'92 Dakota front diff. lock

The last few times that I've engaged my 4wd on my '92 Dakota the axle refuses to disengage. I try all the tricks -- back up, power on, power off, etc. and eventually I have to get under the truck and remove the
four bolts holding the disconnect housing cover, pull it out a little and manually sliding the shift fork & collar over -- disengaging the axle. Needless to say, I'd like to find a little easier way to disengage it. Is there a history of a particular trouble spot that I should look at first? I thought that I would start at the vacuum can. that is supposed to pull the collar over automatically. In my book it is called the "shift motor assembly". Just to clarify one thing -- my problems is not with the disengagement of the transfer case but rather, the front drive axle. Help
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Dakota discontinued that (good) feature. Anyone know the last year that had it? Is axle lube toped off & good?

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More knowledgable people may correct me, but I think that the mechanism is controlled by engine vacuum You might look for a vacuum leak throughout the system.

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I have a similar problem with my 1987 Dakota 4x4: It will go into 4-wheel drive but won't come out unless I stop, kill the engine and wait several seconds. The transfer case was recently re-built and they should have discovered this problem, had they properly road- tested my truck, which they obviously didn't. They want an additional $350 to replace the vacuum actuator switch. They claim this will fix the problem. What do you think? tr008 wrote:

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