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Ford Expedition 4WD Problems



  • The tire grab description sounds like it is the limited slip rear end binding. Do you have the LSD? Have you changed the fluid in it? Added modifier?
  • this is a 99' and I don't think it has LSD. the grab feels like it is coming from the front tires..mostly drivers side.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited November 2011
    Front tire scrubbing and/or wheel hop during low speed tight turning can be, is caused by a locked center diff'l. Absent the 4X4 light I would guess a front CV joint, sounds as if that flashing 4X4 light shouldn't be ignored.
  • I'm having the same problems on my 2003 expedition . I just had my front two tires changed recently; Now my A4WD , Hi or Lo is grinding and pulling to the right when I accelerate, feels like the front end of my truck is falling apart. But it works fine in 2wheel hi , so thats what I driving in now; till I figure this thing out about what the hell!!! went wrong to the point where no one knows what happen in that Very short period of time. Do I have to buy a new hub for both sides or just the (IWE) SOLENOID ? what would be your best suggestion at this point?
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Posts: 339
    edited December 2011
    Your problem may be the new tires. How old were the rears? The diameters need to be very close because the A4WD and beyond utilize the wheel rpms to determine if there is wheel slip. A larger (new) tire rotates less than an older more worn tire, the A4WD sees that as wheel slip and engages. I bet the shop suggested you do all 4 tires didn't they? They were not over selling you, they know the deal. 4Hi and 4Lo couple all the wheels together, but with different diameters the fronts and rears are trying to turn different rpms, hence the noise. 2 more new tires will fix your issue.
  • I have a 1988 expedition with 180,000 miles. It runs like a tank usually. Today after returning from a 20 mile trip to the office I arrived home to find I needed to go out to pick up dinner. I started the truck and started down the road only to hear a grinding noise and felt the truck lurch forward. I pulled over and started out again same result. The dash light shows 4x4 low but the switch isn't set in 4 wheel mode. Any ideas?
  • Sounds like the a4wd is engaging. Did you try running it through the 4wd selections, i.e. put it in 4 hi, then 4 lo? See if that gets it back to where it belongs. Your '98 has A4wd and no 2wd drive, correct?
  • My 98 has 2H A4WD 4H and 4L. I haven't had it out of 2H in over a year. Tried switching through 4W modes no change still have light saying 4x4 Low Range.
  • Sorry first post should have been 98 not 88. Typo
  • Could this be the electronic shift motor? Can I test to prove its not working?
  • Yes, but usually the failure is that it doesn't engage, not that it randomly does. Not sure how you would go about fooling it into disengaging. Did you try 4x4 just before this happened?
  • No its been ib 2h. Wondering if Solenoid for 2h or the one for A4WD is out. cant find them just read abiut them.
  • The solenoid is what would send the impulse to the motor to move. If you didn't switch it, there is no reason for it to be in 4WD. Are you still driving it?
    The motor is a plug and play and unbolts pretty easliy. You could take it out and see if there is anything going on.
  • Hi I have this problem with my truck I had this happen before but it went back to awd. I was driving in the HWY. and as I exit and stop it made a loud sound and it seem like it engage in 4x4 but it was still in awd road conditon a little slippery. so I parked and check it see if anything came lose or broken,nothing that I could see so climb back an did a test on my awd,4h and 4lo to see if I could disngauge or something .so I thought it was the transfer motor and to my luck it wasnt so dont know what else to do or replace,..low on $ has any one had this problem..any sugestions
    thank you..
  • dale77dale77 Posts: 16
    4WD will not engage and no light on the dash. Had GEM problem from windshield leak but repaired leak and electrical is functioning well for over a year. I checked one 30-amp fuse and it looked fine. I would like suggestions of things to check before I start spending money. Thanks in advance.
  • airconmanairconman Posts: 14
    Dale, I have had this problem a few times before on my 97 Exp. On my year there are a few different GEM fuses. But what solved it for me was I removed every (not just the GEM related) fuse and reinserted. None were burned. But there must have been a bad connection on one or two that was affecting it going into 4wd. This has happened 3 different years, always in the fall. We live on a dirt road and it is a little rough and dusty in summer so maybe this is the cause for me. Hopefully you'll have the result - cheap and easy.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You seem to think you can drive on a non-slippery surface in A4WD.

    Is that true..?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    In general you only have driveline STRESS and thereby NOISE if you are in either high or low A4WD mode on a tractive surface. Slightly differing front vs rear tire circumstance will not really matter unless you have teh F/R coupling enaged and you are driving on a tractive surface.

    Also, ABS, VSC and TC are typically disabled with the F/R coupling engaged, so those wouldn't be the causative noise factor.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Until proven otherwise put full faith in the indication.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    There is NO such thing as a roadgoing vehicle without 2wd. No 4WD of any flavor could be driven on our roadbeds without a 2wd as primary mode.
  • alwaysfords2alwaysfords2 Posts: 339
    edited March 2012
    A4WD can be driven on "tractive surfaces". Actually there is at least one year (1999) of Expeditions where there is no 2WD selection. A4WD is your only choice for normal driving. This discussion of course applies to 4x4 models, the Expedition is also offered as a 2WD. You seem to be confused about what A4WD is. It is intended to sense wheel slip in the event the driver doesn't realize the surface is slippery. It normally operates as a 2WD, but automatically engages four wheel drive based on conditions. It does this by monitoring wheel RPMs at all four corners and when a difference is detected it engages 4WD. It keeps it engaged until the sensors say there is no more wheel slip. In other years the selector switch has 2WD, A4WD, 4H and 4Lo. The issue of tires is very relevant to this type of system as it is with AWD. Ask any tire shop. I keep both my 03 and 04 Expeditions in A4WD all the time. One has 165k miles the other has 75k miles, all original mechanicals. I had a 99 Expedition that had 100k on all original mechanicals. I've also had an AWD Explorer as well as a manual locking hub Bronco so I think I'm pretty well versed in the issues.
  • Since you are likely to debate what I've suggested, here is the description of it from the owners manual
    " A4WD (4X4 AUTO) provides electronic control four-wheel drive with power delivered to all
    four wheels, as required, for increased traction. This is appropriate for all on-road driving conditions, such as dry road surfaces, wet pavement, snow or gravel".

    You are also wrong to suggest with the front diff locked ABS stops working, but that's another topic.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    You said: "..It normally operates as a 2WD..."

    That's EXACTLY what I said.

    A4WD is a PART-TIME 4WD system that normally operates in RWD (Explorer, ETC) or FWD (idiot vehicles).

    Think about it, with the CENTER diff'l locked, Part-Time 4WD, ABS cannot independently control the braking level in the front without impacting the rear, and vice versa. Same goes for TC and VSC. Every system I know of, have read about, that has the ability for actual 4WD (locked center Diff'l) automatically disables the individual wheel or driveline braking unless one driveline can rotate mostly independent from the opposite driveline.
  • We are talking by each other. Actually I was talking and you jumped in the middle. I've only been talking about A4WD, you are the one who started in with what could and couldn't be driven on dry pavement, misunderstanding that the discussion was about A4WD.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited March 2012
    No, you were not the author, "beginner" of the most recent line of questioning on this thread. There are appearances that the questioned vehicles are inadvertently going into, or maybe even unwittingly, being put into 4WD mode on reasonably traction surfaces.

    The problem we have "today" is the level of trust that was built up in the past for RWD/4WD and R/awd was well warranted. Now we have a class of new drivers who have not a clue as to the patently unsafe nature of FWD vehicles and now F/awd systems. "It" worked well in the past, so why not today..?

    Yes, there are literally MYRIADS of differing AWD system designs out there in the marketplace today, most of them "base" FWD. Base FWD since it is those that can most benefit from the distribution of at least some level of engine torque away from the traction coefficient with which we maintain, sustain directional control.

    The only "base" FWD....F/awd system I would recommend would be the SH-AWD. But at the same time we must take note of the inappropriately high driveline component failure rate with the SH-AWD. High failure rate very likely arising from the STELLAR operational nature of the SH-AWD, undue, inappropriate, STRESS level incurred via daily use of torque re-apportioning, up to 80% to the rear in a tight or accelerating turn, even with no threat to loss of traction being present.

    Let's also not forget that there are likely a lot more readers of these posts than actual participants, readers who rely on the information posted here.

    Yes, these modern day "automatic" AWD systems will often ALWAYS make use, by default, of 4 wheel drive mode at times when Loss of traction, wheelspin/slip, is most likely to result should the roadbed traction coefficient be marginal.

    The problem is that means that the clear majority of the time, times when the roadbed traction coefficent is satisfactory, or even well beyond, those systems still put the driveline components under extra stress and heating.

    You may note the high level of "awd" driveline stress failures as a result.

    Life was much, MUCH easier back in the days when RWD was dominant and extra traction meant having a 4WD mode. It was easy to get owner/drivers to understand why the 4WD mode should only be engaged with specific roadbed conditions.

    Now we have automatic "AWD" systems that will switch into 4WD mode, or partially so, the ~90% (99%...??) of the time it is needless, only to prevent todays owner/drivers from being forced to gain a small bit of additional intelligence.

    On the other hand the patently unsafe nature of FWD, and/or F/awd, has sorta forced the manufacturer's "hand". As a matter of safety, purely a matter of safety, these MUST always pre-emptively re-apportion engine torque to the rear any time, ANY TIME, there is a high potential for wheelspin/slip to result, otherwise leading DIRECTLY to loss of directional control, or potenially so.

    Obviously not an issue with a RWD, R/awd, or even 4WD.

    Should those,except the 4WD mode, lose directional control, regardless of road conditions, the fault lies directly with the driver's lack of reacting quickly. Get OFF the gas should that have been the base causative factor, or counter-steer, turn into the skid, should the initial oversteering event be not the fault of the driver. Or BOTH.
  • Hi I have a 2005 expedition and it won't come out of 2wd. This morning when I was going to work my 4x4h light came on and I never touched the dial and then when I stopped the light came off. Please help as I don't know what or where to go from here.
  • 1999 4.6 expedition, got this with out a front drive shaft, got a used one and installed it, now having problems when I try and turn sharp corners, feels like the front tires are skidding. It only has the a4wd 4h and 4l selector switch, it there any way to disconnect the a4wd so It is not engaging
  • knox1975 said:

    1999 4.6 expedition, got this with out a front drive shaft, got a used one and installed it, now having problems when I try and turn sharp corners, feels like the front tires are skidding. It only has the a4wd 4h and 4l selector switch, it there any way to disconnect the a4wd so It is not engaging

    You can pull the fuse for the A4WD system, the engagement is electronically controlled. This may help, unless something is wrong in the transfer case which is keeping the drive shaft engaged.
  • srbuck46srbuck46 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Ford Expedition, drivers side wheel has a growl in it when going down the road, I have replaced the hub, bearing and seal and the pinion and it is still growling, when putting it in all wheel drive or 4wheel H it is making a terrible noise and when unlocking does not unlock all the way, I am backing up just to get it to unlock but still seems to be grabbing and that is what is making the front wheel growl, any ideas?
  • my 2001 expidition has the same problems with my 4 wheel drive. I can feel the front tires spinning but when i try to put it in low it wont go and i put it back in a4wd and it drives fine . Cant afford to do a major fix right now im on disabilty and nopt well any help
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