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Old 01-26-2004, 05:45   #1 (permalink)
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'96 Ranger 4WD problems...

Hey all, I'm new here. I hope you can help me with my little problem...

I have a '96 Ford Ranger XLT Extended cab, 4.0L V6. It's supposed to be 4WD. Last year, during Baltimore's big snow storm, I tried to leave my house and couldn't... There was a nasty clicking coming from my front/passenger side tire. Turns out it was the bearing. So I replaced both front bearings. Clicking's gone. I tried out my 4WD and it appeared to be working, but there was no snow to really test it in.

Well... It snowed last night. So, I throw it into 4WD and try (again) to go to work. Nope! The best I can get is sideways, as there's a slight incline up to the main road.

I really don't have any experience with troubleshooting 4WD. Anyone have any ideas where I should start looking?

Thanks so much.

*Edited to add that the truck has a 5 speed transmission*

Last edited by BassGuy; 01-26-2004 at 05:47.
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:43   #2 (permalink)
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Re: '96 Ranger 4WD problems...

Well, I just got my roommate out there to drive it for me while I looked at the front axle. It's spinning, so the problem must lie in the automatic hubs.
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Old 01-29-2004, 16:49   #3 (permalink)
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Re: '96 Ranger 4WD problems...

Yes, you're right on. The stock automatic hubs on most Bronco II's, Rangers, and Explorers are weak and unreliable. The clicking noise you're hearing is the hub's failure to engage. Do yourself a favor and upgrade to a set of Warn hubs. I don't believe they make a premium hub for the Ranger, but the standard warn hubs come with a lifetime warranty and I guarantee they'll work everytime.
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Old 01-29-2004, 18:12   #4 (permalink)
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Re: '96 Ranger 4WD problems...

Do you mean the Warn automatic hubs or manual hubs?
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Old 01-29-2004, 18:20   #5 (permalink)
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Re: '96 Ranger 4WD problems...

Manual hubs are the way to go. Using manual hubs is the only way to know for sure they're engaged. Automatic hubs are famous for not engaging when you really need them and they will leave you stranded.

I don't believe Warn makes an automatic locking hub......but manual is the way to go.
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1992 Ford Bronco
351W
E4OD- B&M Stage 2 shift kit
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32" BFG's/stock suspension

"No replacement for displacement."

"Our lugnuts require more torque than most Honda's produce!"
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Old 01-29-2004, 18:38   #6 (permalink)
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Re: '96 Ranger 4WD problems...

Cool deal. You're the 3rd person, I think, to mention Warn hubs. So, that's what I'll do.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 02-02-2004, 17:58   #7 (permalink)
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Re: '96 Ranger 4WD problems...

This worked for me, as I had the same problem. When I warm up the interior for about 10 minutes, heat on high, then turn the knob to 4wd high, there is no clicking and the 4wd engages. Could it be the sensors or terminals or whatever inside the truck need to be warm? Haven't a clue, but it's something to try.
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Old 02-02-2004, 20:07   #8 (permalink)
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Re: '96 Ranger 4WD problems...

I don't know about that, but it wouldn't fix my problem. My transfer case engages and the front axle spins, it's just the hubs that won't lock.
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