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2003 Explorer 4x4 4wd Issue (stuck in 4wd high, I think)

03-14-2013, 11:32 PM
Hello All,

I have a 2003 Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L 4WD (Auto, High, Low Switches). Recently, making a turn has proved to be a real hassle. The tighter I turn, the harder it resists and the louder the moaning and groaning noises get too. It does this in D or R. It feels like it's in 4wd, even on dry pavement. I did get a code reading from the transmission shop that rebuilt my tranny around Christmas time. It was P1812.

Can someone answer these two questions:
Does the front drive shaft always move on these Explorers when it's in Auto or does it sound like I'm stuck in 4wd High?

Also, behind the transfer case motor are 3 settings, Low, Neutral, and High. When the vehicle is in "Auto", does the motor actually select "High" and somehow only kick on when needed during slippage?

I've tried many things to rectify this. I've unplugged fuses for the 4wd system, replaced the 4wd control module behind the glovebox, performed the "Brown Wire Mod", replaced the transfer case electric motor, I've unplugged the 4wd actuator switch, I've adjusted tire pressures, replaced both wheel hub assemblies. I'm about at my wits end. :banghead:

I was once able to make very tight U-turns in this vehicle. Now I can barely turn a corner at an intersection. If anyone has any input, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you in advance.


03-21-2013, 06:48 PM
Hi everyone,

Well, as it turns out, the transfer case is locked in 4wd. The replacement cost for a rebuilt unit is $1,600. Since I just replaced the tranny with a rebuilt just 3 months ago, I don't want to fork out another big payment at the moment.

Can anyone confirm if the truck would be OK being driven without the front driveshaft? The mechanic removed it and the binding stopped but he wouldn't leave the driveshaft removed due to obvious liability issues. Can I take it back out and be fine driving it until I decide to either sell it or replace the transfer case?

Thank you,


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