4WD Not Engaging

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Nov 27, 2003
I just finished a 350 Conversion and think I may have screwed up the 4WD in the process...It will not engage when I pull it straight back, if I try while the vehicle is moving the gears grind, even if the tranny is in neutral. The indicator lights do not work anymore they got stirpped when pulling the tranny. 4WD low seems to engage because when I crawl under the truck and try to spin the front axel it does not spin. Any ideas? Any pictures so I can look at my linkage?


'87 FJ60
Are the front lock outs locked in when you are trying to get the truck to shift into 4WD while moving? If not, this grinding noise you are hearing is the front output engagement dog inside the nose cone looking piece on the T-case, grinding against the splines on the front output stub, not allowing the non-moving front driveshaft to line up with the rotating t-case gears.

Are you sure that you are getting complete free range of motion when moving the shifter? Have you had anyone manipulate the shifting controls, and watched what is going on under the truck while they do this?

If it works in low, and you had to stop to get it in gear, I would suspect the lock outs...

Good luck!

Steve -

YOur hunch was right on! I got it in 4WD, but it still pops right out. I managed to get it to stay by turning the wheels tightly, but then had to push it hard to knock it back into 2H.

So, what next, could it be I somehow damaged the linkage during the conversion or???

Thanks for your help,
Have you moved the location of the trans/t-case from original, and if so, is the hole that the lever passes through opened up enough to permit unobstructed travel?

I do not understand how you got it to stay in 4WD by "turning the wheels tight"-This makes no sense to me at all..

Shifting out of 4WD can sometimes be difficult. In the owners manual it suggest backing up a few feet while pushing the lever forward to try and disengage the 4WD. The drivetrain can bind up a little, making it very hard to shift from time to time. Also look to see that the grease zerk on the lever takes grease, as you could be getting some drag from there also.

Good luck!

Steve -

I don't get how it stuck either? The transmission has not moved, but the front of the car does ride higher now that there is less wieght up from and the driveshaft is noticeablely sticking out further because of it. I think it must have something to do with the linkage, I can hold it in place underneath with light pressure if I have someone shift it up above. Maybe I just need to bend the linkage a little so it forces the part that goes into the tcase further forward?

Thanks for all your help. Bummer this is happening now, we are having snow and ice in my neck of the woods and I would feel a lot better if I knew 4WD High would work.

Happy New Year,

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