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4x4 clunk/jerk; fine in 2-wheel drive 2000 ranger

Old 09-30-2012
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: anchorage, ak
Posts: 1
4x4 clunk/jerk; fine in 2-wheel drive 2000 ranger

I have a 2000 ford ranger 5-speed manual that has a problem with the 4-wheel drive. It's an automatic dashboard push-button. One shop and one transmission shop in town have already taken a stab at it. After looking into everything they could think of, replacing the automatic motor (for the 4-wheel drive), rebuilding the transfer case, working on both front/rear differentials, they have given me my money back, as the problem is still there. The truck "grinds and pops/jerks" when driven in 4-wheel drive (apparently tearing up the transfer case, as it was a mess)....and when in 4-wheel drive, if you turn ever so slightly it is like you have the brakes on (something locks up big time). There's also a slight whistle coming from the transfer case when in 4-wheel drive. It does shift into 4-wheel drive though. Someone thought it sounded like the gearings didn't match, but that can't be the case as the truck has never been worked on other than oil changes/fluids, etc. The problem began over time last year, gradually getting worse to the point where we just stopped putting it into 4-wheel drive. However, we'd love to get it fixed! My original thought was to just get rid of the auto-lock hubs and put on manuals, as we thought it was just grime build-up causing the hubs to not engage....it is bigger than this, however. I put new tires on it, as one shop thought one tire might be ever so slightly more worn than the others (very minimally so), but that didn't change anything.

anyone have any inklings? planning to take it to another shop at some point....
Old 10-03-2012
patkelly1336's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Elm Grove, Wisconsin
Posts: 209
I am unsure by push-button what you mean as I have never seen that type before. I have a shift-on-the-fly 4WD system, but of course I have a 2008 XLT 5 Speed Automatic so that might make a big difference. Anyway, In 4L (4 Low) which I have never used because I had no reason to, you should never really turn if you don't have to, otherwise it can damage the front differential. In 4H (4 High) when you turn, because of how when turning one wheel is rotating slower than the other, it can seem like the brakes are engaged. I don't know if any of this helped
Old 10-04-2012
Blhde's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 2,804
He has the same **** on the dash as you do. Earlier trucks had a push button, its the gerneric term for shift on the fly electronic controlled.

Only time the truck will grind, jerk and pop is when you are turning on a surface that is too hard. When it does this you should not need 4wd. Ruining a tcase is possible when the front of the truck is moving at a different speed the than the back, commonly in turns. The transfer case is not designed to slip unlike an AWD drive case that is.
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