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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
 

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Do you have instructions on your sun visor explaining how to engage 4wd? Do exactly as those instructions specify.
 

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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
 

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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.............
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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!!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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?
 
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