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  #1  
Old 03-18-2011, 08:18 PM
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IWE Question after Testing System

OK, I posted a thread about 3 weeks ago that my IWE's were grinding. After taking the truck to the dealer they replaced the shift motor. Well after about 3 weeks I had the left IWE try to lock for just a second after starting the truck cold and driving off. The truck is an '07 with newer style solenoid.

I decided to take my vacuum pump that I have since I used to do A/C work and test the entire system according to "xjcamaro89" by using his thread http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/83...then-some.html.

I checked both IWE's and they didn't lose an inch of vacuum in 5 minutes.

I tested the lines from the solenoid to the IWE's and it didn't lose an inch of vacuum in 5 minutes.

I tested the vacuum chamber behind the battery and it didn't lose an inch of vacuum in 5 minutes.

I took out all the check valves and tested them for proper function and they were OK.

I tested the motor for proper vacuum and at idle it is about 22 inches of vacuum.

Question is, if all lines, IWE's and check valves are OK then what would cause it to try and lock up the other night.
Thanks in advance for all responses.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:54 PM
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Could have water in the IWE causing it not to seal at times.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70f100longbed View Post
Could have water in the IWE causing it not to seal at times.
Thanks for the reply.
How would water get in it and if so, how do you get it out?
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Old 03-18-2011, 09:04 PM
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Water creeps in from driving in the rain or puddles. You have to take the hub off to clean it out.
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Old 03-18-2011, 10:26 PM
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I was wondering if it could be the solenoid since it opens and closes every time you work the key. Looks like to me that it would possbly get to where it could miss a seal every once in a while.
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:48 AM
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Sounds like you covered the bases for trouble shooting. It is possible that some moisture is in the system, as stated above. The vent lines from the IWE have no valve, so moisture could get in that way. If the IWEs were submerged it's possible water got into them.

Are the IWEs and solenoid original parts? It could also be possible that the original parts are wearing out, as you say. How many miles on your truck?

My '06 had an IWE with a bad seal and broken spring (totally failed) when I bought it, and it only had 44K/4 years on it then. The old style solenoid was also bad.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:42 AM
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The truck is an '07 with 25K miles. All parts are original but it does have the updated solenoid with the hood. I would think that moisture in the hub when put under the heat build up created by driving and the negative pressure of vacuum would evaporate very quickly but I could be wrong in this assumption. I am going to look into the moisture idea today though, it seems to be the common ground on the ideas.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:42 AM
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I cant remember what you replaced already. But you could have a IWE actuator that, like said above, could have a weak spring, or corrosion, that even though the vacuum is good and hold it might not always pull away the entire way correctly when the truck is started over and over again. Also same with the solenoid, like you said before. The solenoid working over and over again might not make a correct seal once in a while. Im just taking some stabs in the dark here.

Also, check the ends of all the vacuum lines, look for cracks or split where vacuum could leak when its all connected up. Just some thoughts. Your condition is starting to stump me.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjcamaro89 View Post
I cant remember what you replaced already. But you could have a IWE actuator that, like said above, could have a weak spring, or corrosion, that even though the vacuum is good and hold it might not always pull away the entire way correctly when the truck is started over and over again. Also same with the solenoid, like you said before. The solenoid working over and over again might not make a correct seal once in a while. Im just taking some stabs in the dark here.

Also, check the ends of all the vacuum lines, look for cracks or split where vacuum could leak when its all connected up. Just some thoughts. Your condition is starting to stump me.
I think I will retest the entire system today just to be sure that I didn't miss anything and then go ahead and replace the solenoid even though I don't like just replacing parts.

I have an appointment with the dealer for Monday but if I can't figure it out I'm not sure that they can.

The last thing I tested yesterday was to disconnect the line from the solenoid and pull a vacuum on the entire system and it held it until I pulled the test line lose to reconnect it to the solenoid.

The only part replaced was the shift motor by the dealer 3 weeks ago and there has been no issues until Wednesday when it tried to grind just for second after a quick start and go in a parking lot. Normally I wait til the fast idle goes off until I shift and go but I din't this one time and maybe it just hadn't had time to disengage from the hub.
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Old 03-19-2011, 05:16 PM
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Well I retested the entire IWE system to be sure that I didn't miss anything and still found no problems. I did learn that both hubs lock into 4x4 at just under 5 inches of vacuum and will unlock to 4x2 at 6 1/2 inches of vacuum very consistantly as I tried them several times. I also learned that if you take the 2 hose connection off the solenoid and hook your vacuum pump to the top hose then you can test both hubs and the lines at one time and mine held 22 inches of vacuum with a loss of 1 inch in 4 minutes which I think is VERY acceptable. I am still at a loss as to why mine tried to lock the other night but I am still going to get a new solenoid Monday and replace it. That is the one component that gets the most wear.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:39 AM
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Question shift motor [transfer case]

i just received my reman shift motor i think i got the wromg one when i took the old one off there are two extra wires that are atached to the harnass that go into tha transfer. did i recieve the wrong part ??
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:48 PM
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gcozmo, It might be moisture in the system...it might just be old parts. Rubber seals/gaskets and springs do fail after a while. All your testing seems to show none of the normal problems. XJC89 is my "go to guy" for 4x4 issues with our trucks. I'm a little perplexed myself. You said it only happened once and it was a after a quick start and go...maybe it was just as you said-not enough time for the vacuum to build.
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Old 03-20-2011, 09:16 PM
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One thing you can try is (and i know you might not want to do it but) find a spot in one of the lines after the solenoid and before it splits to go to each wheel, and cut it, then by using some vacuum line and a vacuum T, splice the T into the line somewhere. Then take a long peice of vacuum hose and connect it to the T and run it up out of the engine compartment, and in through the passenger or driver window (whichever works best) and hook your test gauge to the that line. That way you can drive and see the guage and watch how the vacuum changes while driving (if it changes at all) This way you can see the vacuum reading when you hear the grinding. I know you might not want to cut a good hard vacuum line, so its up to you. That way you can start to narrow it down. If the vacuum doesnt drop when you hear the grind then it might be a weak IWE at the wheels. Or you might just be chasing the wrong problem. Meaning your grinding might not be the IWE. And at that point im not sure what would be grinding, maybe a wheel bearing. Again, im just pointing out some stuff to try cheaply without swapping parts.

When you did hear the grinding, was it while you were going up a long constant incline. Because when your truck is under load the vacuum drops and if you were running up a long incline the vacuum drops for a long period of time, which in turn, if you have a slow leak somewhere it has time to slowly loose vacuum. Thats why if the check valves are even slightly weak over a long incline where the vacuum on the motor side of the check valves is lower than the IWE side of the check valves for a period of time it can drop enough to try to engage. Also there are two check valves, i cant remember if you said you checked them both or not. I think the second one is behind the battery.
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Old 03-20-2011, 10:24 PM
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xjcamaro89, The solenoid is a very inexpensive part and since I am off work tomorrow I think that I will replace this part due to it's being inexpensive, easy to replace and the weakest link in the puzzle. Your idea of the seperate vacuum line to each hub with a guage in the truck will probably be the next option if it happens again and that as well is an inexpensive venture to try. I did put a tee in the line downstream of the check valves and started the truck and revved the engine to cause vacuum drop and the guage stayed steady, this is more or less the test you speak of. You mention 2 check valves but mine actually has 3. 1 is at the brake booster just off the tee, 1 is where the soft vacuum hose connects to the hard line about a foot from the solenoid and the other is at the solenoid and all three were taken out and checked.

Thanks to all the advice and ideas from everyone, especially xjcamaro89 and 60DRB. If you have any other brainstorms feel free to let me know!
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:29 AM
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Just a FYI, you will not see the vacuum change when your guage is hooked up to a line and you just rev the engine, because the engine isnt under load when you just rev it. I might have sounded jumbled in my last post, but you dont need to run a test line to each line of the IWE hubs, i just wanted you to do what you said you already did, make a test port on the a line downstream of check valves. What you can do now pretty easily is run a long peice of vacuum line from that T into the cab and hook your guage up and take it for a ride, you will then see how you vacuum changes slightly with engine load.

As far as yours having 3 check valves, i think either the newer models or the 5.4 have a slightly different setup then my early '04 4.6. My vacuum line originates off the throttle body.

And the solenoid is a easy inexpensive part to replace and might be the source of your problem. Because if you look at yours, the solenoid is right under the cowl, and if its original it probably doesnt have the rain sheild on it, to protect it from rain water running off the cowl and right down onto the solenoid. Thats where some people have run into problems, and it could be some of yours as well. Give it a try and see how it goes!
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