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4 Low doesn't work

Tired Iron

November 12, 2009
Reaction score
City, State
Black Daimond, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 sport
I know there are dozens of other transfere case explanations, but please humor me or help me find the one with the answers. I've gone through the little motor thingy, i've verified the neutral switch and the brake interlock, the little lights blink on the ecu in back. I made certain the shaft turns easily into the low range position. Am I missing something?
The last time it worked was 3 years ago and I remember it got stuck in 4 low and it took an hour of dinking around to get it out of low so i could go home. I didn't use low again for a couple years and now i want it to work so I can go exploring.
Is there a manual shift t-case for a '93 X? just curious.

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there are manual cases u can drop in but you have to do alot of cut work for the shifter

What exactly is happening? Are you getting clicking with no lights, clicking with lights, no clicking no lights, etc? I assume you have rebuilt the shift motor based on what you said, and checked the other obvious stuff. The electronic shift 4x4 really isn't that bad, mine has never failed me. The best thing to do is use it frequently to keep things working well.

Hmm, if you need another transfer case, I have one and a shift motor that needs to be rebuilt.

Just drove through Black Diamond Saturday evening after a day of snow wheelin off SR410 on NSF75 and 7530.

nice pic =]

When you are trying to shift into low range is the vehicle in neutral with your foot firmly on the brake? Without your foot on the brake it will not engage. Also, I know that alot of people just rebuild their shifter motors but if you dont want to go that route I have 2, already rebuilt and they are ready to go in. If your intrested let me know.

Yeah, my shifter motor has been rebuilt, it wasn't too bad. I have all the blinky lights on the module, I went through the push button and that has good continuity through all the pins, shorted the light to make the 4 low light illuminate on the dash. My next concern is with the brake controler. The brake lights work, the brake relay clicks which has annoyed me since the day i got the car.
1. does the 4x4 mod use the same brake switch as the brake lights?
2. is there another relay or a fuse in the wire from relay to mod preventing the signal from the brake switch.

I can hear a series of clicks when going into 4 high but i hear only one tiny click when i hit the low button, it clicks regardless of the brake position on or off. It will only do it the first time i press the low button, not again on retry untill i turn off high and turn high back on. I have very few more hairs left to pull from my head.
I can't believe I'm the only one to have this problem.

The click from when you put on the brakes you can get rid of. Your towing pig tail is plugged in. Your pig tail for the brake lights has a plug just up behind the bumper on the drivers side. That click bugs the hell out of me too. I always unplug that when Im not using it and store it with the bottle jack in the side panel.
The low range situation, Im wondering if you have an alignment problem in the shift motor. The last time I was working on one I noticed some factory hash marks on the case and the lid. Those need to be centered. (when/if you see it you'll know)
I'll try to find some pictures to put up here so you can see what Im rambling about.

there are manual cases u can drop in but you have to do alot of cut work for the shifter

I know this is a few months old now, but being I just had my 93 on the inside stripped of seats and carpet I can tell you there is no cutting if you find the right block off part . All of them have the hole for both a manual Trans and transfer case already. There is a block off plate with the hole(s) or no hole for what you have. In my case a manual transfer case and auto trany. There are 4 small metric bolts holding the plate down with a gasket around it. Hope this will help someone down the line.

Where should i go from this point, I gave it couple months and it hasn't healed itself. I opened the shift motor again, replaced the bushing that wasn't broken last time but finally did break, now it is fixed and still no 4 low. I did some checks on the neutral saftey switch.
Tell me if this is correct, if the car starts in neutral but not in gear, the neutral interlock works. It should also shift into 4L in neutral- or do they have seperate switches? Along the same lines, If the brake light switch works, is it the same switch for 4L brake interlock?
If my logic on that stuff is correct, I guess it's time to start replacing stuff. I am concerned with the 4x4 module in back, maybe if i can find somebody with a spare module in the area of Seattle, i could do a quick swap and test operation.
It should be noted that i also spent an evening testing everything on the button station, A Ok.
Is there a way to override the interlocks for a test operation on 4L?

It does shift beweeen 2H and 4H, right?

How about manually shifting the TC into 4L. have to remove the shift motor though.

I'll look at rebuilding the shift motor I have on the bench and put it back on the TC on the floor.

I'll let you know when I'm done.

It's about a 2hr job to switch TC's

^^ That's what I was going to suggest.
Pull off the shift motor (but leave the wiring harness attached. Take a pair of pliers and manually turn the shift knob to 4-lo. Then, have an assistant press the 4-lo buttons while your underneath the truck looking at the shift motor, to see if it is rotating.
One of those two things shouldn't work. If you can't manually shift it then there is an internal problem with the t-case. Or, there is a problem somewhere with the wiring, and the motor won't turn to 4-lo. This should help you figure out which it is.

The first time I pulled the shift motor (last summer) I rotated through all the positions and it was pretty smooth action. Can I drive with out the shift motor installed to see how 4L works? I don't know if I will slosh a bunch oil from that sensor port. I guess I could whittle a plug for the hole.

i have the same problem, 4h no problem , but doesnt egage 4L, please helpp!!!!

This 4 Low no go seem to be a minor plague. I intend to get to the bottom of this! I verified that I do actually have low range gears in that T-case, I am getting button signal to the black box of mystery via the wiring loom. I just can't make that motor turn to the low position even while dangling. I am now difinately going to swap that mystery box.

So I noticed my neighbor has a '91 sport abandoned in their driveway, they said i could take parts off it as long as it can still roll. So I jacked the 4x4 module and the shift motor and the dash buttons and the manual hubs. The 4L still doesnt work but now the 4L light blinks when i try to turn low on.
My question is, are all mystery boxs the same? this is from a 2 door 5 Speed. The donor was dead so i didn't test it before i cobbled it up.
Should I grab anything else off the old one?

The 'new' used parts, the motor did not go into 4L either?

Was this un-mounted, tranny in neutral and brake pedal pushed?

I don't know for sure but I would assume the GEM (generic electronic module) would be the same for all electric BW1354 transfer cases.

We got to get that thing fixed before Sunday! BBQ at Lonesome Lake off SR410!

It's fixed. it was the shift motor. I can't say what is wrong with the motor- it tests fine electrically, plug continuity all the way through the pickup fingers and the magic wheel. I would really like to fix it as a spare and for personal knowledge so if anybody knows how the circuitry works, hook me up.

The black boxes also work differently for the 91 to the 93. the older one has the flashing light (4 low light) when it is waiting for a brake pedal or to be shifted properly. when it sees all the correct inputs, it continues with its shift to Low Range. the '93 just doesn't work if all inputs aren't correct- no lights. Also the '91 can be shifted directly into 4 low with out doing high range first. I like it better so that's what I kept in my X. If it's not in neutral, it will go into high and low will flash until it sees neutral or I push the high button and it stays in high.

I hope this is helpful for somebody. I wish i could fix it without parts but, what can ya do. I am glad to have 4 low back.

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That's good to know. I like the functionality of the '91, gonna have to find one.

Now you're ready to head up SR410 on Sunday and run up to Lonesome lake with us for a BBQ and a beer. :thumbsup:

If you're interested, send me a PM. (or send one to Ricky8587) :roll: