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4 wheel drive not working?

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Old 10-06-2011, 07:51 PM   #1
nickb123
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4 wheel drive not working?

Ok, I dont know really anything about explorers so this could be a user error. Anyways its a 96 4x4 with the control trac system, it has a switch for 2x4, 4x4 auto and 4x4 low. when I flip the switch nothing happens. and when i drive, it will flash the 4x4 auto and 4x4 low lights a could times and stop. I was in drive while switching it. But i work at a car wash and a newer explorer (01 or newer) came in with the same switch as mine. in drive i flipped the switch and the 4x4 light would come on and i would hear some type of solenoid. So, what could be the problem?
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:27 PM   #2
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Vacuum lines at reservoir?

DO you have an ABS light displayed?




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Old 10-06-2011, 08:39 PM   #3
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No ABS light but arnt those things related to brakes or are they tied in to the 4 wheel drive system?
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Old 11-06-2011, 08:24 PM   #4
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I took out the shift motor today. Nothing seemed to be wrong with it, and I hope that me taking it apart didn't break it. I also changed the t case fluid. It was sliver but there where no metal shavings other than things you want see but feel. The 4wd lights still blink but not when the headlights are on. Any advice?? That would be nice
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Old 11-07-2011, 09:32 AM   #5
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Help???
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:50 PM   #6
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Some more things that maybe connected to the issue. When I have the head lights on the 4wd lights don't flash but I'll turn the lights off and ill see them flashing. Also then that happens the lights for the buttons on the radio and rear controls don't light up and I'll press the OD button and it won't apper on the dash but it will with the headlights off. Some times all those things (radio, rear control, OD light) will work with the headlights on and the 4wd lights will flash. Are these things related to the 4wd system some how?
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by nickb123 View Post
Ok, I dont know really anything about explorers so this could be a user error. Anyways its a 96 4x4 with the control trac system, it has a switch for 2x4, 4x4 auto and 4x4 low. when I flip the switch nothing happens. and when i drive, it will flash the 4x4 auto and 4x4 low lights a could times and stop. I was in drive while switching it. But i work at a car wash and a newer explorer (01 or newer) came in with the same switch as mine. in drive i flipped the switch and the 4x4 light would come on and i would hear some type of solenoid. So, what could be the problem?
Most likely one of the speed sensors in the transfer case is bad. The Control Trac measures rear driveshaft speed and compares it to the front to determine the dwell time of the clutch pack in the transfer case which results in the amount of power being sent to the front wheels. If a sensor is bad and either the front appears to be going faster than the rear or the front isn't registering with full lock on the clutch, it will flash the 4wd lights to let you know there is a problem and just disengage. The Hall-effect sensors rear the passing gears of a "tone wheel", so you can check to make sure the connections are tight and that they don't have a lot of gunk built up on them (metal bits stuck to the sensor will make it unusable), or just replace both...they aren't terribly expensive.

Another failure mode for 95-96's is that the vacuum line that allows disengaging the front wheels from the differential can get separated, so you just can't get out of 2wd. That was dropped in 97 and later as they always have some sort of 4wd available.

=Vic=
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Old 11-08-2011, 05:54 PM   #8
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How could I narrow things down? Also I cant find any place that sell hall effect sensors.
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:18 AM   #9
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How could I narrow things down? Also I cant find any place that sell hall effect sensors.
Well, I don't think they ever refer to them by that name, sorry, although that is technically what they are. Try here:

http://www.partstrain.com/store/inde...e+Speed+Sensor

If that link comes up. You'll see several of the speed sensors that are in the transfer case.

=Vic=
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Old 11-09-2011, 07:49 PM   #10
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I thing there's one speed sensor in the t case. It's at the very back. But there are 2 sensors on the back of it that connect directly to the shift motor harness. But before I buy those things, would the problems with the radio lights, rear control lights and dash lights be related to the 4wd not working?
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Old 11-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #11
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I suspect the 4WD lights and radio buttons not showing when your lights are on is just the fact that they dim when dash lights are on. Turn up the dimmer or check at night to be sure.

The Generic Electronic Module (GEM) is found on Ford vehicles and is basically a Body Control Computer. It controls many of the following functions on most Ford vehicles:

Warning chimes and warning lamps
One-touch down driver's side window
Daytime Running Lamps
Heated rear window
Windshield washers and wipers
Battery saver
Remote keyless entry
Illuminated entry with remote keyless entry
Interior lighting
Perimeter anti-theft
Four-wheel drive

But failures are not usually so simple as you describe, and almost all the above functions will be acting up. The Speed Sensor failure seems to be the most common problem, whether due to a bad sensor, bad connection, or just gunk built up on the sensors.

=Vic=

Last edited by Beargap; 11-09-2011 at 08:14 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:14 PM   #12
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Well the lights won't be on for the whole time I drive. They go off and on when ever they want but it's usually not working for 30 miles or so then magically they turn on.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:44 PM   #13
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I am going to go a different direction here. With the electronics and lights acting up, I am thinking that you might have a bad ground somewhere. Fruity things happen when grounds lose connection.




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Old 11-10-2011, 09:00 AM   #14
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Could you list where all the grounds are so I can check them?
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Old 11-10-2011, 06:49 PM   #15
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The solenoid you hear is actually the relays clicking in the 4x4 module to command the transfer case motor. There are contacts inside the transfer case motor to let the computer know what position the transfer case is in. If the module cannot get the motor to turn to the exact point that it wants it to be in, or if the contacts are not making a good connection, the light will flash, indicating that you are not in 4x4 mode and that the module sees a problem or cannot command the motor. That much can be a misalignment inside the transfer case shift motor among other things... Not a big deal in and of itself.

Something else you can try is to take the t-case shift motor off and manually put the case in 4hi... you will have to turn the tang that sticks into the motor with a pair of pliers and it is marked on the T-case where each position is. Start the truck and see if the 4x4 light is on. If it is, it could be as simple as the shift motor was not lined up correctly. It could be that the motor is just bad and has worn parts.

The other symptoms you are talking about are what makes me think you have a ground issue. (and it may be 2 different issues all wrapped into one).

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Could you list where all the grounds are so I can check them?
Nope!

I have NO idea where all of the grounds are on ANY vehicle. The first one I would check would be the one at the battery. There should be a large and a small cable that comes off of the negative battery cable. The big one goes to the block... and if it is like the Bronco II, it stops along the way with a ground to the ECM and attaches to the frame rail. The smaller wire from the battery should go to a bolt on the core support.

Beyond that, you are going to need a shop manual. I had to buy one for my van when the dome lights kept blowing fuses for no apparent reason.

Electrical problems can be a bastard to track down. It just takes time.

The more information you give us, the better the chances are that someone can help.

Good luck!




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Last edited by moogvo; 11-10-2011 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:33 PM   #16
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Little more info, the explorer sat for a year through a mn winter and summer out side. And I took out the shift motor took it apart and the inside was clean. Also I changed trhe t case fluid and it was silver but no metal particles that you could see to the naked eye. I thing it must have not been changed for a while and the dust from the clutch in the t case made the fluid silver.
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Old 11-11-2011, 03:57 PM   #17
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I gotta say that I am leaning towards the tcase motor. Can you operate it by connecting 12 volts to the heavy power leads? One makes it spin clockwise and the other makes it spin counter clockwise. Verify that it is working.




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Old 11-11-2011, 06:03 PM   #18
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I gotta say that I am leaning towards the tcase motor. Can you operate it by connecting 12 volts to the heavy power leads? One makes it spin clockwise and the other makes it spin counter clockwise. Verify that it is working.
Definitely check the above. So you have no 4LOW? And if your dash lights are flashing, clean the sensors, it will cost you nothing, and will increase your knowledge of the system. The sensors are for the TOD. The brown wire is what energizes the transfer case clutch pack. I am not totally familiar with your system, but I understand it to be part time electric shift, with vacuum operated differential lock in the front? The shift motor is only for changing from HIGH range to LOW range. So if you don't have 4WD check the vacuum stuff like Turdle said, check for voltage at the brown wire, see if the shift motor is turning. I think there are articles here for 4WD troubleshooting. BAM: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=203441 Let us know what's up.

Last edited by drdoom; 11-11-2011 at 06:23 PM. Reason: linkage
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:50 PM   #19
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The 4wd auto and low don't work, both flash 5-6 times. When I check the vacuum on the front what is at both ends of the line and is there more that one line? And I would not know what wires to test the motor with because there is so many. But, What kind of shop could fix or diagnose this? Or can only a dealer do it? I'm just so busy with school, work and now I have to move. I have like 10 minutes of free time a day.
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Old 11-11-2011, 11:36 PM   #20
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Any auto repair shop can get ya going.




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