I have found a few threads with similar questions but I am still not sure so here is my issue,
I have a 2004 F250, the 4x4 has a switch on the dash and the outside hubs do not say anything like lock / unlock so I am assuming they are supposed to lock automatically. I tried to put in 4x4 the otherday and it did not work, the light on the dash lit up but I'm guessin the hubs didn't lock. I had a 2003 Excursion wich stopped working and I could lock the hubs automatically but had to use pliers, can I do the same with my truck? What would the issue be? Thanks for the help!
I am by no means an expert, but could be the vacuum lines that push out to the hubs (on automatic hubs), or the device under the hood that switches on the vacuum lines (actuator?) Anything beyond that I have not dealt with yet. Check to see if front driveshaft is spinning when 4X4 is engaged also... If it is not, possibly a transfer case issue or whatever activates it, switch wise, fuses, etc....
Hubs could be stuck also, based on servicing, etc.
To be honest, I swapped from the Ford manual/auto hubs to full manual hubs a few years ago and capped my vacuum lines. Have to cap the vacuum lines so Heat/AC vents will switch still.
Is there a way to override the auto hub and manually do it?
Something seems off here, because the automatic hubs all had a rotating switch that selected between "auto" and "lock". Should be the exact same setup as your Excursion, do you have aftermarket wheels or hubcaps that would obstruct the hub?
Also, as I mentioned above. Have someone see if front driveshaft is moving when transfer case is engaged. Or if they move when it is not engaged... It shouldn't move in 2H, unless hubs are somehow locked in.
Never seen the hubs you are speaking of... Before I changed mine, they looked like the ones SC_Hoaty posted.
Just thought of this... More of an off the wall thought, but ya never know... Make sure you HAVE a front drive shaft, Not sure if it is possible, but could be a regular non-4x4 axle on the front and someone removed the front driveshaft... Or a full time 4x4 axle with front drive shaft removed... In the Air Force I ran into alot of full time 4x4 Dodges in the sandbox, just don't recall any Fords...
If not the above, then possibly hub or transfer case issue with fuses, switches, etc I mentioned before...
Or, for fun, just drive up to the Ford service area and have them just "look" at it. For free, they can usually have someone see if it LOOKS like it is supposed to at least
As AzPete said and HC_Hoaty provided instruction wise. You can lock them in and out manually like the good ole days.
If you lock them in and turn the switch to 4H or 4L and still do not have 4x4 function, then the issue may be deeper... I.e. something with the transfer case, drive shaft missing or not turning, or bad hubs(had bad hubs on a '97 F250 once myself...)
If you want to restore auto function (what you mentioned is not working now), Then I would first check all the vacuum hoses... Especially where they hook into the axle area, as they can let moisture into you hub area if they are cracked or missing.
If they are gone or cracked at the axle area, you can simply cap the nipples at the axle and where the vacuum terminates at the wheel well on each side to just have a "manual" hub operation. As I mentioned, capping them at the axle keeps stuff out. Capping at the wheel well keeps you vacuum system sealed so the vent control system still operates.
There are some good posts here on teh forum about fixes what I mentioned above also, some had pictures if I recall correctly...
I cant turn by hand do i have to use pliers? is that normal?
Mine were pretty easy for the most part to turn by hand before I changed them (2003, changed in 2011). I never had to resort to tools. Based on climate they have been in, could be some corrosion in there. Would recommend getting/giving them some servicing either way. Usually not taht expensive to get them serviced. More if there is damage of course.
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