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1989 F-150 not turning in 4x4

Recently I purchased a 1989 Ford F-150 and promptly added a 3" lift to the truck. With winter quickly approaching in northern Michigan attempted to use 4x4 to see if it works. the 4x4 its self works like a charm, however when i attempt to turn the truck fights it heavily and the front tires feel like they aren’t spinning at all. I’m wondering if because of the lift, the steering and ball joints don’t allow the front tires to move under heavy turning. Anyone have any ideas what this might be?

If you try to turn on solid surface (asphalt, dry dirt, concrete, etc.) whilst in 4WD you will invoke driveline binding. This is normal, and has the potential to break a u-joint or two. It’s also the reason why shouldn’t use 4WD on dry/hard surfaces.


As FoDaddy mention, was this on pavement? Have you tried it in dirt, sand, or mud?
If the three inch lift was done correctly I doubt that is the problem.
In Florida we see a lot of “mudders” on the road with higher lifts and huge tires.

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What FoDaddy said. The difference between 4WD and AWD is that AWD systems have a differential between the front and rear axles. 4WD systems force the front and rear driveshafts to turn at the same speed, so you can’t really steer when there is good traction due to the rear wheels tracking on a slightly shorter radius.

Part time 4 wheel drive is for off road, plowing snow, getting unstuck, or driving at moderate speed in deep snow, mud, or sand. It should never be used on dry pavement, at high speeds or at highway speeds on ice. On ice, at anything more than a crawl it will cause your car to rotate.