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Drivetrain Tech General discussion of drivetrain for the Ford Ranger.

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Old 03-26-2008
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HELP ME! 4X4 question.

Alright guys. I have posted my problem on RPS plenty of times, and have not received a SINGLE answer. I have spent hundreds of dollars on just diagnosing, and people telling me stuff that I've tested, and even had some parts replaced, and I STILL HAVE THE PROBLEM!

Here it is: My Ranger has manual locking hubs, and the stock push button four wheel drive transfer case. When my hubs are locked, and my truck is turned on, and I press the button, I hear the four wheel drive module behind my drivers side jump seat make some kind of noise like it is engaging the four wheel drive, but the lights on the dash do not come on, and the truck does not engage. About 10 seconds later, the little red light on the top of the module goes out, and then I have to reset it. I have taken the truck to my mechanic, who had taken off my dash, and checked the wiring to the switch, and said everything was fine, yet he says nothing is wrong with the module itself because it is engaging normally. Nothing else is wrong with the truck. It drives fine in 2WD and in 4X4 (when engaged), and doesn't make any odd noises. I am at a complete and utter loss. The only thing I can think of is that the transfer case finally gave up after 16 years, and 180,000 miles. Is there ANY way I can test it to see if it truly is the TC itself? If it is, is it worth the effort to even replace it, or just swap to a manual transfer case?

I would REALLY appreciate an answer, or even ANY type of guidance, criticism, trash talking, brutal internet maiming, suggestions, tips, tricks, and even a link to some kind of other article, thread, website pertaining to a problem exactly, similar, or not even close to the one I am having. I have searched this site, ORR, RPS, and even GOOGLE and I can't seem to get ANY hits.
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Old 03-26-2008
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Well, i honestly have no idea whatsoever, but if i were in your shoes i would swap in the auto hubs if you still have them and then try to see if anything changes....that may have nothin to do with the problem, but if i were in your shoes an had no clue what was wrong.., i mean it couldnt hurt; it would eliminate the hubs as the source of the problem
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Old 03-26-2008
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I don't have the auto hubs as I bought the truck with the manual hubs. I haven't considered the hubs to be a problem, as thus far I have no had any with them. I will price out some auto hubs at the local junk yards, though, and maybe see if this is my problem. I would prefer auto hubs anyway as the only time I ever put it in four wheel drive is if I am driving on icy hills.
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Old 03-26-2008
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You could do a manuel t-case to go along with the manuel hubs and it probably would solve ur problems. I think i would better to swap back to auto hubs first since it seems you would rather have the auto 4x4. Has the 4x4 ever worked since you got it?
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Old 03-26-2008
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First thing I would verify if the transfer case is actually locking in. Put it 4wd and wait for the clunk then get under the truck and see if you can turn the front driveshaft by hand. If not you transfer case is probably locked in and the problem is either the hubs or front axle. If you can turn it freely then its not locking in and I would pull the shift motor on the back of the transfer case and see if the motor is locked up(most likely problem). If its not locked up I would make sure its getting power to shift it. (not sure what wires, probably have to refer to a wiring diagrahm)
John
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Old 03-26-2008
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Your hubs most likely arent the issue, it's probably the electronic t-case shift motor. Take a look at this article on how to remove it and take it apart and clean it up, there are other articles about it too. You could also just buy a new shift motor but cleaning it is normally a cheaper method.

http://www.therangerstation.com/tech...shiftmotor.htm
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Old 03-27-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackhawk View Post
You could do a manuel t-case to go along with the manuel hubs and it probably would solve ur problems. I think i would better to swap back to auto hubs first since it seems you would rather have the auto 4x4. Has the 4x4 ever worked since you got it?
I'd like to have a manual transfer case with auto hubs like my Dodge, but I wouldn't mind not having to tear into the truck yet for that until I get a manual transmission as well. And yes, the four wheel drive has worked.

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Originally Posted by wvcat View Post
First thing I would verify if the transfer case is actually locking in. Put it 4wd and wait for the clunk then get under the truck and see if you can turn the front driveshaft by hand. If not you transfer case is probably locked in and the problem is either the hubs or front axle. If you can turn it freely then its not locking in and I would pull the shift motor on the back of the transfer case and see if the motor is locked up(most likely problem). If its not locked up I would make sure its getting power to shift it. (not sure what wires, probably have to refer to a wiring diagrahm)
John
Thanks. I will try and do this. I should have probably pointed out, though, that even after I press the button, the lights for four wheel drive do not come on. So I think that means it's not on :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TireIron View Post
Your hubs most likely arent the issue, it's probably the electronic t-case shift motor. Take a look at this article on how to remove it and take it apart and clean it up, there are other articles about it too. You could also just buy a new shift motor but cleaning it is normally a cheaper method.

http://www.therangerstation.com/tech...shiftmotor.htm
Thanks TireIron. I'll try this out as well!

THANK YOU EVERYBODY FOR AT LEAST ANSWERING MY QUESTION! Hopefully I can figure this out without spending a whole lot of money.
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Old 03-27-2008
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I too, think it's your shift motor.


Looky here: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=123542
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Old 03-27-2008
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When you pull the shift motor you will see a **** to shift in manually. Try to shift it and drive the truck a bit see if you have 4wd. I would hate to see your problem be inside the case.
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Old 03-28-2008
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Yea, these cases are pretty indestructable without any HUGE tires and power upgrades. The only thing I've really seen happen to them in the chain inside can break but thats very uncommon.

If you're not getting any lights at all when you use the buttons then it could be your t-case shift module also which is inside the cab. I never really paid much attention to where it is because I've never needed to deal with one (manual t-case). Sometimes these go bad, sometimes they just need to be reset. There is most likely also a fuse for the system so you can check for that. But do a little searching here and on www.therangerstation.com for the shift motor module and there is plenty of info about where it is and how to check it and reset it.
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Old 03-29-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wvcat View Post
First thing I would verify if the transfer case is actually locking in. Put it 4wd and wait for the clunk then get under the truck and see if you can turn the front driveshaft by hand. If not you transfer case is probably locked in and the problem is either the hubs or front axle. If you can turn it freely then its not locking in and I would pull the shift motor on the back of the transfer case and see if the motor is locked up(most likely problem). If its not locked up I would make sure its getting power to shift it. (not sure what wires, probably have to refer to a wiring diagrahm)
John
X2

Just because the lights aren't on doesn't mean it is engaged. I once had my lights come on and it wasn't engaged. Don't trust the lights. Get under there and turn that driveshaft. Try turning the front axle by hand also. If you can turn them then take out the shift motor. A lot of the time it is just dirty and can be cleaned up and put back in.
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Old 04-12-2008
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Alright guys, so I got a chance to get under the truck today to look things over. First of all, I must say, the height of the truck sucks. I had to crawl under there without my little back cart because of the frame and stuff. So a lift is definitely coming soon.

Someone said that I should try to turn the front drive shaft, which I did. With the hubs unlocked, it turned freely, but only one of the knuckles on the front to the tires would turn. Is this normal? Anyway, with the hubs LOCKED it only turns maybe half and inch to either side.

I then checked all the wiring underneath to see if there were any cuts, and it looks like everything is in order. I was going to do a power test, but my tester is broken, so that's yet one more thing to fix.

I have been reading through some of the threads that were posted in this one, and honestly, I am extremely lost. And of course, the Chiltons doesn't tell me anything about the four wheel drive system, so I am still pretty lost.

I did schedule an appointment at my local Ford dealer. I hate to drop any more money into this deal, but I really need to figure out what's wrong. Even if I have to replace the parts myself, at least I'll be able to say "Yup, that's the problem" rather then relying on maybe's and could be's.

I really appreciate the help, guys. I am going to do some more work on the truck.

Also, I know just because the lights aren't on doesn't mean the four wheel drive isn't engaged. I did the only test that could possibly confirm it: Trying to climb a steep hill that had a solid sheen of ice on it. Hubs were locked. But it still failed to make it. And the little black box behind the jump seat would shut itself off (according to the little red light on top).
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2010
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Im having the exact same problem did you figure out what was wrong? ...i can hear clicking like it wants to engage but doesnt
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Old 11-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpwillix View Post
Im having the exact same problem did you figure out what was wrong? ...i can hear clicking like it wants to engage but doesnt
This thread is 2 years old bro...


GB :)
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Old 11-28-2010
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LOL.

I don't think Jimmeh even drives a Ranger anymore either.

Maybe somebody will chime in with an answer though.
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  #16  
Old 11-28-2010
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on the bright side at least he used the search button
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