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I bought a used 09 dodge nitro a few months back. I was planning to drive it across Canada for work. Before doing so, it needed some mechanical work. What was done was the cv joints aka: front drive shaft, as well as the front axel seals. I also
(As a side note, before I had any work done on it, I tested out The 4 wheel drive system. It seemed to work fine and I never had a reason to use it, but as I was planning on driving across Canada in the winter, I half expected I would run into some snow at some point)
I then went on my road trip (3600 km in 3 day) It was an uneventful drive with no issues whatsoever.
So, the other day after work, it was raining quite hard and the roads were pretty slick and my tires were spinning every time I would accelerate from a stop (I also have brand Toyo winter tires on it) 'I drove about 15 km on wet pavement, no faster than 80kmh. When u got into town, I stopped at a store and when I was making turns (at parking lot speeds...very slow) while in 4×4, there was an awful kind of grinding noise and it also felt like I had the brakes on, but didn't. I tried a couple more turns and reversing as well and nothing changed. I immediately put it back in 2×4 and there were no issues and I've been driving it since and as long as I'm in 2 wheel drive, it is fine.
First of all, how does the drive train system work, is there a front differential ', or trsnsfer case and what's the difference between the 2?
Secondly, would having put the new front drive shaft installed before I left be a contributing factor to whatever is wrong?
Thirdly, by driving it on the hwy in 4×4 completely f*** it up?
Thanks in advance for any information
 

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here is a little more info,
In 2WD mode, the front axle and driveshaft turn freely while power is sent to the rear axle and wheels. In 4Lock mode, the front and rear wheels rotate in unison, resulting in remarkable traction. Because this is a parttime system, it locks the front and rear drive shafts together. Therefore, it can only be used on slippery or loose surfaces like ice, gravel, or rugged terrain. The standard-equipment ESP, which combines ABS, Traction Control, and Electronic Roll Mitigation, enhances traction by modulating torque among all wheels as necessary - providing resistance to any wheel that is slipping while allowing torque to flow to the wheels with traction.

replacing the drive shaft would not cause problems with the 4wd system,
 

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If it's still working, you didn't break it. What you experienced was axle wind up in 4x4. The Nitro's system is not AWD or full time four wheel drive. Ours is referred to as part time 4x4, because it shouldn't be left on all the time. It lacks a center differential to allow slippage between the front and back. If in 4x4 and all the wheels have traction, the drive system will bind up, causing stiff steering and bad noises, until something breaks. Usually the transfer case will come apart. As others have said, only use 4x4 on loose surfaces. You can use it at any speed, just as long as it's a loose surface. I've used mine fine on snow covered highways.
 
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