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4*4 Low not engaging, Help.

Aussie Explorer

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Western Australia
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT
Gday guys, I had posted this in the Modified section a few days ago, but thought I would just stick it in hear as well to make sure I am on the right track. (Conclusion was it’s most likely a Shift motor problem)

Short story, I went out on the weekend to run some trails upon arriving, when I tried to engage 4WD Low it wouldn’t engage, No noises or flashing lights or anything but 4WD High and the TOD system are working fine.


(Cut from my other post)
OK, Have checked all fuses unplugged electrical connection to Shift motor and sprayed with electrical cleaner (Busted the stupid clip/ lock thing on the connection, Just pushed them back together anyway They should stay connected) gave shift motor a few soft tapes with a hammer.

Started car 4WD HI and Low light’s come on and go out as they normally do (It is Not flashing an error code), Select 4WD Hi, It engages and the 4WD HI dash light comes on, Put transmission in Neutral and foot on Brake select 4WD Low and nothing No light’s flashing and no Noise from shift motor.

4WD Low was working fine; Just a Month ago when I shifted in and out of it 3 or 4 times when out on some trails now it’s dead what the hell.

This is not looking good.

Any thoughts

Sorry about the repeat post, I just want to make sure I am looking in the right aria.

It's a 98 XLT 4WD.

Cheers.
 
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Aussie Explorer

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Look’s like the shift motor will be getting targeted this Friday arvo then.
 
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dreamr

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My bet is on the shift motor either being gumed up and not shifting properly or the little stopper bushing is worn out so that it is confused as to it's position and will not shift. The shift motor rebuild thread should help you here.
 
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Aussie Explorer

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Ok Thanks, It looks like it will be the shift motor rebuild then.
 
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btd38

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you must have the clutch pushed in and be in neutral to get the low gear to work.
 
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SensRanger

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Hi, wondering if you ever got this figured out? Just noticed I have the exact same problem. (did not have it a week ago). 4x4 hi works perfectly but there is just a faint, delayed 'click' from behind the dash when you switch to 4low, and the 4WD LOW light does not come on. It always did sometimes take a few seconds to engage 4low and the light would come on and off in time with some clicking until settling in (it always came out of low easier). I know the shift motor has common issues but I am also wondering about electrical issues (the clicking kinda makes me think that.. )

Does anyone know much about the "transfer case shift relay module" behind the dash next to the GEM. The person in this link describes how it solved this problem. I hope to get it fixed soon, whether its the module or the shift motor itself. Anyone have any ideas?

Here is the link: http://www.therangerstation.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=48721
 
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Aussie Explorer

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Yeah it was a wiring harness in the engine bay, my battery leaked acid all over it and that caused the wiring to fail on my Airbag’s, horn and 4WD system.

Cheers.
 
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SensRanger

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4x4 Low Range fixed!

Thought I would post a quick update, in case it helps anyone down the road.
My ESOF 1354 wasn't going into Low Range, but 4 high worked just fine. No flashing lights or anything, just no response when the switch was put to 4low.
Well I finally gave in and took it to the Dealer, they replaced the GEM which "wasn't communicating with 4wd control module" and also, like I suspected, the Transmission Range Sensor / neutral safety switch. According to them, the old GEM with new TR sensor did NOT solve the problem, I find that iffy, I think it was the TR sensor that was bad, but they made me buy both, but then gave me a 10% discount (the "unnecessary parts discount"). Now it works like new at least! And I got to keep the old parts, in case the GEM wasn't bad after all. (never had another electrical issue other than this).
 
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gijoecam

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Good to know, but the system for the Explorers is a bit different... Low range issues are similar, but seldom identical... There are a lot of other things that can cause it to not engage...

Glad she's back up and runnin'!

-Joe
 
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ExploringNC

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'98 XLT, '91 EB
I've got the same issue with mine now. I took apart the shift motor and it was really gummed up but after cleaning contact and checking rubber stopper it still does not work.

Is the Trans Range Sensor at the shifter lever on side of trans? and where is the Neutral Safety Switch? I am thinking it is on the steering column.

Any other ideas what else to check?
 
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SensRanger

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Yes, the Range Sensor is attached to the side of the trans, and the Neutral Safety Switch is built into it- its one and the same. (Obviously not the same for 5speeds.) They didn't line up the shift linkage too well with the dash manual position indicator, but I don't really care.

from TSB 96-24-10
"The new DTR sensor completes the start circuit in "Park" and "Neutral," the backup lamp circuit in "Reverse" and the neutral sense circuit (4X4 only) in "Neutral.""

My backup lights were intermittent and sometimes I had to shift from P to N a few times before it would crank! So I know I had a bad TR sensor.

To shift to 4-Low the GEM must agree that the "conditions" are met (ie. stopped, foot on brake, in neutral). In my case I maybe had a sketchy GEM, but it certainly had a problem confirming the truck was in Neutral. Similarly, you might investigate other sensors that affect the 4-low shift request, such as the BOO (brake on-off) switch, or speed sensors. If the GEM doesn't know you are hitting the brakes, or thinks you might be moving even if you're stopped, it won't shift. You could also have a problem with the "4x4 shift control relay" also called "4x4 computer", a small box mounted behind the radio near the GEM, at least on my Ranger. I had heard this can cause No 4-Low, so swapped mine, but it made no difference, luckily I was able to return the part. Hope this helps.
 
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ExploringNC

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Problem solved, It was the DTR Sensor. It could not see when I was in neutral to allow it to go into Low.

I had swapped tranny with one out of a 97 OHV and when I swapped my DTR from the old one I didn't get the DTR aligned properly. I've been dealing with no 4x4 Low and my OD light flashing for some time now so finally last night I had a buddy read the O/D code and it said P0741 Tourqe Converter Shut Off and after much searching I thought I would give the DTR Sensor a try. I feel like an idiot not taking the time to do a search earlier, it was such a simple fix, the X acts a ton better with the Tourque Converter, I got very lucky I didn't blow the tranny.
 
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