2003 Ford Ranger



January, 5, 2007 AT 10:55 PM

In 04, I bought a new 2003 Ford Ranger 4wd. Around 20,000 miles, when I put it in to 4wd with the onboard switch, it would start to lurch, etc. About every 1/8 of a mile. There is not really a noise, but it does cause me to lose traction. It went in on warranty and Ford replaced the transfer case. They thought this would fix it since the splines were totally screwed up. That was in February. I didn't use the 4wd for about a month, but when I did, I was towing 2 snow machines and it started the problem all over again. I was told that we couldn't really recreate the problem since there were dry roads in my area, so I had to wait until this winter. So, now I'm dealing with Ford about the transfer case again. The truck has 40,000 miles on it and when put in 4 wheel drive, it will lurch or jerk. When the onboard switch is put back in to 2wd, it will jerk once then is fine. My opinion is that it is the computer chip, which I believe they have to run the transfer case. This situation will ruin my transfer case as it did the first time. Now they are talking about my tire wear, which could void the warranty. This lurching was a problem since day 1, and is the same problem this time. My question is have you heard about this problem before and what may cause it. Because my dealership is quite confused. I live in Alaska, so 4wd is quite important to me. It seems to do it worse on hills or when I am towing, but it does it flat also. When it did it on the hill, it caused me to lose traction which is a huge safety issue. So, if you can help, I would appreciate it. Thanks, Phil.




3 Answers


Service Writer

January, 5, 2007 AT 11:15 PM

Not sure how much I can help, although others here may.

Are talking about when your turning or straight or both?

What speeds do you engage it?

Are you in " high" or " low" I have a 98, I don't know if a vacuum loss will affect this for anything other than engaging or disengaging, but the two vacuum lines at the front wheel corrode and allow a leak. A slight lurch is maybe normal, but I couldn't engage/disenge. I hope this may help.



January, 5, 2007 AT 11:34 PM

I've never really had it in 4 low. The problem is in high at any speed. Flat ground as well as hills. Corners or straight stretches, it doesn't matter. That is my concern. I have had it happen on hills, and had my rear end bust loose. If that happened on a corner, it would be a real problem. I guess the best way I can describe it is doing 55, it will give a big lurch (like a big tug) like something is kicking your truck in the butt. No real noise though. Hope that helps. Thanks.
Ps. I'm new to this site, and not sure about the whole donation thing. But, I'd be happy to do it.


Service Writer

January, 6, 2007 AT 6:19 AM

There is a link next to the reply button that says small donation if you are so inclined : D

There are certain speeds that you want to engege the 4-wd and speed you don't want to. Don't do it under 10 mph or over 50. It can't engage accuratley and it will slam in or slam out.

A weak vacuum will cause a partial engagement and slam. There is a vacuum line the goes to the wheel, follow it back to where it connects to a metal tube. Disconnect and clean this tube with enery cloth, and try to clean the vacuum line if anything crusty is in there with a pipe cleaner or whatever you think of. LIGHTLY apply a small amount of silicone around the metal tube no closer than 1/4 " from the end, and reattach the vacuum line. This is where mine had a problem.

If problem is still happening, check the vacuum of the system for leakage.

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