4x4 questions

1031 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  BBA
Hi all. I Recently bought a 1997 Ram 1500 4x4 with a 5.2L automatic, 188k miles.
So far I like the truck (except the mileage...13) I don't know if the 4x4 is working properly.
I was unsure of the correct way to engage it, so I would stop, put in neutral and pull back on the shifter into 4 hi and the 4x4 light would usually come on, then when I would accelerate, I would hear and feel a "big bang", then grinding noise. When I put it into 4 low, no problem, no bang...sweet! Freaked out, by the "big bang theory", I started to research it. I checked vaccum, seemed good and consistent. Opened up the axle at the actuator, the shift fork was perfect as was the shift collar, and the actuator worked good. Replaced the small amount of gear oil lost, and added about two cups of trans. fluid to the transfer case. Had an old mech. buddy help check the TC as I attempted to shift, his conclusion was a bad TC. Another big Ram buddy of mine said... "don't shift while stopped, go about 25 or 30 mph and put it in". I did it and it seems to work perfect!?!! How do I now make sure it really is in 4x4 and why does it work on the fly and not stopped? Will the gears not sink up while stopped?
Thanks for reading my novel, I just like to get all the history out there.
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Yes I was testing it on dry pavement. I just bought the truck and have been going through it to be sure everything works BEFORE I have 2 feet of snow to get stuck in!
I do understand that you don't want to run much in 4 wheel drive on dry pavement. I just needed to test it.
My last truck was a 2003 Ranger and it could be put into 4 hi standing still or on the move.

What about shifting into 4 hi standing still? Does it need to be moving to sink up properly?
Thanks for the replies everyone. I have tried all suggestions. I tried moving at about 25 mph and it seemed to be in just fine. Then the other day I was approaching a snow packed hill and decided to put in 4hi at about 25mph, it seemed to go in and the indicator light was on. As I slowly accelerated up the hill, there was a bang and then grinding. I stopped and attempted to engage 4low, but I couldn't get the shifter to move without using extreme force. So I put it in reverse, moved a bit, then drive, no go, neutral, no go. So I tried 4 hi at a stand still, and got the same bang and grind. Later I was able to get shift into 4low but it did the same bang and grind it did in 4hi. I'm afraid it may be a bad case.
Thanks GT. Good info.
I've done all I can do for my skill level, I'm going to take it to a mech. that I trust. The snow is here and I need to get it working! I'll report in later.
Thanks again to all who responded!
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