No 4X4 dash light

Hi all! Got a great 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 Sport extended cab. Seems to be great, BUT, when I shift into 4X4 I get no dash light indication. It sure
SEEMS to be in four wheel drive, but no dash indication. Called Dodge and they want to harge me over $50.00 do diagnose it. I figured somebody out there must have a clue to tell me what to check before I go pay the dealership lots of $$$ to 'fix' something that may be simple. ANY IDEAS??? THANKS!
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Sure. The switch that makes the 4x4 light come on is on the CAD (central axle disconnect) on the passenger-side of the front axle. You'll see an electrical connection on the side closest to the passenger tire. The switch is a plunger-type switch, normally closed, but held open by the shift motor when in 2WD mode. Disconnect the electrical connector, and short the two pins in the connector (with the ignition turned on). If the light comes on, it's a problem with the mechanical switch on the CAD. If not, you either have a broken wire, or a lamp out in the instrument cluster.
Of course, this is all assuming that you're correct, and 4WD is really engaging.
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Sorry for the long delay. THIS WAS THE PROBLEM (Great call). I DID take it to Dodge (Tom Addis Dodge in Coer d'alene ID... stay away from them). They diagnosed the "actuater" that TRIGGERS the switch as the problm, and wanted to replace the switch "just to be saf", and as a FREE BONUS they torqued the fram taking the truck off the lift and cracked my radiator wide open then tried to say it was pouring water when I brought it in.... THEN to help me appreciate their helpfulness they charged me $60.00, then tried to charge me $457.00 for a new radiator instalation. I declined and went and got a used one for 50 bucks and installed it myself in an hour. GET THIS, the 4X4 light NOW WORKS.... sheeesh... I guess the switch actually just needed to be wiggled.... Man, this is why people HATE mechanics!
THANKS for the response though you DID call it right!

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check the bulb first. Me wrote:

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Easier to futz with the connector on the CAD than to pull the cluster out and apart.
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Good point
Tom Lawrence wrote:

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Actually, I agree... this is the easiest approach.
;^)
Mike
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run diagnostics on the unit with the key on-key off 3 times routine and see if the bulb lights up when all of the dash lights come on.

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I don't know if the '96 had a cluster test. On the newer vehicles ('98 and up), you would initiate this by holding down the trip odometer reset button while turning the ignition on, then releasing when it all lit up. Since the '94-'97 trucks have a mechanical odometer, I doubt this would work.
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Tom Lawrence wrote:

My 4X4 dash indicator works when I lock the transfer case on my '99 but the cluster test doesn't light it up, and it doesn't come on during the startup bulb check. Maybe a glitch in the programming?
--
Ken


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The lights that illuminate are the ones controlled by the computer as well as any critical warning lights and the 4WD light does not fit either category.
--
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That makes sense. It just seems odd that every light on the dash can be tested except that one.
--
Ken



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