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Unread 09-04-2010, 05:31 AM   #1
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2008 WK 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hills of Pa., Pennsylvania
Posts: 338
4WD Sensor Problem - Need your Advice / input.....

4WD Sensor Screw Up!!!!


Have a 2000 Wrangler w/ a 231 Transfer Case. Since I bought it in bad shape, I've been fixing things as I find them. So, my 4WD "Part Time" light wasn't lighting up when I put it in 4WD. Under the Jeep I go again and find the plug not connected to the sensor and both are so corroded that neither is functional. I got another plug and wired it on...checked the light by shorting ther terminals and dash light is OK. Ordered a Doreman sensor, got it and checked it with my meter and the switch worked OK. EASY fix, I thought. Took out the old OEM sensor and installed the Doreman. Turned on key, put it in 4WD...NO light. After some investigation, I found that the length from the ball sensor to the shoulder was less on the Doreman. So, the ball is not far enough into the TC to be pushed up by the 4WD leverin the TC. I am now having the Doreman machined to be the same length from shoulder to ball tip as the OEM. This should set it far enough into the TC so the lever will be able to depress the ball and activate the light. I DID check the Transfer case ...carefully with a mirror & light...lever does come up when the unit is put into 4wd.....goes back down when put into 2WD.
1. Has anyone else had a problem like this???? or with a Doreman 4WD sensor????
2. I will let this Forem know how the machined sensor works.

Is there anything I'm missing??????
Any advice would be appreciated..this is the easiest fix that didn't work.............

hdsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-04-2010, 03:10 PM   #2
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
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Way too much work for something that non-essential.
Why didn't you just buy a stock replacement switch?
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Unread 09-04-2010, 03:33 PM   #3
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
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And I thought I had all the time in the world?
GOLENJEEPTJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-04-2010, 05:42 PM   #4
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2008 WK 
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You got it!!!!

I do things for several reasons.....
1. I'm retired so I HAVE the time
2. As an Engineer, the more I play, the more I find out the details of how things work (Gotta love this....)
3. It's not the money....it's the challenge to make things work that don't want to work......a NECESSITY for Jeep owners..

AND, some day I'll maybe be able to help someone who has a problem in this area.

I do ENJOY my Jeep................Hope you can enjoy yours as much........

I'll keep you posted.....................
hdsport is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-04-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
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Location: Miami
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I need to change mines, My 4WD does not go on when I go 4x4. I never bothered since you know when your 4WD anyhow not like you need the light to tell you.

How difficult is it to just swap the switch?
elsapo is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 09-04-2010, 08:24 PM   #6
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Simple to Replace.....

The replacement is really quite easy.

On the 231 Transfer Case, the 4WD switch is located at the front of the TC, driver's side, on top. You have to be a little dexterous to get in there with a wrench (must reach up over the skid plate & around the front driveshaft) but once you set it up it's quite easy( a mirror is a must to see what you are doing). Just unplug the electric connection...(at this point, you can short out the two terminals in the plug with a paper clip, turn your key to "on", and the dash light should come on to indicate that you are in 4WD)....at this time it is NOT necessary to put the selector lever in 4WD.
If the light goes on, the switch is not working. (You can test the switch by using a meter w/ a continuity setting....push the ball in and you should get continuity through the two terminals....if not, the switch is bad. Do this before you install the new one. You may have another problem and could return the switch if unused).
Now, slide an open end wrench on to the hex base of the switch, all you need is a little room to break open the threads and the rest is simple. Be sure that there isn't any debris laying on the top of the TC that can get into the TC when the old switch is removed. I used an air jet to clean the area. Ensure that the "o" ring is in place and screw the new one in place & "lock" it in. Maybe a 1/2 - 1 hour job max. Be sure to hook up the electric connection (I always put a little veseline on the rubber seal).
Check the 4WD light by turning the key to "on" and place the 4WD selector in 4H. Light should go on.

Refer to my original post...mine didn't (what a surprise). Hence, the investigation.
What fun...........It doesn't get any better than this.
Let us know how you make out.
hdsport is offline   Reply With Quote
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