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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I've got a problem that I'm looking for help with (that's a new thing, right?). I've done a good bit of searching and found some good info, but I also look at the dates and find that some of the posts are many yrs old, so probably not the current information. Then there are tidbits dropped in random posts that are hard to put together.
So, the problem... I'm pretty sure I've got some diff issues but I haven't torn it apart, yet. When one wheel is put in a bind, not freely able to spin while the other side can, I'm getting a rapid clicking in the front end. Sounds kinda like a CV axle on a car, but it doesn't happen when in 4wd and driving around, so I'm pretty sure it's the diff not locking up when it should. I'll give it up- that's not a very thorough diagnosis and the door is open for tips on accurately diagnosing.
I've got a 2014 1000 XT-P with DPS (power steering). I'm prepping for a trip to WV and need to get this straightened out. Based on my searching, I've got a QE diff. Beyond that, things get pretty fuzzy. The bottom line is what is my best solid performing replacement? I read all about the rainbow of diff tags, and it seems like there are many part numbers for the same part because CanAm (maybe) drops a new part number with new model years for whatever reason. The other thought is to scoop up a unit from another model, say a Maverick. But, I'm not sure what exactly is compatible.
I'm not super keen on buying a used one due to potential of getting junk, but I'll def be looking for what's out there once I figure out what the options are. Cost is a factor, but I'll put enough money in it to make it dependable.

Thanks in advance for helping out!
 

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You say it doesn’t make the clicking sound when it’s in 4wd? No power is being sent to the front diff if it’s in two wheel drive. So it wouldn’t be trying to lock / unlock? Are you sure you don’t have a front CV joint that’s bad?


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I've had a similar thing happen to mine. I got the the thing buried in a deep mud hole with the left front wheel bound up against the side of bank and it could not spin. With the front diff in 4wd the right wheel would spin, but because the left wheel couldn't spin I got a grinding noise from the front diff.
That was the only time it ever did this. I've only put maybe 200 miles on it since then, but it hasn't done it.
I'm not sure how the front the front diff works but it seems like something in the gear box slips if it is trying to lock the left wheel but the wheel can't spin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You say it doesn’t make the clicking sound when it’s in 4wd? No power is being sent to the front diff if it’s in two wheel drive. So it wouldn’t be trying to lock / unlock? Are you sure you don’t have a front CV joint that’s bad?
Correct, it doesn't make the clicking sound when in 4wd and driving on easy ground or 2wd at all. However when in 4wd, there is a very faint "I'm not happy" feeling and sound in those easy 4wd turns but my son and wife don't even notice it.
The clicking sound only happened when one tire was stuffed like Golfcart described, coincidentally mine was the left tire, also. But, I didn't hear any grinding at that point. The clicking sounded very similar to a CV axle, but the fact it isn't doing it regularly makes me think its not a CV. I don't think I've heard the clicking since then. When it did it, there were 8-10 nice loud clicks and didn't turn the tire, then I backed up and picked another line. Pretty much since then is when I started noticing the "I'm not happy". It's not quite a grinding sound but if I was to guess, I'd say there are some very small pieces stirring around in the planetary gears making it barely noticeable. Take it out of 4wd and nothing is noticeable, so at the least, I'm positive it's in the front end! lol But No, I'm not 100% sure it's not a CV. For reference, I've diagnosed, rebuilt and replaced my share of automotive CV axles so I'm very familiar with failed ones and their sounds. I'm a little puzzled if just jacking it up and turning the wheels are going to pinpoint anything without any load on it.

I've been wrenching on other toys and not jumped on the 'Mander, yet. It's time is coming soon and I'm trying to get a little guidance ahead of time. It's been about 4yrs since this other hotrod has breathed fire. Remedied that last night!
Tire Wheel Light Automotive tire Tread
 

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Ok. I was pretty confused from your post number 1 also. I think I get it now. . . So what your saying is that it only makes the noise in a very noticeable way in 4wd when the left front tire is in a bind? Right?

In 4wd, driving normal straight ahead does it pull to one side?

See if one of the axles wants to pull out of the diff?

Hasn't happened to me but it's fairly common for one of the front axles to break in the diff where the circlip is. It would probably pull to the left in 4wd if the right axle is broken and not in 2wd. There's a number of threads on here about that phenomenon. If I recall correctly you can usually get it out after getting the clip out with a pick or something and then use a really strong magnet, possibly from the other side. I think it's usually the right front axle that does this but I may have it mixed up. There's definitely a bit of special effort especially needed to get the right front axle to seat right - I've posted a video from superatv on seating it before. The link came from youtube - it's older and a little hard to find.

If that's what it turns out to be and you can't find the links I mentioned, I can probably help find them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry for the confusion. I've only heard the clicking that one time a few months ago. For the most part, this thing lives a cush life riding around our property barely going over 15mph and only use 4wd crossing one ditch thats straight on and easy.
I can't say that I've noticed it pulling significantly or any differently than it ever has over the couple years we've had it. And I guess I've been switching back to 2wd most of the time when on smooth ground. I'll give your suggestions a shot and see if I can make any headway.
Thanks for taking the time to post!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Both axles are tight. No play on the diff side at all.

Jacked the front up, was in 2wd, not running, both tires turned the same direction when spinning forward or backward and the drive shaft was spinning. So, the planetary gears/diff internals weren't spinning at all.

Switched it into 4wd, not running, and there was heavy resistance when turning a tire and the other wheel went the opposite direction, the driveshaft wasn't spinning. Kinda like it had a limited slip diff. While turning, there was a moderately loud creaking sound like brake pads creaking when nearing a stop amd heavy resistance to turning. Like a clutch pack in the diff wasn't releasing.
I just noticed that it seems like the resistance to rotating gets higher the more time you spin it. By the 2nd to 3rd rotation, I almost can't turn it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looks like there used to be a sticker here...
 

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Yes that’s where the sticker was.

If it came with dps then it came with a QE front diff. If it didn’t come with dps you can still put QE front diff in it. The non dps versions came with a standard engagement front diff. Frankly, any front diff out of any year OG commander (or OG maverick) will work in any other year OG commander (or OG maverick). But you probably wouldn’t want the standard engagement as it takes more spins of the turning tire to lock in the other side. The ones in the new commanders and Mavericks are different I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It does have DPS.

Does it sound like this diff is toast, as-in broke and not repairable? I'm pretty good at fixing things if parts are available. Or is this a case of literally non-servicable, which is rare but does exist.
As for the OG Commander/Maverick... is there a Date range to qualify for OG or will ANY Mander/Mav diff work? Does the X3 Turbo really have the same QE diff as this Commander?
 

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X3 doesn't have same diff as commander and iys not a qe either it's just the visco. As for replacement front did . Commander and maverick uses sane diff from 13 to 17. Qe was in models with dps . The gear grinding you are probably hearing is the visco skipping when under a load . The visco isn't serviceable. Easy way to tell if it's skipping get up to 40 ish mph cruise for a second then hammer it while on asphalt. That was the first time I heard mine and it just kept getting worse till it wouldn't engage at all when under power .
 

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And when you hammer down going up hill in a turn on asphalt. If it doesn't grind its not that bad yet or it's a different issue .
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Unfortunately, that's funny! Riding asphalt isn't much of an option for me. The nearest hill that I could do 40 up is about 2 miles. Way too likely to see the popo between here and there.
Any other options for checking it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How does the QE diff normally act when jacked up and spun? Should it freespin opposite directions continuously like an open diff or ?
 

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It will spin either direction by hand. But if you spin it fast you will feel it tighten up .

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
It's seeming like I've got a great candidate for a torq-Locker. It seems like I could clean out the fluid and install that and be back in good shape.
I read some of the comments on it from Troy and another member.
 

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I have the exact same machine as you. When I first got it I had similar issues. When I jacked up the machine with the front A-arms supported everything worked as intended. However, when I supported from the frame to allow the suspension to fully extend The clicking was very obvious on one side. Visco was not engaging the wheel at all. Took it to dealer and they swapped the front differential and fixed nothing. After lots of cussing we found the axle to be incorrect from the factory. It was to short allowing it to disengage during turning and full travel. I put in the correct axle and it worked as intended. I’m sure a torque locker would be an upgrade but visco has always worked when I needed it so it is difficult to justify the $$$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thats some interesting info... I'll take another pass lifting at the arms and see if it makes a difference on how the visco acts.
To be clear, are you saying worked as intended meaning if you spin it slow, it spins without resistance then if you spin it fast the visco engages and starts to try to lock the diff? That's what I took from how Ace said it should work...
I'm on the verge of just opening it up to see what's going on in there.

Thanks for the replies- much appreciated!!
 

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Yes it is the resistance that engages the “lock up”. It is kinda tricky to simulate it when on stands because of this reason. That’s why most say to throttle it on a hill.
 
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