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Discussion Starter #1
So folks, I have the Army Green 2011 auto, 110K, and most of the time when I switch 4hi the dash light doesn't come on. I go to 4lo, no light but I am in 4lo or 4 hi respectively. I ATRAC, rear lock no lights but I haven't verified they are not working/engaged. Sometimes the 4X4 light comes on...I hate intermittent issues.
Any ideas, thoughts? If you say I need to use these features more, you're right.

I know one or more of you have been here, what is the cure.

Thanks in advance,
 

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So folks, I have the Army Green 2011 auto, 110K, and most of the time when I switch 4hi the dash light doesn't come on. I go to 4lo, no light but I am in 4lo or 4 hi respectively. I ATRAC, rear lock no lights but I haven't verified they are not working/engaged. Sometimes the 4X4 light comes on...I hate intermittent issues.
Any ideas, thoughts? If you say I need to use these features more, you're right.

I know one or more of you have been here, what is the cure.

Thanks in advance,
Are you ABSOLUTELY sure the front differential is shifting into 4WD mode? How do you know? It's obvious when the transfer case is in LOW range, but less obvious that the front wheels are delivering power unless you see/feel them spinning.

If the ADD is actually shifting the front differential into 4WD mode, then the 4WD sensing switch on the transfer case (a common failure) is not the culprit. There is a position-sensing switch on the ADD actuator that turns on the light when the diff has shifted into 4WD mode, so I'd check the ADD wiring harness in the vicinity of the front diff, and disconnect the ADD harness connector looking for corrosion on the connector contacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are you ABSOLUTELY sure the front differential is shifting into 4WD mode? How do you know? .
When in "4hi" I feel the bind turning a very slow speed. Truly haven't put them into a slippage situation yet.
If I haven't used 4WD in a while I will throw it in on rainy days doing a mostly straight shot. The last time, 2 days ago the light didn't come on so I pulled over into a parking lot and played w/ it a bit, 4h,4L all seemingly engaged but no dash lights. Then it came on, the 4X4 light. Push it out of 4h - 2hand back to 4h...no light.
 

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I'll have to drop a skid plate to look at it, see if I can make time soon.

Thank you, if you have anymore thoughts let me know.
In the situation where you were fairly certain the front diff was delivering power to the front wheels (binding while turning sharply at low speed), was the 4WD light on?

As a simple exercise to help eliminate an intermittent condition with the 4WD range switch on the transfer case, just abruptly shift the transfer case lever between 2WD and 4WD HI range 20-50 times to "exercise" the switch contacts and break through any tarnish that may have built up from exposure to sulfurous gear oil seeping past the rubber diaphragm in the switch. On intermittent switches that I have cut open, I have seen the internal brass contacts tarnished to an absolutely black color from exposure to a tiny amount of gear oil.

A more positive way to confirm transfer case switch function is to unplug the switch connector and measure the switch internal resistance using a good quality digital multimeter. The resistance in the "open" condition (transfer case in 2WD) should be several megohms, and less than 0.5 ohm when the switch is closed (transfer case in 4WD HI mode). If testing using a multimeter, have someone shift the transfer case back and forth between 2WD and 4WD modes a dozen times to make sure the switch closes consistently to a low resistance state.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In the situation where you were fairly certain the front diff was delivering power to the front wheels (binding while turning sharply at low speed), was the 4WD light on?.

No, 90% of the time. I did get the light to turn on 1 time out of 10. Since then I have tried your advice, which I greatly appreciate BTW, of abruptly and vigorously shifting the lever from 2H to 4H and back 20-50 times and now not once has the light come on.

When I have a chance I'll pull a skid and look at the connections for tarnish then and clean test and reassemble.

I'll update you on the results.

Thank you again,
 

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No, 90% of the time. I did get the light to turn on 1 time out of 10. Since then I have tried your advice, which I greatly appreciate BTW, of abruptly and vigorously shifting the lever from 2H to 4H and back 20-50 times and now not once has the light come on.

When I have a chance I'll pull a skid and look at the connections for tarnish then and clean test and reassemble.

I'll update you on the results.

Thank you again,
The "tarnished contacts" I was talking about are INSIDE the sealed switch, not the external contacts where the connector attaches. The 4WD mode switch and the diff lock enable switches are identical internally.

See photo #10 in the link below, showing the brass contact plate. On another switch I disassembled, that had more gear oil in it, the contact plate was black with tarnish.

https://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/transmissions-transfer-cases-traction-aids/432729-failure-analysis-failed-transfer-case-switch-non-operational-rear-diff-lock.html

Just for the hell of it, I'd exercise the switch another 50 times and see if any further change takes place.
 

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You say the light finally came on....

It could be what you suspected initially, that you just aren't using it enough (hopefully not something that actually needs to be fixed as listed above).

You'll be getting some snow pretty soon so get out there and use it.

Some people have also sat in one spot and put the transfer case shifter into 4Hi and back into 2Hi repeatedly... 50 times or so.... with good results.

I would just suggest putting it into 4Hi and driving it.... ease off the gas a few times to shift the weight of the vehicle.
Once the light comes on (could take a bit) stay in 4Hi for a while.
Hopefully all the above is done on gravel or a lower traction area.

If you ever do a road trip north drop me a line.

:cheers:
 

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You say the light finally came on.... (snip)
No, the OP stated that AFTER "exercising" the transfer case switch, the 4WD light wouldn't turn on at all. Prior to that, the light would turn on slightly less than 1 out of 10 tries.

So not clear yet if the problem is the transfer case switch, the ADD actuator not actuating, the position-sensing switch in the ADD not closing, or some wiring harness problem.

Measuring the resistance of the transfer case switch is by far the easiest "next step" in troubleshooting.
 
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