course well-known. You can do a lot with a computer controlling the torque on each wheel independently. I wonder what EV on the market is doing this.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:57 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Fermion View Post
I am right now getting the transfer case oil and magnet checked by a local mechanic after contacting the Ford dealer where I purchased the vehicle (not the dealer who repaired it) and finding out this problem has occurred for them several times and they have covered it under warranty. The service manager there is the nicest guy in the world and actually sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

Here is what he said:

" From the information you have given us, there is a possibility that the front differential failure you experienced was due to the shift fork in the transfer case not engaging 4WD low even though the instrument cluster icon showed the shift was complete. This can be caused by a thrust bearing cage in the transfer case breaking and the resulting debris causing the transfer case shift fork to bind between the 4WD high gear and the 4WD low gear. This essentially causes the transfer case to be in neutral. Then, with the transfer case essentially in “neutral” after shifting the transmission into drive, the accelerator is pressed. The engine free-revs and the transfer case shift fork finally engages 4WD low range. The torque amplification from the gear reduction and the elevated engine RPM from being in “neutral” combine to create an incredible amount of torque and shock to the front differential, resulting in parts escaping from the inside of the front differential.



One way you can verify our theory is to check the magnet inside of the transfer case. This will require completely draining the transfer case fluid and visually inspecting the magnet through the drain hole. The magnet is quite close to the drain hole so seeing it isn’t overly difficult. What you would be looking for are pieces of stamped metal that come from a bearing cage. They will typically be 3-8 mm long and quite slender. Sometimes the pieces have been run through gears so they may be balled up or even very flat. Keep in mind that very fine metal shavings, almost like metal dust, stuck to the magnet are very normal. We’re only looking for comparatively large pieces. If these larger pieces are present, we have a very good case that the bearing cage failure is the root cause of your front differential failure."
His explanation is very plausible, does it fit your experience? Rereading your OP I'm not sure? Seems like as you first put it in drive it would have died in his explanation, IMHO. Your post(copied below) suggests that the differential was intact for a shift into drive and into reverse before it "shat". I guess there's other ways to reconstruct what I didn't witness?


We then pulled into our driveway which had about 6 inches to 7 inches of fresh powdery snow on it and I stopped, put the shift in neutral, shifted to 4x4 low, and moved foward a few yards. The wheels were slipping a bit so I stopped, put it in reverse and moved back a few feet. I put it in forward and the thing just (how to put this politely) shat itself. Horrible screech, smell and the engine went to around 3500 rpm for a few seconds without my foot on the gas at all. I put it back in 2wd, backed up a few feet and noticed the snow was melted with greasy fluid all over it. I figured the front wheel part of the 4x4 had ruptured itself and so called Ford roadside towing which comes with our warranty.
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:06 PM   #71
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Yes his explanation was plausible but alas there were no big metal pieces on the magnet in the transfer case (in a way this is a good thing because it should mean the truck is driveable).

I think it was just a overspeed condition, unknown cause. It remains to be seen if it is really abuse or just a weaker part than has been used in the past.

I do kind of wonder that if it is considered abuse, is that covered under our insurance. What if someone got in their truck, got stuck and hit a tree while trying to get unstuck..or ran into a ditch? Covered?
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:45 PM   #72
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I’m confused. It sounds like the local shop is looking for debris on the magnet after the repair?
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:55 PM   #73
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I’m confused. It sounds like the local shop is looking for debris on the magnet after the repair?
Different part. The transfer case, not the differential case.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:45 AM   #74
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We finally got our 2017 Ford F150 back from the dealer service repaired. It cost us a bit over $3700. Ford denied to repair under warranty.

I think I am just SOL as I am a peon and they are a big company.
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All you can do is join the long list of other people who will never again buy a Ford.
We are firmly on that list. Some years ago, the trans on our Freestar went out at 30,010 and the bill was all on us. Also, I used to work in a Ford plant as a paint vendor and I know how the sausage is made. No more Fords ever.
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Old 02-15-2020, 07:58 AM   #75
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I have had 4 wheel drives pickup's and suv's over the last 40 plus years and never have had an issues related to the wheel drive. I have 150K on one now and have had to do some maintenance in the past year on seals and u-joints etc. but that what happens when you keep them till they drop. My outfits have a tough live with roads in Montana and doing ranch work etc.. No problems no issues with 4 wheels and I have to use mine a lot from fall till spring, a lot!
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:32 AM   #76
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We've had Jeeps and Subarus for the last 30 years and never had one issue at all with any of the four wheel drive systems on any of them. I've pulled small trees and bushes out of the ground in 4WD low with the Jeeps with no problems. The Jeeps had cast iron differentials but the transfer cases were aluminum.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:09 AM   #77
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We've had Jeeps and Subarus for the last 30 years and never had one issue at all with any of the four wheel drive systems on any of them. I've pulled small trees and bushes out of the ground in 4WD low with the Jeeps with no problems. The Jeeps had cast iron differentials but the transfer cases were aluminum.
+1

DW has owned 5 Wranglers and I've had 5 4x4 pickups over the years. Other than a Ford that was a lemon we've never had any issues.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:46 AM   #78
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Looking at the broken pieces of the differential housing (which we kept), I am coming to the conclusion that Ford just is not built Ford tough anymore. While not common, I have now been told about several of these aluminum differential housings that have failed.

Maybe eventually there will be some class action where I can get a coupon for 50% off at Red Lobster or something when it is settled.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:59 AM   #79
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Another vote for only using 4WD high and low when wheels will be spinning or slipping. Many Jeeps, Dodge, and GMC never a problem.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:06 AM   #80
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I
" From the information you have given us, there is a possibility that the front differential failure you experienced was due to the shift fork in the transfer case not engaging 4WD low even though the instrument cluster icon showed the shift was complete.
Well THAT'S interesting. You know Ford had a huge problem, including many deaths, because of a problem with "Park" not really being "Park" on some of their vehicles. Seems to be a design theme.
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