I cant shift into 4wheel drive at all on 96 dodge 1500

35

Asked by Feb 20, 2012 at 10:26 AM about the 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 2 Dr ST 4WD Extended Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I just bought a 96 dodge ram 1500 with 123,000 miles on it, it wont shift into 4
wheel drive. I put truck in neutral and the floor shifter wont move at all. Is there
anything i can do to lube it or check to see whats wrong without going to a
mechanic??

9 Answers

725

it sounds like the linkage for the transfer case is seized. try lubricating it with a penetrating oil like pb blaster, and trying to then move it, if it doesnt free up then youll need a new shift linkage

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
965

Do you mean 4 high ,4 low or both. To shift into 4 high your transmission should be in drive (D) under 55 mph. 4 low is when you should be stopped with the transmission in neutral(N).

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
965

Sorry forgot to add that Nick answer could be right as well , but whatever it is, you should never have to force it as hard as you can. So don't try that.

35

i havent tried it while in drive and where do i lubricate it? I will try moving to 4 high while in drive. thanks

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
725

get under your truck and coming through the cab floor and attaching to the transfercase will be your shift linkage

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
35

alright, i tried it in drive and same result, i will check under the truck. thanks fellas

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
965

Yeah sorry it wasn't that easy !!! There could be a branch or anything jammed in the linkage keeping it from moving freely and or something hit it and bent it. I've never seen linkage corroded solid but i suppose if it were never used that could very well happen.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

If this still comes up on anybody's radar, I was wondering if anyone knows what resolved the problem? I have a '99 with the same problem. Everything had worked fine until I was driving and took it out of 4H. I was only going about 15mpg. Since then it will shift easily into all the other positions and function appropriately, except 4H. Any ideas? I'm guessing it's probably something within the transfer case, but I was hoping it's not. All the linkage is solid and it "almost" goes, but can't.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
10

Nevermind, I had to change out the heater coil and in the process I had to disconnect the 4x4 shifter. Come to find out one of the screws had come loose and was sitting beneath the shifter preventing it from going into 4H. That was my fix. I hope if you're looking on here yours is that simple too.

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