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'98 Moutaineer 5.0 - AWD not working

Workman

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November 4, 2008
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City, State
Buckhannon, WV
Year, Model & Trim Level
1998 Mountaineer AWD
I did some searching but couldn't find anything to help.
I just bought a '98 mountaineer awd but found out that the front wheels won't engage. There is now switch on the dash it's supposed to be full-time. I was thinking of checking the fluid for metal shavings but I'm also thinking it could be electrical. I'm just not sure where to start. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Also, would a bad cam sensor or DPF sensor cause a misfire under acceleration?
 



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If it's a V8, then it full time AWD, and there is no switch. If it's not turning the front wheels, 1) how do you know, and 2) someone might have removed the front driveshaft. Have you looked?
 






What he said^

Also check the transfer case tag and let us know what transfer case you have.
 






Driveshaft is in place as well as the cv axles. I'm pretty sure the fronts aren't spinning, I almost got stuck in wet grass and I was able to powerbrake into 2nd gear.

After finding out the right keywords to search, I was able to come up with this...
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192688&highlight=awd+mountaineer

In the thread, it says that '95-'97 is different than my '98. Would this still apply to mine? And mine doesn't roll an inch when parked on a hill.
 






Driveshaft is in place as well as the cv axles. I'm pretty sure the fronts aren't spinning, I almost got stuck in wet grass and I was able to powerbrake into 2nd gear.

After finding out the right keywords to search, I was able to come up with this...
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192688&highlight=awd+mountaineer

In the thread, it says that '95-'97 is different than my '98. Would this still apply to mine? And mine doesn't roll an inch when parked on a hill.

Yes that would apply to your truck. all the AWD transfer cases are the same.

Did you try jacking up the entire truck and putting it in drive? Do all wheels move? If not and everything is in place im guessing you need a new transfer case or to rebuild yours.
 






Not yet, but judging by how easily it will spin in grass, the fronts aren't even trying. I'll check the tag on the t-case tomorrow to see exactly which one I have. These are chain driven, right? Are there any good write-ups showing a reuild? I've rebuilt manual transmissions before just never had to crack open a transfer case.
 






Depending on what exactly you're saying, it could happen. If it's really slick, you could get into a situation where one wheel spins, and the other does not move. I've done it in snow before, but was also stuck on a ditch at the time. It would be nearly impossible for the fronts not to turn if the driveshaft is there.
 






Unless the transfer case is messed up. But shouldn't I be getting some kind of noise when driving? It's definetly only 2wd though because it will smoke both rear tires sitting still. I know thats bad, but it's new to me, I had to test it out.
 






Unless the transfer case is messed up. But shouldn't I be getting some kind of noise when driving? It's definetly only 2wd though because it will smoke both rear tires sitting still. I know thats bad, but it's new to me, I had to test it out.

The transfer case clutch might be slipping and not allowing the front wheels to spin because all your brakes are holding them back.

Put the vehicle on a lift and put it in gear. That is the only easy way to tell if the front wheels are turning.
 






There's a chain in there, I'm pretty sure. Unless someone took out the chain, or gutted the diffy. :dunno:
 






Ok, I did some checking today. put the truck up on jackstands and put it in drive, only the rears turned. The t-case is a 4404, so the only things that could fail would be the chain or the viscious clutch. Is this correct? While in the air I turned the front driveshaft and the front wheels did turn so that rules out the diff. And I could also feel a slight "clunk" at the transfer case when turning the front shaft back and forth. So I'm assuming that no teeth are stripped otherwise it wouldn't turn anything in the transfer case.
 






I'm pretty sure someone would have had to remove the chain from the transfer case for this to happen. I have my old transfer case, which I have never taken apart yet, but that's my understanding of how it works. I would guess the previous owner failed to mention something to you. Best bet is to look for a used case, from one of the used parts vendors on this forum. I got mine for under $250, delivered.

Here is a rebuild, show the guts of this transfer case:
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=218430
 






I already checked out that rebuild thread, looks pretty simple. I was thinking about going ahead and ordering the chain and new seals, but I just was curious about what all could possibly fail inside. I'm thinking the guy I got it from was a bit of a scammer. He had me feeling bad for him because the truck I traded to him developed a small oil leak at some point. Then I got home and found that the awd wasn't working among other things. I sent him a very polite email.
 






I already checked out that rebuild thread, looks pretty simple. I was thinking about going ahead and ordering the chain and new seals, but I just was curious about what all could possibly fail inside. I'm thinking the guy I got it from was a bit of a scammer. He had me feeling bad for him because the truck I traded to him developed a small oil leak at some point. Then I got home and found that the awd wasn't working among other things. I sent him a very polite email.

Well at least you have the problem figured out. Thats usually the hard part.

Ive never done it but a transfer case cant be too hard to swap out. Now might be a good time for the 4x4 conversion. Look into that. It will save you gas money and make it a better off road vehicle. Do a search for AWD to 4x4.
 






I thought about that just didn't research. I was wondering about the electronics on the swap, I'm not a big fan of wiring.
 






the only electronic in the swap would be your speedo sensor but yours could be on your rear end instead. that's the only reason I didn't do that to my 97', but to get any increase in millage you also have to put in locking hubs. I replaced mine do to a skipping chain, I should have rebuilt it the new one dose not seem to engage as well as the original
 






I found this pic in the 4404 rebuild thread. On the far shaft (rear output), you can see the smooth "gear" in the middle, that's the viscious coupler. If this was to fail, it would cause no power to go to the rear wheels. Correct me if I'm wrong here. That is the only clutch type thing I see in the t-case. So, the only that could be causing my problem would be a broken or missing chain. Does this sound right? I just want to be certain so I can order parts and have them before dropping the t-case.
P1000537.jpg
 






Try this, for the hell of it... pop your front shaft out (inspect the cv joint in it.. make sure it doesn't just spin loosely.. trust me, I've seen it..(just not without noise) ) And with the shaft out, and the front wheels off the ground.. turn the thing on the dif that the shaft connects to and see if it spins your wheels.. next after that checks out (hopefully it does) pop the driveshaft back in... go to a nice slippery spot and floor it (well, not floor it.. unless you really want to.. give it enough gas to spin up.. and have your head out the window looking at the front tire.. check to see if it spins.. and have a buddy on the otherside seein if the other wheel is spinning if not the driver's side... kinda ghetto but give it a try.. it could point out where the problem lies..


Just a personal thought:

I could be completely wrong here, correct me if so.. but I believe spinning up on a slippery surface is a better test of the front end than having all 4 wheels jacked off the ground because it's real load on the parts. What if there's power to the front, but only a little bit and anymore something just slips? (says to me if this is the case that the person who is doing this test could be fooled by seeing the front wheels spin.. when in reality they're not getting the real power they need)
 






I didn't pull the front shaft but I did spin it by hand and it turned the front wheels. I've tried spinning gravel and only rears spun and i took it to the road for a little powerbrake and it burned both rears sitting still. I'm pretty sure it's something with the chain. I'm just really wondering about the viscious coupler. How exactly does it work and would it cause power loss to the rear wheels?

Also gotta say, thanks for all the advice. It's always nice to own a vehicle with a good community backing it.
 



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My understanding of it is the rear wheels are directly connected through the tcase to the tranny, the vicious coupling senses slip in the rear wheels and puts power to the front.. it's a self contained unit.. which contains plates interlaced with each other.. with a fluid that stays liquidy when there's no difference mixing it around.. but when there's slip.. and the plates start moving differently from each other the liquid solidifys locking the front to the rear. Kinda a messed up description, but it gives ya a general idea.. and if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me anyone.

I think the chain plays part in connecting the [tranny to rear] shaft to the front shaft.. but the chain is on the VC part which only turns when the fluid solidifys..


Also, you shouldn't have been able to spin the front shaft with it connected??... what gear were you in?.. front only jacked up?... details on that... Did it spin freely? Was it difficult to turn?

EDIT: Looking at the picture, forget what I said about the tranny direct to rear.. but you get the picture... that VC 'seperates' the shaft that goes to both the rear and front..

tranny input is the lonly small one... puts power to the huge device... wheels slip.. vc locks and that whole device it forced to turn...

I really hope I'm not confusing you, I'm no expert.. I'm still learning.. and willing to share and help with what I can.



I made you a drawing.................. god this is sad.... I hope I got everything correct..


As far as what the tranny connects directly to, or if it even does.. idk.. gotta go outside n look at it... sorry for bein all.. confusing and retarded about this...
 

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