Question about 1992 Jeep Wrangler

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Front wheel will not engage for 4 wheel drive

Some members of my 4 wheel drive club think it is the vacumme motor attached to the front end that won't allow it to engage.Need help. Thank you.

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  • rossmang Nov 19, 2008

    Mine too will not engage in high or low range. Can't get the indicator light to come on either. Could this be an electrical problem? Gary

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Very possible. Put your jeep on 4 jackstands and put in 4 wheel drive. if the front drive shaft turns pull the vacuum disconnect and check the shift fork. They usually break before the shift actuator.

Posted on Aug 13, 2008

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4 wheel drive not working won't engage front


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The power to the switch seems to be the issue. The vacumm switch is
just a normally closed switch,meaning only when it gets power, will it
send vacumm to the hubs to allow the 4wd to work automatically. You will have to trace the electric back from the switch,to see where it goes,
a relay or fuse. You may just have bad relay contacts. Good luck.
You can always run a toggle switch into the cab,to get the system
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1 Answer

4x4x switch


The computer is not seeing the front axle engage switch close. The front axle engagement is done with a vacumm motor controlled by a vacumm switch on the Transfer case. The computer waits for the electrical engage switch to be triggered. There are several parts to the system. I've seen too many variences with this problem. It is more often part of the vacumm system not working properly. You would need to verify that the 4WD works or not. Then see if the vacumm signal changes to the motor on the front axle going from 2WD to 4WD. If the vacumm signal doesn't change go to the vacumm switch on the Transfer case.(it is way up high on the T-case, hard to get at and difficult to change) If the signal changes, the T-case switch is good and your problem lies with the front axle system. If the vacumm motor on the front axle engages and disengages then replace the electrical engage switch on the front axle.
Your Radio has issues. I presume the CD player is part of the radio. If the radio works(noise and such) but just doesn't show display it may have the backlite bulbs burnt, however that would involve dismantling the radio which takes a special talent in itself.
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1 Answer

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That sounds like what may be happening is the "Vacumm Motor" that locks and disconnects the front axle is binding and not engaging all the way. Or possibly the vacumm supply is not sufficient. Trace the vacumm hoses and look for oil contamination or other damage. You may want to hook up a vacumm guage and check the two hoses. One will have vacumm on 4WD engage and the other on 2WD. You should see the same amount both ways.
Make sure that the 4WD engage lite works too. That would be the electrical switch on the front axle. It should turn on a indicator lite on. (I believe all models are equipped with one with that system)
And before you're done you should inspect all the u-joints and drive axle Constant Velocity joints for wear or the presence of rust around the caps. If there is rust around the cap it is probably full of rust instead of grease (bad) It good to check those periodically but those shouldn't be creating you're noise intermittently.
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and transfer uses a electric motor
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front wheels shouldnt turn with one wheel up

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3 Answers

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the connections near the front axle that activate the motor to engage the system aren't melted? That's a comon problem for that body style. If there good, sounds like it could be that motor itself. To figure out if it's you motor or transfercase, jack up the rear end, have a friend inside shift into 4 wheel drive, or try to, and put it in gear and apply some gas. If the front driveshaft is turning then it's something with the front end. If not, farther back in the system.

Sep 21, 2008 | 1992 GMC Sierra K1500

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