Ok, So, Im 40 miles from home stuck in ice and snow in a hotel.. (my wife works close by- thought it would be safer than driving in the 10 inches of snow we got 3 days in a row) so, I go to pick her up tonight and I engage 4hi.. I hear the click and the light comes on.. but no clunk of the hubs locking.. I drop it in 4 lo.. it shifts in low.. but the hubs are not locking..
I hear a ticking sound as I drive and when I put it in 2wd it goes away.
I turn off the truck, turn the wheel hard both ways .. get out and I can physically turn the drive shaft and I hear the ticking in the hubs. If I read correctly when the truck is off these should be locked?
is it possible the vacuum is not releasing?
I also get the groaning when I start up of the air diverter.. that im told is operated by vacuum.. so I am guessing I have a vacuum problem??
please advise! I want to get home.. and Arkansas doesnt know how to care for the roads!
I read somewhere that someone had this issue and unplugged the vacuum line at a check valve and plugged it and this engaged the hubs. this person needed new actuators and he upgraded the valve behind the battery.
Wondering if unplugging will do for a short time... now.. where is that check valve?
ok, went out to the parking lot, put it in 4- lo... felt it engage.. definitely geared lower.. moved up about 50 ft. and turned the wheel .. with the truck still running and in 4-lo I can still turn the front axles on both sides.. Its almost like the the front end is not engaging and the hubs arent locking? I would think that if the hubs were locked and the front end was locked .. in park.. they wouldnt spin? or do they release? I dunno.
Could be a couple of things. First thing you might do (to eliminate the possibility of check valve interferrence) is pull the vacuum lines off the IWE actuators. If that does not allow the actuators to enguage, you might have ice in them. This has happened to me in the past.
Another thing. If you have your truck in 4wd and in park, the front driveshaft should not turn. It could be a combination of wet/frozen shift motor (this has happened to me as well) and faulty IWE system. Mine tends to get stuck in 4wlo when it gets really cold.
Common sense, as well as similar experiences, tells me that -- with the truck in 4wd, and in park -- the front drive shaft should not turn. It also tells me that your IWE actuators are either faulty -- or frozen.
I don't think you have a problem with the shift motor at all. You can hear and feel it shift from high to low range. You are correct in all of your thinking though. The hubbs should engage with the absence of vacuum. If they got ice in them like Sako 75 suggests, wouldn't the heat from the front rotors melt that? I don't know, he said it happened to him. If I remember the excelent article on the IWE system I think the check valve is indeed behind the battery and the vacuum switch is on the firewall.
I recently had a similiar problem with my front hubs not locking in. The transfer case was engaging in 4hi and 4lo, bought new vacuum solenoid from dealership and installed it(still didn't fix it) and the light comes on when I turn on 4hi and 4lo, front axles would turn when I lifted the whole truck off ground and put it in 4x4 but the wheels wouldn't turn or would turn and make a clicking noise then a clunk and wheels would stop turning.I got lucky when I pulled it apart and there is no obvious sign of any wear or damage. What I found out after I tore apart my passenger side was that the IWE has springs or something that pushes it out to engage the front wheels. The IWE would not stay pushed out and engaging the hubs. They were always sucked in like there was vacuum even when there wasn't vacuum(had the IWE pulled off truck and it always stayed pushed in, never was extended). I figured that the springs or whatever holds them out till vacuum was applied was wore out so I ordered new ones and they should be here today. Going to install new ones on both sides and while I got it tore apart going to install my 2.5 inch leveling kit I've had sitting in my tool box for a few months.
ive seen where the vaccum switch can easily get wet due to what ford calls a "design flaw", and that can cause the hubs to not engage at all or not all the way which is where you get the clicking. but like everything else these days, we rely on to many electronics.
what exactly is the "new ones" part that you are going(maybe already have) install on both sides. I'm having the same issue as everyone else and have done all of the other trouble shooting short of tearing the hub apart. Can you post some pictures of what you're describing in your reply? Thanks
I replaced my passenger side IWE(Integrated Wheel End). I pulled both and the passenger side wasn't staying out. Whatever holds it out was worn out(probably a spring or some sort). I bought two of them(one for each side) but I only had to replaced the passenger side, so now I got a spare sitting around just in case. I will include a link to a forum on this site that tells ya pretty much everything about it, and has some nice pics also.