4X4 not working - Diesel Truck Forum - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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4X4 not working

Hello all..... I have a problem The front wheels are not locking in. I have manual locking hubs.And auto trans. And the truck is a 97. The 4x4 light comes on.... But its not working. I called Ford and the guy said to look for a black solenoid by the front axle. He said it had 2 screws holding it in and a plug.I can't see anything like that. Anyone have any ideas what he was talking about and where it really is.

Thanks for any help... And hey if you have another idea on what it could be making it not work let me know.... Again Thanks
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 06:02 PM
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I don't know enough about Ford pickups, to give you a good answer, but if you post this question in the ford truck area https://www.thedieselgarage.com/forum...sprune=-1&f=24
some of the members there should be able to help you

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 03:10 AM
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I have a 02 ranger and to get it to go in four wheel drive you step on the brake and shift to netural.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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4X4 not working

I guess I should have said The 4x4 was working...It went out 2 months ago. As I said The lights say its working but they are not ( FOR SURE NOT WORKING )
Any incite on this?
Thank you
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastor scott View Post
I guess I should have said The 4x4 was working...It went out 2 months ago. As I said The lights say its working but they are not ( FOR SURE NOT WORKING )
Any incite on this?
Thank you
The solenoid on the front axle is a servo. It slides a clutch to allow the front differential to drive the front axles. If this is not working, the hubs will not be driven. These used to be terrible about reliability, (IMO) as they get all kinds of road splash and mud cake if used off road.

If you have indicator lamps on the dash or console telling you the 4X4 is engaged, the transfer case is working, (apparently) but the front differential is not engaged. This solenoid/servo will be bolted to the front axle housing about centerline of the truck on the top. Make certain you have voltage to the plug before you replace parts. If you have voltage reaching the unit, ensure it's mounting brackets are supplying a ground for the case. Not all of them used the chassis as ground so electrically ensure you have a ground also. If you have voltage, and a good ground, remove the unit from the axle and try to slide the fork by hand this unit engages with. It should move very easily. If it doesn't either something is binding, or bent inside the axle housing or differential case. If the apparatus slides easily, you have voltage, you have a good ground, then replace the solenoid/servo unit with new.

Not all of these were plastic; some had a metal body dependent on year. If the case is impact damaged, swollen, or smells any kind of burnt, change it.

I can't remember is this unit was fuse protected or not as I've not worked on one in quite some time. If you don't have voltage, look for either some type of electrical protection blown, (fuse, circuit breaker) or the enable switch itself. The rotary and slide action switches using in vehicles are troublesome as they age.

The question I seek an answer for is simply; why, or why not?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-17-2014, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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4X4 not working

THANK YOU THANK YOU Backslap Your info was right on the mark. I will post with the findings.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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4x4 not working

OK update here. I looked and looked for The solenoid on the front axle. There is nothing there. Does anyone have a picture of where and what this looks like? I do a google look and what they show in back on the trans.
THANK YOU for any and ALL help.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 04:51 PM
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You stated the truck is a 1997. Is it the then new body style 1/2 ton, or older style 3/4 ton? Does it have a solid beam axle, or IFS?

The differential is on the left, (driver's side) of the truck, and the servo motor should be just to the right, (passenger side) of the axle tube on top.

Give this a try also. If your 4X4 is electrically activated; with the key in the "on" position but engine not running, engage the front axle. With the front hubs in the free position, (not engaged) try to turn the front driveshaft. It should not turn as the transfer case should have engaged the front drive. If it will not turn, disengage the front axle and try to turn the driveshaft again. If it now spins, the transfer case is working. Now spin the shaft and look at the front drive axles at the wheel ends to ascertain if they are moving with the driveshaft. If yes, the drive axle is trying to pull the truck. Now lock the hubs and try to spin the shaft again. If it still spins, the hubs are not working.

Some of the 1/2 ton trucks had the electric engagement solenoid on the axle, some did not so don't be discouraged. If the truck has the original supplied hubs installed, they would be best replaced with Warn aftermarket which contain no plastic.

The question I seek an answer for is simply; why, or why not?
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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I am thinking its the older style. It does have a solid beam axle.. Now when I get under the front there is NOTHING on the axle tube. left or right side. The truck has MANUAL locking hubs. There is a line that goes into the Axle bell. I see nothing else.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-18-2014, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pastor scott View Post
I am thinking its the older style. It does have a solid beam axle.. Now when I get under the front there is NOTHING on the axle tube. left or right side. The truck has MANUAL locking hubs. There is a line that goes into the Axle bell. I see nothing else.
If you have the solid beam axle, there is no solenoid. I suspect you have a hub engagement problem. Try the things with the front driveshaft I've mentioned. Those OEM hubs really were not a good idea, (IMO) as they presented a lot of problems such as you mention from either sticking, (spring loaded) or stripped/fractured internally from portions being plastic.

The question I seek an answer for is simply; why, or why not?
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