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Old 06-04-2019, 01:08 PM #1
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Help, I'm stuck in 4WD

My 2006 Sports Edition V6 is stuck in 4WD. I recently/accidentally engaged the center differential function (the orange 4WD icon with the X in the middle appeared on my dash). Once I got myself out of that, I noticed my 4WD would not switch to 2WD no matter what I do to the knob.

Any ideas on how to fix this?
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:43 PM #2
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Put it neutral then shift the knob to 2WD , then roll it slowly back and forth between D and reverse. Could take a while
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:49 PM #3
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If I had issues switching between 2WD and 4WD, I would be more than happy if it failed in AWD mode if the center diff lock still worked.

Even if it never switches back, its perfectly fine to leave it as it is.

With the center unlocked, it's basically in AWD mode and perfectly fine to drive on roads.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:47 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbo View Post
If I had issues switching between 2WD and 4WD, I would be more than happy if it failed in AWD mode if the center diff lock still worked.

Even if it never switches back, its perfectly fine to leave it as it is.

With the center unlocked, it's basically in AWD mode and perfectly fine to drive on roads.
... up to 55 miles per hour. don't do this.

read the paper that is on your driver's side sun visor and keep trying to cycle it out of 4WD (it's not AWD, ever).
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:26 AM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grave View Post
... up to 55 miles per hour. don't do this.

read the paper that is on your driver's side sun visor and keep trying to cycle it out of 4WD (it's not AWD, ever).
Thats false, brother. The 4th gen, with the center dif unlocked is absolutely AWD. Thats one big reason I like the 4th gen's 4wd system over the 5th gens; a torsen center diff! Generally speaking you could go any speed in 4wd in the 4th gen with the center dif unlocked, and do any type of driving on any type of surface.

The 5th gen, you can technically drive any speed as well, but you're limited to turns at about 30-35+mph. Any turns slower than that misalign the front and rear wheels enough that it causes binding in the diffs due to differing wheel speeds.

I learned the hard way that part time 4wd in the 5th gen doesn't mean you can switch between 2 and 4hi whenever like I was used to in the 4th gen. And that 55mph number you're thinking of is engaging the 4wd system, and i think it's 60mph. If you try to engage it above 60, the system just beeps at you. You slow to 59, engage it, and then continue on your merry way.

To OP, yeah, try shifting into neutral and tapping the brake a few times, or rolling forward a bit. I'd even take it on a drive and leave the switch in 2hi and wait for it to switch. I once couldn't get 4lo to engage and I kept rapidly swtiching it between 4hi and lo, and then the transfer case finally broke free and engaged.
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Last edited by simple; 06-05-2019 at 12:29 AM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:40 AM #6
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What “simple” said! You just have to shift between H2 and H4 at speeds below 60mph.

Also, I believe that the 5th Gen Limiteds have the Torsen diff.


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Old 06-05-2019, 02:02 AM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simple View Post
Thats false, brother. The 4th gen, with the center dif unlocked is absolutely AWD. Thats one big reason I like the 4th gen's 4wd system over the 5th gens; a torsen center diff! Generally speaking you could go any speed in 4wd in the 4th gen with the center dif unlocked, and do any type of driving on any type of surface.

The 5th gen, you can technically drive any speed as well, but you're limited to turns at about 30-35+mph. Any turns slower than that misalign the front and rear wheels enough that it causes binding in the diffs due to differing wheel speeds.

I learned the hard way that part time 4wd in the 5th gen doesn't mean you can switch between 2 and 4hi whenever like I was used to in the 4th gen. And that 55mph number you're thinking of is engaging the 4wd system, and i think it's 60mph. If you try to engage it above 60, the system just beeps at you. You slow to 59, engage it, and then continue on your merry way.

To OP, yeah, try shifting into neutral and tapping the brake a few times, or rolling forward a bit. I'd even take it on a drive and leave the switch in 2hi and wait for it to switch. I once couldn't get 4lo to engage and I kept rapidly swtiching it between 4hi and lo, and then the transfer case finally broke free and engaged.
This is correct. I don't think many users understand the difference between the transfer cases between different generations of 4runners and the models within that generation. 4th gens all have torsens with the V6 being able to select 2wd and 4wd unlocked. If OP is stuck in 4wd unlocked there is no speed limit in which he can drive in this mode.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:00 AM #8
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4wd binding

Did you have any issues with vibration or drive shaft issues after the 4wd binded?
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:32 AM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeblast22 View Post
My 2006 Sports Edition V6 is stuck in 4WD. I recently/accidentally engaged the center differential function (the orange 4WD icon with the X in the middle appeared on my dash). Once I got myself out of that, I noticed my 4WD would not switch to 2WD no matter what I do to the knob.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

if you are really stuck in 4wd only[green 4wd sign on dash], and you try to remove it from 4wd by turning the knob to 2wd, then the amber and orange signs will be blinking on your dash,

there are several methods to force it to disengage.

1. drive on uneven surface/road, about 200 700ft, should knock it loose

2. try disengaging why you are making a slight turn
3. go to a dirt road, lock the differential, then unlock, then try switching back to 2wd.

4. try engaging the neutral gear while attempting to switch into 2wd

5. put the car in reverse and try disengaging

6. last last option, get the wheels off the ground, use a mallet on the 4wd actuator, try in neutral and drive
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:23 PM #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grave View Post
... up to 55 miles per hour. don't do this.

read the paper that is on your driver's side sun visor and keep trying to cycle it out of 4WD (it's not AWD, ever).
That speed limit only has to do with mode switching (2WD to 4), once you are in 4 you are good to operate as normal.

It's 100% AWD (mechanical limited slip like an AWD Audi) with the center diff unlocked as all 4th gen 4Runners use a Torsen center diff.

Last edited by Bumbo; 06-05-2019 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 12:39 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doozi View Post
What “simple” said! You just have to shift between H2 and H4 at speeds below 60mph.

Also, I believe that the 5th Gen Limiteds have the Torsen diff.


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Yup, the 5th Gen Limited was the only trim level to keep the Torsen, which is the same as the GX and Land Cruiser.

The V6 4th gen does have the ability to drive in 2WD in addition to the rest of the other modes, which is pretty cool and unique. The 4th really is my favorite generation of 4Runner.

Last edited by Bumbo; 06-05-2019 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 06-05-2019, 02:19 PM #12
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Mine has been "stuck" in 4WD from the factory. The V8 has no 2WD option for whatever reason. There's no downside, but you do probably want to get it unstuck in case you want to use the low range sometime. the 4WD V6 has the same system, but with an ADD (Automatic Differential Disconnect) in the front.

A few things to try:
  • Drive around for a while to make sure everything is warmed up
  • Try shifting with the center diff lock on or off, while driving below 55mph
  • Come to a stop, and with your foot on the brake shift to neutral then try to shift to 2WD. If it doesn't shift right away, try letting your foot off the brake to roll slightly
  • As someone else mentioned, try switching while driving slowly and turning slightly right or left
  • Try reversing a little, then doing the procedure to switch at a stop in neutral
  • If all the fails, some people have had success loosening the bolts on the actuator cover and tapping on it (the cover?) with a wrench
  • You could try to go to 4WD Low then back to Hi, but if it gets stuck inLlow that would be bad
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Old 06-05-2019, 05:07 PM #13
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Quote:
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Put it neutral then shift the knob to 2WD , then roll it slowly back and forth between D and reverse. Could take a while
This
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:51 AM #14
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Annnndddd.... I'm still stuck.

Last night I pulled my battery to finish up some work on my aftermarket HU install. Started her back up only to find the green 4WD icon on, an orange 4WD icon with an X in the middle, and my VSC off.

I read online... Followed instructions in the driver's side sun shade... Drove around my neighborhood an hour...drove back and forth in my drive way like a mad man for an hour...and nothing.

Turned it on this morning, still there.

Feels scary to drive because it's so tight in the turns. I don't feel safe, but it's my daily driver and I have to resolve this.

I also don't understand, why does it do this when I pull the battery? I've pulled the battery several times before but it's doing this now... Don't get it.
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:59 AM #15
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Well, the advantage to this is, after going back and forth in the driveway that long, if the neighbors didn't think you were crazy, now they know you are.

Life is fun.
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