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I have a 2003 Tundra V8 4x4. I use the 4 wheel drive regularly in the summer to get to and from work (Cross two streams, some mud and up a hill) and in the winter with salted, slushy roads.
Recently when I hit the button to engage 4 wheel drive it has been taking longer to engage. It used be instantly, then I'd have to drive 5 feet and eventually I'd just hit the button and hope it'd click in before the creek crossing. Now the green light on the console comes on and after a few moments just flashes no matter how long I drive. I hear no clicking, nothing to indicate the signal is being sent from switch to actuator so I suspect corrosion. My question is: Is my assessment sound and how hard is it to remove the actuator? Any links and/or photos of the removal would be greatly appreciated.
 

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My '00 access cab has always shifted into 4hi/lo without any problem. The truck doesn't get driven nearly as much as it used to, now that it isn't my daily driver. Yesterday I got the dreaded 4hi blink, as I tried to get up off the beach after launching the boat. After 15 minutes of effort I got off the beach, but now I need this fixed. I'm due for a fair amount of logging road use int he next month.

I've tried the backing up while turning on dry pavement. Now it's on to cleaning the contacts in the diff actuators. Can someone confirm that this is the part in question?
 

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thanks. I'm hoping it's this back one that's the problem. The front one looks like a royal pain to get at.

I think I'll soak those bolts for a while before I put a wrench on them.
 

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Yes, good idea on soaking them...Not sure quite how much it will help though..
I snapped one of mine trying to get it off, and the other I got loose, like it should have come out, but it wouldnt pull out...??

Those are about a 3" bolt or longer.

Living in the rust belt, and having over 15yrs experience with many old rusty Toyotas, I've learned to make sure I got a good, solid, square grip on the bolt heads/nuts with the socket or box-end (I NEVER use open end, unless its on something already loose, or an interior bolt). Then I SLOWLY loosen just one or two turns, then tighten it back down....Loosen two or three turns, tighten back down, then loosen again and tighten back down in increments. I'll sometimes spray penetrating oil in between loosening and tightening if its really rusted. The loosen, then tightening, instead of just trying to loosen it all the way out in one shot, helps loosen and clean the crap out of the threads.
On longer bolts, I'll check the bolt for heat if it starts to get harder to loosen, usually when its half-way off or more. Thats a sign that even though the bolt/nut is almost off, it has built up a lot of junk in the threads on the the way out, OR, if its an exposed bolt end, the last threads are more damaged.
When the bolt/nut feels warm, thats a GOOD time to tighten it back down a little so its loose again, spray oil and let it sit for awhile to cool off. If its building up heat, then the friction is getting to be too much, and you WILL snap it off at that point.

Seems like living in the rust belt, if you only have one bolt to remove, your chances on snapping it off are 50%....Two bolts, it goes up to 75% chance of snapping at least one off...Three or more, it goes to 98% that you WILL snap off at least one of them... lol
 

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yea ill second the rusty bolts. i snapped a bolt that was a 1/2 inch in diameter and i had been soaking it for a while, although it was only 30 degrees out lol.
 

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So far I'm wacked the hell out of the rear actuator, with no luck, so I'm guessing the problem is the front. I don't trust myself to get the cover off the front one, and them get it back together, so I've been talking to my local tranny shop. They've never worked on a tundra, so are going to take it slowly and try to figure out what's wrong. Besides the contacts in the actuator, are there any likely spots for a vacuum leak?
 

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Put the truck up on a friend's lift and got no joy with smacking the front actuator. Is it still possible/likely that a good cleaning of the contacts will solve the problem, or am I probably looking at something else?
 

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Hey Buds, I'm dealing with the same thing right now. When you try to engage the 4wd can you still spin the front driveshaft? I can on mine, so I'm thinking that both actuators aren't engaging. If either one engages then the driveshaft shouldn't spin free. I haven't got an answer for why that is, possibly that one actuator won't engage until the other one is locked on is one guess. I'll watch and see what you find and try that on mine when I get home from a week in camp.
 
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