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Ford Explorer AWD 4WD Questions



  • fillr68fillr68 Posts: 22
    yes......wheel bearings hubs make a nasty grinding rubbing noise..and the driver side goes bad first..I changed both of mine and the truck drives great..and they are fairly easy to replace..
  • Thank you, We are ordering the wheel hub for the drivers side. We still have our 4x4 unplugged so that wont keep engaging. We live here in Florida so we dont use it anyway. The tires sure did make a difference in the ride and took care of some of the problem. So we have our fingers crossed that the wheel hub makes the difference and fixes the problem. I will keep you all posted. Thank you again for the suggestions, ;)
  • Ok any other ideas????? we have replaced all 4 tired with brand new ones, today we jsut replaced the drivers side hub and still no change at all....any other guesses?? I am starting to get irritated and im going to sell it if we cant figure it out....this is nuts. The ford dealer dont know whats wrong with it...the truck has been in for a complete trans service including fluid and filter change...everything looked great with the burnt fluid or metal shavings in it...he said its one of the best condition trannis he has seen. So what the heck else could it be...we have the shift motor on the back of the transfer case unplugged so that the 4x4 cant keep trying to engage....took it for a ride after changing the drivers side hub and still makes a rubbing type noise when turned to the left....still have a shutter up front when driving down the road but not all the time.....please help me!!!!! :cry:
  • there is a Brown Wire Mod this will bypass the automatic 4wheel drive.. you will still have the 4wheel but you will have to turn it on yourself.. you will have low and high I could not find the link to that thread I will give you a link to the forum look up Brown Wire is very detailed to show you how it is done ..I feel it is worth it to do this..
    it is a very good may have to pay a small fee to join I have been there for a longtime... Brooklyn Bay is a user name you can look him up on that forum he is better at this.......hope this helps.....
  • Ok, Well before we did the tires and the wheel hub, we unplugged that brown wire mod. So we drove it like that for a while and didnt have the problem of it trying to engage. When we put it in 4x4 manually it would make a bunch of noises and you couldnt drive it in 4x4 high. So we left it in 2 wheel until we bought the new set of tires and then we were still having issues of it grabbing an makin noise up front in 2w we changed out the front drivers wheel hub bearing which when we got the old one off it didnt turn freely like it obviously that is what we were felt like it was grabbing up after we put the new hub in last night...i decided to plug back in the brown wire mod and try the 4x4 out....I was shocked and amazed I was able to put it into 4H and drive it definatly the tires or the new wheel hub or both that fixed the 4x4 trying to engage itself...I have drove it 200 miles since last night with it plugged back in and the new wheel hub and tires and no issues...the only problem now is it still feels like the front end is binding up when picking up speed but is fine once you are to your speed you want. So I am thinking if the drivers side hub was that bad then most likely the passenger side is too...So this next weekend I will change out the other side....seeing how I bought the last one at our parts store. They gotta order another one. So I think I am on the right track...I am able to drive with that mod plugged back in finally and it seems to be fine so far ( knock on wood ) I can drive in 4x4H if i want to..other than the slight binding up up front...Thank you so much for your help. I will keep you posted!! ;)
  • 2002 Ford Explorer XLT 4.6 V8>>>4x4 won't engage...dash light blinks 4x4auto and 4x4 high simultaneously ramdomly. No 4x4 in any mode when buttons are pushed. The front wheel bearing hubs have been making noise and I am having them both replaced tomorrow (could this be related to the 4wd problem?). The 4wd worked fine up til 3 mths ago when I had brake pads and rotors replaced on the front. A couple of weeks later, I noticed that the 4wd lights would blink ramdomly while driving. In the snow the other day, the front wheels would not engage in any mode attempted.
    Thanks in advance for all replies,
  • Just bought 2004 explorer and am having the 4x4 flashing issue but cant seem to locate module under dash, does anyone know where it is?
  • yes wheel bearing hubs will cause that problem. We just replaced ours and the problem is solved. Also make sure your tires are all the same and all the tread, tread depth and brand of tire. That will cause problems too. We bought a brand new set of tires for it and did the hubs and its all fixed...hope this helps
  • it is behind the glove box. you have to open the glove box and take it off and its up under there.
  • plm454plm454 Posts: 2
    edited February 2010
    Well, hubs are replaced, tires are relatively new (6 mths and not a daily driver), tire pressure checked and problem still persists. Looked at the fuses to 4x4 module under hood and under driver's side panel, all OK, still replaced them.
    So, next to try will be probably the module behind the glovebox and then if needed the 4x4 shift motor on the transfer case.
    FWIW, when I press any of the buttons, there is NO clicking sound coming from the module as far as I can tell.

    Info on my module:
    Motorola model 2mU152NC04
    Date code: 02119
    Serial 4X4Cm
  • Ok, if thats the case, it very well could be your shift motor on your transfer case....if you dont hear it, then its most likely bad...we unplugged ours to see if that was the problem and our shift motor happened to be fine...You can try to unplug it and then take it for a drive and see what happens..Thats how I was told to check it.
  • I bought my 2007 Explorer 4WD new and at about 30,000 miles if starting making a grinding/rubbing noise in the front end when I turned either right or left. At first I thought is was a tire rubbing but it's not. It doesn't do it all the time and it can go from quiet to very loud. Ford dealership told me it was the tire pressure and that I needed new tires because when I turn the wheels the pressure is off so the auto 4WD is trying to kick in. They told me to put 37 lbs of air in the tires and they tried to sell me 4 new tires @ $200 per tire. Goodyear told me I had 40% tread left on my tires and didn't need new ones. The vehicle only has 50,000 miles on it now.
    Any ideas??? I'm at a total loss. :(
  • Well for #1, the ford dealer sucks....they tried to sell me tires for that much too. I went to a local tire place an got a set of 4 mounted and balanced for $360 out the door for nexin's which are a real good beefy tire. If the tread if off jsut by a 1/4 of an inch it will cause your 4x4 to mess up. Dont let ford tell you that you need $800 in tires. They are nuts. The wheel hubs do go out at around 100,000. so check those out first. The driver side usually goes first. You can get the whole wheel bearing hub assembly at a auto parts store for around $130 and its real easy to change. ;)
  • wheel bearing hubs most likely ....are the tire tread flat across the tread pattern any heavy wear on the inside or outside my cause this sound..but the noise sounds like the bearing hubs are going bad...a fairly easy job...and this will engage the automatic 4 wheel drive...
  • when i drive down the road the 4wd low kicks in and i cant get it out then i drive it sometimes it made a big bang and released then idrove four about 2 hrs then it did it again kicked in
  • i have a 01 exp-sport and i tried to put my 4x4 high on but it doesnt wanna turn click or light on the dash comes on...any ideas why????? thanks..
  • If you arent hearing any clicks then its most likely your shift motor on your transfer case. It has a plug going to it. It is a very easy fix. Not sure how much they cost but it isnt much if you buy online or at a parts store. It would be a waste of money to have ford change it for you cause its such an easy job. I was told to check that shift motor...have someone lay under the truck be very careful tho an while you are in it start the truck with foot on the brake an put in neutral then push your buttons if the person under the truck dont here the click or it engaging it is that shift motor....hope this helps.
  • i have an 01 ford expl-sport and i wanted to kno is where is the 4x4 shift motor???thanks..
  • Crawl under the truck and look straight up in between the driver an pass doors (middle of truck) see where the transfer case ends...look for the shift motor which looks like a windhshield wiper motor...very has a plug going to it, there are 3 bolts holding it on and the one plug...Its on the end of the transfer case...hope this helps...
  • Was having intermittent problems with the light for the 4x4 system. Had the blinking problem for awhile. Now the blinking is back and stuck in 4 wheel.
    There is some sort of control box in the Jack compartment on the driver side rear wall. What is this box? When the lights blink , this is where there is a clicking noise. I also found some sort of reset switch or something on this box, but when i press it ,the lights on the dash will do different things. At one point there was a red light on next to the button. No longer on, but not sure if was always on before. :mad:
  • I had the same issue with my 02 Ford Explorer XLT. Overdrive Light & 4 Wheel High Light blinking like crazy, and my 4 wheel drive wouldn't engage. I heard a loud clunk! Well the clunk was my bands in my tranny were burned out and a part that held it in broke right off, also my planetariums were gone. Had my tranny rebuilt for $1,200.00's by a local mechanic. Runs mint.

    Now the 4 wheel drive issue was something different. Mine stopped working all of a sudden. Low and behold when we pulled the tranny out we noticed that on the transfer case there is a wiring clip that is near the 4 wheel drive motor. In this group of wires there is a brown ground wire. We found that this wire came off its original grounding point on the under body of the truck. So we re-grounded the wire to the cross member, and my 4 wheel drive works great not one problem. So before you spend lotsa money on modules etc. Please check for this wire, it could save you a lot of head aches. If not, you can purchase this module for about $80.00’s remanufactured.

    Hope this can help someone.
  • tahoecctahoecc Posts: 2
    As it turns out it does not even have one! It is built into PCM so you have to replace whole thing, my new question is wheres the PCM located? :confuse:
  • Hello we bought an 03 XLT about one month ago in very good condition with 71,000 and although i have no need for Auto 4WD right now i would like to know how to use it. Is there a dash light indicator for Auto 4WD? I notice one for Low and High?

    If you press auto 4wd what happens? I pressed it once and nothing lit up. I just want to make sure everything works properly.

    Any insight would be appreciated.
  • Auto 4WD is when your vehicle needs to use it-it goes in automatically.
    The 4W high button is for when your really stuck or need extra power or even towing heavy objects. You shift it into Nuetral then press the 4W High button it should blink then it will go into 4W High, same goes for 4W Low. (Light should blink as well) if it's not lighting up you may need a new 4 Wheel Drive Control Module. On most explorers it's located in the Glove box. You can buy these aftermarket for about $80.00's. New, they are expensive.

    Also if it's not going into 4 Wheel at all there is a wiring harness on the bell housing area of your transmission. If there is a ground wire that isn't connected that will cause your 4 wheel drive to not work at all. You can ground this wire to the cross member frame if needed.

    Hope this helps.
  • thanks for replying so do i have to press 4 auto for it to work or will it do it automaticallY>?
  • baragonabaragona Posts: 2
    The 4WD Explorer is built to run in Automatic 4WD on a 24/7 basis. You need do nothing unless you want to lock it in to 4 wheel high or low. Four wheel high simply requires that you go real slow on a slippery surface and press the button. Four wheel low is a totally different story - stop, put the tranny in neutral, depress the brake and push the 4WD Low button. Keep you foot on the brake as you put the tranny back into "drive" because the vehicle will lunge forward if you don't. Reverse the procedure to disengage - brake, tranny in neutral, press Automatic 4WD or 4 Wheel High, whichever the situation calls for.

    Paul Baragona Raleigh
  • Thanks for the info Paul you were very helpful :)
  • fishnjoerfishnjoer Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 ford explorer and when i make a Sharp right or left it make a binding noise,when i took off the front drive shift it stop.I have 14 wires and pins on my shift motor and all i can find so far is a 7 wire shift motor thats what the auto store said the book call for,i'm not 100% sure it;s the shift motor yet i do have a back tire that looks copped on the inside.could a back tire cause this binding in the front?And when i have it in neutral i can hear it shift from 4 wheel high to low and back but i can't hear anything when i go back into auto. Please help Thank you
  • credlicredli Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem with mine. I have change the four wheel drive motor and the switch. I have been told their are two wires that go into the front axle on the top left hand side. I haven't been able to get far enough under there to be able to see it. There might be a brown wire that comes off the transfer case motor that grounds its self to the transfer case cross member. I will relay messages to you on my progress so it can help you with yours. The chopped look on the tire is from a lack of rotation and or you are needing new rear shocks.
  • Heres my situation.....I bought a used ford explorer with barely 60,000 miles on it...I have a 2,000 mile dealer warranty and I also purchased a 2yr 22,000 mile warranty.....I am still within that 2,000 mile 30 day heres my problem, when the transmission downshifts at 20 miles an hour it clunks.....I have brought this to the dealers attention and they are trying to say its normal....i personally think they want to pass the buck on the warranty company afterall its their time and can a clunk on a twent mile an hour downshift be normal.....has anyone ever heard of this?...anyone have any viable ways to handle thinkin bout tellin the dealer im callin corporate and warning the warranty company of the obvious problem that the dealer hopes i make it past 2000 miles with......please i need ideas and advice quik
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