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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 08-24-2012
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4x4 Troubleshooting

Hi all, first time here to the forums.

I have a 99 XLT 3.0L 4x4 and I am pretty certain that my 4x4 is not working. I have searched the net for various help on diagnosis but still I can't figure out the problem.

I'll start from the top here... When I switch the truck to 4x4 hi via the switch on the dash.
Everything seems to work perfectly.. the light on the dash switches to 4x4 and I can hear the actuator clicking to the next position underneath the truck. I have even removed it completely and tested to make sure its working and it definately is. However the 4x4 still does not seem to work. I have tried mashing the gas in the snow to see if I could see spin marks but the truck still moves with just two wheels so that isn't helpful. I also tried putting it in 4x4 and making sharp turns.. as of yet I haven't had it "hop" on me. Which makes me believe is not working.. Also last winter I got stuck in my driveway with only a tiny notebook size stack of snow on the ground while my truck bed was full of wood.
So this also makes me believe that the 4x4 is in fact not working..

I suppose my question is how do I go about fixing it now...? I haven't ever done 4x4 repair, though I am not exactly a stranger to mechanics. I'd like to zero in on the most probably cause of the issue and try fixing that.. I don't have alot of money and this is my only vehicle.. so if I have to take something apart (which i'm sure i will) i need to be able to wax it all out in a single day.

Thanx for any help you guys can offer me
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Old 08-24-2012
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Check all the visible linkages up front. Make sure the driveshaft is spinning when the 4x4 is engaged and if it is, the problem may be in the front diff.

I'm not a 4x4 owner but thats all I can think of. Someone will come along who knows things.
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Old 08-24-2012
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Thanks for the suggestion.. would the truck need to be moving for the driveshaft to be spinning?
atm i got no jack/lift to pick it up off the ground.
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Old 08-24-2012
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check the vacuum lines running to your front hubs. Also a sure fire check for the motor is turn it to low range. If it goes into low its not the t case or the shift motor.
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Old 08-24-2012
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There is a Vacuum switch of sorts on top of the passenger side frame rail.
You should disconnect the main line and connect it to one of the wheels directly to see if that locks it in.

It is most likely a vacuum issue.
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Old 08-24-2012
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On pvh trucks you need to use a hand vacuum pump and check leak down of the knuckles. Before you digging anywhere else. Typically the seals leak air where the half shaft passes into the wheel bearing.

Honestly buy the manual hub conversion by AVM, Tellico or Milemarker. They are all made by AVM so find the best price.
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Old 08-24-2012
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I had it in 4-low during my driveway stickery and it didn't change anything.. it did switch over clicking and light etc..but no change in mobility. It was truly sad.. a 4x4 truck stuck in virtualy no snow with big tires, good tread and yet my gf's volkswagon(sp) drives through it and more. I'll have to go get the repair manual for this and take a look at the vaccum hoses as suggested. Thanx for help guys.. i'll post back when I have an update.
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