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My 4x4 didn't engage...Here's how I fixed it


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#1 Casey.can.do

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 02:56 PM

Let me preface here that I really don't know the proper names of connectors and how to 100% use a Test Meter and such but I hope to help folks save a little $$$ and time in troubleshooting. I had a difficult time finding troubleshooting help and parsing out what's important to know about the problem on the Internet.

I was fairly sure that the actuating motor was my problem however I wasn't 100% certain. What I wanted to avoid was buying a motor and that NOT fixing my problem. This might help those with a 1987 - 1991 Full Size Bronco with a transfer case actuating motor that won't engage the 4wd on the Borg-Werner 1356.

I just bought a 1990 full size bronco. the owner told me that the 4x4 used to work but suddenly quit.
The bronco's 4x4 should have simply engaged with a touch of a button but it didn't.
See attachment at the bottom of this page for a view of the buttons.

Anyway, I pressed the 4x4 and Low Range buttons and nothing. No click, crank, clunk.
I found the transfer case and saw that there was an actuating motor bolted to the rear. Here's a good pic I found on this web site:
http://broncozone.co...t...ost&id=5038

Along with the pic, I found forum ID 11724 very helpful. User Miesk5 and justshootme84 to provide good advice on troubleshooting.
http://broncozone.co...showtopic=11724


In this picture you see that the actuating motor's cables meet at a round connector. In that connection there are 10 pins. 3 are grounds and 7 are hot. If you follow the cable to the ignition then the cable will come into the cab directly under the drivers seat.
I didn't want to start throwing money at the problem so I had to troubleshoot as best as I could. I started by checking the electrical current going to the motor. I never really used a electrical tester but surfed around to get the basic handle on which setting to use. I first had to find the grounds. Then I had to find the hot wires. To find the grounds I cleaned off a part on the frame (dirt and dust) and put one wand on the frame. Next I set the tester to the CONTINUITY setting and place the other wand in each hole. When I heard the audible tone I knew that those were the grounds.
Anyway, the three ground holes (if you think of the connector as a clock face) are at the 11 & 1 o'clock position and the third is the center hole.

After knowing which holes were hot and which were grounds I could put a wand in each and test for volts.
One wand went into the center hole (ground) and the other wand I marched around the connector. With the bronco's engine running I had my son in the cab and pushing the 4x4 button on my command.
I can't remember which holes provided me with voltage but my meter would constantly read .8-1.2 volts. When my son pressed the 4x4 buttons the volts would jump to 5-6 volts but not every hole gave me a reading.
I thought I would be looking for 12 volts (automobile, right?). I'm not saying that the volt readings I got were what they were supposed to be but at this point I thought that the chances that the actuating motor was bad had just doubled. I was getting a spike when the button was pressed. At this point I was ready to take a chance at buying the actuating motor.

Part II

After calling around I found that many shops have to order the part and it would take 2-3 days. Prices range from $68 (Ebay) -$170 (4x4 specialty shop)
The junk yard was probably littered with these motors. I took with me to the junk yard my 10mm ratchet, 10 inch ratchet extension and snips. Unbolting the motor from the transfer case is a total snap. there is a total of 6-10mm bolts.

If you look closely at the web link above again you can barely make out 3 bare wires (blue, green and brown) that attach to the transfer case. To remove those wires you can EITHER remove the drive shaft and the rear case off the transfer case OR simply snip the 3 wires close to the case, giving you about 4 inches of wire.

At home I had a box of wire connectors/splicer. I crawled under the bronco with the part and the connectors and tools. Before bolting up the part I made note of the position the motor was in, I connected the plug 10 pin plug- spliced the 3 wires I snipped, crawled in the cab and pressed the 4x4 button. I heard a single click coming from under the passenger side dash. I crawled under the bronco and saw that the motor had turned. I bolted the part up- hit the 4x4 button and I was in the snow spinning both rear and front wheels.


Key words and phrases:
Bronco four wheel drive won't engage. 1990 Bronco full size 4x4 doesn't work. Automatic 4wd won't go into gear. 1987. 1988. 1989. 1990. 1991. Borg-Werner 1356. Borg Werner.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 4X4SWITCHONDASH.JPG

Edited by Casey.can.do, 24 February 2008 - 07:18 AM.


#2 Shadow_D

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 04:28 PM

Well it seems like you figured out one of the common problems with the automatic 4X4 on these trucks
I'm glad you were able to figure it out. I personally would have not used those but connectors do to corrosion but as long as it works for now you should be good but I would change those and make the connections water tight in the spring.

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#3 Casey.can.do

Casey.can.do

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Posted 23 February 2008 - 06:28 PM

Well it seems like you figured out one of the common problems with the automatic 4X4 on these trucks
I'm glad you were able to figure it out. I personally would have not used those but connectors do to corrosion but as long as it works for now you should be good but I would change those and make the connections water tight in the spring.


Thanks for the tip. Any suggestions good weather proof wire splice connectors?

#4 Shadow_D

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 05:45 AM

Well seeing you have already cut the wires, I would remove the connectors all together and solder the wires then use liquid electrical tape and or heat shrink tubing.

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#5 miesk5

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Posted 24 February 2008 - 05:46 AM

Good work finding the prob Casey!
go to an auto electirc shop and ask for a weatherpack connector; such as this
http://store.summitr...prf-70403_w.jpg

these also come in 1,2, 4, 6, etc, pin sizes; figure out which type will fit in that space.
or buy on line

Edited by miesk5, 24 February 2008 - 05:47 AM.

in my archived BRONCO TECHNICAL

site; http://web.archive.o...s.com/index.php?;
select a LINK, Right Click and and Hit Properties;

copy the second HTTP address

paste in a new browser to see the original page

96 Bronco, E4OD, Man Xfer Case & Hubs
Thanks to All Who Serve


#6 Broncoboogieman

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Posted 17 February 2011 - 06:12 PM

I know it was a long time ago, but did you actually buy the 4x4 push-on switch? if :blink: u did can u link where?

#7 miesk5

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 11:46 AM

yo BB,
Welcome to the ZONE!

Depending on what year your Bronco is, this is what TC you have;
NP 203 & 205 in 78-79; NP 208 in 80-86; BW 1356 in 87-96

Our SPONSOR HERE, Jeff's Bronco Graveyard used to List it, but I can't find it there right now...give em a call.

http://broncozone.co...wtb-4x4-switch/
Posted Image frr 92-96 by Steve83; he doesn't come here at all it seems; so use the search here for him and try to use the email function to contact..

or try www.ebaymotors.com
1990 FORD BRONCO TRANSFER CASE 4WD SWITCH US $19.99 Buy It Now
http://cgi.ebay.com/...=item19c31fd7f3

GL

in my archived BRONCO TECHNICAL

site; http://web.archive.o...s.com/index.php?;
select a LINK, Right Click and and Hit Properties;

copy the second HTTP address

paste in a new browser to see the original page

96 Bronco, E4OD, Man Xfer Case & Hubs
Thanks to All Who Serve




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