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Mechanic's Corner

Strange 4/Low No-Shift Problem


This is a discussion on Strange 4/Low No-Shift Problem within the Mechanic's Corner forums, part of the TMC TECHNICAL category!
I'll do some research on it unless you are like me and have already researched it to death....

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Old 01-15-2016, 05:40 PM
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I'll do some research on it unless you are like me and have already researched it to death.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:09 AM
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Usually, if the encoder is bad, it'll have issues shifting to and from 4HI as well... Check your shift indicator alignment, too, if that's possible...
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:24 PM
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Shifting into and out of 4hi is fine. I think if I can find out why the indicator won't indicate neutral I'd have it licked.

I thought it might be an alignment thing since the backup lights won't work unless the shifter comes up from drive.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:34 AM
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Chances are, instead of reading the gear position directly from the neutral safety switch, it's getting it from the cluster... Which is why it'll start just fine, but won't shift ranges... Check the cluster wiring...
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:46 PM
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I'm thinking that would explain the neutral light on the steering column, but not the transfer case issue? Do you have a wire diagram by chance?
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Old 08-12-2016, 01:42 PM
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I have been wracking my brain trying to figure this out for myself. I am experiencing similar problems. When I shift through PRND123 the indicator will not light when the truck is in neutral. (instrument panel skips neutral but the transmission does not skip neutral). It will re-light when it gets to D.

I could not get the truck to shift into 4 lo, the light next to 4lo on the 4wd instrument panel blinks, the process seems to time out, and then relights wherever it was before. Auto 4wd, and 4 hi work just fine. I don't hear any clucking or noise when i try to shift to 4 low.

I also suspected that the reason i could not shift to 4 lo was that the instrument panel would not indicate neutral. After loads of research and googling, I decided to replace the neutral safety switch and a broken shift cable (unrelated). (note: you can break the cable while removing the linkage from the neutral safety switch if you don't put counter pressure on the bolt...)

The truck shifts fine now but will still not indicate neutral on the instrument panel. I suspect it has something to do with one of the the wiring harnesses on the neutral safety switch. My next course of action is to replace the bad harness/plug but I have no idea which one would most likely be causing the problem. I cant figure it out based on wiring diagrams I have. and they are both over $30 each. all wires from the neutral safety switch just go into the computer and I don't know where the signal would go after that.

I think about just going under the truck, and having my wife put it in neutral while I giggle the wires around, but i'v not had a whole lot of good luck with all of this, and id rather not lose my life along with my sanity...

I anyone knows whats going on I would really love to hear about it!

I would very much appreciate any help on this issue in particular. This is the only thread I could find about it, and its driving me crazy (no pun intended).
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Old 08-12-2016, 05:23 PM
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I don't know a thing about 4 wheel drives, but I can at least give the thread a bump and maybe someone with some input will chime in. Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:15 AM
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Just a thought but considering how old the truck is, maybe take all the connectors off and clean them up if possible and spray some contact cleaner on them?
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:04 PM
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On a hunch, I went under the truck this afternoon and shook the crap out of the connections to the neutral safety switch, and, lo and behold, I git a nice green dash under N...

I don't want to get it stuck in 4lo, so Im going to hold off and test it this weekend.
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Old 08-19-2016, 11:01 AM
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Question Problem partially solved (sort of...)

Good news and bad news... I have confirmed that the reason the transfer case was not shifting into 4low was because the N on the PRND123 would not light. After shaking wires and establishing some kind of connection, N lit up, so I managed to solve my original problem and the problem which is the subject of this post. I shifted into neutral, pressed 4low button, the lights flashed, I felt and heard a slight yet distinctive clunk sound. I pressed on the gas and could feel a distinctive difference in the way the truck felt after a foot or so (a little tighter?) so I thought I was good to go, and that it was in 4 low, but after about 4 or 5 feet, I heard a very loud clunking/grinding like the gears were bouncing around and not fully engaged. I immediately put it back into neutral, it made the grind/clunking noise again for a second but stopped when i got out of drive, and I was fortunately able to switch it back to 2 hi, and the truck drives...

I don't have any experience with 4wd except for what I had just done last night, so I may just be tripping on some normal 4wd noise, but I'm not convinced because it sounds really bad. From what I can tell, it may be the front differential, a wheel bearing?, or something in the transfer case. Not really sure where to go from here except for replacing fluid in the front differential. I already replaced the fluid in the transfer case a few months back with the blue stuff...
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