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Mac 07-17-2010 11:36 PM

vacuum to front axle
I have a problem with my '99 5.9L 4x4. The 4WD shifter pops out after a few seconds, both 4HI and 4LO. I understand that I should check for vacuum at the front axle but could someone please explain how to do this? I have a vacuum gauge but should it pull a certain amount of mercury? Does the truck need to be in gear and in 4WD (both axles off the ground), do I check at the axle or the transfer case? If I have vacuum, what next?
Tough part is, I have no way to test it right now. No snow and no mud (no rain), just dry pavement and gravel roads.
Thanks everyone,

Toms Blue Ram 1500 07-18-2010 12:20 AM

If the shifters popping out you need to look in the area of the transfer case . May be a linkage issue .

Mac 07-18-2010 12:37 AM

I should have mentioned, I adjusted the linkage. Or at least I tried. The trunnion was rusted to the shift rod pretty tight. I broke it loose but it pretty much ended up in the same spot on the shift rod after adjusting. With the linkage loose, it seemed like I could pop the shift lever back into 2HI with the slightest pressure. Is this a shift fork issue?

Toms Blue Ram 1500 07-18-2010 12:45 AM

Could be in the transfer case . I think the transfer case only holds about 1 quart of tranny fluid . Have you pulled the plug out and checked the condition of it ?

Toms Blue Ram 1500 07-18-2010 12:56 AM

Something else to look at is the engine/trans. mounts . Excessively worn or broken mounts can cause the lever to be pulled out of your selected range .

Mac 07-18-2010 12:56 AM

Yeah, the fluid was the first thing I checked. The case is pretty greasy, looks like the gasket used to join the two halves is leaking, but not a ton. The fluid was a little darker than normal but still red and smelled like tranny fluid. I would say the fluid was within a 1/4" of the fill hole.
BTW Tom, thanks for the quick reply.

Toms Blue Ram 1500 07-18-2010 01:00 AM

Hopefully it hasn't been run low on fluid and damaged the unit .

RamTech 07-18-2010 01:20 PM

I'm going with the linkage problem; it makes the most sense.

Mac 07-18-2010 01:52 PM

I'm hoping it will be that simple. Thing is, if I shift it into 4HI and crawl under the truck, I can push the shift lever (on the transfer case) just a little further into 4HI, maybe 3/16" but it feels like that's past the point of engagement and it just pops back that 3/16" anyway.
I'll try the likage adjustment again. I don't think I did a good job last time. I'll have to use a wire brush to clean the rust off the shift rod in order to get the trunnion to slide on the rod. I like the bad-mounts idea but how does one test a motor or tranny mount?
But not today, it's pouring rain.

RamTech 07-18-2010 01:59 PM

Look for obvious signs of cracking, or sagging in the case of the motor mounts. Pry up on the trans mount to see if it's seperated.

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