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4X4 in 1997 Ranger Doesn't Work

 
  #1  
Old 02-17-2007, 11:56 PM
jbcal22
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4X4 in 1997 Ranger Doesn't Work

I have a 1997 Ranger 4.0 which no longer has 4-wheel drive. Basically the front hubs won't lock in totally is what it seems like. The truck starts to pull dead right once I flip the switch over, and then I just hear a lot of grinding but no power from the front. I have been having problems getting it in and out of 4x4 the last couple years in that it would just pop in and out while moving. Now it won't go all the way in at all, and takes forever to get it all the way back to 4x2 (I have to keep backing up forever to get it to come out).

I have had 2 different mechanic shops look at it. One said to take the electronic hubs out and put manually locking ones in. That would be fine with me, but they wanted $1500 to do so. The other shop supposedly took the hubs apart and everything looked fine, so they said. They proceeded to clean them out and repack with grease. They said it worked fine. I took the truck back about a week later saying it wasn't fine, but they once again said it was fine.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I am not mechanically inclined, but my brother is. So if this is fixable, let me know what tools/parts are needed as well as approximate time and cost. He just recently changed my intake manifold and fuel rail gaskets. It seems to have fixed my idling problem that I was experiencing before. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:06 AM
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Ok, so I just read the post on the 1997 auto hub repair that is under the sticky at the top of the page. It sounds like this may be my problem. I will take any other advice that you may have as I don't know much about this. Thanks again.
 
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Old 02-18-2007, 07:17 AM
fullmoon133
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I have a 93 that also took forever to go in or out( sometimes never ) of 4whl. My mechanic took the hubs apart and said they seem to be fine but I still had the same problem. I installed a pair of Warn hubs and no more problems. It took about 1.5 hours to install them. I used a bent sewing needle and a magnet to coax the flat key out of the key way. Basically a simple install with the hubs costing about $200..... Good luck
 
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:06 AM
RnMEtt7500
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I agree the warn manual hubs are the ticket. I got mine for my 94 STX off ebay with shipping and the 4 prong socket tool and new axle nuts for $230, in about 2 hours with hand tool in the driveway she worked perfectly. I also replaced grees seals and repacked the bearings sinse I was in there.
 
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:28 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Do you guys think I may have the same problem as described in the 1997 auto hub repair post? It sounds like that may be an easier fix for now, especially since I won't be fixing it myself. I would just need to figure out where I could get those 'custom' washers made. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:25 PM
keys
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followup

Hey jbcal,
Did you ever get your hubs fixed.

I seem to have the same problem you did.
My hubs just don't engage right....if at all.

Nothing is broken, and the plastic piece mentioned in the "1997 auto hub repair " is only slightly worn....but it does seem like a 1/8" washer in there would solve the problem.

keys
 
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Old 09-29-2007, 09:35 PM
BroncoEx
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I put warn manual Locking hubs on my 94. They work great. Before that, I couldn't even get them to engage. Took about 1 hour to replace.


tim Z
 
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Old 09-30-2007, 05:36 PM
jbcal22
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keys,

I have not gotten my hubs fixed yet. Someone was supposed to send me a couple washers, but I never received them. If you find any, let me know where you got them.

jbcal22
 
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Old 09-30-2007, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by keys
Nothing is broken, and the plastic piece mentioned in the "1997 auto hub repair " is only slightly worn....but it does seem like a 1/8" washer in there would solve the problem.
Keys--Here's a link to another site where I posted the hub fix. https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1353302. After some discussion with a smart guy there, it doesn't look like wear on the plastic ring is the culprit. Instead, the little leaf springs on the bottom of the plastic ring are probably wearing out, which prevents the plastic ring from pushing the inner spline in far enough to engage the teeth. The added washer takes up the space left by the sagging springs.

As I see it, we have three choices when the auto hubs start to go bad: buy new auto hubs @ $300 each; replace with manual hubs (Warn or Superwinch for about $200 total [http://www.gowarn.com/hubs.asp]); or, do the "Beertime 9 Washer Fix" ($.50 washers and a couple hours of labor). I don't like to get out of my truck to engage 4x4 , so I opted for the washer fix.
 
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:03 PM
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Bob K.,

Any idea where I could find a couple of those washers? Or should I just modify a couple store-bought ones to fit? Thanks.

jbcal22
 
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:37 PM
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I'm not aware of any commercial washers that are an exact fit. You'll either have to get some washers that are close (i.e. the Euclid E-2411A air brake cam bushing pictured above) and grind them down to the proper fit, or find someone who will manufacture washers of the correct size for you (maybe out of aluminum or brass). I found the Euclid washers at a local diesel truck repair shop for $.26 each.
 
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Old 09-30-2007, 07:47 PM
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Sorry, jbcal22, I guess it would be helpful if I put in a link to the original post and pictures: https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/4...-pictures.html
 
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Old 10-01-2007, 06:44 AM
wendell borror
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The most two problematic things with these systems are, the electric sift motor and the auto hubs. It sounds like your shift motor is working fine, so replace the hubs and they don't cost 1,500.00$ or whatever it was. A couple hundres bucks and they have good instruction, can be done in the driveway, or find a friend to help, pretty simple actually.
 
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Old 10-10-2007, 08:45 PM
keys
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rotors?

I was thinking about this perplexing problem and realized that the rotors are the only part that has changed in the hub area. I did the brakes last spring and the 4x4 hasn't worked ever since. I just didn't notice right away cause it hasn't snowed all summer

Can anybody else trace their hub problem to a brake job?

I assembled the hubs with a little blob of silly putty on the cam.
After taking the hub off again, the putty showed a 1/4 inch gap between the two halves of the hub cam. I'm sure the cam halves are supposed to be fully together when assembled and the hubs are unlocked. When the hub locks, the outer half of the cam rotates out of the pockets of the inner cam. When the cam rotates, it also moves out, compressing the big hub spring, moves the splined hub center and locks the hub to the axle.

Since my cam is already separated, the hub will never lock.

I figured if I got the wrong rotors and the hub mounting surface sticks out 1/4 inch farther than the old rotors, that would totally account for the gap.
But I checked some parts stores and every rotor is the same as what I already have. The hub mounting surface sticks out 1 1/4 inch from the rotor braking surface. Couldn't find any that were only 1 inch.

If anybody has a 95-97 ranger with working hubs, I would love to hear what the distance is between your rotor braking surface and the hub mounting surface! (measureable without even taking the hubs off)

Looks like I'm going to have to resort to 1/4 inch worth of washers to fill up that gap. Now to find some washers. Maybe a transmission shop...
 
  #15  
Old 10-10-2007, 09:57 PM
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Keys: Take a look at this post: http://members.aol.com/racsan99a/AutoHubWriteUp02.mhtAre you talking about the gap represented in the third picture from the bottom...the one with the screwdriver pointing to the gap between the hub and the rotor?

If not, a picture or two (www.imageshack.us) would help me figure out which portion you're talking about.
 

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