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  #1  
Old 06-15-2009, 12:39 AM
BulletBob BulletBob is offline
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4x4 Auto (shift on fly) not engaging?

2004 Ford F250 CC 4x4 6.0L

Took the family down to the beach today. Had some tough sand to get across in a few areas to move away from the crowds. Got a little dicey and the truck got stuck in 2WD. Switched to 4WD but back tires kept spinning. Couldn't figure out why and the truck started to dig deeper in the sand. Got a little nervous and I didn't want to start the day off with having to get pulled out and pay someone $$.

Got out of the truck, locked the hubs in manually and I was out, no problem. Left the hubs locked until we left the beach and back on pavement.

Anyone know what might be the problem and why the "shift on the fly" switch on the dash didn't seem to engage the 4WD? I even tried to switch into 4L and back to 4H (truck in neutral, break pedal compressed) and still no workie. Only manually locking the hubs would engage the 4WD.

I'll try it tomorrow on pavement by shifting to 4High and see what happens as a sanity check but figured I would ask the forum first.

Thanks for the help,
BB
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  #2  
Old 06-15-2009, 12:46 AM
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@stemandbeans
mine takes forever in my 06 for 4x4 high to engage, and even longer when i go to 4x4 low. if i have the hubs locked its not as bad. sometimes it better to have it in park and othertimes it works better in neutral. i still wish my truck have the manual 4x4 shifter.
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  #3  
Old 06-15-2009, 07:42 AM
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The first things to check are the vacuum hoses going to the front knuckles, they are known to break and leak.

After that, we are going to get down and dirty, but check that first. Report back
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  #4  
Old 07-19-2009, 11:28 PM
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Thanks everyone for the quick responses!!! I was able to engage the shift on the fly shortly after my post on the back of my property with no issues. However, I went back to the beach this week with the family and it happened again (no engagement...had to lock the hubs). I noticed that my A/C (this is Texas) would automatically go from blowing out the front vents to the defrost vents even though I did not change my settings. Is this normal when hub is going out??? I spoke to a Ford service manager over the phone and he believes I have a hub going out...damn the bad luck if that is the case, I just replaced the front left one as well as the upper and lower ball joints at ~90K (cheap a$$ warranty, non Ford ESP, would not cover it). Thoughts from the experts here?

At any rate, the wifey just purchased a brand new F150 Lariat Limited 4x4 (white) that is freakin' sweet!!! I'm going to wait a little longer before I purchase another F250, hopefully get a few more years out of this 6.0 first.

Thanks for all of the help in advance!

Best,
Bullet Bob
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  #5  
Old 07-20-2009, 08:51 AM
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The AC switching to defrost is a vacuum leak. You have a broken hose, a bad vacuum solenoid, or something else causing a big vacuum leak when you engage the ESOF.

It's usually not a "hub going out". Check for broken vacuum lines from the vacuum solenoid on the passenger-side inner fender, going to a "T", and down to the front hubs. If you have one, use a hand-vacuum-pump to pull vacuum on the line going from the vacuum solenoid to the front hubs. If it holds vacuum, the vacuum solenoid needs to be replaced.

If the vacuum leak is intermittent, that sounds like the vacuum solenoid is hanging up.
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  #6  
Old 07-20-2009, 09:16 AM
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I just want to say AWESOME SITE !!! I'm a new member and this is my first post.

I am having the same problems as Bullet along with what sounds like a light clicking noise coming from underneath until I engage the shift on the fly then it goes away but the 4 wheel drive does not engage but I do hear it engage but still no 4 wheel drive.Also I have tried to turn the hubs from auto to lock but I can not even budge them.
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:33 AM
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Post #6 has some links to some ideas/tests to do in your driveway if you want to try and save some $$$ and not take it to a shop. It will require you to get some dirt on your hand and about a $20 investment for a decent vacuum pump if you don't already have one (or can borrow one):

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/86...cume-leak.html
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:10 AM
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I'm having similar problem as Bullet, just muddy ground, didn't and won't go into 4wd, no power to actuator, fuse good, but hubs are locked in auto position, can't get them to move,front wheels even feel like they're engaged... Ford made a mistake going away from manual shift.
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Old 07-22-2009, 02:20 PM
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Just remember the shift on the fly needs some wheel spin to engage properly after turning the switch. You can not first get stuck, turn the switch and think you will be in 4x4.
Here is also a good link for maintenance for the esof hubs and many other things.
http://www.guzzle7pt3.com/index.php

The usual culprit of the defrost mode is the loss of vacuum. Most of the time the vacuum tube is broken at the back of the hub. Turn the wheel all the way one way and look back there at the hoses. They are near the brake lines. Another quick test to see if you are locked in or unlocked would be to reach around the tire and see if you can spin the axle shaft at the wheel nuckle. It will not spin if the hub is still engaged.

Welcome to the FTE family to all the new guys!
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  #10  
Old 07-22-2009, 11:12 PM
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I just defeated the same issue. Would intermittently go into 4wd, stuck in the sand, enduring pointing and laughing by my friends because I was finally the one that was stuck. Passenger side fenderwell you will see the pump, it has a loop of tubing around it and the outlet. Turn the key on you'll hear it buzz to make setpoint. Should make setpoint and shut off in a minute or two. If it keeps going *2wd selected* you have a vacum leak on the climate control side and you probably cant get air from anywhere but the defroster. Trace the lines. One goes toward the dash. The other goes to a small box mounted to the fender, then over towards the alternator and then down. Engine off, key on, switch to 4wd and listen for obvious leaks. Save yourself $20 and instead of buying a vacum pump, unplug the hoses and swap them from 4wd to the line to the dash. Key in the run position, if the pump comes on, makes setpoint and shuts off your hubs are good and you have no leaks in that tubing. If it keeps pumping then you have a leak somewhere in the vicinity of the axle. Air should only blow out the defrost. Engage the 4wd switch, and put your finger over the line connected to the 4wd. If air blows out the dash now than your air solenoid for the 4wd is good.

In my case the solenoid had a very very quiet leak. I took the round plastic piece off the bottom with a small screwdriver and there is a 2 cent diaphragm that was pinched causing the leak. I siliconed it into the housing, clipped it together and the issue is now solved. It is a $75 unit from ford and has apparently been updated 3 times. Feel free to buy the new one if the 10 minutes to fix the old one doesnt appeal.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:47 PM
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I am having the exact same problem with shift on the fly and ac, I also live in texas.
I submitted the folowing just a few minutes ago.

I have a 2001 Ford F250 V10 4x4. I Selected 4x4 high at full stop rear wheels were in sand, light came on but only rear wheels turned, felt vibration. Got home at complete stop in nutural I could here a switching noise. Tested on a gravel road but couldn't tell if front wheels were ingaged.

What is the best way to test and what could be the possible problem
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  #12  
Old 07-28-2009, 07:52 AM
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I've got a similar question. Awhile back, I was coming down out of the hills in 4 low. Didn't need low anymore so tried to switch to high. It wouldn't come out of low. So I crawled down to flat land before I messed with it anymore. Still couldn't get it out of low. Finally after shutting off the truck and starting it again, I was able to come out. Pretty much same issues you suppose?

Yeah....I miss my shifter!!

Scott
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:01 AM
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Thanks brad having a issue and been searching but so far your post has been extremely helpful.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter429 View Post
I've got a similar question. Awhile back, I was coming down out of the hills in 4 low. Didn't need low anymore so tried to switch to high. It wouldn't come out of low. So I crawled down to flat land before I messed with it anymore. Still couldn't get it out of low. Finally after shutting off the truck and starting it again, I was able to come out. Pretty much same issues you suppose?

Yeah....I miss my shifter!!

Scott
I know is seems silly, but since you didn't mention it I have to ask...did you have the truck stopped, foot on the brake and tranny in neutral when you tried to shift out of 4lo?
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:44 PM
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I solved all of my 4x4 problems by removing my ESOF auto hubs and replaced them with Mile Marker stainless manual hubs. Plugged the vacuum lines on both sides, and haven't had a problem since. Been running it that way for over a year. Worked great in our brutal NW Indiana winters...

Do a search on here for ESOF and you will find a ton of info....
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Old 07-28-2009, 03:44 PM
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