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Grinding noise


Lloyd Snider
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Greetings,

I am new to this forum, but hopeful that someone has a solution to my problem.  I have a 1998 Kawasaki Mule 2510 4x4 gas powered.  I has approximately 800 hours on machine.  I purchased the Mule new and use it on my farm.  My problem is that when in 2 wheel drive and I either decelerate or go down an incline I get a grinding noise  in the area of the front differential.  If I shift the Mule into neutral the grinding stops.  I have drained the lube from the front differential and checked for metal fines by feel and with a magnet. None.  Put in new fluid. Checked the 2 to 4 wheel drive shift cable and it appeared to be a bit loose so I adjusted it to specs according to my shop manual. Still grinds upon deceleration.  Physically got under the Mule and moved the 2 to 4 wheel drive lever on the transmission and can hear the shift "dog" moving inside the case.  Just as a check, I secured the lever at the transmission in the 2 wheel drive position to make sure it was not trying to jump partially into 4 wheel drive. No change in noise.  Is it possible the internal shift "fork" that moves the machine from 2 to 4 wheel drive is bent?  Mule is definitely not in 4 wheel drive with lever on transmission securely tied in 2 wheel drive.  Local dealers (2) only want to throw parts at the machine hoping to find cause.  Not my idea of service.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. My next step is to totally remove the drive shaft that powers the front differential and see if the problem still persists.

Thanks in advance for any input.

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