I have a 2003 Sequoia. It has been trouble free until now. I now have the dreaded 4-wheel drive blinking orange light problem that has hit many Toyota SUV and truck owners. The blinking orange light does not turn off indicating that the 4x4 drive is not engaging. I have researched this at length and the problem according to most is either the center transfer case actuator or the front differential actuator, also known as the Automatic Differential Disconnect (ADD).
I have read that the problem is sometimes just corrosion, corroded electrical contacts in the actuators, or a just little lubricant. Worst case would be damaged gears in the transfer case or front differential. I want to remove, clean and bench test the actuators before I drop hundreds of dollars on a new ADD (I have heard $800 for just the part). I love my shade tree mechanic projects and take my cars to the dealer as the last possible alternative!
Here is my question. I have tried to remove the center actuator from the transfer case. The electrical connectors, breather tube, and three bolts come out with ease; however, I can only slide the actuator back about ½ inch and it does not want to come out any further. I have not yet put a pry bar or hammer to it for fear of damage. Is the shaft that is coming out of the transfer case connected to the transfer case or to the actuator? Is there some pin or clip I am not seeing?
I assume there will be a similar issue with the front differential actuator. I can see and get to the 4 bolts, but have not tried to remove the front one yet.
Has anyone removed and replaced their center or front ADD actuators on their own? I have tried to find a detailed DIY thread on this. Any advice and step-by-step guidance would be helpful to me and hundred of others that want to fix their electric (#@$%!) 4-wheel drive and keep $1,000's in their pocket! THANKS!