Re: 4 wheel drive selector won't move to select 4x4
I am guessing the way you wrote this that the switch moves but 4H is not activating. If this is the case, then check the fuses/breakers as described in your fuse/relay section of the manual. If these are good, then check the connections to the 4x4 motor on the txfer case. Sometimes the connection there gets corroded or damaged while 4wheeling.
Also, the vacuum operated ft wheels must have good vacuum to the front diff (you will see the vac line on the right side of the diff AS WELL AS the two vacuum switches on the passenger side, firewall under the hood. The fuses/relays/breakers are first to check. Then check the vacuum lines under the hood to the TWO electronically activated vacuum switches on the firewall. Lastly, check the vacuum line to the differential and the connection to the actual transfer case actuation motor..
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Those older fords you have to put the 4x4 selector into 2H or 2 High on the floor shifter. Then go to the front tires and in the very center of the tire there will be a knob that say Locked and Unlocked. Turn the knob to unlocked on both sides. Then you will not have front wheel dragging on the drive train and only the rear wheels will be the drive tire. TO put it back in 4x4. Turn the knob back to locked on each front tire and put the truck in 4H or 4 High to get 4x4. Only use 4L or 4Low when your stuck to prevent spinning your tires with full power.
Now if your has the automatic locking hubs I would switch them out with manual ones because the automatic ones were problematic where they get stuck or not work at all. It requires replacing the locking hub assembly which isn't that hard to do.
Check out F150OwnersBlog.com or 4x4Owners Blog. It sounds like the actuator inside the transfer case is stuck.
If this is the Vacuum shift setup, the plunger inside the 4x4 box is sticking. You also could have low vacuum pressure from a bad Vacuum pump on the engine.
The Electric setups worked differently. The voltage running to the underside wires to the shift solenoid had set values to extend and retract the solenoid plunger. Often, a burned out light in the inside Selector switch on the dash would affect the Voltage sent to the solenoid. A silly thing like changing the indicator bulb would restore the proper voltage underneath the truck.
Remember to sequence the trans to neutral before engaging some of the transfer cases.
You can try several things. You can stop the vehicle as if you are going into low range and shift the high range 2h, 4h, etc.. Ford advertises the Electric button type as "shift on the fly" but does not say the gears are synchronized to do that with manual engagement.
Change the lube this time to see if the lube is Milky. There have been floods, otherwise the case is sealed whether you park it or drive it. You still could have rust on the shift linkage. You need to move the linkage as you spray it. Then the offbeat chance something was bent from offroading. A Salvage Yard is a wonderful place to learn how a car is built. You may see their part looks different than yours.
I love driving 4x4 jeeps, especially in 4-wheel drive. First, a list of when you should and should not use 4-wheel drive.
2x4 Hi is for normal driving in most weather and anytime you are driving over 50mph.
4x4 HI is for getting you unstuck from mud or snow and can be used up to 50mph but is not recommended for much faster. It is only designed to get you moving and unstuck, it will NOT make it any safer to drive faster on slick surfaces like rain, snow, or ice. Always drive slower on these kinds of surfaces.
4x4 lo (low) is for extreme 4x4 driving like trail riding and mud bogging to get over steep inclines and deep mud without burning up the clutch. 4x4 lo should never be used to drive faster than 25-35mph and should only be used in off road situations.
Neutral (on the 4x4 shifter) is mainly used if you are towing your jeep with any of the wheels on the ground. It completely disengages the transmission from the drive train so you can tow it without damaging the trans.
Now, to shift from one to another. My jeep may be different than yours and I haven't driven my jeep in a while (I had to sell it) but it should shift the same way.
First, make sure you are parked and the wheels are not moving. Put the main gear shift (5-speed) into Neutral, hold down the clutch and move the selector from 2x4 to 4x4 by first pulling the shifter to the side then moving it up or down. Some jeeps (especially older ones) may have a wheel lock on the outside of the wheel hub (AKA hub lock). This must be in the "LOCK" position for 4x4 and "UNLOCK" for normal 2x4 driving. Make sure it is fully engaged in the slot before shifting into 1st. Then you can drive normally, following the guidelines above.
The regular 5-speed transmission will shift just the same as before but you will notice that the jeep will drive much slower in 4x4 lo and it will have much more torque for those really sticky situations.
Good luck! Have fun! And if you do plan on doing some real 4x4'in or mud boggin' make sure you buy a winch for the front of your jeep or bring a friend who has a winch on their truck to get you unstuck from the worst of the worst! Don't forget to rate!
P.S. if you have problems with one or more 4x4 settings you can always shift back to 2x4. Make sure that if you are driving on the highway or in normal driving conditions, you are always in 2x4.
P.P.S. If you are near the Columbia, MO area send me a PM, I'd love to find some new friends to do some 4x4 driving with in the area so I can get back into the sport. I miss it.
i have 2006 f250 4x4 will not engage unless i lock in hubs. once hubs locked in i can engage 4x4 by using electronic selector. why will it not engage when hubs are in auto and electronic selector is on 4high