Question about Ford F-150

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I have a 2003 Ford F-150 FX-4 (4WD). When I turned the "Shift of Demand" switch to 4H today, nothing "4x4" light on the dash, no "electrical click", no lock-in of the hubs, etc...The fuses under the dash, and under the hood both appear fine...Do you all think it is the 4WD switch (AITEX Part #1S3631), or maybe something more sinister?

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  • Flugenfrog Dec 21, 2008

    I checked the connection, and it is not loose. I am thinking that it may be the "Shift on the Fly Switch", as when I would previously turn the switch to 4H or 4L, I would hear a "Click, click, click" from within/underneath the dashboard, as the electrons would flow, and the "4x4" cluster light would appear. I believe that it may be electrical in nature, and do not believe it is mechanical, as I am not getting any visual ("4x4" light) or audible indications ("click, click, click") that anything is happening at all when turning the switch to 4H or 4L. As I stated earlier, the fuses are good, and I do see the "4x4" light and "Low Range" lights appear when I start the truck, as is stated should happen in the owner's manual...What do you think?

  • Ricardo Loranca
    Ricardo Loranca May 11, 2010

    maybe the connection is loose



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It can be the actuator swith located at the transfer case . or it can be the hubs themselves. Ford recommends that the hubs be cleaned at least once a year or more if the 4 wheel is used often.They are not that hard to remove and clean.And lubricate. If you do use grease do not pack the grease inside the hub.Here is a site that may help . Add the http:// www dot. if this helps you vote an answer

Posted on Dec 20, 2008


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The 4x4 will not engage on my 2003 ford f150. could it the dash switch?

Does yours have Electronic Shift on the Fly (ESOF) Operation The electronic shift on the fly (ESOF) system is an electronic shift 4x4 system that allows the operator to choose between two different 4x4 modes as well as 2-wheel drive. The operator can switch between 2WD and 4H mode at speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph). To engage or disengage 4L range, the vehicle speed must be less than 5 km/h (3 mph), the brake pedal depressed, and the transmission must be in NEUTRAL. The transfer case is equipped with an electromagnetic clutch which is located inside the case. This clutch is used to spin up the front driveline when shifting from 2WD to 4H mode at speed. When the control switch on the instrument panel is turned, the generic electronic module (GEM) recognizes that a shift has been requested and activates the electromagnetic clutch and the relays which power the transfer case shift motor. When the shift motor reaches the desired position, as determined by the contact plate position inputs to the GEM, power to the shift relays and motors will be removed. When the transfer case front and rear output shafts are synchronized, the spring loaded lockup collar mechanically engages the mainshaft hub to the drive sprocket. Finally, the front axle collar is engaged and the electromagnetic clutch is deactivated.

After reading this material I would not think it was the switch . Maybe an input problem to the GEM module .

Feature Inputs:
  • 4WD Mode Switch (various resistances; go to Table 1).
  • Contact Plate Position Inputs A, B, C, D (grounded when closed, open circuit when open; go to Table 4).
  • Output Speed Shaft (OSS) Sensor (Sinusoid Signal: 0.7V-20V, 2.2 Hz/mph).
  • Brake Input (battery voltage when brake is depressed, open circuit when not activated).
  • Transmission Range Sensor (grounded when transmission is in NEUTRAL, open circuit otherwise).
  • Start/Clutch Depressed Input (go to Table 3).
  • I would take it and have it check for codes !

Dec 02, 2016 | 2003 Ford F-150

1 Answer

I have a 2003 Ford Ranger XLT and nothing happens when the 4 wheel drive knob is turned in hi or low it dosent shift

either switch is bad not getting power or the actuator on the transfer case is faulty or not getting power

Feb 28, 2015 | Ford Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Dash selector does not engage 4x4 hi or 4x4 low, Used it for maybe 1 hour total since 2006 when pourchased new F-150

Operationally vacuum holds the IWE ( Integrated Wheel Ends ) out, and once vac is removed the spring engages the IWE.

Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

- If the front drive shaft does not turn :
Shut of the truck ( still jacked up, and supported ) remove the vac lines from the IWE. The spring should push the gears in, without the vac line on.
Check the vent line ( tube that is routed into the engine compartment with nothing attached to it ), for blockages.
If the vent line is clear, and with the vac lines off the IWE should be engaged ( both front wheels locked ).
If they lock, the problem is with the IWE solenoid not shutting off vacuum to the IWEs. There is a TSB on the 2004-2006 IWE solenoids, a newer revision has been made, and used from 2007 and newer MYs.

Here is a block diagram of the IWE system

If the front drive shaft turns, it is either the connector to the transfer case or the transfer shift motor not functioning correctly.
Check the connector for corrosion on both the male and female pins.
Turn key to run ( do not start ) and have someone turn from 2WD to 4H and back again while hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( not a steel hammer ) to see if the shift motor is hanging up.

Not sure if selector does not engage 4x4 hi or 4x4 low means the lights on the mode selector switch do not change, or if the switch selects 4H, but the front wheels do not function, so hard to provide a true direction on where the problem could be.

Dec 06, 2010 | 2006 Ford F-150

1 Answer

2000 Ford F-150 4x4 in gear with floor shift will not activate.

Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc ). Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft. If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case. If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem. I would guess a problem with the vacuum disconnect motor on the front axle ( or vacuum lines from teh solenoids or the solenoids themselves ), but best to verify the test above to know which way to go. Post back a comment after the test.

Feb 23, 2010 | 2000 Ford F150 Flareside SuperCab

2 Answers

I have a Ford F150 that I engaged into 4L. Now I am trying to engage back to 2H and it is not engaging back. The 4x4 is controlled from the inside of the truck. The controller doesnt feel like there is any...

The switch could be bad, but if you cannot select 4H or 2H, I would think the shift motor in the transfer case is the issue.
This is assuming when you posted "control switch be bad", that you have an ESOF ( Electronic Shift on the Fly ) system.

Some times the Shift motor in the transfer case hangs up, and tapping the back of the transfer case cures the problem. The other thing could be the connector on the transfer case is corroded, remove the connector, and check it for water and other junk, clean if necessary.

You can remove the switch from the dash, and check the resistance on it.

If you secure the truck ( chock the wheels, parking brake, etc ) and having someone turn the ESOF switch from 4L to 2H or 4H, while tapping on the transfer case, this would be a good place to start.

Feb 23, 2010 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

My 2003 F-150 will not engage the 4-wheel drive when the switch is turned on? Two days ago it worked fine and the light does come on?

Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground ( take safety precautions, chock wheels, jack stands, etc )
Key on, engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
If it turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

I am going to guess the drive shaft will not turn, and the problem is the shift disconnect motor on the front axle, or the shift solenoids.
The shift motor looks like this

The shift solenoids look like this :

You can check the shift solenoids with a vacuum gauge. The blue vacuum line is the 4WD operation, the pink is the 2WD operation. Pull the vacuum line at the shift disconnect motor, and install the vacuum gauge. Shift into 4WD and the vacuum should be on the line, and hold. If not could be the disconnect motor or the vacuum line to the motor.

Could also be the shift motor in the transfer case, but with the 4x4 light on the cluster lighting up, the transfer case should have shifted, the confirm comes from the transfer case to illuminate the 4x4 indicator on the cluster.

Feb 20, 2010 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

2 Answers

Transfercase problem it is stuck in 4x4 low canot put it back in 2high connections look good

Try putting the transmission in neutral first then shift the 4wd switch to 4 hi.then try shifting normally.If the light on the 4wd is flashing there is a code in the 4wd system and you will need to get the code.Sometimes the encoder motor will gets week and will not be able to switch gears.

Nov 24, 2009 | 2000 Chevrolet Silverado

1 Answer

I put the truck in to 4h and then when i went to put it back in to 2h it won't go

If this electronic shift on the fly 4x4, try tapping on the electric 4x4 motor on the transfer case. Water and dirt get inside and cause it to stick. It may need replacing.

Sep 25, 2009 | 2005 Ford F-150

1 Answer

How to shift into 4wd

Ford has 2 types of 4x4 system engagement. One is a knob on the dash that you just turn to 4wheel drive high or low. The other system is the 4x4 transfer case shift on the transmission tunnel (hump) between the driver and passenger seats. To shift into 4 wheel drive high while driving, just let off the gas and shift transfer case into 4H position, and continue driving. To shift into 4 wheel drive Low, stop the vehicle completely, put transmission in neutral, shift transfer case into 4Low position, put trans. in gear, and start driving. I am assuming before doing the above, you have locked in ( turned the front hubs to 4 wheel drive position.) Any further questions, let me know.

May 16, 2009 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

Elec 4 wheel drive light comes on but 4x4 not engaging

change the 2 solenoids on the firewall on the passenger side. they contol the vacum to the acuator.

Jan 27, 2009 | 1999 Ford F150 Regular Cab

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