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03 Explorer XLT transfer case issues

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Old 09-03-2014, 11:00 PM
Glue Man Glue Man is offline
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03 Explorer XLT transfer case issues

Hello everyone.

I need some serious help. I am completely stumped. 4.0 SOHC 145k miles.

There is a clunk that is coming from the transfer case (at least thats what it sounds like) when im driving in A4wd. When i transfer it over to 4HI, the clunking goes away. The clunk happens on acceleration AND deceleration. I have replaced wheel hubs, upper control arms, stabilizer end links....checked every other piece of rubber or bushing or connection or CV joint under that thing and can not figure it out. Also, I just replaced the transfer case control motor and the clunk is still there. Its worth noting that I am able to switch between A4wd, 4HI, and 4LO with no problems at all.

Can someone please shed some light on this? Im getting ready to drive this thing into the river.....

Thanks in advance,

Matt from Omaha
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Old 09-04-2014, 06:12 AM
Glue Man Glue Man is offline
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More info: This issue didn't start until we put new tires on the explorer. After some more research it sounds like my 4x4 control module might be having some problems due to the new tires. They are a stock replacement, but not the same tire as what came from the factory new.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:09 AM
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shorod shorod is offline
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Were all of the tires replaced at the same time and with the same model of tire? Have you confirmed that they are all properly inflated per the inflation chart in the driver's door jamb?

If you unplug the transfer case shift motor does the clunk go away (no longer able to shift to 4WD when it thinks it detects slip)?

Have you changed the transfer case fluid recently and/or made sure it's properly filled?

-Rod
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Old 09-04-2014, 09:26 AM
rrgone rrgone is offline
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^^^ +1 what Rod said. I was thinking a tire issue even before I read your second post. If the x-fer case fluid is filthy it might be contributing too. I'd pull the two power fuses for the 4WD system rather than unplug the harness to turn it off, but either method will work. Don't drive it around on pavement while it's engaging the A4WD or you will do some expensive damage. Good luck.
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