Question about 1997 Dodge Ram 1500 Club Cab

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I have a 1997 Dodge 1500. When I try to shift into 4wd I only get 2wd. It seems to shift but does not power the front wheels. The 4wd light does not come on. I had it in 4wd today without the light on. I need 4wd, this is my plow truck. Please help

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  • chief_b Jan 02, 2009

    When I needed 4wd it failed. I shifted from 2H to 4H with no response in the front axle and no indicator light. I shifted into 4L with the same results. I can tell that the transfercase is engaging and the transmission gears down but still nothing to the front wheels.

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There are some vaccum lines that go to your axle. there is a disconnect there and a switch that lights up your dash light when engaged. I would first make sure they are still connected and not damaged. The vaccum signal to engage and disengage comes from the top of your transfer case right under the shifter boot. To test if you disconnect is working, apply vacuum to one or the other side of the diaphram for the axle disconnect and try it out. otherwise you may have lost vacuum somewhere or you have a bad switch on your transfer case.

Posted on Feb 21, 2009

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Operationally vacuum shifts the front axle between 2WD and 4WD mode. The GEM ( Generic Electronics Module ) applies ground to the solenoid needed for the mode selected on the switch ( for ESOF ) or when the transfer case shift lever is moved ( MSOF ).The contact plates in the transfer case signal the GEM that the transfer case is engaged, and the Vacuum solenoids need to be activated ( either 2WD to 4WD or 4WD to 2WD ).

Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
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sscullys_185.jpg
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
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2.Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
3.Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
sscullys_187.jpg
4.Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
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7.Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
sscullys_186.jpg

Usually the case is cracked vacuum lines from the solenoids, the next common is a cracked vacuum reservoir box, and 1 time I have seen the mount for the vacuum disconnect motor broken ( motor floating free so it could not push against the axle )
sscullys_188.jpg

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