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2003 sport edition 4runner - 4x4 not working

Discussion in '4th Gen 4Runners (2003-2009)' started by jergoff, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Oct 30, 2018 at 9:16 PM
    #1
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    I bought an 03 sport (full time 4x4, theoretically) a few weeks ago. Did a few minor repairs to avoid getting pulled over...had to replace turn signal socket, etc. Anyway, today is the first snow day and it is fish tailing, slipping, sliding, clearly not working in 4x4. When I look out my window while trying to climb a hill, only the rear driver side tire is spinning.

    Known issues:
    -Check engine light (code indicates heater control, I believe), VSC lights on. A "MAINT" light was also on a few weeks ago. I reset all the codes when I first got it. The MAINT is the only light that DIDN'T come back on.
    -Transfer case drip -- i've driven the vehicle about 150 miles since purchased and had planned to top off the oil this weekend (until a permanent fix can be performed)
    -Clunky sounds from front end on bumpy roads. Hard to explain. Muffled thud sounds, I guess.

    Could one or both cv axles be damaged? Could that be the noise and the reason why 4x4 isn't working? The boots all seem to be intact. I'll look again.

    Or is the trans case is running dry and causing things not to work?

    Any ideas? Thanks.
     
  2. Oct 31, 2018 at 4:33 AM
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    Some pictures would help tremendously.

    First and foremost when I see a Toyota vehicle and the 4wd doesn't work, 9 out of 10 times it's the actuator. Roughly $400 for an OEM one, but you can get one from rock auto for half the price, that's what I've done and it works fine. The OEM actuators don't seal very well and are prone to getting water in them.

    A clunky front end - again this is where pics would come in handy. I would assume wheel bearing, tie rod or ball joint(s).

    T-case drip, easy fix, just time consuming. Drain it, drop the pan and replace the gasket if that's where the leak is from. If it's from the pan or the case itself, you need to tap the hole or chase the threads to get a new plug to catch.

    Maint light, change the oil. A solid VSC light will illuminate when the check engine light is on.

    Welcome to the forum! Post some clear pics with lots of light.
     
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  3. Nov 4, 2018 at 7:12 PM
    #3
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Here's some pictures. Thanks so much for the reply. Sorry it's taking so long to get back. Hectic week. Good thing I have a spare 4Runner. Uphill snow driving daily to get home.

    I'm glad I got down there and took the pics. Both CVs have busted boots -- can't believe I missed it before buying. Maybe these axles are broken after all?

    Let me know if I didn't shoot everything needed. Some of the parts I'm not familiar enough with to identify.

    IMG_0915[1].jpg
    IMG_0916[1].jpg
    IMG_0917[1].jpg
    IMG_0918[1].jpg
    IMG_0919[1].jpg
    IMG_0920[1].jpg
    IMG_0921[1].jpg
    IMG_0922[1].jpg
    IMG_0923[1].jpg
    IMG_0924[1].jpg
    IMG_0925[1].jpg
     
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  4. Nov 4, 2018 at 7:16 PM
    #4
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    IMG_0926[1].jpg
    IMG_0927[1].jpg
    IMG_0928[1].jpg
    IMG_0929[1].jpg
    IMG_0930[1].jpg
     
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  5. Nov 4, 2018 at 7:23 PM
    #5
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    The piece with the 3 holes is where I see lots of drippage. Last photo above.
     
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  6. Nov 4, 2018 at 8:04 PM
    #6
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    Shouldn't this be sealed up tight?

    AEDA7215-B5EA-4766-B3CD-72A05B9E8C95.jpg
     
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  7. Nov 4, 2018 at 8:07 PM
    #7
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Yes, indeed. That's busted.
     
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  8. Nov 4, 2018 at 8:09 PM
    #8
    4runningMan

    4runningMan New Member

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    If it's dry, could be cause of some clunks?
     
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  9. Nov 4, 2018 at 8:15 PM
    #9
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Yeah...I wondered, but on smooth pavement, it's quiet. You'd think they'd clunk all the time the wheels are turning, right?

    Maybe they are both busted up inside and that's why 4x4 isn't working. It's hard to tell from the pics which side is which, but the boots on both axles are torn and dry looking.
     
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  10. Nov 5, 2018 at 4:10 AM
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    The CVs could cause the clunking but hard to tell if they are broken, grab the actual shaft and see if there's any play. Could just need some boot kits.
     
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  11. Nov 5, 2018 at 4:15 AM
    #11
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Will do. How can I troubleshoot why the 4x4 isn't working, if the CV aren't broken?
     
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  12. Nov 5, 2018 at 5:09 AM
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    You can break both CVs and your 4wd would still work, you have an underlying issue - more than likely the actuator.
    You should have someone engage the 4wd while you're under the vehicle and you should hear a click or thud, that's the actuator engaging. If you don't hear this I would suspect actuator is toast.
     
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  13. Nov 5, 2018 at 7:08 PM
    #13
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    It's full time 4x4. There's no option for RWD. Would I still experience this click somehow?
     
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  14. Nov 6, 2018 at 1:00 AM
    #14
    Caltech90

    Caltech90 New Member

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    I thought only the "Limited" was full time 4wd??
     
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  15. Nov 6, 2018 at 4:01 AM
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    Found this info on T4R
    Do you have a V6 or V8?
     
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  16. Nov 6, 2018 at 4:04 AM
    #16
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    V8
     
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  17. Nov 6, 2018 at 4:05 AM
    #17
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Not sure about limited. But I have a Sport and it's 4Hi and 4Lo only
     
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  18. Nov 6, 2018 at 5:12 AM
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    Do you have a center lock button somewhere?
     
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  19. Nov 6, 2018 at 5:16 AM
    #19
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Yes. I engaged it the other day, as well as 4Lo, and the truck was still pulling to the side/rear and unable to climb a snowy uphill road, about 1 inch deep.
     
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  20. Nov 6, 2018 at 5:23 AM
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    I am kind of stumped I think, if there was a fault on the 4wd system the light should blink - is there even a 4wd light on an awd runner?
     
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  21. Nov 6, 2018 at 5:26 AM
    #21
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Only for 4Lo
     
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  22. Nov 6, 2018 at 5:50 AM
    #22
    Caltech90

    Caltech90 New Member

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    Put it on a lift and carefully put it in drive. You either have a transfer case problem or front diff problem. Your 4runner has "A-TRAC" built in so it should pull more than one wheel if it is working properly. The VSC light could be as simple as recalibrating it. YouTube how to do it.
     
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  23. Nov 6, 2018 at 8:52 PM
    #23
    jergoff

    jergoff [OP] New Member

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    Yeah...was thinking 4 jack stands is the only way I can test it properly. Too bad I don't have a concrete driveway or anything concrete nearby. haha.
     
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  24. Nov 7, 2018 at 1:32 AM
    #24
    Caltech90

    Caltech90 New Member

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    Chain it to a tree and use a Go Pro to see what's going on underneath :D
     
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  25. Nov 10, 2018 at 6:41 PM
    #25
    DIRTBIKEDAVE

    DIRTBIKEDAVE 2nd 4Runner even better than the 1st one I had.

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    My 2nd 03' 4th GEN. even better than the 1st. V8 SPORT
    VOLANT cold air intake, LED's inside, rear, and front. tinted window shades.
    I'm going to keep my attention to what you've got going on. I just bout the exact same 4runner, V8 2003 Sport. Paid about 4K over from dealer. But one owner, timing belt and W/pump changed. All maint. records. Hope it holds up as well as my 03' V6 SR5 did!
     
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