Difficulty getting 4hi to disengage


engine

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Recently installed a transfer case from an Explorer into my 2002 Ranger. At first, it was necessary to back up to disengage the 4WD. After a dozen or so times of doing this it suddenly began to act normally and disengage itself while moving forward! Now, a simple torque interruption is enough to kick it back to 2WD. The 4WD dash light seems to reflect only the position of the switch, not the status of the TC underneath. I'm not sure what to make of this, except I'm glad it works although I still don't trust it and feel the need every time after flicking the switch to verify that disengagement has taken place.
 


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rusty ol ranger

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Shift motor.
 

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Thank you. Shift motor is not dead. TC goes into and out of 4lo just fine. What do you think the shift motor is doing or not doing? Why did going into reverse help disengage 4hi? Is it just stiff or weak? If weak, why have I had no problems since the problem went away?
 

rusty ol ranger

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Thank you. Shift motor is not dead. TC goes into and out of 4lo just fine. What do you think the shift motor is doing or not doing? Why did going into reverse help disengage 4hi? Is it just stiff or weak? If weak, why have I had no problems since the problem went away?
If the tcase came out of a boneyard, chances are its sat a while. Thats pry why. It was just gummy. But if it continues id swap the motor
 

RonD

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The 4WD lights reflect the position of the Contact Wheel on the transfer case shift motor, not the switch on the dash

There should always be a delay from when you make a selection on the dash to when the 4WD light comes on, or goes off

Pictures here of the inside of the shift motor: https://www.explorerforum.com/forums/index.php?threads/how-to-rebuild-4x4-shift-motor.123542/

You can see the contact wheel and the contacts, wheel turns with the shift rod so 4x4 module knows what position transfer case is in
BUT...........there is an adjustment, so maybe your contact wheel is not aligned properly so not fully in 4high
Select 4high then pull off the shift motor and see if shift rod is points at 4H
Shift rod is pointed at 2H(2WD) in the picture, so should move 90 deg counter clockwise to 4H

Neutral is directly across from 2H so if shifting manually be careful, truck can ROLL AWAY if you move transfer case to Neutral
 

engine

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Wow. I am impressed and awed with what it takes to be a real expert. 4WD is more complicated than I thought. My previous experience has always been with manual shifters. I will observe more closely but I know now that I will need to seek local help if the problem recurs. This Xfer case does not leak or make noise and I intend to keep it. I use 4WD a lot because of all the hills and gravel roads around here. I even have to use 4WD to back up my upper driveway without mussing it up. Thank you for your reply. It was very educational. Sometimes I yearn for more simple (from the mechanical point of view) rather than more easy (from the end user point of view). Cars are now getting even more ridiculously mechanically complicated.
 
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RonD

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LOL, yes automation has its downside, but way more of an upside.............when its working

But it reads like you just need an adjustment
 

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Thank you. Shift motor is not dead. TC goes into and out of 4lo just fine. What do you think the shift motor is doing or not doing? Why did going into reverse help disengage 4hi? Is it just stiff or weak? If weak, why have I had no problems since the problem went away?

I'll address only the issue in red.
when in 4wd the transfer case has a solid lock between the front and rear. tires and road surfaces not being perfect it doesn't take long before one end tries to go farther than the other. that puts a bind on the internals of the transfer case. perfectly normal operation, that's why you shouldn't use 4wd on dry pavement. on slippery stuff a tire slips to keep the binding at a reasonable amount. when you disengage 4wd the internals are frequently in a bind, and can't move. since they bind up going forward, they un-bind going in reverse. the shift rod rotating does not actually do the shifting, it puts pressure on a spring which puts pressure on a cam which pushes the shift forks to do the shifting when the gears line up. hitting bumps usually works just as good as backing up to relieve the binding, that way you can keep moving.
 

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Thanks much. Your reply is encouraging. Maybe the TC is just stiff from disuse which made it harder for the spring to do its job. There are plenty of bumps around here. I don't know much about the car the TC came from except that it was an Explorer that needed an engine transplant and had a transmission and TC left over. It might never have even used 4WD.
 


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