99' tcase grinds in high (only)

Grandaughter's vehicle... I'm a GM/Dodge guy, so limited experience with Fords!
The shifter motor was replaced. Started as an intermittant problem,
but became worse as time went on. Now happens all the time. In Low, it is 'drivable' (not a good idea, but it works), but in high and auto all one gets is a grinding noise and no motion.
I removed the shifter motor, and manually selected high and got the same symptom, so the shifter motor and controls seem to be not the problem.
Looks like the transfer case itself may be bad, but my limited experinece says best to ask to see if someone has a better idea.
(Yes, I do have a full shop and lift, no shop manual for the Explorer, would love a link to a downloadable shop manual if one exists)
Side issue: the transmission shifter is 'off' by one notch too! First thought was a motor mount, but it's cable activated, and the mounts look OK. Grandaughter thinks the two problems are related, I'm reluctant to accept that. Any ideas on this one too?)
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I'm wondering if you actually are getting it into H. In order to put it in Low you need to switch to N first and also to N to remove it from low. If your shifter is off then are you sure you have it in N when shifting the T case? You should be able to realign it by putting the shifter in D, disconnect the transmission cable, put the trans in D, and put the cable back on accordingly. Sometimes the indicator on the steering column is off too. The early ones have a sheathed cable and the sheath breaks.
The most common problem that I've heard of with the Control Trac is they tend to engage 4WD when they shouldn't. This can be caused by dirty sensors in the T case, possibly dirty ABS sensors on the front wheels, low fluid level in the T case, or uneven tires which appear as slippage to the sensors. There is an electromagnet clutch in the Control Trac T cases that sounds like it may be the problem. Many people chose to override the clutch engagement control by doing what is called the "brown wire modification." You should be able to find out about it at www.explorerforum.com. I'm not positive that it applies to the '99 but it might be worth looking into.
This may be the first one I've read about with a "grinding" noise and no motion so hopefully some of this stuff will apply. BTW the transfer case fluid is about 1 1/2 quarts of ATF. On the '99 it may or may not be Mercon V and I can only guess that the T case uses the same fluid as the trans but I suspect the owner's manual will tell you.
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On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:09:14 -0700, "Ulysses"

Remember this is an electrically shifted tcase... I did the shifting by manually turning the shift shaft where the shift motor attaches. The tcase cover is marked with an H, N and L to indicate where each gear range (and neutral) is. Low, and neutral both match up to the marks. H just grinds, and the shfting shaft wont' turn any past the H mark.

Agreed, I do wonder why it suddenly 'broke'. then your last sentence may well explain that. I'll have to take a close look at the cable, and the parts on the steering shaft under the dash.

I'll have to look that one up. May be an interesting modification.

Will do, and I've already joined teh forum, and it's a worthwhile thing, too.

In the Hummer H1s, the complaint is that it pops out of High. But the explorerforum site is leading me to believe that the problem is similar: the shift fork pads (nylon) are broken or otherwise failed. That makes perfect sense considering what I'm seeing and what her complaint was.
Now, I think I'm going to have to give serious thought to pulling that thing out and tearing it down. Arrrgggg. I'm going to turn that 18 YO girl into a mechanic yet! <bg>
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wrote:

in
If
T
I don't remember exactly what how it's marked on my daughter's '97's T case. Instead of H, 4L, and 4H it was something like H and N with a very wide range for H. I've heard of one person having a problem with the chain on one of the older (91-94) explorers but other than the electromagnetic clutch problems the Explorer T cases seem to be quite sturdy. Personally I prefer the older ones (I have two of them) and it's entirely possible to remove the shift motor and manually place it in whatever postition you want and be pretty sure it's there.

off
sensors
that
clutch
I did it on my daughter's '97 when experiencing 4WD problems. Since then I got the Control Trac working again (seal leak, low on fluid, dirty fluid, dirty sensors) but she now prefers just to leave it switched off most of the time. The hardest part was finding the correct brown wire(s). If I remember correctly it's pretty far up there and you have to remove some stuff from in front of the wiring harness and remove some tape and then follow the wires to see where they go so you are sure to cut the correct one. The article had very good photos and was well-written.
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t 9388

not
Mercon
but
Please keep us posted as to what you find and what the final solution is. After all, the same thing could happen to mine.

Yes. My 20 year-old is almost always on hand and has turned a wrench a few times on her Explorer. But my 18 year-old goes and hides in her room when I'm working on her Ranger.
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wrote:

in
If
T
off
sensors
that
clutch
not
Mercon
but
I just came across this while searching for how to adjust the transmisison bands on my daughter's Ranger. It sounds like your problem however it's the AWD transfer case, not the Auto.
http://www.explorerforum.com/forums//archive/index.php/t-140457.html
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wrote:

it
the
cable
they
fluid
modification."
no
case
the
Actually it apparently is NOT the AWD. The OP called it the wrong thing on the first post. Now it really sounds like your transfer case. Try looking up "range slider."
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On Sat, 25 Apr 2009 09:55:05 -0700, "Ulysses"

Wow, does sound like the same problem. And as well, that is almost exactly what I figured it would be!
Q: (If you know) the brown wire modification... Can a wire be cut at the tcase to have the same effect so that we don't have to pull the dash apart? (is the lock clutch locked with +12V or unlocked? <g>)
I appreciate your help, it's been great.
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Simple solution: removed the front drive shaft. I like that better, some day it can be replaced when someone rebuilds the tcase...
The kid has decided she wants a new car, can't blaim her. Probably will do "As-is, needs work on tcase" type of ad.
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wrote:

I've read of others doing that too but to me it didn't sound like that would work in your case because you said you had "no motion."

Someone who knows how to fix it will get a good deal then. What I like about my Explorers is, so far, nothing has gone wrong (outside of needing a rebuilt transmission) that I couldn't fix myself. And I'm no master mechanic by any means.
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On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 08:00:55 -0700, "Ulysses"

In low range we have motion, nothing in high... So it worked OK. Just top speed is limited.

It would not be a difficult fix at all (I could easily do it, I've a full shop) but the kid doesn't want to fix it! (She want's a new(er) car instead. Since she has no mechanical abilities to speak of, teaching her is not as attractive as it might be.
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wrote:

would
a
Mine actually wants an older car: 1965 Mustang. I told her she'd better marry a really good mechanic.
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On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 13:15:48 -0700, "Ulysses"

I had a bunch of old Falcons (which the early Mustang was based on) and they were great! I'd say if she doesn't mind getting her hands dirty, it could be a good thing. (safety issues aside...)
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wrote:

put
low.
is
cases
the
I'm
into.
and
trans
that
transmisison
it's
on
looking
I don't know for sure, but I don't think so. From what I've read if you disconnect the wire in the wrong place it will result in a CEL light or flashing 4WD light. I didn't think taking apart the dash was all that difficult, just a couple of screws and some gentle prying to pop it off. Then you have to remove the GCM (?) or some-such module to get to the wires. The biggest problem I had was finding the brown wire. I found lots of other wires but it turned out to be just like the brown wire that goes to the TC.

This NG used to be a lot more active with a lot more input from more people. I guess everyone is going to forums now. In any case I've always managed to get enough info to keep my old Fords in good running order.
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On Sun, 26 Apr 2009 07:57:21 -0700, "Ulysses"

Yep, I've seen the same things on the other forums too... Usenet is dying, sad to say.
I think I've gotten it patched enough to allow her to try to either trade or sell it. Maybe she can hit a "We'll give you $2000 if it makes it into our lot" sale! <bg>
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wrote:

wires.
other
TC.
people.
to
Yea, it looks that way. First IRC faded away rather quickly when places like Yahoo! started having chat rooms, then those chat rooms got overtaken by third world terrorists or something. I'm thinking about going back to IRC and taking another look.

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