Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Timmo
Need to get out more
Posts: 2070
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 10:45 am

Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Timmo » February 23rd, 2011, 7:25 pm

I thought i'd finally do a write up on this as I know of a few that have had this issue since I fixed mine.

This is a permanent fix to the all too common,”Flashing 4wd Light” on the dash of our Challengers.It can be due to a multitude of things,Faulty Vacuum Solenoids,Faulty sensors or switches on either the Transfer case or Front Diff,Vacuum leaks in the system or as it was in my case,a combination of a faulty Diff sensor and a Leaking Front Diff Vacuum Actuator.This solution will solve any of these problems for good for a minimal outlay and give you a more versatile system with increased longevity.

You will need basic tools such as spanners and 1/2" drive sockets,circlip pliers,allen keys,screwdrivers and preferably a welder (or access to one or you will need to get a fab shop to do a very basic weld for you).

Firstly,go to your local 4wd shop and order a set of AVM Free Wheeling hubs (to suit Gen 1 / 2 Pajero as these fit the Challenger) or get a some 2nd hand factory Pajero hubs.I got the Heavy Duty hubs from ARB and cost me about $220 from memory.I think the standard ones can be had for less than $200.Remove the existing front hubs and store them somewhere should you choose to revert back to the original setup at a later date (or if you break a hub).Fit your new AVM hubs in their place.Very straightforward job and should be done in an hour or so.

Then remove the bash plates/stone trays from the underside of the front end.On the drivers side of the front diff just adjacent to the diff centre you will see a heat shield and behind it lies a vacuum actuator.This actuates a rod that engages the front diff,with the rod in the diff free wheels,with it out the diff is engaged.The vacuum actuator needs to be removed from the diff and chucked out.To do this you disconnect the 2 vacuum lines going to the diaphragm and plug them at their source (which is the 2 solenoids located on the drivers side chassis rail beneath the brake booster).The actuator connects to the rod by sitting in a groove with a pin through it and a metal sleeve over the top to stop the pin falling out.Pull back the rubber boot to reveal this.Slide the sleeve back and remove the pin,keeping it aside for later.Undo the 2 bolts holding the actuator to the diff and it will now come out.This is where a bit of fabrication comes into play.I found it easier to cut off the end of the actuator rod and the bracket that held it in place.You need to make a bracket to hold the diff actuation rod all the way out to keep the front diff permanently engaged (this is why you need the free wheeling hubs to make it efficient,otherwise the front diff and shafts will be turning unnecessarily creating extra load).I used a piece of steel flat bar 20mmx3mm and made a bracket to go off the 2 bolt mounts for the heat shield and welded the end of the actuator rod to it.It takes a bit of trial and error to get it right but once its done,bolt it in place engage the diff rod to the bracket you’ve made and insert the pin.Push the sleeve back over the assembly then pull the rubber boot back over it all and pull it tight with a cable tie.

Put all your underbody protection back on.

The next step is the most rewarding yet the fiddliest.Remove the instrument cluster and take out the light globe that is for the 4wd activation light-its not needed now.Reassemble the dash and your done.

The system now operates like any other 4wd system you would find in a ‘cruiser,Patrol etc etc. When you want to engage 4wd,you get out and lock the hubs in,then move the transfer lever to either 4H or 4L and drive off. The vacuum operated solenoids,actuators and transfer/diff switches are now obsolete……it is a completely mechanical system with no more electronic or vacuum components to fail and no more flickering 4wd light…….4wd is either engaged or not and you know this by the position of the transfer lever.You can even go to the extent of removing the solenoids and wiring should you wish.

Just so you all know,I did this mod to my car about 12 months ago and it has worked flawlessly,as I expected,ever since.

It also increases the life of your CV’s and CV boots as they no longer turn when 4wd is not engaged only when the hubs are locked,there is less load on the drivetrain which may show as a slight increase in Fuel economy.

The only downside (although I don’t see it as being an issue) is you now have to get out of the car to engage 4wd.If you leave the hubs locked in you can still switch from 4H to 2H and vice-versa whilst on the move but will still need to come to a complete stop to engage 4L.


Hope this helps anyone that is having a similar issue.
Last edited by Timmo on February 23rd, 2011, 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Cheers,

Nathan

Timmo
Need to get out more
Posts: 2070
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 10:45 am

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Timmo » February 23rd, 2011, 7:36 pm

The alternative to this is to either take it to someone and have them replace every switch and solenoid in the car hoping that it works or just put up with the flickering light and clicking relays................and a 4wd system that sometimes doesn't engage or sometimes engages itself.
Cheers,

Nathan

Sam Pato
Avid Poster
Posts: 532
Joined: January 4th, 2011, 10:38 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Sam Pato » February 24th, 2011, 1:31 pm

I was with you right up to the fabircating and welding part - an area where my skills amount to very little.

Sounds like the sort of thing that would be done not infrequently - wonder if anyone makes a kit to take care of the backet you need to keep the diff actuating rod out?

Much prefer the idea of a mechanical system - I'd rather have hand turn hubs than an intemittent 4wd system.

Are there any negative effects on keeping the front diff engaged all the time?

Sam
1999 Challenger, with Dual airbags and LSD
Mods: Does a roof rack count?

Timmo
Need to get out more
Posts: 2070
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 10:45 am

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Timmo » February 24th, 2011, 3:22 pm

Not to my knowledge and there should never be,like I said,mine has been fine ever since.

The diff isn't "engaged" and rotating as such,it is still disengaged by the free wheeling hubs and transfer case so in normal 2H driving the diff,front tailshaft and CV shafts are all at rest.

It just keeps the diff centre engaged with the front tailshaft just like every other 4wd out on the market.

As for a kit,good luck! We can't even get some normal run-of-the-mill aftermarket accessories let alone a Challenger specific and quite obscure item.

The welding aspect isn't much,to be honest there is every chance you could fabricate a bracket just by bending up some steel bar.I just welded mine because I have a TIG welder and it was a much easier option for me to tack it all up on the car so it was right the first time.
Cheers,

Nathan

Sam Pato
Avid Poster
Posts: 532
Joined: January 4th, 2011, 10:38 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Sam Pato » February 24th, 2011, 10:50 pm

Nathan,

Thanks for taking the time to share the knowledge.

I reckon I need to take the time to pull it appart and once I've seen it I'll work it out. $220- (or even $300-) to sort out a reliable solution seems like a good deal so i's got to be worth the effort.

I'm planning to hit the beach this weekend - hopefully it'll hold up till I buy some time.

I'm sure you can't be the pioneer on this and there are some handy lads who post on thsi forum - would be interesting to hear what others have done.
1999 Challenger, with Dual airbags and LSD
Mods: Does a roof rack count?

Timmo
Need to get out more
Posts: 2070
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 10:45 am

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Timmo » February 25th, 2011, 9:23 am

A lot of people just put up with the flickering light as a majority of the time it is just a dirty or faulty sensor.My father in law is one of those people as he doesn't use it as a 4wd at all so he's not concerned. I can't leave something like that,it had to be fixed.

Mine also wouldn't engage 4wd as the vacuum actuator was faulty and mine gets used as a 4by so ignoring it wasn't an option.

Others must have had this issue but back when i did mine,i searched everywhere for other peoples solutions and all i could find were cases of people either taking it to a mechanic or mitsubishi to repair,or saying all you need to do to fix it is move the transfer lever back and forth a few times to free everything up (which didn't work for me due to a torn actuator diaphragm).

Even if those solutions worked,I wasn't happy with either option as it still leaves a possibility of the same issues returning and i wanted a permanent fix.
Cheers,

Nathan

dirtbikersa
Been here a while
Posts: 121
Joined: September 18th, 2009, 11:37 pm
Location: No F'ing Clue!

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by dirtbikersa » February 27th, 2011, 10:25 am

Thanks for the info. Looks like a great way to do it if you have a faulty vacuum actuator or if you require any other parts. Mine is 'flashing' at the moment, and if I cant get it fixed without buying parts from Mitsubishi I think I might go this route.

sydneychallenger
Getting to know the place
Posts: 13
Joined: August 31st, 2010, 2:33 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by sydneychallenger » March 7th, 2011, 1:57 pm

I've just had a faulty vacuum actuator replaced by some transmission specialist guys in Rosebery NSW. No more flashing, and goes straight in and out of 4wd (you can hear it with window down).

Still got the flickering light sometimes (odd how its only sometimes) when engaged and going over the rough stuff but thats just a flakey electrical connection somewhere I imagine, I can live with it for now.. At least 4wd is definitely working :-D

-Chris

Timmo
Need to get out more
Posts: 2070
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 10:45 am

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Timmo » March 7th, 2011, 5:41 pm

If it's something you want to look into further,check the sensor on the front diff.It is what "detects" when 4wd is engaged.From what I can gather these are prone to sticking and giving false indications.

There's a couple more sensors on the transfer case aswell which are used to activate the solenoids for the vacuum actuator.If the system seems to be operating o.k then i'd start with the diff sensor.
Cheers,

Nathan

sydneychallenger
Getting to know the place
Posts: 13
Joined: August 31st, 2010, 2:33 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by sydneychallenger » March 7th, 2011, 7:33 pm

OK cheers I'll check it out.. don't suppose you have any photos to show what I'm looking at do you? :)

Timmo
Need to get out more
Posts: 2070
Joined: November 14th, 2010, 10:45 am

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Timmo » March 7th, 2011, 8:33 pm

Nah mate,sorry I don't.

Taking pics is the last thing I think of when elbow deep in grease and crap under my car!

It's easy to spot the sensor though,it's the only thing on the diff housing that has wires coming out of it.Apparently they are easily removed and cleaned. I have heard that you can give them a good clean/degrease and a thorough soaking in WD40 or similar to get them back to working order (providing it's not damaged of course).

I haven't done it but I looked into it when I discovered my issue and then decided the best long term fix for me was to delete and simplify the lot.
Cheers,

Nathan

Sam Pato
Avid Poster
Posts: 532
Joined: January 4th, 2011, 10:38 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Sam Pato » March 8th, 2011, 1:09 pm

As above I've been wrestling with the same thing.

I had a bit closer look at the weekend and found some *1#!-er has reconncted the terminals on top of the solonoids with spade connectors from a $2- electrical kit. Arggghhhhh. After I saw that I lost heart a bit.

I did find the easy sensor on the front diff - but failed on the rest of them.

Anyhoo - I did a search on some of the Montero sport websites and attach the following which i copied - this is about the best description I've found to date.
Max,

As mentioned before, I would start with the switches, in particular the Freewheel Engagement Switch since its the easiest to diagnose. The switch itself is located on the bottom rear of the front differential housing, you cant miss it once you crawl up under the truck. Once you find it trace the wires back to the link connector (which is behind the passenger side front wheel), there you can disconnect the link and put a jumper wire to test to see if that switch is the culprit.

The other switches Buggzyy is referring to are located in various location on the top side of the transfer case and are quite cumbersome to access. The best way I can describe them is once you identify the Freewheel Engagement Switch, on the front differential, you will now what you are looking for on the transfer case. The swtiches basically look like a nut with two wires sticking out of them. Also once you've identified the link for freewheel engagement switch, you can then crawl under the drivers side door and on the side of the transfer case you will see two more links, one is the Hi/Lo switch and the other is the 4WD detection switch. I'd be willing to bet if you do in fact have a switch problem one of these 3 switches I have mentioned would be the issue.

How do you test the switches you ask??? Best way is to disconnect one of the switches (the one your currently testing) and put a jumper wire to fool the CPU into thinking the circuit is closed. Start up your MS and put it in neutral and shift into 4HI. At that point the system will begin engaging the 4WD system if the light stays steady then you've narrowed it down to the area of the problem. Its the front differential, or something not right on the transfer case area. At that point you can then remove the switch itself and test the switch itself for continnuity.

I hope that helps you a bit....believe me once you work with the first switch on the front differential it will help you identify the others.

As for the Solenoid Valve, they are different and are located on the inside of the engine compartment on the wheel well of the passenger side. If you look at the 2nd link I posted you will see a picture of the valves. They are called "Vacuum Solenoid Valves" on the page.

Again, i would start with the switch test on the front differential 1st, that way you can at the least identify whether the problem is up front or at the transfer case.

I hope that better explains it.

Sujeemax if you look up the part on Mitsubishi Parts.net its called a "Control Switch" at least for the Freewheel Engage Switch, but they are bascially the same switch. As mentioned before the best method would be to test the switches one by one, starting with the Freewheel Engage switch on your front differential, then the 4WD detection switch, 4WD Hi/Lo switch and so forth. If you find one not working properly you can try spraying some WD40 to clean it out. From what you posted, your 4wd system mechanically seems to be working fine, so I would assume its probably not your solenoid valve, more likely just a bad switch.

See this link below, maybe it would help explain better. The switches are cheap too, like $25 if you buy them online. Once you figure out which switch you can get the part # from the dealer.

http://www.4x4wire.com/forums/showflat. ... art=2&vc=1
Hope this helps


Sam
1999 Challenger, with Dual airbags and LSD
Mods: Does a roof rack count?

wixxxer
Been here a while
Posts: 217
Joined: March 9th, 2009, 9:11 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by wixxxer » November 11th, 2011, 12:12 pm

Hi,
I thought I'd update here and upload some pics of my solution to the bracket. Nathan, I hope you're fine with it, if not just PM me mate.
I followed the instructions from Nathan all the way, but I just couldnt bring it to cut the rod or anything else, so I tried and made a bracket to hold the pushrod all the way out of the diff. First I used some cardboard to mark holes and cut outs. I had some 2mm L-shaped galvanized steel lying around, so I cut, bent and drilled it to look like this:
Image
Image
Image
Then I realised that putting the rubber boot on and zip-tying it as per Nathan's guide will not work, as the boot is way to long and I didn't want to cut it.
So I went to Clark Rubber and bought THIS:
Image
It's a walking stick rubber tip, 25mm dia, cost about $2.50.
I cut about 3-4mm off (inside you can see a tiny ring, I cut to it), and drilled a 10mm hole through the other end (I used a few different drill bit sizes before going to 10mm).
Image
Image
Now, putting this thing on is a PAIN. Rubber is a bit harder than on the original boot, so it won't go on easy. First I took a bit of wire and put it through the holes on the push rod, to be able to hold it when putting the boot on (rod will otherwise slide back ito the case and can't be easily pulled out - rubber in the way).
After several tries, and some scratches on my arms, lot of swearing and actually giving up, (which means that I cut the original boot, tried putting that on and zip-tying it - when I actually just confirmed my previous statement - that doesn't work), I finally figured it out.
- put rubber on as far as it will go, and pull out the push rod with help of wire.
- take wire out and stick a 25-30mm bolt through the hole, secure with the nut so it doesn't fall out.
- take a flat screwdriver, push it between the bolt and rubber to increase pressure on the rubber.
- use an L-shaped tiny screwdriver or, as I did, L-shaped seal ring remover, pull the rubber over the metal ring on the transfer case. Eventually it will go on, and once on, it will stay there.
- A smear of lubricant will definitely help.

Now, take the bolt out, put the bracket in and stick the same bolt back in (now through the pushrod and the bracket). Tighten the nut.
Put the heat shield on and fix it with the original two bolts.
If all cuts, bending and drill holes on the bracket fit, pushrod will stay all the way out of the diff, leaving it engaged, as Nathan already said.

This is where it goes:
Image

And this is how it looks like when finished:
Image
Image
Image

Nathan, thanks again for sharing your knowledge and helping out!

Sam Pato
Avid Poster
Posts: 532
Joined: January 4th, 2011, 10:38 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Sam Pato » November 11th, 2011, 1:37 pm

Manuel - great post mate - really good pictures.

Big raps for taking the time to document and share it.

Definitely tempted to give it a go now.

Could be a contender for post of the year (when does the voting start :) ) ?

Cheers

Sam
1999 Challenger, with Dual airbags and LSD
Mods: Does a roof rack count?

Mooney
Part of the furniture
Posts: 1253
Joined: June 3rd, 2010, 5:46 pm

Re: Permanent Fix For Flashing "4wd Light".

Unread post by Mooney » November 11th, 2011, 7:10 pm

Sam Pato wrote:Manuel - great post mate - really good pictures.

Big raps for taking the time to document and share it.
X2, thanks Manuel. Just 1 question, what degree bend is it on the shhet metal?. Im looking at doing this really soon!

and thanks once again Nathan for pioneering and documenting this mod for our trucks.
Have a good one,
Moony.
_________________
[quote="MR MITZ"]I'm a budgy boy, I'm a gangsta. I'm a gangsta, gangsta budgy boy [/quote]

Return to “Challenger”