Question about 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

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How to shift into 4wd

What is the correct way to shift my 2003 f150 automatic into 4wd

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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.

Posted on May 16, 2009

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2 Answers

Got. A 2003 f150 4x4 got problems with 4 wheel drive locking in and stay in drive shaft turning front wheels not


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 ( this is what you seem to have, the transfer case is engaged and will drive the front shaft mine was a key on engine off test ).

- 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_185.jpg
-- 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.
sscullys_187.jpg
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_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

Aug 28, 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.

Jan 10, 2011 | 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

Cant turn on 4wd


Have you checked if the problem is with the front hubs or with the transfer case ?
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.

Next with the truck running, have someone turn the switch to 4WD, and you should see the shift motor diaphragm move
db3e24b.jpg

If not, could be the shift fork is stuck ( try manually moving ) or cold be a vacuum leak back to the vacuum shift solenoids
a6ef351.jpg

You can remove the 4WD mode switch, and test the resistance on it ( this is also the vacuum line routing )
1d66749.jpg
You might find moisture in the vacuum shift motor diaphragm, not allowing the vacuum to operate it correctly.

Jan 07, 2010 | 1997 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

2003 f150 crew 4wd Lost 4WD tranfer case locks


Lift and support the front of the truck so the front wheels are off the ground.
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.

Nov 30, 2009 | 2005 Ford F-150

1 Answer

In 2WD but 4x4 light on also front axels and hubs stay engaged


youve probably have got a bad hub. with an open front differintial it will spin the tires in the air but not when torgue is applied.

Nov 20, 2009 | 2005 Ford F-150

1 Answer

How do you engage 4wd on 2002 ford f150


Put into 4WD under 15 mph it should shift into 4WD high. Best to be stopped with trans in neutral to shift into 4WD low or out of 4WD low.

Oct 25, 2009 | 2002 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

All things in dash/steering wheel not correctly working


mice? sounds like the wires may have been chewed on and shorting out.

Sep 09, 2009 | 2000 Ford F150 Flareside SuperCab

2 Answers

It's an automatic but it won't shift from 2nd to 3rd.


I would have to say it is the tranny check the fluid make sure it is clean and at the correct level

Apr 16, 2009 | 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

1 Answer

I press the button but truck won't shift into 4WD


That sounds like a serious problem with the guts inside of the transfer case. Or it could be as simple as the shifter motor not working correctly. Take the motor off and see if it turns correctly when you press the buttons. Also, leave a comment telling what the lights say.

Dec 22, 2008 | 2003 Toyota Tacoma

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