2002 explorer 4x4 not engaging - Ford Explorer Forum - Forums for Ford Explorer Enthusiasts
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Old 01-12-2018, 12:33 PM   #1
tedmar
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2002 explorer 4x4 not engaging

Hi everyone i searched but found no results to my exact problem. My 4x4 on my explorer does not finish engaging when i push the button it lights up like it should but the front tires never lock in. When using 4x4 low i hear the module click the tc motor whines then it says its in. The gears act like they should in low but still not spinning from the front wheels. When i push 4x4 high i hear no clicking of the module nor do i hear any noise from the truck at all and of course the front tires do not spin. It is all the time in back wheel drive. Any help please.

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Old 01-13-2018, 06:00 PM   #2
J_C
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Have you owned it since it did work and it has recently failed or did you buy it in this state?

There should be no clicking of the module as 4low puts the transfer case into a lower gear but 4 high just engages a quiet electromagnetic clutch.

I'd assume your clutch has failed which basically means rebuilding the transfer case, unless the control wire or connector to the clutch has been frayed or corroded. You should be able to trace it to the transfer case, and measure for voltage when the 4 high switch is engaged. I don't know if it needs to be in drive or if it will get power in park.

If it needs to be in drive then you might be able to put the parking brake on to do that, if it'll hold the vehicle still but I'd want someone highly trustworthy with their foot on the brake pedal just in case.

If on the other hand you just bought it, it's possible the transfer case had a problem and the prior owner just removed the front driveshaft to keep it going on the cheap.
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Old 01-15-2018, 04:29 PM   #3
tedmar
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Yes I have bought this from auction. At first the computer was telling me to replace hall sensors witch I have done I just checked my connector to make sure all pins are still in place witch they are. The front drive shaft is still there if that’s what you mean? Is it possible since I never reset the pcm after the sensor replace it still thinks something is wrong? Like I said the lights for 4x4 use to blink after replacing my sensors that has stopped and seems to be functioning normal. Besides no noise from anything going to 4x4 high and of course the fact it never engages.
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Old 01-15-2018, 04:31 PM   #4
tedmar
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Also I did notice this car shifts hard going to reverse and my speedometer is slow by about 4 mph if any of that helps.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:52 PM   #5
J_C
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I doubt the speedo being low has anything to do with it, mine on my '98 is a bit low due to the smaller stock tire size and some wear on the tread, plus that sensor is in the rear differential, not one of the two measuring drive shaft speed in the transfer case for Auto-4WD mode.

You could try resetting the PCM by disconnecting the battery for a few minutes, since it detected a fault state formerly... can't hurt to try, easiest thing to do first at this point.

You could also hook up an OBDII diagnostic dongle, connected via wifi or bluetooth to a phone or tablet and run Forscan app to see if any related trouble codes pop up.

I do not hear noise when mine engages into 4WD, though sometimes when it engages in Auto-4WD mode, due to something like tire slip going around a sharp, wet corner accelerating from a stop, I feel a little vibration as the tires regain grip and blind the 4WD a little till it disengages. On mine this only happens with wet pavement on the exact same corners and driving.

If you are 100% certain that the front wheels are not actually spinning, not just inferring it from lack of noise, then I'd do as mentioned previously, check for power on the 4WD transfer case clutch control wire when set to 4WD and maybe needing to be in drive?

Shifting hard into reverse should be a different issue since that's in the main transmission, not a matter of at the transfer case. A problem related to the front wheels from transmission itself would also effect the rear wheels. Well I mean this mechanically, if a main transmission error is detected and the system is programmed to decide to lock out 4WD mode, maybe then, but then it wouldn't send the power to the transfer case clutch.

If you have power going to the clutch and it's not engaging then the clutch has a problem. If the clutch is energized it could just be worn out, but if neither of these things are true and you have a front driveshaft as you stated, then the front wheels should engage.
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:22 PM   #6
tedmar
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Hello due to snow and me not having a garage I haven’t been able to get underneath the truck to check the voltage. But I noticed today being in four low my front tires still do not spin but when sitting still and I turn my wheel it rattles and shakes like it is binding up only when sitting still or very low speed
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Old 01-16-2018, 04:56 PM   #7
J_C
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That seems to indicate 4low is working. It should never be placed in 4low or 4high unless either going in a straight line for testing, or driven on a slippery surface where the wheels slip. If binding sitting completely still, you might also have some steering linkage issue.

I assume you're aware that switching into and out of 4low, (at least on the prior generation, I'm not 100% sure about your '02) it should be in neutral with your foot on the brake. 4high does not require this, just not to be going several tens of MPH.
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Old 01-16-2018, 05:02 PM   #8
tedmar
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Yes I do know this but that’s why I’m so confused why is it binding sitting still but I’m not actually on 4 wheel drive at all I got about 7 inches of snow now and I can’t promise they are defiantly not spinning
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Old 01-16-2018, 07:35 PM   #9
J_C
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There's really nothing more we can do by discussing it. Time to go check a few things once the weather is favorable for doing so.
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