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'94 Push Button 4X4 not working

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Old 12-06-2007, 11:42 PM   #1
Scarlet Fox
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'94 Push Button 4X4 not working

I have a '94 Ex Sport. This morning it snowed, so I pushed the button to turn on the four wheel drive while I was in park in my driveway. It worked fine on the way there. My work is about 6 miles away, once I got there, I put it in park and pushed the button to turn off the four wheel drive (I'm not sure if you're supposed to do that before turning it off, so that's why I did). When I got off of work, I tried to push the button again, this time nothing came on...No light, and no 4X4. All I can hear is a clicking noise coming from behind the driver side in the panel where the jackstand is. Does anybody know what could be wrong?




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Old 12-06-2007, 11:44 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, I've tried using the search feature to find something..but I didn't have any luck. Maybe I just did it wrong. Is there another thread like this for a 94?




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Old 12-06-2007, 11:49 PM   #3
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A lot of people are now experiencing similar problems with their 4WD systems. I suspect that nobody was using them until now, so it wasn't apparent that there was a problem. Getting back to the issue. It might be a problem with either the shift motor or the 4 X 4 module. This link is # 71 in my list of useful threads: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...59&postcount=5. This link is on troubleshooting the control module. As for the shift motor, check the sticky thread in the transmission section on the 4 X 4 shift motor.
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Old 12-06-2007, 11:56 PM   #4
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corect me if im wrong, but dosnt the trans need to be in neutral to engage 4WD?




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Old 12-06-2007, 11:57 PM   #5
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Is there a relay that can be checked first? we've had relay problems this past year.




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Old 12-07-2007, 12:09 AM   #6
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SHould be one under the hood in the box on the pass side. My manuals are in the garage and i cant tell you off the top of my head wich one it is

I do no that the shift motors tend to gum up due to lack of use, it could just need to be cleaned

http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=123542




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Old 12-07-2007, 12:11 AM   #7
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http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=134671
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Old 12-07-2007, 08:56 AM   #8
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corect me if im wrong, but dosnt the trans need to be in neutral to engage 4WD?
just to shift into 4 x 4 low

and i have a 93 sport and my issue was the wire connection, i put it on stands and took a hammer and tapped on the shift motor, (like the cylaniod on the starter), and then took apart the connection and cleaned it out and put vasoline to water seal it, it has worked fine since
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Old 12-07-2007, 09:59 AM   #9
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just to shift into 4 x 4 low

and i have a 93 sport and my issue was the wire connection, i put it on stands and took a hammer and tapped on the shift motor, (like the cylaniod on the starter), and then took apart the connection and cleaned it out and put vasoline to water seal it, it has worked fine since

Okay thanks. I was wondering about that. I've never owned a 4X4 before. I'll try that this weekend. Then I'll have some time to tinker around with it




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Old 12-27-2007, 12:45 AM   #10
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search ebay for a new switch. and in my owners manual it says you can be driving up to 50mph while engaging the 4x4 button
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Old 12-27-2007, 12:20 PM   #11
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The clicking noise in the rear hatch area is from the relay's in the 4x4 computer.. The good news is that the noise indicates the 4x4 computer received the signal from the dash 4x4 button, but was unable to energize the shift motor because of a fault in the system. The most common problem is a broken stop bumper which can easily be fixed by most people..

Take a peek at the 1st Gen (91-94) 4x4 troubleshooting guide. For information on troubleshooting 4x4 system and fixing a broken stop bumper.




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Old 12-27-2007, 04:07 PM   #12
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I see. We got under where the motor was and tapped it with a hammer, now the four wheel drive is on. Not quite sure what that means (like if the motor is just going bad or just wasn't used for a while) but I guess it's in now. I just don't like to leave it in four wheel.




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Old 12-28-2007, 07:33 AM   #13
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I see. We got under where the motor was and tapped it with a hammer, now the four wheel drive is on. Not quite sure what that means (like if the motor is just going bad or just wasn't used for a while) but I guess it's in now. I just don't like to leave it in four wheel.
The electric motor part of the shift motor assembly is very reliable. It only gets used when you press the 4x4 buttons so it doesn't get alot of wear like a starter endures. The stop bumper has always been the notorious culprit.. It allows the geared selector shaft to move slightly out of range causing an electric contact to brake contact. By taping the shift motor it can be enough to jar the electrical contacts together (which tells the 4x4 which position its in 2H,4H,or 4L) thus allowing the motor to work.

Driving on dry pavement in 4x4 with hubs locked is not good.. It will definitely put on strain on the drive train components..




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Old 12-30-2007, 12:09 PM   #14
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I have a '94 Ex Sport. This morning it snowed, so I pushed the button to turn on the four wheel drive while I was in park in my driveway. It worked fine on the way there. My work is about 6 miles away, once I got there, I put it in park and pushed the button to turn off the four wheel drive (I'm not sure if you're supposed to do that before turning it off, so that's why I did). When I got off of work, I tried to push the button again, this time nothing came on...No light, and no 4X4. All I can hear is a clicking noise coming from behind the driver side in the panel where the jackstand is. Does anybody know what could be wrong?
Something similar happened to me.
Could be that there is nothing wrong with your system at all. Just got mine back from having a rebuilt transmisssion (Auto) installed last week. I tried the 4X4 button, went in fine. According to the manual you must back up at least 10 feet to disengage it and then try it again. If that doesn't work, try again. It will eventually work if everything is good. If they are not used much they get a little sticky. Remember, when ever your in 4X4, weather it's foward or reverse you must stop, put the trans in Neutral, push it again, drive 10 feet in the opposite direction to disengage it. And Never push the "Low Range" button first (IF you ever need it in low-speed tough situations). You must first push the "4X4" button and then the "Low Range" button if you get stuck or are in a low traction, low speed situation.


PS: They manual says, never to drive on smooth pavement for any extended period in 4X4. With full time 4X4 you can do that, but not with these.

Last edited by Coosfaba; 12-30-2007 at 03:24 PM. Reason: Added content.
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Old 12-30-2007, 09:03 PM   #15
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Something similar happened to me.
Could be that there is nothing wrong with your system at all. Just got mine back from having a rebuilt transmisssion (Auto) installed last week. I tried the 4X4 button, went in fine. According to the manual you must back up at least 10 feet to disengage it and then try it again. If that doesn't work, try again. It will eventually work if everything is good. If they are not used much they get a little sticky. Remember, when ever your in 4X4, weather it's foward or reverse you must stop, put the trans in Neutral, push it again, drive 10 feet in the opposite direction to disengage it. And Never push the "Low Range" button first (IF you ever need it in low-speed tough situations). You must first push the "4X4" button and then the "Low Range" button if you get stuck or are in a low traction, low speed situation.


PS: They manual says, never to drive on smooth pavement for any extended period in 4X4. With full time 4X4 you can do that, but not with these.
I am not sure where you received the information on how the 4x4 system works but you are spreading Mis-Information.

The whole bit about reversing direction has Zero to do with the transmission or transfer case. Reversing direction will unlock autohubs (disconnecting the front axles shafts from the wheels) to save 1mpg from the front axles from no longer turning.

The 4x4 low button will not work unless you are already in 4x4. Even then the 4x4 computer will only process a 4x4 low range button press if the vehicle is in neutral, and your speed is under 3mph (all safety features so you don't accidentally press 4x4 low).

You are correct in that 1st generation 4x4 systems should NOT be driven on dry pavement. The system sends power 50/50 front/rear. As such if the back tires are slightly bigger they would be pushing the front tires faster than they are turning. This is known as torque wind up. When you are on snow, dirt, or wet roads the front tire would eventually slip/spin slightly (releasing the built up pressure) when the torque exceeds traction. When on dry pavement the tires have lots of traction and the drive line components would undergo tremendous stress before the tires overcome the traction. AWD vehicles have a center differential that can bias the T-Case power so this doesn't occur.




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Old 12-30-2007, 10:56 PM   #16
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I have a '94 Ex Sport. This morning it snowed, so I pushed the button to turn on the four wheel drive while I was in park in my driveway. It worked fine on the way there. My work is about 6 miles away, once I got there, I put it in park and pushed the button to turn off the four wheel drive (I'm not sure if you're supposed to do that before turning it off, so that's why I did). When I got off of work, I tried to push the button again, this time nothing came on...No light, and no 4X4. All I can hear is a clicking noise coming from behind the driver side in the panel where the jackstand is. Does anybody know what could be wrong?
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Originally Posted by DeRocha View Post
I am not sure where you received the information on how the 4x4 system works but you are spreading Mis-Information.

The whole bit about reversing direction has Zero to do with the transmission or transfer case. Reversing direction will unlock autohubs (disconnecting the front axles shafts from the wheels) to save 1mpg from the front axles from no longer turning.

The 4x4 low button will not work unless you are already in 4x4. Even then the 4x4 computer will only process a 4x4 low range button press if the vehicle is in neutral, and your speed is under 3mph (all safety features so you don't accidentally press 4x4 low).

You are correct in that 1st generation 4x4 systems should NOT be driven on dry pavement. The system sends power 50/50 front/rear. As such if the back tires are slightly bigger they would be pushing the front tires faster than they are turning. This is known as torque wind up. When you are on snow, dirt, or wet roads the front tire would eventually slip/spin slightly (releasing the built up pressure) when the torque exceeds traction. When on dry pavement the tires have lots of traction and the drive line components would undergo tremendous stress before the tires overcome the traction. AWD vehicles have a center differential that can bias the T-Case power so this doesn't occur.
I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. Everything I said is true. This is what my manual says to do, and this is how I got mine unstuck and it worked. So it does not matter what you say. If you want to complicate it, go right ahead. It worked for me. I also didn't say it will work for sure in every situation, but it's worth a shot. Cannot hurt anything because my Ford people says to use this procedure. Also it specifically says to not run in 4X4 on smooth pavement for any extended period of time for this will eventually damage the system. It's right there in the Ford Explorer manual for 1993 models equipped with 4X4. Me and some friends are going back up to do some more off road driving that's pretty challanging. I'll let you know how we made out when we get back.
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Old 07-29-2008, 10:34 AM   #17
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Hi: I am new here, just purchased a used 93 Sport and am now experiencing this exact issue. The 4x4 button does nothing, but i can hear a clicking of the relay mentioned(only when the car is off, but ignition set to on). I checked fuses, they are good. Also tried the tapping of the shift motor, nothing yet. I don't really want to go through the trouble of taking off the shift motor and rebuilding...I could, but this is my first Explorer so I don't know exactly what to do, but the link to the rebuild guide seemed very thorough.

My question is: if I were to take it in to a shop or the dealer, any idea what the cost would be to fix? This truck is in really good shape, I don't think the 4x4 was ever engaged by the original owner...seriously. They don't seem like the 4-wheeling type, and they've never been to the moutains or anything, so I'm hoping that the motor does not need to be replaced.

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Old 07-29-2008, 11:58 AM   #18
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...My question is: if I were to take it in to a shop or the dealer, any idea what the cost would be to fix?...
A dealer is going to charge you an hour at whatever his current rate is say $75 plus the cost of a new factory shift motor (they don't fix them they replace them), so add $200+ to that so you're looking at close to $300 if you bring it to a dealer, or FREE If you follow this thread and fix it yourself..




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Old 07-29-2008, 12:05 PM   #19
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Yea, I looked at the guide a little more closely (still not thoroughly), and doesn't look too hard. Given this situation, what exactly would be my main culprit? The bushing? Or the contacts on the circute board? Am I just going to go through each step and clean everything? Just curious what exactly it could be before I go about it...there's a lot of info there, but it sounds like it should be one simple thing.
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Old 07-29-2008, 12:09 PM   #20
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Yea, I looked at the guide a little more closely (still not thoroughly), and doesn't look too hard. Given this situation, what exactly would be my main culprit? The bushing? Or the contacts on the circute board? Am I just going to go through each step and clean everything? Just curious what exactly it could be before I go about it...there's a lot of info there, but it sounds like it should be one simple thing.
The most common problem is the broken stop bumper.. Just check and replace it 1st and leave the rest alone..




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