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I have a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 with the 318 and an automatic transmission. Last winter, my 4x4 worked perfectly and shifted into and out of 4x4 almost instantaneously when I would shift it. Now however, the transfer case is sending power to the front wheels, but the front axle isn't engaging. I checked the vacuum to the axle actuator, the vacuum to engage was weak, so I replaced the line and it's perfectly strong now, and the disengage vacuum is perfect as well. it just wont engage the axle. The 4x4 light also doesn't come on. is there anything else I can look for that would be an inexpensive fix? The cheapest I could find a new actuator was $80, and I just don't have that right now.. or does anyone know where I can find one cheaper? I really just want to put the Posi-Lok cable on it, but the cheapest I could find that was $125, which is even more out of budget.

Any ideas are welcome!
 

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That and the pull-cable are the only two options I know of. You could try cleaning the actuator as much as possible in and out and see if it helps. They can get clogged up with mud/road salt/etc... If your budget is really that tight, you could even do a google search and see if they're repairable.

I have the pull-cable system in my 01 1500 and I prefer it. My light comes on sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. Don't really know why, but I don't care because either way it's in 4WD and it works. :smiley_thumbs_up:
 

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There is alot of heat ( gears/trans/motor/exhaust in that area ) and that is the low spot such as an oil pan on the motor, sludge will settle in the lowest spot and can eventually clog after settling and packing into a tar like substance. Myself, I would take it apart and clean it ( I havent looked in the book yet to see how simple or complicated it is yet ) But I am sure someone will chime in and say whats the best way to fix it is at the cheapest option unless you have to bite the dust to repair it the right way for it to work... may just be a simple fix such as cleanning the acutator.
 
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