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Hi All,
Sorry I posted this on a facebook group so if you've already answered, thank you soo much!! So over the weekend my 4x4 would not engage. Shifted in to both 4Hi and 4Lo. Tried rolling backwards and forwards and starting the FJ several times and no such luck. No lights come on, but the level does move as it should. This is a 07 auto 124k miles built March 07. My normal mechanic was booked so I took it to a Toyota dealership. They told me I don't have an actuator (which is what I thought the problem was) and that I need a new transfer case and quoted $4000 for parts and labor. I called the service advisor and spoke with him and the mechanic and they claim my FJ does not have an actuator so the issue is definitely the transfer case. They claim some FJs have a lever and no actuator and some have a button and an actuator. I have an 07 and a 12 and both have a lever. He then sent me a photo of my FJ saying look - no actuator. The photo is below - can anyone tell if this is where the actuator would be? I love my FJ but know next to nothing about cars. Thank you soo much!!

And any ideas on remedies or recommendations on mechanics in San Diego CA :grin

 

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I have an '07 auto. Mine has a front diff. actuator. I know because I've had to have it replaced. I'm no mechanic either. I'd get a 2nd opinion. Just my 2 pennies.
 

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Mine is an 07 automatic. Haven't experienced a front diff actuator failure. But.. My 4wd does engage. Used it a lot.
Seems odd that you would have 4wd , a transfer case and a shifter for it.. but no way to engage it.
Unless a past owner decided to make a 2wd out of a 4wd..
 

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That dealer lieing sack of ****. Stay away from them. If you have an automatic, you have an actuator.

Before you shell out money for an actuator, check the switches on the transfer case. There are three of them and can also effect the engaging of 4wd.

There are serveral threads on the forum that can help you troubleshoot the stitches and actuator. Both troubleshooting and repair of either can be done easily yourself.
 

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They told me I don't have an actuator (which is what I thought the problem was) and that I need a new transfer case and quoted $4000 for parts and labor.
My 3/07 auto had an actuator. We left it plugged in after all my mods were done to control the lights for the system. It fell out of it's zip tie holster somewhere on the Rubicon! Not sure how your's would go missing?? Is the case engaging 4wd and your lights just not turning on??

$4k is WAY too much for a transfer case. Much cheaper from a junkyard. I wish you luck in finding a mechanic (and your actuator).

Edit: wrong black box
 

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As I understand things, all joking aside. The transfer case is mechanically engaged with a chain driving the front differential. From there the front axle engages via the actuator. So, I would not say the shifting fork is broken. Assuming you feel the detente clicks. In the case of the chain being broken, you would hear a god awful noise. I think the light on the dash comes on when the actuator is fully seated.

There must be a switch inside the transfer to activate the front axle actuator. So check that.
 

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I'm not a 4x4 aficionado of old, nor do I know much about my drivetrain... But I am learning.

Wasn't there something I read on here about how you should drive in 4 wheel for 10 miles every thirty days to keep everything lubricated. It was my understanding that you use it or loose it. If I remember that someone had not used the 4 wheel for years and when they really needed it, it would not engage.

Basically the stuff that moves inside to engage was stuck and fouled due to lack of use. When it was cleaned up and exercised, I think it worked just fine. Maybe I was dreaming about this and it never happened, at least it did not happen here...
 

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I'm not a 4x4 aficionado of old, nor do I know much about my drivetrain... But I am learning.

Wasn't there something I read on here about how you should drive in 4 wheel for 10 miles every thirty days to keep everything lubricated. It was my understanding that you use it or loose it. If I remember that someone had not used the 4 wheel for years and when they really needed it, it would not engage.

Basically the stuff that moves inside to engage was stuck and fouled due to lack of use. When it was cleaned up and exercised, I think it worked just fine. Maybe I was dreaming about this and it never happened, at least it did not happen here...
You are correct,
 

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My 3/07 auto had an actuator. We left it plugged in after all my mods were done to control the lights for the system. It fell out of it's zip tie holster somewhere on the Rubicon! Not sure how your's would go missing?? Is the case engaging 4wd and your lights just not turning on??

$4k is WAY too much for a transfer case. Much cheaper from a junkyard. I wish you luck in finding a mechanic (and your actuator).
That is on the differential not the transfer case.
 

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I'm not a 4x4 aficionado of old, nor do I know much about my drivetrain... But I am learning.

Wasn't there something I read on here about how you should drive in 4 wheel for 10 miles every thirty days to keep everything lubricated. It was my understanding that you use it or loose it. If I remember that someone had not used the 4 wheel for years and when they really needed it, it would not engage.

Basically the stuff that moves inside to engage was stuck and fouled due to lack of use. When it was cleaned up and exercised, I think it worked just fine. Maybe I was dreaming about this and it never happened, at least it did not happen here...
There are 3 sensors on the transfer case that can and do go bad often from not engaging 4wd and other things. You need to look into them first. The sensors themselves are roughly $65 plus labor if you don't think you can do it yourself.

I'm on my phone right now or I'd link you to some threads on the subject. If you search for low lock sensor, low lock switch or transfer case switch you will find info on it.
 

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There are 3 sensors on the transfer case that can and do go bad often from not engaging 4wd and other things. You need to look into them first. The sensors themselves are roughly $65 plus labor if you don't think you can do it yourself.

I'm on my phone right now or I'd link you to some threads on the subject. If you search for low lock sensor, low lock switch or transfer case switch you will find info on it.
Thanks Mo, you made it happen captain!
 

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Some have put it into 4Hi then back to 2Hi.... repeatedly (like 40 times)... to help unstick some components... that's free and can't hurt anything.

I would also try when you engage your 4wd to ease off the gas and let the vehicle weight shift from the back to the front (if you were going forward). That helps me typically.

In 4Lo does the gearing change? You should have the immediate extra torque and higher rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Some have put it into 4Hi then back to 2Hi.... repeatedly (like 40 times)... to help unstick some components... that's free and can't hurt anything.

I would also try when you engage your 4wd to ease off the gas and let the vehicle weight shift from the back to the front (if you were going forward). That helps me typically.

In 4Lo does the gearing change? You should have the immediate extra torque and higher rpms.
I'll try this one. Nothing appears to change....but I'll try it again. Is it safe to put it in 4lo in the parking lot?
 

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I'll try this one. Nothing appears to change....but I'll try it again. Is it safe to put it in 4lo in the parking lot?
Only if you go in a straight line!!! Don't turn while in 4 wheel drive on pavement.
If you've got a dirt road, dirt lot or soft grass, it's better.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Only if you go in a straight line!!! Don't turn while in 4 wheel drive on pavement.
If you've got a dirt road, dirt lot or soft grass, it's better.
None of those is a southern California business park:frown
 

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1. Dealer doesn't know anything about your FJ. Run away from them, be afraid.
2. Go find some dirt (soft, slick dirt or loose gravel where you can spin the tires easily in 2WD) and drive in circles, left and right while taking the FJ in and out of FWD.
3. You'll never get the splines on the right side front axle to line up driving in a straight line.
4. Use your 4WD system fairly regularly so this doesn't happen again.
5. Learn how the system works and you won't expect it to perform differently than it's designed to.

YMMV RON
 

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I'll try this one. Nothing appears to change....but I'll try it again. Is it safe to put it in 4lo in the parking lot?
It's not going to explode on you.... just don't do donuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I tried taking it in and out of 4hi about 30 times in a row and nothing changed :(
 
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