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Ford Ranger 4x4 Problems



  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    300 lbs was not quite enough. My son had no traction the other morning on semi-sanded roads. Added another 5 bags and have them secured. Big snow coming today and Sunday, should know if four new tires and 550 lbs of sand will do the job or not. At $5 a bag of sand maybe I should have fixed 4x4. HA! HA! :shades:
  • Just thought I'd send an update. My 4x4 problem (4x4 indicator lights go on and off, low range goes in and out, but front wheels don't pull) ended up being hubs. After discussions with the local 4x4 shop ended up putting Warn manual hubs on. ~$200, problem solved. :-)

  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    I should had done that 300,000 miles ago when Ford had to replace the original hubs the first time I tried to put it in 4x4.
  • Here's the scenario. MY ford ranger 4x4 '95 xlt with 139,000 mi The truck was at the end of a cul de sac which was snowed in. before I started the truck I engaged the locking caps on the front wheels then started the truck and turned the switch to lo4 wheel drive. I managed to get the truck forward a little to be able to back up on the lawn so the city snow plow wouldn't block me in. I then proceeded to back the truck up and wouldn't budge, so then pulled forward to back up again to gain momentum to get into the yard. I was able to back up with the rear wheels spinning quite fast but not gaining much ground but was able to get into the yard. Two days later I was able to drive it but somethings waaaay differen't. I turned the locking caps to "Free" position and flipped the lo 4 wheel drive to 2 wheel drive but when I shift the rpms are revving really hi and the truck acts like its in lo 4 wheel drive. I'm able to drive it but 1st gear thru overdrive the rpms rev really high I can only get up to 40/45 mph.
    I think the truck is officially P.O.C.? (Piece of Crap) I have to add oil to every other fill-up as well as antifreeze I know the oil/ antifreeze problem is to expensive to fix. ( i'm not a mechanic) Is it the powetrainthat I screwed up or something else? and how to go about it to get it fixed.
    Is there something that I can try to correct the problem myself or is it a quick fix in the mechanic shop?
    I use this truck mainly for bowhunting (seasons winding down) and hauling stuff back and forth which is not to often. It is nice to have for a back-up vehicle.

    is it worth fixing or try and sell it and be up front with the potential buyer about the engine problem and powertrain.
    sorry about the loong posting and thank you advance for any suggestions.
  • If you have a electonic switch to change from 2wd to 4wd even with locking caps it sounds like the electric motor isn't working on the transfer case causing you to be stuck in 4lo even though your hubs aren't locked out. take the small motor off the transfer case. conceled where that motor mounts you should find 2wd 4hi and 4lo marked on the transfer case. By marking the location of the triangular bushing on the electric motor you can turn the 4wd switch and see if that bushing is moving if it didn't replace the motor. Be careful to mark the position of the bushing on that motor because it needs to be in the same spot when you remount it to the transfer case. This is how my 99 works, they should be similar.
  • Before going to all the trouble of getting underneath and removing the shifting motor from the transfer case check the fuses. I don't have the book in front of me, but I know there is one, possible two fuses for 4x4 in the in cab fuse block, and one in the fuse block under the hood (driver's side fire wall)

    With my 95, I am able to hear the shift if I activate the switch with engine not running, and radio. fan, etc off. If you can hear that, then the fuses are likely good, but it doesn't take much to check them anyway.

    good luck,
  • Yes you are right you should always start with fuses, My quest for fixing this annoying problem had me looking at fuses, I didn't mention that since the fuses associated with the shift control motor also power things like dashlights/domelights and such. But you are right start simple!
  • Thanks for the advice, I'll go with the fuses first, then the shifter motor on the transfer case when it warms up a little here.

    have a good christmas
  • etzetz Posts: 2
    Hey how do i fix this. I had a mechanic change the valve covers on my truck. in june. now that winters here i tried to use my four wheel drive and nothing happens. to engage i have the button above the windsheld. the light dont light & the front wheels dont engage.
    i read other post & was happy about the fuse under the hood!! dont have the fuse under the hood. only 95.000miles. with the exception of a little rust around the rear wheel well, the ranger is in excelent cond.
  • etzetz Posts: 2
    I really need help with this problem i live in N.E PA. ALL THE POST HAVE SOMETHING FOR 93 AND BETTER. I cant for the life of me figuer out why the four wheel worked before i had the valve cover gaskets changed & not now. what could posabley happend? :cry: i have a book that shows how to remove & replace everything on my ranger. sad thing is it has no troublshooting. more snow is in the forcast & i really want to be the one who gets to work ontime. not jim in his S-10.
  • Same problem with my '96. Low range worked, front wheels would not engage. After testing the truck with all four wheels eleveated, determined that hubs were the issue. Ordered a set of rebuilt automatic hubs from a guy on Ebay ($177), and they work great Determined that one of my original front hubs was still good, and turned it on Ebay for $60.
  • '02 ford ranger, 4x4 doesn't work. did last year. tried after the first snow this year and I got nothing. no lights on dash. checked fuses, they are good. even replaced them just in case. book says that the lights are supposed to come on when the key is turned on just like the engine lights do. but i get nothing. I checked over the wiring, nothing rubbed thru. everything was connected. anyone know what i should check. I am a mechanic but don't have any books or wiring dia. for this truck. thanks a bunch.
  • I'd start by seeing if your local library has a repair manual for the Ranger. A auto parts store or even a big box retailer that has a good automotive section may have one you can buy. In the computer age you may even be able to "google it" and come up with a wiring diagram.

    Otherwise I'd start out with a volt meter or test light and start following the 12v until you can't find it anymore. Maybe you aren't getting power to the 2wd/4wd selector switch, maybe a loose or corroded connector somewhere in the system.

    Good luck!

  • 05 ranger Fx4 w/ 40k miles. it shifts into 4 wheel high and engages fine. but when I shift out of 4 high into 2 wheel dirve on the fly it makes a distinct, brief clunking noise that feels like you hit a pothole. it disengages from 4 wheel but that clunk noise/vibration worries me. is it gonna get worse? does it need hubs replaced? should I trade it in quick or is the fix cheap? :confuse: ">
  • It "sounds" like a bad universal joint in your front drive line. You might check those for looseness/wear. Not a serious repair if needed.

    best of luck,
  • I have a 1997 Ranger 4 X 4. When disengaging from 4wd the truck runs ok but a mile or so down the road you will hear it grinding. Then I stop and put it in reverse and it seems to be ok. Any ideas about what is wrong?
  • Sounds like your automatic hubs, according to the owner's manual the proper way to disengage them is to rotate the dash switch to 2WD then back up 10-20 ft or so, then proceed forward. This takes the tension off the hubs and allows them to retract into "free" position. If they still have the force of moving the vehicle working on them they won't slide out until that force weakens (like deceleration for example)

    When shifting out of 4WD into 2WD, try doing so when stopped, back up a short distance, then proceed forward and see it that solves your problem.

    good luck
  • I have a 93 ranger 4.0 4x4. The 4wheel drive wasn't working when I bought it. So, not knowing any history of the truck. I bought a new shift motor. I put in on. Still nothing. I tried a different box and switch still nothing. I have had the truck for 6 months just now got the motor for it. Is it possible that the transfer case is gummed up and causing my shift motor to be unable to engage it? Please help if you can really want to get it fixed!
  • Not likely a "gummed up tranfer case". Here's what I would do....
    1)check to see if power is getting to shift motor.
    NO? a) fuses
    b) wiring/connectors
    a) hubs

    best of luck,
  • When I put my ranger into 4x4, push button, and take off it makes a growl noise like it is slipping, not locking in all the way. Could mean that my solenoid is bad.
    Because we jacked up the truck, put it into 4x4 and you can grab the wheel and stop the wheel comepletely.
  • If you could help me out with my ranger problem that would be great, respond ASAP.
  • Have an 87 4X4 Ranger. Bought truck used drove it on beach 4 wheel low wasn't working only 4 high. Went surfing tried to reverse off of sand transmission wouldn't engage into reverse only into Drive. Almost forgot truck is automatic. Pulled truck out of sand and discovered I now have no reverse. Any suggetion on how to trouble shoot or repair. Friend told me it could be the modulator. Thank you.
  • mydaemamydaema Posts: 1
    For about a week or alittle more, I have heard a humming noise when I take my foot off the gas on my Ford 2001 Ranger 4 x 4, no matter what the speed. It seems to be getting worse. I asked a friend what he thought the noise was, and he thought either the transmission, or the differential. Anyone have any idea what it could be, and how much this is going to cost? I cannot tell if it is comming fromthe front of the engine or the back. Seems like the front, but not sure. Thanks for any help.
  • bolivarbolivar Posts: 2,316
    The Idle Air Valve, when it gets dirty can vibrate and cause a humming.

    This can be removed and cleaned, or replaced for about $60 at a parts house.
  • muzmanmuzman Posts: 1
    Year/Make/Model: 2000 FORD RANGER SUPER
    2000 Ford Ranger:
    Body Style: SUPER CAB PICKUP
    Engine: 3.0L V6 EFI FLEX FUEL
    Drive line: 4 WHEEL DRIVE
    Brakes: 4wd anti-lock brake system
    Odometer: 106,000

    I've had this vehicle for 2 years and have been pleased with its performance--when the wheels don't lockup occasionally--after sitting overnight. The incidents in the past happened about 6 times over the first 18 months, but are more frequent now.
    During one episode this winter, the rear and/or front wheels on the driver's side would spin on the ice--depending whether is was in 2 or 4w drive--but the passenger side wheels would not turn at all. The low range 4wd light remained on in this case, even when I switched to 4wd high, then 2wd high (I had parked it the night before in 4wd low-range).
    We jacked up the passenger side to try and manually rotate the front wheel...barely moved and the front drivetrain and axles budged with the wheel movement. The engine was off, the transmission in neutral, the setting at 2wd, and the parking brake off. After we pondered our options for an hour, we removed the jack, out of curiousity, started up the truck and backed up with no problem! Did we manually unlock some problem? Locked auto hubs?
    Last Monday, I took the extra precaution to take the truck out of 4wd and into 2wd high range, back it up about 20 feet, go forward again, then kill the engine and set the parking brake. To my dismay, I found the truck locked up again this Wednesday morning. We had one of our typical snowstorms that dropped the temperature from 70 degrees on Sunday to the low 20's on Monday when I ran the truck into town in 4wd, high.
    I was ready to check the fuses after leaving the truck in the sunshine for 5 hours, but decided to see if it'd move first. It did!
  • twaldentwalden Posts: 1
    i have a 95 and it does the same thing. the auto locking hubs suck.
  • 2000 ford ranger 3.0 flex engine
    my front hubs wont connect. when i shift into 4X4 high or 4X4 low you can feel the the transfer case hooking up but the front wheels wont pull.
    anybody have any ideas about what could be wrong
  • cessna180cessna180 Posts: 9
    i have a 98 ranger, its a vaccum, system, and ive had similiar problems, if the system, gets gunked up, [actually the fork, wont engage]... from eithier lack of use,.. or,..bad vaccum, [aka hose,] ive found and spoken with ford dealers ,... this sounds crazy but, smack the housing with a rubber mallet, or take the unit apart and clean it,... obviously bad design, the key ive heard... switch to manual locking hubs, or use it once a month,.. id like any more feedback, on this as well.. sincerely cessna 180.
  • Hello, I've acquired a nice '87 Ranger 4x4 with 4 cyl, 4 speed and manual hubs, for crawling through the woods. I have broken the left front u-joint yoke when the joint went out. The axle side yoke is ok. Can anyone tell me the steps to disassemble that part to replace the broken yoke? Must I pull the axle to install the u-joint. It looks like it might be done in place. I appreciate the help. j
  • ncherryncherry Posts: 5
    I just bought a 2000 Ford Ranger 4X4. When I turned the drive switch to 4WD High the light came on, but when I turned the switch to Low the High light stayed on. Checked fuse #28 and found it was missing. It was the only empty slot with contacts in the bottom. Installed a fuse and now the High and Low lights work. Not sure, but believe the 4WD is working...doesn't seem to skid when in a hard turn on soft ground. In any case, thanks for the tip. Does anyone have any idea why someone would remove the fuse?
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