97' Ranger 4x4 does not engage. - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-04-2011
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97' Ranger 4x4 does not engage.

I have a 97' ranger. When I use the switch to select 4xhi or 4xlo it will eventually light up on the dash as if it has engaged. It is not. Then it will take a few minutes for the 4x display to shut off. I have heard the 4x4 click and make light grinding noises a few times, but the front wheels are not spinning. The front end was apart recently since my buddy and I installed new ball joints and grease able u-joints. All the parts on the hub are fine. It is the second time I have had them apart. I have yet to try tapping on the motor with a hammer. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I could do. Also I am the third owner of the truck. The woman who I bought it from had never used the 4x. Could anything have seized up due to lack of use? Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-04-2011
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im gonna say the motor is frozen seeing how you said the PO never used the 4x4
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Old 12-04-2011
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If it is frozen is there any way to "thaw" it out?
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Old 12-04-2011
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just tap it with a hammer while you have a helper shift it into 4wd...that should free it up
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Old 12-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97fr4x4 View Post
If it is frozen is there any way to "thaw" it out?
Smack it with a hammer.
But make sure you know what your smacking. The shift motor is on the back of the trasnfer case, so you'll be under the cab somewhat. Just tap on it a few times and if that doesn't work, then go buy a new one. If i remember correctly they aren't all that expensive and you can get them from the parts store.
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Old 12-04-2011
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Thats what I thought. Thanks for your input. I will give it a try and post the results. Thanks again!
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Old 12-04-2011
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you say you hear grinding. So the motor must be moving the gears. Do you have auto locking hubs? If so, I can pretty much 110% guarantee they arent working.
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Old 12-04-2011
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Pull the shift motor from the transfer case. You should see a plastic or rubber bushing on the inside pin of the motor that engages the transfer case selector. I found mine was broken and jammed the motor from engaging the transfer case I just removed the broken pieces and reinstalled. If you are hearing a grinding or whining when you are driving and a clunk when the 4x4 indicator light turns off it is your auto hubs.
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Old 12-05-2011
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Easiest way to check the hubs it to pull them off, and spin the inside of the hub with your finger. should be smooth and everything should stay inside the hub when you hold it upside down.
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