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Old 02-27-2019, 01:32 PM #1
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4wd won't disengage after driving on pavement

Hey everyone, I sometimes put my 4R into 4H on pavement for no real reason other than to keep the gears lubed up and used. Today, I put it in 4h and turned a corner. Now it feels like its binding and wont disengage out of 4H as the light on the dash stays on. Shifting the lever to 2H doesn't feel like it's engaging properly either. I tested shifting into 4L and the proper lights on the dash lit up also.

Is this a case where I need to move forward and backwards a few feet to let the transfer case disengage or do I need to get it to the dealership? Most of the threads I found on this were for older gen 4r's so I wasn't sure if the fix/issue was the same.
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:31 PM #2
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Really shouldn't turn on dry pavement. Have you tried backing up yet after shifting the lever to 2H? I needed to do this once for whatever reason just wouldn't go back on it's own or at least I thought it was taking to long.
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:51 PM #3
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You just need to drive straight a bit while in 2H, like 100 yards or so, and it will eventually disengage. Happened to me a few weeks ago.
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Old 02-27-2019, 02:54 PM #4
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Turn the other way. But yeah you shouldn't be turning on dry pavement in 4wd.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:01 PM #5
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The mechanism that unlocks needs the stress to be released. It's like trying to shift out of gear in a manual transmission while under load. Once the force is release (by driving straight or turning the other way) the gears will release.

You can't hurt it by turning on dry pavement. The drive system is much stronger than the friction between the tires and the ground. It's not great for it to drive in 4H on dry pavement, but it won't cause any harm. Just crappy driving dynamics.
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Old 02-27-2019, 03:09 PM #6
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I had the exact same problem last week. After not coming out of 4H I switched it 2 wd and the light kept blinking and blinking. After a few miles (and what seemed forever) it switched back into 2wd with a decisive CLUNK. All was well again. Hope you're as lucky.

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Old 02-27-2019, 04:47 PM #7
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Yeah, I know I shouldn't have turned on pavement. I'll try shifting back into 2h to release the pressure. I'll see what happens, thanks everyone
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:00 PM #8
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Same thing happened to me the other day but I was driving on snow. I eventually tried a couple times and it eventually disengaged the 4H. Since then I have shifted into 4H and 4L with no problems disengaging back into 2H.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:48 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kso818 View Post
Same thing happened to me the other day but I was driving on snow. I eventually tried a couple times and it eventually disengaged the 4H. Since then I have shifted into 4H and 4L with no problems disengaging back into 2H.
Seriously, in snow? I've been interested, off and on, in moving from my 4th gen to a new 5th sometime, but this 4wd thing makes me nervous. And this is NOT a stupid "mine's better than yours" post. I've had 3 4runners, and love the 5th gen, but must admit I'm confused at times by the part time 4wd. I could easily live with it, but snow? That shouldn't happen, right? I really don't know....
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:06 PM #10
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I think its normal just something to get used to and don't worry about it.

My Tundra always needed some movement to switch to 2H to 4H and back. Never would work at a stand still.

I've honestly never switched into 4H in the 4R yet but I'm expecting the same thing.
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:46 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoCaFroal View Post
Hey everyone, I sometimes put my 4R into 4H on pavement for no real reason other than to keep the gears lubed up and used. Today, I put it in 4h and turned a corner. Now it feels like its binding and wont disengage out of 4H as the light on the dash stays on. Shifting the lever to 2H doesn't feel like it's engaging properly either. I tested shifting into 4L and the proper lights on the dash lit up also.

Is this a case where I need to move forward and backwards a few feet to let the transfer case disengage or do I need to get it to the dealership? Most of the threads I found on this were for older gen 4r's so I wasn't sure if the fix/issue was the same.
Are you sayin' your dropping the lever down while the vehicle is moving and you're turning at speed? Yeah maybe stop that. At a stop being the important part. Move the lever down when the vehicle is stopped, in drive. Once you move straight forward through the lights or whatever it will engage the front end quickly but again - avoid any 'sharp' turns on dry pavement if possible, wait for a rainy day to try it? You're not going to destroy it but why stress the driveline in this manner if you don't have to, save it for off road!

If you're moving the lever down while driving expect to feel a little resistance or a defined click as it goes into place, everything is turning so it won't be like butter. Shifting back up while moving however should be like butter but don't expect the front end to disengage right away as someone mentioned, there needs to be some torque transfer, come off the gas then back on it which should do it right away.

Awesome reference here:
4wheel systems.pdf - Google Drive

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YouTube
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Old 02-27-2019, 07:54 PM #12
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Truthfully dry pavement will not do anything to hurt the 4x4 system. I've driven miles of slickrock in Utah in 4Lo, and so has everyone else who's wheeled in Moab. No problems.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:00 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bftfan View Post
I had the exact same problem last week. After not coming out of 4H I switched it 2 wd and the light kept blinking and blinking. After a few miles (and what seemed forever) it switched back into 2wd with a decisive CLUNK. All was well again. Hope you're as lucky.

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Were you accelerating while you waited for 4h to disengage? Mine usually disengages pretty quickly when I let off the gas while moving.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:55 PM #14
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Were you accelerating while you waited for 4h to disengage? Mine usually disengages pretty quickly when I let off the gas while moving.
^ This. You need to ease off the gas pedal and "unload" the driveline and it will disengage.
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Old 02-27-2019, 09:03 PM #15
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Shifting between 2wd and 4wd as well as using the e-locker is rarely instantaneous.

Slowing down or stopping or accelerating can all help.
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