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Old 10-13-2019, 09:13 PM #1
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Need help with a 2000 multimode diff

There's a 2000 SR5 that I'm looking at to buy. When I went and looked at it I noticed a couple of things that have me a little concerned. It has the J-shift transfer case and when I press the 4WD button to put it in H4 nothing lights up on the dash. When I shift the T/C into H4L (locking the center diff) the dash indicator lights up with green wheels and an orange light for the center diff, is this normal? Also when I shifted from H4 to H4L the T/C had to grind the gears a little before they messed. This was while I was sitting still. I'm concerned there may be an issue with the center diff or the front diff. Anyone have any insights on this?

Note: I use Center Diff and T/C interchangeably.
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:30 PM #2
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Mine tends to do this too every now and again. It has something to do with it being in park/neutral. I think whenever you shift from H4 to H4L you have to put it back into park or sometimes neutral. I messed with mine last winter and I would have to be in it to refresh my memory. As gar as the "4wd" aka AWD works the 4 wheels will flash green and eventually you will hear the vacuum lines "click" and they will stay green. H4/H4L Green wheels/Orange diff.
4WD just the green wheels indicator illuminate.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:28 AM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_H View Post
There's a 2000 SR5 that I'm looking at to buy. When I went and looked at it I noticed a couple of things that have me a little concerned. It has the J-shift transfer case and when I press the 4WD button to put it in H4 nothing lights up on the dash. When I shift the T/C into H4L (locking the center diff) the dash indicator lights up with green wheels and an orange light for the center diff, is this normal? Also when I shifted from H4 to H4L the T/C had to grind the gears a little before they messed. This was while I was sitting still. I'm concerned there may be an issue with the center diff or the front diff. Anyone have any insights on this?

Note: I use Center Diff and T/C interchangeably.
If nothing lights up on the dash and it doesn't start blinking within 5-10 seconds when you put it in High 4wd then you have a problem with the High 4wd button or circuit.

I've never had my transfer case grind between any of the high ranges. I've also found that mine shifts best while moving and I give the throttle a blip.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:54 PM #4
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Ok, so I heard from the guy that built the rig and he said said that he disabled the AWD. Here's his reply:

Quote:
"Alright so the center diff making it all wheel drive is a bad design. To many moving parts in tcase. The case is a 2 year design 99-00. I disabled the awd mode as case seemed to lose its mind randomly and wouldn’t let it go in anything. I had the case out and all apart to make sure everything was good. I replaced the actuator just to eliminate it. The sensors as well. All is good and right and does work I just chose to unplug that switch that initiates awd to keep from having issues as I never needed awd"
Has that been the experience of others that own 99-00 4runners with the multimode center diffs?

Last edited by Andy_H; 10-14-2019 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 10-14-2019, 08:09 PM #5
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Well that's dumb. I've not had any problems with the case on mine. The front actuator yes, but not the case. If you look at the diagram of one it's a fairly stout unit. I can't wait to throw boost at mine and see what happens.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:42 PM #6
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The guy built the rig for offroading. It wasn't a daily driver
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:05 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_H View Post
The guy built the rig for offroading. It wasn't a daily driver
I like that, built a jacked-up 'offroad' runner. haha.

So when you got the grind, did you move the selector quickly? If done slowly it may grind, quick and firm.

the awd multi-mode went thru '02 on the 3rd gen (and then on 4th, 5th), been reading on here for years, never heard of any trend of bad TCs on 4runners. They're simple, solid and reliable.

If you really want 4WD, ask him to hook it it properly then try it. Never heard of one that 'has a mind of its own' doing random things, they either work or they don't. Luck and enjoy some kine of 4Runner.
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Old 10-15-2019, 07:10 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_H View Post
The guy built the rig for offroading. It wasn't a daily driver
I mean, that's cool and all, but he was misinformed. The VF3AM is strong enough they use it behind the V8's in the Tundra's/Sequoia's until 2004. Only then did they swap to the VF4, which goes from open center to Torsen for full time AWD. I'd plug it all back in were it me.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:54 PM #9
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Sounds like it is just the switch on the shifter that is unplugged.

The shift rail moves 'past' the AWD mode to get to to 4HL, so it is probably generally working.

It is easy enough to pop a couple panels off and see if the switch is unplugged... (literally no tools, just pop the e-brake cover up, then the shifter cover up)

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Old 10-15-2019, 03:37 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy_H View Post
Ok, so I heard from the guy that built the rig and he said said that he disabled the AWD. Here's his reply:



Has that been the experience of others that own 99-00 4runners with the multimode center diffs?
Some people have had problems with the transfer case actuator but it seems mostly due to not using it often enough. I'd plug the switch back in and exercise it often.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:16 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Js'00imited4runner View Post
Mine tends to do this too every now and again. It has something to do with it being in park/neutral. I think whenever you shift from H4 to H4L you have to put it back into park or sometimes neutral. I messed with mine last winter and I would have to be in it to refresh my memory. As gar as the "4wd" aka AWD works the 4 wheels will flash green and eventually you will hear the vacuum lines "click" and they will stay green. H4/H4L Green wheels/Orange diff.
4WD just the green wheels indicator illuminate.
Actually 4 green wheels is AWD and 4 green wheels with yellow center is 4WD indicating the center is locked.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:19 PM #12
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I would check the button for continuity.
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Old 10-16-2019, 08:37 AM #13
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Quote:
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Actually 4 green wheels is AWD and 4 green wheels with yellow center is 4WD indicating the center is locked.
Actually 4 green lights illuminated is 4HI and 4 green lights with the center orange light is 4HI Locked (or 4HIL). If you read up a few posts you'll also see where the original poster said the owner of the vehicle unplugged the 4wd button on the transfer case shift lever.
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