How do I get my 02 explorer out of 4x4 so that it won't squalk the tires when parking.


Asked by Sep 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM about the 2002 Ford Explorer XLS 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I got an 02 explorer and I can’t seem to get it out of 4x4.  I don't really care, but the person who bought it from me thinks it is tragic when he parks in a parking lot and all his tires are squalking.  There is no illuminated 4x4 auto indicator, but the 4x4 high and 4x4 low light up correctly.  I put it on the lift, and I can’t turn the front drive shaft independent of the rear drive shaft.  So it’s in 4x4.  I'm wondering if the little wire in the transfer case should be hot, then that activates the locking mechanism, or vise versa.  My local dealership just sold me a control module in front of the glove box which did not fix it.  They say it needs a transfer case and it’s discontinued.  If that's the case, it should be serviceable and I could change the activation coil or whatever it is called that activates it.  Any insight into this issue?

5 Answers


If I am not mistaken, there's a 12 volt motor that activates the 2wd to the 4wd on the transfer case. Check that out.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Bmark is right,it is the 4x4 actuator on transfer case.


That only shifts from high to low with a neutral inbetween. This morning I put it on the lift and tested the little wire going into the transfer case. With my circuit tester, it lit up green meaning that it is not hot. In hopes of solving the problem I ran a jumper wire from the battery and quickly arced it to see if it is like an A/C clutch. It made so sound but did put out some gentle arcs. I eventurally just clipped a hot wire to it and tried to rotate the front and rear drive shafts independantly and no luck. I guess I gotta buy a transfer case and it just seems rediculous because the car works so well except for the non disengaging 4x4.


Ok I ordered a used transfer case and installed it. The problem is fixed. I am curious about what failed in the locked transfer case so I disassembled it. Come to find out, it has been worked on before and when someone assembled it, the three ball bearings that lock the clutch pack were mis-positioned. (there was two balls in one saddle and zero in another and one correctly positioned.) The two in one kept the clutch pack sandwiched tight, therefore never releasing it. I didn't think to take pictures but I do got an extra used transfer case to fit an 02 Explorer XLS. :)


Well, if that don't beat all!! I'm glad you have solved the problem. How much did the transfer case run you and what part of the USA do you live?

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