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Emrys, ASE Certified
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 45
Experience:  11 years as lead tech, performance and race team exp.
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2011 Kawasaki 4010 mule 4x4, what causes popping in the front

Customer Question

2011 Kawasaki 4010 mule 4x4, what causes popping in the front differential when in 4-wheel drive in reverse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Emrys replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help you.First off, let me ask you the hours/miles on this Mule. Respond when you can and I will check back.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It has 1900 hours.
Expert:  Emrys replied 1 year ago.
Okay, thanks for that information.You will need some help and the ability to jack all four wheels off the ground for this next part. With all four wheels up off the ground, put it into 4wd (not running), with someone helping you spin both front wheels forward and backward slowly. Look for them locking up in one direction and push past that lockup listening to where the noises are coming from and what they sound like. Let me know what you find. Thanks, Emrys
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've have already done that. With the mule in the air I have spun each wheel both forwards and backwards in**********and*****with the differential locked and unlocked. While in the air I also started the mule and went threw 2 wheel forward and reverse slowly, then fast, 4 wheel slowly and then fast and finally with the differential lock on slowly and then fast. There was no vibration or popping. The only thing that was unusual was whether in 2 wheel or 4 wheel the front driver side tire turned. I'm not sure if is or isn't supposed to turn when not engaged in***** I have drained the front differential and refilled it. I strained the fluid to see if there were any metal there were none. It didn't look as if anyone has every serviced the differential. The fluid looked good. I also took a magnet and inserted it into the drain plug hole to check for any metal fragments. It came out clean. When I lift the mule into the air I set the jack stands under A frame to allow the cv axles to be in line with the differential as if it was sitting on the ground.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
By the way there were no popping sounds or binding.
Expert:  Emrys replied 1 year ago.
Well that is actually good news! Why this popping sounds happens is because in the bevel gear case there is what is called a damper cam, the whole purpose for this is if one wheel slips or spins faster then the other in 4wd the damper cam allows the engine power to slip (on this cam) and attempt to keep the system balanced and unbroken. With the hours you have on this mule your cam is most likely becoming worn and slipping more than usual. When we see these come in they generally bind and grind in the air and that requires replacing them. You are not quite there yet, if the mule begins grinding in 4wd you must take it in to be replaced, this cam is a wearable item and will go out.
Expert:  Emrys replied 1 year ago.
A factor that may help this cam go is tire pressure uneven, larger tires on one side, worn tires, aftermarket rims, or anything that would cause the wheels to change from their original size.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Isn't the damper cam in the rear differential?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Therefore, wouldn't happen when in*****all the time? I have factory wheels with tire within factor specifications.
Expert:  Emrys replied 1 year ago.
Not in the Mules, the damper cams are in the sub trans in the rear and the bevel gear case for the front. the cam is like a ramped ratchet fitting, it allows power until slippage causes the ramp to jump breaking the power. I would avoid reverse in 4wd to preserve it or get it replaced.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
With it in*****should the front wheels turn?
Expert:  Emrys replied 1 year ago.
No, the rear wheels are the driving wheels in 2wd, however if you have it jacked up off the ground the front wheels will spin from the drag of the gears
Expert:  Emrys replied 1 year ago.
If you have no further questions, please accept the answer so it can be closed out. Thanks, Emrys