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Stuck in 4x4

Yankee

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Joined
February 3, 2007
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City, State
Greenwood, S.C.
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 Explorer XLS 4x4
My 02 xls is stuck in 4hi but 4lo works too....I'm lost..... what do I need to check. The selector behind the shift motor is pointed at "H" should it be pointed at "N"?
thanks,
James
 



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It's supposed to shift out of 4hi at any time. If I put the shifter in neutral it can engage 4lo just like normal. But I can't get 4hi to turn off.
 






I unpluged the wire harness for the T-case.... Still in 4 hi:mad: I also can shift it to 4lo. When I press auto 4wd the 4hi or 4lo light goes off like normal but it's still in 4hi:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
Someone please help this is my wife and son's only way to get around.:(

Thanks,
James
 






If after unplugging the transfer case's electrical connectors (make sure you unplugged them all , sometimes there's more than one), try disconnecting the battery for a few minutes -- I dunno why this works but it seems to solve a few percentage of the 4wd problems on the forum. If that doesn't work, then the next step in an emergency (as in temporary) situation is to remove the front driveshaft.
 






were you working on the dash of your truck including disconnecting the wire harness for the selector just before this happened??? I have been told that you are not supposed to turn on the ignition when those cables are disconnected, becouse it could cause that issue you are having. If that is what you did they also told me that the main computer has to be restarted by a ford dealership.....$$$$
 






no I was pulling on to the road from a driveway and the rear tire spun just a little and it engaged like it's suposed to. But it never unlocked
:mad:

thanks for the help everyone but it's still not fixed. I even cut the brown wire to see if that would help but it didn't. All I know is that I'm not going to pay for a vehicle that we can't drive so if I can't get fixed soon it's gone.

thanks again,
James
 






Did you remove the front driveshaft? Cauz really, if the transfer case is stuck in 4wd, that is your only solution.

Yankee is talking about the shift rod that the shift motor engages and turns to switch between HI range and LO range on the transfer case. Yes that triangular rod should be pointing at "H" (for HI range) in normal situations, it should never be pointing at "N".

Quoting myself from this thread: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1903430

[N]eutral, its just there because the engagement between 4HI and 4LO is an actual gear change and, just like a manual transmission, you need a Neutral stage between gear changes (see below). You can not, with the in-dash switch, get to Neutral because it is useless for drivers, it is only for the transfer case.

indy-4-2-gearbox.gif


(Shifting from one gear to another in a manual transmission requires the shifter to pass through the center horizontal line of the shift pattern, which is neutral -- this is similar to the 4405 transfer case.)
 






So the brown wire is cut now... how can it still be in 4wd?
 






So the brown wire is cut now... how can it still be in 4wd?
Because the problem is mechanical, not electrical.

Relative to the transmission of power, the problem (which is mechanical) is downstream of the "brown wire". Which means the transfer case must be opened or swapped out with another to fix the problem.

Cutting the brown wire BTW was unnecessary, we already knew that the problem is not electrical because you disconnected the transfer case -- which is practically the same as cutting the brown wire (and all of the other sensors and wiring).
 






Something's not right...

Did you remove the front driveshaft? Cauz really, if the transfer case is stuck in 4wd, that is your only solution.

Yankee is talking about the shift rod that the shift motor engages and turns to switch between HI range and LO range on the transfer case. Yes that triangular rod should be pointing at "H" (for HI range) in normal situations, it should never be pointing at "N".

Quoting myself from this thread: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1903430


There's a stage missing when he went to 4wd... If the computer just triggered it, then the reset of the computer is the only solution, no? (Plagiarized from 2005Ex, sorry)
 






Is this a Sport?
 






There's a stage missing when he went to 4wd... If the computer just triggered it, then the reset of the computer is the only solution, no? (Plagiarized from 2005Ex, sorry)
We are beyond the electrical side, this is purely a mechanical problem.

Is this a Sport?
No, its an XLS (read first post) -- which are 4-door bodies.
 






IZ, you can have a Sport XLS... If his problem is due to mechanical malfunction, there is something missing in exactly how it locked in 4hi/4lo. He said he went from pavement to pavement, and the tire slipped - did one tire go over a curb? (Assuming driveway is not dirt) Is there a broken sensor as a result of the "tire slip"? I'm just trying to see how this happened... I've done this many times in an Automatic, and never had it lock up...
 






IZ, you can have a Sport XLS...
Oh wow you're right, there is an XLS Sport.


If his problem is due to mechanical malfunction, there is something missing in exactly how it locked in 4hi/4lo. He said he went from pavement to pavement, and the tire slipped - did one tire go over a curb? (Assuming driveway is not dirt) Is there a broken sensor as a result of the "tire slip"? I'm just trying to see how this happened... I've done this many times in an Automatic, and never had it lock up...
Thats why the transfer case needs to be opened because the problem is internal and it is definitely not a sensor (because a sensor is no longer a sensor once the connectors are disconnected).

One possible source is the engagement gear (technically called the "Apply Cam") that the balls ride on--this can crack (because its floating on a spring and can wobble slightly like a top) causing the balls to sit in one of the cracks which would force 4wd all the time.

cracked.jpg


But really, all we are doing is speculating (including what I just said about the broken gear), the only true way to determined what happened is to open the transfer case. Or if that doesnt matter, then swap it out for another one. Or if money is short, then just remove the front driveshaft.
 






(I'm saying there is something missing in the explanation of how this happened) If it's a 4dr 02, then TSB. If it's a Sport, then it's been abused... a small bump or slip of a tire wouldn't cause all of this to happen.
 






I unpluged the wire harness for the T-case.... Still in 4 hi:mad: I also can shift it to 4lo. When I press auto 4wd the 4hi or 4lo light goes off like normal but it's still in 4hi:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
Someone please help this is my wife and son's only way to get around.:(

Thanks,
James

If the light is off, how can you tell it's in 4HI?
 






The clutchs in the Tcase could have melted togther causing it to be stuck in 4 high. That is wut happend to mine.... I got it out of 4 high by putting itin reverse and stepping on the gas. but my T case was Fuked cuz the inside was all wore out
 






The clutchs in the Tcase could have melted togther causing it to be stuck in 4 high. That is wut happend to mine.... I got it out of 4 high by putting itin reverse and stepping on the gas. but my T case was Fuked cuz the inside was all wore out
Did you actually see the clutches after it was removed?
I ask because they're made of this sand-paper-like material bonded to the back of metal discs, and are constantly dipped in and out of the transfer case fluid (which lubricates and cools them).

friction_plate.jpg


One situation that could possibly 'melt' the clutch packs together is if one axle was dead still while the other was moving -- such as in a burnout using the brown wire mod (BWM), or a dead sensor.
 



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Thanks for all the help. Here's what happened ( I have a XLS 4dr ). I turned out of a paved driveway on to the highway. There was some loose gravel on the driveway and the right rear tire spun a little. The auto 4x system did what it's suposed to and it engaged. The problem is that it never let go. I cut the brown wire before I read about the wire harness on he transfer case. I then re connected the brown wire and tried unpluging the t-case still no luck ( I read that the brown wire didn't disable some peoples auto 4x system).
After that I now know it's mechanical. I'm going to drop the t-case this weekend and tear into it. Can anyone tell me if a haynes or chilton service manual covers tearing down the t-case? Oh by the way for anyone who dosen't know how I can tell is in 4hi..... go to a parking lot and hit the 4hi button then drive it around and make some turns.......it's a HUGE difference! The local Ford Stealership said $1300 for a new case........ha yeah right ....I'll gut this one first.
Well thanks again for all the help!!

:salute: Yankee here ...OVER and OUT!
 






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