Question about 2003 Ford F150 Regular Cab

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Was driving onto a paved access road to beach. put switch in 4 hi about 40 yards from sand , increased speed to about 10 mph heard a sudden bang in front of truck. Truck came out of 4 wheel. 4 wheel lights stayed on in dash. Reset by stopping put truck in nuetral heard clicking noises to switch on transfer case but 4 wheel would not engage.

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  • Ford Master
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First check the fuse and if that is good check the two black solenoids on the passenger side wire wall, with the help of a friend to turn the 4wd on and off and look to see if the rod from the vacuum motor which is located on the front differential is moving in ether direction.
Located behind a plastic cover on the differential, you'll have to remove the 10mm bolt to see the rod. With the wheels off the ground and if you see the rod move to the lock position and the wheels still move when you rotate it. Most likely it's your hub that is bad, if your lucky. The rod disconnected from the vacuum motor and you just need to reconnect it.
Good luck and hope this helps

Posted on May 26, 2009

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  • Master
  • 316 Answers

Your automatic locking hubs are broken. Very common on ford trucks. The front hubs are geared with hard nylon gears, and are easily broken. If you replace your front hubs with "warn (name brand)" manual locking hubs, your issue will be resolved, and you won't have that issue again on your truck.

If you replace the hubs with manual locking hubs, you will have to stop, get out of the truck, and manually lock in your hubs every time you want to engage your 4 wheel drive. It beats getting stranded somewhere with no 4x4 at all; like you have now.

If you replace your hubs with the factory automatic locking hubs, the issue will return again in time.

Posted on May 26, 2009

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Have your transmission and transfer case checked, this could be the only parts broken on the basis of what you have told us. when you said you heard gears grinding, it is better to replace them.

In your case, I would presume that you were driving on a paved road, Engaging your 4WD on a paved road and doing 80-100km would really damage your 4WD system. wetness of a paved road is not enough to justify the use of your 4WD because there is enough traction on both front and rear tires that could cause your gears to resist each other.

It would be a different case if you drive at 80-100km on a dirt road or off road, i will assure you nothing wrong will happen.

You may still engage your 4WD on a wet paved road but do only a 60 or below.

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