Question about 2001 Ford Expedition

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My 1997 ford expedition won't go into 4wd.

I have checked the fuses. they are fine.  When I turn the knob to 4wd nothing happens. I think there is a relay fuse as well but im not sure which one it is.  Any ideas what could be causing this?

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  • patspacek Jan 15, 2009

    My problem is the same. My dash indicates that I am in 4WD Low Range and that is definately not the case. After the vehicle reaches 32 mph it drives and accelerates normally.

  • ExPo_iN_MuD Apr 18, 2009

    i have the same problem my expedition will not engage or even light up

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You need to specify if it's the high or low 4WD, or both that's the issue. Also, make sure it's not as simple as the indicator light not working but the 4WD is.

I had the same problem on my 2001 Expedition, and it could be a couple of problems. You've eliminated a fuse to the transefr case shift motor, so that's good. If the 4WD system is not used for extended periods it doesn't get oil circulated around the mechanism and it gets stuck. You need to press the 4WD button while the truck is stationary and pull away. You may have to do this a few times until it finally engages. When it kicks in run it in 4WD for a while to give the transfer case a good workout and it should loosen up. Follow the usual precautions about running in 4WD (especially low range) on pavement.

If this doesn't seem to fix the issue, your shift motor that engages the 4WD transfer case may be out. You'll have to get under the vehicle and test for 12V to the shift motor when it's engaged. You may want a dealer to do this for you as getting under a large vehicle when its being put into 4WD is extremely dangerous, even if it's up on stands on 4 corners (which is essential for this as no wheels should touch the ground). I strongly recommend having this done on the correct equipment.

If you have air suspension, as I do, you absolutely must disconnect it from power before propping up your Expedition. If it kicks in, which it can do even when the vehicle is off, it could knock the truck off your stands.

You can disconnect the shift motor electrical connector and test for juice. In all likelyhood, if the first suggestion doesn't free up your 4WD then chances are high that the shift motor is either bad or not getting juice.

You may also want to check the transmission range sensor. If it's faulty then it can prevent the 4WD system from engaging. You can test it as follows: Turn the ignition to "on" but don't start the engine, put the tranny in reverse and see if the back-up lights come on. If they don't, then the sensor is out of alignment or broken. If it's out of alignment, loosening the bolts on the sensor and moving it until the back-up lights come on will fix that. If the back-up lights don't come on even when moving the loosened sensor, then the sensor will need to be replaced. If the back-up lights do work, but either the vehicle won't start in park/neutral, or if it can start in any gear, then it is defective and should be replaced.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008

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ON the 97 Expedition the 4wd engages by vacuum. The vacuum device is mounted on the front axle and is usually the culprit. Just replace it all should be fine.

Posted on Feb 10, 2009

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