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My 1998 for f150 pick up i can not get 4x4 to work, it seem that on the shiftion vacums solenoids, there is no ground

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Check the vaccuum lines at the front axle. Also check the vaccuum motor that controls the axle switch.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009


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2005 4.6 f150 4WD drive is not engaging.the front pass.wheel makes a grinding noise while in 2WD.when i shift to 4WD the noise goes away but 4WD does not engage. solenoid? actuator? or something more?

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2008 F150 5.4 XLT 4X4 No 4wd

you need check inside your transfer case for brock parts

Dec 28, 2013 | 2006 Ford F-150

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2005 F150 4x4 hubs not engaging

First, You said you DID NOT check for voltage at the solenoid connector...I think that would be a real good idea.

Did you check to see if the vacuum lines actually had vacuum? Did you check to see if vacuum was present at the solenoid? Does the solenoid "click" when changes are made to the 4X4 controls? Did you check for Did you check that the vacuum from the solenoid to the axle actuator was being applied to the actuator?

Feb 28, 2012 | Ford F-150 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I have a 98 f150 4x4 automatic with the 4x4 shifter on the floor. Wheni shlift into 4x4 the front does not go in to gear.

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 ( engine off ), engage 4x4 and try to turn the front drive shaft.
If the front driver shaft turns it is a problem with the transfer case.
If it doesn't it is a front axle engagement problem.

The front axle engagement problems are either rotten vacuum lines from the shift motor solenoids or the vacuum disconnect motor.
The vacuum disconnect motor ( Item #10 )
Close up of what it looks like :

The vacuum lines run to the solenoids

The Pink Vacuum line is the 2WD operation, the Light blue vacuum line is the 4WD operation. You can confirm the operation by applying vacuum at the solenoid, and the Vacuum disconnect motor should move.
If this tests good, check that there is not a crack in the vacuum reservoir behind the battery. The reservoir runs past the check valve ( that is to the intake I seem to recall ) and to a T to both solenoids. If the reservoir is cracked, it cannot supply vacuum to the solenoid and while it is operating correctly, the vacuum is not there to operate the disconnect motor.

The solenoids always have + DCV at them, the GEM controls them by applying ground to the solenoids.

Start by checking the front driver shaft, and work from there. If the front drive shaft spins, you have an issue in the transfer case, that is mechanical ( manual Shift on the Fly - could be hung up. you can try a dead blow hammer on the back of the transfer case, while trying to shift in and out of 4WD. Just be cautious that you do not damage the transfer case by hitting it too hard, too much or with a metal hammer ).

Nov 02, 2010 | 1998 Ford F150 Regular Cab

2 Answers

1998 Ford f150 4x4 intermittant clapping sound front axle area

The vacuum shift motor ( actually a diaphragm ) is a vacuum to move the lever one direction ( i.e. 4WD ) and then vacuum to move the other direction ( i.e. back into 2WD ).

You can shift into 2WD and remove the vacuum lines and plug them to remove this, if you think the vacuum shift solenoids are getting ground from another source and shifting the front axle, or just unplug the connector on the shift solenoids. The GEM activates the Shift solenoids by applying ground to them.

I would have to agree with papa_11069 that the problem is in the front u-joints.

Dec 30, 2009 | 1998 Ford F150 Regular Cab

2 Answers

2002 ford f150 4x4 manual transfer case vacum

The vacuum shift solenoids have power to one side of them at all times.
The GEM applies ground to them, to activate them, after the shift on the fly position confirm from the trans case.
The power to both should be on the White w/ Light Blue stripe wire.
Ground to them ( from the GEM ) is
2WD : Gray w/ Black stripe wire
4WD : Red.

The only TSB I know of is for the 04-06 MY trucks, for the IWE solenoids ( the kind without the water shield ).

Did you jack up the front end ( and support correctly ) turn the key to the run position ( do not start ), and shift into 4WD, and check the front drive shaft ?
If the shaft still turns, the problem is in the transfer case, if not you are looking in the correct place.
The GEM will not signal a vacuum solenoid until the transfer case has shifted into 4L or 4H ( 4 switches that are the return signal to the GEM ). Could be a problem with the connector on the transfer case ( think it is a 8 or 10 pin connector ) to the contact plate position switches in the trans case.

There is a manual front ale cable, but I would think you would want to confirm why the GEM is not signalling the shift solenoids, prior to replacing them
Posilock make a kit for the F-150

Dec 11, 2009 | 2002 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

I recently tried putting my 1998 Ford F150 into

I would start with checking the vacuum solenoids on the front axle, and the vac diaphragm.
Item #10


You can test the vac operation with a hand held vac ( like a mighty vac ) with the vac solenoids

This is a case of you place the ESOF switch into 4H or 4L and the indicator does not illuminate on the cluster.
quite often, it is the mechanical operation that is failing, and the vac operation has cracked hoses on it, creating no vac to operate the diaphragm.

Nov 24, 2009 | 1998 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

1998 F150 Reg Cab 4x4 won't shift to 3rd.

If there is a problem with the 3-4 solenoid then a check engine light would be on or the OD light would be flashing. Read the faultcodes and see what is there.

Jun 20, 2017 | 1998 Ford F150 Regular Cab

1 Answer

Elec 4 wheel drive light comes on but 4x4 not engaging

change the 2 solenoids on the firewall on the passenger side. they contol the vacum to the acuator.

Jan 27, 2009 | 1999 Ford F150 Regular Cab

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