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2003 4runner sport edition, 4x4 not working

Old 10-30-2018, 08:19 PM
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2003 4runner sport edition, 4x4 not working

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.
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Old 02-10-2019, 03:23 PM
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Here's my 2cents with my limitations on 4th gens..

Usually there's a 4WD light or symbol that comes on when in operation. Does that not come on at all or does it blink?

Transfer case leaks how fast? If slow, check that the breather vent somewhere on top is not clogged or rusted shut. Might be a cap of some sort.

Clunk noises up front...will need to inspect the front drivetrain and suspension components below for loose linkages, worn bushings, joints, rubber boots for leaks... Do you have vibrations through the steering wheel when you drive?

Could be other things up front that are just rattling loose.

There's info online on CV joints that seem to indicate the noises you have might be something other than CVs.

Hopefully you find out whats going on.
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