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4Runner 4lo not engaging/ grinding

Hello, I have a 98 toyota 4runner. Limited, automatic transmission, 4wd, 6cly. 3.4L.
Recently my 4runner was towed and after picking it up from the impound lot I went to test the 4wd. This model has a separate shifter for 4wd with an on the fly button which you press to engage 4hi. Well, when I went to test it the 4wd the light did not come on and I felt no “clunk” as I normally do when engaging the 4wd, (this is even after driving a few feet.) So I went to test the 4lo. I put the transmission in neutral and pushed the 4wd shifter forward to the neutral position as I tired to go one more to the 4lo position it began producing a horrible grinding sound. I didn’t push the shifter all the way forward for fear of further damaging something so I went to put it back into 4hi and again this horrid grinding sound. Basically the 4runner was stuck with the transfer case in neutral? It wouldn’t even go into park with out making this horrible sound, so I had to shut everything down and put it back into park and hi mode. When I turned it on again I tried it again and still the same result.
The 4runner works just fine in 2wd. And eventually the 4wd light came on after driving a few blocks with the button pressed although, I’m not sure the 4wd was even engaged because I never felt the “clunk.” It is still grinding when trying to shift into 4lo. Fluids are changed regularly and it is very well maintained. It has 228XXX miles. Please help!

You need to find out in what manner the vehicle was towed. If towed in the incorrect manner damage to the transmission/transfer case can occur.

You can read it here about if the vehicle needs to be towed.


Ok so it seems like they towed it the right way. What else could be causing this? What could be wrong?

. I would take it to a garage, put it on a lift and engage the 4wd to see where the problem lies. Otherwise, we would be guessing where the problem lies.