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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. The_Commodore

      The_Commodore New Member

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      I have been trying to do thos repair today. How the hell do you unscrew the Torx screws? That little pin wont let me get the bit into the screw. Is there supposed to be a little hole in my Torx bit to get around this?
       
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    3. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      You need a torx #20 security bit (has a hole in the middle for the pin to fit ;) ) This info is found at the end of the 1st post in this thread..You can pick them up a sears for $5-$20 depending on the # of bits in the kit..
       
    4. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Moderator & long time member. Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    5. shadetree24

      shadetree24 New Member

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      4x4 wont disengage

      Hi all
      New to the board Found it while trying to find info about my ranger problem.
      My 1993 ford ranger is stuck in 4 wheel low. It has been acting up for a while, but now its stuck in 4 wheel low and wont come out.
      4 wheel high has always worked fine, but for some time, the truck has be hard to get to switch into 4 wheel low now it wont come out of 4 wheel drive.
      The lights are lighted up on the dash, so I guess theres is power to everything.
      So if you could give me some direction on what I should check first, I would greatly appreicate it.
      Thanks in advance and this is a great thread, I already have learned alot.
      Thanks again Shadetree
       
    6. pharmer1

      pharmer1 New Member

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      Thanks for the tip.

      I was looking at replacing the transfer case shift motor and decided to do a bit of research here.

      This tip did the trick: "It has been said that tapping or hitting the shift motor will sometimes get it to engage if it is stuck in a position. This may work (it's probably worth a try), but don't hit it too hard or you might be looking at $300 to get a replacement."

      Started the car and had my kid push the 4x4 botton while I gently tapped with a hammer and "click" it engaged. A 5 minute fix including research.

      Thanks a bunch!
       
    7. canadaxlt

      canadaxlt New Member

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      4x4 problem

      i got a 95 xlt control trac, when i switch from auto to 4x4 high all it does is makes a click noise in the front right fender, but when i put in 4x4 low it makes a sound like it went into 4x4 low, but ut aint turning the front wheels, and the dash lights for both do come on when i engage it
       
      Last edited: August 23, 2006
    8. canadaxlt

      canadaxlt New Member

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      and i tryed tapping the shift motor
       
    9. nototim

      nototim New Member

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      My '97 XLT Sport is in the shop right now becuase the 4WD and 4WD Low indicator lights flash 6 times every couple of minutes. I always run in 4WD Auto. I was informed that the transfer case shift motor needs to be replaced. They will need to order the part at $418 :eek:

      Basically they are doing one of the Ford Service Bulletins which says to replace the speed sensors (front/rear) and shift motor. I came across this site doing a search for a better price on the motor. So now I'm pretty sure that I'm going to hold off on any repair by them (an additional trans pan leak brings total to ~$1000). I asssume there's no harm if I have them leave as is and attempt to repair it this weekend. I'm not sure if the vehicle is running in 4x2 or 4x4.

      I just want to make sure that the 4WD lights flashing 6 times every few minutes is indicative of similar problem. I read through all 6 pages of this thread and didn't notice anything described the same way.
       
    10. Stone-ok

      Stone-ok New Member

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      Will the instructions for the shift motor rebuild be fairly similar when rebuilding one on a 2001 Sport Trac? Nothing happens when I switch to anything other than 2wd (no light change, no clicking, nothing). Before the 4wd went completely out, there was a 'pinging' sound coming from engine/drive shaft area - which quit when I switched to 4x4 H. I now hear the same sound (worse now though) since the motor will not switch. Could this be related to the motor going out, or is it possibly just coincidental? I not really sure that the motor has gone out, could also be switch - but seeing that it is this common of a problem, I'm thinking that i may be the case.

      This is a great thread, and I really appreciate the time taken to research it and post it. Thanks again.

      Stone-ok
       
    11. EMG7895

      EMG7895 Well-Known Member

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      For future reference, if this method works for you it would be a good idea to cycle the case through all of the modes a few times to free everything up.
       
    12. canadaxlt

      canadaxlt New Member

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      4x4 problems

      i was wondering about my explorer, should the front drive shaft turn all the time? even in 2wd? but when i put the thruck up in the air and turn the front drive shaft with my hand the front wheels dont turn. it has auto hubs. what could the problem be? would the shift motor have anything to do with this? when i shift it to 4 high it dosnt do anything, but when i put it in 4 low the you can hear the shft motor turn............confused, any help would be really great! :thumbsup:
       
    13. Mr. Rogers

      Mr. Rogers New Member

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      Thank You

      I have never fixed anything on an automobile ever...that is until today. In a few short hours (well actually ~5 hrs.), using nothing more than the information contained in this website, I was able to diagnose the likely source of my inoperable 4x4 switch, test to confirm the source of the problem and then complete the repair. I feel compelled to thank you folks for my success today. I truly could not have done it without you.

      Now that I am done blowing smoke up your ass I must ask a few questions.

      1) Has anyone tested the comment I recall somewhere in the thread that the simple act of disconnecting the battery may have enabled the control module to correct itself? I did not do this and I am left to wonder if my repair may have been overkill. I mean, the bushing around the screw on the backside of the gear in the shift motor I had was compressed exactly how it was in the tutorial picture and yes, the commutators were a bit dirty, but I am just having a hard time believeing that such minor things could cause the unit to stop functioning. Especially when you consider that people using hose pieces as replacement bushings that differ in diameter by as much as 1/16 of an inch, which is about the same amount the original bushing was compressed anyway, can all achieve a sucessful repair.

      2)I ran the test suggested by Richard F. which confirmed the shift motor assembly was the likely problem. Seems to me this valuable piece of potentially time saving information would be better off at the beginning of Brain's tutorial, don't you think?
       
    14. shrek2much

      shrek2much New Member

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      where goes the mark ?

      MAKE A MATCHMARK BETWEEN THE GEAR HOUSING AND THE HOUSING COVER SO YOU CAN GET IT REALIGNED PROPERLY!!

      first sorry guys "newbie here" I am confused, where exactly does this mark on the housing and cover go?

      second my 4x4h indicator light stays on, I push the botton like i'm suppose to and what it does is the light goes out 10 seconds or so then it comes on again even while driving over 35mph it does not apear to be locked in to gear however I believe it remains in 4x4wd, it does not engage into 4l or 4h any ideas ? feel free to chime in here

      3rd I have read and understand basicly all about the infamous brown wire my question is will this bypass the 4x4 indicator switches or are they still functional and necessary after installing the switch control onto the dash b/w?
       

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    15. shrek2much

      shrek2much New Member

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      where goes the mark ?

      common you little grease monkeys any help would be nice :monkey:
       
      Last edited: September 2, 2006
    16. shrek2much

      shrek2much New Member

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      I have since been underneath my car with some good "ol" gray tape and placed it on my drive shafts to see if they were both turning while the 4x4 indicator light was on and they both are spinning, will it hurt my truck to drive it this way going at high speeds beyond 35mph? have to drive it this way no choice for us, just hope I can get some help here from you nice people here before I am forced to take it to a "loco" shop :D
       
    17. shrek2much

      shrek2much New Member

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      Last edited: September 5, 2006
    18. DeRocha

      DeRocha NEX Vice President Elite Explorer Moderator Emeritus

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      Well its kinda hard to help when my e-mail notification arrived several hours after your initial post... Anyway the marks are made on the cover (with the torx security screws) and the case its mounted too. Therefore when you remove the cover you can install it in its original postion.. Newer style shift motors don't have this problem as they have mounting tabs...

      I have posted a reply to your similiar question in the thread 4x4 won't disengage
       
    19. Josiah

      Josiah New Member

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      I own a 2004 F150 on 37" Mud Grapplers. I googled and this thread came up after many false ones. Great writeup, I admire your enthusiasm to save money. I've done all the work on my truck myself to save cash and to learn a thing or two, wouldn't change it for the world. Anyways, I've snapped my steering rack and now my tcase is acting up. It disengages the front driveshaft when under load. It can be a slight incline and it will pop out of 4wd, it's terrible. I know it's the tcase, the switch or the shift motor, which does it sound like to you? Does it sound like the shift motor is not engaging all the way and therefore popping out when under load? I am planning on changing out my tcase motor or opening it up to work on it like you've demonstrated. I could remove it and manually shift it into 4wd low and see if it pops out, can you point out exactly where I mark with the sharpie for keypoints when reassembling. Thanks for your advice, great community. Nobody in the newer body style F150 world knows too much about the innerworkings of our trucks so I have to go elsewhere. We too have a borgwarner tcase and the shift motor is identical to the pictured one above. Once again thanks and here are some pics of my truck.

      I am going to try the tapping the motor trick and see what happens. By the way, the 4wd hi or low indicator light stays lit even when it pops out under load so another question would be...does the shift motor control the indicator lights on the dash and how exact is it (as maybe it's not engaging all the way).

      [​IMG]
      [​IMG]

      Here is a video of a trailride: http://media.putfile.com/frankraines
       
    20. Ostereo

      Ostereo New Member

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      Count me in too!!

      Here's another tip of the hat to this great site and thread!

      I just did the rehab on my motor and sure enough the plastic ring was all crushed on mine too. A trip to the hardware store and $2.29 for some 1/4" ID 3/8" OD vinyl tubing and I'm finally able to use the 4WD in my 1993 XLT.

      I'll join in the cursing too for those darn cover screws. All 3 of mine sheared off after deforming the T-20 bit. I wound up tapping new holes in the bosses. The broken screws were bad ebough, but when I broke off a drill in one on the redrill and then broke off the easy out in the second, that really blew. FWIW, if you break the heads off, just go straight to drilling out the old screws with a nice new cobalt tipped bit and tap out the holes for oversize screws, which I'd advise to be Allen heads with washers.

      Also, NEVER use a small easy out. Like someone said earlier, if the small bolt or screw head breaks off, why would a bit half the size loosen it? And a broken piece of 10x harder tool steel in there just made the job 10x worse.
      Drill the screw out and tap it before it gets really messy!
       
      Last edited: October 9, 2006
    21. Erik Larsen

      Erik Larsen New Member

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      Shift motor

      I last logged on in March when I noticed that the dash 4WD switch wasn't engaging the 4WD. I looked at your rebuild paper and then let it go.
      Well, I'm heading to Arizona in a few weeks and broke down and took the truck in to service to have it fixed.
      The mechanic bought a new shift motor from the dealer and installed it. It didn't work!
      So, he bought a control module, installed it, and then it did work.
      I got out of there with over a $600.00 bill and the old shift motor.
      I took the switch cover off and everything looks new inside (including the plastic adaptor for the switch shaft). I put the cover back on and located it in the same rotational position as before.
      Can I apply 12 VDC across the red and yellow wires to test the motor, or will that motion do something to the switch?
      In any case, is anyone interested in buying the shift motor?
      Erik.
       
    22. miozub

      miozub New Member

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      stuck transfer case

      Hi everybody. I am new to the forum since I realized that my 4x4 (and low range) didn't work. I read quite a few transfer case motor rebuilt instructions and did my best to follow them. After having a few hick-ups rebuilding the motor I finally made it. When I was installing the motor back in, I noticed that I needed to turn the transfer case shaft (the one that normally points to 2H) just slightly counterclockwise (maybe 10 deg or so) in order to re-install the motor. I put everything back in and turned the key on. It turned the 4x4 light right away. I didn't even try running it since the vehicle's rear was on the ramps and front on the ground. I immediatelly took the transfer case motor off to and tried to turn the transfer case shaft with pliers. Somehow, I turned it towards 4L and then realised that I can only turn it between 4L and about 90 degrees clockwise from there. If I try turning more, I am fighting a strong spring that I can't win against.
      If I leave it in 4L the vehicle is always in 4L. If I turn it by 90 deg clockwise from (which is so easy I can do it by hand) then the transfer case doesn't even engage the rear end drive shaft (all gear positions feel like neutral).
      So, my big question is: "MY TRANSFER CASE SEEMS TO BE STUCK IN 4L. HOW DO I GET IT OUT OF THERE?"
       
    23. Big Red

      Big Red Active Member

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      Make sure your in Neutral and in 4x4 when you are trying to engage the 4x4L. I had the same probelem and it was fixed just by stopping and putting it in Neutral for 4x4L.
       
    24. shamal

      shamal Elite Explorer

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      Thanks for the Article Brain !!

      Brain: I'm writing to thank you for the wonderful article on tackling the unresponsive 4x4 shift motor.
      '93 4x4 Explorer.
      Mine was easy to remove, except the main gear, had to knock it out with a piece of wooden dowel. The plastic bushing was broken in half, might have been jamming the removal of the gear. Transfer case area under the cover in shiny new condition, a shock considering the age of the vehicle ! Cleaned things up and used the piece of hose trick and it works !! Thank you for the photos and excellent article, made everything straight forward and easy to do !
      regards and all the best,:thumbsup:
      Albie Shamess
      Victoria, BC
       
    25. CBII

      CBII Active Member

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      Well I totally thought this would fix my problem. I opened up the motor and sure enough that little plastic thing was broke in 3 pieces. So I pissed away an entire atfernoon working on this hunk of shit and it's still will not shift out of 4H.

      The more I work on this POS the more I hate FORDS. Spent more time working on it then I have driving it.

      How I have to go to the junk yard and hope like hell i can get a working one and a switch while I'm at it just in case.
       
      Last edited: January 10, 2007
    26. shamal

      shamal Elite Explorer

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      Hey CBII ! My experience is that it is RARELY the switch. I took mine out just to see what was in there and there is precious little stuff in there other than a circuit board and 2 spring loaded buttons. You should read all the threads related to this article, it might save you some work! Thjere is a great one on checking the motor before you reload it.
      Re Hating Fords. I've owned and driven ( my dad's as a youngster) a lot of 4x4 vehicles, from all the major manufacturers. They ALL have their quirks and weak points and strong points, even the new ones. Just changing brands won't solve your problems. Any 15 year old product in one of the toughest climates on the planet is a challenge. Most of the guys on this site have NO IDEA what your vehicle faces every winter !! They ALL require maintenance and checking. There are a lot of moving parts on a 4x4. I agree with all the posts about a manual shift lever instead of motors, but I don't want to dump my Explorer for nothing, when I've got this great web of great guys with tons of help and ideas, and it's cheap and fun to have my kids under the vehicles with me. This is the only Ford I own, but even my high end luxury cars have their issues, trust me. I have a Chev with a manual transfer shift, it has other issues !
      Take care and good luck !
      Shamal
      Victoria, BC
       

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