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I have a 2004 Titan SE 4wd with 68k. I bought it new, and have just been experiencing this problem with the most recent snow. My rear wheels start to drag when reversing direction in 4wd. It happened to my wife first, but this weekend I witnessed it. While in 4wd I backed out of my garage into the snow, did a 3 pt turn and went to back up the hill back to the garage and the rear wheels were locked up and sliding. The front wheels were pushing. It happened a few other times (usually shifting to reverse). No warning lights or sounds. After shifting back and forth from D to R it would kick in. 4Lo did the same thing. Once I got going, 4wd worked fine and I drove on snowy roads without trouble. Even shifted in and out at low speeds without issue. 2wd still works great -- VDC and all. It always happens when you really need 4wd reverse.
I called the dealer, and they hadn't heard of the problem before. Mentioned that it might be the front differential, but they would have to troubleshoot and it would most likely be expensive. Would it be front or rear diff? Transfer case? Even brakes?
 

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i just thinking out loud but if everything else works fine when not i 4wd and reversing then it sounds like it's an electrical problem to me. when you reverse in 2wd is everything good?
 

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Video of this might be very helpful.....
 

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In 2wd everything is good. In 4wd if I start w/good traction and continue in the same direction everything is good (ex. if I start in reverse from my garage, I have 4wd in reverse. If I shift D to R in the snow stopped, my front wheels turn and the rear wheels do not). I will try to come up with a video, but I am fairly low tech (will an mpeg attachment work in this forum?).
 

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The dealers here usually charge 1-hr shop time for diagnosis. I would think they could find the cause fairly fast because it sounds like either Transmission, Transfer case, Rear Diff, or an electrical problem (maybe BCM??). Seems to me it might be worth having them take a look and give an estimate on the repair then you can decide if you want to tackle it yourself or check around for what everyone else would charge to fix it to see if the dealer is reasonable.
 

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I think this is a transfer case issue, but not really an issue. This is what the 4wd system does and it's normal. If you turn the front wheels too much things start to bind up when in 4x4 mode. Take it out of 4x4, do the same turn and your back wheels will be fine I bet.
 

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Turning the wheels full lock won't bind up the rears. It usually just scuffs the front tires and the truck will be a bit jerky. With the amount of off roading that I have done in 4WD (including backing), the rears have never locked on me. To me it sounds like there needs to be some adjustments in the transfer case.
 

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OK then, how about a parking brake problem?
 

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I was thinking that the brakes are dragging, but you say it only does it in 4wd, not 2wd, correct?
 

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OK then, how about a parking brake problem?
That's my guess as well. It seems logical that when in 2wd reverse or in Drive your rear wheels simply overpower the parking brake. When in reverse with bad traction the parking brake grips the rear wheels and the poor traction allows them to lock and slide with the front wheels pushing. I have had this happen when I accidentally left the parking brake on and reversed on ice in 4wd.
 

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parking brake problem sounds like a good suspect to me too. When it is very cold and snow is in the forcast using the parking brake cause it to freeze up and drag the rear wheels...

Question: Does this only happen when everything is cold (ie. just out of the driveway in morning) or does it happen every time you reverse in 4wd? Maybe the tcase is binding up due to the cold and when it warms up it flows fine? Cold can freeze up alot of things and thicken up oils nicely.
 

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Maybe the tcase is binding up due to the cold and when it warms up it flows fine?
It's -32deg C here without wind chill...has been for like a week and mine doesnt bind up. If that's the case I'd get it looked at. Shouldnt be binding up like that unless in extreme cold for a long time.
 

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It's -32deg C here without wind chill...has been for like a week and mine doesnt bind up. If that's the case I'd get it looked at. Shouldnt be binding up like that unless in extreme cold for a long time.
No it shouldn't bind up in the cold... but if it is only happening when the truck is cold then that may be part of the issue. As parts get moving they warm up and the fluids thin, metals expand etc...
 

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Sounds more like the "anti-spin rearend" we have is malfunctioning. When you get the least little bit of slippage the brakes are being activated to try to reduce the wheel spin. For some reason, yours seems to not be funtioning properly and not releasing the brakes it is activating. I'm not sure if the fronts are even effected by the anti-spin funtion which would explain why they are not doing the same thing. In 2wd the fronts aren't moving you so you wouldn't ever know unless you floored it to get one wheel to break loose and activate the system.

Is your SLIP light coming on when this is happening?
 

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If it's the Brake Controller causing it, there should be a code thrown where you could take it to Autozone or the Dealer to read real quick before you turn the motor off. Usually a bad Brake Controller causes the ABS to randomly kick in all by itself while driving down the road.
 

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did you have the TSB performed for the front brakes? part of the issue was a bad BCM as mentioned above. Mine was replaced under the TSB... seems odd that it would cause the rear to lock up like that... but electronics can do mysterious things!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions. I drive my beater to work, so I don't drive the Titan every day. I will try the troubleshooting suggestions. As far as I know the slip is working correctly, because the dash light has come on while losing traction in the snow, and the ABS has kicked in stopping as well. I have not noticed ABS kicking in when it shouldn't. I am hoping it is a parking brake issue, because I don't want the hassle of a transfer case. I also don't know if I can re-create it at the dealer, and I don't want them troubleshooting blindly. All of the occurences have happened within 1 or 2 minutes of a cold start, so there might be somethng to those comments. It hasn't been terribly cold here (above 10 degrees ... until tonight) and the truck is driven almost every day by my wife.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
did you have the TSB performed for the front brakes? part of the issue was a bad BCM as mentioned above. Mine was replaced under the TSB... seems odd that it would cause the rear to lock up like that... but electronics can do mysterious things!
The brakes TSB was performed at ~40K due to premature pad/rotor wear.
 

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Is there a lot of snow on the ground?
Sounds like water might be getting in there and freezing the parking brake or possibly the cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Over the past few days, it has been much colder (below zero at times) and I've driven it quite a bit in the snow. I haven't had any more issues with the rear end locking up. I guess I will keep an eye on it.
 
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