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Old 04-06-2009, 09:18 PM   #1
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Default 4WD issue. Is my dealer F.O.S.???

So I brought my 2008 F150 into the dealer for the free first service, and i had them check out a concern I had with the 4WD.

Here's what was happening... When I'd engage the 4wd while driving (manual shift on the fly), I'd hear the transfer case synchronize (normal), Then I'd hear the click from the firewall by the battery (solenoid, normal), then I'd hear a loud "CHHHUUNNNK" from the front hubs engaging. Sometimes really loud, and sometimes not so loud, (usually depending on the vehicle speed. That was my first concern. I don't remember my "06 doing that, but the owner's manual says some ratcheting noise is normal.

So my first question is, "How much and what kind of noise is normal?"

The second issue is... When I disengage the 4WD, the transfer case disengages, but it seems one hub (can't tell which) seems to disengage before the other, and that causes my front differential to spin the other half-shaft in the opposite direction, and causes a loud rumbling in the front end (spider gears turning) until that other hub disengages.

It may take a 1/2 mile for that other hub to disengage, or I may even have to come to almost a complete stop. Then it's OK.

Anyhow, I mentioned it to the dealer, and they took it out for about 5 or 6 miles to try it out. They came back and said "Your 4WD is functioning normally. The noise when engaging is normal, and sometimes it takes a while for the hubs to disengage. You may even have to back up to get them to disengage sometimes." That sounds like a line of crap to me. I haven't heard of that since the late 80's early 90's, when Ford first came out with auto-hubs.

Here's what I know...
1. the transfer case is working properly
2. the hubs don't "try" to engage while driving when they shouldn't be (no vacuum leak)

What are your thoughts? And Is my dealership F.O.S.???? Could it just be a "sticky" hub?
Thanks
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:25 PM   #2
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you are correct depending on how fast you are moving will determine how loud the noise is but the disengaging problem does not seem right raise the front end rotate the tires if have a ratcheting noise then you have a hub bad
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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i rarely put my truck in 4wheel on the fly if i can help it even tho they say its fine at a certain speed i still play it safe and try to do it from a stop or at a very slow speed cos hubs are cheap lol i went threw about 4 hubs on my old ranger due to onthe fly b.s. just my two cents
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:06 PM   #4
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Yeah, I'd say for the most part I don't engage it on the fly either. I just want everything working the way it supposed to.

I did try the "jacking it up" thing. When the engine is running, everything is UNLOCKED, (in 2WD) and when you shut the engine off, they RELOCK, (as they're supposed to).

If the hub was bad, or I had a vaccuum leak at the hub, wouldn't it be trying to engage while I was driving??? or never disengage at all???? It doesn't do that. It just doesn't disengage right away, like its binding or stuck.

I'd hate to blow the spider gears out of this thing. Then again, I have 4-1/2 more years of warranty to worry about that!
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:43 PM   #5
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if you had a leak it would go in and out of 4wd yes it could also be something to do with the transfer case also i can talk to my brother tomorrow and see what he says im sure hes seen a million of theese
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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you know whats weird about the disengaging thing..one day while driving in heavy snow conditions my 4wd was working how it was suppose to but than when i went to switch out, it wouldnt switch for the life of it bak to 2 wheel drive, i than turned the truck off on tried everything. i was with a buddy who had an older explorer which was 4wd and he told me to reverse approx 15 ft go forward so and so put in neutral and than switch it to 2wd. and it fregin worked. i was amazed. thot it wudnt work over all the years. hasnt done it since sometimes it does take sometime to disengage but i usually gfive it some time to change i do not like the on the fly no matter what i stop. just much better to play safe and sorry.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:45 AM   #7
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When i bought my '05 4x4 i was researching recalls, and stumbled across not a recall but someone had the same problems mentioned above.The problem was the vacuum controlled solenoid for the transfercase.it's located behind the
battery on the firewall.It's job is to control the tranfercase
depending on where you select the switch.However it is open to
the elements and water can/could get onto it, and cause it to
malfunction.supposedly Ford has changed this on newer models,but probably waited 'til they ran out of stock of these units.When I had my truck in at the dealership for an oilchange, they confirmed that it was a problem, but not enough of one to, as they said "warrant a recall".the new solenoid comes with a cover over it to alleviate the problem.priced it out ahead of time and it was $30 can...hope this helps
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:37 AM   #8
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check for obstructions in the vent line(smaller hose connected to vac line)I've seen this before and it usually damages one of the IWE hubs,CV shaft will have to be removed for wear inspection.If u have warranty keep taking it back to dealer or visit another local dealership/or threaten.your dealership will tend to eventually fix ur problem rather than get a badcustomer survey from u.
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Old 04-07-2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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I read that post about the vaccuum solenoid. I do have the new style with the "hood" on it.

It seems as though that's working because the hubs do unlock as soon as you start the engine in 2WD. I had my father start the truck while I reached under and tried to turn the half shaft. It took less than 2 seconds to release, (both sides).

I'm stumped. But I can tell ya that its gonna keep going back until its right.
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Old 04-07-2009, 09:29 AM   #10
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Take it to another dealer. Get another dealers opinion.

I have done this on problems I've disagreed with on, and it has always worked to my favor.
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