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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 2016 Ram 3500 not disengaging 4 wheel drive low gear

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bobbolotune

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Posted: 01/12/18 01:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Someone in this forum mentioned using the 4 wheel drive low gear for climbing up blocks to level the camper. So I started doing this, which is a great improvement over that I used to have to gun the engine then slam the brakes to get onto the blocks. In 4 wheel drive low gear the truck just drifts onto the blocks. It became so easy that I started using blocks more frequently.

So one morning I am in 4 wheel drive low gear in the middle of nowhere. I drive off the blocks, turn the knob in the cab to 2 wheel drive. But the truck seems to still be in 4 wheel drive low gear. Which I am not going to get very far at the max speed of 4 wheel drive low gear.

After a lot of switching the knob between 2WD and 4WD and driving back and forth, finally it went back to 2 wheel drive.

Have others had this problem?

It had been raining for 2 days so everything was wet if that is a factor. I was talking to someone in a campground who had the same truck and he said this happened to him once, and when I asked he said that yes it had been wet conditions. He said that since it happened to him that one time he drives backwards then forward a little after turning the knob and hasn't had trouble since. He had no idea if this is actually a fix or if he just randomly hasn't hit the problem since.

Myself, I used to stay in Drive when I turned the knob back to 2WD, then it would say to shift to Neutral to complete the switch. Since this happened to me this one time I now shift to Neutral before turning the knob back to 2WD. Then I do what the guy in the campground said of back up a little then forward a little. But I can't know if these changes fix the problem or it is random chance I have not hit the problem since I started doing these things.

I am taking the truck in for service. My question is whether this is something I should ask them to look at. The problem is that I have switched into 4 wheel drive since and it did disengage no problem. So it isn't currently a problem, which is hard to ask a mechanic to fix it when it isn't broken.

The truck is still under warranty so if there is a problem I would like to get it fixed. But I am clueless if this is something that a mechanic can look at and fix when it currently isn't happening.

Anyone here know more about this than me? Have others had this problem?

There is that front drive shaft fitting on the 4x4 that you are supposed to lube with each oil change. If it is possible they are not doing that. Whether that could have something to do with switching between 2WD and 4WD.

Since this happened, I am now hesitant to drive onto blocks. Hesitant that I could get really stuck somewhere not able to switch to 2WD.

Also, whether using 4 wheel drive low gear every time I move the truck is going to wear something out like it isn't designed to be used that much.


Lance 850 truck camper
2016 Ram 3500 regular cab long bed 4x4 DRW 6.4L HEMI gas

wnjj

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Posted: 01/12/18 02:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shifting to neutral is usually required when switching between low range and high range. Obviously you need to be stopped at a minimum.

Binding in 4wd and particularly in low range is pretty normal, especially if you’re on a hard surface or some wheels had to climb blocks. Switching the knob back and forth usually won’t help, but pulling forward and backward a couple feet while turning the wheels slightly one way or the other helps after switching back to 2wd by changing the runout of the front axle versus the back and loading/unloading the powertrain to unbind it.

I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee that wouldn’t leave part time high range 4wd until I shifted it out, then switched the transmission to neutral. Once in neutral, the 4x4 floor shift lever would thump and knudge forward a bit more as it finished popping out. The electronic shift transfer cases are similar but have solenoids that apply pressure to the shift forks. They often won’t release if there’s any tension on the gears.

Our Tacoma is really picky. It often takes a couple seconds and shifting the transmission out of and back into gear to get it to release, even on our gravel driveway.

You’ll get a range of opinions on using 4wd on hard surfaces. I have no issue with doing it for moving a couple feet up onto blocks. You don’t want to be turning or on the throttle hard.

AidenJ

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Posted: 01/12/18 05:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I very seldom use 4low and have not experienced what you described. What really irks me is this big Cummins won't climb a couple of 2x6's in 2 WD. Won't spin a tire, just sits there.


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towpro

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Posted: 01/12/18 06:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Double post deleted.

* This post was edited 01/13/18 06:24am by towpro *


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towpro

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Posted: 01/12/18 06:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

uneven tire wear front to rear can also cause this. Rotate, Rotate, Rotate so all tires always have the same circumference. I see you have a dually so its kind of hard to do a real rotation because the rear inner wheels use a different TPMS frequency than the other 4 tires.


I will swap LF and RR outer, and RF and LR outer. inner stay where they are. This keeps tires rotating the same directions. only problem is one summer I have raised white letters, next I have black walls.

Reality Check

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Posted: 01/12/18 07:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To start with, only when in neutral, and not moving.

As explained, you need to relieve the pressure for the system to work. It has nothing to do with switching the 'knob' back and forth.

Just a thought, but what does the manual say?


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DutchmenSport

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Posted: 01/12/18 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For what it's worth, I've only tried 4 low a couple times in my Chevy. Each time, I went to "park" and then switched from 4 low to 2wd, and then back into drive, waited for my little light to quit flashing, and then back into drive.

FYI, going from drive 2wd to 4 low, I need be in either neutral or park also. It seems to not like to switch if the vehicle is already in 2wd or 4wd in gear, and then switch to 4 low. So, park or neutral, then switch to 4 low, then drive again. Same in reverse. Works with no problem this this way.

Your's may be different, but for my Chevy, this works best.

Now, shifting from 2wd to 4wd, it's designed to do that while moving. Never had any issues with that all.


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Posted: 01/12/18 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Backing up straight will help ease the binding.


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Posted: 01/12/18 08:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Binding has happened to me on every 4wd that I've owned. It normal till you drive back or forth to unbind. Binding happens because the front is designed to spin a little fast than the rear differential. This affords better control in icy conditions and are all supposed to be this way.

ScottG

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Posted: 01/12/18 09:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Picture this; the gears are gnashed together hard - lots of tension and pressure on them. Then this little electric solenoid give it a little pull. Yeah, nothing is going to happen. That solenoid just isn't strong enough.
So letting off on all that tension by either backing slightly or just letting the truck coast releases all that pressure and the wimpy solenoid can do its job.
I prefer the old style lever for XFER case duties. If it doesn't come out of gear, the the only weak link to blame is the guy pulling on it.


Scott, Grace and Wesly
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