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Discussion Starter #1
My trusty old '99 300 developed a problem which I believe is internal to the front differential. There are no noises or problems when it's driven in 2WD.

However, when the 4WD lever is engaged, a loud "clunk" occurs every few feet the atv is driven. I have no knowledge of how the differential works, yet from looking at the parts fiche, I am initially suspecting the shift cam stopper or the shift lock cam (circled below). It feels / sounds like whatever engages the front diff is slipping (clunk sound) in/out of engagement.

Is what I'm describing a common problem with these old machines? Is there something I can try without removing/rebuilding/replacing the front differential housing? Can I tighten the bolt #10 or replace the spring #11 to keep the diff locked (assuming, perhaps wrongly, that's where the noise is coming from)?

I just "upgraded" to a slightly newer machine and was going to sell my '99. It's tough to sell with a noise like this. :-(

Help?
 

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It could be that there is wear on the parts enough to not keep diff locked. The diff lock cam would be my guess that it’s worn more. If you take bolt #10 out you could remove the spring and the cam stopper. Trouble is, what’s a good one look like? Spring could be broken but as far as length and tension, what is a good one like? Have you adjusted cable used to lock diff?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks 660. I will remove bolt #10 and see what I see. I am wondering if something could be inserted between the bolt and spring (like a washer) to apply greater force on the pin and cam, as a means to give it a little extra life.
Have I adjusted the cable? Good question... .no, I actually removed the cable system because it drove me nuts. I installed the Genuine arctic cat upgrade kit which I learned about on this forum. It removes the cable and adds a lever like that used on the slightly newer machines. The lever system seems to move the lever on the differential case to the full extreme in both directions.
That said, it's making the same noise when I put the cable back in as a test.
I called the local Cat dealer and they told me that this noise is not pervasive to the late 90s machines. Rather, the tech suspects there's something wrong in the diff lock mechanism. He didn't think there was any easy fix. His comment was exactly the same as my observation: it's nearly, but not quite, impossible to slide the differential case out of the frame.

This really sucks, because I'd like to sell the '99 and it's otherwise a beautiful little machine in very nice condition and runs perfectly. But, with this noise, I'll get peanuts for it.
 

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Lift the quad on stands to get all wheels off the ground. Take the front wheels off and get someone to turn the back wheels to rotate the driveline. Make sure it’s in 4wd. Listen for clunk which should be easy without engine running. If there’s no clunk then resistance in the driveline is causing the clunk. It could be a number of things then. Bevel gear, pinions? There’s also a diff lock sliding dog in diff.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OK, I an give that a shot.

Sounds like I have three options:
(1) Sell it as-is for peanuts
(2) Remove the differential and have it rebuilt
(3) buy a used diff off of ebay install it and hope it works
 

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I forgot to mention there is a front U joint. Again with no resistance it may turn ok. Put pressure on in 4wd and it may clunk
 
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