4wd Auto Transfer Case Issues - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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  #1  
Old 11-02-2010
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4wd Auto Transfer Case Issues

So I did a little research into this already the majority of the threads were open ended and the O.P never came back and explained their issue. So rather then resurrect old threads I'm here.

So I have an 04 Ford Ranger, 4.0, automatic transmission & transfer case with less then 90k on ORIGINAL drivetrain. I've been having a 4wd issue for some time, driving through town & cruising the back roads. This is what I am experiencing.

4wd High - While in 4wd I can hear clicking varying with road speed, front wheels have no power to them while the rears have power. While increasing throttle & speed the truck then clunks & shutters. After this the front wheels have power and I keep my foot in it to keep them engaged if I don't they go back to clicking and eventually another clunk occurs and I have power to the front wheels again.

4wd Low - the same thing if 4-High happens only not as often. But it does occur quite frequently and I compensate as if it were in 4-High.

I've noticed I don't have any lights in my 4wd switch but the leds could just be dead. I've checked the fuse for my 4wd system and it did not have a blown fuse. So I'm at a loss of what it could be. I'm checking the fluids tomorrow while I have the truck in the shop.

Any help or information regarding the problem or solution is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 11-03-2010
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You would have to take a look if you know what your doing or take it to someone who does. But it doesn't even sound like transfer case to me, obviously the transfer case if engaging in 4wd bc you said that when you get into it it will stay in 4wd. I would start by checking your front driveshaft
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Old 11-03-2010
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could be an issue with the hubs too
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Old 11-03-2010
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These trucks havent had hubs since 00. Unless your taking about the front wheel bearings.


If this shuttering feels like its coming from under your butt. I would suspect the front drive shaft cv has went out. Rebuild kit is about 100 bucks at rockauto.
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Old 11-03-2010
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^thats what i meant lol
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Old 11-03-2010
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The 4wd is intermittent and won't stay fully engaged. I keep my foot in it to keep it engaged and sometimes that doesn't even work. So I'm at a loss of what it could be.

By checking my front driveshaft what do you mean? What am I to look for? I twisted it back and forth and didn't notice any excessive play. How would I confirm the front drive shaft CV has gone out?

The snow is coming in Northern Wisconsin & I'm leaving the country for 10 days in Late November. I'd like to have this figured out before then so if I do have to drive in a white out snow storm I will have comfort in knowing my 4wd will work if I need it to.

Again any help is greatly appreciated and accepted.

Last edited by Spnknu; 11-03-2010 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010
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Well actually they have hubs, they are just auto locking hubs, but the wheel bearings are built into the hub assembly. Same thing though. But that wouldn't be your problem. Wheel bearings will make the tires shake and move, but it wouldn't cause 4x4 to unengage. You need to check the auto-locking hubs and find out if they are bad. Now that I have thought about it that might be your problem. If they are bad they wont fully engage and cause 4x4 to work incorrectly. The second thing you can do is replace the engagement motor in the transfer case. You might do that first and see if it fixes your problem. If not go back to what I told you to do first.

As far as the driveshaft goes, if there is no excessive play, then it shouldn't be a problem. Check the yoke on the driveshaft make sure it's not loose. Replace that fuse, and don't worry about the fluid for right now.

Let me know what you find
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Old 11-03-2010
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It is my understanding these year rangers have a live axle in the front. The transfer case acts as limited slip diff to compensate for extreme binding & bucking of the truck. How do the front hubs lock & unlock?

Also if the CV joint is bad wouldn't I hear noise coming from it constantly, even if the 4wd shift **** is in 2wd? Since these axles are live, they are constantly turning with the wheels going down the road. Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't get the noise I experience in 4wd when I'm in 2wd going down the road.

This is just from some of the research I've done. I've considered checking out the shift motor but again if I have engagement and its not staying engaged could it be the shift fork linkage that is broken and causing it to not fully engage, or the viscous coupling clutches are toast. I'm not familiar with the BW1354 that is in my truck so I'm shooting blind here.

The truck will be back in the shop and I'll be picking my instructors brain on everything.

Thanks again for the help & keep it coming.

Last edited by Spnknu; 11-03-2010 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 11-04-2010
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There are absolutely no hubs on a 2004 Ranger. there are unit bearings that the CV outer end bolts into. No Auto or even "unlocking" whatsoever....

As for the transfer case, no it has no limited slip whatsoever.....some Explorers had a viscous coupling that allowed AWD, but NEVER Rangers.

Your transfer case has a chain that connects front and rear axles. When in 2wd the front is spinning (no hubs) but not engaged at the tcase. When in 4wd both axles are locked in with the chain transfering power to both axles.



Based on what you are describing, the problem sounds like it lies in the tcase. Might be the chain, might be the shift motor but sounds more like the chain.


Edit: After reading your posts, answer one question: Did you (or has the truck ever) turn on hard pavement (or any "grippy surface) while the truck was in any form of 4wd(lo or hi)? If the answer is yes, then you probably ruined the tcase. Go get another BW 1354 from a JY and switch it out. You might get away with stressing the tcase sometimes, but if it's been used on hard surfaces a lot then chain's probably toast.

There is absolutely no way for the 1354 to compensate for binding as there is no VC or LS system in the tcase, or any true transfer case for that matter. Never use 4wd on hard surfaces.

Last edited by buckgnarly; 11-04-2010 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 11-04-2010
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So i will ultimately have to pull the transfer-case and check the chain? If I do have to rebuild is there a certain kit I should order? Has anyone had a similar experiences with their transfer-case? If so what did you do to solve the problem?

I will report back with my findings on how the fluid looks today as I will have it in the shop.
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Old 11-04-2010
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To my knowledge it has never been driven on a hard surface while being in 4wd. But the truck truck has had multiple owners so it could of happened. The truck has been passed down from my brother to my sister and then to me. My siblings only drove it in the summer. But it was a fleet vehicle before that so that prior knowledge of ownership is unknown.
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Old 11-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spnknu View Post
So i will ultimately have to pull the transfer-case and check the chain? If I do have to rebuild is there a certain kit I should order? Has anyone had a similar experiences with their transfer-case? If so what did you do to solve the problem?

I will report back with my findings on how the fluid looks today as I will have it in the shop.

There are rebuild kits, and it has/can be done before but a JY case may be cheaper and easier. There are literally thousands of them out there, you should have no problem getting one for 1-300 bucks.
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