4 wheel drive problem please help!!!!!! [Archive] - Toyota Tundra Forums : Tundra Solutions Forum

: 4 wheel drive problem please help!!!!!!



chad612
12-01-2008, 10:18 AM
I have a 2003 Tundra. When I try to put it in 4 high (or 4 low for that matter). All that happens when I push the button is the 4 wheel drive light just blinks and it does not go into 4 wheel drive. I have tried stopping completely, putting in park, turning truck on and off. Nothing works. I need help winter will be here soon

RONE
12-01-2008, 11:29 AM
Do you have instructions on your sun visor explaining how to engage 4wd? Do exactly as those instructions specify.

ricknchris
12-01-2008, 01:43 PM
we are having the same problem, toyota tech worked around 8 hours and didn' t have any answers. There seems to be no power to the actuator on the front diff. wondering where its power supply comes from and what else to check. Thanks

Boosted27606
12-01-2008, 02:18 PM
Just a guess here, but most 4X4 are used in 2 wheel drive 99% of the time. A good preventive idea is to activate the 4X4 button every 2 or 3 weeks so that the system gets a work out to keep it in shape. If you haven't activated the 4X4 system in a year or more, maybe the actuator is stuck or something is clogged up in mud.............

nytrousboy
12-01-2008, 02:31 PM
i had the same problem and replaced the front actuator per the dealer at $450.00 and that worked for about 2 weeks until it started again...

the dealer could not find the problem and said the transfercase actuator might be it.

i then was going to replace the transfercase actuator until i found out the actuator was $1050.00 and required the transfer case to be removed and pulled apart at 12 hr labor for a grand total of $3500.00.

i took my tundra home and found a simple fix for mine, you can try this with yours it takes 15 mins.

i took the transfercase actuator cover off (3 bolts a vacuum line, and connector) and the actuator some how got water in it, looked like a bad o-ring to me, the contacts were rusted and not conducting power so i took 800 grit sandpaper and sanded the rust off, put some Dielectric grease on the contacts, and some black rtv on the cover.

i have had no problems with it after that.

also the front diff actuator is very similar (4 screws hold the cover on) the same fix can be done with this one as well..

i have some pic of the cover before and after.

tundrainorange
12-01-2008, 05:33 PM
Like was said before, engage the 4wd atleast once a month to keep it lubed properly. I engage mine once i pull out of my driveway, and drive it down my street...and no i don't turn street corners with it engaged...atleast try not to:D

If the light blinks, try creeping forward a tad. Then push the button again.

DevinSixtySeven
12-01-2008, 08:58 PM
If the vacuum lines are damaged, in addition to not engaging, the systems will rust from the inside out...lost the ADD actuator on the front diff that way, it was garbage in side.

Hit the 4HI button once in a while, to keep the system lubricated...even if that means driving slow in a straight line on a dry road for a ways, hitting the button over and over just to cycle the system.

chad612
12-02-2008, 09:37 AM
Where is the front diff acuator located?

nytrousboy
12-02-2008, 01:34 PM
here is a picture http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200703/2007-toyota-hilux-10_380x0w.jpg

dont forget to check the transfercase actuator as well, that is what caused my 4x4 light blink and not enguage, do not remove the whole actuator just the motor cover.

keiton
12-06-2008, 02:54 AM
I know this is going to sound lame but my brother in law works the service counter at a toyota dealership and he said they see this problem quite a bit. Their fix is to engage the 4 hi button in park, then when the light starts flashing put the truck in reverse on dry pavement and cut the wheel all the way to the right or left while backing out slowly.

It fixed my problem. He said for some reason if you do not use your 4 wheel drive regularly that the grease migrates in the mechanism (or something like that). Anyway it was a superquick easy fix for me and after trying to figure this out for about a month of crawling under my truck and tapping the ADD, I am happy to have this behind me.

PJinNJ
12-08-2008, 11:31 AM
ANyone ever hear a ratcheting sound when trying to engage while moving? That's what I get.

ames
03-16-2010, 01:14 PM
I had the same problem with my 2003 4x4. I followed the directions above

" took the transfercase actuator cover off (3 bolts a vacuum line, and connector) and the actuator some how got water in it, looked like a bad o-ring to me, the contacts were rusted and not conducting power so i took 800 grit sandpaper and sanded the rust off, put some Dielectric grease on the contacts, and some black rtv on the cover.

i have had no problems with it after that.

also the front diff actuator is very similar (4 screws hold the cover on) the same fix can be done with this one as well.."

Cleaned the front AND rear actuator and it worked perfectly. The front one is a little more complicated you will need a 14-16 inch phillips head screwdriver. within the FRONT actuator is a small electrical motor and a drill that turns some gears. the electrical motor in mine was jammed up and the screw was rusted. I removed the motor cleaned and used the dremmel to clean the screw. Works like a champ. Actually works better than it has in 3-4 years.

harlanboy
03-30-2010, 06:30 PM
did you find your noise problem? my 2003 4 wheel drive will not engage. when it's in 2 wheel drive it makes a grinding noise up in the front diff., when i put it in 4 wheel drive it stops, but it will not kick into 4 wheel drive (light blinks). I wasn't driving when this started happening. my friend said it just wouldn't go into 4 wheel drive for him, and now i am having these problems. I will try this fix.

xtc500
04-05-2010, 05:00 PM
I know this is going to sound lame but my brother in law works the service counter at a toyota dealership and he said they see this problem quite a bit. Their fix is to engage the 4 hi button in park, then when the light starts flashing put the truck in reverse on dry pavement and cut the wheel all the way to the right or left while backing out slowly.

It fixed my problem. He said for some reason if you do not use your 4 wheel drive regularly that the grease migrates in the mechanism (or something like that). Anyway it was a superquick easy fix for me and after trying to figure this out for about a month of crawling under my truck and tapping the ADD, I am happy to have this behind me.

I can't hardly believe it. This fix just worked for me!!

crainholio
08-31-2010, 08:17 PM
Mine worked fine last Winter, but I tested it after this evening's oil change and got the flashing 4hi light. I found this thread by searching "4hi blink" and started into the various ideas listed here.

Tried reversing w/ the steering hard over left, then again to the right, no effect.

Tried tapping both the front diff and transfer case actuator housings w/ a plastic dead-blow hammer, no effect.

I removed the vacuum hose from the transfer case actuator nipple and it was dry-cracked badly, no way it was sealing. Trimmed 1/2" off the end of the hose to get nice clean rubber, put it back on the actuator nipple, and blammo 4hi was back in service. 4-lo was a different story, wouldn't engage the first try...just blinked 4-lo a few times and then went back to 4hi. 2nd try it engaged with an abnormally-loud audible "clunk" and worked. I drove it a few yards, disengaged it and 4hi, drove ~2 miles, then repeated. 4hi again no problem, 4-lo engaged much more quietly. Disengaged, drove back to the house, repeated 4hi and 4-lo and it was back to a nice normal click during engagement. I hadn't used 4-lo in over a year, possibly two years, so it may have just needed some motion to get the gear lube into the right places.

Previous transfer case fill was Mobil-1 75W-90 w/ premixed Limited Slip additive and my box didn't like it a bit. Engagement of 4hi was fine, but disengagement had a loud clunk at any speed over ~1mph. I just refilled with Coastal 75W-90 synthetic blend, no Limited Slip additive, and disengagement is back to normal click now. I'm supposing that the friction modifier LS additive is a no-go.

2003bajatundra4x4ac
09-01-2010, 05:43 AM
isn't limited slip for the rear diff? not the transfer case.....

deadrx7conv
09-01-2010, 02:23 PM
Many gear oils come premixed with LSD additive.

My front-end, rear-end, and transfer case have gear oil with LSD additive. I don't have any shift issues with my transfer case.

LSD additive will not affect the open-front-end or the transfer case. LSD additive, being a chemical friction modifier, will actually help lubrication. My guess is that fluid level might be low, or the xcase was shifting quicker(lest binding from using synthetic) causing the clunk.

BTW, Mobil-1 75w90 works fine for me and the dozens of Toyota transfer cases that I've serviced.

crainholio
09-01-2010, 07:35 PM
Many gear oils come premixed with LSD additive.

My front-end, rear-end, and transfer case have gear oil with LSD additive. I don't have any shift issues with my transfer case.

LSD additive will not affect the open-front-end or the transfer case. LSD additive, being a chemical friction modifier, will actually help lubrication. My guess is that fluid level might be low, or the xcase was shifting quicker(lest binding from using synthetic) causing the clunk.

BTW, Mobil-1 75w90 works fine for me and the dozens of Toyota transfer cases that I've serviced.

My front diff is running Mobil-1 75W-90 w/ LS premixed, rear diff has Mobil-1 75W-140 w/ LS premixed. Rear diff actually is a limited slip and it has been working fine with no additional additive.

Fluid level was not low. I removed the fill plug prior to the drain plug, and the fluid level was right at the bottom of the plug hole...right were I had put it last year.

Your thinking on my transfer case disengagement sound is reasonable and makes sense. The truck has >110K on the odometer and clearances likely aren't what they used to be.

deadrx7conv
09-01-2010, 07:53 PM
Try a 75w110 or 75w140 in the transfer case. It'll help take up the slack from loose clearances.

Shoot, I just looked at my odometer. Due for another gear oil change everywhere.

BTW, just before my 5yr/60k expired, I had the warranty replace an actuator since the 4wd wouldn't engage.. Another engineering defect from Toyota.

http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/1gen-tundra/160697-another-blinking-4wd-light-2wd-actuator/

kirkj68
07-12-2011, 07:05 AM
My 2000 TRD 4x4 shifts smoothly into 4-High and 4-Low and smoothly back to 4-High but clunks when shifting back to 2 wd from 4-high. Sometimes I have to drive up to 1/4 mile after pressing the 4-high/2 wd button before I hear the clunk and it shifts back to 2 wd. It has been doing this for years, maybe always, and doesn't seem to be getting worse. Any ideas why this is happening and how to get it to shift back to 2 wd more smoothly?

pewter05
07-23-2011, 01:03 PM
I removed the vacuum hose from the transfer case actuator nipple and it was dry-cracked badly, no way it was sealing. Trimmed 1/2" off the end of the hose to get nice clean rubber, put it back on the actuator nipple, and blammo 4hi was back in service.

I'm bumping this thread because I just fixed 4LO in my 05 Sequoia this way. The vacuum line ran between the actuator and the transfer case then wrapped around the actuator to form a hard 90 degree angle where it connected. The hose literally just fell off when I touched it. The end was split so I trimmed it and I wrapped it around the electrical harness twice instead of around the actuator; this way it connects straight on instead of at an angle.

I started up, put it in neutral, and hit the 4LO button. I didn't think it worked because it just went into 4HI, so I hit it again and 4LO engaged right away!

Just wanted to share. Thanks.

Soder99
01-01-2012, 05:22 PM
Just a note of caution...I have a 2005 Sequoia and the ADD actuator is behind the front axle and I could not remove the cover without removing the actuator.

CAUTION: when I tried to remove the vacuum hose, the plastic nipple on the actuator cap broke off.:( I tried to epoxy it back on, per another post, but to no avail. In the end I had to remove the actuator (requiring a change of differential fluid and a new rtv silicon gasket) epoxy the nipple hole closed and modify a brake adjustment barrel for a bicycle to create a new nipple for the vacuum hose and drill a new hole for my "new" nipple.

It saved me $250 for a new actuator but it was a pain to fix a little broken nipple.

csnoke
03-15-2012, 06:47 PM
I worked up the guts tonight to try this fix.. the process was a simple enough but it didn't fix anything. My 4WD light is still flashing.

When I took the motor cover off, here's what I found, the grease fluid surprised me. Is this what it should look like?

8453484536

I cleaned the grease off of both the cover and the prongs on the spindle. I didn't find any corrosion on this cover once I wiped the grease off.

At this point I'm looking for another possible cause. I tested the actuator solenoids on top, they work fine. Any one have more ideas?

One other question I have.. should the differential button (to the left of the steering wheel) click when I press it in? Mine just seems to be a soft button that has no apparent 'on' or 'off' position. Any ideas?

One note, when I shift the 4WD lever into 4L mode.. it seems like the vehicle drives differently than 2WD. It acts like it is in 4WD.. it kind of crawls and and lurches.. but I tried driving up a steep incline and the front wheels never tried to spin. (EDIT: This must be 2WD LO mode?)

Thanks.

dubbya
03-15-2012, 07:19 PM
My 06 did the same exact thing thing in December, I had to have the shift actuator in the transfer case replaced... works great now... $2,200 later.

csnoke
03-15-2012, 07:46 PM
Yeh, mine is an 02 4Runner Sport and it's had the front actuator replaced. I'm just trying to avoid dropping that amount of money here and hoping there's something with the differential switch/system or something else I can troubleshoot.

Dubbya, did you have it fixed at a dealership or somewhere else?

Also, has anyone tried going to salvage yard and getting a new cover? I've read that you test the actuator by applying 12v to pins in the electrical connection.. but it seems if that doesn't work, it must be something in the cover that's bad. Am I wrong with this idea?

Limited2537
09-30-2012, 08:11 PM
I am new to this site and want to start for bye thanking everybody for sharing information on this. In the end I think I saved A bundle after
getting a basis of information on this T.S. I have A 2006 limited tundra four door. After reading a couple threads I built up enough knowledge to go after it!
My Original problem was both lights 4hi/4lo would not stop blinking. Went through procedure of shifting out of 4Hi as I have many times before. Still would blink
non stop both lights. Took to toyota they said they were able to get lights to stop blinking and get front actuator to actuate and get of gear. But I was still engaged on the rear axle. I told them I would bring it back monday (this was friday). On sunday I decided to have a look and I was very happy to have found the problem. Turns out vaccum hose on rear actuator was very deteriorated. Removed bolts (think 10mm) there was water, rust on current path. Cleaned off rust with
dremel bit (they make a couple perfect bits for this). Added little dielectric insulator, cleaned up connections at molex plug. My favorite part off-road test drive.
Works like a champ. 904019040290403

MtnHermit
07-21-2013, 10:24 AM
This thread was a major help in running down my 4WD problems, thanks to all who posted.

About a month ago my 4WD light started flashing when I tried to disengage 4WD. 4WD Hi & 4WD Lo both worked but I had fits getting it out of 4WD.

I talked to two local shops about the problem, neither had ever come across a Tundra 4WD issue.

The root problem was the cracked vent tube, see #26, which allows water into the electrical housing. That water combines with the yellow grease to form a non-conductive crud over the concentric rings of the cover. No conduction, no motor, no 4WD Engage/Disengage. Many have referred to the rubber tube as a vacuum line, I could find no logic to suggest it's a vacuum line, no vacuum motor or piston anywhere. That said, I don't know why a vent is needed either.

If you're lucky you can remove the cover, clean off the crud from the concentric rings, reinstall and viola 4WD Engage/Disengage.

If you're unlucky you can remove the cover and the drive wheel will fall out, nothing holding it except friction, and your problems have just begun. I could not get the fine spline of the geared wheel inserted into the floating pinon gear.

The only solution I could come up with was to remove the pinon gear before installing the 4WD actuator assembly, bolt the 4WD actuator assembly to the transfer case, drop the pinon gear onto the small shaft spline at the same time aligning with the rack, then reinstalling the triangle cover.

http://rockymountains.net/%7Emtnhermit/Tundra/4WD-Actuator600.JPG

In case you're wondering, the two switches drop into the two notches on the back side of the rack to provide position logic to the 4WD control computer in the engine bay. If they're not happy, the dash 4WD light will flash.

The official Toyota repair manual only mentions the 4WD actuator assembly, zero details. You are expected to replace the entire 4WD actuator assembly if problems.

Hope this helps someone.

mpbtundra
11-30-2013, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the nice pictures of the actuator assembly. I've been struggling with getting my 2004 Tundra into 4WD for months now. I *usually* try to put it into 4WD once a month, but I typically wait for rainy days to do so. Unfortunately, I forgot to do that for a few months over the summer, and when I tried it a couple months back, no dice. I've tried off and on for the past 3 months to no avail.

I tried the tips I've seen but so far I'm still SOL. I've tried tapping the actuator, checked all the fuses, I do hear the relays clicking on the passenger side where that ECU seems to live. And just now I removed the rear actuator cover to see if there was any visible corrosion. The vent tube was fine, and inside was all good... o-ring was solid, the grease was still good in there, no rust on the contacts.

I did try rotating the gear wheel by hand and I could do about a quarter turn either way... I'm really not sure how much that thing would rotate in order to engage 4WD though. Of course in my fiddling, the gear wheel did fall out, and as the above post mentions, I had a heckuva time getting it back in properly. I found that if I pushed it in and turned it a little back and forth, wiggling and pushing, I finally got that inner gear to re-engage inside, however it fits. I lost a little bit of fluid when the wheel came out, but no more than a teaspoon worth, or two. Just FYI for anyone else who's curious to poke in there, if you're worried about losing some fluid. Just in case, have something to catch any drippage.

I put it all back together, and odd are I didn't have the wheel in the same position as before, so at first both the hi and lo lights were flashing at me. I just popped into neutral, turned 4WD off (it was on before, although not engaging), and that turned off both lights. It probably managed to turn the wheel to whatever normal position, which probably means that actuator is working okay. I was going to pull the cover again and see where it was now, but I was getting a little tired of dealing with it by that point. :)

Now I think it may be that front actuator (the ADD or whatever). I see it, but it seems really hard to get to. I felt the vent tube and connections on it and they feel okay, no cracking or damage that I could tell.

I even tried the technique of going into reverse with the wheel turned hard right or left... the neighbors probably thought I was drunk the way I was wheeling around our cul-de-sac doing odd turns in reverse... but the end result was still a flashing 4HI whenever I try to engage. :(

At this point I may have to bite the bullet and take it in for service... there's a nice place I've taken it to before for work and they have better prices than the stealerships, but then again this thing is just over 150K miles and maybe it's time to let the dealership give it a full spa package of love and some 4WD work on the side. Winter is coming... I want my 4WD working!

mpbtundra
12-04-2013, 11:34 AM
...Now I think it may be that front actuator (the ADD or whatever). I see it, but it seems really hard to get to. I felt the vent tube and connections on it and they feel okay, no cracking or damage that I could tell....

Well, how about that. I had some extra time today, so I crawled under the front and tapped on the front actuator ADD with a hammer... just some light tapping, and since it's kind of in a weird spot, I was only able to tap a bit on the front of it and a bit on the rear. I'm not sure where exactly would be best, but apparently it was enough!

Now, the tapping was with the truck in neutral and idling, 4HI button pushed in but flashing. During the tapping itself nothing changed, but when I hopped back in and toggled the switch off and back on again, boom, it went right in and engaged 4WD. Awesome!

I tooled around for a couple miles and even stopped, went into neutral, and put it in 4LO for a few dozen feet. The first time after going into 4LO, when I switched to drive it made a horrible noise, so I went back to neutral, turned off 4LO, went to drive, back to neutral, and then tried 4LO again. That time it went into drive fine, so it may have just been a little finicky. I hardly ever use 4LO (I think this was only the 3rd time I'd ever used it!) so I don't know if that's normal.

Anyway, 4HI is working now... tapping that *front* actuator was the key to it. At least I got to explore underneath and tinker with a few things I don't normally do, like checking out that rear actuator/position switch. But maybe this will encourage others who have the flashing 4HI problem. Tap on that front one a bit and give 'er a shot.

odonekanobe
12-05-2013, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the nice pictures of the actuator assembly. I've been struggling with getting my 2004 Tundra into 4WD for months now. I *usually* try to put it into 4WD once a month, but I typically wait for rainy days to do so. Unfortunately, I forgot to do that for a few months over the summer, and when I tried it a couple months back, no dice. I've tried off and on for the past 3 months to no avail.

I tried the tips I've seen but so far I'm still SOL. I've tried tapping the actuator, checked all the fuses, I do hear the relays clicking on the passenger side where that ECU seems to live. And just now I removed the rear actuator cover to see if there was any visible corrosion. The vent tube was fine, and inside was all good... o-ring was solid, the grease was still good in there, no rust on the contacts.

I did try rotating the gear wheel by hand and I could do about a quarter turn either way... I'm really not sure how much that thing would rotate in order to engage 4WD though. Of course in my fiddling, the gear wheel did fall out, and as the above post mentions, I had a heckuva time getting it back in properly. I found that if I pushed it in and turned it a little back and forth, wiggling and pushing, I finally got that inner gear to re-engage inside, however it fits. I lost a little bit of fluid when the wheel came out, but no more than a teaspoon worth, or two. Just FYI for anyone else who's curious to poke in there, if you're worried about losing some fluid. Just in case, have something to catch any drippage.

I put it all back together, and odd are I didn't have the wheel in the same position as before, so at first both the hi and lo lights were flashing at me. I just popped into neutral, turned 4WD off (it was on before, although not engaging), and that turned off both lights. It probably managed to turn the wheel to whatever normal position, which probably means that actuator is working okay. I was going to pull the cover again and see where it was now, but I was getting a little tired of dealing with it by that point. :)

Now I think it may be that front actuator (the ADD or whatever). I see it, but it seems really hard to get to. I felt the vent tube and connections on it and they feel okay, no cracking or damage that I could tell.

I even tried the technique of going into reverse with the wheel turned hard right or left... the neighbors probably thought I was drunk the way I was wheeling around our cul-de-sac doing odd turns in reverse... but the end result was still a flashing 4HI whenever I try to engage. :(

At this point I may have to bite the bullet and take it in for service... there's a nice place I've taken it to before for work and they have better prices than the stealerships, but then again this thing is just over 150K miles and maybe it's time to let the dealership give it a full spa package of love and some 4WD work on the side. Winter is coming... I want my 4WD working!

I agree that it sounds like your transfer case actuator is working. One way to check would be to pull the front driveline and see if the ouput is turning. Of course you would either need to also pull the rear driveline so that the vehicle doesn't move, or jack the entire rear end off the ground. Just a thought.

My friend is having the same issue with his '04 4Runner Sport. Two different rigs, but it has given me some things to check under there. Thanks everyone!

DevinSixtySeven
12-06-2013, 09:04 AM
This is one of the best threads I've seen on the 4WD system; excellent work, gentlemen.

Tapping on the actuator may have been enough to dislodge a stuck fork. The automatic system is "use it or lose it"...factory recommendation is 10 miles monthly in 4WD, and don't forget to shift in to low range a few times. Wet pavement in a straight line will do, if you don't have access to a low-traction surface (dirt, snow, ice).

Realistically speaking...it's really just a matter of keeping the system lubricated and moving, so if you have a mile or two of wet pavement, all you really need to do is bump the button a few times, and drive far enough to rotate the gears in the front diff and throw some oil around, same with the planetary gear and associated shift mechanism in the transfer case. Having an excuse to find 10 miles of 4WD trails is really just a bonus ;).

-S

sms1976
02-18-2014, 02:21 PM
...I tested the actuator solenoids on top, they work fine. Any one have more ideas?


csnoke (or anyone else on this very helpful thread)-
Can you tell me how you tested those position switches on the transfer case? I have a thread that I've been trying to track down a 4WD actuator problem, but can't figure it out...and I really don't want to throw away an otherwise good transfer case if it's just an electrical problem. Thanks!

Thread is here:
http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/t-case-driveshaft-diff-axle-hub/289954-2001-tundra-4wd-light-blinks-but/#post2331489