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Old 01-12-2011, 08:48 PM   #1
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F250 4x4

I posted this on another forum and also searched with no success the Dieselstop forum.

Not wanting to hear all the bad about Fords or all thats good about Dodge or GM products.
This is just for the Ford owners,
I have a '03 F250 4X4 and this week we had about 6 inches of snow with a coating of ice. Well this morning I went to move truck out of garage 1st time since the snow. Well I have to drive up a fairly steep incline to get to the street. Needless to say it would not do this in 2wd so I switched to 4X4 (it has automatic locking hubs but I locked them manually). After sitting there spinning the rear tires for it seemed like 2 mimutes the transfer case finally shifted and away I went. Ford manual says to not engage 4X4 with tires spinning.
So what am I to do. I don't know any other way to get into 4X4. I was hoping you Ford guys could tell me how to force it into 4wd if you were parked somewhere that you can't get a run at it to make all this stuff engage. I had a Jeep that everything was manual and when you put it in 4wd it was there from the get go.
What I was trying to say was that it would not go into 4wd for a least 2 minutes. And I was trying to go to 4wd HI not 4wd LOW. I had to let it start spinning to get it to engage. One other time I was at a tractor pull and was parked in a field and it came a terrible thunderstorm. Field got really muddy so I started moving ( key words here was I did get it moving ) and shifted into 4wd. Indicator light came on and I got stuck. Man standing nearby said put it in 4wd and I told him it was. He said the front wheels aren't spinning. So I got out and locked the hubs (truck has auto or manual..........manual says to leave in auto for 4wd Hi)and away I went. Hence that is why this AM I went on and locked hubs manually. Don't get me wrong 4wd works fine when I finally get it to engage. Just don't understand how to get it engaged at a stand still.

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Old 01-12-2011, 08:49 PM   #2
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:02 PM   #3
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I would say two things. One when you tried to engage your transfer case to 4x4 it was cold and did not want to go in.

Second I would say with my truck you can engage 4x4 but NOT with tires moving. If you do this it will have front tires not moving and rear spinning ten miles a hour. It will lock in hard and possible break something. It's like running truck at 2500 RPM and putting it into drive.

What ford is recommending is to stop apply brakes, let go of gas. Then shift into 4x4 then give it hell. Sometimes with my truck you have to try to put into 4x4 then let rear tires spin like 1/2 MPH this will sometimes help go into gear if it's not in the "RIGHT" position to slip into 4x4.

EDIT: you may have problems with your AUTO hubs locking and maybe forced to do manual. You may have to have FORD take a look.

Good luck
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:11 PM   #4
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Well for starters, this is definitely a camper forum, not a truck forum. Now we also don't discriminate, or at least I don't. Maybe we won't get kicked off. Now you didn't mention year model of the truck. Also whether electric or manual 4x4. If manual 4x4 on the transfer case, you have a hub problem. If electric shift, may be the electric shift motor. Anyway, most of those auto hubs are useless, and that is why they didn't live long. Replace with manual only hubs. The electric motor on the side of the transfer case isn't much trouble to change either, and you shouldn't loose any fluid. If you do, you have a bad seal that caused motor failure. Hope this helps, need more info, and I am a Ford guy.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:44 PM   #5
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Sorry I knew this was a camper forum and really didn't know of a good place to ask this information. Hope I didn't offend anyone posting this question. I do appreciate the responses and I do apologize
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:26 PM   #6
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I did a google search for "ford 4x4 not engaging" and got a few results that might help you out. Outside of that, my dad's 95 F250 did something similar to me when turning around one time...i went too far off the side of the road and couldn't get the front end back up i shifted the transfer case to 4x4...nothing...light was on, but wouldn't lock in. It wasn't until i spun the tires a little bit in back that it engaged and pushed me out from what could have been a bigger mess. Anyway, i know that's not much help, but thought I would throw it in there anyway.

Good luck.
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Old 01-13-2011, 02:19 AM   #7
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Try this forum- Ford Truck Enthusiasts. Get a lot of great info on there and it is frequented by many Ford techs. There are specifis forums for Super duty trucks, light trucks,old trucks, etc..... Don't know if they arte the same hubs as my 2008, but IIRC, salesman told me hubs were supposed to be left in auto all of the time. The only reason they have the manual on there is that the hubs unlock when you go in reverse and it is for the guys plowing snow so the hubs stay engaged. As far as engaging them while wheels are spinning, it's electronic shift on the fly, so the wheels are always spinning if yyou hit the switch while you're driving. Think my owners manual even said to expect to hear some clicking and gear noises when you do this as the hubs engage.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:01 AM   #8
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my dad has a 05 F250 super duty. we have to put the hubs into manual because of a vacuum leak. if the light 4X4 lights up on the dash you should be in 4X4. If it doesn't then it has not engaged yet. back up or creep ahead and it should go in.

Also we know there is a vacuum leak because the vent selector works how ever it wants to until you put it into 4x4. then it listens lol.

I guess i should say to that the "Auto" hubs are vacuum controlled lol

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