Question about 1989 Ford F 150

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Clunking from front end in 2WD

After shifting back to 2wd from 4H, 4wd light goes out but I hear a slight grinding like it has not fully disenganged and front end clunks when slowing to a stop. When turning front end grabs like it is still in 4wd. This has happened in the past and goes away over time until I use it again. What gear should I be in to shift from 2wd to 4wd and back? Park or N?

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  • Anonymous Mar 15, 2014

    2wd works. 4wd doesnt shakeing and grinding comming from front axle

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  • 202 Answers

ASE mechanic here:
check the king pins in the front end and the u joints for any kind of play. sounds like front end play while four wheel drive is engaged and stills is affected for a while when two wheel drive is activated. this year truck most definitely has a manual four wheel linkage that could be the problem too. try lubing up any moving linkage and i would shift it in neutral. keep me posted

Posted on Jan 26, 2009

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I can not get power to the motor to engage my front axle on my 4x4.


Power as in 12 V DC ? if yes, you are not in the correct area, the front axle is locked in and out of 4x4 mode with vacuum.

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 )
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 :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
sscullys_200.jpg
Item #10 in this diagram
sscullys_10.gif
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
1.Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
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.
4.Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
5.Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
6.Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
7.Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
sscullys_199.jpg

- If the front drive shaft turns:
For ESOF system
-- Check the fuses for the transfer case, engine compartment fuse panel, 17 & Cab fuse panel fuses 13 and 23 ( verify with owners manual, 97-97 & 99-03 MY can be slightly different on some items ).
-- Try hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ) to see if the transfer case shift motor is hung up .
-- Check the transfer case connector, to make sure the connector pins are clean and making good contact.
For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

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1 Answer

My 98 f150 was in 4WD Hi this morning when I started it. Selector switch is in 2WD position. 4WD Hi light is on, hubs (or front differential) is engaged and transfer case engage. (Feel front wheel hop...


If the switch was in the 2WD position and the transfer case was locked in a 4WD range, my 2 SWAGs would be bad switch or the connector to the shift motor is damaged / corroded or the fuse to the transfer case shift relay module is blown ( fuse # 17 ) / problem with the transfer case shift relay module.

This is without knowing if the truck was used in 4WD the night prior, and shifted out just before turning off. If this is the case, the shift motor might be stuck, and a few hits with a dead blow hammer to the transfer case might jar it free again ( do not use a metal hammer, it could damage the transfer case ).

The vacuum shift solenoids on the firewall are controlled by the GEM ( Generic Electronic Module ) which is grounding either the 2WD or 4WD solenoid, depending on the shift plate contacts in the transfer case. ( when in 4 or 4H, the contact switch plate signals the GEM, which in turn grounds the correct solenoid ).

Pulling the switch will not cause the transfer case to go back to a default position, the switch has a resistance level for each mode, and needs that value to operate the shift motor.

The resistance values for the switch between the 2 dark blue wires:
2WD - 4100 to 3700 ohms
4H - 1050 to 1150 ohms
4L - 380 to 340 ohms
- find the wire locations on the switch, mark them and remove the connector to test the resistance.

Just my opinion on the order :

1. Check the fuses for the shift motor
2. Try the old school shift method, back up ~ 50' put into park or neutral, and shift from 4WD to 2WD.
2.1. This is to see if the transfer case shift motor is bound up, and reversing might release it
3. Try hammering the transfer case with a dead blow hammer while someone shifts from 2WD to 4WD. You only need the key in the run position, if it happens quick enough after running the engine, the vacuum reservoir will still have enough vac to operate the solenoids. Don't chance running yourself over.
3.1. If this frees up the shift motor and the vacuum has bled off, you can try starting the truck and shifting into 4H then back to 2WD to get the front axle to disconnect or manually vacuum operate the front disconnect motor by applying vacuum to the pink vacuum line on the shift motor on the front axle.

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1 Answer

KinlogworksI have A 2003 F-150 Super Crew. I have only used th4 wheel drive a few dozen times. about a mounth ago i switched it into 4 high and nothing happened. problem also in 4 low. any advise?


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 )
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 :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
{ picture of shift motor }
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
•Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
•Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
•Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
•Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
•Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
•Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
•Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
{ Picture of Vacuum diagram )

- If the front drive shaft turns:
•For ESOF system
-- Check the fuses for the transfer case, engine compartment fuse panel, 17 & Cab fuse panel fuses 13 and 23 ( verify with owners manual, 97-97 & 99-03 MY can be slightly different on some items ).
-- Try hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ) to see if the transfer case shift motor is hung up .
-- Check the transfer case connector, to make sure the connector pins are clean and making good contact.
•For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

Jan 18, 2011 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

2003 F-150 regular cab automatic transmission and the 4WD will not engage.


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 )
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 :
•With the truck running ( with front wheel back on the ground ), switch from 2WD to 4WD and back again, the vacuum shift motor should move the lever on the front axle.
{ picture of shift motor }
-- If the vacuum shift motor does not move:
•Check for vacuum on the lines while shifting between modes. Pink vacuum line is 2WD mode, Light Blue vacuum line is 4WD.
•Check the fuses for the 4WD system and the solenoids.
•Check the vacuum lines from the vacuum shift motor to the solenoids on the firewall.
•Check the vacuum lines from the solenoids to the vacuum reservoir box behind the battery.
•Check the vacuum reservoir box for cracks.
•Typical solution is the vacuum lines ( to the solenoids or to the vacuum shift motor ) are cracked or the vacuum shift motor has a cracked diaphragm and has water in it.
•Could be the shift plate contacts in the transfer case are corroded / not making good contact, and not activating the solenoids.
sscullys_111.jpg

- If the front drive shaft turns:
•For ESOF system
-- Check the fuses for the transfer case, engine compartment fuse panel, 17 & Cab fuse panel fuses 13 and 23 ( verify with owners manual, 97-97 & 99-03 MY can be slightly different on some items ).
-- Try hitting the transfer case with a dead blow hammer ( do not use a metal hammer, it can damage the transfer case ) to see if the transfer case shift motor is hung up .
-- Check the transfer case connector, to make sure the connector pins are clean and making good contact.
•For MSOF systems
-- Check that the shift linkage on the transfer case is moving when the lever is moved from 2W to 4H and 4L.

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I just bought a 2001 blazer 4.3 4wd and it was stuck in 4 low


It should tell you on the Shifter whether or not that you can Shift on the Fly. Check the Manual first if there is one in the Truck. Some Models had this and some Did not. Was an Extra from Factory Option.

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1 Answer

95 Grand Cherokee front drivetrain


Hi Terrell,

First off, thanks for the detailed description of your problem. I wish they were all as well written as yours.

It's tough not being able to hear the noise it's making. Luckily I can draw parallels to my own experiences with GC's. Mine has 'Select-Trac', which like your 'Command-Trac', enables us to shift on the fly to 4WD. Meaning, we don't have to stop, get out, lock the hubs, get back in then shift to 4WD. Also like yours, my front end was making some noise.

What was up with mine: The 'Select-Trac' on my G.C. is a lever type switch on the center console. When I switch from 2WD to 4WD it routes a vacuum line to an actuator which engages the transfer case. The moving parts are all near the T-Case. While in 4WD, going any faster than a crawl I'd hear a mild grinding/whirring sound. It increased with speed, all but disappeared as I decelerated and made me crazy.

What it turned out to be was a Vacuum leak. The 'bellows' (for lack of a better description) type actuator was only partially engaging the the 4WD. Enough to lock the drive train, not enough to fully mesh the gears resulting in all sorts of worrisome noises. I found and fixed the leak, adjusted the range on the mode rod and that was it.

You're thinking, 'That's special'.

Well here's the parallel.
Command-Trac is also vacuum actuated. The difference is it engages your hubs from the the front axle by means of a 'shift fork'. The technical name is the 'Command-Trac Axle Shift Motor'.
When applied, the vacuum actuator moves the fork one way or the other, engaging or disengaging the hubs.

From your excellent diagnosis, it sounds like 4WD isn't fully disengaging.
You were correct about the front drive shaft. It should not be spinning while in 2WD.

Qualifiers: Is the grinding sound different at low speeds? While making sharp turns?

Have another look with these new facts in mind. Check vacuum lines, lubricant in the axle.

If you get me your engine size, tranny type, etc. I can probably scare up some vacuum diagrams (on the off chance you need them).

I hope this opens new doors for you.
Comment me back with what you come up with.
Good luck buddy.
Mike

Oct 14, 2008 | 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee

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