How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Scott W. Your Own Question
Scott W.
Scott W., Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3327
Experience:  28 yrs. experience as Ford ASE Master Technician. Accolades include being a 2005 Ford PTS Regional Finalist and 2006 ASE Ford National Technician.
Type Your Ford Question Here...
Scott W. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

2002 Explorer: transfer case..4x4..electronic control module operates.

This answer was rated:

2002 Explorer transfer case problems. The 4x4 high low operates. The electronic control module operates. When I take the module off the t-case and have someone go through the dash buttons the module goes from low to high mode fine. When the "4x4 auto" button is pushed the module goes stays/goes into the "high" position.

The problem is the explorer stays in high mode and doesn't go into 2wd mode.

The Tcase shows a N position but the module never stops in this position.

Does the module only have two positions?

Does the N position on the Tcase mean anything?

What is the most likely problem with the system staying in 4x4 high?

It locks up when turning sharp and it's definately in high 4x mode.

My problem is I am trying to get it out of 4x4 high and I've tried reverse, high speeds, gravel, etc. Thanks!
Hello my name isXXXXX the shift motor only has, 4x4 high and 4x4 low, has the system been tested for trouble codes? Are the tires all the same brand and same tread depth, if the tires vary more than 1 inch in circumference the 4x4 sytem will see wheel slippage and apply the lock up clutch, this will be noticeable especially on turns. We see this all the time, let me know, Thanks Steve W
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Tires are all about 2 months old and the same (new). No trouble codes tested yet as I put the tcase in yesterday which I saved from a parts rig I had.
I would check for 4x4 trouble codes and monitor pids and see if all the wheels speeds are the same and if the 4x4 clutch duty cycle is being applied for some reason. If you don't have a scan tool you can have a dealer scan and diagnose for you they will probably only charge an hour to do this. Any more questions just ask, Thanks Steve W
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thanks Steve. Wheel speeds being the same, which they have to be within specs is there a probability the drivelines were put back in a different location throwing the clutches off?


other that that Schucks offers their code reader for free and although I hate to drive it there I will and get back to you.

I would still look at wheel speed input, just because there are 4 new tires doesn't mean the 4x4 module is seeing the correct data, I would still look at this first, it is unlikely anything is put together wrong or out of phase, you might double check the u joint just to rule them out, sometimes they feel tight but are rusted tight and won't move correctly while driving. Any more questions just ask, Thanks Steve W



I see you replaced a pinion bearing in a previous question, did you reuse the same gears or was the rear end changed out or just the bearings and seal? Let me know, Thanks Steve W

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry just got in after working on it for the last while.


I don't believe it's wheel speed and realized a bit ago I forgot to mention other recent work. I didn't change the pinion bearing. I was hoping I could and we search indicates it's possible but it really appears you have to pull the whole rear assembly out and run it into the guts like you would a 9-inch but this clutch in everything crap really causes issues.


I RnR the transfer case and while I had it up I checked the typical back end roar. The pinion bearing was really loose so I did some research and decided I aintagoing to do it.


Both drive shafts were loose and the transfer case was replaced could there be a timing issue?


Also, I just gave it a run around the driveway and up and down. It's deffinitely shifting from hi to lo but not into 2wd. Right or left turns and it binds up in the front end.


I pulled the drive shaft to rear end thing after pulling the nut and then puting the two back on


I jacked it up on all fours (on wood chunks) and ran all four free.

Try disconnecting the electrical connector to the transfer case and go drive and see if the vehicle now turns ok, let me know what happens.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

As I recall there are three- two with sensors and a single orange wire secured which must be take out of the connector. Could you be more specific?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Steve Don't sweat the response time man, the rig is off the blocks and outa the shop.
Just unhook the large single connector to the transfercase, or remove the large wire that runs the lock up clutch, then go drive and see if it binds still. let me know, thanks Steve W
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I removed the wire from the connector assembly and it doesn't lock up anymore! But what do I need to fix?

You need to monitor the front and rear driveshaft speeds and see if they match while driving, if they match, then it is likely the 4x4 module is bad, it should have a self test done with a scan tool to verify. If the front and rear sensors are different speeds, then look at tire size. There should be no more than 1 inch difference in circumference. Any more questions just ask, Thanks Steve W

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Just figured out the tires might not be inflated propertly so I made sure they were all 35PSI. I then pluged the wire back into the connector and although it shows 4x4 on the dash and drops the gear ratio in low it's not locking in. Most likely module?


So the 4x4 doesn't work now, at least the front driveline is this correct? If it is, and it worked before, try disconnecting the battery to clear all the codes in the modules, then reconnect and see if the 4x4 works now, let me know, Thanks Steve W
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Disconnected, waited about 15 seconds, then hooked it back up.


4x4 low = the light blingks then goes solid like it should. Gears drop low like they should. no power to the front drive train. 4x4 high light in the dash blinks for a bit then goes out.


4x4 auto = light goes out goes back into high gear.


4x4 high = dash light in the dash doesn't work and it doesn't have power to the front drive train.


My wife drove it around today and she said it was locking up in the front end on tight turns. I questioned her (whoops!) but when she got it home I couldn't get it to lock up.






I would have the 4x4 module tested for trouble codes to see if there is a wiring or sensor problem, double check the wire you disconnected, it could be the wire you had disconnected or the coil or ball and ramp inside the transfercase, a test on the 4x4 module will give a code and a starting point. Some auto parts store will pull codes for free, call before you go, a good scan tool will be needed to test 4x4 modules. Any more questions just ask, thanks Steve W
Scott W. and 7 other Ford Specialists are ready to help you