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???
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
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
THANKS for the response though you DID call it right!
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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