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Broken 4x4 Symptoms

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
Hey folks-

I am new to 4x4. I may have broken mine on the F-350 and want to get some feedback. Have to pull codes so I'll get info too and add that later.

I did not know about locking hubs, so I have driven 4x4 about 20 miles without locking hubs.

Beyond that, I had problems getting into low gear and may have screwed that up. I know what to do now, but it was rough. Can you shift to 4x4 low in neutral/parked or do you have to be engine off?

I did some jerking and things and may have tried shifting into 4l while in reverse. That was a mistake.

Overall I was able to get into 2H/4H again and think I may be able to get into 4L, but things went bad so these are the results. I also know about Locking the front tires and unlocking them now.

1. The 4x4 light dimmed, flickered, and finally went out and will not illuminate anymore when in 4H, etc.
2. Reverse Lights do not work now. No reverse illumination. This DID work until I somehow broke it. No other indications of a Neutral Safety Switch issue, so thinking it's related to the transmission and 4H/L operation I bongled. Could it be a fuse (will test, specifically fuse #18 a 10 amp related to the 4x4 function) or could it be the shifter on the right of the column being blown by my mistake?
3. Reverse has no power or traction now! We have bad weather and ice now too, so I may be overreacting, but it appears to have no power and traction and going up even a shallow slope in reverse 2H is impossible without a level reverse acceleration first.
4. The truck just doesn't feel as stable now. Did I really damage something? No ABS light on.

It's a 1997 F-350 4x4 automatic. Check engine light had engine and emission codes, but I'll report back today (gonna pull codes)
 

Sparky83

Virginia Chapter member
5,564
217
Norlina NC
Your supposed to have it in neutral before shifting from 4H to 4L. Same with going from 4L to 4H.

Going from 2H to 4H isnt a problem in gear. You can do it even while moving in gear if your going slow enough. But not usually recommended since there is the potential for damage while parts are moving. Your also not supposed to be trying to do hwy speeds when in 4wd. And never use 4wd on dry paved roads. This is for slick/wet/icy/dirt road conditions only.
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
Your supposed to have it in neutral before shifting from 4H to 4L. Same with going from 4L to 4H.

Going from 2H to 4H isnt a problem in gear. You can do it even while moving in gear if your going slow enough. But not usually recommended since there is the potential for damage while parts are moving. Your also not supposed to be trying to do hwy speeds when in 4wd. And never use 4wd on dry paved roads. This is for slick/wet/icy/dirt road conditions only.
Hey Sparky-

Yeah, now I know about the 4H to 4L. I was trying it in neutral and then couldn't get it to go into gear (at a stop) so I put it in reverse, not moving, and then tried to go to 4L and heard some gears grinding so I stopped that immediately and again just tried to catch a gear in Neutral while running, which eventually worked and then I could move again in the 4H or 2H position. However, the damage was done and the 4x4 light blew and the reverse lights stopped working.

Today I checked all the fuses, they're good. Found a 4 where a 10 amp should have been, fixed that. Found an empty one for the dimmer switch, replaced it with the 4 (supposed to be a 3, didn't have that fuse).

Inspected the vehicle. The driver side rear wheel had a huge puddle and that coincided with half the master brake cylinder was out of fluid. I filled and air bubbles are slowly popping up. Needs brake work. I also discovered the parking brake was actually in the engage position. Not great! I was wondering why my mileage seemed a little weaker and my get-up-and-go. It's disengaged but I drove it like that for 300 miles so the parking/e-brake is broken for sure. No idea if it worked or didn't work, cannot remember if I tested back in August.


Radiator was low on fluid so I topped it off a bit. Will monitor.

Lose belt on alternator self-corrected when I disengaged the parking brake. That's odd. I still think it needs to be replaced, will check alternator for binding when I am swopping the belt for new.

So all that said, still have no 4x4 illuminator and no rear backing lights.

Codes that I was able to pull:

10

***Manufacturer OBD1 Reader Code Above****
40
172

***Probably Nothings Below Here****
536
538
632

I didn't goose the throttle, cycle the OD or hit the brakes so the only code that should be relevant are 10, 40, 172. And Code 10 is a pass-code for the OBD1 manufacturer (I also got a 111 code). So really the HEGO code 172 is the primary unless someone has an idea what code 40 might be.

Would a broken transmission shifter throw a code? I can see that being the reason the 4x4 light does not illuminate and no reverse back-up lights.
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
Almost ready to do the drums and exhaust. Gonna be my first weld job (doing flux weld). It's just for exhaust hangars. Rebuilding cat back to twin tail pipes per oem, walker stuff.

The 4x4 is definitely broke, so I bought a 4x4 switch. Anyone know where that goes? I took a look at the transfer case and am not sure. The 4x4 switch came in a box equal in size to a radiator cap (I ordered one with a relief switch/toggle) and looks like a smaller version of a neutral safety switch and egr solenoid combined into something that I believe works on electrical impulse to engage/disengage through the button up front and THEN does something with a positive vacuum to engage the transfer case and the front drive train?

But yeah, any direction on where this should be installed would be appreciated. I'm about 90% certain this is the part I broke by going to 4L while in reverse (not moving, but in reverse gear).
 

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