Originally Posted by lifted97ranger
sounds like a shift motor.....take the 4 bolts out of it and have someone put it in 4wd....if the motor doesn't engage, then that is your culpret...
Good test, but it doesn't mean the motor is bad. You're removing the entire assembly including the feedback encoder. The feedback is the issue more often than the motor. Lot's of people replace the motor and it doesn't work, or it works one time and quits again.
There's a good article on ExplorerForum, which I've linked many, many times -- it tells you how to proceed if your encoder is bad and what to look for. Often it's just a plastic bushing on the rotational stop that gets crushed.
On my case, I repleced it with a rubber one.
It might be worth it to check out the situation before spending $100 or so on a replacement motor.