2001 4.0 Ranger 4x4 lock problems - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-25-2015
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2001 4.0 Ranger 4x4 lock problems

Well here it is Christmas morning and here I sit in Minnesota watching the weather forecast telling me we are going to get 5 to 8 inches of snow and 4x4 will not lock in!
Bummer, I came here looking for help in figuring out what's wrong,!
I have been a Mechanic for over 40 years now so I know a little about this stuff,
Here's the deal, I have a 2001 4.0 Ranger 4x4 that the 4x4 refuses to lock in or the light on the dash to light up, was working fine last year, this year its not doing anything! My oldest boy (also a wrench) had a buddy at work that had this same problem a few years ago with his Ranger, took the motor apart found that the rubber 'shim' for lack of a better term had worn out and said he had fixed his with a simple piece of rubber fuel line as what would happen to his, is that without the shim in there it seems the motor that shifts it in and out of 4x4 gets 'lost' as it would only move it a little and not reset itself to it's normal place when you flip the switch, then he said his has been working great ever since!
So I had my boy take the truck to work with him a couple weeks ago and they did the same thing to my truck, didn't make any difference on my truck!
So I went out and bought the new motor to move the triangular 'pin' back and forth to shift it from 2x4 to 4x4 high or low.
Now when I flip the 4x4 switch on the dash I can hear it click in the passenger side kick panel, but it still won't light up the dash or even try to shift into 4x4 (high or low) took the motor off and with bare fingers flipped it into 4x4 and it went right in (no light on the dash yet though) put the electric shift motor back in and same thing!
Now when I flip the selector switch on the dash I can hear the click, when I flip the selector switch back to 2x4, I hear several 'double clicks' down behind the passenger kick panel (already unclipped the kick panel to see), but it still won't lock in. Do I need to take the motor off, flip the switch to 4x4 as well as the 'pin' and then reinstall the motor or what?
Anyone else out there have a idea what to try next?
Thanks for your input !! Rob
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Old 12-25-2015
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Merry Christmas

The 4WD lights on the dash turn on and off from contacts IN the shift motor's housing, so no lights if shift motor isn't moving.
The clicks are the two relays in the 4WD module, one relay will close to turn shift motor clockwise, the other will close to turn shift motor counter clockwise.
It is just a DC electric motor so reversing +/- causes it to turn in different direction to turn the transfer case shift rod.
When it turns the contacts in the housing move to make and break connections, this turns on the dash lights and also lets the 4WD module know the motor has turned far enough and is in the correct place.

The 4WD module is a known failure point, while not "common" for the amount of them used it is a "known" issue

There are a few fuses to check as well, here is a 2001 4WD wiring diagram, the 20amp fuse in engine fuse box is the power for the shift motor.
Foot on the brake pedal and trans in neutral are only required to shift into 4low, 2wd or 4wd high are "shift on the fly".
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 01 4.0l 4wd.pdf (54.1 KB, 66 views)

Last edited by RonD; 12-25-2015 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 12-27-2015
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Message ?

Ron I sent you 2 messages tonite ! They just vanished ?? Bud
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Old 12-27-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loc View Post
Ron I sent you 2 messages tonite ! They just vanished ?? Bud
I don't look at PM much, best to post in the forums
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Old 12-27-2015
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Thanks Ron! Though I have already (or at least thought I had) gone over the fuses once, I will inspect them again especially under the hood as that could be the problem! Do you know if a person has to make sure the shifting motor in in a certain position when installing it, like do you have to make sure it's aligned ?
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Old 12-27-2015
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What I have done in the past is before installing shift motor I hook up it's wiring and then select 4WD high to make sure it is turning, then select 2WD and make sure it turns back.
And then, making sure transfer case is in 2WD, I install it so it should be lined up.

I think this "Shiftster" video show the positions: Installation: Installation Instructions for The Shiftster | The Shiftster

The Shiftster is a way to make an electric shift transfer case into manual shift, although you do need to get under the truck to shift it.
Not for every one but if you absolutely have to have 4WD at certain times it is much more reliable
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Old 12-29-2015
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You could always tap the the transfer case motor with an object, it'll make noise if it's good and none if it needs changing.

Anything thing I forget what year they stopped with vacuum hubs but if you have them here might be a leak preventing the hubs to work.
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