Jun 022016

2002 Chevy SilveradoWhen my 2002 Cheverolet Silverado 1500 4WD Ext Cab LS is moving the front end rattle badly. When i put in 4wd the rattle is quite a bit quieter however the 4wd does not engage it just makes a clicking sound.  I Know the front end is out of alignment and needs to be realigned , but the rattle noise and 4wd malfunction is new. What could be the problem or problems?


There are many possibilities when it comes to a rattle noise or any noise for that mater. Could be something loose or worn. A hub bearing assembly going out could be at fault. Maybe an axle-shaft or universal joint going bad. Could be internal in the front differential. Possible 4WD actuator issue.

Rattle in front end

Front Drive Axle Description and Operation

Selectable Four Wheel Drive (S4WD) Front Axle Description and Operation

The Selectable Four Wheel Drive (S4WD) Front Axle consist of the following components:

    • Differential Carrier Housing
    • Differential Assembly
    • Output Shafts (Left and Right Side)
    • Inner Axle Shaft Housing
    • Inner Axle Shaft (Right Side)
    • Clutch Fork
    • Clutch Fork Sleeve
    • Electric Motor Actuator

The front axle on Selectable Four Wheel Drive model vehicles uses a central disconnect feature in order to engage and disengage the front axle. When the driver engages the 4WD system, the Transfer Case Control Module sends a signal to the electric motor actuator to energize and extend the plunger inside. The extended plunger moves the clutch fork and clutch fork sleeve across the inner axle shaft and the clutch fork shaft and locks the two shafts together. The locking of the two shafts allows the axle to operate in the same manner as a semi-floating rear axle. A propeller shaft connects the transfer case to the front axle. The differential carrier assembly uses a conventional ring and pinion gear set to transmit the driving force of the engine to the wheels. The open differential allows the wheels to turn at different rates of speed while the axle continues to transmit the driving force. This prevents tire scuffing when going around corners and premature wear on internal axle parts. The ring and pinion set and the differential are contained within the carrier. The axle identification number is located on top of the differential carrier assembly or on a label on the bottom of the right half of differential carrier assembly. The drive axles are completely flexible assemblies consisting of inner and outer constant velocity CV joints protected by thermoplastic boots and connected by a wheel drive shaft.

Full-Time Four Wheel Drive (F4WD) Front Axle Description and Operation

The Full-Time Four Wheel Drive (F4WD) Front Axle consist of the following components:

    • Differential Carrier Housing
    • Differential Assembly
    • Output Shaft (Left Side)
    • Inner Axle Shaft Housing
    • Inner Axle Shaft (Right Side)

The front axle on Full-Time Four Wheel Drive model vehicles does not have a central disconnect feature in order to engage and disengage the front axle. The left and right axle shafts are connected directly to the differential case assembly. This allows the axle shafts and the propeller shaft to spin continuously. The transfer case controls the amount of torque applied to the front axle. The remaining components are the same as the selectable four wheel drive axle.

Feb 082016

ZUS Smart Car Charger
Recently I was given the opportunity to try out some new innovative technology. This truly innovative ZUS Smart Car Charger brings more to the table than anything we have seen before. I won’t go on about all the specifications but  I do want to highlight a few points of interest I found. ZUS is a Military Grade Dual USB Car Charger and Bluetooth Locator. Even sounds high tech huh? Well… it is. May be purchased through amazon.

ZUS Smart Car Charger Pros and Cons


  • Charges super fast
  • Cool design
  • Dual USB charging ports allows for 2 devices
  • It lights up from the USB ports
  • No static on radio while charging


  • Locator isn’t quite accurate
  • Price is a little top end but the quality is there to back it up

Overall rating 4HalfStar

ZUS Smart Car Charger provides fast device charging, is easy to see and use in the dark, built military tough to withstand everyday abuse and still has the ability to connect with Bluetooth and act as a Car locator. I have used many car chargers and found this to be the only one that doesn’t cause static noise during charging while listening to radio stations.

What makes ZUS a Smart Charger?

The Smart Device Detection technology built into each ZUS Smart Car Charger will charge your USB devices at 2X speed. With its innovative smart device detection technology, ZUS detects what device it’s charging and delivers the maximum amperage accepted by that device, enabling it to charge at faster speeds.
ZUS Smart Device Detection

ZUS Car Locator

Each ZUS Smart Car Charger is equipped with Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth allows the connection between a Smart Phone and ZUS Smart Charger and acts as a homing signal. A quick download of the app onto the phone and the Locator is ready when you are. Plug ZUS in and follow the steps on the phone. Park the car and let ZUS remember where you left it. Be guided within feet of your car. A little difficult when at a parking garage as it doesn’t know what floor you were on. So make sure to remember the floor but feel comfortable letting ZUS guide you the rest of the way.

ZUS Car Locator

ZUS Locator App Software

  • Android – ZUS app requires a mobile device with Android 4.3 or newer
  • iPhone – ZUS app requires a mobile device with iOS 7.1 or newer

– ZUS Smart Car Charger Specifications

Nov 242014

Im installing spark plug wires. I have a good idea what the firing order is and need to know how to tell which spark plug wire goes to which spark plug so its the correct length. I bought the truck with the wrong wires apparently because when matching wires up to replace old ones none of my new wires matched the same length of the old wires. In fact the only wire that was the same length was the coil wire. One wire was visibly different from the rest. It was a red 8mm wire and the rest were all black 7mm gauge wires. So I have no idea what goes where and have been told to just start with the shortest wire first and so on but I am still confused on which run is longer then the next. Would it be helpful top take a measuring tape and go about judging which wire that way? I believe the correct firing order is 165432 clock wise from what I’m reading from other forums, if this is false then please inform me of this. Ok while standing in front of the truck the #1 would be to the right and closest to you, #5 being closest to drivers seat or steering wheel. And on the opposite side near the trucks battery or passenger side the #2 would be closest to you on your left, and #6 being closest to the passenger seat . Please help in desperate need to get this truck running right, broke and started new job and at the end of the line for help on this even autozone couldn’t tell me the firing order and they sold me the wires, wanted to slap the kid.

Mar 042014

I am working on a 87 caprice with a thm200-4r transmission. Ill start out by saying I replaced this transmission for a friend a few years ago and the car did just fine however one day he said he pulled in his driveway and fluid was pouring out from what he seemed to explain the front seal.  Being that he isn’t the brightest crayon in the bow when it comes to cars he continued to let it run.  Afterwards he had someone else remove the pan and im very positive it wasn’t a experienced mechanic but they said there was metal all in the pan “not sure if it was actually metal or the sediment off everything”.  They then told me they put the pan back on and put more fluid in the car put that then it wouldn’t go in gear.   However I towed the car back to my shop and pulled the transmission completely out.  I haven’t tore into it yet but what I notice so far it that the output shaft can be moved up and down about half a inch I know the is far from normal.  If anyone can help with letting me know as to might what have happened here and what I might expect to see when I tear into it I would really appreciate it.  Also if someone might could direct me to a website or two of some diagrams and complete breakdowns of this tranny along with a good place to buy replacement parts.

Mar 062013

For almost every motorist, the rising cost of fuel is an annoying bugbear that refuses to go away. Whingeing about prices at the pumps may be a human right, but there are also steps everyone can take to cut fuel bills for themselves. Here are a few of the main points to remember for economical driving.

1 It’s the economy, stupid!
Have fuel economy as the key factor in mind when choosing a vehicle, whatever kind you’re looking at. In the SUV segment that could mean a Ford Escape Hybrid at 34 miles to the gallon, while for van drivers, the diesel-engine Fiat Ducato is a good choice with an impressive 39 miles to the gallon. Both cars are very resistant, something which makes them a reliable choice even when bought used. Then there is the electric option too, but for most people the fact that roadside chargers are about as common as white rhinos remains a dissuading factor.

2 Become a smoothie
When driving, avoid sudden acceleration and deceleration. Smoothness is the key to maximizing fuel economy, so brake steadily, change to a high gear as soon as you can, and switch the engine off if you’re going to be stopped for a long time. If necessary imagine you have a really pernickety driving instructor in the passenger seat, telling you to do all this.

3 No need for speed
Remember cruising speed (the most efficient speed for fuel consumption) is around 60mph in fifth gear for most cars. Yes it’s tempting to put your foot down, especially if you have an open road and an engine with horsepower to spare, but be aware this will cost you at the pump (around 6% of fuel economy is lost for each 5mph speed increase after 60). So on motorways make the slow lane your natural home and If possible, develop a Zen like approach to other motorists whizzing past you. Chances are they’ll be stopped by road works up ahead anyway.

4 Lighten up
Cars consume fuel when they have to do extra work. Don’t drive around with a boot full of stuff you don’t need to be carrying, or an unnecessary roof rack attached. Also, be very aware that operations like defrosting and air conditioning do consume fuel, so don’t use them more than you need to.

5 Don’t forget the TLC
Maintain your car well. It can’t be stressed enough that a poorly tuned engine nosedives in efficiency. You may think you’re saving money by never visiting the garage for a service, but you’re probably losing it not only in faster depreciation of the car’s value, but at the pump as well.

Jan 212013

With fluctuating fuel costs we are all effected when it comes to fuel mileage. As we move into the colder winter months it can be anticipated that our fuel mileage will be worse. There are several reasons your fuel mileage is worse in the winter beyond obvious reasons such as letting the car warm up at idle for longer periods in the morning. Some would argue the tire pressure, but with tire pressure monitors on just about every car since 2005 we all stay on top of that for the most part. Some would argue the road conditions, but they get cleared pretty fast on the highways these days. So what other reasons?
The basic mechanics of how the engine operates is the largest factor. Engines today use electronic sensors to run the engine. It relies on these sensors to tell the engines computer how much fuel to inject into it and at what temperature. It also uses sensors to tell it how good a job its doing so it can make changes for you at different temperatures. So the Engines computer is set with a base parameter when it comes to the Air/Fuel ratio it needs to maintain the best possible fuel mileage it can deliver. When the Air temperature is colder you can fit more air into the same space and in order to keep the same air/fuel ratio the engine must have more fuel added. Once the engine warms up the outside temperature doesn’t change much even when it gets closer to the engine so you will continue to keep getting worse fuel mileage.
You can expect that once the outside temperature returns to warmer summer days that your fuel mileage will return.

Here is a great example:

How much worse?

Have a gander at these calculations for a Honda Civic hybrid at 60 MPH in varying ambient temperatures:



Look at the extremes: the coldest MPG is 28% lower than the warmest. (Source: hybridcars.com.)

Author: John Helton

Apr 272012

Road handling depends on many factors, more or less variable. Some are strictly related to how the car is actually built and how its characteristics contribute to better road handling. Others are external factors that are out of the control of the driver and the car, such as the weather conditions. There are also subjective factors such as how familiar the driver is with the car or how comfortable and stable his position and support is while driving. But, irrespective of all these factors, road handling problems occur and drivers must face them in traffic. It is vital that you have a car you feel comfortable with when driving and smaller cars are known to be much easier to handle. For any new driver it is important to learn in a smaller so that is easier to get to grips with driving.
Bump Steer and Road Handling
Bump steer can be caused either by the wearing of the suspension or by the features of the suspension that cause it to rise and fall as a result of uneven road surfaces. The effects of bump steer depend on factors such as un-sprung weight, steering linkage, type of differential, tires, tire pressure, angular inertia, frame rigidity, and suspension type.
Excessive Load Transfer and Road Handling
Total weight transfer is calculated as the sum of the front and back in steady cornering. It is determined by the ration between the height of the car’s center of gravity and the axle track. The car will roll over if the weight transfer is the same as half of the loaded weight. In order to avoid such events, the steering of motors must be handled carefully and turn rate must be reduced. Road handling becomes even more difficult.
Slow Response and Road Handling
Road handling is affected by the slow response of motors when turned in a particular direction. Normally, motors react immediately to steering changes and that is why road handling is especially aggravated by slow response. Road response can be caused by body roll, high slip angle tires, yaw and roll angular inertia.