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Unread 03-06-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
GorJess
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Engaging 4WD on 91 Wrangler

Hi guys, new owner here. I live in South Lake Tahoe and we are getting hit pretty good with a snow storm. I bought this jeep from my friend and her mom said the 4WD should be serviced before I used it. I was sliding all over climbing a nasty road to work today and may need to engage the 4WD tonight to get home. I am just a little nervous about breaking something. What goes into a 4WD service and what type of price range will I be looking at on average?? Thanks for any help in advance xo

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Unread 03-06-2013, 11:22 AM   #2
GorJess
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and how huge of a risk am I taking if I due pop it into 4wd?
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Unread 03-06-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
dralphy
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Have you tried engaging it yet? The transfer case might be messed up.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 11:41 AM   #4
GorJess
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No I havent tried engaging it at all, i was a little nervous about doing it because they said it should be serviced first..
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Unread 03-06-2013, 11:58 AM   #5
dralphy
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Well I would try engaging it before you actually need it. If you go to engage it going down/up that hill and it doesn't work, it could be catastrophic.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
Michaelgoesrawr
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Check the gear ratio's in the axles. They need to be the same and there should be a tag hanging off of a bolt. Chances are they are the same if your friends mom never did anything with it. Grab a 32mm socket(I think) and pull out the top bolt on the transfercase to see if it's full. It would be a good time to change the oil at this point. Grab 3qts of ATF and you're good to go. If the gear ratios are the same, and the transfercase has fluid, pull the handle into 4HI and see what it does. If you have any problems report back and someone will get back to you. These things are stupid easy to work on most of the time so there is no point in taking it to a shop just yet.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:35 PM   #7
GorJess
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Thanks Michael! I will check it out.. Not sure if I can do all of that before I drive home since we have white out conditions. But will def make sure it gets taken care of. Hopefully I wont need 4wd tonight.. eeep
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:45 PM   #8
Michaelgoesrawr
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Well, call up your friends mom and ask what she knows about it all. There is a good chance it is all original. Especially if she was the only owner or knows the prior, or if she used 4x4 herself. I'm thinking the only problem you will have is with the vacuum lines but that is for after you know if 4x4 works or not. Be advised only two tires(one front and one back) will have power in 4x4. It is the nature of the open differential beast and it is completely normal and nothing to worry about at this point.

Since you are on limited time, just try to make sure the gear ratios are the same and attempt to make sure the t-case is full. If you are going a short distance it's not super urgent to check the fluid but it's something that should be done when time is had. Best of luck to you. I wish we would get some snow down here!
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:47 PM   #9
grandboost98
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It could be something as simple as worn out ujoints. You can visually check those before your ride home. If that were the case, I would use it to get through the tricky spot and then continue on in 2wd
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:50 PM   #10
GorJess
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Michael haaha plennnttyyy of snow to spare! Yes I will check it out.. I am pretty positive it is original being they were the only owners.

@Grandboost.. I know the U-Joints arent worn out because I greased them on Friday
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:52 PM   #11
grandboost98
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Did you check axle and drive shaft u joints?

Best bet would be like Michaelgoesrawr said, get ahold of her and see why she thinks it needs servicing before use. Otherwise its a guessing game from here
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Unread 03-06-2013, 12:56 PM   #12
GorJess
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She said it should be serviced because its only been used a few times.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 01:03 PM   #13
Michaelgoesrawr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GorJess
She said it should be serviced because its only been used a few times.
Yeah, I didn't even think about the u-joints but I don't think those will give you a problem. Since its been used so little the most I would worry about is fluid in the tcase. But honestly, I'd just drive it home and use 4x4 as needed.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 07:09 PM   #14
Anticanman
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You will want to make sure the front axle engages via the actuator built ito it. The vacuum lines are prone to decay after all these years so pop it into 4 high and drive ahead in a straight line for three feet. If the 4x4 light comes on you're probably ok. Visually check to see that there are connectors at the cad. If I had a pic of one on a '91 I would post it.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 07:58 PM   #15
jay-h
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First, don't panic unnecessarily. Try dropping it into 4wd in a safe area. Any strange behavior (some clunks, especially when going around corners on pavement are normal). Perhaps also if you put it into 4wd, it might do 'nothing' which suggests that the vacuum unit is not working right. No real harm is done in that case. Sometimes you can simply get the front axle into 4wd by running a vacuum hose to the correct connector (from memory, I think it's the left side but I could be wrong). You can safely leave the axle engaged, just using the transfer case to go in and out of 4wd. No harm will be done in that case.


Unless an axle was changed, you don't have to worry about ratios. Yes you could have worn u joints, but if the 4wd was hardly ever used, this is unlikely.

Bottom line... try it. If it behaves sensibly, drive it home. Then worry about details.
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