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99 XLT 4X4 not working

coopab

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I've been stuck in 2WD long enough but researching possible/probable causes of no 4x4 is frustrating.
  • I want to check fuses first but my owner's manual doesn't list anything mentioning 4wd
  • various threads mention 1,2, or 3 fuses. What does my truck have?
  • various threads place 4X4 control module behind passenger side kick panel
  • Others mention under one of the jump seats in supercab
  • Others seem to suggest it's in the dash behind the radio
  • which one is my 1999 XLT?
  • Possible vaccuum leak at the hub
  • shift motor rebuild or replace
  • dash mounted switch or push button (mine is the switch)
  • High range lights but not Lo
  • I can't hear any clicking but have poor hearing even with hearing aids
Well as you can see there's a lot to think about. I cleaned and checked the plug to the shift motor yesterday and now I'm going to try to get someone to help me get the truck up on four jackstands to observe from if anything is happening when I actuate the high range. (The light does come on but when I tested it there was no "scrubbing" when I made a slow sharp turn to the left or right,) Hope someone can help me identify which fuses to check (according to the numbers in the owner's manual fuse diagrams.

Edit: After further testing (and thinking) I've got more to report
  • I jacked the truck up and placed it on four jackstands to test the 4WD system
  • From 2WD to 4WD Hi I observed only one of the axles spinning (if memory serves me correctly it was driver's side)
  • After using the proper (Neutral with foot on brake) procedure I shifted into 4WD Lo and the light came on and there was a clunking sound
    but neither front axle was turning. In fact the rear wheels were also stationary.
  • Taking the truck down off the jackstands I took it for a spin in a cemetery across the street from where I live and tested the shifts between 2WD and 4WD Hi and Lo. The appropriate lights came on and there seems to be something happening but I cannot say that if felt like the 4WD was ever engaged.
  • In 2WD the truck performed as normal.

I guess this points to a problem either with my transfer case or perhaps the hubs.
 
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RonD

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1995 to 2000 Rangers have the 4WD module in the dash behind radio.

Good read here: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/4wd_control_module_95-up.html

Fuses are OK if lights are on and you can hear "clunk" when switching transfer case, the fact the lights change means the electric shift motor on transfer case is turning, the shift motor has contacts inside, when motor turns the contacts change position and that is what changes the lights on the dash, this is why there can be a slight delay from when you push the button, or turn the knob, and when the light changes.
And 4WD module is probably OK as well.

In 1998 Rangers got PVH(pulse vacuum hubs) up front, they were marginal when new, and failure prone after only a few years.

PVH info here: http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/troubleshoot-fix_pvh_hubs.shtml

You can just lock your front PVH hubs, like 2001 and up Ranges had: http://www.therangerstation.com/Magazine/Apr04/offroad.htm

To shift into 4Lo trans must be in neutral(not Park), speedo at 0mph, and your foot on the brake.

I think all your problems are Vacuum related, the PVH system.

You do have an OPEN differential in the front, this means only 1 wheel will get power, the easiest wheel to spin, so only one wheel spinning up front with all 4 wheels off the ground wouldn't be unusual.
The rear differential on 4X4s is usually Limited Slip, so both wheels get power.

With front wheels of the ground and 4High selected, in park or neutral, with engine idling(so you have vacuum), the front wheel should be locked to the axles by the PVH hubs, so if you spin a wheel its axle should move slightly and wheel shouldn't be able to spin
 
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SPSully

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is there a deifiniteve guide to these kinds of issues?
 

tpginmaine

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99 XLT follow up

Hi Ron (and others),

I have the 99 Ranger XLT 4x4 Off Road. I've never been quite sure that my 4x4 works & haven't had much chance to test it, BUT... According to the manual:
Shifting from 2WD to 4WD HIGH:
Move the 4WD control to the 4x4 HIGH position.
At temperatures below 0C (32F), shifts from2WD to 4x4 HIGH.

Really? That seems more than a little odd to me that a "4x4 Off Road" vehicle can't go into 4x4 unless the temperature is below freezing. It does NOT specify this for 4x4 LOW, but still??? Is that correct? If so, is it common with 4x4? I don't see any mention of this in any of the forums.

Thanks!
Todd
 

RonD

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I think you are missing part of that sentence:

At temperatures below 32F, shifts from 2H (4x2) to 4H (4x4 High) should not be performed above 45 mph

And key words are "should not", so a warning not a mechanical issue, and "can not" be done.
Assuming water is freezing at these temps and you are moving, shifting to 4WD can change traction suddenly, that happening above 45mph, could cause some drivers to react poorly and go into a slide.
It could happen under 45mph as well it just gives the driver more time to think about the change in traction before doing something stupid.
 
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tpginmaine

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Wow! Well that's embarrassing. This is sooooo obvious now. I read it as if there were a period after the word HIGH.
Thanks Ron!
p.s. Maybe tonight's snow will let me really try it out tomorrow.
 

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