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How to: Rebuild 4X4 Shift Motor

Discussion in 'Transmissions & Transfer Cases' started by Brain, December 20, 2004.


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    1. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      Gee! and this thread is about rebuilding the SHIFT MOTOR???? Get a clue guys... start new threads and someone will notice! (sorry - just a pet peeve.. post in appropriate places if you want someone to answer you.... post in a thread (or make one) about what it is you are asking about!)

      hint: new thread... "Cleaning Auto Hubs"... post your Q there and the answers will come rolling in.. here you will get zero because anyone reading the title assumes (correctly) that this thread is about the shift motor rebuild, NOT AUTO HUBS!!! (or raising an Explorer!)
       
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    3. TPLYNCH

      TPLYNCH Well-Known Member

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      (step onto soapbox)

      Search for How Auto Hubs work. There are probably 500 posts about how hubs work, how to clean, how to replace, etc. How do you know the hubs are not working? You sure the t/fcase is working? What tests have you run? Research your issue, follow the diagnostics that have been written up, read thru all the info on the Singleton Maintenance site, and if after doing all that has been described you still can't get your 4x4 to work, then post a new thread.

      (step off of soap box)
       
    4. EMG7895

      EMG7895 Well-Known Member

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      I just finished fixing mine and heres some things that helped:
      1.Instead of marking the gear that turns the shifter, I installed the shift motor on the case without the gear, after everything was tightened i just pushed the gear into the proper spot.

      2.The pins in the wiring harness are extremely easy to remove with a paper clip. Just unfold a small paper clip and using very small needle nose pliers make a small hook on the end, then pull out the red piece in the connecter. After that you use a very small screwdriver to release each pin and pull it out the back.

      3.When I had the motor taken apart I hooked it up to a battery and cycled it back and forth without the gear while adding oil, to lube and free up eveything.

      4.The lightbulb that illuminates the 4x4 buttons on the dash(when tha headlights are on) can be replaced by pulling out the vent and buttons and removing the white plug on the back.

      5.4x4/low range can be engaged without the engine running.

      Maybe later if I have a chance I will post the wiring/computer tests and wiring harness pinouts.
       
    5. TooL

      TooL New Member

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      This is a GREAT thread!

      Now.. where can i get the plastic gasket? Should I just use a rubber vacuum hose thats used for air? Fish tank line cut? The ford dealership did not help me at all (non servicable part, pfft), napa helped me out and gave me a piece of vacuum hose to try out for free (<3 napa). Mine was dry and cracked (fell off in 2 pieces before I did anything, when I picked it up it broke apart even more).

      Its this gasket im talking aobut:
      [​IMG]
       
    6. EMG7895

      EMG7895 Well-Known Member

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      When i took mine apart and it was completely gone, i just used a piece of vacum hose. Read my post above for some things that helped me.(I had it on and off the truck 4 times)
       
    7. 99stocksport

      99stocksport Active Member

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      im not sure if this question has been asked yet, but how to you get the screws out with those little pins?
       
    8. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      Those screws are called tamper proof torx, and you can get bits to fit them at most auto parts, Sears, Snap On, etc. They are standard torx bits that have a hole drilled in the center of the bit to make them supposedly tamper proof - except that anyone can buy the bits these days. :D


      http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/tools.asp?tool=all&Group_ID=159&store=snapon-store

      http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/tools.asp?tool=all&Group_ID=13238&store=snapon-store

      http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item...8&group_ID=716&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog
       
    9. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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    10. shak

      shak New Member

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      Shift Motor Rebuild

      This is a great thread...thanks Brain...you spent a lot of time and effort with the pix and write-up...and it sure helped me a bunch...here's a few things I experienced as an amateur:
      1. The three Tamper-proof torx screw heads on the gear reduction/controller end of the shift motor assembly broke off...leaving me with a drill and easy out procedure...which I promptly screwed up by not correctly center punching the remainder of the screw buried in the housing...bad deal...busted the casting in the screw holes to the outside...recovered nicely with epoxy though...the screws must be held with lock-tite...wonder if mild heat applied to the outside of the housing along the screw area would help before attempting to turn them.
      2. The Match mark procedure described and emphasized several times in your write-up bears repeating again...It is a must do!
      3. More Grease is not better...I used moderate amount of lithium on all bearing points and it worked fine. Taking a little extra time here is a good idea, as is keeping the grease away from the electrical contact side of the big gear and the inside of the cover. If you "over-grease" the motor shaft and the teeth on the big gear...it will eventually leech onto the electrical contact surface of the assembly.
      4. After getting it all back together and installed...it was still stuck in 4-wheel high...as it had been before I started...my heart sunk! In neutral it would shift into 4-wheel low and back out again with no trouble. The 4-wheel low light on the dash would come on and go off and the controller was clicking...but nothing from the 4-wheel high button push attempts, except a steady light on the button and it was still in 4-wheel high of course. I removed the button assembly from the dash with a small screw driver...it comes right out. Guess what? The housing on the back of the button assembly at the top of the connector had popped off in a manner that allowed contact for the "4-wheel Low" button but not the "4-wheel High" button. My Daughter admitted that she started pushing the button progessively harder in an attempt to disengage the 4-wheel drive...eventually her efforts resulted in the "disconnect". Snapped the connector back on the button assembly and all was right with the world again...Wow...was I a happy camper!
      5. For those who cut the brown wire and use a butt connector..(cut it half way between motor and transfer case housing). My stripper was set to 12 Gauge and that worked. Installed the butt connector on the brown wire at the motor end first... while on the bench and slipped a 4" piece of shrink tubing over it...then once the motor was back in...crimped the connection to the other end and slid the shrink tubing over the connector and shrunk it with a Bic lighter.
       
    11. zensius

      zensius Elite Explorer

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      Here's what I just learned. When you re-assemble the motor make sure you line up the nicks in the motor case. There's one for the magnet tube to the brush base and another on the end cover. They are very small but there for a reason. Not lining those up will bind the motor and prevent it from turning. I learned that the hard way. Silicone was hiding them.
      Also, don't use fuel line to replace the bushing. It's too large and won't allow the gear to rotate far enough to put the whole apparatus back on the transfer case.
      All that said. It took me about three hours. That's three removals and three installs. Thanks for all the help on this thread guys.
       
    12. omegaman2

      omegaman2 New Member

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      Just got done repairing the transfercase motor and it works great! Who would have thought! I had no lights on the dash so I thought switch or computer but is was that bushing. I replaced it with some vac hose and cleaned up the comutator bars on the armature with Crocus Cloth. Thanks a lot guys
       
    13. GorG

      GorG New Member

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      i have a question i did everything you guys said and i finally have my 4h which i was so happy when i saw the little red light go on but when i pushed 4L i got nothing any idea on what i did wrong thanks for the input
       
    14. LBarr2002

      LBarr2002 Well-Known Member

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      are you sure it was in neutral?
       

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    15. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      In order to switch into 4L you must first already be in 4H. The tranny must be in neutral & speed <3mph before pushing the 4x4 low button..
       
    16. 410Fortune

      410Fortune ELITE BRONCO2ERER Moderator Emeritus

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      or if 5 speed, clutch depressed.
       
    17. GorG

      GorG New Member

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      410..... I LOVE YOU :p my god i didn't know my clutch had to be depressed in order to get into 4L Thanks a million for the input guys you helped me big time just out of curiousity this is off topic but if i was wanting to climb over obsticles starting at 0 kmh would i use 4l for 4h, see i've never had a truck before and for that matter 4 x4 just wondering when you use 4h and when you use 4L once again i'm sorry that this is off topic.
       
    18. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      I was going to write it up but found this link that explained if very well.
      Using 4H and 4L
       
    19. GorG

      GorG New Member

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      Thanks a million once a gain
       
    20. cdn3700

      cdn3700 New Member

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      Please Help Im in trouble

      :exp: I think I am in trouble because when I took out the motor and fixed it I got it out of time and my frontend and back end are locking up and I think I broke something. If you can will you please help me someone. In christ I pray , God Bless You All, Charles Norman
       
    21. SVO

      SVO Moderator Emeritus/Doctor Moderator Emeritus

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      Chris I think this should be a sticky! ;)





      Jeff - :navajo:
       
    22. jgarcea

      jgarcea New Member

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      Would this apply to a 95 Eddie Bauer?
       
    23. jgarcea

      jgarcea New Member

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      I took a look at my 4X4 issue and low and behold the problem was with a plugged vacuum line.
       
    24. BLAIR

      BLAIR New Member

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      You are the man! I had no where to turn other than to try to replace my 93' Explorer transfer case switch motor until I stumbled across your article. Your explanations ROCK. I was able to follow the instructions without a hitch. I did not have to remove the weighted balance which saved me alot of time. Your instructions were so easy to follow my mother could have done it. Thank you so very much for providing so much detail and as you know a picture is worth a thousand words. Total cost was $5 for the T-20 bit and Northern Auto in International Falls had the bit and threw in the rubber hose. So for $5.90 the problem was resolved. Thanks you again for providing such detailed information and illustrations which will able the average Joe to be able to fix this problem for next to nothing. Thanks again and keep up the good work.
       
    25. cdn3700

      cdn3700 New Member

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      Blair or Brain I did everything you said in your blog and it still doesn,t work. I made sure it would turn but it is still locked up in the transfercase. The switch messed up last winter and I took it the ford garage and they hit it with a hammer and it started working and ran fine. This year I got into it and it stop working and I marked the position and put it back in like you said and I cleaned and oiled the shaft and tried the motor before I put it back in but it still locks something in the wheels. Any reason why the wheels would lock up and by the way I have a 1988 full size Bronco 4x4. cdn3700@yahoo.com and users name for yahoo messenger is cdn3700 or windows messenger is cdn3001. Thanks and Merry Christmas everyone and God Bless Charles Norman
       
    26. glfredrick

      glfredrick Well-Known Member

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      If something is locking the wheels, it is probably not related to the shift motor on the transfer case. More likely a broken chain inside the t-case.

      Also, "hitting" the shift motor is a rather common way of attempting to fix it... I do not recommend that practice. The magnets break very easily inside the motor housing, and once they do, chunks fall against the shift motor armature and that is the end of the motor.
       

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