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Old 07-27-2013, 01:10 PM #1
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2003 4runner 4wd problems

Its a 03 v6 and I have the problems most do with the lights flashing my diff lock light is on and 4wd flashing with the vcs light on, ive tried driving around trying to engage and turning on and off for a couple miles. Ive rode in reverse and rolled in neutral and still nothing, put it on a lift and my front drive shaft is spinning but front tires are not pulling if I switch back to 2h the shaft stills spins but nothing is engaging or disengage. Any help or knowledge would be nice thanks
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:36 PM #2
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Do you get any beeping?
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:40 PM #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARINE_HMLA View Post
Its a 03 v6 and I have the problems most do with the lights flashing my diff lock light is on and 4wd flashing with the vcs light on, ive tried driving around trying to engage and turning on and off for a couple miles. Ive rode in reverse and rolled in neutral and still nothing, put it on a lift and my front drive shaft is spinning but front tires are not pulling if I switch back to 2h the shaft stills spins but nothing is engaging or disengage. Any help or knowledge would be nice thanks
Put the truck in neutral
shift it to 4LO
see if it engages
lock the CDL
shift into drive
see how it drives
put back in neutral and release CDL and 4lo

if it's not engaging you could have a stuck actuator, but the truck has to be in neutral to engage 4wd
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:47 PM #4
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The front driveshaft continues to spin because of the ADD system, which may be what's at fault. The actuator on the front differential may ne out, because the front driveshaft is spinning, but the front differential refuses to connect, and run.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:33 PM #5
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No beeping and i tried the 4lo and still nothing, is there anyway of checking the sensor on the front diff, I used a snap on scanner for any codes and it had no stored codes
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:11 PM #6
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Yea, check the front ADD actuator. I have had the same problem (4wd not engaging) to a lesser extent, and I'm pretty sure it's my front ADD. On the plus side, the front actuator is a lot easier to get to than the T-case actuator. On the minus, it is still a couple hundred dollars to replace with a new unit. But I have read that you can regrease your old one and it will work better. I also find that exercise helps the actuator stay in shape. I have been leaving my 4Runner in 4WD more since it is a full time 4WD (like the v8s that are in 4WD all the time). I have actually wondered I remove my ADD--who wants 2WD anyway? I don't notice a difference in mileage.

BTW neutral is only needed for 4WD low, not 4WD high. A 2003 4Runner should be able to shift into 4WD HI in gear up to ~65 mph. But as mine has gotten older, it's more picky about going into 4WD. I have found slow driving 5-10 mph is usually the best to get it engaged.
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Old 07-27-2013, 05:16 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARINE_HMLA View Post
Its a 03 v6 and I have the problems most do with the lights flashing my diff lock light is on and 4wd flashing with the vcs light on, ive tried driving around trying to engage and turning on and off for a couple miles. Ive rode in reverse and rolled in neutral and still nothing, put it on a lift and my front drive shaft is spinning but front tires are not pulling if I switch back to 2h the shaft stills spins but nothing is engaging or disengage. Any help or knowledge would be nice thanks
Due to the nature of Toyota's modern Part-Time 4WD system, the front driveshaft will spin regardless if the transfercase is in 2WD, 4Hi, or 4Lo. The reason behind this is that Toyota's Part-Time 4WD system uses the transfercase to select gears & gear ratios, but the front axle itself actually engages the connection between the front differential and transfercase via a system called ADD (Automatic Disconnecting Differential.) The ADD system is a combination of an Actuator, synchronizer ring, shift fork, and splined axle shaft. It works by engaging the scynchronizer ring much like a manual transmission to connect the right front driveshaft with the differential ring gear. When the ADD is deactivated, the passenger side front axle shaft is spinning freely and does not engage the ring & pinion and thus the front axle freewheels. When ADD is engaged, the synchronizer ring is engaged, the axle shaft is locked to the ring and pinion and thus it is driven by the front driveshaft like a regular open differential (this is not a "locker" in the sense it splits axle power 50/50, but rather just engages power to the axle.)

I have the training manual .PDFs on my computer at home and at work for Toyota's 4WD systems, but T4R.org doesn't let me put anything above 15.5mb so I need to find a way to combine the smaller chapters into one file for you guys.

Back to your problem though, if nothing is actually trying to engage (you should hear the actuator trying to move the sync ring in the front axle) then more than likely the ADD actuator has failed and/or one of the sensors/switches that lets the 4WD module know where parts are and when to shift have failed. If you could have someone pull the codes from the 4WD Module and let use know what it is, it will help use decide what direction you should go in terms of diagnostics and repair.
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Old 07-27-2013, 06:39 PM #8
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I checked for codes in the engine, transmisson, and body control module's did a actuator check all thru the snap on scanner and it had no codes showing and the actuator test showed all good even run the 4wd check thru transmisson scan nothing showed any codes im stumped at this point, it'll be monday before I can get it back in the garage and on a lift any more suggestions would be great and thanks for all the help you guys have showed to this forum noob
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:04 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARINE_HMLA View Post
I checked for codes in the engine, transmisson, and body control module's did a actuator check all thru the snap on scanner and it had no codes showing and the actuator test showed all good even run the 4wd check thru transmisson scan nothing showed any codes im stumped at this point, it'll be monday before I can get it back in the garage and on a lift any more suggestions would be great and thanks for all the help you guys have showed to this forum noob
Any DTCs will be stored in the 4WD module and/or possibly the ABS/VSC/TRac module (Can't remember if the codes duplicate/register there or not off the top of my head.) Not entirely sure what you mean by actuator check to be honest. If you were to have some sort of test function for the scantool (I will have to check on my truck when I have the opportunity) it should have shown a datalist of all the switches/sensors (I believe its about 4 or 5) and their on/off/middle positions as each setting is chosen.
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Old 07-27-2013, 07:09 PM #10
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sounds like a lot like my stuck actuator. Labor alone was $600. I hope you have better success.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:07 PM #11
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Like I said, it could be either a failed actuator and/or a failed switch. Unfortunately some of the limit switches are not in fact servicable and thus may require replacement of an entire actuator (I believe this is the case with the transfers case actuator, I can't remember because some of the newer ones like the New Tacomas have replacable switches.)

Here's a "Quick Training Guide" from TIS on the '03-'09 T4R 1GR-FE 4WD system and what testing would look like:
T-QTG-312F-D.pdf

So if you did manage to do an actuator test of the system, your screen should have shown a data list of the following switches with on/off indications when you tested the actuator:

~TL1
~TL2
~TL3
~DL1
~DL2
~ADD

The system uses a combination of On/Off switches to know what position it is in currently, what position it wants, and if it in fact shifted into that position. A failure of any one or more switches can cause the ADD or Transfer Case Actuator to not even engage.
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:31 PM #12
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im still at work so havent had a chance to get to the garage but i have another question about all my problems, my diff lock light came on and is solid no flashing with the vsc light on as well and im not able to turn it off just pressing the button does nothing and putting in nuetral and rolling does nothing when trying to disengage. i thought the only way to lock the diff was when in 4wd, any help on this problem please
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:39 PM #13
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Hi all,

Long time 4runner fan, but a noob at this forum

I have a 04 limited v6 and today when I was turn it from 2H to 4H, it took a good 15 seconds of driving straight for the yellow DL light to go away and green 4wd light stay solid (is that normal)

And when I turned it back to 2H, the DL, 4wd and 4Lo were flashing and I couldn't get them to stop, driving back and forth etc. I finally turn off car and turned back on and I hear a clunk from the front diff and it disengaged and everything is fine. From reading this thread, it also seems like an ADD failure.

Is there anything I can do to prevent a full blown fail? My 3rd gen would engage without even moving the car, and never had a problem.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:32 AM #14
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THE 4TH gen design seems a lil pooor to me...to engage the 4wd system...the car must be in motion!!!!!.........
that isnt right...cos what if you are stuck or something and the car is stationary.......how do u then put the truck in 4wd to ''unstick'urself?
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:52 PM #15
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THE 4TH gen design seems a lil pooor to me...to engage the 4wd system...the car must be in motion!!!!!.........
Wrong, stop and put it in neutral then engage 4WD.
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