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4x4 gear shift problems

I have a 2000 Dodge Ram p/u 4x4 1500 Sport model truck. Last winter I noticed it would come out of 4wd into 2 wd while driving. I kept having to put it back into gear, but it would continue to slip out. Then later, when it sat still I tried the other 4x4 gears and it wouldn’t move at all into low 4. So I took my foot and shoved it forward and it finally moved into low 4. What is going on with this? It was working just fine and suddenly it started doing this. I have low mileage and the truck looks like new; only 47k miles. Shouldn’t be acting up on this low a mileage. Please help.

This is bad news in need of professional attention.

I figured that, but still want to know what is wrong so I can go in to the repair with some sort of idea of what it might it is and how much it might cost.

It could be almost anything, this is going to take someone to actually look at it and any cost estimates from anyone but the repair place are meaningless.

Take it to a shop that understands 4 WD vehicles. As stated, the problem could be serious and you need an expert to diagnose it.

You were wise to contact us even though we can’t tell you exactly what’s wrong. In any case stop driving it.

…go in to the repair with some sort of idea of what it might it is and how much it might cost.

If you want to give them the impression that you know something about it, you might say you’re hoping it’s not going to need a new transfer case, which could run you well over a grand.

By the way, have you done a lot of shifting between 4 and 2 and H and L? And while moving?

Not a lot of shifting. Just once to put it in 4wd and once to take it out when I’m done driving it. It is made to shift while moving or sitting.

If you mean have I tried to shift it while moving since this happened, the answer is NO. Only white sitting still. When it first started slipping out of 4x back to 2 last winter, it would do that while driving, so I would put it back in 4x. I had to do that constantly till I made it back home. Since then, I’ve been driving it and it just stays in 2x.

Is this truck rated for full time AWD?

If OP is driving this thing on paved roads in 4 wheel drive that may be the problem.

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My early 70’s Ford 4WD truck has a similar problem, won’t stay put in 4WD LO. In my case it’s caused by a problem where a piece of metal that is supposed to be bonded to the shift lever flange right at the top of the transfer case has failed, which causes the shift movement not to be transferred to where it needs to go inside the transfer case. There’s a simple solution, replace the shift lever and flange, but that’s too much work for the amont of time I need 4WD LO, so I just use a bungee cord. I expect if you want to actually fix this, the transfer case will have to come out and the fix done on the bench.

That was my point.

No. You have to put it into 4wd.

I don’t drive it in anything but snow, ice, and hard driving rain.

By the way, this problem started after a local mechanic worked in the transmission area. He replaced a couple of sensors that went bad and the transmission pan and oil. I noticed later (after I started having 4x4 issues) that he had also replaced the transaxle oil. It’s on my bill. My question now is this: Is it possible he messed up something in the transaxle? Why would he need to replace oil in the transaxle when opening up the transmission.

The transfer case shift linkage may be out of adjustment.

Here’s the procedure to adjust the transfer case linkage so it shifts properly.


Thank you!!

4wd on snow and ice or mud is OK, but if you are on pavement even in a hard driving rain, you need to keep it in 2wd