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Ford Ranger 4x4 Problems

pvolc15pvolc15 Posts: 1
edited January 2018 in Ford
I have a 1995 ranger 4x4,5 speed manual,6cyl, 4.0L. It has shift on the fly 4 wheel drive and when I put it in 4High or 4Low it doesn't engage. However the light o n the dash still light up. I want to know if this is a minor problem and/or what the problem is.


  • How do you know for sure that it isnt engaging at all? Have you tried to take off on a sheet of ice and rear wheels turn but front dont, and vehicle sits still?

    If it really isnt engaging, I would check out the motor on the transfer case that is responsible for engaging that part of the system. I am willing to bet the hubs are engaged, but the transfer case isnt.
  • I have a similiar, if not identical problem. My 4WD indicator lights function, and low range engages when selected, but front wheels do not pull.

    I've been told that this may be a rubber bumper stop in the transfer case that is worn that allows the gears to "over shift".

    My Ranger is a 1995, automatic, 4.0L, shift on the fly
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    I have had this problem with my 1994 from day one of ownership. Chances are it's the electric motor in the transfer case that is all bound up with dirt and crud. Each year I have my mechanic clean it in the fall.
  • my 1998 will not come out of 4wheel low, the switch on dash doesnt respond as well?
  • switched to 4x4 low last night tried to switch back and it wont, stays lit up 4x4low even when knob is on 2high or 4high???help!
  • lesroc3lesroc3 Posts: 2
    I have a 93 Ranger 4x4 3.0 5 speed that will not shift into any 4x4 function. I have changed the selector button, shift control module. There is power to the selector buttons on one side of the switch but none on the other when activated. The fuses are good. Does anyone else know anything about them?
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    I really don't know anything about 4x4, but I think the Rangers get gummed up inside and don't allow the gears to move around and engage.
  • pinwillypinwilly Posts: 6
    The hydrolic hubs go bad i recommend getting manual hubs their cheaper and wont go bad.
  • lesroc3lesroc3 Posts: 2
  • turns out a fuse # 28 was bad bought sevice manuel easy fix!
  • jack78jack78 Posts: 5
    Why would automatic trans fluid come out the filler tube?
    When you start the eng to check the trans level it's checks OK (cold). But you drive the truck for just a few minutes then check the level the fluid poors out. I checked the vent tube and blew air in it, it does not seem pluged.
    The truck has not been driven much.
    any thoughts?
  • jack78jack78 Posts: 5
    I believe you should have a solinoid on the trans axle. it has been known to get a bad ground, it has been known to stick. I've had this happen to me a couple times, the last time I was in 12" of snow and I had to take a hammer and tap on the solinoid and that worked. Take it off and check it out, you may just have a bad connection too.
  • rapprjrapprj Posts: 1
    My 1998 Ford Ranger 4 liter auto with electronic shift on the fly seems to not be shifting into high or low 4wd. The dash light indicates 4 high but not low. I read the post about solenoid but I am wondering if it could be a fuse problem before the solenoid. Any help appreciated. :(
  • I have a 2001 Ranger EDGE, 4.0 liter engine, 4-Speed 4x4 Auto with about 106,000 miles on it. My 4x4 isn't working.

    I flip the switch to 4-High, and the light switches to 4-High, but no power to my front wheels. Stop the truck, put it in neutral, flip it to 4-Low, and it switches over. I can feel the power difference because it gears lower, but still no power to the front wheels.

    First time I found this out I was off-roading and got stuck in some sand. My roommate was with me and noticed that my rear wheels were kicking up all kinds of sand but my front wheels weren't moving at all, even though I had supposedly had it in 4-High the whole time. Any thoughts? A friend who's a mechanic said he's almost positive it's the hubs, and the local Ford dealership says they can replace the hubs for about $300 but I need to make sure before I spend the money. Totally appreciate any help you guys can give!
  • hello, i have a 99 ranger. it is soppose to be four wheel drive .i cant get the front wheels to lock in. has any one else had this problem? thanks
  • remy3remy3 Posts: 1
    did you ever solve your problem with your 4X4
  • 4 wheel works lights do not work on dash box behind drivers seat clicks red light keeps going off and on is light on box suppost to be on always.i have changed motor on trans case new i have changed switches on dash used i did see them working in other truck i dont want to just keep changing parts been searching for cause all over net please any help would be helpful
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Although I have had problems each year with the 4x4 in my 1994 Ranger it is dead for good this time. 300,000 + miles on it so I do not want to spend any money to repair it. With winter coming does anyone know a sufficient amount of weight to add to bed for traction in snow? My son drives it now and I don't want to see him get stuck this winter. I purchased six 50 pound bags of sand and placed them in the bed over the rear axle, but I'm not sure if I should add more weight. He doesn't drive far so I don't mind the added weight for gas consumption. Has anyone ever added weight to a 2 wheel drive Ranger?
  • 300 lbs is plenty. Remember that the added mass must be stopped as well. I used to run a 2 wheel drive in all sorts of places that most folks wouldn't dream of running. I carried about 150-200 lbs of cables, come-alongs, high lift jacks, chains, etc in a box over the axle. I had good traction tires. The weight, the tools, and a little common sense got me where I needed to go. I even went through snow as deep as my front bumper. If legal in your area and you are on ice or packed snow studded tires on ALL 4 wheels are a must have. If you are in unplowed mountain roads a good deep lugged traction tire is preferable.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Thanks Kevin for your input. I set all 6 bags flat in the bed over the rear axle. They shouldn't slide unless he has to slam his brakes on. Studded tires are not allowed any longer in MA. I did just buy him a new set of M\S tires as an early X-mas gift, so traction from the tires will be A+. I wished I had converted the auto hubs to manual years ago. This system Ford used back in the day (94) was awful. Thanks again, we just need to wait now for snow to see.
  • In my experience the most important thing you can do in the winter is to put on a good set of winter tires. I have an 02 Ranger (RWD) and switch tires every winter, and I can go virtually anywhere in virtually any condition and feel safe. This year I'll be trying the Michelin X-Ice.
  • 96 Ranger, 4 x 4, switch on dash, automatic hubs. I turn on the 4 X 4 switch, the light comes on, back wheels spin, front wheels not engaging. I turn on the $ x 4 low range switch, the low range light comes on, low range engages, front wheels do not engage. Are by automatic hubs bad?
  • Most likely. My 95 is doing the exact same thing. I just determined yesterday that the front drive line is engaged, axle spinning but not the front wheels. I did this by raising the back wheels off the ground, putting the Ranger in 4x4 and "drive" with the engine idling. I looked at the front drive line from the side of the rig. (did NOT crawl under a running pickup!) From the side I could easily see the front drive shaft turning, and even see the passenger side axle rotating. I haven't had time yet today to dig deeper, but I suspect that the axle was spinning 2x too fast with relationship to the driveline.......... telling me that the passenger side front hub is not engaging. (driver's side engaged, spider gears working, causing the "free" passenger side wheel to spin at 2x speed)

    Hub the likely culprit. I'll know more in a day or so.

    best of luck,
  • aparrently ford has had lots of issues with this,... [ no service bulliten,...ive heared of,].... called local dealer,... after liftin my front/ rear off ground, ... engaged 4x4 high, and low,.... found on my 98 ,.... the drivelines goin to the front wheels still turning[ when 4x4 is completetly off ]..... dealer said,... the forks stick, to hit with rubber mallet, the transfer swich box by front diff, i did, than my drivelines to wheels stopped turning,.... as they should do automatically,... others have told me,... to bypass system,.... install,.... manual locking hubs,... id appreciate any proffesional feedback as well, id prefer to keep vehicle in stock conformity..
  • everyone has this problem!! after much of my own searching I found the answers if your switch is activating the shift motor on the transfer case. Take off the shift motor and mark the position of the trianular bushing turn the switch to 4 hi and see if the busing moved. If it works then try this I have done it to mine and it really works no more problem

    and if the motor is working you can install manual locking hubs see here
  • I put my truck up on jackstands, all the way around. In 4WD, the front driveshaft is clearly turning, left front wheel is dead with clattering coming from hub, right front wheel is totally dead. Clearly a locking hub issue. I pulled the hubs and externally the cams and locking hub assemblies look good, so it's obviously something broken within the locking hub assembly that I can't see without tearing it apart. Found a guy on Ebay who rebuilds and sells these hubs out of his machine shop, so bought a set from him (around $200) and am awaiting their arrival.
  • My friend has a ford ranger 4x4, and we where debating wether or not she should put weight in the back of it while in 2 wheel drive.

    Is the ranger rear wheel drive while in 2 wheel drive, or front wheel drive?

    I know this is real simple question, but thanks for any input.
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    It's a rear wheel drive rig when in 2WD. Weight is only important in a low-traction situation, like snow/ice. Otherwise, unneeded weight will just slow the truck down and reduce its fuel economy.

    kcram - Pickups Host
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