1996 Dakota not going into 4WD

My son bought this truck, a 1996 Dakota/4WD/318 Auto about 3 months ago and had it checked out by a mechanic who gave it a clean bill of health. He stated to me that he put the truck on the lift and pulled
the truck into 4WD and all 4 wheels turned. I cannot make this thing go into 4WD, nor can I ever get the 4WD light to work. The 4WD shifter seems to work very hard to me. Does anyone have any ideas?
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snipped-for-privacy@vermontel.net wrote:

Why don't you go see the mechanic?
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redneck wrote:

Because I fix everything I own. Give me a direction and I am all set.
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wrote:

Gee, this is a real helpful answer.
Is this a full or part time 4WD? Being a 96, I would assume that it is a part time 4WD and on them the shifter can be hard to move. One thing I would check right now is that all 4 tires are the same size. If one or more are different sizes, the 4WD shifter gets hard to shift if the truck is moving. The 4WD light should be controlled by the vacuum actuator on the front axle and that is where I would look first. Make sure that both the electrical connector and vacuum line are properly connected. IF you are trying to shift it into 4WD without the truck moving, it is likely that the 4WD light will not come in because the front axle cannot engage. Try shifting into 4WD with the truck moving and then get on and off of the gas a little and see what happens. If the light still does not come on, try making a turn with the shifter in 4WD and if you feel the truck acting weird and trying to buck, then it is in 4WD and your problem is with the light. Remember not to leave it in 4WD on a dry road as that can and probably will cause damage to the drive train.
--
If at first you don't succeed, you're not cut out for skydiving



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Hello all of youse, I ll have to agree with tbone on this one. I had same problem with my 4x4.
It works on 4x4 low no problem, my 4x4 high was not getting in right. I had to move the truck little bit then shift it in high, on some days it works, on some days it doesn't work. I end up replacing my 4x4 shift, it was just rust that makes it hard to shift in, don't ask why I had it fixed with new shifter. Now it shifts so smoothly.
That part cost me 250 and its worth my work. I just saved myself fortune not to take it to shop.
Just use your haynes manual booklet. Most of information is right there with some troubleshoots.
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One more thing, I wonder if ur tires are all 4 the same? If its not then it can damage drivetrain. If u have two front same and it differs from 2 in back, that's not a good idea to use ur 4x4 anyways get all 4 same tires if u don't want a short life on ur son's truck
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