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The string works. These tires are going to wear like crazy anyway. I got just about 1000 miles out of the rear BH’s. Now the fronts are on the rear and I put BH-x’s (the 2020 stock tires) in the front. They under stead like hell being 9 inches wide. I align via string or 2x4’s when I can’t find string lol


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So the shaft seems fine and the rubber around the bearing seems good too. Here is a video.

Someone else mentioned that on the smart loks that they never heard of them backing out. Here is a quick vid

The parts work under load they won't show obvious faults. Just touching them won't show a problem. You can remove the front drive shaft to isolate if the problem is your differential. That's about it.
 

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I would about guarantee your diff is fine. I would bet your alignment and those junky rhino axles are part of the issue. Mine will growl from time to time under heavy load when hill climbing. I would also check to see if driveshaft is phased properly. You probably have something going on but it’s not the diff normally. I think you are over reacting to what is a minor issue and spending money on stuff you don’t need. I could be wrong though . Post up what you find.


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Discussion Starter #44
Well you guys were right it was not the diff unless I got a bad diff but the one I got looked brand new and it having the same vibration with another smart lok with 10 miles on it and I having the SAME EXACT issues I would rule that out too. maybe the metal shavings weren't as bad as I thought unless something is making it bind up . I was for sure it was the diff. Waste of money and I ruined my old one trying to get one of the axles out because my dumb ass man handled it and pounded on it like a caveman trying to get the axle out. I busted it up inside really good. So I am back to square one. The alignment is still out of whack I plan on taking it here soon. I pulled the diff with both axles still in. I was able to get the driver side out after the diff was out but the passenger would not budge I tried everything. I took it to my buddies and he was able to get it right out with no issues.

I took the drive shaft out and rode around with it out to make sure it wasn't coming from the rear. It was smooth as butter. I also engaged the 4x4 with the drive shaft out and again smooth as butter which duhhhh the driveshaft is out so I have no vibration coming from it. How do I check if the driveshaft is out of phase? I also tried a different drive shaft the opposite way I took it off and the same issues. I guess that would leave me to the axles? Has anyone heard of Rhinos binding up like that? I know you guys think I may be over reacting but I have had multiple people drive it and they all said the same thing something is wrong you can feel it binding up it's bad. I promise you this is not normal. I have engaged a few other x3 mind you without smart lok and you could not feel a thing. I also made sure when the car was off to engage the 4x4 and diff lok and everything sounded smooth front and rear. What should I do next? And why are the axles considered junk?
 

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You went deep in there. So you drove around without the front drive-line. differential and front axles? If you suspect the axles you have to only remove the front drive-line. That will give you a free spinning front diff + axles. If you have the binding it's probably the axles. Another check is jack up the front wheels and spin them by hand. If the CV joints are bad you will feel grinding and binding thru the full turn.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
No sorry what I meant to say is I drove without the front drive shaft on. The axles and diff where still in. if I tried to drive without the axles I would think I would bust the knuckle/bearing off. I will try spinning with the wheels in the air to see if I can feel anything. I thought I did and didn't feel anything but i will try again. thank you for the suggestion. I assume I should try this in and out of 4x4 mode? Thank you again much appreciated. I bought this thing and have only taken it out twice. A little bugged I didn't do a little more digging in before buying a new diff
 

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Your axles are fine if your problem went away when you removed the front drive-shaft. You are basically saying you are experiencing the drive shaft chatter but maybe really bad.
If you grease the splines and put it back together see how it is. Everybody knows the grease helps for a period of time. Let us know, if you are dedicated to fixing it I am glad to help.
 

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I’m putting in a Sandcraft carrier bearing this week. My drive line makes a lot of noise in 2wf and just a bunch in 4wd. I’m thinking my shaft is out of phase as well, and will be greasing the splines at that time. The shaft makes all sorts of rattle all the time. Just trying to bandaid it quieter and a bit more sturdy if possible.

My buddies RC ran around with 1, one, bolt holding his smart lock diff in place. Every once in a while it’d toss ‘check smart lock’ which I think was it hitting the plug when the diff twisted. His diff and axels are still fine, nearly 3k on a 2020rr rc


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It's not something retarded like different size tires on the front and back is it?

Or are the rear tires worn out to the point of being a lot smaller than the front kind of thing?

Not likely but it's starting to seem like something unlikely.

When you had the driveshaft out I assume you made sure the U joints are smooth as butter and not binding or seized etc?
 

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Interestingly enough. My rear tires were nearly bald, my fronts were 75% new. After I switched the fronts to the rear (2018.5's came with 10 inch all around) and replaced the bald rears (now in the front) with 2020's 9 inch fronts, that's when all my noisey racquet started.

Not trying to derail the thread but the OP and I have similar cars and similar set ups/noises.

Wait. I just realized you have Rhino axels in the front? (which would lead me to, they were replaced for a reason.) might likely might have been put in wrong if those were there when you got it. If you can feel it in the pedal you should be able to fee it if pushing it on flat ground. Fill the tires to 20+psi so it's easier to push. Leave it in N. roll it back and forth. FLip the lock on and off and find if you can hear binding or rubbing. I'm going to venture it will be inside the diff or it's the carrier. (spun that bearing with it out?)

shaft phasing is a search around in here. I havn't gotten to it yet myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Yes I put a different diff in with 11 miles on it and the same exact issues. Sorry I didn't see the notifications on this until now. I have more than enough grease in the splines. Tires are pretty much new. The axles look great and so do the splines. I would imagine if it's the axles I would feel it in 2 wheel drive correct? Again I can feel something binding its not right I know what a slight vibration feels like this is something else. Like I said before I had a few folks drive it and right away they were like wow that's not right.

I can try adding air to the tires and roll it around and lift it up to see if I can feel anything but again wouldn't that do it all the time not just in 4x4? I will look into the out of phase driveshaft. I work nights so have to balance work/life. I had one guy tell me my rear main shaft could be going out and I would need to pull the motor...I was like WTF he works on ATV so I don't think he knows what he is talking about. I have a shop I may take it to but they aren't available until Oct 16th
 

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It would be easy to tell if drive shaft is out of phase . All you have to do is just look at it


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First, sounds like you are shifting into 4×4 while on the move. That's a no no and will damage the diff. You have to be at a complete stop to switch between 2wd and 4wd. Hope you read the manual.

Second, they dont hold that much fluid really. Like 400 or 500 ml kinda thing. Maybe it wasn't low on fluid.

A small amount of metal on the drain plug is normal. What is the milage?

If you have been shifting on the fly you may very well have smoked it.
the owners manual clearly states that you can shift on the fly without having to stop(page 55 of my owners manual), you do have to come to a complete stop when shifting to low.

some axles you wont feel a vibration until you put a load on them, so vibration could go away in 2wd
 

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Discussion Starter #56
It would be easy to tell if drive shaft is out of phase . All you have to do is just look at it


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Not sure what I am looking for. Here is the front driveshaft I labeled it how it came out

260830

260831




the owners manual clearly states that you can shift on the fly without having to stop(page 55 of my owners manual), you do have to come to a complete stop when shifting to low.

some axles you wont feel a vibration until you put a load on them, so vibration could go away in 2wd
I can understand vibration but a binding feel in the pedal only? Wouldn't I feel it in the steering wheel or the seat of my pants?
 

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My thought is axel(s). When locked it’s transmitting all that noise and binding through the shaft or diff hosing, which is otherwise unlocked and just spinning freely in 2wd.

Total pita but, if you can get the whole car in the air... or uncouple the axle cv at the diff and bag it off.

How’s the front brake rotors look? Even wear on both sides? Check for signs of rock getting caught in the wheels/ brake rotor. I caught a rock and it bent the crap out of the rotor, it looked straight till I took it off.


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Discussion Starter #58
Rotors look fine brakes are good. Again only issues is when it's in 4x4 mode so I ruled that out but will double check at this point.

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Total pita but, if you can get the whole car in the air... or uncouple the axle cv at the diff and bag it off.

.SO when I do that then what? I'm not following on that part. I would have to pull the upper and low arms/joints off which is fine but bag them and the car would be in the air then what?

SHoot I already had the diff out driveshaft and all the suspension out so to me not a pain now lol
 

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Sometimes it's worth paying a good mechanic to help you chase down a problem. Look for a person that knows 4x4 and is good at their trade. They will find this one for you potentially quick. You can fix it from there.
If I was around you I would do it for free. I have to see it in person and see what's up
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Yeah I have someone that will look at in on the 15 of October. Until then I figured I could do what I can. I won't drive it until it's fixed. I know my "mechanical limits" and this is one of those times I need an expert and have no shame in saying that.
 
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