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Old 09-16-2008, 02:48 AM   #1
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Question Vacuum Solenoid Issues (4x4)

I've been chasing, never putting to much effort into it, an issue with my vacuum solenoid for my front axle. It randomly engauges, almost never when I need it, when I put the truck in 4wd. I've thought of replacing the solenoid all together, but after checking for vacuum from the lines, I've found I have little or none. Any quick fixes for this? I've also researched a cable operated plunger that replaces this solenoid, and looks pretty fool proof but is god awful ugly. Has anyone tried this? Thanks for the input
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Old 09-16-2008, 11:51 PM   #2
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I can't be the only one that has had this problem haha
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:00 AM   #3
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I have installed the cable operated plunger you are talking about for locking in the front end, but it will not lock the hubs in. I would reccomend warn manual hubs and the posi-lock for the front end. Fool proof and no vacuum required.
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Old 09-17-2008, 12:26 PM   #4
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yeah i ended up just ordering the posi-lock yesterday, hopefully it works
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:45 PM   #5
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I know you said you checked for vacuum, but did you trace the hose back to the reservor tank in the fender?
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:57 PM   #6
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manual hubs for 97-03 F150's??? i didn't know they were available for our trucks. If that's the case, then you could have 2wd low range if you wanted it, and save some gas maybe by not spinning the front end all the time. I had some friends in my 'wheeling days that had the posi-lock on their jeeps. I have heard they can be difficult to get adjusted correctly, but i'm not sure if the ford setup is the same as the jeep's. The dana 30 on a jeep uses a splined collar and a shift fork inside the passenger side of the axle, and when activated by vaccuum (or cable) the fork slides the collar over and mates the two shafts, locking the front axle. Some guys complained that it was tedious to adjust, although very functional, simple and reliable once you had it working right.

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Old 09-17-2008, 10:54 PM   #7
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I know you said you checked for vacuum, but did you trace the hose back to the reservor tank in the fender?
I just checked the vacuum will i had it on the rack putting the lift on it. didnt really have time to chase it but I will check it out some more before I install this posi-lock, cause truthfully the damn thing is ugly as hell haha.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:55 PM   #8
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I have installed the cable operated plunger you are talking about for locking in the front end, but it will not lock the hubs in. I would reccomend warn manual hubs and the posi-lock for the front end. Fool proof and no vacuum required.
Yeah no ****, how come i didnt know about these manual hubs! haha just messing man
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:50 AM   #9
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ok so I just installed the Posi-lock, It works great but.......... I found that theres more to my 4wd problem than the vacuum solenoid. I will have to pull my front diff and split the axles to figure out why they continue to not lock. Anyone done this yet? and what should I expect to see after I split the axle from the carrier? What kinda mechanism locks these axles together?
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Old 10-18-2008, 09:54 AM   #10
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I'm new to f-150's... so this may not apply.

On my 2000 sportage, I had a vaccum solenoid issue also. They were notorious for that. So I replaced the hubs with warn manual hubs. (yes they made them for sportages don't laugh ) Still didn't lock. Turns out that the belt in my transfer case broke and was in many pieces. I had to replace the case. Sucked but my 4wd worked like a charm after that.
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