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Author Topic: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4  (Read 6344 times)

Offline huntergreg

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1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« on: September 13, 2011, 07:15:35 PM »
My 97 ford f150 wont shift into 4h or 4L. When I turn the switch nothing happens except the 4x4 light comes on, on the dash. When I turn it back to 2H the 4x4 light wont go off. It doesnt make any clicking noise like it use to either. It doesnt go into 4 wheel drive at all. Any info would help. Thanks

Offline YellowDog

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2011, 07:28:11 PM »
Probably the shift motor on the transfer case. 

Offline The Weazle

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2011, 08:49:40 PM »
Does it have manual or automatic hubs?  I had a truck do the same thing with auto locking hubs, and it was a vacuum (sp) leak.  The hubs were locked by vacuum pressure when the switch was engaged, and they unlocked when the vacuum was released.  And there was also an audible clicking sound during the locking and unlocking.
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Offline IronMike

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2011, 08:53:24 PM »
Have no advice on that other than check out fordf150.net, lots of knowledgeable people on this site. Have helped me out many times...
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Offline Buckmark

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2011, 08:57:10 PM »
Crawl underneath and whack the t-case shift motor with a hammer and see what happens...
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Offline fair-chase

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2011, 09:01:32 PM »
Crawl underneath and whack the t-case shift motor with a hammer and see what happens...

 :yeah:  :chuckle:  If that doesn't work pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet, pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet, pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet, pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet, pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet, pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet, pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet, pull forward 10 feet, back up 10 feet.......you get the idea.  :chuckle:
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Offline ICEMAN

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2011, 09:05:56 PM »
I would tap lightly on the shift motor, not hard enought to crack the magnets in the motor....
 
If this has an external shift motor on the transfer case;  If you hear the shift motor spinning as you shift from 2w to 4w...yet the transfer case does not shift, I am aware of a scenario where a nylon bushing in ford shift motors breaks and allows the shift motor to fail to stop in the correct position to shift. The fix is a new bushing, or a new shift motor.
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Offline Chadrick60

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2011, 10:51:50 PM »
Fuse maybe??

Offline FC

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2011, 11:05:57 PM »
I would tap lightly on the shift motor, not hard enought to crack the magnets in the motor....
 
If this has an external shift motor on the transfer case;  If you hear the shift motor spinning as you shift from 2w to 4w...yet the transfer case does not shift, I am aware of a scenario where a nylon bushing in ford shift motors breaks and allows the shift motor to fail to stop in the correct position to shift. The fix is a new bushing, or a new shift motor.

This, it's a very common problem with Fords.
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Offline Muskrat

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2011, 08:18:48 AM »
My 97 ford f150 wont shift into 4h or 4L. When I turn the switch nothing happens except the 4x4 light comes on, on the dash. When I turn it back to 2H the 4x4 light wont go off. It doesnt make any clicking noise like it use to either. It doesnt go into 4 wheel drive at all. Any info would help. Thanks
My 1985 F250 would not shift into 4x4. The transfer case is filled with automatic transmission fluid, same as the transmission. If that gets low, it will affect the transfer. Check fluid level. Muskrat

Offline Happy Gilmore

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2011, 10:15:21 AM »
My F-350 is doing the same thing. For a short while the light on the dash would go 4X4 but, it wasn't working. Now, no light, no 4X4. I assumed shift motor. Anyone know what the cost is for a new one off hand? how tough to replace? I haven't even looked at it. I'm fairly handy around cars. Swapped motors, done clutches etc. Not scared to turn a wrench.
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Offline alanger

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2011, 10:51:13 AM »
 
for the f150
It could be the shift actuator and they run about 100 bucks plus labor if u dont do it yourself.
 
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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2011, 11:12:27 AM »
With most Ford 4x4s, you have to have the transmission in neutral and your foot on the brake pedal in order to get it to shift. On my F350, I have to be stopped in order to get it to shift.
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Offline demontang

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2011, 11:31:04 AM »
The 97 f150 doesnt have hub lock outs its an ifs that the axles are bolted to the hub and it has a vac on the pass side of the third member that disconnects the pass side axle. Easy thing to do is take the shift motor off and push the button to see if it turns or not. make sure the vac line is on the front axle too.

Offline huntnphool

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2011, 11:46:06 AM »
The 97 F-150 system is vacuum actuated, its most likely a vacuum leak. Check the vacuum hoses at the hubs to make sure they are both still connected. Then check for holes or cracks in the hoses.
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Offline huntergreg

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2011, 01:58:14 PM »
Thanks for all this helpful info. I am going to go out and check a few things that have been mentioned and let you know what I come up with.

Offline demontang

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2011, 03:37:39 PM »
Let me help clear this up a 97+ f150 has no hubs the axle is bolted right to the half shaft. Now if its 96 down it has hubs. There is a vacuum acuator one the axle housing its self that connects the axle on the passside allowing the 4 wheel drive to work. If this doenst work your driveline and diff dont turn anything but them selves unless you have a locker in the front then it would turn the diverside front tire.

Offline huntergreg

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2011, 04:01:36 PM »
I know that the front axle is locking in. What I dont hear is anything from the transfer-case when I turn the 4x4 switch. Also since this started to not work I have a light on my dash that has a guy seat-belted in with an open airbag :dunno: :dunno:  It keeps flashing on and off. Not sure if this is anything to do with the 4x4 not working. If I pull out the motor on the transfer-case will fluid leak out??? I dont think there is any leak from vacuum lines.

Offline Buckmark

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2011, 04:17:04 PM »
1 wire connector, 4 bolts, no fluid...
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Offline huntergreg

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4 (New problem on pg. 2)
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2011, 08:48:22 PM »
Well I now have a new problem with the dang truck. I didnt pull out the motor yet but went for a drive up in the hills looking for elk. When I got home I went to turn off my headlights and they wouldn't turn off   :dunno: :dunno: :dunno:Anyone think this may be caused by the GEM thing behind the fuse box??

Offline demontang

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2011, 09:30:43 PM »
Sounds like you light switch is bad. And does you 4x4 light still come on an off?

Offline huntergreg

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2011, 09:47:17 PM »
4x4 light comes on to 4x4 High but will not go off unless I disconnect the battery.

Offline Cap.Silver

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2011, 10:01:38 PM »
I would start from the beginning if I were you :
a/make sure that the hub caps are turned both on either Auto or Manual on the arrows ! If they are and that s...t is still not working ,send email to FC ,he might be able to point you the right direction .
I'm reading your following post : I hope you didn't disconnect both batteries ,because if you did -you have f...d the computer ..... I have 2002 F 250 and my dome light stays on for 30 min. my door locks will not work etc...... you suppose to have some juice going back through the lighter or Accesories plug to keep the computer powered ... I had the same issue 2 weeks ago ,4x4 light on ,but no 4 low or 4 high and had only rear tires spinning ....I did turned the switch couple of times
on off and somehow it worked .... but will be looking for other truck soon
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Offline huntergreg

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2011, 11:34:10 PM »
I would start from the beginning if I were you :
a/make sure that the hub caps are turned both on either Auto or Manual on the arrows ! If they are and that s...t is still not working ,send email to FC ,he might be able to point you the right direction .
I'm reading your following post : I hope you didn't disconnect both batteries ,because if you did -you have f...d the computer ..... I have 2002 F 250 and my dome light stays on for 30 min. my door locks will not work etc...... you suppose to have some juice going back through the lighter or Accesories plug to keep the computer powered ... I had the same issue 2 weeks ago ,4x4 light on ,but no 4 low or 4 high and had only rear tires spinning ....I did turned the switch couple of times
on off and somehow it worked .... but will be looking for other truck soon

Mine doesnt have the hubs you can turn to lock in.  I only have one battery on mine also. I have been looking around and it looks like the GEM goes out in these a lot. I am going to be taking it out tomorrow and get a new one and see if that fixes anything.

Offline demontang

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Re: 1997 ford f-150. 4x4 question wont shift into 4x4
« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2011, 11:42:03 PM »
I offer my help if you want it. I've worked on a lot of fords over there years and rebuild a few transfer case motors as well. And I'm just 30 miles from eberg

 



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