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Stuck in 4 high


Shadowranger

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2001 Ranger XLT 4.,0 extended cab (4 door) automatic trans. and electronic transfer case shift. (bought used, and have owned it 15 yrs. with no issues like this one)
Couple of days ago leaving the property needing 4 hi to get to the blacktop, shift back to 2WD and it stayed in 4 hi. After a couple of tries, going into reverse and a few switch moves, it went back to 2wd. Now it wants to stay in 4 hi...tried 4 low and it went back to 4 hi and there it stays.
It's a long drive to the mechanic, I do not have a lot of tools and tow trucks won't come down our road. Any ideas where to look? Thanks
 


RonD

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When you select a new position with the Dash switch do you hear the "click" from the 4x4CM(control module) that is located behind the passenger side kick panel

The 4x4CMs, 2001-2005 were a problem, and 2006-2011 models can't be used

If no "click" then check fuses 5, 11, and 19 in cab fuse box, these power the 4x4CM

If there is a "click" but no shifting then check fuse 13 in Engine Bay fuse box, this one powers the shift motor


You can remove the shift motor from transfer case and turn the shift rod manually to 2H(2WD), but it must be held in that position with visegrips and strap, because it will move when driving

This picture shows triangle shaped shift rod in 2WD position: https://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/images/rebuild_transfer_case_shift_motor/rebuilding_a_ford_transfer_case_shift_motor-2.JPG
 
Last edited:

Shadowranger

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Fuses are good...talked to my mechanic yesterday and he can't get to it yet and said they were having serious issues with getting parts.
It's that supply chain problem that doesnt go away here.
 

Shadowranger

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A couple of says ago I had to make a hard right dog leg turn going down a steep grade and the truck went back to 2WD and that is where the dash switch was pointed. I checked the transfer case and found it pretty low. Toppped it off and it wiil stay there until I can get to the shop before I try 4 Hi again.
Could that have been the issue?
 

RonD

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Most likely the bouncing around caused the shift motor to work again

But could be the shift rod inside transfer case was stuck and released
 

Shadowranger

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Thanks, Ron.
As I was typing last night's post I realized what a screw-up I did. I topped off the transfer case with gear oil having forgotten it should have been trans fluid.
Should I try to siphon it out or will a new shift motor installation allow it to be drained?
Sheesh..
 

RonD

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Shift motor removal doesn't expose oil inside

So you would need to drain it separately
 

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Thanks, Ron.
As I was typing last night's post I realized what a screw-up I did. I topped off the transfer case with gear oil having forgotten it should have been trans fluid.
Should I try to siphon it out or will a new shift motor installation allow it to be drained?
Sheesh..
The only way to be sure is to drain it all out. The transfer case doesn't take much to refill. A little over a quart. Plus, it doesn't hurt to have a little extra laying around to top off the transmission or power steering.
 

Shadowranger

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Thanks, guys. I'm going to try replacing the shift motor myself and saw on YT that the drain plug is behind the balance weight. It didn't look all that hard so as long as the bolts aren't rusted and they come loose...this truck was originally in Michigan or similar with salted roads so has a bit of rust here and there...
 

Kelvinf

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Thanks, guys. I'm going to try replacing the shift motor myself and saw on YT that the drain plug is behind the balance weight. It didn't look all that hard so as long as the bolts aren't rusted and they come loose...this truck was originally in Michigan or similar with salted roads so has a bit of rust here and there...
Our 98 Ford Explorer did the same thing a few weeks back except it was stuck in 4x4 low. I undid the battery for 30 minutes and let it reset, It came out of 4x4 low but would not change no matter where you turned the dial. We replaced the shift motor and it works like a charm again.
 

Shadowranger

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Cannot get the new Dorman trans. case motor shafts to line up. Dorman was no help, saying put it in neutral and they will line up which does not work...you tube people say connect the new motor's electric plug and move the dash switch to the desired setting which I will try next...
These things betray you--it was very easy to remove the old motor and the balance weight and drain the case. Now it's turned into cluster ....
 

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Can you move shaft on the transfer case or the mating part on the new motor manually? Without power to it!

If so, I'd move whichever is easier just to get it close. Then hold the motor onto the shaft and rotate as needed to make the bolt holes line up. Don't immediately try to drive afterwards but go shift it a couple times. If everything seems to work from there, then test it.
 

CamTheHedgehog

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Cannot get the new Dorman trans. case motor shafts to line up. Dorman was no help, saying put it in neutral and they will line up which does not work...you tube people say connect the new motor's electric plug and move the dash switch to the desired setting which I will try next...
These things betray you--it was very easy to remove the old motor and the balance weight and drain the case. Now it's turned into cluster ....
I tried replacing the motor on mine with a Dorman unit when it went bad. Massive headache and mistake. It fit on with some fiddling, but didn't turn far enough when installed to engage 4hi or 4lo.

Do yourself a favor, return it and buy the SKP from rock auto (what I did and it works great) or a reman'd unit.
 

CamTheHedgehog

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Can you move shaft on the transfer case or the mating part on the new motor manually? Without power to it!

If so, I'd move whichever is easier just to get it close. Then hold the motor onto the shaft and rotate as needed to make the bolt holes line up. Don't immediately try to drive afterwards but go shift it a couple times. If everything seems to work from there, then test it.
You can- that's what I did when I replaced mine after it got stuck in 4hi. There are arrows on the casting to show where to rotate the shaft to in order to engage or disengage. I just used a pair of vice grips to turn the shaft.
 

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