Electronic Shift on the Fly for 2004? - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 12-11-2015
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Electronic Shift on the Fly for 2004?

All right, this one is really bugging me. I am 100% positive my old '98 ranger was ESOF equipped. I am not sure if my 2004 FX4 Level 2 is or isn't.

This is important for me to figure out. During any normal off-road session, I usually come to a stop anyways before going from 4hi-2hi or vise-versa, HOWEVER, I recently discovered via self experience that my ranger is an instant slip-n-slide death trap the second it hits any ice above 40mph. Less than that speed and the effect isn't there, but any faster, and the truck simply throws the tail from the slightest attempt to accelerate (sometimes you don't even have to accelerate).

This is likely due to the live axles up front, which cause more resistance to the front wheels. This causes the truck to break free at any moment while on ice at higher speeds. I almost got into a wreck at 70mph on a crowded highway due to this, but luckily I was able to save it (after "drifting" past a few vehicles). I was quite ashamed for not knowing better and testing the road in the truck. It was relatively new to me, and I didn't know how it handled ice compared to the old 98 which had manual hubs. It was 9.9 on the pucker factor scale, needless to say. It continued to happen while I decelerated down and pulled off to the side to gather myself (lots of adrenaline!). Threw it in 4x4 and off I went over the ice like it wasn't even there.

What I am getting at is, I would rather not have to pull off the highway when I anticipate ice, but rather just be able to slow down and throw it in, and continue on my merry way. I am unsure if my '04 is a shift on the fly model because:

1.) The t-case chart listed over on TRS mentions the '04 BW1354 is "w/o shift on the fly".
2.) I attempted to shift out of 4hi to 2hi while on my first little offroad test for the truck, in dirt, and it make a hard loud slamming noise when I disengaged it. I have come to a stop for any t-case shift since then.
3.)Although the above 2 reasons point to it not being ESOF, the 2004 Ford Ranger Owners Manual says you are able to shift to/from 2hi to 4hi at any speed under 50mph, which is contradicting.

So WTF? Were certain 1354's not shift on the fly models, including mine? Or is there some whacky literature on the net (for this instance) and it was an odd coincidence that my gears slammed hard when disengaging from 4hi to 2hi while doing about 10mph in the dirt?
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Old 12-11-2015
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I think all Rangers with electric shift transfercases had shift on the fly, that was one of the selling points, and when they couldn't get Auto hubs to work long term they switched to Live axle to keep shift on the fly working.

FX4 Level II was more off road oriented, but unless it has manual shift transfercase it should also have shift on the fly.

Clunk could be a transfer case issue or front drive line issue, the transfercase "u-joint" for front axle did have issues
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Old 12-11-2015
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I would think so also, but am not willing to try it again until I am 100% sure! I have enough on my plate right now with the truck. I am about a week away from digging into it to do a superlift/coilover conversion, supercharger install, front Torsen, skylacker leafs, trail gear sliders, magnaflow exhaust etc.... I am going all out, and am pretty much broke in the fun department so I can't afford to break a t-case at the moment lol.

I find it odd that the chart over at TRS says it is w/o shift on the fly. Anyone else?
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