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Four Wheel Drive Not Working

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1994 Ford Explorer XLT
I have already tried the four wheel drive troubleshooting guide at the following link: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=202166
My four wheel drive only works intermidantly, and from the best that I can tell is that it works after it sits for a while and the engine is cold. When it doesn't work I can't hear the relays in the shift module or the shift motor activate. The light on my four wheel drive switch has the light for the four wheel drive always dimly lit, but when the four wheel drive is actually ingaged the light becomes brighter.

What is wrong? Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you in advance, and sorry for any mistakes; I am new to posting here.
 
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Rhett

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Do you have auto hubs?
 
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malohnes

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Without more info, the symptoms indicate your shift motor assembly is dirty or the bump stop is broken, as this tends to be the most frequent issue. Auto hubs can also be an issue, but your dimly lit indicator lamp is a strong sign that point me to the shift motor.

There could be more wrong or something else wrong, but thats the highest probability. To check, search for shift motor threads. There are a lot of them. The ranger station also has some great info in the Tech section, Drive train. A bit of research will show a ton of info on this.
 
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Joined
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1994 Ford Explorer XLT
Without more info, the symptoms indicate your shift motor assembly is dirty or the bump stop is broken, as this tends to be the most frequent issue. Auto hubs can also be an issue, but your dimly lit indicator lamp is a strong sign that point me to the shift motor.

There could be more wrong or something else wrong, but thats the highest probability. To check, search for shift motor threads. There are a lot of them. The ranger station also has some great info in the Tech section, Drive train. A bit of research will show a ton of info on this.

If need more info, I can provide more, just ask away.

Also, if you don't mind me asking, what specifically about the shift motor would be the cause of the dimly lit LED?
 
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larrydd999

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The conductive disk inside the shift motor gearbox that lets the system know which mode you're in (4x4 high, 4x4 low, etc.) is probably dirty and conducting between the metal pads. I'd suspect some carbon dust from the motor brushes is causing a bit of electrical leakage which, in turn, allows the LED to stay on dimly.
 
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Joined
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1994 Ford Explorer XLT
The conductive disk inside the shift motor gearbox that lets the system know which mode you're in (4x4 high, 4x4 low, etc.) is probably dirty and conducting between the metal pads. I'd suspect some carbon dust from the motor brushes is causing a bit of electrical leakage which, in turn, allows the LED to stay on dimly.

Would I then be able just take the shift motor of and clean the plate and have it work? If you have any information on the process, I would be glad to read it.
 
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Rhett

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Rhett

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malohnes

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The conductive disk inside the shift motor gearbox that lets the system know which mode you're in (4x4 high, 4x4 low, etc.) is probably dirty and conducting between the metal pads. I'd suspect some carbon dust from the motor brushes is causing a bit of electrical leakage which, in turn, allows the LED to stay on dimly.

Yes, and/or the bump stop that is made of plastic is broken. The shift motor mod Rhett posted details how to fix it. It's is relatively easy to do and quite easy to get at.

DeRocha has posted a sticky in the stock first gen catagory, called 4x4 troubleshooting guide...check it out. I forgot about this one. It's very good.
 
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malohnes

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Mine was filthy, but the bumpstop was crumbled. I sometimes had to press the button a couple times for 4wd to engage or disengage and it was worse in the cold.
 
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Rhett

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Did you just clean the selector plate and get yours to work, or did you rebuild the whole motor?

Neither. :D

My shift motor is out of the truck, sitting on a shelf in my storeroom.

I am using The Shiftster for two reasons 1. I don't have time to deal with the shift motor right now, and 2. I like the Shiftster because it is definite -- no guessing as to whether I'm in 4 or not.

Short of a manual t-case swap, for $40 and assurance, the Shiftster is the route I took. I'll probably tear into the shift motor next summer.
 
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