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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all

I read about others with 4wd problems but have a really hard time searching the threads. What mine did initially is make a horrid grinding noise on the Driver's side when going up a switch back in 4lo. Mixed loose gravel and hard areas, so must have turned too sharp on a smooth area. Was trying to save my tires from a blow out by not spinning (hence 4wd). After that neither 4hi or 4lo worked. Had the flashing green light mentioned elsewhere. Had a mechanic look at it, he tried it on the hoist and after an even worse grinding sound suddenly 4hi worked but not 4lo. Tried all the usual like backing up, rolling etc. (Caution! I backed into a creek trying to get it to engage, so if you use this technique watch where you are going! Winch got me back to the road before my buddies could come and laugh at me).

I read some suggest r/r the transfer case, some the actuators. What is the cheapest, smallest part to replace to start with? Is there a fuse or electrical thing? Actuator rods, complete actuator? Transfer case? I like to do the minimum first. Have about 230,000 miles on mine. Works great otherwise.

Thanks, Hermen
 

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Hello all

I read about others with 4wd problems but have a really hard time searching the threads. What mine did initially is make a horrid grinding noise on the Driver's side when going up a switch back in 4lo. Mixed loose gravel and hard areas, so must have turned too sharp on a smooth area. Was trying to save my tires from a blow out by not spinning (hence 4wd). After that neither 4hi or 4lo worked. Had the flashing green light mentioned elsewhere. Had a mechanic look at it, he tried it on the hoist and after an even worse grinding sound suddenly 4hi worked but not 4lo. Tried all the usual like backing up, rolling etc. (Caution! I backed into a creek trying to get it to engage, so if you use this technique watch where you are going! Winch got me back to the road before my buddies could come and laugh at me).

I read some suggest r/r the transfer case, some the actuators. What is the cheapest, smallest part to replace to start with? Is there a fuse or electrical thing? Actuator rods, complete actuator? Transfer case? I like to do the minimum first. Have about 230,000 miles on mine. Works great otherwise.

Thanks, Hermen
It's going to depend on how much damage has already occurred. Grinding noise is definitely not good. Only way to truly know is to break open the transfer case and inspect the internals. Mainly the gears and planetary gears. Make sure none are chipped or broken off. You can first try and drain the tcase and see what comes out. Metal shavings means you'll need to break it open for further inspection. Fine particles is normal but, to be absolutely sure, open it up.

Usually, the actuator is culprit in the transfer case or the front diff. If 4lo isn't working, then it's most likely at the case. You can replace it but the cost of it is usually not worth it. Some salvage yards or part yards will sell the actuator with the transfer case. Unless, you can find one that someone is selling.

If the internals are bad, best choice is to find a complete transfer case and swap it out. Range is going to be about $150-$200. The shipping cost is what is going to be killer. That will probably range from $50-$150. I had a transfer case shipped for $44.

Side note, if you end up swapping out the transfer case, I'd be interested in the damaged case or at least some internal parts. I'd be glad to pay for it (depending on the cost of course :D).

If you need the scehmatics or instructions to open up the case, it's readily available online.

let me know.
 

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If you can get 4HI but not 4LO, it's either the actuator in the transfer case, or the planetary gear, but it's definitely the transfer case.

I wouldn't drive it until you've got the case opened and assessed the damage...2HI is straight through, but it would be a shame to churn up metal around the throughput if you don't have to.

-Sean
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Probably would be good to take a look and clean it up. I took it in the hills today and actually got 4lo to engage. Read the part about needing to have it in 4hi first, can't remember if I did that every time or not. Anyway I finally could get it to engage by putting it in neutral on a slight incline and gently easing forward. After that it drove fine in 4lo. Trouble coming back out of 4lo to 4hi, flashing lights. Gave a bit of gas as suggested elsewhere here and got a horrible grinding noise so popped it into N right away. This happened twice. After that I tried braking or reversing slowly rather than giving gas and that seemed to work. I got it into 4lo multiple times. My worry is that when I need 4lo I may not have the luxury of rolling or driving back and forth.(See above where I backed into a creek...) Maybe the solution is to predict when I'll need it and engage 4wd ahead of time and in a location where I have some room to maneuver. Sounds like something isn't meshing easily. Best check out the transfer case...
 

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Is there a kit to change these things back to a manual shift stick? I'm still pissed at Toyota for going the button route! Whatever for? With a stick you can feel what you're doing, they need less parts and it is basically fool proof and RELIABLE. Trying to copy Ford and Chev? The old system in the 4x4 trucks was awesome.
 

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The truck should not be moving at all and the transmission should be in neutral when shifting in or out of 4lo. If you are in motion it isn't supposed to shift. If you have to move the truck to get it to shift in then as Devin said if you keep driving it you risk more damage. Also when going into 4hi I always coast... ease up on the gas pedal to allow it to shift easily. Seems like whenever pressure is applied it shifts in and out of 4hi really hard. As was suggested I would drain the fluid "yesterday" to see what comes out. You keep driving when you know something isn't right and it could cost you big time... ask me how I know?

I do agree and like the standard shift vs the button... but it is what I have and I will spend my money on other mods.

Good Luck!
 

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Keep in mind within the transfer case, even if you just drain it, the metal pieces may not come out becasue, there's magnets near the drain hole Best is to open it.

On a side note for the auto to manual conversion for the transfer case, I'm currently working on this right now and have a thread started in the off road forum. Here's the link.

http://www.tundrasolutions.com/forums/off-roading/180659-tcase-swap-auto-to-manual/

The only problem is that with my set-up, I don't have to worry about engaging the front diff. So, no need for the ADD in the front. With your set-up, it could still possibly work to engage the tcase into 4HI and LO, you would just need to press the button to engage the front diff. I'll look into something for that once I complete my manual swap. I'm just searching for a 23 spline input shaft to install into the t-case then, I should be ready.
 
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