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Old 02-16-2021, 03:10 AM #1
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4WD issues..

Hey all,
I went to use the 4WD the other day-but it didn't engage. I was able to physically get the Gear selector into position but still no 4WD.I was hearing the relay from the kick panel when i was shifting from 2H to 4H but still nothing.

Then after playing with it for about 25 min the Light came on and i was in business. I had fun in the snow for about 30 minutes never exceeding 35-40 MPH.. I then switched out of 4WD and back into 2WD and then back to 4WD still working.I switched it back to 2WD when i got home.

I went to use it the next day- Same thing shifter engaged no light and no 4WD. About 20 min went by shifter still engaged orange light popped on and the 4WD started to work. I know it might sound crazy but does the light actually dictate when it's supposed to work? Maybe the Fluid has to heat up or something? xfer case?

If anybody has any ideas. Please share.
Thanks.
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Old 02-16-2021, 03:39 AM #2
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How long since activating? On my 5th gen, it was really a struggle to get in and out of 4wd when I first got it at 35,000 miles. Made sure to cycle it several times a month and now it engages and disengages quickly.

Also, old fluid may contribute to shifting issues.
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Old 02-16-2021, 03:49 AM #3
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Hey there,
I will have to admit...i dont exercise the 4wd as i should.. I was also thinking that might have a lot to do with it.
As for the fluid I'll bet it could use changing. it's going in for an oil change shortly.. i will have them look at it if i dont figure it out before then.
Thanks for the reply!
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:44 AM #4
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What year is your 4Runner? Is it a limited trim?
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:57 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giguchan View Post
... does the light actually dictate when it's supposed to work? ...
No, the light only reports if the 4WD is engaged, it doesn’t cause anything.

Not sure what could be causing this though.

I would definitely check the fluid and do a drain & fill.

Just off the top of my head, I’d check the vacuum hoses near the 4WD VCV (under/near the evap system). Make sure those are holding vacuum consistently and are not torn or have little holes or cracks in them.
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:14 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giguchan View Post
Hey there,
I will have to admit...i dont exercise the 4wd as i should.. I was also thinking that might have a lot to do with it.
As for the fluid I'll bet it could use changing. it's going in for an oil change shortly.. i will have them look at it if i dont figure it out before then.
Thanks for the reply!
There is a wire connector on the actuator underneath on the driver side . Sometimes the contacts get dirty. Spray it with electronics parts cleaner and see if it helps.
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Old 02-16-2021, 08:31 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad Luck View Post
What year is your 4Runner? Is it a limited trim?
It's a 97 SR5... No Limited here!!

Thanks Guys.. I'll have a look for that Wire Connector and also have the Fluid in the Xfer case Drain/ filled.. and check the Hoses too.
I'm going in for a oil change and a few other things also.. i'll add this on the list. Sooo.. Just so i am clear regardless if i hear the relay clicking or not
If i dont see the orange light... there isn't any 4WD.
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:09 PM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giguchan View Post
regardless if i hear the relay clicking or not
If i dont see the orange light... there isn't any 4WD.
Correct. Unless thereís a problem with your sensor/indicator light. 🙂

On my truck (2000 SR5), I could hear the relay clicking, but had no 4WD indicator light, and no 4WD, despite my front propellor shaft locking up correctly. I found vacuum leaks in both hoses for the 4WD VCV. When I fixed those leaks, my indicator light worked and all four wheels were spinning again.

FWIW, my 4WD indicator light is green, not orange.
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:32 PM #9
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Thank you,
I'll have a look at the Hoses.. it would be wonderful if it were this simple.
I'll report back.

*VCV stands for what?( i know i'm going to hate my self for asking.)
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Old 02-16-2021, 10:43 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by giguchan View Post
VCV stands for what?
Vacuum control valve
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:29 PM #11
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Thank you
I had no idea..
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:45 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cl4Rk View Post
Correct. Unless thereís a problem with your sensor/indicator light. 🙂

On my truck (2000 SR5), I could hear the relay clicking, but had no 4WD indicator light, and no 4WD, despite my front propellor shaft locking up correctly. I found vacuum leaks in both hoses for the 4WD VCV. When I fixed those leaks, my indicator light worked and all four wheels were spinning again.

FWIW, my 4WD indicator light is green, not orange.
I was just watching a YT Video and HIS light was green also. Maybe i just had a Case of the stupid and mine is Green too.. dunno why i thought it was orange. after i get it fixed i'll know for sure.
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Old 02-16-2021, 11:53 PM #13
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Good luck! And please post a follow up once you get it figured out. 👍
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Old 02-17-2021, 01:20 PM #14
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Quote:
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Vacuum control valve
Toyota normally calls them VSV = vacuum switching valve... but same thing.

On the '96-'00 non-Limited, the only actuator is the vacuum ADD actuator on the front diff. A switch on the transfer case activates the relay in the passenger footwell, which powers the VSV's to swap vacuum direction on the ADD actuator. When the ADD actuator moves, it hits a switch that turns on the dash light.

Since you hear the ADD relay working, the transfer case portion of the system is working. Check the ADD vacuum lines. Check the VSVs themselves. If 4WD *feels* engaged but the light is off, it could just be the indicator switch on the front diff.

Also, things could just be sticky due to non-use. The system should be actuated at least 1 a month. Toyota says 5-10 miles every month. Just pick a straight section of road and engage 4WD every so often. I just do a couple of side streets every month (put it in 4WD at a stop light/sign - then disengage next time I have to turn).

-Charlie
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Old 02-18-2021, 12:34 AM #15
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Thanks Guys...
I'm going to try to check myself before we get another snowfall. I had way too much fun the other day before this happened. It would be nice if i could get this fixed myself.
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