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Old 12-03-2013
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Bloomington, MN
Posts: 1
4x4 not disengaging

Hi everyone!

I just bought a 1996 Ranger XLT super cab 4x4 with a 4.0 and an auto.

The guy I bought it from told me that the 4x4 worked, but that it wouldn't disengage so he just unplugged the switch next to the radio. He also told me that it had a "new" shift motor (I know, I know).

Well, last night in my neck of the woods, we got about an inch of snow. I went home for lunch and when I went back to work I couldn't even get the truck back into the driveway for the parking lot (which is ridiculously steep)...

Me, being a dummy and having also never had an electric shift 4x4 before, backed up, pulled the trim panel off, plugged the switch back in, and flipped the switch. For some reason I also flipped the switch all the way to the right into 4LOW... It went in just fine and I got back into the lot, but the 4x4 light didn't come on.

When I left and got back onto the road I looked down and the 4x4 light was on, but I could definitely tell it was in 4 Low. I limped it back the 6 blocks to my house and started doing everything I could to get it back into 2wd. I flipped the switch and it didn't do anything. I tried it a bunch of times in neutral, I backed up and slammed on the brakes (which btw my adjusters also definitely work), I unplugged the switch, unplugged the motor, plugged them all back in. Nothing, still in 4 Low. I pulled the battery cables and let it sit for about 15 minutes then hooked them back up. When I did and tried the switch again something moved and the 4x4 light went out in the cluster, but it was still in 4 low.

I pulled down into my garage, unbolted the shift motor, put the trans in neutral and turned the nub back into 2wd with absolutely no problem whatsoever. It also turns out that this guy's "new" shift motor was a reman motor that looks like it survived a drop off of grand canyon minus the shiny "new" black paint and the "reman" stamped over that.
Also, the brown or tan wire that comes out of the t-case (which I have no idea what it does) was cut and "reattached" to the "new" motor by twisting the wire that it's supposedly supposed to go to to the cut end of the t-case wire.

What is the deal here? Am I doing something wrong with how I'm engaging or attempting to disengage the 4x4? Like is this something that's as simple as operator error? If not what is a good direction to start?
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Old 01-17-2015
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Freeport, ME
Posts: 2
I also have a 96 Ranger 4x4 with a 4.0 and auto. I used my 4 Low in snow and then manually unlocked the hubs and turned the switch to 2wd but the 4 HI and 4 Low lights never would go off -- had to limp home slowly 26 miles. I think the transfer case is still engaged? Did you ever figure out anything?
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Old 01-21-2015
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 5
This happened to me once and what I did to disengage the low range was this. I drove the truck to a nice hill. Before going down the hill ensure the swith is on 2wd start down the hill and put the transmission in neutral and coast to the bottom slow down and put the transmission back in gear. The transfer case should be back in 2wd. My tans is an aod. This process worked for me.
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